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Title: The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 2 of 4

Author: American Anti-Slavery Society

Release Date: February 25, 2004 [EBook #11272]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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NUMBERS 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & EXTRA


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NO. 5


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No. 143 NASSAU STREET. 1838.

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A civilized community presupposes a government of law. If that government be a republic, its citizens are the sole sources, as well as the subjects of its power. Its constitution is their bill of directions to their own agents--a grant authorizing the exercise of certain powers, and prohibiting that of others. In the Constitution of the United States, whatever else may be obscure, the clause granting power to Congress over the Federal District may well defy misconstruction. Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 18: "The Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such District." Congress may make laws for the District "in all cases," not of all kinds. The grant respects the subjects of legislation, not the moral nature of the laws. The law-making power every where, is subject to moral restrictions, whether limited by constitutions or not. No legislature can authorize murder, nor make honesty penal, nor virtue a crime, nor exact impossibilities. In these and similar respects, the power of Congress is held in check by principles existing in the nature of things, not imposed by the Constitution, but presupposed and assumed by it. The power of Congress over the District is restricted only by those principles that limit ordinary legislation, and, in some respects, it has even wider scope.

In common with the legislatures of the States, Congress cannot constitutionally pass ex post facto laws in criminal cases, nor suspend the writ of habeas corpus, nor pass a bill of attainder, nor abridge the freedom of speech and of the press, nor invade the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, nor enact laws respecting an establishment of religion. These are general limitations. Congress cannot do these things any where. The exact import, therefore, of the clause "in all cases whatsoever," is, on all subjects within the appropriate sphere of legislation. Some legislatures are restrained by constitutions from the exercise of powers strictly within the proper sphere of legislation. Congressional power over the District has no such restraint. It traverses the whole field of legitimate legislation. All the power which any legislature has within its own jurisdiction, Congress holds over the District of Columbia.

It has been asserted that the clause in question respects merely police regulations, and that its sole design was to enable Congress to protect itself against popular tumults. But if the framers of the Constitution aimed to provide for a single case only, why did they provide for "all cases whatsoever?" Besides, this clause was opposed in many of the state conventions, because the grant of power was not restricted to police regulations alone. In the Virginia Convention, George Mason, the father of the Virginia Constitution, said, "This clause gives an unlimited authority in every possible case within the District. He would willingly give them exclusive power as far as respected the police and good government of the place, but he would give them no more." Mr. Grayson said, that control over the police was all-sufficient, and that the "Continental Congress never had an idea of exclusive legislation in all cases." Patrick Henry said. "Is it consistent with any principle of prudence or good policy, to grant unlimited, unbounded authority?" Mr. Madison said in reply: "I did conceive that the clause under consideration was one of those parts which would speak its own praise. When any power is given, its delegation necessarily involves authority to make laws to execute it. * * * * The powers which are found necessary to be given, are therefore delegated generally, and particular and minute specification is left to the legislature. * * * It is not within the limits of human capacity to delineate on paper all those particular cases and circumstances, in which legislation by the general legislature would be necessary." Governor Randolph said: "Holland has no ten miles square, but she has the Hague where the deputies of the States assemble. But the influence which it has given the province of Holland, to have the seat of government within its territory, subject in some respects to its control, has been injurious to the other provinces. The wisdom of the Convention is therefore manifest in granting to Congress exclusive jurisdiction over the place of their session." [Deb. Va. Con., p. 320.] In the forty-third number of the "Federalist," Mr. Madison says: "The indispensable necessity of complete authority at the seat of government, carries its own evidence with it."

Finally, that the grant in question is to be interpreted according to the obvious import of its terms, is proved by the fact, that Virginia proposed an amendment to the United States' Constitution at the time of its adoption, providing that this clause "should be so construed as to give power only over the police and good government of said District," which amendment was rejected.

The former part of the clause under consideration, "Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation," gives sole jurisdiction, and the latter part, "in all cases whatsoever," defines the extent of it. Since, then, Congress is the sole legislature within the District, and since its power is limited only by the checks common to all legislatures, it follows that what the law-making power is intrinsically competent to do any where, Congress is competent to do in the District of Columbia. Having disposed of preliminaries, we proceed to state and argue the real question at issue.


1. In every government, absolute sovereignty exists somewhere. In the United States it exists primarily with the people, and ultimate sovereignty always exists with them. In each of the States, the legislature possesses a representative sovereignty, delegated by the people through the Constitution--the people thus committing to the legislature a portion of their sovereignty, and specifying in their constitutions the amount of the grant and its conditions. That the people in any state where slavery exists, have the power to abolish it, none will deny. If the legislature have not the power, it is because the people have reserved it to themselves. Had they lodged with the legislature "power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever," they would have parted with their sovereignty over the legislation of the State, and so far forth, the legislature would have become the people, clothed with all their functions, and as such competent, during the continuance of the grant, to do whatever the people might have done before the surrender of their power: consequently, they would have the power to abolish slavery. The sovereignty of the District of Columbia exists somewhere--where is it lodged? The citizens of the District have no legislature of their own, no representation in Congress, and no political power whatever. Maryland and Virginia have surrendered to the United States their "full and absolute right and entire sovereignty," and the people of the United States have committed to Congress by the Constitution, the power to "exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such District."

Thus, the sovereignty of the District of Columbia, is shown to reside solely in the Congress of the United States; and since the power of the people of a state to abolish slavery within their own limits, results from their entire sovereignty within that state, so the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District, results from its entire sovereignty within the District. If it be objected that Congress can have no more power over the District, than was held by the legislatures of Maryland and Virginia, we ask what clause of the constitution graduates the power of Congress by the standard of those legislatures? Was the United States' constitution worked into its present shape under the measuring line and square of Virginia and Maryland? and is its power to be bevelled down till it can run in the grooves of state legislation? There is a deal of prating about constitutional power over the District, as though Congress were indebted for it to Maryland and Virginia. The powers of those states, whether prodigies or nullities, have nothing to do with the question. As well thrust in the powers of the Grand Lama to join issue upon, or twist papal bulls into constitutional tether, with which to curb congressional action. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES gives power to Congress, and takes it away, and it alone. Maryland and Virginia adopted the Constitution before they ceded to the United States the territory of the District. By their acts of cession, they abdicated their own sovereignty over the District, and thus made room for that provided by the United States' constitution, which sovereignty was to commence as soon as a cession of territory by states, and its acceptance by Congress, furnished a sphere for its exercise. That the abolition of slavery is within the sphere of legislation, I argue.

2. FROM THE FACT, THAT SLAVERY, AS A LEGAL SYSTEM, IS THE CREATURE OF LEGISLATION. The law, by creating slavery, not only affirmed its existence to be within the sphere and under the control of legislation, but also, the conditions and terms of its existence, and the question whether or not it should exist. Of course legislation would not travel out of its sphere, in abolishing what is within it, and what had been recognized to be within it, by its own act. Cannot legislatures repeal their own laws? If law can take from a man his rights, it can give them back again. If it can say, "your body belongs to your neighbor," it can say, "it belongs to yourself." If it can annul a man's right to himself, held by express grant from his Maker, and can create for another an artificial title to him, can it not annul the artificial title, and leave the original owner to hold himself by his original title?

3. THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONSIDERED WITHIN THE APPROPRIATE SPHERE OF LEGISLATION. Almost every civilized nation has abolished slavery by law. The history of legislation since the revival of letters, is a record crowded with testimony to the universally admitted competency of the law-making power to abolish slavery. It is so manifestly an attribute not merely of absolute sovereignty, but even of ordinary legislation, that the competency of a legislature to exercise it, may well nigh be reckoned among the legal axioms of the civilized world. Even the night of the dark ages was not dark enough to make this invisible.

The Abolition decree of the great council of England was passed in 1102. The memorable Irish decree, "that all the English slaves in the whole of Ireland, be immediately emancipated and restored to their former liberty," was issued in 1171. Slavery in England was abolished by a general charter of emancipation in 1381. Passing over many instances of the abolition of slavery by law, both during the middle ages and since the reformation, we find them multiplying as we approach our own times. In 1776 slavery was abolished in Prussia by special edict. In St. Domingo, Cayenne, Guadaloupe, and Martinique, in 1794, where more than 600,000 slaves were emancipated by the French government. In Java, 1811; in Ceylon, 1815; in Buenos Ayres, 1816; in St. Helena, 1819; in Colombia, 1821; by the Congress of Chili in 1821; in Cape Colony, 1823; in Malacca, 1825; in the southern provinces of Birmah, 1826; in Bolivia, 1826; in Peru, Guatemala, and Monte Video, 1828; in Jamaica, Barbados, the Bermudas, the Bahamas, Anguilla, Mauritius, St. Christopers, Nevis, the Virgin Islands, (British), Antigua, Montserrat, Dominica, St. Vincents, Grenada, Berbice, Tobago, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Honduras, Demerara, Essequibo and the Cape of Good Hope, on the 1st of August, 1834. But waving details, suffice it to say, that England, France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Germany, have all and often given their testimony to the competency of the legislative power to abolish slavery. In our own country, the Legislature of Pennsylvania passed an act of abolition in 1780, Connecticut in 1784; Rhode Island, 1784; New-York, 1799; New-Jersey, in 1804; Vermont, by Constitution, in 1777; Massachusetts, in 1780; and New-Hampshire, in 1784.

When the competency of the law-making power to abolish slavery has thus been recognized every where and for ages, when it has been embodied in the highest precedents, and celebrated in the thousand jubilees of regenerated liberty, is it an achievement of modern discovery, that such a power is a nullity?--that all these acts of abolition are void, and that the millions disenthralled by them, are, either themselves or their posterity, still legally in bondage?

4. LEGISLATIVE POWER HAS ABOLISHED SLAVERS IN ITS PARTS. The law of South Carolina prohibits the working of slaves more than fifteen hours in the twenty-four. In other words, it takes from the slaveholder his power over nine hours of the slave's time daily; and if it can take nine hours it may take twenty-four. The laws of Georgia prohibit the working of slaves on the first day of the week; and if they can do it for the first, they can for the six following. The law of North Carolina prohibits the "immoderate" correction of slaves. If it has power to prohibit immoderate correction, it can prohibit moderate correction--all correction, which would be virtual emancipation; for, take from the master the power to inflict pain, and he is master no longer. Cease to ply the slave with the stimulus of fear, and he is free.

The Constitution of Mississippi gives the General Assembly power to make laws "to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity." The Constitution of Missouri has the same clause, and an additional one making it the DUTY of the legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to secure the humane treatment of the slaves. This grant to those legislatures, empowers them to decide what is and what is not "humane treatment." Otherwise it gives no "power"--the clause is mere waste paper, and flouts in the face of a befooled legislature. A clause giving power to require "humane treatment" covers all the particulars of such treatment--gives power to exact it in all respects--requiring certain acts, and prohibiting others--maiming, branding, chaining together, separating families, floggings for learning the alphabet, for reading the Bible, for worshiping God according to conscience--the legislature has power to specify each of these acts--declare that it is not "humane treatment," and PROHIBIT it.--The legislature may also believe that driving men and women into the field, and forcing them to work without pay, is not "humane treatment," and being constitutionally bound "to oblige" masters to practise "humane treatment"--they have the power to prohibit such treatment, and are bound to do it.

The law of Louisiana makes slaves real estate, prohibiting the holder, if he be also a land holder, to separate them from the soil.[A] If it has power to prohibit the sale without the soil, it can prohibit the sale with it; and if it can prohibit the sale as property, it can prohibit the holding as property. Similar laws exist in the French, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies. The law of Louisiana requires the master to give his slaves a certain amount of food and clothing. If it can oblige the master to give the slave one thing, it can oblige him to give him another: if food and clothing, then wages, liberty, his own body. By the laws of Connecticut, slaves may receive and hold property, and prosecute suits in their own name as plaintiffs: [This last was also the law of Virginia in 1795. See Tucker's "Dissertation on Slavery," p. 73.] There were also laws making marriage contracts legal, in certain contingencies, and punishing infringements of them, ["Reeve's Law of Baron and Femme," p. 340-1.]

[Footnote A: Virginia made slaves real estate by a law passed in 1705. (Beverly's Hist. of Va., p. 98.) I do not find the precise time when this law was repealed, probably when Virginia became the chief slave breeder for the cotton-growing and sugar-planting country, and made young men and women "from fifteen to twenty-five" the main staple production of the State.]

Each of the laws enumerated above, does, in principle, abolish slavery; and all of them together abolish it in fact. True, not as a whole, and at a stroke, nor all in one place; but in its parts, by piecemeal, at divers times and places; thus showing that the abolition of slavery is within the boundary of legislation.

In the "Washington (D.C.) City Laws," page 138, is "AN ACT to prevent horses from being cruelly beaten or abused." Similar laws have been passed by corporations in many of the slave states, and throughout the civilized world, such acts are punishable either as violations of common law or of legislative enactments. If a legislature can pass laws "to prevent horses from being cruelly abused," it can pass laws to prevent men from being cruelly abused, and if it can prevent cruel abuse, it can define what it is. It can declare that to make men work without pay is cruel abuse, and can PROHIBIT it.

5. THE COMPETENCY OF THE LAW-MAKING POWER TO ABOLISH SLAVERY, HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY ALL THE SLAVEHOLDING STATES, EITHER DIRECTLY OR BY IMPLICATION. Some States recognize it in their Constitutions, by giving the legislature power to emancipate such slaves as may "have rendered the state some distinguished service," and others by express prohibitory restrictions. The Constitution of Mississippi, Arkansas, and other States, restrict the power of the legislature in this respect. Why this express prohibition, if the law-making power cannot abolish slavery? A stately farce indeed, with appropriate rites to induct into the Constitution a special clause, for the express purpose of restricting a nonentity!--to take from the law-making power what it never had, and what cannot pertain to it! The legislatures of those States have no power to abolish slavery, simply because their Constitutions have expressly taken away that power. The people of Arkansas, Mississippi, &c. well knew the competency of the law-making power to abolish slavery, and hence their zeal to restrict it.

The slaveholding States have recognised this power in their laws. Virginia passed a law in 1786 to prevent the importation of Slaves, of which the following is an extract: "And be it further enacted that every slave imported into this commonwealth contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, shall upon such importation become free." By a law of Virginia, passed Dec. 17, 1792, a slave brought into the state and kept there a year, was free. The Maryland Court of Appeals, Dec., 1813 [case of Stewart vs. Oakes,] decided that a slave owned in Maryland, and sent by his master into Virginia to work at different periods, making one year in the whole, became free, being emancipated by the above law. North Carolina and Georgia in their acts of cession, transferring to the United States the territory now constituting the States of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, made it a condition of the grant, that the provisions of the ordinance of '87 should be secured to the inhabitants, with the exception of the sixth article which prohibits slavery; thus conceding, both the competency of law to abolish slavery, and the power of Congress to do it, within its jurisdiction. (These acts show the prevalent belief at that time, in the slaveholding States, that the general government had adopted a line of policy aiming at the exclusion of slavery from the entire territory of the United States, not included within the original States, and that this policy would be pursued unless prevented by specific and formal stipulation.)

Slaveholding States have asserted this power in their judicial decisions. In numerous cases their highest courts have decided that if the legal owner of slaves takes them into those States where slavery has been abolished either by law or by the constitution, such removal emancipates them, such law or constitution abolishing their slavery. This principle is asserted in the decision of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, Lunsford vs. Coquillon, 14 Martin's La. Reps. 401. Also by the Supreme Court of Virginia, Hunter vs. Fulcher, 1 Leigh's Reps. 172. The same doctrine was laid down by Judge Washington, of the U. S. Sup. Court, Butler vs. Hopper, Washington's C. C. Reps. 508; also, by the Court of Appeals in Kentucky, Rankin vs. Lydia, 2 Marshall's Reps. 407; see also, Wilson vs. Isbell, 5 Call's Reps. 425, Spotts vs. Gillespie, 6 Randolph's Reps. 566. The State vs. Lasselle, 1 Blackford's Reps. 60, Marie Louise vs. Mariot, 8 La. Reps. 475. In this case, which was tried in 1836, the slave had been taken by her master to France and brought back; Judge Matthews, of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, decided that "residence for one moment" under the laws of France emancipated her.

6. EMINENT STATESMEN, THEMSELVES SLAVEHOLDERS, HAVE CONCEDED THIS POWER. Washington, in a letter to Robert Morris, April 12, 1786, says: "There is not a man living, who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery; but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by legislative authority." In a letter to Lafayette, May 10, 1786, he says: "It (the abolition of slavery) certainly might, and assuredly ought to be effected, and that too by legislative authority." In a letter to John Fenton Mercer, Sept. 9, 1786, he says: "It is among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this country may be abolished by law." In a letter to Sir John Sinclair, he says: "There are in Pennsylvania, laws for the gradual abolition of slavery, which neither Maryland nor Virginia have at present, but which nothing is more certain than that they must have, and at a period not remote." Jefferson, speaking of movements in the Virginia Legislature in 1777, for the passage of a law emancipating the slaves, says: "The principles of the amendment were agreed on, that is to say, the freedom of all born after a certain day; but it was found that the public mind would not bear the proposition, yet the day is not far distant when it must bear and adopt it."--Jefferson's Memoirs, v. i. p. 35. It is well known that Jefferson, Pendleton, Mason, Wythe and Lee, while acting as a committee of the Virginia House of Delegates to revise the State Laws, prepared a plan for the gradual emancipation of the slaves by law. These men were the great lights of Virginia. Mason, the author of the Virginia Constitution; Pendleton, the President of the memorable Virginia Convention in 1787, and President of the Virginia Court of Appeals; Wythe was the Blackstone of the Virginia bench, for a quarter of a century Chancellor of the State, the professor of law in the University of William and Mary, and the preceptor of Jefferson, Madison, and Chief Justice Marshall. He was the author of the celebrated remonstrance to the English House of Commons on the subject of the stamp act. As to Jefferson, his name is his biography.

Every slaveholding member of Congress from the States of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, voted for the celebrated ordinance of 1787, which abolished the slavery then existing in the Northwest Territory. Patrick Henry, in his well known letter to Robert Pleasants, of Virginia, January 18, 1773, says: "I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil." William Pinkney, of Maryland, advocated the abolition of slavery by law, in the legislature of that State, in 1789. Luther Martin urged the same measure both in the Federal Convention, and in his report to the Legislature of Maryland. In 1796, St. George Tucker, of Virginia, professor of law in the University of William and Mary, and Judge of the General Court, published a dissertation on slavery, urging the abolition of slavery by law.

John Jay, while New-York was yet a slave State, and himself in law a slaveholder, said in a letter from Spain, in 1786, "An excellent law might be made out of the Pennsylvania one, for the gradual abolition of slavery. Were I in your legislature, I would present a bill for the purpose, and I would never cease moving it till it became a law, or I ceased to be a member."

Governor Tompkins, in a message to the Legislature of New-York, January 8, 1812, said: "To devise the means for the gradual and ultimate extermination from amongst us of slavery, is a work worthy the representatives of a polished and enlightened nation."

The Virginia Legislature asserted this power in 1832. At the close of a month's debate, the following proceedings were had. I extract from an editorial article in the Richmond Whig, Jan. 26, 1832.

"The report of the Select Committee, adverse to legislation on the subject of Abolition, was in these words: Resolved, as the opinion of this Committee, that it is INEXPEDIENT FOR THE PRESENT, to make any legislative enactments for the abolition of slavery." This Report Mr. Preston moved to reverse, and thus to declare that it was expedient, now to make legislative enactments for the abolition of slavery. This was meeting the question in its strongest form. It demanded action, and immediate action. On this proposition the vote was 58 to 73. Many of the most decided friends of abolition voted against the amendment, because they thought public opinion not sufficiently prepared for it, and that it might prejudice the cause to move too rapidly. The vote on Mr. Witcher's motion to postpone the whole subject indefinitely, indicates the true state of opinion in the House. That was the test question, and was so intended and proclaimed by its mover. That motion was negatived, 71 to 60; showing a majority of 11, who by that vote, declared their belief that at the proper time, and in the proper mode, Virginia ought to commence a system of gradual abolition.

7. THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES HAVE ASSERTED THIS POWER. The ordinance of '87, declaring that there should be "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude," in the North Western Territory, abolished the slavery then existing there. The Sup. Court of Mississippi, [Harvey vs. Decker, Walker's Mi. Reps. 36,] declared that the ordinance of '87 emancipated the slaves then held there. In this decision the question is argued ably and at great length. The Supreme Court of La. made the same decision in the case of Forsyth vs. Nash, 4 Martin's La. Reps. 385. The same doctrine was laid down by Judge Porter, (late United States Senator from La.,) in his decision at the March term of the La. Supreme Court, 1830, Merry vs. Chexnaider, 20 Martin's Reps. 699.

That the ordinance abolished the slavery then existing there is also shown by the fact, that persons holding slaves in the territory petitioned for the repeal of the article abolishing slavery, assigning that as a reason. "The petition of the citizens of Randolph and St. Clair counties in the Illinois country, stating that they were in possession of slaves, and praying the repeal of that act (the 6th article of the ordinance of '87) and the passage of a law legalizing slavery there." [Am. State papers, Public Lands, v. 1. p. 69.] Congress passed this ordinance before the United States' Constitution was adopted, when it derived all its authority from the articles of Confederation, which conferred powers of legislation far more restricted than those committed to Congress over the District and Territories by the United States' Constitution. Now, we ask, how does the Constitution abridge the powers which Congress possessed under the articles of confederation?

The abolition of the slave trade by Congress, in 1808, is another illustration of the competency of legislative power to abolish slavery. The African slave trade has become such a mere technic, in common parlance, that the fact of its being proper slavery is overlooked. The buying and selling, the transportation, and the horrors of the middle passage, were mere incidents of the slavery in which the victims were held. Let things be called by their own names. When Congress abolished the African slave trade, it abolished SLAVERY--supreme slavery--power frantic with license, trampling a whole hemisphere scathed with its fires, and running down with blood. True, Congress did not, in the abolition of the slave trade, abolish all the slavery within its jurisdiction, but it did abolish all the slavery in one part of its jurisdiction. What has rifled it of power to abolish slavery in another part of its jurisdiction, especially in that part where it has "exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever?"

8. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES RECOGNIZES THIS POWER BY THE MOST CONCLUSIVE IMPLICATION. In Art. 1, sec. 3, clause 1, it prohibits the abolition of the slave trade previous to 1808: thus implying the power of Congress to do it at once, but for the restriction; and its power to do it unconditionally, when that restriction ceased. Again; In Art. 4, sec. 2, "No person held to service or labor in one state under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from said service or labor." This clause was inserted, as all admit, to prevent the runaway slave from being emancipated by the laws of the free states. If these laws had no power to emancipate, why this constitutional guard to prevent it?

The insertion of the clause, was the testimony of the eminent jurists that framed the Constitution, to the existence of the power, and their public proclamation, that the abolition of slavery was within the appropriate sphere of legislation. The right of the owner to that which is rightfully property, is founded on a principle of universal law, and is recognized and protected by all civilized nations; property in slaves is, by general consent, an exception; hence slaveholders insisted upon the insertion of this clause in the United States' Constitution, that they might secure by an express provision, that from which protection is withheld, by the acknowledged principles of universal law.[A] By demanding this provision, slaveholders consented that their slaves should not be recognized as property by the United States' Constitution, and hence they found their claim, on the fact of their being "persons, and held to service."

[Footnote A: The fact, that under the articles of Confederation, slaveholders, whose slaves had escaped into free states, had no legal power to force them back,--that now they have no power to recover, by process of law, their slaves who escape to Canada, the South American States, or to Europe--the case already cited, in which the Supreme Court of Louisiana decided, that residence "for one moment," under the laws of France emancipated an American slave--the case of Fulton, vs. Lewis, 3 Har. and John's Reps., 56, where the slave of a St. Domingo slaveholder, who brought him to Maryland in '93, was pronounced free by the Maryland Court of Appeals--are illustrations of the acknowledged truth here asserted, that by the consent of the civilized world, and on the principles of universal law, slaves are not "property," and that whenever held as property under law, it is only by positive legislative acts, forcibly setting aside the law of nature, the common law, and the principles of universal justice and right between man and man,--principles paramount to all law, and from which alone, law derives its intrinsic authoritative sanction.]

9. CONGRESS HAS UNQUESTIONABLE POWER TO ADOPT THE COMMON LAW, AS THE LEGAL SYSTEM, WITHIN ITS EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION.--This has been done, with certain restrictions, in most of the States, either by legislative acts or by constitutional implication. THE COMMON LAW KNOWS NO SLAVES. Its principles annihilate slavery wherever they touch it. It is a universal, unconditional, abolition act. Wherever slavery is a legal system, it is so only by statute law, and in violation of the common law. The declaration of Lord Chief Justice Holt, that, "by the common law, no man can have property in another," is an acknowledged axiom, and based upon the well known common law definition of property. "The subjects of dominion or property are things, as contra-distinguished from persons." Let Congress adopt the common law in the District of Columbia, and slavery there is abolished. Congress may well be at home in common law legislation, for the common law is the grand element of the United States' Constitution. All its fundamental provisions are instinct with its spirit; and its existence, principles, and paramount authority, are presupposed and assumed throughout the whole. The preamble of the Constitution plants the standard of the Common Law immovably in its foreground. "We, the people of the United States, in order to ESTABLISH JUSTICE, &c., do ordain and establish this Constitution;" thus proclaiming devotion to JUSTICE, as the controlling motive in the organization of the Government, and its secure establishment the chief object of its aims. By this most solemn recognition, the common law, that grand legal embodyment of "justice" and fundamental right--was made the groundwork of the Constitution, and intrenched behind its strongest munitions. The second clause of Sec. 9, Art. 1; Sec. 4, Art. 2, and the last clause of Sec. 2, Art. 3, with Articles 7, 8, 9, and 13 of the Amendments, are also express recognitions of the common law as the presiding Genius of the Constitution.

By adopting the common law within its exclusive jurisdiction Congress would carry out the principles of our glorious Declaration, and follow the highest precedents in our national history and jurisprudence. It is a political maxim as old as civil legislation, that laws should be strictly homogeneous with the principles of the government whose will they express, embodying and carrying them out--being indeed the principles themselves, in preceptive form--representatives alike of the nature and power of the Government--standing illustrations of its genius and spirit, while they proclaim and enforce its authority. Who needs be told that slavery makes war upon the principles of the Declaration, and the spirit of the Constitution, and that these and the principles of the common law gravitate towards each other with irrepressible affinities, and mingle into one? The common law came hither with our pilgrim fathers; it was their birthright, their panoply, their glory, and their song of rejoicing in the house of their pilgrimage. It covered them in the day of their calamity, and their trust was under the shadow of its wings. From the first settlement of the country, the genius of our institutions and our national spirit have claimed it as a common possession, and exulted in it with a common pride. A century ago, Governor Pownall, one of the most eminent constitutional jurists of colonial times, said of the common law, "In all the colonies the common law is received as the foundation and main body of their law." In the Declaration of Rights, made by the Continental Congress at its first session in '74, there was the following resolution: "Resolved, That the respective colonies are entitled to the common law of England, and especially to the great and inestimable privilege of being tried by their peers of the vicinage according to the course of that law." Soon after the organization of the general government, Chief Justice Ellsworth, in one of his decisions on the bench of the U. S. Sup. Court, said: "The common law of this country remains the same as it was before the revolution." Chief Justice Marshall, in his decision in the case of Livingston vs. Jefferson, said: "When our ancestors migrated to America, they brought with them the common law of their native country, so far as it was applicable to their new situation, and I do not conceive that the revolution in any degree changed the relations of man to man, or the law which regulates them. In breaking our political connection with the parent state, we did not break our connection with each other." [Hall's Law Journal, new series.] Mr. Duponceau, in his "Dissertation on the Jurisdiction of Courts in the United States," says, "I consider the common law of England the jus commune of the United States. I think I can lay it down as a correct principle, that the common law of England, as it was at the time of the Declaration of Independence, still continues to be the national law of this country, so far as it is applicable to our present state, and subject to the modifications it has received here in the course of nearly half a century." Chief Justice Taylor of North Carolina, in his decision in the case of the State vs. Reed, in 1823, Hawkes' N.C. Reps. 454, says, "a law of paramount, obligation to the statute, was violated by the offence--COMMON LAW, founded upon the law of nature, and confirmed by revelation." The legislation of the United States abounds in recognitions of the principles of the common law, asserting their paramount binding power. Sparing details, of which our national state papers are full, we illustrate by a single instance. It was made a condition of the admission of Louisiana into the Union, that the right of trial by jury should be secured to all her citizens,--the United States government thus employing its power to enlarge the jurisdiction of the common law in this its great representative.

Having shown that the abolition of slavery is within the competency of the law-making power, when unrestricted by constitutional provisions, and that the legislation of Congress over the District is thus unrestricted, its power to abolish slavery there is established. We argue it further, from the fact that,

10. SLAVERY NOW EXISTS IN THE DISTRICT BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS. In the act of 16th July, 1790, Congress accepted portions of territory offered by the states of Maryland and Virginia, and enacted that the laws, as they then were, should continue in force, "until Congress shall otherwise by law provide." Under these laws, adopted by Congress, and in effect re-enacted and made laws of the District, the slaves there are now held.

Is Congress so impotent in its own "exclusive jurisdiction" that it cannot "otherwise by law provide?" If it can say, what shall be considered property, it can say what shall not be considered property. Suppose a legislature should enact that marriage contracts should be mere bills of sale, making a husband the proprietor of his wife, as his bona fide property; and suppose husbands should herd their wives in droves for the market as beasts of burden, or for the brothel as victims of lust, and then prate about their inviolable legal property, and deny the power of the legislature, which stamped them "property," to undo its own wrong, and secure to wives by law the rights of human beings. Would such cant about "legal rights" be heeded where reason and justice held sway, and where law, based upon fundamental morality, received homage? If a frantic legislature pronounces woman a chattel, has it no power, with returning reason, to take back the blasphemy? Is the impious edict irrepealable? Be it, that with legal forms it has stamped wives "wares." Can no legislation blot out the brand? Must the handwriting of Deity on human nature be expunged for ever? Has LAW no power to stay the erasing pen, and tear off the scrawled label that covers up the IMAGE OF GOD?


1. It has been assumed by Congress itself. The following record stands on the journals of the House of Representatives for 1804, p. 225: "On motion made and seconded that the House do come to the following resolution: 'Resolved, That from and after the 4th day of July, 1805, all blacks and people of color that shall be born within the District of Columbia, or whose mothers shall be the property of any person residing within the said District, shall be free, the males at the age of ----, and the females at the age of ----. The main question being taken that the House do agree to said motions as originally proposed, it was negatived by a majority of 46.'" Though the motion was lost, it was on the ground of its alleged inexpediency alone. In the debate which preceded the vote, the power of Congress was conceded. In March, 1816, the House of Representatives passed the following resolution: "Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire into the existence of an inhuman and illegal traffic in slaves, carried on in and through the District of Columbia, and to report whether any and what measures are necessary for putting a stop to the same."

On the 9th of January, 1829, the House of Representatives passed the following resolution by a vote of 114 to 66: "Resolved, That the Committee on the District of Columbia, be instructed to inquire into the expediency of providing by law for the gradual abolition of slavery within the District, in such a manner that the interests of no individual shall be injured thereby." Among those who voted in the affirmative were Messrs. Barney of Md., Armstrong of Va., A.H. Shepperd of N.C., Blair of Tenn., Chilton and Lyon of Ky., Johns of Del., and others from slave states.

2. IT HAS BEEN CONCEDED BY COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS, ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.--In a report of the committee on the District, Jan. 11, 1837, by their chairman, Mr. Powell of Va., there is the following declaration: "The Congress of the United States, has by the constitution exclusive jurisdiction over the District, and has power upon this subject (slavery,) as upon all other subjects of legislation, to exercise unlimited discretion." Reports of Comms. 2d Sess. 19th Cong. v. iv. No. 43. In December, 1831, the committee on the District, Mr. Doddridge of Va., Chairman, reported, "That until the adjoining states act on the subject, (slavery) it would be (not unconstitutional but) unwise and impolitic, if not unjust, for Congress to interfere." In April, 1836, a special committee on abolition memorials reported the following resolutions by their Chairman, Mr. Pinckney of South Carolina: "Resolved, That Congress possesses no constitutional authority to interfere in any way with the institution of slavery in any of the states of this confederacy."

"Resolved, That Congress ought not to interfere in any way with slavery in the District of Columbia." "Ought not to interfere," carefully avoiding the phraseology of the first resolution, and thus in effect conceding the constitutional power. In a widely circulated "Address to the electors of the Charleston District," Mr. Pinkney is thus denounced by his own constituents: "He has proposed a resolution which is received by the plain common sense of the whole country as a concession that Congress has authority to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia."

3. IT HAS BEEN CONCEDED BY THE CITIZENS OF THE DISTRICT. A petition for the gradual abolition of slavery in the District, signed by nearly eleven hundred of its citizens, was presented to Congress, March 24, 1827. Among the signers to this petition, were Chief Justice Cranch, Judge Van Ness, Judge Morsel, Prof. J.M. Staughton, and a large number of the most influential inhabitants of the District. Mr. Dickson, of New York, asserted on the floor of Congress in 1835, that the signers to this petition owned more than half the property in the District. The accuracy of this statement has never been questioned.

THIS POWER HAS BEEN CONCEDED BY GRAND JURIES OF THE DISTRICT. The grand jury of the county of Alexandria, at the March term, 1802, presented the domestic slaves trade as a grievance, and said, "We consider these grievances demanding legislative redress." Jan. 19, 1829, Mr. Alexander, of Virginia, presented a representation of the grand jury in the city of Washington, remonstrating against "any measure for the abolition of slavery within said District, unless accompanied by measures for the removal of the emancipated from the same;" thus, not only conceding the power to emancipate slaves, but affirming an additional power, that of excluding them when free. Journal H. R. 1828-9, p. 174.

4. THIS POWER HAS BEEN CONCEDED BY STATE LEGISLATURES. In 1828 the Legislature of Pennsylvania instructed their Senators in Congress "to procure, if practicable, the passage of a law to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia." Jan. 28, 1829, the House of Assembly of New York passed a resolution, that their "Senators in Congress be instructed to make every possible exertion to effect the passage of a law for the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia." In February, 1837, the Senate of Massachusetts "Resolved, That Congress having exclusive legislation in the District of Columbia, possess the right to abolish slavery and the slave trade therein." The House of Representatives passed the following resolution at the same session: "Resolved, That Congress having exclusive legislation in the District of Columbia, possess the right to abolish slavery in said District." November 1, 1837, the Legislature of Vermont, "Resolved that Congress have the full power by the constitution to abolish slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia, and in the territories."

In May, 1838, the Legislature of Connecticut passed a resolution asserting the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.

In January, 1836, the Legislature of South Carolina "Resolved, That we should consider the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia as a violation of the rights of the citizens of that District derived from the implied conditions on which that territory was ceded to the General Government." Instead of denying the constitutional power, they virtually admit its existence, by striving to smother it under an implication. In February, 1836, the Legislature of North Carolina "Resolved, That, although by the Constitution all legislative power over the District of Columbia is vested in the Congress of the United States, yet we would deprecate any legislative action on the part of that body towards liberating the slaves of that District, as a breach of faith towards those States by whom the territory was originally ceded. Here is a full concession of the power. February 2, 1836, the Virginia Legislature passed unanimously the following resolution: "Resolved, by the General Assembly of Virginia, that the following article be proposed to the several states of this Union, and to Congress, as an amendment of the Constitution of the United States:" "The powers of Congress shall not be so construed as to authorize the passage of any law for the emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia, without the consent of the individual proprietors thereof, unless by the sanction of the Legislatures of Virginia and Maryland, and under such conditions as they shall by law prescribe."

Fifty years after the formation of the United States' constitution the states are solemnly called upon by the Virginia Legislature, to amend that instrument by a clause asserting that, in the grant to Congress of "exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever" over the District, the "case" of slavery is not included!! What could have dictated such a resolution but the conviction that the power to abolish slavery is an irresistible inference from the constitution as it is? The fact that the same legislature, passed afterward a resolution, though by no means unanimously, that Congress does not possess the power, abates not a title of the testimony in the first resolution. March 23d, 1824, "Mr. Brown presented the resolutions of the General Assembly of Ohio, recommending to Congress the consideration of a system for the gradual emancipation of persons of color held in servitude in the United States." On the same day, "Mr. Noble, of Indiana, communicated a resolution from the legislature of that state, respecting the gradual emancipation of slaves within the United States." Journal of the United States' Senate, for 1824-5, p.231.

The Ohio and Indiana resolutions, by taking for granted the general power of Congress over the subject of slavery, do virtually assert its special power within its exclusive jurisdiction.

5. THIS POWER HAS BEEN CONCEDED BY BODIES OF CITIZENS IN THE SLAVE STATES. The petition of eleven hundred citizens of the District, has been already mentioned. "March 5,1830, Mr. Washington presented a memorial of inhabitants of the county of Frederick, in the state of Maryland, praying that provision be made for the gradual abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia." Journal H.R. 1829-30, p. 358.

March 30, 1828. Mr. A.H. Shepperd, of North Carolina, presented a memorial of citizens of that state, "praying Congress to take measures for the entire abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia." Journal H.R. 1829-30, p. 379.

January 14, 1822. Mr. Rhea, of Tennessee, presented a memorial of citizens of that state, praying that "provision may be made, whereby all slaves that may hereafter be born in the District of Columbia, shall be free at a certain period of their lives." Journal H.R. 1821-22, p.142.

December 13, 1824. Mr. Saunders of North Carolina, presented a memorial of the citizens of that state, praying "that measures may be taken for the gradual abolition of slavery in the United States." Journal H.R. 1824-25, p.27.

December 16, 1828. "Mr. Barnard presented the memorial of the American Convention for promoting the abolition of slavery, held in Baltimore, praying that slavery may be abolished in the District of Columbia." Journal U.S. Senate, 1828-29, p.24.

6. DISTINGUISHED STATESMEN AND JURISTS IN THE SLAVEHOLDING STATES, HAVE CONCEDED THIS POWER. The testimony Of Messrs. Doddridge, and Powell, of Virginia, Chief Justice Cranch, and Judges Morsel and Van Ness, of the District, has already been given. In the debate in Congress on the memorial of the Society of Friends, in 1790, Mr. Madison, in speaking of the territories of the United States, explicitly declared, from his own knowledge of the views of the members of the convention that framed the constitution, as well as from the obvious import of its terms, that in the territories, "Congress have certainly the power to regulate the subject of slavery." Congress can have no more power over the territories than that of "exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever," consequently, according to Mr. Madison, "it has certainly the power to regulate the subject of slavery in the" District. In March, 1816, Mr. Randolph of Virginia, introduced a resolution for putting a stop to the domestic slave trade within the District. December 12, 1827, Mr. Barney, of Maryland, presented a memorial for abolition in the District, and moved that it be printed. Mr. McDuffie, of S.C., objected to the printing, but "expressly admitted the right of Congress to grant to the people of the District any measure which they might deem necessary to free themselves from the deplorable evil."--[See letter of Mr. Claiborne of Miss. to his constituents published in the Washington Globe, May 9, 1836.] The sentiments of Mr. Clay of Kentucky, on the subject are well known. In a speech before the U.S. Senate, in 1836, he declared the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District "unquestionable." Messrs. Blair, of Tennessee, and Chilton, Lyon, and R.M. Johnson, of Kentucky, A.H. Shepperd, of N.C., Messrs. Armstrong and Smyth of Va., Messrs. Dorsey, Archer, and Barney, of Md., and Johns, of Del., with numerous others from slave states have asserted the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District. In the speech of Mr. Smyth, of Virginia, on the Missouri question, January 28, 1820, he says on this point: "If the future freedom of the blacks is your real object, and not a mere pretence, why do you begin here? Within the ten miles square, you have undoubted power to exercise exclusive legislation. Produce a bill to emancipate the slaves in the District of Columbia, or, if you prefer it, to emancipate those born hereafter."

To this may be added the testimony of the present Vice President of the United States, Hon. Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky. In a speech before the U.S. Senate, February 1, 1820, (National Intelligencer, April 29, 1829,) he says: "In the District of Columbia, containing a population of 30,000 souls, and probably as many slaves as the whole territory of Missouri, THE POWER OF PROVIDING FOR THEIR EMANCIPATION RESTS WITH CONGRESS ALONE. Why then, this heart-rending sympathy for the slaves of Missouri, and this cold insensibility, this eternal apathy, towards the slaves in the District of Columbia?"

It is quite unnecessary to add, that the most distinguished northern statesmen of both political parties, have always affirmed the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District. President Van Buren in his letter of March 6, 1836, to a committee of Gentlemen in North Carolina, says, "I would not, from the light now before me, feel myself safe in pronouncing that Congress does not possess the power of abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia." This declaration of the President is consistent with his avowed sentiments touching the Missouri question, on which he coincided with such men as Daniel D. Thompkins, De Witt Clinton, and others, whose names are a host.[A] It is consistent, also with his recommendation in his last message, in which speaking of the District, he strongly urges upon Congress "a thorough and careful revision of its local government," speaks of the "entire independence" of the people of the District "upon Congress," recommends that a "uniform system of local government" be adopted, and adds, that "although it was selected as the seat of the General Government, the site of its public edifices, the depository of its archives, and the residences of officers intrusted with large amounts of public property, and the management of public business, yet it never has been subjected to, or received, that special and comprehensive legislation which these circumstances peculiarly demanded."

[Footnote A: Mr. Van Buren, when a member of the Senate of New-York, voted for the following preamble and resolutions, which passed unanimously:--Jan. 28th, 1820. "Whereas the inhibiting the further extension of slavery in the United States, is a subject of deep concern to the people of this state: and whereas, we consider slavery as an evil much to be deplored, and that every constitutional barrier should be interposed to prevent its further extension: and that the constitution of the United States clearly gives Congress the right to require new states, not comprised within the original boundary of the United States, to make the prohibition of slavery a condition of their admission into the Union: Therefore,

Resolved, That our Senators be instructed, and our members of Congress be requested, to oppose the admission as a state into the Union, of any territory not comprised as aforesaid, without making the prohibition of slavery therein an indispensible condition of admission."


The tenor of Mr. Tallmadge's speech on the right of petition, and of Mr. Webster's on the reception of abolition memorials, may be taken as universal exponents of the sentiments of northern statesmen as to the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.

An explicit declaration, that an "overwhelming majority" of the present Congress concede the power to abolish slavery in the District has just been made by Robert Barnwell Rhett, a member of Congress from South Carolina, in a letter published in the Charleston Mercury of Dec. 27, 1837. The following is an extract:

"The time has arrived when we must have new guaranties under the constitution, or the Union must be dissolved. Our views of the constitution are not those of the majority. AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY think that by the constitution, Congress may abolish slavery in the District of Columbia--may abolish the slave trade between the States; that is, it may prohibit their being carried out of the State in which they are--and prohibit it in all the territories, Florida among them. They think, NOT WITHOUT STRONG REASONS, that the power of Congress extends to all of these subjects."

Direct testimony to show that the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District, has always till recently been universally conceded, is perhaps quite superfluous. We subjoin, however, the following:

The Vice-President of the United States in his speech on the Missouri question, quoted above, after contending that the restriction of slavery in Missouri would be unconstitutional, declares, that the power of Congress over slavery in the District "COULD NOT BE QUESTIONED." In the speech of Mr. Smyth, of Va., also quoted above, he declares the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District to be "UNDOUBTED."

Mr. Sutherland, of Penn., in a speech in the House of Representatives, on the motion to print Mr. Pinckney's Report, is thus reported in the Washington Globe, of May 9th, '36. "He replied to the remark that the report conceded that Congress had a right to legislate upon the subject in the District of Columbia, and said that SUCH A RIGHT HAD NEVER BEEN, TILL RECENTLY, DENIED."

The American Quarterly Review, published at Philadelphia, with a large circulation and list of contributors in the slave states, holds the following language in the September No. 1833, p. 55: "Under this 'exclusive jurisdiction,' granted by the constitution, Congress has power to abolish slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia. It would hardly be necessary to state this as a distinct proposition, had it not been occasionally questioned. The truth of the assertion, however, is too obvious to admit of argument--and we believe has NEVER BEEN DISPUTED BY PERSONS WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE CONSTITUTION."


We now proceed to notice briefly the main arguments that have been employed in Congress and elsewhere against the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District. One of the most plausible is, that "the conditions on which Maryland and Virginia ceded the District to the United States, would be violated, if Congress should abolish slavery there." The reply to this is, that Congress had no power to accept a cession coupled with conditions restricting that "power of exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District," which was given it by the constitution.

To show the futility of the objection, we insert here the acts of cession. The cession of Maryland was made in November, 1788, and is as follows: "An act to cede to Congress a district of ten miles square in this state for the seat of the government of the United States."

"Be it enacted, by the General Assembly of Maryland, that the representatives of this state in the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, appointed to assemble at New-York, on the first Wednesday of March next, be, and they are; hereby authorized and required on the behalf of this state, to cede to the Congress of the United States, any district in this state, not exceeding ten miles square, which the Congress may fix upon, and accept for the seat of government of the United States." Laws of Md., v. 2., c. 46.

The cession of Virginia was made on the 3d of December, 1788, in the following words:

"Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That a tract of country, not exceeding ten miles square, or any lesser quantity, to be located within the limits of the State, and in any part thereof; as Congress may, by law, direct, shall be, and the same is hereby forever ceded and relinquished to the Congress and Government of the United States, in full and absolute right, and exclusive jurisdiction, as well of soil, as of persons residing or to reside thereon, pursuant to the tenor and effect of the eighth section of the first article of the government of the constitution of the United States."

But were there no provisos to these acts? The Maryland act had none. The Virginia act had this proviso: "Sect. 2. Provided, that nothing herein contained, shall be construed to vest in the United States any right of property in the soil, or to affect the rights of individuals therein, otherwise than the same shall or may be transferred by such individuals to the United States."

This specification touching the soil was merely definitive and explanatory of that clause in the act of cession, "full and absolute right." Instead of restraining the power of Congress on slavery and other subjects, it even gives it freer course; for exceptions to parts of a rule, give double confirmation to those parts not embraced in the exceptions. If it was the design of the proviso to restrict congressional action on the subject of slavery, why is the soil alone specified? As legal instruments are not paragons of economy in words, might not "John Doe," out of his abundance, and without spoiling his style, have afforded an additional word--at least a hint--that slavery was meant, though nothing was said about it?

But again, Maryland and Virginia, in their acts of cession, declare them to be made "in pursuance of" that clause of the constitution which gives to Congress "exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever" over the ten miles square--thus, instead of restricting that clause, both States confirm it. Now, their acts of cession either accorded with that clause of the constitution, or they conflicted with it. If they conflicted with it, accepting the cessions was a violation of the constitution. The fact that Congress accepted the cessions, proves that in its views their terms did not conflict with its constitutional grant of power. The inquiry whether these acts of cession were consistent or inconsistent with the United Status' constitution, is totally irrelevant to the question at issue. What with the CONSTITUTION? That is the question. Not, what with Virginia, or Maryland, or--equally to the point--John Bull! If Maryland and Virginia had been the authorized interpreters of the constitution for the Union, these acts of cession could hardly have been more magnified than they have been recently by the southern delegation in Congress. A true understanding of the constitution can be had, forsooth, only by holding it up in the light of Maryland and Virginia legislation!

We are told, again, that those States would not have ceded the District if they had supposed the constitution gave Congress power to abolish slavery in it.

This comes with an ill grace from Maryland and Virginia. They knew the constitution. They were parties to it. They had sifted it, clause by clause, in their State conventions. They had weighed its words in the balance--they had tested them as by fire; and, finally, after long pondering, they adopted the constitution. And afterward, self-moved, they ceded the ten miles square, and declared the cession made "in pursuance of" that oft-cited clause, "Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such District." And now verily "they would not have ceded if they had supposed!" &c. Cede it they did, and in "full and absolute right both of soil and persons." Congress accepted the cession--state power over the District ceased, and congressional power over it commenced,--and now, the sole question to be settled is, the amount of power over the District lodged in Congress by the constitution. The constitution--THE CONSTITUTION--that is the point. Maryland and Virginia "suppositions" must be potent suppositions to abrogate a clause of the United States' Constitution! That clause either gives Congress power to abolish slavery in the District, or it does not--and that point is to be settled, not by state "suppositions," nor state usages, nor state legislation, but by the terms of the clause themselves.

Southern members of Congress, in the recent discussions, have conceded the power of a contingent abolition in the District, by suspending it upon the consent of the people. Such a doctrine from declaimers like Messrs. Alford, of Georgia, and Walker, of Mississippi, would excite no surprise; but that it should be honored with the endorsement of such men as Mr. Rives and Mr. Calhoun, is quite unaccountable. Are attributes of sovereignty mere creatures of contingency? Is delegated authority mere conditional permission? Is a constitutional power to be exercised by those who hold it, only by popular sufferance? Must it lie helpless at the pool of public sentiment, waiting the gracious troubling of its waters? Is it a lifeless corpse, save only when popular "consent" deigns to puff breath into its nostrils? Besides, if the consent of the people of the District be necessary, the consent of the whole people must be had--not that of a majority, however large. Majorities, to be authoritative, must be legal--and a legal majority without legislative power, or right of representation, or even the electoral franchise, would be truly an anomaly! In the District of Columbia, such a thing as a majority in a legal sense is unknown to law. To talk of the power of a majority, or the will of a majority there, is mere mouthing. A majority? Then it has an authoritative will, and an organ to make it known, and an executive to carry it into effect--Where are they? We repeat it--if the consent of the people of the District be necessary, the consent of every one is necessary--and universal consent will come only with the Greek Kalends and a "perpetual motion." A single individual might thus perpetuate slavery in defiance of the expressed will of a whole people. The most common form of this fallacy is given by Mr. Wise, of Virginia, in his speech, February 16, 1835, in which he denied the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District, unless the inhabitants owning slaves petitioned for it!! Southern members of Congress at the present session (1837-8) ring changes almost daily upon the same fallacy. What! pray Congress to use a power which it has not? "It is required of a man according to what he hath," saith the Scripture. I commend Mr. Wise to Paul for his ethics. Would that he had got his logic of him! If Congress does not possess the power, why taunt it with its weakness, by asking its exercise? Petitioning, according to Mr. Wise, is, in matters of legislation, omnipotence itself; the very source of all constitutional power; for, asking Congress to do what it cannot do, gives it the power!--to pray the exercise of a power that is not, creates it! A beautiful theory! Let us work it both ways. If to petition for the exercise of a power that is not, creates it--to petition against the exercise of a power that is, annihilates it. As southern gentlemen are partial to summary processes, pray, sirs, try the virtue of your own recipe on "exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever;" a better subject for experiment and test of the prescription could not be had. But if the petitions of the citizens of the District give Congress the right to abolish slavery, they impose the duty; if they confer constitutional authority, they create constitutional obligation. If Congress may abolish because of an expression of their will, it must abolish at the bidding of that will. If the people of the District are a source of power to Congress, their expressed will has the force of a constitutional provision, and has the same binding power upon the National Legislature. To make Congress dependent on the District for authority, is to make it a subject of its authority, restraining the exercise of its own discretion, and sinking it into a mere organ of the District's will. We proceed to another objection.

"The southern states would not have ratified the constitution, if they had supposed that it gave this power." It is a sufficient answer to this objection, that the northern states would not have ratified it, if they had supposed that it withheld the power. If "suppositions" are to take the place of the constitution--coming from both sides, they neutralize each other. To argue a constitutional question by guessing at the "suppositions" that might have been made by the parties to it would find small favor in a court of law. But even a desperate shift is some easement when sorely pushed. If this question is to be settled by "suppositions," suppositions shall be forthcoming, and that without stint.

First, then, I affirm that the North ratified the constitution, "supposing" that slavery had begun to wax old, and would speedily vanish away, and especially that the abolition of the slave trade, which by the constitution was to be surrendered to Congress after twenty years, would plunge it headlong.

Would the North have adopted the constitution, giving three-fifths of the "slave property" a representation, if it had "supposed" that the slaves would have increased from half a million to two millions and a half by 1838--and that the census of 1840 would give to the slave states thirty representatives of "slave property?"

If they had "supposed" that this representation would have controlled the legislation of the government, and carried against the North every question vital to its interests, would Hamilton, Franklin, Sherman, Gerry, Livingston, Langdon, and Rufus King have been such madmen, as to sign the constitution, and the Northern States such suicides as to ratify it? Every self-preserving instinct would have shrieked at such an infatuate immolation. At the adoption of the United States constitution, slavery was regarded as a fast waning system. This conviction was universal. Washington, Jefferson, Henry, Grayson, Tucker, Madison, Wythe, Pendleton, Lee, Blair, Mason, Page, Parker, Randolph, Iredell, Spaight, Ramsey, Pinkney, Martin, McHenry, Chase, and nearly all the illustrious names south of the Potomac, proclaimed it before the sun. A reason urged in the convention that formed the United States' constitution, why the word slave should not be used in it, was, that when slavery should cease there might remain upon the National Charter no record that it had ever been. (See speech of Mr. Burrill, of R.I., on the Missouri question.)

I now proceed to show by testimony, that at the date of the United States' constitution, and for several years before and after that period, slavery was rapidly on the wane; that the American Revolution with the great events preceding, accompanying, and following it, had wrought an immense and almost universal change in the public sentiment of the nation on the subject, powerfully impelling it toward the entire abolition of the system--and that it was the general belief that measures for its abolition throughout the Union, would be commenced by the States generally before the lapse of many years. A great mass of testimony establishing this position might be presented, but narrow space, and the importance of speedy publication, counsel brevity. Let the following proofs suffice. First, a few dates as points of observation.

In 1757, Commissioners from seven colonies met at Albany, resolved upon a Union and proposed a plan of general government. In 1765, delegates from nine colonies met at New York and sent forth a bill of rights. The first general Congress met in 1774. The first Congress of the thirteen colonies met in 1775. The revolutionary war commenced in '75. Independence was declared in '76. The articles of confederation were adopted by the thirteen states in '77 and '78. Independence acknowledged in '83. The convention for forming the U.S. constitution was held in '87, the state conventions for considering it in '87 and '88. The first Congress under the constitution in '89.

Dr. Rush, of Pennsylvania, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, in a letter to Granville Sharpe, May 1, 1773, says: "A spirit of humanity and religion begins to awaken in several of the colonies in favor of the poor negroes. Great events have been brought about by small beginnings. Anthony Bènèzet stood alone a few years ago in opposing negro slavery in Philadelphia, and NOW THREE-FOURTHS OF THE PROVINCE AS WELL AS OF THE CITY CRY OUT AGAINST IT."--[Stuart's Life of Granville Sharpe, p. 21.]

In the preamble to the act prohibiting the importation of slaves into Rhode Island, June, 1774, is the following: "Whereas the inhabitants of America are generally engaged in the preservation of their own rights and liberties, among which that of personal freedom must be considered the greatest, and as those who are desirous of enjoying all the advantages of liberty themselves, should be willing to extend personal liberty to others, therefore," &c.

October 20, 1774, the Continental Congress passed the following: "We, for ourselves and the inhabitants of the several colonies whom we represent, firmly agree and associate under the sacred ties of virtue, honor, and love of our country, as follows:"

"2d Article. We will neither import nor purchase any slaves imported after the first day of December next, after which time we will wholly discontinue the slave trade, and we will neither be concerned in it ourselves, nor will we hire our vessels nor sell our commodities or manufactures to those who are concerned in it."

The Continental Congress, in 1775, setting forth the causes and the necessity for taking up arms, say: "If it were possible for men who exercise their reason to believe that the divine Author of our existence intended a part of the human race to hold an absolute property in, and unbounded power over others," &c.

In 1776, Dr. Hopkins, then at the head of New England divines, in "An Address to the owners of negro slaves in the American colonies," says: "The conviction of the unjustifiableness of this practice (slavery) has been increasing, and greatly spreading of late, and many who have had slaves, have found themselves so unable to justify their own conduct in holding them in bondage, as to be induced to set them at liberty.

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Slavery is in every instance, wrong, unrighteous, and oppressive--a very great and crying sin--there being nothing of the kind equal to it on the face of the earth."

The same year the American Congress issued a solemn MANIFESTO to the world. These were its first words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Once, these were words of power; now, "a rhetorical flourish."

The Virginia Gazette of March 19, 1767, in an essay on slavery says: "There cannot be in nature, there is not in all history, an instance in which every right of man is more flagrantly violated. Enough I hope has been effected to prove that slavery is a violation of justice and religion."

The celebrated Patrick Henry of Virginia, in a letter, Jan. 18, 1773, to Robert Pleasants, afterwards president of the Virginia Abolition Society, says: "Believe me, I shall honor the Quakers for their noble efforts to abolish slavery. It is a debt we owe to the purity of our religion to show that it is at variance with that law that warrants slavery. I exhort you to persevere in so worthy a resolution."

The Pennsylvania Chronicle of Nov. 21, 1768, says: "Let every black that shall henceforth be born amongst us be deemed free. One step farther would be to emancipate the whole race, restoring that liberty we have so long unjustly detained from them. Till some step of this kind be taken we shall justly be the derision of the whole world."

In 1779, the Continental Congress ordered a pamphlet to be published, entitled, "Observations on the American Revolution," from which the following is an extract: "The great principle (of government) is and ever will remain in force, that men are by Nature free; and so long as we have any idea of divine justice, we must associate that of human freedom. It is conceded on all hands, that the right to be free CAN NEVER BE ALIENATED."

Extract from the Pennsylvania act for the abolition of slavery, passed March 1, 1780: * * * "We conceive that it is our duty, and we rejoice that it is in our power, to extend a portion of that freedom to others which has been extended to us. Weaned by a long course of experience from those narrow prejudices and partialities we had imbibed, we find our hearts enlarged with kindness and benevolence towards men of all conditions and nations: * * * Therefore be it enacted, that no child born hereafter be a slave," &c.

Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia, written just before the close of the Revolutionary War, says: "I think a change already perceptible since the origin of the present revolution. The spirit of the master is abating, that of the slave is rising from the dust, his condition mollifying, and the way I hope preparing, under the auspices of heaven, FOR A TOTAL EMANCIPATION."

In a letter to Dr. Price, of London, who had just published a pamphlet in favor of the abolition of slavery, Mr. Jefferson, then minister at Paris, (August 7, 1785,) says: "From the mouth to the head of the Chesapeake, the bulk of the people will approve of your pamphlet in theory, and it will find a respectable minority ready to adopt it in practice--a minority which, for weight and worth of character, preponderates against the greater number." Speaking of Virginia, he says: "This is the next state to which we may turn our eyes for the interesting spectacle of justice in conflict with avarice and oppression,--a conflict in which the SACRED SIDE IS GAINING DAILY RECRUITS. Be not, therefore, discouraged--what you have written will do a great deal of good; and could you still trouble yourself with our welfare, no man is more able to give aid to the laboring side. The College of William and Mary, since the remodelling of its plan, is the place where are collected together all the young men of Virginia, under preparation for public life. They are there under the direction (most of them) of a Mr. Wythe, one of the most virtuous of characters, and whose sentiments on the subject of slavery are unequivocal. I am satisfied, if you could resolve to address an exhortation to those young men with all that eloquence of which you are master, that its influence on the future decision of this important question would be great, perhaps decisive. Thus. you see, that so far from thinking you have cause to repent of what you have done, I wish you to do more, and I wish it on an assurance of its effect."--Jefferson's Posthumous Works, vol. 1, p. 268.

In 1786, John Jay drafted and signed a petition to the Legislature of New York, on the subject of slavery, beginning with these words: "Your memorialists being deeply affected by the situation of those, who, although, FREE BY THE LAWS OF GOD, are held in slavery by the laws of the State," &c. This memorial bore also the signatures of the celebrated Alexander Hamilton; Robert R. Livingston, afterwards Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the United States, and Chancellor of the State of New York; James Duane, Mayor of the City of New York, and many others of the most eminent individuals in the State.

In the preamble of an instrument, by which Mr. Jay emancipated a slave in 1784, is the following passage:

"Whereas, the children of men are by nature equally free, and cannot, without injustice, be either reduced to or HELD in slavery."

In his letter while Minister at Spain, in 1786, he says, speaking of the abolition of slavery: "Till America comes into this measure, her prayers to heaven will be IMPIOUS. I believe God governs the world; and I believe it to be a maxim in his, as in our court, that those who ask for equity ought to do it."

In 1785, the New York Manumission Society was formed. John Jay was chosen its first President, and held the office five years. Alexander Hamilton was its second President, and after holding the office one year, resigned upon his removal to Philadelphia as Secretary of the United States' Treasury. In 1787, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society was formed. Benjamin Franklin, warm from the discussions of the convention that formed the U.S. constitution, was chosen President, and Benjamin Rush Secretary--both signers of the Declaration of Independence. In 1789, the Maryland Abolition Society was formed. Among its officers were Samuel Chase, Judge of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Luther Martin, a member of the convention that formed the U.S. constitution. In 1790, the Connecticut Abolition Society was formed. The first President was Rev. Dr. Stiles, President of Yale College, and the Secretary, Simeon Baldwin, (late Judge Baldwin of New Haven.) In 1791, this Society sent a memorial to Congress, from which the following is an extract:

"From a sober conviction of the unrighteousness of slavery, your petitioners have long beheld, with grief, our fellow men doomed to perpetual bondage, in a country which boasts of her freedom. Your petitioners were led, by motives, we conceive, of general philanthropy, to associate ourselves for the protection and assistance of this unfortunate part of our fellow men; and, though this Society has been lately established, it has now become generally extensive through this state, and, we fully believe, embraces, on this subject, the sentiments of a large majority of its citizens."

The same year the Virginia Abolition Society was formed. This Society, and the Maryland Society, had auxiliaries in different parts of those States. Both societies sent up memorials to Congress. The memorial of the Virginia Society is headed--"The memorial of the Virginia Society, for promoting the Abolition of Slavery," &c. The following is an extract:

"Your memorialists, fully believing that slavery is not only an odious degradation, but an outrageous violation of one of the most essential rights of human nature, and utterly repugnant to the precepts of the gospel," &c.

About the same time a Society was formed in New-Jersey. It had an acting committee of five members in each county in the State. The following is an extract from the preamble to its constitution:

"It is our boast, that we live under a government, wherein life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are recognized as the universal rights of men. We abhor that inconsistent, illiberal, and interested policy, which withholds those rights from an unfortunate and degraded class of our fellow creatures."

Among other distinguished individuals who were efficient officers of these Abolition Societies, and delegates from their respective state societies, at the annual meetings of the American convention for promoting the abolition of slavery, were Hon. Uriah Tracy, United States' Senator, from Connecticut; Hon. Zephaniah Swift, Chief Justice of the same State; Hon. Cesar A. Rodney, Attorney General of the United States; Hon. James A. Bayard, United States' Senator, from Delaware; Governor Bloomfield, of New-Jersey; Hon. Wm. Rawle, the late venerable head of the Philadelphia bar; Dr. Caspar Wistar, of Philadelphia; Messrs. Foster and Tillinghast, of Rhode Island; Messrs. Ridgely, Buchanan, and Wilkinson, of Maryland; and Messrs. Pleasants, McLean, and Anthony, of Virginia.

In July, 1787, the old Congress passed the celebrated ordinance abolishing slavery in the northwestern territory, and declaring that it should never thereafter exist there. This ordinance was passed while the convention that formed the United States' constitution was in session. At the first session of Congress under the constitution, this ordinance was ratified by a special act. Washington, fresh from the discussions of the convention, in which more than forty days had been spent in adjusting the question of slavery, gave it his approval. The act passed with only one dissenting voice, (that of Mr. Yates, of New York,) the South equally with the North avowing the fitness and expediency of the measure on general considerations, and indicating thus early the line of national policy, to be pursued by the United States' Government on the subject of slavery.

In the debates in the North Carolina Convention, Mr. Iredell, afterward a Judge of the United States' Supreme Court, said, "When the entire abolition of slavery takes place, it will be an event which must be pleasing to every generous mind and every friend of human nature." Mr. Galloway said, "I wish to see this abominable trade put an end to. I apprehend the clause (touching the slave trade) means to bring forward manumission." Luther Martin, of Maryland, a member of the convention that formed the United States' Constitution, said, "We ought to authorize the General Government to make such regulations as shall be thought most advantageous for the gradual abolition of slavery, and the emancipation of the slaves which are already in the States." Judge Wilson, of Pennsylvania, one of the framers of the constitution, said, in the Pennsylvania convention of '87, [Deb. Pa. Con. p. 303, 156:] "I consider this (the clause relative to the slave trade) as laying the foundation for banishing slavery out of this country. It will produce the same kind of gradual change which was produced in Pennsylvania; the new States which are to be formed will be under the control of Congress in this particular, and slaves will never be introduced among them. It presents us with the pleasing prospect that the rights of mankind will be acknowledged and established throughout the Union. Yet the lapse of a few years, and Congress will have power to exterminate slavery within our borders." In the Virginia convention of '87, Mr. Mason, author of the Virginia constitution, said, "The augmentation of slaves weakens the States, and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind. As much as I value a union of all the States, I would not admit the Southern States, (i.e., South Carolina and Georgia,) into the union, unless they agree to a discontinuance of this disgraceful trade." Mr. Tyler opposed with great power the clause prohibiting the abolition of the slave trade till 1808, and said, "My earnest desire is, that it shall be handed down to posterity that I oppose this wicked clause." Mr. Johnson said, "The principle of emancipation has begun since the revolution. Let us do what we will, it will come round."--[Deb. Va. Con. p. 463.] Patrick Henry, arguing the power of Congress under the United States' constitution to abolish slavery in the States, said, in the same convention, "Another thing will contribute to bring this event (the abolition of slavery) about. Slavery is detested. We feel its fatal effects; we deplore it with all the pity of humanity." Governor Randolph said: "They insist that the abolition of slavery will result from this Constitution. I hope that there is no one here, who will advance an objection so dishonorable to Virginia--I hope that at the moment they are securing the rights of their citizens, an objection will not be started, that those unfortunate men now held in bondage, by the operation of the general government may be made free!" [Deb. Va. Con. p. 421.] In the Mass. Con. of '88, Judge Dawes said, "Although slavery is not smitten by an apoplexy, yet it has received a mortal wound, and will die of consumption."--[Deb. Mass. Con. p. 60.] General Heath said that, "Slavery was confined to the States now existing, it could not be extended. By their ordinance, Congress had declared that the new States should be republican States, and have no slavery."--p. 147.

In the debate, in the first Congress, February 11th and 12th, 1789, on the petitions of the Society of Friends, and the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, Mr. Parker, of Virginia, said, "I cannot help expressing the pleasure I feel in finding so considerable a part of the community attending to matters of such a momentous concern to the future prosperity and happiness of the people of America. I think it my duty, as a citizen of the Union, to espouse their cause."

Mr. Page, of Virginia, (afterwards Governor)--"Was in favor of the commitment: he hoped that the designs of the respectable memorialists would not be stopped at the threshold, in order to preclude a fair discussion of the prayer of the memorial. He placed himself in the case of a slave, and said, that on hearing that Congress had refused to listen to the decent suggestions of the respectable part of the community, he should infer, that the general government, from which was expected great good would result to EVERY CLASS of citizens, had shut their ears against the voice of humanity, and he should despair of any alleviation of the miseries he and his posterity had in prospect; if any thing could induce him to rebel, it must be a stroke like this, impressing on his mind all the horrors of despair. But if he was told, that application was made in his behalf, and that Congress were willing to hear what could be urged in favor of discouraging the practice of importing his fellow-wretches, he would trust in their justice and humanity, and wait the decision patiently."

Mr. Scott of Pennsylvania: "I cannot, for my part, conceive how any person can be said to acquire a property in another. I do not know how far I might go, if I was one of the judges of the United States, and those people were to come before me and claim their emancipation, but I am sure I would go as far as I could."

Mr. Burke, of South Carolina, said, "He saw the disposition of the House, and he feared it would be referred to a committee, maugre all their opposition."

Mr. Baldwin of Georgia said that the clause in the U.S. Constitution relating to direct taxes "was intended to prevent Congress from laying any special tax upon negro slaves, as they might, in this way, so burthen the possessors of them, as to induce a GENERAL EMANCIPATION."

Mr. Smith of South Carolina, said, "That on entering into this government, they (South Carolina and Georgia) apprehended that the other states, * * * would, from motives of humanity and benevolence, be led to vote for a general emancipation."

In the debate, at the same session, May 13th, 1789, on the petition of the society of Friends respecting the slave trade, Mr. Parker, of Virginia, said, "He hoped Congress would do all that lay in their power to restore to human nature its inherent privileges. The inconsistency in our principles, with which we are justly charged should be done away."

Mr. Jackson, of Georgia, said, "IT WAS THE FASHION OF THE DAY TO FAVOR THE LIBERTY OF THE SLAVES. * * * * * Will Virginia set her negroes free? When this practice comes to be tried, then the sound of liberty will lose those charms which make it grateful to the ravished ear."

Mr. Madison of Virginia,--"The dictates of humanity, the principles of the people, the national safety and happiness, and prudent policy, require it of us. * * * * * * * I conceive the constitution in this particular was formed in order that the Government, whilst it was restrained from laying a total prohibition, might be able to give some testimony of the sense of America, with respect to the African trade. * * * * * * It is to be hoped, that by expressing a national disapprobation of this trade, we may destroy it, and save ourselves from reproaches, AND OUR PROSPERITY THE IMBECILITY EVER ATTENDANT ON A COUNTRY FILLED WITH SLAVES."

Mr. Gerry, of Massachusetts, said, "he highly commended the part the Society of Friends had taken; it was the cause of humanity they had interested themselves in."--Cong. Reg. v. 1, p. 308-12.

A writer in the "Gazette of the Unites States," Feb. 20th, 1790, (then the government paper,) who opposes the abolition of slavery, and avows himself a slaveholder, says, "I have seen in the papers accounts of large associations, and applications to Government for the abolition of slavery. Religion, humanity, and the generosity natural to a free people, are the noble principles which dictate those measures. SUCH MOTIVES COMMAND RESPECT, AND ARE ABOVE ANY EULOGIUM WORDS CAN BESTOW."

In the convention that formed the constitution of Kentucky in 1790, the effort to prohibit slavery was nearly successful. A decided majority of that body would undoubtedly have voted for its exclusion, but for the great efforts and influence of two large slaveholders--men of commanding talents and sway--Messrs. Breckenridge and Nicholas. The following extract from a speech made in that convention by a member of it, Mr. Rice a native Virginian, is a specimen of the free discussion that prevailed on that "delicate subject." Said Mr. Rice: "I do a man greater injury, when I deprive him of his liberty, than when I deprive him of his property. It is vain for me to plead that I have the sanction of law; for this makes the injury the greater--it arms the community against him, and makes his case desperate. The owners of such slaves then are licensed robbers, and not the just proprietors of what they claim. Freeing them is not depriving them of property, but restoring it to the right owner. The master is the enemy of the slave; he has made open war upon him, AND IS DAILY CARRYING IT ON in unremitted efforts. Can any one imagine, then, that the slave is indebted to his master, and bound to serve him? Whence can the obligation arise? What is it founded upon? What is my duty to an enemy that is carrying on war against me? I do not deny, but in some circumstances, it is the duty of the slave to serve; but it is a duty he owes himself, and not his master."

President Edwards, the younger, said, in a sermon preached before the Connecticut Abolition Society, Sept. 15, 1791: "Thirty years ago, scarcely a man in this country thought either the slave trade or the slavery of negroes to be wrong; but now how many and able advocates in private life, in our legislatures, in Congress, have appeared, and have openly and irrefragably pleaded the rights of humanity in this as well as other instances? And if we judge of the future by the past, within fifty years from this time, it will be as shameful for a man to hold a negro slave, as to be guilty of common robbery or theft."

In 1794, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church adopted its "Scripture proofs," notes, and comments. Among these was the following:

"1 Tim. i. 10. The law is made for manstealers. This crime among the Jews exposed the perpetrators of it to capital punishment. Exodus xxi. 16. And the apostle here classes them with sinners of the first rank. The word he uses, in its original import comprehends all who are concerned in bringing any of the human race into slavery, or in retaining them in it. Stealers of men are all those who bring off slaves or freemen, and keep, sell, or buy them."

In 1794, Dr. Rush declared: "Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity. It prostrates every benevolent and just principle of action in the human heart. It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father. It is a practical denial of the extent and efficacy of the death of a common Saviour. It is an usurpation of the prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe, who has solemnly claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men."

In 1795, Mr. Fiske, then an officer of Dartmouth College, afterward a Judge in Tennessee, said, in an oration published that year, speaking of slaves: "I steadfastly maintain, that we must bring them to an equal standing, in point of privileges, with the whites! They must enjoy all the rights belonging to human nature."

When the petition on the abolition of the slave trade was under discussion in the Congress of '89, Mr. Brown, of North Carolina, said, "The emancipation of the slaves will be effected in time; it ought to be a gradual business, but he hoped that Congress would not precipitate it to the great injury of the southern States." Mr. Hartley, of Pennsylvania, said, in the same debate, "He was not a little surprised to hear the cause of slavery advocated in that house." WASHINGTON, in a letter to Sir John Sinclair, says, "There are, in Pennsylvania, laws for the gradual abolition of slavery which neither Maryland nor Virginia have at present, but which nothing is more certain than that they must have, and at a period NOT REMOTE." In 1782, Virginia passed her celebrated manumission act. Within nine years from that time nearly eleven thousand slaves were voluntarily emancipated by their masters. [Judge Tucker's "Dissertation on Slavery," p. 72.] In 1787, Maryland passed an act legalizing manumission. Mr. Dorsey, of Maryland, in a speech in Congress, December 27th, 1826, speaking of manumissions under that act, said, that "The progress of emancipation was astonishing, the State became crowded with a free black population."

The celebrated William Pinkney, in a speech before the Maryland House of Delegates, in 1789, on the emancipation of slaves, said, "Sir, by the eternal principles of natural justice, no master in the state has a right to hold his slave in bandage for a single hour... Are we apprehensive that these men will become more dangerous by becoming freemen? Are we alarmed, lest by being admitted into the enjoyment of civil rights, they will be inspired with a deadly enmity against the rights of others? Strange, unaccountable paradox! How much more rational would it be, to argue that the natural enemy of the privileges of a freeman, is he who is robbed of them himself!"

Hon. James Campbell, in an address before the Pennsylvania Society of Cincinnati, July 4, 1787, said, "Our separation from Great Britain has extended the empire of humanity. The time is not far distant when our sister states, in imitation of our example, shall turn their vassals into freemen." The Convention that formed the United States' constitution being then in session, attended on the delivery of this oration with General Washington at their head.

A Baltimore paper of September 8th, 1780, contains the following notice of Major General Gates: "A few days ago passed through this town the Hon. General Gates and lady. The General, previous to leaving Virginia, summoned his numerous family of slaves about him, and amidst their tears of affection and gratitude, gave them their Freedom."

In 1791, the university of William and Mary, in Virginia, conferred upon Granville Sharpe the degree of Doctor of Laws. Sharpe was at that time the acknowledged head of British abolitionists. His indefatigable exertions, prosecuted for years in the case of Somerset, procured that memorable decision in the Court of King's Bench, which settled the principle that no slave could be held in England. He was most uncompromising in his opposition to slavery, and for twenty years previous he had spoken, written, and accomplished more against it than any man living.

In the "Memoirs of the Revolutionary War in the Southern Department," by Gen. Lee, of Va., Commandant of the Partizan Legion, is the following: "The Constitution of the United States, adopted lately with so much difficulty, has effectually provided against this evil (by importation) after a few years. It is much to be lamented that having done so much in this way, a provision had not been made for the gradual abolition of slavery."--pp. 233, 4.

Mr. Tucker, of Virginia, Judge of the Supreme Court of that state, and professor of law in the University of William and Mary, addressed a letter to the General Assembly of that state, in 1796, urging the abolition of slavery, from which the following is an extract. Speaking of the slaves in Virginia, he says: "Should we not, at the time of the revolution, have broken their fetters? Is it not our duty to embrace the first moment of constitutional health and vigor to effectuate so desirable an object, and to remove from us a stigma with which our enemies will never fail to upbraid us, nor our consciences to reproach us?"

Mr. Faulkner, in a speech before the Virginia House of Delegates, Jan. 20, 1832, said: "The idea of a gradual emancipation and removal of the slaves from this commonwealth, is coeval with the declaration of our independence from the British yoke. When Virginia stood sustained in her legislation by the pure and philosophic intellect of Pendleton, by the patriotism of Mason and Lee, by the searching vigor and sagacity of Wythe, and by the all-embracing, all-comprehensive genius of Thomas Jefferson! Sir, it was a committee composed of those five illustrious men, who, in 1777, submitted to the general assembly of this state, then in session, a plan for the gradual emancipation of the slaves of this commonwealth."

Hon. Benjamin Watkins Leigh, late United States' senator from Virginia, in his letters to the people of Virginia, in 1832, signed Appomattox, p. 43, says: "I thought, till very lately, that it was known to every body that during the revolution, and for many years after, the abolition of slavery was a favorite topic with many of our ablest statesmen, who entertained, with respect, all the schemes which wisdom or ingenuity could suggest for accomplishing the object. Mr. Wythe, to the day of his death, was for a simple abolition, considering the objection to color as founded in prejudice. By degrees, all projects of the kind were abandoned. Mr. Jefferson retained his opinion, and now we have these projects revived."

Governor Barbour, of Virginia, in his speech in the U.S. Senate, on the Missouri question, Jan. 1820, said: "We are asked why has Virginia changed her policy in reference to slavery? That the sentiments of our most distinguished men, for thirty years entirely corresponded with the course which the friends of the restriction (of slavery in Missouri) now advocated; and that the Virginia delegation, one of whom was the late President of the United States, voted for the restriction (of slavery) in the northwestern territory, and that Mr. Jefferson has delineated a gloomy picture of the baneful effects of slavery. When it is recollected that the Notes of Mr. Jefferson were written during the progress of the revolution, it is no matter of surprise that the writer should have imbibed a large portion of that enthusiasm which such an occasion was so well calculated to produce. As to the consent of the Virginia delegation to the restriction in question, whether the result of a disposition to restrain the slave-trade indirectly, or the influence of that enthusiasm to which I have just alluded, * * * * it is not now important to decide. We have witnessed its effects. The liberality of Virginia, or, as the result may prove, her folly, which submitted to, or, if you will, PROPOSED this measure (abolition of slavery in the N.W. territory) has eventuated in effects which speak a monitory lesson. How is the representation from this quarter on the present question?"

Mr. Imlay, in his early history of Kentucky, p. 185, says: "We have disgraced the fair face of humanity, and trampled upon the sacred privileges of man, at the very moment that we were exclaiming against the tyranny of your (the English) ministry. But in contending for the birthright of freedom, we have learned to feel for the bondage of others, and in the libations we offer to the goddess of liberty, we contemplate an emancipation of the slaves of this country, as honorable to themselves as it will be glorious to us."

In the debate in Congress, Jan. 20, 1806, on Mr. Sloan's motion to lay a tax on the importation of slaves, Mr. Clark of Va. said: "He was no advocate for a system of slavery." Mr. Marion, of S. Carolina, said: "He never had purchased, nor should he ever purchase a slave." Mr. Southard said: "Not revenue, but an expression of the national sentiment is the principal object." Mr. Smilie--"I rejoice that the word (slave) is not in the constitution; its not being there does honor to the worthies who would not suffer it to become a part of it." Mr. Alston, of N. Carolina--"In two years we shall have the power to prohibit the trade altogether. Then this House will be unanimous. No one will object to our exercising our full constitutional powers." National Intelligencer, Jan. 24, 1806.

These witnesses need no vouchers to entitle them to credit; nor their testimony comments to make it intelligible--their names are their endorsers, and their strong words their own interpreters. We waive all comments. Our readers are of age. Whosoever hath ears to hear, let him HEAR. And whosoever will not hear the fathers of the revolution, the founders of the government, its chief magistrates, judges, legislators and sages, who dared and perilled all under the burdens, and in the heat of the day that tried men's souls--then "neither will he be persuaded though THEY rose from the dead."

Some of the points established by this testimony are--The universal expectation that Congress, state legislatures, seminaries of learning, churches, ministers of religion, and public sentiment widely embodied in abolition societies, would act against slavery, calling forth the moral sense of the nation, and creating a power of opinion that would abolish the system throughout the Union. In a word, that free speech and a free press would be wielded against it without ceasing and without restriction. Full well did the South know, not only that the national government would probably legislate against slavery wherever the constitution placed it within its reach, but she knew also that Congress had already marked out the line of national policy to be pursued on the subject--had committed itself before the world to a course of action against slavery, wherever she could move upon it without encountering a conflicting jurisdiction--that the nation had established by solemn ordinance a memorable precedent for subsequent action, by abolishing slavery in the northwest territory, and by declaring that it should never thenceforward exist there; and this too, as soon as by cession of Virginia and other states, the territory came under congressional control. The South knew also that the sixth article in the ordinance prohibiting slavery, was first proposed by the largest slaveholding state in the confederacy--that in the Congress of '84, Mr. Jefferson, as chairman of the committee on the N.W. territory, reported a resolution abolishing slavery there--that the chairman of the committee that reported the ordinance of '87 was also a slaveholder--that the ordinance was enacted by Congress during the session of the convention that formed the United States' Constitution--that the provisions of the ordinance were, both while in prospect and when under discussion, matters of universal notoriety and approval with all parties, and when finally passed, received the vote of every member of Congress from each of the slaveholding states. The South also had every reason for believing that the first Congress under the constitution would ratify that ordinance--as it did unanimously.

A crowd of reflections, suggested by the preceding testimony, presses for utterance. The right of petition ravished and trampled by its constitutional guardians, and insult and defiance hurled in the faces of the SOVEREIGN PEOPLE while calmly remonstrating with their SERVANTS for violence committed on the nation's charter and their own dearest rights! Added to this "the right of peaceably assembling" violently wrested--the rights of minorities, rights no longer--free speech struck dumb--free men outlawed and murdered--free presses cast into the streets and their fragments strewed with shoutings, or flourished in triumph before the gaze of approving crowds as proud mementos of prostrate law! The spirit and power of our fathers, where are they? Their deep homage always and every where rendered to FREE THOUGHT, with its inseparable signs--free speech and a free press--their reverence for justice, liberty, rights and all-pervading law, where are they?

But we turn from these considerations--though the times on which we have fallen, and those toward which we are borne with headlong haste, call for their discussion as with the voices of departing life--and proceed to topics relevant to the argument before us.

The seventh article of the amendments to the constitution is alleged to withhold from Congress the power to abolish slavery in the District. "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." All the slaves in the District have been "deprived of liberty" by legislative acts. Now, these legislative acts "depriving" them "of liberty," were either "due process of law," or they were not. If they were, then a legislative act, taking from the master that "property" which is the identical "liberty" previously taken from the slave, would be "due process of law" also, and of course a constitutional act; but if the legislative acts "depriving" them of "liberty" were not "due process of law," then the slaves were deprived of liberty unconstitutionally, and these acts are void. In that case the constitution emancipates them.

If the objector reply, by saying that the import of the phrase "due process of law," is judicial process solely, it is granted, and that fact is our rejoinder; for no slave in the District has been deprived of his liberty by "a judicial process," or, in other words, by "due process of law;" consequently, upon the objector's own admission, every slave in the District has been deprived of liberty unconstitutionally, and is therefore free by the constitution. This is asserted only of the slaves under the "exclusive legislation" of Congress.

The last clause of the article under consideration is quoted for the same purpose: "Nor shall private property he taken for public use without just compensation." Each of the state constitutions has a clause of similar purport. The abolition of slavery in the District by Congress, would not, as we shall presently show; violate this clause either directly or by implication. Granting for argument's sake, that slaves are "private property," and that to emancipate them, would be to "take private property" for "public use," the objector admits the power of Congress to do this, provided it will do something else, that is, pay for them. Thus, instead of denying the power, the objector not only admits, but affirms it, as the ground of the inference that compensation must accompany it. So far from disproving the existence of one power, he asserts the existence of two--one, the power to take the slaves from their masters, the other, the power to take the property of the United States to pay for them.

If Congress cannot constitutionally impair the right of private property, or take it without compensation, it cannot constitutionally, legalize the perpetration of such acts, by others, nor protect those who commit them. Does the power to rob a man of his earnings, rob the earner of his right to them? Who has a better right to the product than the producer?--to the interest, than the owner of the principal?--to the hands and arms, than he from whose shoulders they swing?--to the body and soul, than he whose they are? Congress not only impairs but annihilates the right of private property, while it withholds from the slaves of the District their title to themselves. What! Congress powerless to protect a man's right to himself, when it can make inviolable the right to a dog! But, waiving this, I deny that the abolition of slavery in the District would violate this clause. What does the clause prohibit? The "taking" of "private property" for "public use." Suppose Congress should emancipate the slaves in the District, what would it "take?" Nothing. What would it hold? Nothing. What would it put to "public use?" Nothing. Instead of taking "private property," Congress, by abolishing slavery, would say "private property shall not be taken; and those who have been robbed of it already, shall be kept out of it no longer; and every man's right to his own body shall be protected." True, Congress may not arbitrarily take property, as property, from one man and give it to another--and in the abolition of slavery no such thing is done. A legislative act changes the condition of the slave--makes him his own proprietor, instead of the property of another. It determines a question of original right between two classes of persons--doing an act of justice to one, and restraining the other from acts of injustice; or, in other words, preventing one from robbing the other, by granting to the injured party the protection of just and equitable laws.

Congress, by an act of abolition, would change the condition of seven thousand "persons" in the District, but would "take" nothing. To construe this provision so as to enable the citizens of the District to hold as property, and in perpetuity, whatever they please, or to hold it as property in all circumstances--all necessity, public welfare, and the will and power of the government to the contrary notwithstanding--is a total perversion of its whole intent. The design of the provision, was to throw up a barrier against Governmental aggrandizement. The right to "take property" for State uses is one thing;--the right so to adjust the tenures by which property is held, that each may have his own secured to him, is another thing, and clearly within the scope of legislation. Besides, if Congress were to "take" the slaves in the District, it would be adopting, not abolishing slavery--becoming a slaveholder itself, instead of requiring others to be such no longer. The clause in question, prohibits the "taking" of individual property for public use, to be employed or disposed of as property for governmental purposes. Congress, by abolishing slavery in the District, would do no such thing. It would merely change the condition of that which has been recognized as a qualified property by congressional acts, though previously declared "persons" by the constitution. More than this is done continually by Congress and every other Legislature. Property the most absolute and unqualified, is annihilated by legislative acts. The embargo and non-intercourse act, levelled at a stroke a forest of shipping, and sunk millions of capital. To say nothing of the power of Congress to take hundreds of millions from the people by direct taxation, who doubts its power to abolish at once the whole tariff system, change the seat of Government, arrest the progress of national works, prohibit any branch of commerce with the Indian tribes or with foreign nations, change the locality of forts, arsenals, magazines and dock yards; abolish the Post Office system, and the privilege of patents and copyrights? By such acts Congress might, in the exercise of its acknowledged powers, annihilate property to an incalculable amount, and that without becoming liable to claims for compensation.

Finally, this clause prohibits the taking for public use of "property." The constitution of the United States does not recognize slaves as "PROPERTY" any where, and it does not recognize them in any sense in the District of Columbia. All allusions to them in the constitution recognize them as "persons." Every reference to them points solely to the element of personality; and thus, by the strongest implication, declares that the constitution knows them only as "persons," and will not recognize them in any other light. If they escape into free States, the constitution authorizes their being taken back. But how? Not as the property of an "owner," but as "persons;" and the peculiarity of the expression is a marked recognition of their personality--a refusal to recognize them as chattels--"persons held to service." Are oxen "held to service?" That can be affirmed only of persons. Again, slaves give political power as "persons." The constitution, in settling the principle of representation, requires their enumeration in the census. How? As property? Then why not include race horses and game cocks? Slaves, like other inhabitants, are enumerated as "persons." So by the constitution, the government was pledged to non-interference with "the migration or importation of such persons" as the States might think proper to admit until 1808, and authorized the laying of a tax on each "person" so admitted. Further, slaves are recognized as persons by the exaction of their allegiance to the government. For offences against the government slaves are tried as persons; as persons they are entitled to counsel for their defence, to the rules of evidence, and to "due process of law," and as persons they are punished. True, they are loaded with cruel disabilities in courts of law, such as greatly obstruct and often inevitably defeat the ends of justice, yet they are still recognized as persons. Even in the legislation of Congress, and in the diplomacy of the general government, notwithstanding the frequent and wide departures from the integrity of the constitution on this subject, slaves are not recognized as property without qualification. Congress has always refused to grant compensation for slaves killed or taken by the enemy, even when these slaves had been impressed into the United States' service. In half a score of cases since the last war, Congress has rejected such applications for compensation. Besides, both in Congressional acts, and in our national diplomacy, slaves and property are not used as convertible terms. When mentioned in treaties and state papers it is in such a way as to distinguish them from mere property, and generally by a recognition of their personality. In the invariable recognition of slaves as persons, the United States' constitution caught the mantle of the glorious Declaration, and most worthily wears it. It recognizes all human beings as "men," "persons," and thus as "equals." In the original draft of the Declaration, as it came from the hand of Jefferson, it is alleged that Great Britain had "waged a cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people, carrying them into slavery, * * determined to keep up a market where MEN should be bought and sold,"--thus disdaining to make the charter of freedom a warrant for the arrest of men, that they might be shorn both of liberty and humanity.

The celebrated Roger Sherman, one of the committee of five appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence, and a member of the convention that formed the United States' constitution, said, in the first Congress after its adoption: "The constitution does not consider these persons, (slaves,) as a species of property."--[Lloyd's Cong. Reg. v. 1, p. 313.] That the United States' Constitution does not make slaves "property," is shown in the fact, that no person, either as a citizen of the United States, or by having his domicile within the United States' government, can hold slaves. He can hold them only by deriving his power from state laws, or from the laws of Congress, if he hold slaves within the District. But no person resident within the United States' jurisdiction, and not within the District, nor within a state whose laws support slavery, nor "held to service" under the laws of such a state or district, having escaped therefrom, can be held as a slave.

Men can hold property under the United States' government though residing beyond the bounds of any state, district, or territory. An inhabitant of the Iowa Territory can hold property there under the laws of the United States, but he cannot hold slaves there under the United States' laws, nor by virtue of the United States' Constitution, nor upon the ground of his United States' citizenship, nor by having his domicile within the United States' jurisdiction. The constitution no where recognizes the right to "slave property," but merely the fact that the states have jurisdiction each in its own limits, and that there are certain "persons" within their jurisdictions "held to service" by their own laws.

Finally, in the clause under consideration "private property" is not to be taken "without just compensation." "JUST!" If justice is to be appealed to in determining the amount of compensation, let her determine the grounds also. If it be her province to say how much compensation is "just," it is hers to say whether any is "just,"--whether the slave is "just" property at all, rather than a "person". Then, if justice adjudges the slave to be "private property," it adjudges him to be his own property, since the right to one's self is the first right--the source of all others--the original stock by which they are accumulated--the principal, of which they are the interest. And since the slave's "private property" has been "taken," and since "compensation" is impossible--there being no equivalent for one's self--the least that can be done is to restore to him his original private property.

Having shown that in abolishing slavery, "property" would not be "taken for public use," it may be added that, in those states where slavery has been abolished by law, no claim for compensation has been allowed. Indeed the manifest absurdity of demanding it seems to have quite forestalled the setting up of such a claim.

The abolition of slavery in the District instead of being a legislative anomaly, would proceed upon the principles of every day legislation. It has been shown already, that the United States' Constitution does not recognize slaves as "property." Yet ordinary legislation is full of precedents, showing that even absolute property is in many respects wholly subject to legislation. The repeal of the law of entailments--all those acts that control the alienation of property, its disposal by will, its passing to heirs by descent, with the question, who shall be heirs, and what shall be the rule of distribution among them, or whether property shall be transmitted at all by descent, rather than escheat to the estate--these, with statutes of limitation, and various other classes of legislative acts, serve to illustrate the acknowledged scope of the law-making power, even where property is in every sense absolute. Persons whose property is thus affected by public laws, receive from the government no compensation for their losses; unless the state has been put in possession of the property taken from them.

The preamble of the United States' Constitution declares it to be a fundamental object of the organization of the government "to ESTABLISH JUSTICE." Has Congress no power to do that for which it was made the depository of power? CANNOT the United States' Government fulfil the purpose for which it was brought into being?

To abolish slavery, is to take from no rightful owner his property; but to "establish justice" between two parties. To emancipate the slave, is to "establish justice" between him and his master--to throw around the person, character, conscience; liberty, and domestic relations of the one, the same law that secures and blesses the other. In other words, to prevent by legal restraints one class of men from seizing upon another class, and robbing them at pleasure of their earnings, their time, their liberty, their kindred, and the very use and ownership of their own persons. Finally, to abolish slavery is to proclaim and enact that innocence and helplessness--now free plunder--are entitled to legal protection; and that power, avarice, and lust, shall no longer revel upon their spoils under the license, and by the ministration of law! Congress, by possessing "exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever," has a general protective power for ALL the inhabitants of the District. If it has no power to protect one man in the District it has none to protect another--none to protect any--and if it can protect one man and is bound to do it, it can protect every man--and is bound to do it. All admit the power of Congress to protect the masters in the District against their slaves. What part of the constitution gives the power? The clause so often quoted,--"power of legislation in all cases whatsoever," equally in the "case" of defending blacks against whites, as in that of defending whites against blacks. The power is also conferred by Art. 1, Sec. 8, clause 15--"Congress shall have power to suppress insurrections"--a power to protect, as well blacks against whites, as whites against blacks. If the constitution gives power to protect one class against the other, it gives power to protect either against the other. Suppose the blacks in the District should seize the whites, drive them into the fields and kitchens, force them to work without pay, flog them, imprison them, and sell them at their pleasure, where would Congress find power to restrain such acts? Answer; a general power in the clause so often cited, and an express one in that cited above--"Congress shall have power to suppress insurrections." So much for a supposed case. Here follows a real one. The whites in the District are perpetrating these identical acts upon seven thousand blacks daily. That Congress has power to restrain these acts in one case, all assert, and in so doing they assert the power "in all cases whatsoever." For the grant of power to suppress insurrections, is an unconditional grant, not hampered by provisos as to the color, shape, size, sex, language, creed, or condition of the insurgents. Congress derives its power to suppress this actual insurrection, from the same source whence it derived its power to suppress the same acts in the case supposed. If one case is an insurrection, the other is. The acts in both are the same; the actors only are different. In the one case, ignorant and degraded--goaded by the memory of the past, stung by the present, and driven to desperation by the fearful looking for of wrongs for ever to come. In the other, enlightened into the nature of rights, the principles of justice, and the dictates of the law of love, unprovoked by wrongs, with cool deliberation, and by system, they perpetrate these acts upon those to whom they owe unnumbered obligations for whole lives of unrequited service. On which side may palliation be pleaded, and which party may most reasonably claim an abatement of the rigors of law? If Congress has power to suppress such acts at all, it has power to suppress them in all.

It has been shown already that allegiance is exacted of the slave. Is the government of the United States unable to grant protection where it exacts allegiance? It is an axiom of the civilized world, and a maxim even with savages, that allegiance and protection are reciprocal and correlative. Are principles powerless with us which exact homage of barbarians? Protection is the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT of every human. being under the exclusive legislation of Congress who has not forfeited it by crime.

In conclusion, I argue the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District, from Art. 1, sec. 8, clause 1, of the constitution; "Congress shall have power to provide for the common defence and the general welfare of the United States." Has the government of the United States no power under this grant to legislate within its own exclusive jurisdiction on subjects that vitally affect its interest? Suppose the slaves in the district should rise upon their masters, and the United States' government, in quelling the insurrection, should kill any number of them. Could their masters claim compensation of the government? Manifestly not; even though no proof existed that the particular slaves killed were insurgents. This was precisely the point at issue between those masters, whose slaves were killed by the State troops at the time of the Southampton insurrection, and the Virginia Legislature: no evidence was brought to show that the slaves killed by the troops were insurgents; yet the Virginia Legislature decided that their masters were not entitled to compensation. They proceeded on the sound principle, that the government may in self-protection destroy the claim of its subjects even to that which has been recognized as property by its own acts. If in providing for the common defence, the United States' government, in the case supposed, would have power to destroy slaves both as property and persons, it surely might stop half-way, destroy them as property while it legalized their existence as persons, and thus provided for the common defence by giving them a personal and powerful interest in the government, and securing their strength for its defence.

Like other Legislatures, Congress has power to abate nuisances--to remove or tear down unsafe buildings--to destroy infected cargoes--to lay injunctions upon manufactories injurious to the public health--and thus to "provide for the common defence and general welfare" by destroying individual property, when such property puts in jeopardy the public weal.

Granting, for argument's sake, that slaves are "property" in the District of Columbia--if Congress has a right to annihilate property there when the public safety requires it, it may annihilate its existence as property when the public safety requires it, especially if it transform into a protection and defence that which as property perilled the public interests. In the District of Columbia there are, besides the United States' Capitol, the President's house, the national offices, and archives of the Departments of State, Treasury, War, and Navy, the General Post-office, and Patent office. It is also the residence of the President, of all the highest officers of the government, of both houses of Congress, and of all the foreign ambassadors. In this same District there are also seven thousand slaves. Jefferson, in his Notes on Va. p. 241, says of slavery, that "the State permitting one half of its citizens to trample on the rights of the other, transforms them into enemies;" and Richard Henry Lee, in the Va. House of Burgesses in 1758, declared that to those who held them, "slaves must be natural enemies." Is Congress so impotent that it cannot exercise that right pronounced both by municipal and national law, the most sacred and universal--the right of self-preservation and defence? Is it shut up to the necessity of keeping seven thousand "enemies" in the heart of the nation's citadel? Does the iron fiat of the constitution doom it to such imbecility that it cannot arrest the process that made them "enemies," and still goads to deadlier hate by fiery trials, and day by day adds others to their number? Is this providing for the common defence and general welfare? If to rob men of rights excites their hate, freely to restore them and make amends, will win their love.

By emancipating the slaves in the District, the government of the United States would disband an army of "enemies," and enlist "for the common defence and general welfare," a body guard of friends seven thousand strong. In the last war, a handful of British soldiers sacked Washington city, burned the capitol, the President's house, and the national offices and archives; and no marvel, for thousands of the inhabitants of the District had been "TRANSFORMED INTO ENEMIES." Would they beat back invasion? If the national government had exercised its constitutional "power to provide for the common defence and to promote the general welfare," by turning those "enemies" into friends, then, instead of a hostile ambush lurking in every thicket inviting assault, and secret foes in every house paralyzing defence, an army of allies would have rallied in the hour of her calamity, and shouted defiance from their munitions of rocks; whilst the banner of the republic, then trampled in dust, would have floated securely over FREEMEN exulting amidst bulwarks of strength.

To show that Congress can abolish slavery in the District, under the grant of power "to provide for the common defence and to promote the general welfare," I quote an extract from a speech of Mr. Madison, of Va., in the first Congress under the constitution, May 13, 1789. Speaking of the abolition of the slave trade, Mr. Madison says: "I should venture to say it is as much for the interests of Georgia and South Carolina, as of any state in the union. Every addition they receive to their number of slaves tends to weaken them, and renders them less capable of self-defence. In case of hostilities with foreign nations, they will be the means of inviting attack instead of repelling invasion. It is a necessary duty of the general government to protect every part of the empire against danger, as well internal as external. Every thing, therefore, which tends to increase this danger, though it may be a local affair, yet if it involves national expense or safety, it becomes of concern to every part of the union, and is a proper subject for the consideration of those charged with the general administration of the government." Cong. Reg. vol. 1, p. 310, 11.



My apology for adding a postscript, to a discussion already perhaps too protracted, is the fact that the preceding sheets were in the hands of the printer, and all but the concluding pages had gone through the press, before the passage of Mr. Calhoun's late resolutions in the Senate of the United States. A proceeding so extraordinary,--if indeed henceforward any act of Congress in derogation of freedom and in deference to slavery, can be deemed extraordinary,--should not be passed in silence at such a crisis as the present; especially as the passage of one of the resolutions by a vote of 36 to 9, exhibits a shift of position on the part of the South, as sudden as it is unaccountable, being nothing less than the surrender of a fortress which until then, they had defended with the pertinacity of a blind and almost infuriated fatuity. Upon the discussions during the pendency of the resolutions, and upon the vote, by which they were carried, I make no comment, save only to record my exultation in the fact there exhibited, that great emergencies are true touchstones, and that henceforward, until this question is settled, whoever holds a seat in Congress will find upon, and around him, a pressure strong enough to test him--a focal blaze that will find its way through the carefully adjusted cloak of fair pretension, and the sevenfold brass of two faced political intrigue, and no-faced non-committalism, piercing to the dividing asunder of joints and marrow. Be it known to every northern man who aspires to a seat in our national councils, that hereafter congressional action on this subject will be a MIGHTY REVELATOR--making secret thoughts public property, and proclaiming on the house-tops what is whispered in the ear--smiting off masks, and bursting open sepulchres beautiful outwardly, and up-heaving to the sun their dead men's bones. To such we say,--Remember the Missouri Question, and the fate of those who then sold the free states and their own birthright!

Passing by the resolutions generally without remark--the attention of the reader is specially solicited to Mr. Clay's substitute for Mr. Calhoun's fifth resolution.

"Resolved, That when the District of Columbia was ceded by the states of Virginia and Maryland to the United States, domestic slavery existed in both of these states, including the ceded territory, and that, as it still continues in both of them, it could not be abolished within the District without a violation of that good faith, which was implied in the cession and in the acceptance of the territory; nor, unless compensation were made to the proprietors of slaves, without a manifest infringement of an amendment to the constitution of the United States; nor without exciting a degree of just alarm and apprehension in the states recognizing slavery, far transcending in mischievous tendency, any possible benefit which could be accomplished by the abolition."

By advocating this resolution, the south shifted its mode of defence, not by taking a position entirely new, but by attempting to refortify an old one--abandoned mainly long ago, as being unable to hold out against assault however unskillfully directed. In the debate on this resolution, the southern members of Congress silently drew off from the ground hitherto maintained by them, viz.--that Congress has no power by the constitution to abolish slavery in the District.

The passage of this resolution--with the vote of every southern senator, forms a new era in the discussion of this question. We cannot join in the lamentations of those who bewail it. We hail it, and rejoice in it. It was as we would have had it--offered by a southern senator, advocated by southern senators, and on the ground that it "was no compromise"--that it embodied the true southern principle--that "this resolution stood on as high ground as Mr. Calhoun's."--(Mr. Preston)--"that Mr. Clay's resolution was as strong as Mr. Calhoun's"--(Mr. Rives)--that "the resolution he (Mr. Calhoun) now refused to support, was as strong as his own, and that in supporting it, there was no abandonment of principle by the south."--(Mr. Walker, of Mi.)--further, that it was advocated by the southern senators generally as an expression of their views, and as setting the question of slavery in the District on its true ground--that finally, when the question was taken, every slaveholding senator, including Mr. Calhoun himself, voted for the resolution.

By passing this resolution, and with such avowals, the south has unwittingly but explicitly, conceded the main point argued in the preceding pages, and surrendered the whole question at issue between them and the petitioners for abolition in the District.

The only ground taken against the right of Congress to abolish slavery in the District is, that it existed in Maryland and Virginia when the cession was made, and "as it still continues in both of them, it could not be abolished without a violation of that good faith which was implied in the cession," &c. The argument is not that exclusive sovereignty has no power to abolish slavery within its jurisdiction, nor that the powers of even ordinary legislation cannot do it, nor that the clause granting Congress "exclusive legislation in all cases what soever over such District," gives no power to do it; but that the unexpressed expectation of one of the parties that the other would not "in all cases" use the power which said party had consented might be used "in all cases," prohibits the use of it. The only cardinal point in the discussion, is here not only yielded, but formally laid down by the South as the leading article in their creed on the question of Congressional jurisdiction over slavery in the District. The reason given why Congress should not abolish, and the sole evidence that if it did, such abolition would be a violation of "good faith," is that "slavery still continues in those states,"--thus admitting, that if slavery did not "still continue" in those States, Congress could abolish it in the District. The same admission is made also in the premises, which state that slavery existed in those states at the time of the cession, &c. Admitting that if it had not existed there then, but had grown up in the District under United States' laws, Congress might constitutionally abolish it. Or that if the ceded parts of those states had been the only parts in which slaves were held under their laws, Congress might have abolished in such a contingency also. The cession in that case leaving no slaves in those states,--no "good faith" would be "implied" in it, nor any "violated" by an act of abolition. The resolution makes virtually this further admission, that if Maryland and Virginia should at once abolish their slavery, Congress might at once abolish it in the District. The principle goes even further than this, and requires Congress in such case to abolish slavery in the District "by the good faith implied in the cession and acceptance of the territory." Since, according to the spirit and scope of the resolution, this "implied good faith" of Maryland and Virginia in making the cession, was, that Congress would do nothing within the District which should counteract the policy, or discredit the "institutions," or call in question the usages, or even in any way ruffle the prejudices of those states, or do what they might think would unfavorably bear upon their interests; themselves of course being the judges.

But let us dissect another limb of the resolution. What is to be understood by "that good faith which was IMPLIED?" It is of course an admission that such a condition was not expressed in the acts of cession--that in their terms there is nothing restricting the power of Congress on the subject of slavery in the District. This "implied faith," then, rests on no clause or word in the United States' Constitution, or in the acts of cession, or in the acts of Congress accepting the cession, nor on any declarations of the legislatures of Maryland and Virginia, nor on any act of theirs, nor on any declaration of the people of those states, nor on the testimony of the Washingtons, Jeffersons, Madisons, Chases, Martins, and Jennifers, of those states and times. The assertion rests on itself alone! Mr. Clay guesses that Maryland and Virginia supposed that Congress would by no means use the power given them by the Constitution, except in such ways as would be well pleasing in the eyes of those states; especially as one of them was the "Ancient Dominion!" And now after half a century, this assumed expectation of Maryland and Virginia, the existence of which is mere matter of conjecture with the 36 senators, is conjured up and duly installed upon the judgment-seat of final appeal, before whose nod constitutions are to flee away, and with whom, solemn grants of power and explicit guaranties are, when weighed in the balance, altogether lighter than vanity!

But survey it in another light. Why did Maryland and Virginia leave so much to be "implied??" Why did they not in some way express what lay so near their hearts? Had their vocabulary run so low that a single word could not be eked out for the occasion? Or were those states so bashful of a sudden that they dare not speak out and tell what they wanted? Or did they take it for granted that Congress would always know their wishes by intuition, and always take them for law? If, as honorable senators tell us, Maryland and Virginia did verily travail with such abounding faith, why brought they forth no works?

It is as true in legislation as in religion, that the only evidence of "faith" is works, and that "faith" without works is dead, i.e. has no power. But here, forsooth, a blind implication with nothing expressed, an "implied" faith without works, is omnipotent! Mr. Clay is lawyer enough to know that Maryland and Virginia notions of constitutional power, abrogate no grant, and that to plead them in a court of law, would be of small service, except to jostle "their Honors'" gravity! He need not be told that the Constitution gives Congress "power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such District;" nor that Maryland and Virginia constructed their acts of cession with this clause before their eyes, and declared those acts made "in pursuance" of it. Those states knew that the U.S. Constitution had left nothing to be "implied" as to the power of Congress over the District; an admonition quite sufficient, one would think, to put them on their guard, and lead them to eschew vague implications, and to resort to stipulations. They knew, moreover, that those were times when, in matters of high import, nothing was left to be "implied." The colonies were then panting from a twenty years' conflict with the mother country, about bills of rights, charters, treaties, constitutions, grants, limitations, and acts of cession. The severities of a long and terrible discipline had taught them to guard at all points legislative grants, that their exact import and limit might be self-evident--leaving no scope for a blind "faith" that somehow in the lottery of chances, every ticket would turn up a prize. Toil, suffering, blood, and treasure outpoured like water over a whole generation, counselled them to make all sure by the use of explicit terms, and well chosen words, and just enough of them. The Constitution of the United States, with its amendments, those of the individual states, the national treaties, and the public documents of the general and state governments at that period, show the universal conviction of legislative bodies, that nothing should be left to be "implied," when great public interests were at stake.

Further: suppose Maryland and Virginia had expressed their "implied faith" in words, and embodied it in their acts of cession as a proviso, declaring that Congress should not "exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over the District," but that the "case" of slavery should be an exception: who does not know that Congress, if it had accepted the cession on those terms, would have violated the Constitution; and who that has studied the free mood of those times in its bearings on slavery--proofs of which are given in scores on the preceding pages--[See pp. 25-37.] can be made to believe that the people of the United States would have re-modelled their Constitution for the purpose of providing for slavery an inviolable sanctuary; that when driven in from its outposts, and everywhere retreating discomfited before the march of freedom, it might be received into everlasting habitations on the common homestead and hearth-stone of the republic? Who can believe that Virginia made such a condition, or cherished such a purpose, when Washington, Jefferson, Wythe, Patrick Henry, St. George Tucker, and all her most illustrious men, were at that moment advocating the abolition of slavery by law; when Washington had said, two years before, that Maryland and Virginia "must have laws for the gradual abolition of slavery, and at a period not remote;" and when Jefferson in his letter to Dr. Price, three years before the cession, had said, speaking of Virginia, "This is the next state to which we may turn our eyes for the interesting spectacle of justice in conflict with avarice and oppression--a conflict in which THE SACRED SIDE IS GAINING DAILY RECRUITS;" when voluntary emancipations on the soil were then progressing at the rate of between one and two thousand annually, (See Judge Tucker's "Dissertation on Slavery," p. 73;) when the public sentiment of Virginia had undergone, so mighty a revolution that the idea of the continuance of slavery as a permanent system could not be tolerated, though she then contained about half the slaves in the Union. Was this the time to stipulate for the perpetuity of slavery under the exclusive legislation of Congress? and that too when at the same session every one of her delegation voted for the abolition of slavery in the North West Territory; a territory which she herself had ceded to the Union, and surrendered along with it her jurisdiction over her citizens, inhabitants of that territory, who held slaves there--and whose slaves were emancipated by that act of Congress, in which all her delegation with one accord participated?

Now in view of the universal belief then prevalent, that slavery in this country was doomed to short life, and especially that in Maryland and Virginia it would be speedily abolished--must we adopt the monstrous conclusion that those states designed to bind Congress never to terminate it?--that it was the intent of the Ancient Dominion thus to bind the United States by an "implied faith," and that when the national government accepted the cession, she did solemnly thus plight her troth, and that Virginia did then so understand it? Verily, honorable senators must suppose themselves deputed to do our thinking for us as well as our legislation, or rather, that they are themselves absolved from such drudgery by virtue of their office!

Another absurdity of this "implied faith" dogma is, that where there was no power to exact an express pledge, there was none to demand an implied one, and where there was no power to give the one, there was none to give the other. We have shown already that Congress could not have accepted the cession with such a condition. To have signed away a part of its constitutional grant of power would have been a breach of the Constitution. The Congress which accepted the cession was competent to pass a resolution pledging itself not to use all the power over the District committed to it by the Constitution. But here its power ended. Its resolution could only bind itself. It had no authority to bind a subsequent Congress. Could the members of one Congress say to those of another, because we do not choose to exercise all the authority vested in us by the Constitution, therefore you shall not? This would, have been a prohibition to do what the Constitution gives power to do. Each successive Congress would still have gone to THE CONSTITUTION for its power, brushing away in its course the cobwebs stretched across its path by the officiousness of an impertinent predecessor. Again, the legislatures of Virginia and Maryland, had no power to bind Congress, either by an express or an implied pledge, never to abolish slavery in the District. Those legislatures had no power to bind themselves never to abolish slavery within their own territories--the ceded parts included. Where then would they get power to bind another not to do what they had no power to bind themselves not to do? If a legislature could not in this respect control the successive legislatures of its own State, could it control the successive Congresses of the United States?

But perhaps we shall be told, that the "implied faith" of Maryland and Virginia was not that Congress should never abolish slavery in the District, but that it should not do it until they had done it within their bounds! Verily this "faith" comes little short of the faith of miracles! Maryland and Virginia have "good faith" that Congress will not abolish until they do; and then just as "good faith" that Congress will abolish when they do! Excellently accommodated! Did those states suppose that Congress would legislate over the national domain, for Maryland and Virginia alone? And who, did they suppose, would be judges in the matter?--themselves merely? or the whole Union?

This "good faith implied in the cession" is no longer of doubtful interpretation. The principle at the bottom of it, when fairly stated, is this:--That the Government of the United States are bound in "good faith" to do in the District of Columbia, without demurring, just what and when, Maryland and Virginia do within their own bounds. In short, that the general government is eased of all the burdens of legislation within its exclusive jurisdiction, save that of hiring a scrivener to copy off the acts of the Maryland and Virginia legislatures as fast as they are passed, and engross them, under the title of "Laws of the United States for the District of Columbia!" A slight additional expense would also be incurred in keeping up an express between the capitols of those States and Washington city, bringing Congress from time to time its "instructions" from head quarters!

What a "glorious Union" this doctrine of Mr. Clay bequeaths to the people of the United States! We have been permitted to set up at our own expense, and on our own territory, two great sounding-boards called "Senate Chamber" and "Representatives' Hall," for the purpose of sending abroad "by authority" national echoes of state legislation! --permitted also to keep in our pay a corps of pliant national musicians, with peremptory instructions to sound on any line of the staff according as Virginia and Maryland may give the sovereign key note!

A careful analysis of Mr. Clay's resolution and of the discussions upon it, will convince every fair mind that this is but the legitimate carrying out of the principle pervading both. They proceed virtually upon the hypothesis that the will and pleasure of Virginia and Maryland are paramount to those of the Union. If the original design of setting apart a federal district had been for the sole accommodation of the south, there could hardly have been higher assumption or louder vaunting. The only object of having such a District was in effect totally perverted in the resolution of Mr. Clay, and in the discussions of the entire southern delegation, upon its passage. Instead of taking the ground, that the benefit of the whole Union was the sole object of a federal district, and that it was to be legislated over for this end--the resolution proceeds upon an hypothesis totally the reverse. It takes a single point of state policy, and exalts it above NATIONAL interests, utterly overshadowing them; abrogating national rights; making void a clause of the Constitution; humbling the general government into a subject crouching for favors to a superior, and that too within its own exclusive jurisdiction. All the attributes of sovereignty vested in Congress by the Constitution, it impales upon the point of an alleged implication. And this is Mr. Clay's peace-offering, to the lust of power and the ravenings of state encroachment! A "compromise," forsooth! that sinks the general government on its own territory, into a mere colony, with Virginia and Maryland for its "mother country!" It is refreshing to turn from these shallow, distorted constructions and servile cringings, to the high bearing of other southern men in other times; men, who as legislators and lawyers, scorned to accommodate their interpretations of constitutions and charters to geographical lines, or to bend them to the purposes of a political canvass. In the celebrated case of Cohens vs. the State of Virginia, Hon. William Pinkney, late of Baltimore, and Hon. Walter Jones, of Washington city, with other eminent constitutional lawyers, prepared an elaborate opinion, from which the following is an extract: "Nor is there any danger to be apprehended from allowing to Congressional legislation with regard to the District of Columbia, its FULLEST EFFECT. Congress is responsible to the States, and to the people for that legislation. It is in truth the legislation of the states over a district placed under their control FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT, not for that of the District, except as the prosperity of the District is involved, and necessary to the general advantage."--[Life of Pinkney, p. 612.]

This profound legal opinion asserts, 1st, that Congressional legislation over the District, is "the legislation of the states and the people." (not of two states, and a mere fraction of the people;) 2d. "Over a District placed under their control," i.e. under the control of all the States, not of two twenty-sixths of them. 3d. That it was thus put under their control "for THEIR OWN benefit." 4th. It asserts that the design of this exclusive control of Congress over the District was "not for the benefit of the District," except as that is connected with, and a means of promoting the general advantage. If this is the case with the District, which is directly concerned, it is pre-eminently so with Maryland and Virginia, which are but indirectly interested. The argument of Mr. Madison in the Congress of '89, an extract from which has been given on a preceding page, lays down the same principle; that though any matter "may be a local affair, yet if it involves national EXPENSE or SAFETY, it becomes of concern to every part of the union, and is a proper subject for the consideration of those charged with the general administration of the government."--Cong. Reg. vol. 1. p. 310.

But these are only the initiatory absurdities of this "good faith implied." Mr. Clay's resolution aptly illustrates the principle, that error not only conflicts with truth, but is generally at issue with itself: For if it would be a violation of "good faith" to Maryland and Virginia, for Congress to abolish slavery in the District, it would be equally a violation for Congress to do it with the consent, or even at the unanimous petition of the people of the District: yet for years it has been the southern doctrine, that if the people of the District demand of Congress relief in this respect, it has power, as their local legislature, to grant it, and by abolishing slavery there, carry out the will of the citizens. But now new light has broken in! The optics of Mr. Clay have pierced the millstone with a deeper insight, and discoveries thicken faster than they can be telegraphed! Congress has no power, O no, not a modicum! to help the slaveholders of the District, however loudly they may clamor for it. The southern doctrine, that Congress is to the District a mere local Legislature to do its pleasure, is tumbled from the genitive into the vocative! Hard fate--and that too at the hands of those who begat it! The reasonings of Messrs. Pinckney and Wise, are now found to be wholly at fault, and the chanticleer rhetoric of Messrs. Glascock and Garland stalks featherless and crest-fallen. For the resolution sweeps by the board all those stereotyped common-places, such as "Congress a local Legislature," "consent of the District," "bound to consult the wishes of the District," with other catch phrases, which for the last two sessions of Congress have served to eke out scanty supplies. It declares, that as slavery existed in Maryland and Virginia at the time of the cession, and as it still continues in both those states, it could not be abolished in the District without a violation of "that good faith," &c.

But let us see where this principle will lead us. If "implied faith" to Maryland and Virginia restrains Congress from the abolition of slavery in the District, because those states have not abolished their slavery, it requires Congress to do in the District what those states have done within their own limits, i.e., restrain others from abolishing it. Upon the same principle Congress is bound to prohibit emancipation within the District. There is no stopping place for this plighted "faith." Congress must not only refrain from laying violent hands on slavery, and see to it that the slaveholders themselves do not, but it is bound to keep the system up to the Maryland and Virginia standard of vigor!

Again, if the good faith of Congress to Virginia and Maryland requires that slavery should exist in the District, while it exists in those states, it requires that it should exist there as it exists in those states. If to abolish every form of slavery in the District would violate good faith, to abolish the form existing in those states, and to substitute a different one, would also violate it. The Congressional "good faith" is to be kept not only with slavery, but with the Maryland and Virginia systems of slavery. The faith of those states being not that Congress would maintain a system, but their system; otherwise instead of sustaining, Congress would counteract their policy--principles would be brought into action there conflicting with their system, and thus the true sprit of the "implied" pledge would be violated. On this principle, so long as slaves are "chattels personal" in Virginia and Maryland, Congress could not make them real estate in the District, as they are in Louisiana; nor could it permit slaves to read, nor to worship God according to conscience; nor could it grant them trial by jury, nor legalize marriage; nor require the master to give sufficient food and clothing; nor prohibit the violent sundering of families--because such provisions would conflict with the existing slave laws of Virginia and Maryland, and thus violate the "good faith implied," &c. So the principle of the resolution binds Congress in all these particulars: 1st. Not to abolish slavery in the District until Virginia and Maryland abolish. 2d. Not to abolish any part of it that exists in those states. 3d. Not to abolish any form or appendage of it still existing in those states. 4th. To abolish when they do. 5th. To increase or abate its rigors when, how, and as the same are modified by those states. In a word, Congressional action in the District is to float passively in the wake of legislative action on the subject in those states.

But here comes a dilemma. Suppose the legislation of those states should steer different courses--then there would be two wakes! Can Congress float in both? Yea, verily! Nothing is too hard for it! Its obsequiousness equals its "power of legislation in all cases whatsoever." It can float up on the Virginia tide, and ebb down on the Maryland. What Maryland does, Congress will do in the Maryland part. What Virginia does, Congress will do in the Virginia part. Though it might not always be able to run at the bidding of both at once, especially in different directions, yet if it obeyed orders cheerfully, and "kept in its place," according to its "good faith implied," impossibilities might not be rigidly exacted. True, we have the highest sanction for the maxim that no man can serve two masters--but if "corporations have no souls," analogy would absolve Congress on that score, or at most give it only a very small soul--not large enough to be at all in the way, as an exception to the universal rule laid down in the maxim!

In following out the absurdities of this "implied good faith," it will be seen at once that the doctrine of Mr. Clay's Resolution extends to all the subjects of legislation existing in Maryland and Virginia, which exist also within the District. Every system, "institution," law, and established usage there, is placed beyond Congressional control equally with slavery, and by the same "implied faith." The abolition of the lottery system in the District as an immorality, was a flagrant breach of this "good faith" to Maryland and Virginia, as the system "still continued in those states." So to abolish imprisonment for debt, or capital punishment, to remodel the bank system, the power of corporations, the militia law, laws of limitation, &c., in the District, unless Virginia and Maryland took the lead, would violate the "good faith implied in the cession."

That in the acts of cession no such "good faith" was "implied" by Virginia and Maryland as is claimed in the Resolution, we argue from the fact, that in 1784 Virginia ceded to the United States all her north-west territory, with the special proviso that her citizens inhabiting that territory should "have their possessions and titles confirmed to them, and be protected in the enjoyment of their rights and liberties." (See Journals of Congress, vol. 9, p. 63.) The cession was made in the form of a deed, and signed by Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, Arthur Lee, and James Munroe. Many of these inhabitants held slaves. Three years after the cession, the Virginia delegation in Congress proposed the passage of an ordinance which should abolish slavery, in that territory, and declare that it should never thereafter exist there. All the members of Congress from Virginia and Maryland voted for this ordinance. Suppose some member of Congress had during the passage of the ordinance introduced the following resolution: "Resolved, that when the northwest territory was ceded by Virginia to the United States, domestic slavery existed in that State, including the ceded territory, and as it still continues in that State, it could not be abolished within the territory without a violation of that good faith, which was implied in the cession and in the acceptance of the territory." What would have been the indignant response of Grayson, Griffin, Madison, and the Lees, in the Congress of '87, to such a resolution, and of Carrington, Chairman of the Committee, who reported the ratification of the ordinance in the Congress of '89, and of Page and Parker, who with every other member of the Virginia delegation supported it?

But to enumerate all the absurdities into which those interested for this resolution have plunged themselves, would be to make a quarto inventory. We decline the task; and in conclusion merely add, that Mr. Clay, in presenting it, and each of the thirty-six Senators who voted for it, entered on the records of the Senate, and proclaimed to the world, a most unworthy accusation against the millions of American citizens who have during nearly half a century petitioned the national legislature to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia,--charging them either with the ignorance or the impiety of praying the nation to violate its "Plighted Faith." The resolution virtually indicts at the bar of public opinion, and brands with odium, all the early Manumission Societies, the first petitioners for the abolition of slavery in the District, and for a long time the only ones, petitioning from year to year through evil report and good report, still petitioning, by individual societies and in their national conventions.

But as if it were not enough to table the charge against such men as Benjamin Rush, William Rawle, John Sergeant, Roberts Vaux, Cadwallader Colden, and Peter A. Jay,--to whom we may add Rufus King, James Hillhouse, William Pinkney, Thomas Addis Emmett, Daniel D. Tompkins, De Witt Clinton, James Kent, and Daniel Webster, besides eleven hundred citizens of the District itself, headed by their Chief Justice and Judges--even the sovereign States of Pennsylvania, New-York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut, whose legislatures have either memorialized Congress to abolish slavery in the District, or instructed their Senators to move such a measure, must be gravely informed by Messrs. Clay, Norvell, Niles, Smith, Pierce, Benton, Black, Tipton, and other honorable Senators, either that their perception is so dull, they know not whereof they affirm, or that their moral sense is so blunted they can demand without compunction a violation of the nation's faith!

We have spoken already of the concessions unwittingly made in this resolution to the true doctrine of Congressional power over the District. For that concession, important as it is; we have small thanks to render. That such a resolution, passed with such an intent, and pressing at a thousand points on relations and interests vital to the free states, should be hailed, as it has been, by a portion of the northern press as a "compromise" originating in deference to northern interests, and to be received by us as a free-will offering of disinterested benevolence, demanding our gratitude to the mover,--may well cover us with shame. We deserve the humiliation and have well earned the mockery. Let it come!

If, after having been set up at auction in the public sales-room of the nation, and for thirty years, and by each of a score of "compromises," treacherously knocked off to the lowest bidder, and that without money and without price, the North, plundered and betrayed, will not, in this her accepted time, consider the things that belong to her peace before they are hidden from her eyes, then let her eat of the fruit of her own way, and be filled with her own devices! Let the shorn and blinded giant grind in the prison-house of the Philistines, till taught by weariness and pain the folly of entrusting to Delilahs the secret and the custody of his strength.

Have the free States bound themselves by an oath never to profit by the lessons of experience? If lost to reason, are they dead to instinct also? Can nothing rouse them to cast about for self preservation? And shall a life of tame surrenders be terminated by suicidal sacrifice?

A "COMPROMISE!" Bitter irony! Is the plucked and hoodwinked North to be wheedled by the sorcery of another Missouri compromise? A compromise in which the South gained all, and the North lost all, and lost it forever. A compromise which embargoed the free laborer of the North and West, and, clutched at the staff he leaned upon, to turn it into a bludgeon and fell him with its stroke. A compromise which wrested from liberty her boundless birthright domain, stretching westward to the sunset, while it gave to slavery loose reins and a free coarse, from the Mississippi to the Pacific.

The resolution, as it finally passed, is here inserted.

"Resolved, That the interference by the citizens of any of the states, with the view to the abolition of slavery in the District, is endangering the rights and security of the people of the District; and that any act or measure of Congress designed to abolish slavery in the District, would be a violation of the faith implied in the cessions by the states of Virginia and Maryland, a just cause of alarm to the people of the slaveholding states, and have a direct and inevitable tendency to disturb and endanger the Union."

The vote upon the resolution stood as follows:

Yeas.--Messrs. Allen, Bayard, Benton, Black, Buchanan, Brown, Calhoun, Clay of Alabama, Clay of Kentucky, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Fulton, Grundy, Hubbard, King, Lumpkin, Lyon, Nicholas. Niles, Norvell, Pierce, Preston, Rives, Roane, Robinson, Sevier, Smith, of Connecticut, Strange, Tallmadge, Tipton, Walker, White, Williams, Wright, Young--36.


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"American Slavery," said the celebrated John Wesley, "is the vilest beneath the sun!" Of the truth of this emphatic remark, no other proof is required, than an examination of the statute books of the American slave states. Tested by its own laws, in all that facilitates and protects the hateful process of converting a man into a "chattel personal;" in all that stamps the law-maker, and law-upholder with meanness and hypocrisy, it certainly has no present rival of its "bad eminence," and we may search in vain the history of a world's despotism for a parallel. The civil code of Justinian never acknowledged, with that of our democratic despotisms, the essential equality of man. The dreamer in the gardens of Epicurus recognized neither in himself, nor in the slave who ministered to his luxury, the immortality of the spiritual nature. Neither Solon nor Lycurgus taught the inalienability of human rights. The Barons of the Feudal System, whose maxim was emphatically that of Wordsworth's robber,

"That he should take who had the power,
And he should keep who can."

while trampling on the necks of their vassals, and counting the life of a man as of less value than that of a wild beast, never appealed to God for the sincerity of their belief, that all men were created equal. It was reserved for American slave-holders to present to the world the hideous anomaly of a code of laws, beginning with the emphatic declaration of the inalienable rights of all men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and closing with a deliberate and systematic denial of those rights, in respect to a large portion of their countrymen; engrossing on the same parchment the antagonist laws of liberty and tyranny. The very nature of this unnatural combination has rendered it necessary that American slavery, in law and in practice, should exceed every other in severity and cool atrocity. The masters of Greece and Rome permitted their slaves to read and write and worship the gods of paganism in peace and security, for there was nothing in the laws, literature, or religion of the age to awaken in the soul of the bondman a just sense of his rights as a man. But the American slaveholder cannot be thus lenient. In the excess of his benevolence, as a political propagandist, he has kindled a fire for the oppressed of the old world to gaze at with hope, and for crowned heads and dynasties to tremble at; but a due regard to the safety of his "peculiar institution," compels him to put out the eyes of his own people, lest they too should see it. Calling on all the world to shake off the fetters of oppression, and wade through the blood of tyrants to freedom, he has been compelled to smother, in darkness and silence, the minds of his own bondmen, lest they too should hear and obey the summons, by putting the knife to his own throat.--Proclaiming the truths of Divine Revelation, and sending the Scriptures to the four quarters of the earth, he has found it necessary to maintain heathenism at home by special enactments; and to make the second offence of teaching his slaves the message of salvation punishable with death!

What marvel then that American slavery even on the statute book assumes the right to transform moral beings into brutes:[A] that it legalizes man's usurpation of Divine authority; the substitution of the will of the master, for the moral government of God: that it annihilates the rights of conscience; debars from the enjoyment of religious rights and privileges by specific enactments; and enjoins disobedience to the Divine lawgiver: that it discourages purity and chastity, encourages crime, legalizes concubinage; and, while it places the slave entirely in the hands of his master, provides no real protection for his life or his person.

[Footnote A: The cardinal principle of slavery, that a slave is not to be ranked among sentient beings, but among things, as an article of property, a chattel personal, obtains as undoubted law, in all the slave states. (Judge Stroud's Sketch of Slave Laws, p. 22.)]

But it may be said, that these laws afford no certain evidence of the actual condition of the slaves: that, in judging the system by its code, no allowance is made for the humanity of individual masters. It was a just remark of the celebrated Priestley, that "no people ever were found to be better than their laws, though many have been known to be worse." All history and common experience confirm this. Besides, admitting that the legal severity of a system may be softened in the practice of the humane, may it not also be aggravated by that of the avaricious and cruel?

But what are the testimony and admissions of slaveholders themselves on this point? In an Essay published in Charleston, S.C., in 1822, and entitled "A Refutation of the Calumnies circulated against the Southern and Western States," by the late Edwin C. Holland, Esq., it is stated, that "all slaveholders have laid down non-resistance, and perfect and uniform obedience to their orders as fundamental principles in the government of their slaves:" that this is "a necessary result of the relation," and "unavoidable." Robert J. Turnbull, Esq., of South Carolina, in remarking upon the management of slaves, says, "The only principle upon which may authority over them, (the slaves,) can be maintained is fear, and he who denies this has little knowledge of them." To this may be added the testimony of Judge Ruffin, of North Carolina, as quoted in Wheeler's Law of Slavery, p. 217. "The slave, to remain a slave, must feel that there is no appeal from his master. No man can anticipate the provocations which the slave would give, nor the consequent wrath of the master, prompting him to BLOODY VENGEANCE on the turbulent traitor, a vengeance generally practised with impunity by reason of its privacy."

In an Essay on the "improvement of negroes on plantations," by Rev. Thomas S. Clay, a slaveholder of Bryan county, Georgia, and Printed at the request of the Georgia Presbytery, in 1833, we are told "that the present economy of the slave system is to get all you can from the slave, and give him in return as little as will barely support him in a working condition!" Here, in a few words, the whole enormity of slavery is exposed to view: "to get all you can from the slave"--by means of whips and forks and irons--by every device for torturing the body, without destroying its capability of labor; and in return give him as little of his coarse fare as will keep him, like a mere beast of burden, in a "working condition;" this is slavery, as explained by the slaveholder himself. Mr. Clay further says: "Offences against the master are more severely punished than violations of the law of God, a fault which affects the slave's personal character a good deal. As examples we may notice, that running away is more severely punished than adultery." "He (the slave) only knows his master as lawgiver and executioner, and the sole object of punishment held up to his view, is to make him a more obedient and profitable slave."

Hon. W.B. Seabrook, in an address before the Agricultural Society of St. John's, Colleton, published by order of the Society, at Charleston, in 1834, after stating that "as Slavery exists in South Carolina, the action of the citizens should rigidly conform to that state of things:" and, that "no abstract opinions of the rights of man should be allowed in any instance to modify the police system of a plantation," proceeds as follows. "He (the slave) should be practically treated as a slave; and thoroughly taught the true cardinal principle on which our peculiar institutions are founded, viz.; that to his owner he is bound by the law of God and man; and that no human authority can sever the link which unites them. The great aim of the slaveholder, then, should be to keep his people in strict subordination. In this, it may in truth be said, lies his entire duty." Again, in speaking of the punishments of slaves, he remarks: "If to our army the disuse of THE LASH has been prejudicial, to the slaveholder it would operate to deprive him of the MAIN SUPPORT of his authority. For the first class of offences, I consider imprisonment in THE STOCKS[A] at night, with or without hard labor by day, as a powerful auxiliary in the cause of good government." "Experience has convinced me that there is no punishment to which the slave looks with more horror, than that upon which I am commenting, (the stocks,) and none which has been attended with happier results."

[Footnote A: Of the nature of this punishment in the stocks, something may be learned by the following extract of a letter from a gentleman in Tallahassee, Florida, to the editor of the Ohio Atlas, dated June 9, 1835: "A planter, a professer of religion, in conversing upon the universality of whipping, remarked, that a planter in G____, who had whipped a great deal, at length got tired of it, and invented the following excellent method of punishment, which I saw practised while I was paying him a visit. The negro was placed in a sitting position, with his hands made fast above his head, and his feet in the stocks, so that he could not move any part of the body. The master retired, intending to leave him till morning, but we were awakened in the night by the groans of the negro, which were so doleful that we feared he was dying. We went to him, and found him covered with a cold sweat, and almost gone. He could not have lived an hour longer. Mr. ---- found the 'stocks' such an effective punishment, that it almost superseded the whip."]

There is yet another class of testimony quite as pertinent as the foregoing, which may at any time be gleaned from the newspapers of the slave states--the advertisements of masters for their runaway slaves, and casual paragraphs coldly relating cruelties, which would disgrace a land of Heathenism. Let the following suffice for a specimen:

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To the Editors of the Constitutionalist.

Aiken, S.C., Dec. 20, 1836.

I have just returned from an inquest I held over the dead body of a negro man, a runaway, that was shot near the South Edisto, in this district, (Barnwell,) on Saturday morning last. He came to his death by his own recklessness. He refused to be taken alive; and said that other attempts to take him had been made, and he was determined that he would not be taken. When taken he was nearly naked--had a large dirk or knife and a heavy club. He was at first, (when those who were in pursuit of him found it absolutely necessary,) shot at with small shot, with the intention of merely crippling him. He was shot at several times, and at last he was so disabled as to be compelled to surrender. He kept in the run of a creek in a very dense swamp all the time that the neighbors were in pursuit of him. As soon as the negro was taken, the best medical aid was procured, but he died on the same evening. One of the witnesses at the inquisition stated that the negro boy said that he was from Mississippi, and belonged to so many persons he did not know who his master was; but again he said his master's name was Brown. He said his own name was Sam; and when asked by another witness who his master was, he muttered something like Augusta or Augustine. The boy was apparently above 35 or 40 years of age--about six feet high--slightly yellow in the face--very long beard or whiskers--and very stout built, and a stern countenance; and appeared to have been run away a long time.


Coroner, (ex officio,) Barnwell Dist., S.C.

The Mississippi and other papers will please copy the above.--Georgia

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$100 REWARD.--Ran away from the subscriber, living on Herring Bay, Ann Arundel county, Md., on Saturday, 28th January, negro man Elijah, who calls himself Elijah Cook, is about 21 years of age, well made, of a very dark complexion has an impediment in his speech, and a scar on his left cheek bone, apparently occasioned by a shot.

J. SCRIVENER. Annapolis (Md.) Rep., Feb., 1837.

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$40 REWARD.--Ran away from my residence near Mobile, two negro men, Isaac and Tim. Isaac is from 25 to 30 years old, dark complexion, scar on the right side of the head, and also one on the right side of the body, occasioned by BUCK SHOT. Tim is 22 years old, dark complexion, scar on the right cheek, as also another on the back of the neck. Captains and owners of steamboats, vessels, and water crafts of every description, are cautioned against taking them on board under the penalty of the law; and all other persons against harboring or in any manner favoring the escape of said negroes under like penalty.

Mobile, Sept. 1. SARAH WALSH. Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, Sept. 29, 1837.

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$200 REWARD.--Ran away from the subscriber, about three years ago, a certain negro man named Ben, (commonly known by the name of Ben Fox.) He is about five feet five or six inches high, chunky made, yellow complexion, and has but one eye. Also, one other negro, by the name of Rigdon, who ran away on the 8th of this month. He is stout made, tall, and very black, with large lips.

I will give the reward of one hundred dollars for each of the above negroes, to be delivered to me or confined in the jail of Lenoir or Jones county, or for the killing of them so that I can see them. Masters of vessels and all others are cautioned against harboring, employing, or carrying them away, under the penalty of the law.

W.D. COBB. Lenoir county, N.C., Nov. 12, 1836.

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"A negro who had absconded from his master, and for who a reward was offered of $100, has been apprehended and committed to prison in Savannah, Georgia. The Editor who states the fact, adds, with as much coolness as though there was no barbarity in the matter, that he did not surrender until he was considerably maimed by the dogs[A] that had been set on him,--desperately fighting them, one of which he cut badly with a sword."

New-York Commercial Advertiser, June, 8, 1827.

[Footnote A: In regard to the use of bloodhounds, for the recapture of runaway slaves, we insert the following from the New-York Evangelist, being an extract of a letter from Natchez (Miss.) under date of January 31, 1835: "An instance was related to me in Claiborne County, in Mississippi. A runaway was heard about the house in the night. The hound was put upon his track, and in the morning was found watching the dead body of the negro. The dogs are trained to this service when young. A negro is directed to go into the woods and secure himself upon a tree. When sufficient time has elapsed for doing this, the hound is put upon his track. The blacks are compelled to worry them until they make them their implacable enemies: and it is common to meet with dogs which will take no notice of whites, though entire strangers, but will suffer no blacks beside the house servants to enter the yard."]

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From the foregoing evidence on the part of slaveholders themselves, we gather the following facts:

1. That perfect obedience is required of the slave--that he is made to feel that there is no appeal from his master.

2. That the authority of the master is only maintained by fear--a "reign of terror."

3. That "the economy of slavery is to get all you can from the slave, and give him in return as little as will barely support him in a working condition."

4. That runaway slaves may be shot down with impunity by any white person.

5. That masters offer rewards for "killing" their slaves, "so that they may see them!"

6. That slaves are branded with hot irons, and very much scarred with the whip.

7. That iron collars, with projecting prongs, rendering it almost impossible for the wearer to lie down, are fastened upon the necks of women.

8. That the LASH is the MAIN SUPPORT of the slaveholder's authority: but, that the stocks are "a powerful auxiliary" to his government.

9. That runaway slaves are chased with dogs--men hunted like beasts of prey.

Such is American Slavery in practice.

The testimony thus far adduced is only that of the slaveholder and wrong-doer himself: the admission of men who have a direct interest in keeping out of sight the horrors of their system. It is besides no voluntary admission. Having "framed iniquity by law," it is out of their power to hide it. For the recovery of their runaway property, they are compelled to advertise in the public journals, and that it may be identified, they are under the necessity of describing the marks of the whip on the backs of women, the iron collars about the neck--the gun-shot wounds, and the traces of the branding-iron. Such testimony must, in the nature of things, be partial and incomplete. But for a full revelation of the secrets of the prison-house, we must look to the slave himself. The Inquisitors of Goa and Madrid never disclosed the peculiar atrocities of their "hall of horrors." It was the escaping heretic, with his swollen and disjointed limbs, and bearing about him the scars of rack and fire, who exposed them to the gaze and abhorrence of Christendom.

The following pages contain the simple and unvarnished story of an AMERICAN SLAVE,--of one, whose situation, in the first place, as a favorite servant in an aristocratic family in Virginia; and afterwards as the sole and confidential driver on a large plantation in Alabama, afforded him rare and peculiar advantages for accurate observation of the practical workings of the system. His intelligence, evident candor, and grateful remembrance of those kindnesses, which in a land of Slavery, made his cup of suffering less bitter; the perfect accordance of his statements, (made at different times, and to different individuals),[B] one with another, as well as those statements themselves, all afford strong confirmation of the truth and accuracy of his story. There seems to have been no effort, on his part to make his picture of Slavery one of entire darkness--he details every thing of a mitigating character which fell under his observation; and even the cruel deception of his master has not rendered him unmindful of his early kindness.

[Footnote B: The reader is referred to JOHN G. WHITTIER, of Philadelphia, or to the following gentlemen, who have heard the whole, or a part of his story, from his own lips: Emmor Kimber, of Kimberton, Pa., Lindley Coates, of Lancaster Co., do.; James Mott, of Philadelphia, Lewis Tappan, Elizur Wright Jun., Rev. Dr. Follen, and James G. Birney, of New York. The latter gentleman, who was a few years ago, a citizen of Alabama, assures us that the statements made to him by James Williams, were such as he had every reason to believe, from his own knowledge of slavery in that State.]

The editor is fully aware that he has not been able to present this affecting narrative in the simplicity and vivid freshness with which it fell from the lips of the narrator. He has, however, as closely as possible, copied his manner, and in many instances his precise language. THE SLAVE HAS SPOKEN FOR HIMSELF. Acting merely as his amanuensis, he has carefully abstained from comments of his own.[A]

[Footnote A: As the narrator was unable to read or write, it is quite possible that the orthography of some of the names of individuals mentioned in his story may not be entirely correct. For instance, the name of his master may have been either Larrimer, or Larrrimore.]

The picture here presented to the people of the free states, is, in many respects, a novel one. We all know something of Virginia and Kentucky Slavery. We have heard of the internal slave trade--the pangs of separation--the slave ship with its "cargo of despair" bound for the New-Orleans market--the weary journey of the chained Coffle to the cotton country. But here, in a great measure, we have lost sight of the victims of avarice and lust. We have not studied the dreadful economy of the cotton plantation, and know but little of the secrets of its unlimited despotism.

But in this narrative the scenes of the plantation rise before us, with a distinctness which approaches reality. We hear the sound of the horn at daybreak, calling the sick and the weary to toil unrequited. Woman, in her appealing delicacy and suffering, about to become a mother, is fainting under the lash, or sinking exhausted beside her cotton row. We hear the prayer for mercy answered with sneers and curses. We look on the instruments of torture, and the corpses of murdered men. We see the dogs, reeking hot from the chase, with their jaws foul with human blood. We see the meek and aged Christian scarred with the lash, and bowed down with toil, offering the supplication of a broken heart to his Father in Heaven, for the forgiveness of his brutal enemy. We hear, and from our inmost hearts repeat the affecting interrogatory of the aged slave, "How long, Oh Lord! how long!"

The editor has written out the details of this painful narrative with feelings of sorrow. If there be any who feel a morbid satisfaction in dwelling upon the history of outrage and cruelty, he at least is not one of them. His taste and habits incline him rather to look to the pure and beautiful in our nature--the sunniest side of humanity--its kindly sympathies--its holy affections--its charities and its love. But, it is because he has seen that all which is thus beautiful and excellent in mind and heart, perishes in the atmosphere of slavery: it is because humanity in the slave sinks down to a level with the brute and in the master gives place to the attributes of a fiend--that he has not felt at liberty to decline the task. He cannot sympathize with that abstract and delicate philanthropy, which hesitates to bring itself in contact with the sufferer, and which shrinks from the effort of searching out the extent of his afflictions. The emblem of Practical Philanthropy is the Samaritan stooping over the wounded Jew. It must be no fastidious hand which administers the oil and the wine, and binds up the unsightly gashes.

Believing, as he does, that this narrative is one of truth; that it presents an unexaggerated picture of Slavery as it exists on the cotton plantations of the South and West, he would particularly invite to its perusal, those individuals, and especially those professing Christians at the North, who have ventured to claim for such a system, the sanction and approval of the Religion of Jesus Christ. In view of the facts here presented, let these men seriously inquire of themselves, whether in advancing such a claim, they are not uttering a higher and more audacious blasphemy than any which ever fell from the pens of Voltaire and Paine. As if to cover them with confusion, and leave them utterly without excuse for thus libelling the character of a just God, these developments are making, and the veil rising, which for long years of sinful apathy has rested upon the abominations of American Slavery. Light is breaking into it's dungeons, disclosing the wreck of buried intellect--of hearts broken--of human affections outraged--of souls ruined. The world will see it as God has always seen it; and when He shall at length make inquisition for blood, and His vengeance kindle over the habitations of cruelty, with a destruction more terrible than that of Sodom and Gomorrah, His righteous dealing will be justified of man, and His name glorified among the nations, and there will be a voice of rejoicing in Earth and in Heaven. ALLELUIA!--THE PROMISE IS FULFILLED!--FOR THE SIGHING OF THE POOR AND THE OPPRESSION OF THE NEEDY, GOD HATH RISEN!

It is the earnest desire of the Editor, that this narrative may be the means, under God, of awakening in the hearts of all who read it, a sympathy for the oppressed which shall manifest itself in immediate, active, self-sacrificing exertion for their deliverance; and, while it excites abhorrence of his crimes, call forth pity for the oppressor. May it have the effect to prevent the avowed and associated friends of the slave, from giving such an undue importance to their own trials and grievances, as to forget in a great measure the sorrows of the slave. Let its cry of wo, coming up from the plantations of the South, suppress every feeling of selfishness in our hearts. Let our regret and indignation at the denial of the right of petition, be felt only because we are thereby prevented from pleading in the Halls of Congress for the "suffering and the dumb." And let the fact, that we are shut out from half the territory of our country, be lamented only because it prevents us from bearing personally to the land of Slavery, the messages of hope for the slave, and of rebuke and warning for the oppressor.

New-York, 24th 1st mo., 1838.

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I was born in Powhatan County, Virginia, on the plantation of George Larrimore. Sen., at a place called Mount Pleasant, on the 16th of May 1805. May father was the slave of an orphan family whose name I have forgotten, and was under the care of a Mr. Brooks, guardian of the family. He was a native of Africa, and was brought over when a mere child, with his mother. My mother was the slave of George Larrimore, Sen. She was nearly white, and is well known to have been the daughter of Mr. Larrimore himself. She died when myself and my twin brother Meshech were five years of age--I can scarcely remember her. She had in all eight children, of whom only five are now living. One, a brother, belongs to the heirs of the late Mr. Brockenbrough of Charlottesville; of whom he hires his time, and pays annually $120 for it. He is a member of the Baptist church, and used to preach occasionally. His wife is a free woman from Philadelphia, and being able to read and write, taught her husband. The whites do not know that he can write, and have often wondered that he could preach so well without learning. It is the practice when a church is crowded, to turn the blacks out of their seats. My brother did not like this, and on one occasion preached a sermon from a text, showing that all are of one blood. Some of the whites who heard it, said that such preaching would raise an insurrection among the negroes. Two of them told him that if he would prove his doctrine by Scripture, they would let him go, but if he did not, he should have nine and thirty lashes. He accordingly preached another sermon and spoke with a great deal of boldness. The two men who were in favor of having him whipped, left before the sermon was over; those who remained, acknowledged that he had proved his doctrine, and preached a good sermon, and many of them came up and shook hands with him. The two opposers, Scott and Brockley, forbid my brother, after this, to come upon their estates. They were both Baptists, and my brother had before preached to their people. During the cholera at Richmond, my brother preached a sermon, in which he compared the pestilence to the plagues, which afflicted the Egyptian slaveholders, because they would not let the people go. After the sermon some of the whites threatened to whip him. Mr. Valentine, a merchant on Shocko Hill prevented them; and a young lawyer named Brooks said it was wrong to threaten a man for preaching the truth. Since the insurrection of Nat. Turner he has not been allowed to preach much.

My twin brother was for some time the property of Mr. John Griggs, of Richmond, who sold him about three years since, to an Alabama Cotton Planter, with whom he staid one year, and then ran away and in all probability escaped into the free states or Canada, as he was seen near the Maryland line. My other brother lives in Fredericksburg, and belongs to a Mr. Scott, a merchant formerly of Richmond. He was sold from Mr. Larrimore's plantation because his wife was a slave of Mr. Scott. My only sister is the slave of John Smith, of King William. Her husband was the slave of Mr. Smith, when the latter lived in Powhatan county, and when he removed to King William, she was taken with her husband.

My old master, George Larrimore, married Jane Roane, the sister of a gentleman named John Roane, one of the most distinguished men in Virginia, who in turn married a sister of my master. One of his sisters married a Judge Scott, and another married Mr. Brockenbrough of Charlottesville. Mr. Larrimore had three children; George, Jane, and Elizabeth. The former was just ten days older than myself; and I was his playmate and constant associate in childhood. I used to go with him to his school, and carry his books for him as far as the door, and meet him there when the school was dismissed. We were very fond of each other, and frequently slept together. He taught me the letters of the alphabet, and I should soon have acquired a knowledge of reading, had not George's mother discovered her son in the act of teaching me. She took him aside and severely reprimanded him. When I asked him, not long after, to tell me more of what he had learned at school, he said that his mother had forbidden him to do so any more, as her father had a slave, who was instructed in reading and writing, and on that account proved very troublesome. He could, they said, imitate the hand-writing of the neighboring planters, and used to write passes and certificates of freedom for the slaves, and finally wrote one for himself, and went off to Philadelphia, from whence her father received from him a saucy letter, thanking him for his education.

The early years of my life went by pleasantly. The bitterness of my lot I had not yet realized. Comfortably clothed and fed, kindly treated by my old master and mistress and the young ladies, and the playmate and confidant of my young master, I did not dream of the dark reality of evil before me.

When he was fourteen years of age, master George went to his uncle Brockenbrough's at Charlottesville, as a student of the University. After his return from College, he went to Paris and other parts of Europe, and spent three or four years in study and travelling. In the mean time I was a waiter in the house, dining-room servant, &c. My old master visited and received visits from a great number of the principal families in Virginia. Each summer, with his family, he visited the Sulphur Springs and the mountains. While George was absent, I went with him to New-Orleans, in the winter season, on account of his failing health. We spent three days in Charleston, at Mr. McDuffie's, with whom my master was on intimate terms. Mr. McDuffie spent several days on one occasion at Mt. Pleasant. He took a fancy to me, and offered my master the servant whom he brought with him and $500 beside, for me. My master considered it almost an insult, and said after he was gone, that Mr. McDuffie needed money to say the least, as much as he did.

He had a fine house in Richmond, and used to spend his winters there with his family, taking me with him. He was not there much at other times, except when the Convention of 1829 for amending the State Constitution, was held in that city. He had a quarrel with Mr. Neal of Richmond Co., in consequence of some remarks upon the subject of Slavery. It came near terminating in a duel. I recollect that during the sitting of the Convention, my master asked me before several other gentlemen, if I wished to be free and go back to my own country. I looked at him with surprise, and inquired what country?

"Africa, to be sure," said he, laughing.

I told him that was not my country--that I was born in Virginia.

"Oh yes," said he, "but your father was born in Africa." He then said that there was a place on the African coast called Liberia where a great many free blacks were going; and asked me to tell him honestly, whether I would prefer to be set free on condition of going to Africa, or live with him and remain a slave. I replied that I had rather be as I was.

I have frequently heard him speak against slavery to his visitors. I heard him say on one occasion, when some gentlemen were arguing in favor of sending the free colored people to Africa, that this was as really the black man's country as the white's, and that it would be as humane to knock the free negroes, at once, on the head, as to send them to Liberia. He was a kind man to his slaves. He was proud of them, and of the reputation he enjoyed of feeding and clothing them well. They were as near as I can judge about 300 in number. He never to my knowledge sold a slave, unless to go with a wife or husband, and at the slave's own request. But all except the very wealthiest planters in his neighborhood sold them frequently. John Smoot of Powhatan Co. has sold a great number. Bacon Tait[A] used to be one of the principal purchasers. He had a jail at Richmond where he kept them. There were many others who made a business of buying and selling slaves. I saw on one occasion while travelling with my master, a gang of nearly two hundred men fastened with chains. The women followed unchained and the children in wagons. It was a sorrowful sight. Some were praying, some crying, and they all had a look of extreme wretchedness. It is an awful thing to a Virginia slave to be sold for the Alabama and Mississippi country. I have known some of them to die of grief, and others to commit suicide, on account of it.

[Footnote A: Bacon Tait's advertisement of "new and commodious buildings" for the keeping of negroes, situated at the corner of 15th and Carey streets, appears in the Richmond Whig of Sept. 1896.--EDITOR.]

In my seventeenth year, I was married to a girl named Harriet, belonging to John Gatewood, a planter living about four miles from Mr. Pleasant. She was about a year younger than myself--was a tailoress, and used to cut out clothes for the hands.

We were married by a white clergyman named Jones; and were allowed to or three weeks to ourselves, which we spent in visiting and other amusements.

The field hands are seldom married by a clergyman. They simply invite their friends together, and have a wedding party.

Our two eldest children died in their infancy: two are now living. The youngest was only two months old when I saw him for the last time. I used to visit my wife on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

My young master came back from Europe in delicate health. He was advised by his physicians to spend the winter in New-Orleans, whither he accordingly went, taking me with him. Here he became acquainted with a French lady of one of the first families in the city. The next winter he also spent in New-Orleans, and on his third visit, three years after his return from Europe, he was married to the lady above mentioned. In May he returned to Mt. Pleasant, and found the elder Larrimore on his sick bed, from which he never rose again. He died on the 14th of July. There was a great and splendid funeral, as his relatives and friends were numerous.

His large property was left principally in the hands of his widow until her decease, after which it was to be divided among the three children. In February Mrs. Larrimore also died. The administrators upon the estate were John Green, Esq., and Benjamin Temple. My young master came back from Europe in delicate health. He way advised by his physicians to spend the winter in New-Orleans, whither he accordingly went, taking me with him. Here he became acquainted with a French lady of one of the first families in the city. The next winter he also spent in New-Orleans, and on his third visit, three years after his return from Europe, he was married to the lady above mentioned. In May he returned to Mt. Pleasant, and found the elder Larrimore on his sick bed, from which he never rose again. He died on the 14th of July. There was a great and splendid funeral, as his relatives and friends were numerous.

His large property was left principally in the hands of his widow until her decease, after which it was to be divided among the three children. In February Mrs. Larrimore also died. The administrators upon the estate were John Green, Esq., and Benjamin Temple.

My young mistresses, Jane and Elizabeth, were very kind to the servants. They seemed to feel under obligations to afford them every comfort and gratification, consistent with the dreadful relation of ownership which they sustained towards them. Whipping was scarcely known on the estate; and, whenever it did take place, it was invariably against the wishes of the young ladies.

But the wife of master George was of a disposition entirely the reverse. Feeble, languid, and inert, sitting motionless for hours at her window, or moving her small fingers over the strings of her guitar, to some soft and languishing air, she would have seemed to a stranger incapable of rousing herself from that indolent repose, in which mind as well as body participated. But, the slightest disregard of her commands--and sometimes even the neglect to anticipate her wishes, on the part of the servants; was sufficient to awake her. The inanimate and delicate beauty then changed into a stormy virago. Her black eyes flawed and sparkled with a snaky fierceness, her full lips compressed, and her brows bent and darkened. Her very voice, soft and sweet when speaking to her husband, and exquisitely fine and melodious, when accompanying her guitar, was at such times, shrill, keen, and loud. She would order the servants of my young mistresses upon her errands, and if they pleaded their prior duty to obey the calls of another, would demand that they should be forthwith whipped for their insolence. If the young ladies remonstrated with her, she met them with a perfect torrent of invective and abuse. In these paroxysms of fury she always spoke in French, with a vehemence and volubility, which strongly contrasted with the calmness and firmness of the young ladies. She would boast of what she had done in New-Orleans, and of the excellent discipline of her father's slaves. She said she had gone down in the night to the cell under her father's house, and whipped the slaves confined there with her own hands. I had heard the same thing from her father's servants at New-Orleans, when I was there with my master. She brought with her from New-Orleans a girl named Frances. I have seen her take her by the ear, lead her up to the side of the room, and beat her head against it. At other times she would snatch off her slipper and strike the girl on her face and head with it.

She seldom manifested her evil temper before master George. When she did, he was greatly troubled, and he used to speak to his sisters about it. Her manner towards him was almost invariably that of extreme fondness. She was dark complexioned, but very beautiful; and the smile of welcome with which she used to meet him was peculiarly fascinating. I did not marvel that he loved her; while at the same time, in common with all the house servants, I regarded her as a being possessed with an evil spirit,--half woman, and half fiend.

Soon after the settlement of the estate, I heard my master speak of going out to Alabama. His wife had 1500 acres of wild land in Greene County in that State: and he had been negociating for 500 more. Early in the summer of 1833, he commenced making preparations for removing to that place a sufficient number of hands to cultivate it. He took great pains to buy up the wives and husbands of those of his own slaves who had married out of the estate, in order, as he said, that his hands might be contented in Alabama, and not need chaining together while on their journey. It is always found necessary by the regular slave-traders, in travelling with their slaves to the far South, to handcuff and chain their wretched victims, who have been bought up as the interest of the trader, and the luxury or necessities of the planter may chance to require, without regard to the ties sundered or the affections made desolate, by these infernal bargains. About the 1st of September, after the slaves destined for Alabama had taken a final farewell of their old home, and of the friends they were leaving behind, our party started on their long journey. There were in all 214 slaves, men, women and children. The men and women travelled on foot--the small children in the wagons, containing the baggage, &c. Previous to my departure, I visited my wife and children at Mr. Gatewood's. I took leave of them with the belief that I should return with my master, as soon as he had seen his hands established on his new plantation. I took my children in my arms and embraced them; my wife, who was a member of the Methodist church, implored the blessing of God upon me, during my absence, and I turned away to follow my master.

Our journey was a long and tedious one, especially to those who were compelled to walk the whole distance. My master rode in a sulky, and I, as his body servant, on horseback: When we crossed over the Roanoke, and were entering upon North Carolina, I remember with what sorrowful countenances and language the poor slaves looked back for the last time upon the land of their nativity. It was their last farewell to Old Virginia. We passed through Georgia, and crossing the Chattahoochee, entered Alabama. Our way for many days was through a sandy tract of country, covered with pine woods, with here and there the plantation of an Indian or a half-breed. After crossing what is called Line Creek, we found large plantations along the road, at intervals of four or five miles. The aspect of the whole country was wild and forbidding, save to the eye of a cotton-planter. The clearings were all new, and the houses rudely constructed of logs. The cotton fields, were skirted with an enormous growth of oak, pine, and other wood. Charred stumps stood thickly in the clearings, with here and there a large tree girdled by the axe and left to decay. We reached at last the place of our destination. It was a fine tract of land with a deep rich soil. We halted on a small knoll, where the tents were pitched, and the wagons unladen. I spent the night with my master at a neighboring plantation, which was under the care of an overseer named Flincher.

The next morning my master received a visit from a man named Huckstep, who had undertaken the management of his plantation as an overseer. He had been an overseer on cotton plantations many years in Georgia and North Carolina. He was apparently about forty years of age, with a sunburnt and sallow countenance. His thick shock of black hair was marked in several places with streaks of white, occasioned as he afterwards told me by blows received from slaves whom he was chastising.

After remaining in the vicinity for about a week, my master took me aside one morning--told me he was going to Selma in Dallas County, and wished me to be in readiness on his return the next day, to start for Virginia. This was to me cheering news. I spent that day and the next among my old fellow servants who had lived with me in Virginia. Some of them had messages to send by me to their friends and acquaintances. In the afternoon of the second day after my master's departure, I distributed, among them all the money which I had about me, viz., fifteen dollars. I noticed that the overseer Huckstep laughed at this and called me a fool: and that whenever I spoke of going home with my master, his countenance indicated something between a smile and a sneer.

Night came; but contrary to his promise, my master did not come. I still however expected him the next day. But another night came, and he had not returned. I grew uneasy, and inquired of Huckstep where be thought my master was.

"On his way to Old Virginia," said he, with a malicious laugh.

"But," said I. "Master George told me that he should come back and take me with him to Virginia."

"Well, boy," said the overseer, "I'll now tell ye what master George, as you call him, told me. You are to stay here and act as driver of the field hands. That was the order. So you may as well submit to it at once."

I stood silent and horror-struck. Could it be that the man whom I had served faithfully from our mutual boyhood, whose slightest wish had been my law, to serve whom I would have laid down my life, while I had confidence in his integrity--could it be that he had so cruelly and wickedly deceived me? I looked at the overseer. He stood laughing at me in my agony.

"Master George gave you no such orders," I exclaimed, maddened by the overseer's look and manner.

The overseer looked at me with a fiendish grin. "None of your insolence," said he, with a dreadful oath. "I never saw a Virginia nigger that I couldn't manage, proud as they are. Your master has left you in my hands, and you must obey my orders. If you don't, why I shall have to make you 'hug the widow there,'" pointing to a tree, to which I afterwards found the slaves were tied when they were whipped.

That night was one of sleepless agony. Virginia--the hills and the streams of my birth-place; the kind and hospitable home; the gentle-hearted sisters, sweetening with their sympathy the sorrows of the slave--my wife--my children--all that had thus far made up my happiness, rose in contrast with my present condition. Deeply as he has wronged me, may my master himself never endure such a night of misery!

At daybreak, Huckstep told me to dress myself, and attend to his directions. I rose, subdued and wretched, and at his orders handed the horn to the headmen of the gang, who summoned the hands to the field. They were employed in clearing land for cultivation, cutting trees and burning. I was with them through the day, and at night returned once more to my lodgings to be laughed at by the overseer. He told me that I should do well, he did not doubt, by and by, but that a Virginia driver generally had to be whipped a few times himself before he could be taught to do justice to the slaves under his charge. They were not equal to those raised in North Carolina, for keeping the lazy hell-hounds, as he called the slaves, at work.

And this was my condition!--a driver set over more than one hundred and sixty of my kindred and friends, wish orders to apply the whip unsparingly to every one, whether man or woman, who faltered in the task, or was careless in the execution of it, myself subject at any moment to feel the accursed lash upon my own back, if feelings of humanity should perchance overcome the selfishness of misery, and induce me to spare and pity.

I lived in the same house with Huckstep,--a large log house, roughly finished; where we were waited upon by an old woman, whom we used to call aunt Polly. Huckstep was, I soon found, inordinately fond of peach brandy; and once or twice in the course of a month he had a drunken debauch, which usually lasted from two to four days. He was then full of talk, laughed immoderately at his own nonsense and would keep me up until late at night listening to him. He was at these periods terribly severe to his hands, and would order me to use up the cracker of my whip every day upon the poor creatures, who were toiling in the field, and in order to satisfy him, I used to tear it off when returning home at night. He would then praise me for a good fellow, and invite me to drink with him.

He used to tell me at such times, that if I would only drink as he did, I should be worth a thousand dollars more for it. He would sit hours with his peach brandy, cursing and swearing, laughing and telling stories full of obscenity and blasphemy. He would sometimes start up, take my whip, and rush out to the slave quarters, flourish it about and frighten the inmates and often cruelly beat them. He would order the women to pull up their clothes, in Alabama style, as he called it, and then whip them for not complying. He would then come back roaring and shouting to the house, and tell me what he had done; if I did not laugh with him, he would get angry and demand what the matter was. Oh! how often I have laughed, at such times, when my heart ached within me; and how often, when permitted to retire to my bed, have I found relief in tears!

He had no wife, but kept a colored mistress in a house situated on a gore of land between the plantation and that of Mr. Goldsby. He brought her with him from North Carolina, and had three children by her.

Sometimes in his fits of intoxication, he would come riding into the field, swinging his whip, and crying out to the hands to strip off their shirts, and be ready to take a whipping: and this too when they were all busily at work. At another time, he would gather the hands around him and fall to cursing and swearing about the neighboring overseers. They were, he said, cruel to their hands, whipped them unmercifully, and in addition starved them. As for himself, he was the kindest and best fellow within forty miles; and the hands ought to be thankful that they had such a good man for their overseer.

He would frequently be very familiar with me, and call me his child; he would tell me that our people were going to get Texas, a fine cotton country, and that he meant to go out there and have a plantation of his own, and I should go with him and be his overseer.

The houses in the "negro quarters" were constructed of logs, and from twelve to fifteen feet square; they had no glass, but there were holes to let in the light and air. The furniture consisted of a table, a few stools, and dishes made of wood, and an iron pot, and some other cooking utensils. The houses were placed about three or four rods apart, with a piece of ground attached to each of them for a garden, where the occupant could raise a few vegetables. The "quarters" were about three hundred yards from the dwelling of the overseer.

The hands were occupied in clearing land and burning brush, and in constructing their houses, through the winter. In March we commenced ploughing: and on the first of April began planting seed for cotton. The hoeing season commenced about the last of May. At the earliest dawn of day, and frequently before that time, the laborers were roused from their sleep by the blowing of the horn. It was blown by the headman of the gang who led the rest in the work and acted under my direction, as my assistant.

Previous to the blowing of the horn the hands generally rose and eat what was called the "morning's bit," consisting of ham and bread. If exhaustion and fatigue prevented their rising before the dreaded sound of the horn broke upon their slumbers, they had no time to snatch a mouthful, but were harried out at once.

It was my business to give over to each of the hands his or her appropriate implement of labor, from the toolhouse where they were deposited at night. After all had been supplied, they were taken to the field, and set at work as soon as it was sufficiently light to distinguish the plants from the grass and weeds. I was employed in passing from row to row, in order to see that the work was well done, and to urge forward the laborers. At 12 o'clock, the horn was blown from the overseer's house, calling the hands to dinner, each to his own cabin. The intermission of labor was one hour and a half to hoers and pickers, and two hours to the ploughmen. At the expiration of this interval, the horn again summoned them to thus labor. They were kept in the field until dark, when they were called home to supper.

There was little leisure for any of the hands on the plantation. In the evenings, after it was too dark for work in the field, the men were frequently employed in burning brush and in other labors until late at night. The women after toiling in the field by day, were compelled to card, spin, and weave cotton for their clothing, in the evening. Even on Sundays there was little or no respite from toil. Those who had not been able to work out all their tasks during the week were allowed by the overseer to finish it on the Sabbath, and thus save themselves from a whipping on Monday morning. Those whose tasks were finished frequently employed most of that day in cultivating their gardens.

Many of the female hands were delicate young women, who in Virginia had never been accustomed to field labor. They suffered greatly from the extreme heat and the severity of the toil. Oh! how often have I seen them dragging their weary limbs from the cotton field at nightfall, faint and exhausted. The overseer used to laugh at their sufferings. They were, he said, Virginia ladies, and altogether too delicate for Alabama use: but they must be made to do their tasks notwithstanding. The recollection of these things even now is dreadful. I used to tell the poor creatures, when compelled by the overseer to urge them forward with the whip, that I would much rather take their places, and endure the stripes than inflict them.

When but three months old, the children born on the estate were given up to the care of the old women who were not able to work out of doors. Their mothers were kept at work in the field.

It was the object of the overseer to separate me in feeling and interest as widely as possible from my suffering brethren and sisters. I had relations among the field hands, and used to call them my cousins. He forbid my doing so; and told me if I acknowledged relationship with any of the hands I should be flogged for it. He used to speak of them as devils and hell-hounds, and ridicule them in every possible way; and endeavoured to make me speak of them and regard them in the same manner. He would tell long stories about hunting and shooting "runaway niggers," and detail with great apparent satisfaction the cruel and horrid punishments which he had inflicted. One thing he said troubled him. He had once whipped a slave so severely that he died in consequence of it, and it was soon after ascertained that he was wholly innocent of the offence charged against him. That slave, he said, had haunted him ever since.

Soon after we commenced weeding our cotton, some of the hands who were threatened with a whipping for not finishing their tasks, ran away. The overseer and myself went out after them, taking with us five bloodhounds, which were kept on the Estate for the sole purpose of catching runaways. There were no other hounds in the vicinity, and the overseers of the neighboring plantations used to borrow them to hunt their runaways. A Mr. Crop, who lived about ten miles distant, had two packs, and made it his sole business to catch slaves with them. We used to set the dogs upon the track of the fugitives, and they would follow them until, to save themselves from being torn in pieces, they would climb into a tree, where the dogs kept them until we came up and secured them.

These hounds, when young, are taught to run after the negro boys; and being always kept confined except when let out in pursuit of runaways, they seldom fail of overtaking the fugitive, and seem to enjoy the sport of hunting men as much as other dogs do that of chasing a fox or a deer. My master gave a large sum for his five dogs,--a slut and her four puppies.

While going over our cotton picking for the last time, one of our hands named Little John, ran away. The next evening the dogs were started on his track. We followed them awhile, until we knew by their ceasing to bark that they had found him. We soon met the dogs returning. Their jaws, heads, and feet, were bloody. The overseer looked at them and said, "he was afraid the dogs had killed the nigger." It being dark, we could not find him that night. Early the next morning, we started off with our neighbors, Sturtivant and Flincher; and after searching about for some time, we found the body of Little John lying in the midst of a thicket of cane. It was nearly naked, and dreadfully mangled and gashed by the teeth of the dogs. They had evidently dragged it some yards through the thicket: blood, tatters of clothes, and even the entrails of the unfortunate man, were clinging to the stubs of the old and broken cane. Huckstep stooped over his saddle, looked at the body, and muttered an oath. Sturtivant swore it was no more than the fellow deserved. We dug a hole in the cane-brake, where he lay, buried him, and returned home.

The murdered young man had a mother and two sisters on the plantation, by whom he was dearly loved. When I told the old woman of what had befallen her son, she only said that it was better for poor John than to live in slavery.

Late in the fall of this year, a young man, who had already run away several times, was missing from his task. It was four days before we found him. The dogs drove him at last up a tree, where he was caught, and brought home. He was then fastened down to the ground by means of forked sticks of wood selected for the purpose, the longest fork being driven into the ground until the other closed down upon the neck, ancles, and wrists. The overseer then sent for two large cats belonging to the house. These he placed upon the naked shoulders of his victim, and dragged them suddenly by their tails downward. At first they did not scratch deeply. He then ordered me to strike them with a small stick after he had placed them once more upon the back of the sufferer. I did so; and the enraged animals extended their claws, and tore his back deeply and cruelly as they were dragged along it. He was then whipped and placed in the stocks, where he was kept for three days. On the third morning as I passed the stocks, I stopped to look at him. His head hung down over the chain which supported his neck. I spoke, but he did not answer. He was dead in the stocks! The overseer on seeing him seemed surprised, and, I thought, manifested some remorse. Four of the field hands took him out of the stocks and buried him: and every thing went on as usual.

It is not in my power to give a narrative of the daily occurrences on the plantation. The history of one day was that of all. The gloomy monotony of our slavery, was only broken by the overseer's periodical fits of drunkenness, at which times neither life nor limb on the estate were secure from his caprice or violence.

In the spring of 1835, the overseer brought me a letter from my wife, written for her by her young mistress, Mr. Gateweed's daughter. He read it to me: it stated that herself and children were well--spoke of her sad and heavy disappointment in consequence of my not returning with my master; and of her having been told by him that I should come back the next fall.

Hope for a moment lightened my heart; and I indulged the idea of once more returning to the bosom of my family. But I recollected that my master had already cruelly deceived me; and despair again took hold on me.

Among our hands was one whom we used to call Big Harry. He was a stout, athletic man--very intelligent, and an excellent workman; but he was of a high and proud spirit, which the weary and crushing weight of a life of slavery had not been able to subdue. On almost every plantation at the South you may find one or more individuals, whose look and air show that they have preserved their self-respect as men;--that with them the power of the tyrant ends with the coercion of the body--that the soul is free, and the inner man retaining the original uprightness of the image of God. You may know them by the stern sobriety of their countenances, and the contempt with which they regard the jests and pastimes of their miserable and degraded companions, who, like Samson, make sport for the keepers of their prison-house. These men are always feared as well as hated by their task-masters. Harry had never been whipped, and had always said that he would die rather than submit to it. He made no secret of his detestation of the overseer. While most of the slaves took off their hats, with cowering submission, in his presence, Harry always refused to do so. He never spoke to him except in a brief answer to his questions. Master George, who knew, and dreaded the indomitable spirit of the man, told the overseer, before he left the plantation, to beware how he attempted to punish him. But, the habits of tyranny in which Huckstep had so long indulged, had accustomed him to abject submission, on the part of his subjects; and he could not endure this upright and unbroken manliness. He used frequently to curse and swear about him, and devise plans for punishing him on account of his impudence as he called it.

A pretext was at last afforded him. Sometime in August of this year, there was a large quantity of yellow unpicked cotton lying in the gin house. Harry was employed at night in removing the cotton see, which has been thrown out by the gin. The rest of the male hands were engaged during the day in weeding the cotton for the last time, and in the nigh, in burning brush on the new lands clearing for the next year's crop. Harry was told one evening to go with the others and assist in burning the brush. He accordingly went and the next night a double quantity of seed had accumulated in the gin house: and although he worked until nearly 2 o'clock in the morning, he could not remove it all.

The next morning the overseer came into the field, and demanded of me why I had not whipped Harry for not removing all the cotton seed. He then called aloud to Harry to come forward and be whipped. Harry answered somewhat sternly that he would neither be struck by overseer nor driver; that he had worked nearly all night, and had scarcely fallen asleep when the horn blew to summon him to his toil in the field. The overseer raved and threatened, but Harry paid no farther attention to him. He then turned to me and asked me for my pistols, with a pair of which he had furnished me. I told him they were not with me. He growled an oath, threw himself on his horse and left us. In the evening I found him half drunk and raving like a madman. He said he would no longer bear with that nigger's insolence; but would whip him if it cost him his life. He at length fixed upon a plan for seizing him; and told me that he would go out in the morning, ride along by the side of Harry and talk pleasantly to him, and then, while Harry was attending to him, I was to steal upon him and knock him down, by a blow on the head, from the loaded and heavy handle of my whip. I was compelled to promise to obey his directions.

The next morning when we got to the field I told Harry of the overseer's plan, and advised him by all means to be on his guard and watch my motions. His eye glistened with gratitude. "Thank you James", said he, "I'll take care that you don't touch me."

Huckstep came into the field about 10 o'clock. He rode along by the side of Harry talking and laughing. I was walking on the other side. When I saw that Harry's eye was upon me I aimed a blow at him intending however to miss him. He evaded the blow and turned fiercely round with his hoe uplifted, threatening to cut down any one who again attempted to strike him. Huckstep cursed my awkwardness, and told Harry to put down his hoe and came to him. He refused to do so and swore he would kill the first man who tried to lay hands on him. The cowardly tyrant shrank away from his enraged bondman, and for two weeks Harry was not again molested.

About the first of September, the overseer had one of his drunken fits. He made the house literally an earthly hell. He urged me to drink, quarrelled and swore at me for declining, and chased the old woman round the house, with his bottle of peach brandy. He then told me that Harry had forgotten the attempt to seize him, and that is the morning we must try our old game over again.

On the following morning, as I was handing to each of the hands their hoes from the tool house, I caught Harry's eye. "Look out," said I to him. "Huckstep will be after you again to day." He uttered a deep curse against the overseer and passed on to his work. After breakfast Huckstep came riding out to the cotton field. He tied his horse to a tree, and came towards us. His sallow and haggard countenance was flushed, and his step unsteady. He came up by the side of Harry and began talking about the crops and the weather; I came at the same time on the other side, and in striking at him, beat off his hat. He sprang aside and stepped backwards. Huckstep with a dreadful oath commanded him to stop, saying that he had determined to whip him, and neither earth nor hell should prevent him. Harry defied him: and said he had always done the work allotted to him and that was enough: he would sooner die than have the accursed lash touch him. The overseer staggered to his horse, mounted him and rode furiously to the house, and soon made his appearance, returning, with his gun in his hand.

"Yonder comes the devil!" said one of the women whose row was near Harry's.

"Yes," said another, "He's trying to scare Harry with his gun."

"Let him try as he pleases," said Harry, in his low, deep, determined tones, "He may shoot me, but he can't whip me."

Huckstep came swearing on: when within a few yards of Harry he stopped, looked at him with a stare of mingled rage and drunken imbecility; and bid him throw down his hoe and come forward. The undaunted slave refused to comply, and continuing his work told the drunken demon to shoot if he pleased. Huckstep advanced within a few steps of him when Harry raised his hoe and told him to stand back. He stepped back a few paces, leveled his gun and fired. Harry received the charge in his breast, and fell instantly across a cotton row. He threw up his hands wildly, and groaned, "Oh, Lord!"

The hands instantly dropped their hoes. The women shrieked aloud. For my own part I stood silent with horror. The cries of the women enraged the overseer, he dropped his gun, and snatching the whip from my hand, with horrid oaths, and imprecations fell to whipping them, laying about him like a maniac. Upon Harry's sister he bestowed his blows without mercy, commanding her to quit her screaming and go to work. The poor girl, whose brother had thus been murdered before her eyes, could not wrestle down the awful agony of her feelings, and the brutal tormentor left her without effecting his object. He then, without going to look of his victim, told four of the hands to carry him to the house, and taking up his gun left the field. When we got to the poor fellow, he was alive, and groaning faintly. The hands took him up, but before they reached the house he was dead. Huckstep came out, and looked at him, and finding him dead, ordered the hands to bury him. The burial of a slave in Alabama is that of a brute. No coffin--no decent shroud--no prayer. A hole is dug, and the body (sometimes enclosed in a rude box,) is thrown in without further ceremony.

From this time the overseer was regarded by the whole gang with detestation and fear--as a being to whose rage and cruelty there were no limits. Yet he was constantly telling us that he was the kindest of overseers--that he was formerly somewhat severe in managing his hands, but that now he was, if any thing, too indulgent. Indeed he had the reputation of being a good overseer, and an excellent manager, when sober. The slaves on some of the neighboring plantations were certainly worse clothed and fed, and more frequently and cruelly whipped than ours. Whenever the saw them they complained of over working and short feeding. One of Flincher's, and one of Sturtivant's hands ran away, while I was in Alabama: and after remaining in the woods awhile, and despairing of being able to effect their escape, resolved to put an end to their existence and their slavery together. Each twisted himself a vine of the muscadine grape, and fastened one end around the limb of an oak, and made a noose in the other. Jacob, Flincher's man, swung himself off first, and expired after a long struggle. The other, horrified by the contortions and agony of his comrade, dropped his noose, and was retaken. When discovered, two or three days afterwards, the body of Jacob was dreadfully torn and mangled, by the buzzards, those winged hyenas and goules of the Southwest.

Among the slaves who were brought from Virginia, were two young and bright mulatto women, who were always understood throughout the plantation to have been the daughters of the elder Larrimore, by one of his slaves. One was named Sarah and the other Hannah. Sarah, being in a state of pregnancy, failed of executing her daily allotted task of hoeing cotton. I was ordered to whip her, and on my remonstrating with the overseer, and representing the condition of the woman, I was told that my business was to obey orders, and that if I was told "to whip a dead nigger I must do it." I accordingly gave her fifty lashes. This was on Thursday evening. On Friday she also failed through weakness, and was compelled to lie down in the field. That night the overseer himself whipped her. On Saturday the wretched woman dragged herself once more to the cotton field. In the burning sun, and in a situation which would have called forth pity in the bosom of any one save a cotton-growing overseer, she struggled to finish her task. She failed--nature could do no more--and sick and despairing, she sought her cabin. There the overseer met her and inflicted fifty more lashes upon her already lacerated back.

The next morning was the Sabbath. It brought no joy to that suffering woman. Instead of the tones of the church bell summoning to the house of prayer, she heard the dreadful sound of the lash falling upon the backs of her brethren and sisters in bondage. For the voice of prayer she heard curses. For the songs of Zion obscene and hateful blasphemies. No bible was there with its consolations for the sick of heart. Faint and fevered, scarred and smarting from the effects of her cruel punishment, she lay upon her pallet of moss--dreading the coming of her relentless persecutor,--who, in the madness of one of his periodical fits of drunkenness, was now swearing and cursing through the quarters.

Some of the poor woman's friends on the evening before, had attempted to relieve her of the task which had been assigned her, but exhausted nature, and the selfishness induced by their own miserable situation, did not permit them to finish it and the overseer, on examination, found that the week's work of the woman, was still deficient. After breakfast, he ordered her to be tied up to the limb of a tree, by means of a rope fastened round her wrists, so as to leave her feet about six inches from the ground. She begged him to let her down for she was very sick.

"Very well!" he exclaimed with a sneer and a laugh,--"I shall bleed you then, and take out some of your Virginia blood. You are too proud a miss for Alabama."

He struck her a few blows. Swinging thus by her arms, she succeeded in placing one of her feet against the body of the tree, and thus partly supported herself, and relieved in some degree the painful weight upon her wrists. He threw down his whip--took a rail from the garden fence, ordered her feet to be tied together, and thrust the rail between them. He then ordered one of the hands to sit upon it. Her back at this time was bare, but the strings of the only garment which she wore passed over her shoulders and prevented the full force of the whip from acting on her flesh. These he cut off with his pen-knife, and thus left her entirely naked. He struck her only two blows, for the second one cut open her side and abdomen with a frightful gash. Unable to look on any longer in silence, I entreated him to stop, as I feared he had killed her. The overseer looked at the wound--dropped his whip, and ordered her to be untied. She was carried into the house in a state of insensibility, and died in three days after.

During the whole season of picking cotton, the whip was frequently and severely plied. In his seasons of intoxication, the overseer made no distinction between the stout man and the feeble and delicate woman--the sick and the well. Women in a far advanced state of pregnancy were driven out to the cotton field. At other times he seemed to have some consideration; and to manifest something like humanity. Our hands did not suffer for food--they had a good supply of ham and corn-meal, while on Flincher's plantation the slaves had meat but once a year, at Christmas.

Near the commencement of the weeding season of 1835, I was ordered to whip a young woman, a light mustee, for not performing her task. I told the overseer that she was sick. He said he did not care for that, she should be made to work. A day or two afterwards, I found him in the house half intoxicated. He demanded of me why I had not whipped the girl; and I gave the same reason as before. He flew into a dreadful rage, but his miserable situation made him an object of contempt rather than fear. He sat shaking his fist at me, and swearing for nearly half an hour. He said he would teach the Virginia lady to sham sickness; and that the only reason I did not whip her was, that she was a white woman, and I did not like to cut up her delicate skin. Some time after I was ordered to give two of our women, named Hannah and big Sarah, 150 lashes each, for not performing their tasks. The overseer stood by until he saw Hannah whipped, and until Sarah had been tied up to the tree. As soon as his back was turned I struck the tree instead of the woman, who understanding my object, shrieked as if the whip at every blow was cutting into her flesh. The overseer heard the blows and the woman's cries, and supposing that all was going on according to his mind, left the field. Unfortunately the husband of Hannah stood looking on; and indignant that his wife should be whipped and Sarah spared, determined to revenge himself by informing against me.

Next morning Huckstep demanded of me whether I had whipped Sarah the day before; I replied in the affirmative. Upon this he called Sarah forward and made her show her back, which bore no traces of recent whipping. He then turned upon me and told me that the blows intended for Sarah should be laid on my back. That night the overseer, with the help of three of the hands, tied me up to a large tree--my arms and legs being clasped round it, and my body drawn up hard against it by two men pulling at my arms and one pushing against my back. The agony occasioned by this alone was almost intolerable. I felt a sense of painful suffocation, and could scarcely catch my breath.

A moment after I felt the first blow of the overseer's whip across my shoulders. It seemed to cut into my very heart. I felt the blood gush, and run down my back. I fainted at length under the torture, and on being taken down, my shoes contained blood which ran from the gashes in my back. The skin was worn off from by breast, arms, and thighs, against the rough bark of the tree. I was sick and feverish, and in great pain for three weeks afterwards; most of which time I was obliged to lie with my face downwards, in consequence of the extreme soreness of my sides and back, Huckstep himself seemed concerned about me, and would come frequently to see me, and tell me that he should not have touched me had it not been for "the cursed peach brandy."

Almost the first person that I was compelled to whip after I recovered, was the man who pushed at my back when I was tied up to the tree. The hands who were looking on at that time, all thought he pushed me much harder than was necessary: and they expected that I would retaliate upon him the injury I had received. After he was tied up, the overseer told me to give him a severe flogging, and left me. I struck the tree instead of the man. His wife, who was looking on, almost overwhelmed me with her gratitude.

At length one morning, late in the fall of 1835, I saw Huckstep, and a gentleman ride out to the field. As they approached, I saw the latter was my master. The hands all ceased their labor, and crowded around him, inquiring about old Virginia. For my own part, I could not hasten to greet him. He had too cruelly deceived me. He at length came towards me, and seemed somewhat embarrassed. "Well James," said he, "how do you stand it here?" "Badly enough," I replied. "I had no thought that you could be so cruel as to go away and leave me as you did." "Well, well, it was too bad, but it could not be helped--you must blame Huckstep for it." "But," said I, "I was not his servant; I belonged to you, and you could do as you pleased." "Well," said he, "we will talk about that by and by." He then inquired of Huckstep where big Sarah was. "She was sick and died," was the answer. He looked round amoung the slaves again, and inquired for Harry. The overseer told him that Harry undertook to kill him, and that, to save his life, he was obliged to fire upon him, and that he died of the wound. After some further inquiries, he requested me to go into the house with him. He then asked me to tell him how things had been managed during his absence. I gave him a full account of the overseer's cruelty. When he heard of the manner of Harry's death, he seemed much affected and shed tears. He was a favorite servant of his father's. I showed him the deep scars on my back occasioned by the whipping I had received. He was, or professed to be, highly indignant with Huckstep; and said he would see to it that he did not lay hands on me again. He told me he should be glad to take me with him to Virginia, but he did not know where he should find a driver who would be so kind to the hands as I was. If I would stay ten years, he would give me a thousand dollars, and a piece of land to plant on my own account. "But," said I, "my wife and children." "Well," said he, "I will do my best to purchase them, and send them on to you." I now saw that my destiny was fixed: and that I was to spend my days in Alabama, and I retired to my bed that evening with a heavy heart.

My master staid only three or four days on the plantation. Before he left, he cautioned Huckstep to be careful and not strike me again, as he would on no account permit it. He told him to give the hands food enough, and not over-work them, and, having thus satisfied his conscience, left us to our fate.

Out of the two hundred and fourteen slaves who were brought out from Virginia, at least one-third of them were members of the Methodist and Baptist churches in that State. Of this number five or six could read. Then had been torn away from the care and discipline of their respective churches, and from the means of instruction, but they retained their love for the exercises of religion; and felt a mournful pleasure in speaking of the privileges and spiritual blessings which they enjoyed in Old Virginia. Three of them had been preachers, or exhorters, viz. Solomon, usually called Uncle Solomon, Richard and David. Uncle Solomon was a grave, elderly man, mild and forgiving in his temper, and greatly esteemed among the more serious portion of our hands. He used to snatch every occasion to talk to the lewd and vicious about the concerns of their souls, and to advise them to fix their minds upon the Savior, as their only helper. Some I have heard curse and swear in answer, and others would say that they could not keep their minds upon God and the devil (meaning Huckstep) at the same time: that it was of no use to try to be religious--they had no time--that the overseer wouldn't let them meet to pray--and that even Uncle Solomon, when he prayed, had to keep one eye open all the time, to see if Huckstep was coming. Uncle Solomon could both read and write, and had brought out with him from Virginia a Bible, a hymn-book, and some other religious books, which he carefully concealed from the overseer, Huckstep was himself an open infidel as well as blasphemer. He used to tell the hands that there was no hell hereafter for white people, but that they had their punishment on earth in being obliged to take care of the negroes. As for the blacks, he was sure there was a hell for them. He used frequently to sit with his bottle by his side, and a Bible in his hand; and read passages and comment on them, and pronounce them lies. Any thing like religious feeling among the slaves irritated him. He said that so much praying and singing prevented the people from doing their tasks, as it kept them up nights, when they should be asleep. He used to mock, and in every possible way interrupt the poor slaves, who after the toil of the day, knelt in their lowly cabins to offer their prayers and supplications to Him whose ear is open to the sorrowful sighing of the prisoner, and who hath promised in His own time to come down and deliver. In his drunken seasons he would make excursions at night through the slave-quarters, enter the cabins, and frighten the inmates, especially if engaged in prayer or singing. On one of these occasions he came back rubbing his hands and laughing. He said he had found Uncle Solomon in his garden, down on his knees, praying like an old owl, and had tipped him over, and frightened him half out of his wits. At another time he found Uncle David sitting on his stool with his face thrust up the chimney, in order that his voice might not be heard by his brutal persecutor. He was praying, giving utterance to these words, probably in reference to his bondage:--"How long, oh, Lord, how long?" "As long as my whip!" cried the overseer, who had stolen behind him, giving him a blow. It was the sport of a demon.

Not long after my master had left us, the overseer ascertained for the first time that some of the hands could read, and that they had brought books with them from Virginia. He compelled them to give up the keys of their chests, and on searching found several Bibles and hymn-books. Uncle Solomon's chest contained quite a library, which he could read at night by the light of knots of the pitchpine. These books he collected together, and in the evening called Uncle Solomon into the house. After jeering him for some time, he gave him one of the Bibles and told him to name his text and preach him a sermon. The old man was silent. He then made him get up on the table, and ordered him to pray. Uncle Solomon meekly replied, that "forced prayer was not good for soul or body." The overseer then knelt down himself, and in a blasphemous manner, prayed that the Lord would send his spirit into Uncle Solomon; or else let the old man fall from the table and break his neck, and so have an end of "nigger preaching." On getting up from his knees he went to the cupboard, poured out a glass of brandy for himself, and brought another to the table. "James," said he, addressing me, "Uncle Solomon stands there, for all the world, like a Hickory Quaker. His spirit don't move. I'll see if another spirit wont move it." He compelled the old preacher to swallow the brandy; and then told him to preach and exhort, for the spirit was in him. He set one of the Bibles on fire, and after it was consumed, mixed up the ashes of it in a glass of water, and compelled the old man to drink it, telling him that as the spirit and the word were now both in him, there was no longer any excuse for not preaching. After tormenting the wearied old man in this way until nearly midnight he permitted him to go to his quarters.

The next day I saw Uncle Solomon, and talked with him about his treatment. He said it would not always be so--that slavery was to come to an end, for the Bible said so--that there would then be no more whippings and fightings, but the lion the lamb would lie down together, and all would be love. He said he prayed for Huckstep--that it was not he but the devil in him who behaved so. At his request, I found means to get him a Bible and a hymn-book from the overseer's room; and the old man ever afterwards kept them concealed in the hen-house.

The weeding season of 1836, was marked by repeated acts of cruelty on the part of Huckstep. One of the hands, Priscilla, was, owing to her delicate situation, unable to perform her daily task. He ordered her to be tied up against a tree, in the same manner that I had been. In this situation she was whipped until she was delivered of a dead infant, at the foot of the tree! Our men took her upon a sheet, and carried her to the house, where she lay sick for several months, but finally recovered. I have heard him repeatedly laugh at the circumstance.

Not long after this, we were surprised, one morning about ten o'clock, by hearing the horn blown at the house. Presently Aunt Polly came screaming into the field. "What is the matter, Aunty?" I inquired. "Oh Lor!" said she, "Old Huckstep's pitched off his horse and broke his head, and is e'en about dead."

"Thank God!" said little Simon, "The devil will have him at last."

"God-a-mighty be praised!" exclaimed half a dozen others.

The hands, with one accord dropped their hoes; and crowded round the old woman, asking questions. "Is he dead?"--"Will he die?" "Did you feel of him--was he cold?"

Aunt Polly explained as well as she could, that Huckstep, in a state of partial intoxication, had attempted to leap his horse over a fence, had fallen and cut a deep gash in his head, and that he was now lying insensible.

It is impossible to describe the effect produced by this news among the hands. Men, women and children shouted, clapped their hands, and laughed aloud. Some cursed the overseer, and others thanked the Lord for taking him away. Little Simon got down on his knees, and called loudly upon God to finish his work, and never let the overseer again enter a cotton field. "Let him die, Lord," said he, "let him. He's killed enough of us: Oh, good Lord, let him die and not live."

"Peace, peace! it is a bad spirit," said Uncle Solomon, "God himself willeth not the death of a sinner."

I followed the old woman to the house; and found Huckstep at the foot of one of those trees, so common at the South, called the Pride of China. His face was black, and there was a frightful contusion on the side of his head. He was carried into the house, where, on my bleeding him, he revived. He lay in great pain for several days, and it was nearly three weeks before he was able to come out to the cotton fields.

On returning to the field after Huckstep had revived, I found the hands sadly disappointed to hear that he was still living. Some of them fell to cursing and swearing, and were enraged with me for trying to save his life. Little Simon said I was a fool; if he had bled him he would have done it to some purpose. He would at least, have so disable his arm that he would never again try to swing a whip. Uncle Solomon remonstrated with Simon, and told that I had done right.

The neighbouring overseers used frequently to visit Huckstep, and he, in turn, visited them. I was sometimes present during their interviews, and heard them tell each other stories of horse-racing, negro-huntings, &c. Some time during this season, Ludlow, who was overseer of a plantation about eight miles from ours, told of a slave of his named Thornton, who had twice attempted to escape with his wife and one child. The first time he was caught without much difficulty, chained to the overseer's horse, and in that way brought back. The poor man, to save his wife from a beating, laid all the blame upon himself; and said that his wife had no wish to escape, and tried to prevent him from attempting it. He was severely whipped; but soon ran away again, and was again arrested. The overseer, Ludlow, said he was determined to put a stop to the runaway, and accordingly had resort to a somewhat unusual method of punishment.

There is a great scarcity of good water in that section of Alabama; and you will generally see a large cistern attached to the corners of the houses to catch water for washing &c. Underneath this cistern is frequently a tank from eight to ten feet deep, into which, when the former is full the water is permitted to run. From this tank the water is pumped out for use. Into one of these tanks the unfortunate slave was placed, and confined by one of his ancles to the bottom of it; and the water was suffered to flow in from above. He was compelled to pump out the water as fast as it came in, by means of a long rod or handle connected with the pump above ground. He was not allowed to begin until the water had risen to his middle. Any pause or delay after this, from weakness and exhaustion, would have been fatal, as the water would have risen above his head. In this horrible dungeon, toiling for his life, he was kept for twenty-four hours without any sustenance. Even Huckstep said that this was too bad--that he had himself formerly punished runaways in that way--but should not do it again.

I rejoice to be able to say that this sufferer has at last escaped with his wife and child, into a free state. He was assisted by some white men, but I do not know all the particulars of his escape.

Our overseer had not been long able to ride about the plantation after his accident, before his life was again endangered. He found two of the hands, Little Jarret and Simon, fighting with each other, and attempted to chastise both of them. Jarret bore it patiently, but Simon turned upon him, seized a stake or pin from a cart near by, and felled him to the ground. The overseer got up--went to the house, and told aunt Polly that he had nearly been killed by the 'niggers,' and requested her to tie up his head, from which the blood was streaming. As soon as this was done, he took down his gun, and went out in pursuit of Simon, who had fled to his cabin, to get some things which he supposed necessary previous to attempting his escape from the plantation. He was just stepping out of the door when he met the enraged overseer with his gun in his hand. Not a word was spoken by either. Huckstep raised his gun and fired. The man fell without a groan across the door-sill. He rose up twice on his hands and knees, but died in a few minutes. He was dragged off and buried. The overseer told me that there was no other way to deal with such a fellow. It was Alabama law, if a slave resisted to shoot him at once. He told me of a case which occurred in 1834, on a plantation about ten miles distant, and adjoining that where Crop, the negro hunter, boarded with his hounds. The overseer had bought some slaves at Selma, from a drove or coffle passing through the place. They proved very refractory. He whipped three of them, and undertook to whip a fourth who was from Maryland. The man raised his hoe in a threatening manner, and the overseer fired upon him. The slave fell, but instantly rose up on his hands and knees, and was beaten down again by the stock of the overseer's gun. The wounded wretch raised himself once more, drew a knife from the waistband of his pantaloons, and catching hold of the overseer's coat, raised himself high enough to inflict a fatal wound upon the latter. Both fell together, and died immediately after.

Nothing more of special importance occurred until July, of last year, when one of our men named John, was whipped three times for not performing his task. On the last day of the month, after his third whipping, he ran away. On the following morning, I found that he was missing at his row. The overseer said we must hunt him up; and he blew the "nigger horn," as it is called, for the dogs. This horn was only used when we went out in pursuit of fugitives. It is a cow's horn, and makes a short, loud sound. We crossed Flincher's and Goldsby's plantations, as the dogs had got upon John's track, and went of barking in that direction, and the two overseers joined us in the chase. The dogs soon caught sight of the runaway, and compelled him to climb a tree. We came up; Huckstep ordered him down, and secured him upon my horse by tying him to my back. On reaching home he was stripped entirely naked and lashed up to a tree. Flincher then volunteered to whip him on one side of his legs, and Goldsby on the other. I had, in the meantime, been ordered to prepare a wash of salt and pepper, and wash his wounds with it. The poor fellow groaned, and his flesh shrunk and quivered as the burning solution was applied to it. This wash, while it adds to the immediate torment of the sufferer, facilitates the cure of the wounded parts. Huckstep then whipped him from his neck down to his thighs, making the cuts lengthwise of his back. He was very expert with the whip, and could strike, at any time, within an inch of his mark. He then gave the whip to me and told me to strike directly across his back. When I had finished, the miserable sufferer, from his neck to his heel, was covered with blood and bruises. Goldsby and Flincher now turned to Huckstep, and told him, that I deserved a whipping as much as John did: that they had known me frequently disobey his orders, and that I was partial to the "Virginia ladies," and didn't whip them as I did the men. They said if I was a driver of theirs they would know what to do with me. Huckstep agreed with them; and after directing me to go to the house and prepare more of the wash for John's back, he called after me with an oath, to see to it that I had some for myself, for he meant to give me, at least, two hundred and fifty lashes. I returned to the house, and scarcely conscious of what I was doing, filled an iron vessel with water, put in the salt and pepper; and placed it over the embers.

As I stood by the fire watching the boiling of the mixture, and reflecting upon the dreadful torture to which I was about to he subjected, the thought of escape flashed upon my mind. The chance was a desperate one; but I resolved to attempt it. I ran up stairs, tied my shirt in a handkerchief, and stepped out of the back door of the house, telling Aunt Polly to take care of the wash at the fire until I returned. The sun was about one hour high, but luckily for me the hands as well as the three overseers, were on the other side of the house. I kept the house between them and myself, and ran as fast as I could for the woods. On reaching them I found myself obliged to proceed slowly as there was a thick undergrowth of cane and reeds. Night came on. I straggled forward by a dim star-light, amidst vines and reed beds. About midnight the horizon began to be overcast; and the darkness increased until in the thick forest, I could scarcely see a yard before me. Fearing that I might lose my way and wander towards the plantation, instead of from it, I resolved to wait until day. I laid down upon a little hillock, and fell asleep.

When I awoke it was broad day. The clouds had vanished, and the hot sunshine fell through the trees upon my face. I started up, realizing my situation, and darted onward. My object was to reach the great road by which we had travelled when we came out from Virginia. I had, however, very little hope of escape. I knew that a hot pursuit would be made after me, and what I most dreaded was, that the overseer would procure Crop's bloodhounds to follow my track. If only the hounds of our plantation were sent after me, I had hopes of being able to make friends of them, as they were always good-natured and obedient to me. I travelled until, as near as I could judge, about ten o'clock, when a distant sound startled me. I stopped and listened. It was the deep bay of the bloodhound, apparently at a great distance. I hurried on until I came to a creek about fifteen yards wide, skirted by an almost impenetrable growth of reeds and cane. Plunging into it, I swam across and ran down by the side of it a short distance, and, in order to baffle the dogs, swam back to the other side again. I stopped in the reed-bed and listened. The dogs seemed close at hand, and by the loud barking I felt persuaded that Crop's hounds were with them. I thought of the fate of Little John, who had been torn in pieces by the hounds, and of the scarcely less dreadful condition of those who had escaped the dogs only to fall into the hands of the overseer. The yell of the dogs grew louder. Escape seemed impossible. I ran down to the creek with a determination to drown myself. I plunged into the water and went down to the bottom; but the dreadful strangling sensation compelled me to struggle up to the surface. Again I heard the yell of the bloodhounds; and again desperately plunged down into the water. As I went down I opened my mouth, and, choked and gasping, I found myself once more struggling upward. As I rose to the top of the water and caught a glimpse of the sunshine and the trees, the love of life revived in me. I swam to the other side of the creek, and forced my way through the reeds to a large tree, and stood under one of its lowest limbs, ready in case of necessity, to spring up into it. Here panting and exhausted, I stood waiting for the dogs. The woods seemed full of them. I heard a bell tinkle, and, a moment after, our old hound Venus came bounding through the cane, dripping wet from the creek. As the old hound came towards me, I called to her as I used to do when out hunting with her. She stopped suddenly, looked up at me, and then came wagging her tail and fawning around me. A moment after the other dog came up hot in the chase, and with their noses to the ground. I called to them, but they did not look up, but came yelling on. I was just about to spring into the tree to avoid them when Venus the old hound met them, and stopped them. They then all came fawning and playing and jumping about me. The very creatures whom a moment before I had feared would tear me limb from limb, were now leaping and licking my hands, and rolling on the leaves around me. I listened awhile in the fear of hearing the voices of men following the dogs, but there was no sound in the forest save the gurgling of the sluggish waters of the creek, and the chirp of black squirrels in the trees. I took courage and started onward once more, taking the dogs with me. The bell on the neck of the old dog, I feared might betray me, and, unable to get it off her neck, I twisted some of the long moss of the trees around it, so as to prevent its ringing. At night I halted once more with the dogs by my side. Harassed with fear, and tormented with hunger, I laid down and tried to sleep. But the dogs were uneasy, and would start up and bark at the cries or the footsteps of wild animals, and I was obliged, to use my utmost exertions to keep them quiet, fearing that their barking would draw my pursuers upon me. I slept but little; and as soon as daylight, started forward again. The next day towards evening, I reached a great road which, I rejoiced to find, was the same which my master and myself had travelled on our way to Greene county. I now thought it best to get rid of the dogs, and accordingly started them in pursuit of a deer. They went off, yelling on the track, and I never saw them again. I remembered that my master told me, near this place, that we were in the Creek country, and that there were some Indian settlements not far distant. In the course of the evening I crossed the road, and striking into a path through the woods, soon came to a number of Indian cabins. I went into one of them and begged for some food. The Indian women received me with a great deal of kindness, and gave me a good supper of venison, corn bread, and stewed pumpkin. I remained with them till the evening of the next day, when I started afresh on my journey. I kept on the road leading to Georgia. In the latter part of the night I entered into a long low bottom, heavily timbered--sometimes called Wolf Valley. It was a dreary and frightful place. As I walked on, I heard on all sides the howling of the wolves, and the quick patter of their feet on the leaves and sticks, as they ran through the woods. At daylight I laid down, but had scarcely closed my eyes when I was roused up by the wolves snarling and howling around me. I started on my feet, and saw several of them running by me. I did not again close my eyes during the whole day. In the afternoon, a bear with her two cubs came to a large chestnut tree near where I lay. She crept up the tree, went out on one of the limbs, and broke off several twigs in trying to shake down the nuts. They were not ripe enough to fall, and, after several vain attempts to procure some of them, she crawled down the tree again and went off with her young.

The day was long and tedious. As soon as it was dark, I once more resumed my journey. But fatigue and the want of food and sleep rendered me almost incapable of further effort. It was not long before I fell asleep, while walking, and wandered out of the road. I was awakened by a bunch of moss which hung down from the limb of a tree and met my face. I looked up and saw, as I thought, a large man standing just before me. My first idea was that some one had struck me over the face, and that I had been at last overtaken by Huckstep. Rubbing my eyes once more, I saw the figure before me sink down upon its hands and knees. Another glance assured me that it was a bear and not a man. He passed across the road and disappeared. This adventure kept me awake for the remainder of the night. Towards morning I passed by a plantation, on which was a fine growth of peach trees, full of ripe fruit. I took as many of them as I could conveniently carry in my hands and pockets, and retiring a little distance into the woods, laid down and slept till evening, when I again went forward.

Sleeping thus by day and travelling by night, in a direction towards the North Star, I entered Georgia. As I only travelled in the night time, I was unable to recognize rivers and places which I had seen before until I reached Columbus, where I recollected I had been with my master. From this place I took the road leading to Washington, and passed directly through that village. On leaving the village, I found myself contrary to my expectation, in an open country with no woods in view. I walked on until day broke in the east. At a considerable distance ahead, I saw a group of trees, and hurried on towards it. Large and beautiful plantations were on each side of me, from which I could hear dogs bark, and the driver's horn sounding. On reaching the trees, I found that they afforded but a poor place of concealment. On either hand, through its openings, I could see the men turning out to the cotton fields. I found a place to lie down between two oak stumps, around which the new shoots had sprung up thickly, forming a comparatively close shelter. After eating some peaches, which since leaving the Indian settlement had constituted my sole food, I fell asleep. I was waked by the barking of a dog. Raising my head and looking through the bushes, I found that the dog was barking at a black squirrel who was chattering on a limb almost directly above me. A moment after, I heard a voice speaking to the dog, and soon saw a man with a gun in his hand, stealing through the wood. He passed close to the stumps, where I lay trembling with terror lest he should discover me. He kept his eye however upon the tree, and raising his gun, fired. The squirrel dropped dead close by my side. I saw that any further attempt at concealment would be in vain, and sprang upon my feet. The man started forward on seeing me, struck at me with his gun and beat my hat off. I leaped into the road; and he followed after, swearing he would shoot me if I didn't stop. Knowing that his gun was not loaded, I paid no attention to him, but ran across the road into a cotton field where there was a great gang of slaves working. The man with the gun followed, and called to the two colored drivers who were on horseback, to ride after me and stop me. I saw a large piece of woodland at some distance ahead, and directed my course towards it. Just as I reached it, I looked back, and saw my pursuer far behind me; and found, to my great joy, that the two drivers had not followed me. I got behind a tree, and soon heard the man enter the woods and pass me. After all had been still for more than an hour, I crept into a low place in the depth of the woods and laid down amidst a bed of reeds, where I again fell asleep. Towards evening, on awaking, I found the sky beginning to be cloudy, and before night set in it was completely overcast. Having lost my hat, I tied an old handkerchief over my head, and prepared to resume my journey. It was foggy and very dark, and involved as I was in the mazes of the forest, I did not know in what direction I was going. I wandered on until I reached a road, which I supposed to be the same one which I had left. The next day the weather was still dark and rainy, and continued so for several days. During this time I slept only by leaning against the body of a tree, as the ground was soaked with rain. On the fifth night after my adventure near Washington, the clouds broke away, and the clear moonlight and the stars shone down upon me.

I looked up to see the North Star, which I supposed still before me. But I sought it in vain in all that quarter of the heavens. A dreadful thought came over me that I had been travelling out of my way. I turned round and saw the North Star, which had been shining directly upon my back. I then knew that I had been travelling away from freedom, and towards the place of my captivity ever since I left the woods into which I had been pursued on the 21st, five days before. Oh, the keen and bitter agony of that moment! I sat down on the decaying trunk of a fallen tree, and wept like a child. Exhausted in mind and body, nature came at last to my relief, and I fell asleep upon the log. When I awoke it was still dark. I rose and nerved myself for another effort for freedom. Taking the North Star for my guide, I turned upon my track, and left once more the dreaded frontiers of Alabama behind me. The next night, after crossing the one on which I travelled, and which seemed to lead more directly towards the North. I took this road, and the next night after, I came to a large village. Passing through the main street, I saw a large hotel which I at once recollected. I was in Augusta, and this was the hotel at which my master had spent several days when I was with him, on one of his southern visits. I heard the guards patrolling the town cry the hour of twelve; and fearful of being taken up, I turned out of the main street, and got upon the road leading to Petersburg. On reaching the latter place, I swam over the Savannah river into South Carolina, and from thence passed into North Carolina.

Hitherto I had lived mainly upon peaches, which were plenty on almost all the plantations in Alabama and Georgia; but the season was now too far advanced for them, and I was obliged to resort to apples. These I obtained without much difficulty until within two or three days journey of the Virginia line. At this time I had had nothing to eat but two or three small and sour apples for twenty-four hours, and I waited impatiently for night, in the hope of obtaining fruit from the orchards along the road. I passed by several plantations, but found no apples. After midnight, I passed near a large house, with fruit trees around it. I searched under, and climbed up and shook several of them to no purpose. At last I found a tree on which there were a few apples. On shaking it, half a dozen fell. I got down, and went groping and feeling about for them in the grass, but could find only two, the rest were devoured by several hogs who were there on the same errand with myself. I pursued my way until day was about breaking, when I passed another house. The feeling of extreme hunger was here so intense, that it required all the resolution I was master of to keep myself from going, up to the house and breaking into it in search of food. But the thought of being again made a slave, and of suffering the horrible punishment of a runaway restrained me. I lay in the worlds all that day without food. The next evening, I soon found a large pile of excellent apples, from which I supplied myself.

The next evening I reached Halifax Court House, and I then knew that I was near Virginia. On the 7th of October, I came to the Roanoke, and crossed it in the midst of a violent storm of rain and thunder. The current ran so furiously that I was carried down with it, and with great difficulty, and in a state of complete exhaustion, reached the opposite shore.

At about 2 o'clock, on the night of the 15th, I approached Richmond, but not daring to go into the city at that hour, on account of the patrols, I lay in the woods near Manchester, until the next evening, when I started in the twilight, in order to enter before the setting of the watch. I passed over the bridge unmolested, although in great fear, as my tattered clothes and naked head were well calculated to excite suspicion; and being well acquainted with the localities of the city, made my way to the house of a friend. I was received with the utmost kindness, and welcomed as one risen from the dead. Oh, how inexpressibly sweet were the tones of human sympathy, after the dreadful trials to which I had been subjected--the wrongs and outrages which I witnessed and suffered! For between two and three months I had not spoken with a human being, and the sound even of my own voice now seemed strange to my ears. During this time, save in two or three instances I had tasted of no food except peaches and apples. I was supplied with some dried meat and coffee, but the first mouthful occasioned nausea and faintness. I was compelled to take my bed, and lay sick for several days. By the assiduous attention and kindness of my friends, I was supplied with every thing which was necessary during my sickness. I was detained in Richmond nearly a month. As soon as I had sufficiently recovered to be able to proceed on my journey, I bade my kind host and his wife an affectionate farewell, and set forward once more towards a land of freedom. I longed to visit my wife and children in Powhatan county, but the dread of being discovered prevented me from attempting it. I had learned from my friends in Richmond that they were living and in good health, but greatly distressed on my account.

My friends had provided me with a fur cap, and with as much lean ham, cake and biscuit, as I could conveniently carry. I proceeded in the same way as before, travelling by night and lying close and sleeping by day. About the last of November I reached the Shenandoah river. It was very cold; ice had already formed along the margin, and in swimming the river I was chilled through; and my clothes froze about me soon after I had reached the opposite side. I passed into Maryland, and on the 5th of December, stepped across the line which divided the free state of Pennsylvania from the land of slavery.

I had a few shillings in money which were given me at Richmond, and after travelling nearly twenty-four hours from the time I crossed the line, I ventured to call at a tavern, and buy a dinner. On reaching Carlisle, I enquired of the ostler in a stable if he knew of any one who wished to hire a house servant or coachman. He said he did not. Some more colored people came in, and taking me aside told me that they knew that I was from Virginia, by my pronunciation of certain words--that I was probably a runaway slave--but that I need not be alarmed, as they were friends, and would do all in their power to protect me. I was taken home by one of them, and treated with the utmost kindness; and at night he took me in a wagon, and carried me some distance on my way to Harrisburg, where he said I should meet with friends.

He told me that I had better go directly to Philadelphia, as there would be less danger of my being discovered and retaken there than in the country, and there were a great many persons there who would exert themselves to secure me from the slaveholders. In parting he cautioned me against conversing or stopping with any man on the road, unless he wore a plain, straight collar on a round coat, and said, "thee," and "thou." By following his directions I arrived safely in Philadelphia, having been kindly entertained and assisted on my journey, by several benevolent gentlemen and ladies, whose compassion for the wayworn and hunted stranger I shall never forget, and whose names will always be dear to me. On reaching Philadelphia, I was visited by a large number of the Abolitionists, and friends of the colored people, who, after hearing my story, thought it would not be safe for me to remain in any part of the United States. I remained in Philadelphia a few days; and then a gentleman came on to New-York with me, I being considered on board the steam-boat, and in the cars, as his servant. I arrived at New-York, on the 1st of January. The sympathy and kindness which I have every where met with since leaving the slave states, has been the more grateful to me because it was in a great measure unexpected. The slaves are always told that if they escape into a free state, they will be seized and put in prison, until their masters send for them. I had heard Huckstep and the other overseers occasionally speak of the Abolitionists, but I did not know or dream that they were the friends of the slave. Oh, if the miserable men and women, now toiling on the plantations of Alabama, could know that thousands in the free states are praying and striving for their deliverance, how would the glad tidings be whispered from cabin to cabin, and how would the slave-mother as she watches over her infant, bless God, on her knees, for the hope that this child of her day of sorrow, might never realize in stripes, and toil, and grief unspeakable, what it is to be a slave?

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This Narrative can he had at the Depository of the American Anti-Slavery Society, No 143 Nassau Street, New York, in a neat volume, 108 pp. 12mo., embellished with an elegant and accurate steel engraved likeness of James Williams, price 25 cts. single copy, $17 per hundred.

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NO. 7



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This periodical contains 4 sheets.--Postage under 100 miles, 6 cents; over 100 miles, 10 cents.

ENTERED, according to the act of Congress, in the year 1838, by JOHN RANKIN, Treasurer, of the American, Anti-Slavery Society, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

Price $12 50 per hundred copies, 18-3/4 cents single copy, in sheets: $13 25 per hundred, and 20 cents single, if stitched.

NOTE.--This work is published in this cheap form, to give it a wide circulation. Please, after perusal, to send it to some friend.

This work, as originally published, can be had at the Depository of the American Anti-Slavery Society, No. 143, Nassau Street, New York, on fine paper, handsomely bound, in a volume of 489 pages, price one dollar per copy, $75 per hundred.

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Geography and Statistics of the Island,--Reflections on arrival,--Interview with Clergymen,--with the Governor,--with a member of Assembly, --Sabbath,--Service at the Moravian Chapel,--Sabbath School,--Service at the Episcopal Church,--Service at the Wesleyan Chapel,--Millar's Estate,--Cane-holing,--Colored planter,--Fitch's Creek Estate,--Free Villages,--Dinner at the Governor's,--Donovan's Estate,--Breakfast at Mr. Watkins,--Dr. Ferguson,--Market,--Lockup house,--Christmas Holidays,--Colored Population,--Thibou Jarvis's Estate,--Testimony of the Manager,--Anniversary of the Friendly Society,--A negro patriarch,--Green Castle Estate,--Testimony of the Manager,--Anniversary of the Juvenile Association,--Wetherill Estate,--Testimony of the Manager,--Conversation with a boatman,--Moravian station at Newfield,--Testimony of the Missionaries,--School for Adults,--Interview with the Speaker of the Assembly,--Moravian "Speaking,"--Conversation with Emancipated Slaves,--The Rector of St. Philip's,--Frey's Estate,--Interview with the American Consul,--Sabbath at Millar's,--Breakfast at the Villa Estate,--A Fair,--Breakfast at Mr. Cranstoun's,--His Testimony,--Moravian Station at Cedar Hall,--Conversation with Emancipated Slaves,--Moravian Station at Grace Bay,--Testimony of the Missionaries,--Grandfather Jacob,--Mr. Scotland's Estate.--A day at Fitch's Creek,--Views of the Manager,--A call from the Archdeacon,--from Rev. Edward Fraser,--Wesleyan District Meeting,--Social interviews with the Missionaries,--Their Views and Testimony,--Religious Anniversaries,--Temperance Society,--Bible Society,--Wesleyan Missionary Society.--Resolution of the Meeting,--Laying the Corner Stone of a Wesleyan Chapel,--Resolutions of the Missionaries.






Religion,--Statistics of Denominations,--Morality,--Reverence for the Lord's Day,--Marriage,--Conjugal faithfulness,--Concubinage decreasing,--Temperance,--Profane Language rare,--Statistics of the Bible Society,--Missionary Associations,--Temperance Societies,--Friendly Societies,--Daily Meal Society,--Distressed Females' Friend Society,--Education,--Annual Examination of the Parochial School,--Infant Schools in the Country,--Examination at Parham,--at Willoughby Bay,--Mr. Thwaite's Replies to Queries on Education,--Great Ignorance before Emancipation,--Aptness of the Negroes to learn,--Civil and Political Condition of the Emancipated.






IMMEDIATE ABOLITION--an immense change to the condition of the Slave,--Adopted from Political and Pecuniary Considerations,--Went into operation peaceably,--gave additional security to Persons and Property,--Is regarded by all as a great blessing to the Island,--Free, cheaper than Slave labor,--More work done, and better done, since Emancipation,--Freemen more easily managed than Slaves,--The Emancipated more Trustworthy than when Slaves,--They appreciate and reverence Law,--They stay at home and mind their own business,--Are less "insolent" than when Slaves,--Gratitude a strong trait of their character,--Emancipation has elevated them,--It has raised the price of Real Estate, given new life to Trade, and to all kinds of business,--Wrought a total change in the views of the Planters,--Weakened Prejudice against Color,--The Discussions preceding Emancipation restrained Masters from Cruelties,--Concluding Remarks.




Passage to Barbadoes,--Bridgetown,--Visit to the Governor,--To the Archdeacon,--Lear's Estate,--Testimony of the Manager,--Dinner Party at Lear's,--Ride to Scotland,--The Red Shanks,--Sabbath at Lear's; Religious Service,--Tour to the Windward,--Breakfast Party at the Colliton Estate,--Testimony to the Working of the Apprenticeship,--The Working of it in Demerara,--The Codrington Estate,--Codrington College,--The "Horse,"--An Estate on Fire,--The Ridge Estate; Dinner with a Company of Planters,--A Day at Colonel Ashby's; his Testimony to the Working of the Apprenticeship,--Interviews with Planters; their Testimony,--The Belle Estate,--Edgecombe Estate; Colonel Barrow,--Horton Estate,--Drax Hall Estate,--Dinner Party at the Governor's,--Testimony concerning the Apprenticeship,--Market People,--Interview with Special Justice Hamilton; his Testimony,--Station House, District A; Trials of Apprentices before Special Magistrate Colthurst,--Testimony of the Superintendent of the Rural Police,--Communication from Special Justice Colthurst,--Communication from Special Justice Hamilton,--Testimony of Clergymen and Missionaries,--Curate of St. Paul's,--A FREE Church,--A Sabbath School Annual Examination,--Interview with Episcopal Clergymen; their Testimony,--Visit to Schools,--Interview with the Superintendent of the Wesleyan Mission,--Persecution of the Methodists by Slaveholders,--The Moravian Mission,--Colored Population,--Dinner Party at Mr. Harris's,--Testimony concerning the objects of our Mission,--A New Englander,--History of an Emancipated Slave,--Breakfast Party at Mr. Thorne's,--Facts and Testimony concerning Slavery and the Apprenticeship,--History of an Emancipated Slave,--Breakfast Party at Mr. Prescod's,--Character and History of the late Editor of the New Times,--Breakfast Party at Mr. Bourne's,--Prejudice,--History and Character of an Emancipated Slave,--Prejudice, vincible,--Concubinage,--Barbadoes as it was; "Reign of Terror;"--Testimony; Cruelties,--Insurrection of 1816,--Licentiousness,--Prejudice--Indolence and Inefficiency of the Whites,--Hostility to Emancipation,--Barbadoes as it is,--The Apprenticeship System; Provisions respecting the Special Magistrates,--Provisions respecting the Master,--Provisions respecting the Apprentice,--The Design of the Apprenticeship,--Practical Operation of the Apprenticeship,--Sympathy of the Special Magistrates with the Masters,--Apprenticeship, modified Slavery,--Vexatious to the Master,--No Preparation for Freedom,--Begets hostility between Master and Apprentice,--Has illustrated the Forbearance of the Negroes,--Its tendency to exasperate them,--Testimony to the Working of the Apprenticeship in the Windward Islands generally.




Sketch of its Scenery,--Interview with the Attorney General,--The Solicitor General; his Testimony,--The American Consul; his Testimony,--The Superintendent of the Wesleyan Missions,--The Baptist Missionaries; Sabbath; Service in a Baptist Chapel,--Moravians; Episcopalians; Scotch Presbyterians,--Schools in Kingston,--Communication from the Teacher of the Wolmer Free School; Education; Statistics,--The Union School,--"Prejudice Vincible,"--Disabilities and Persecutions of Colored People,--Edward Jordan, Esq.,--Colored Members of Assembly,--Richard Hill, Esq.,--Colored Artisans and Merchants in Kingston,--Police Court of Kingston,--American Prejudice in the "limbos,"--"Amalgamation!"--St. Andrew's House of Correction; Tread-mill,--Tour through "St. Thomas in the East,"--Morant Bay; Local Magistrate; his lachrymal forebodings,--Proprietor of Green Wall Estate; his Testimony,--Testimony of a Wesleyan Missionary,--Belvidere Estate; Testimony of the Manager,--Chapel built by Apprentices,--House of Correction,--Chain-Gang,--A call from Special Justice Baines; his Testimony,--Bath,--Special Justice's Office; his Testimony,--"Alarming Rebellion,"--Testimony of a Wesleyan Missionary,--Principal of the Mico Charity School; his Testimony,--Noble instance of Filial Affection in a Negro Girl,--Plantain Garden River Valley; Alexander Barclay, Esq.,--Golden Grove Estate; Testimony of the Manager,--The Custos of the Parish; his Testimony,--Amity Hall Estate; Testimony of the Manager,--Lord Belmore's Prophecy,--Manchioneal; Special Magistrate Chamberlain; his Testimony,--his Weekly Court,--Pro slavery gnashings,--Visit with the Special Magistrate to the Williamsfield Estate; Testimony of the Manager,--Oppression of Book-keepers,--Sabbath; Service at a Baptist Chapel,--Interview with Apprentices; their Testimony,--Tour through St. Andrew's and Port Royal,--Visit to Estates in company with Special Justice Bourne,--White Emigrants to Jamaica,--Dublin Castle Estate; Special Justice Court,--A Despot in convulsions; arbitrary power dies hard,--Encounter with Mules in a mountain pass,--Silver Hill Estate; cases tried; Appraisement of an Apprentice,--Peter's Rock Estate,--Hall's Prospect Estate,--Female Traveling Merchant,--Negro Provision Grounds,--Apprentices eager to work for Money,--Jury of Inquest,--Character of Overseers,--Conversation with Special Justice Hamilton,--With a Proprietor of Estates and Local Magistrate; Testimony,--Spanishtown,--Richard Hill, Esq., Secretary of the Special Magistracy,--Testimony of Lord Sligo concerning him,--Lord Sligo's Administration; its independence and impartiality,--Statements of Mr. Hill,--Statements of Special Justice Ramsey,--Special Justice's Court,--Baptist Missionary at Spanishtown; his Testimony,--Actual Working of the Apprenticeship; no Insurrection; no fear of it; no Increase of Crime; Negroes improving; Marriage increased; Sabbath better kept; Religious Worship better attended; Law obeyed,--Apprenticeship vexatious to both parties,--Atrocities perpetrated by Masters and Magistrates,--Causes of the ill-working of the Apprenticeship--Provisions of the Emancipation Act defeated by Planters and Magistrates,--The present Governor a favorite with the Planters,--Special Justice Palmer suspended by him,--Persecution of Special Justice Bourne,--Character of the Special Magistrates,--Official Cruelty; Correspondence between a Missionary and Special Magistrate,--Sir Lionel Smith's Message to the House of Assembly,--Causes of the Diminished Crops since Emancipation,--Anticipated Consequences of full Emancipation in 1840,--Examination of the grounds of such anticipations,--Views of Missionaries and Colored People, Magistrates and Planters;--Concluding Remarks.




Official Communication from Special Justice Lyon,--Communication from the Solicitor General of Jamaica,--Communication from Special Justice Colthurst,--Official Returns of the Imports and Exports of Barbadoes,--Valuations of Apprentices in Jamaica,--Tabular View of the Crops in Jamaica for fifty-three years preceding 1836; Comments of the Jamaica Watchman on the foregoing Table,--Comments of the Spanishtown Telegraph,--Brougham's Speech in Parliament.







It is hardly possible that the success of British West India Emancipation should be more conclusively proved, than it has been by the absence among us of the exultation which awaited its failure. So many thousands of the citizens of the United States, without counting slaveholders, would not have suffered their prophesyings to be falsified, if they could have found whereof to manufacture fulfilment. But it is remarkable that, even since the first of August, 1834, the evils of West India emancipation on the lips of the advocates of slavery, or, as the most of them nicely prefer to be termed, the opponents of abolition, have remained in the future tense. The bad reports of the newspapers, spiritless as they have been compared with the predictions, have been traceable, on the slightest inspection, not to emancipation, but to the illegal continuance of slavery, under the cover of its legal substitute. Not the slightest reference to the rash act, whereby the thirty thousand slaves of Antigua were immediately "turned loose," now mingles with the croaking which strives to defend our republican slavery against argument and common sense.

The Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, deemed it important that the silence which the pro-slavery press of the United States has seemed so desirous to maintain in regard to what is strangely enough termed the "great experiment of freedom," should be thoroughly broken up by a publication of facts and testimony collected on the spot. To this end, REV. JAMES A. THOME, and JOSEPH H. KIMBALL, ESQ., were deputed to the West Indies to make the proper investigations. Of their qualifications for the task, the subsequent pages will furnish the best evidence: it is proper, however, to remark, that Mr. Thome is thoroughly acquainted with our own system of slavery, being a native and still a resident of Kentucky, and the son of a slaveholder, (happily no longer so,) and that Mr. Kimball is well known as the able editor of the Herald of Freedom, published at Concord, New Hampshire.

They sailed from New York, the last of November, 1836, and returned early in June, 1837. They improved a short stay at the Danish island of St. Thomas, to give a description of slavery as it exists there, which, as it appeared for the most part in the anti-slavery papers, and as it is not directly connected with the great question at issue, has not been inserted in the present volume. Hastily touching at some of the other British islands, they made Antigua, Barbadoes, and Jamaica, successively the objects of their deliberate and laborious study--as fairly presenting the three grand phases of the "experiment"--Antigua, exemplifying immediate unrestricted abolition; Barbadoes, the best working of the apprenticeship, and Jamaica the worst. Nine weeks were spent in Antigua, and the remainder of their time was divided between the other two islands.

The reception of the delegates was in the highest degree favorable to the promotion of their object, and their work will show how well they have used the extraordinary facilities afforded them. The committee have, in some instances, restored testimonials which their modesty led them to suppress, showing in what estimation they themselves, as well as the object of their mission, were held by some of the most distinguished persons in the islands which they visited.

So wide was the field before them, and so rich and various the fruit to be gathered, that they were tempted to go far beyond the strength supplied by the failing health they carried with them. Most nobly did they postpone every personal consideration to the interests of the cause, and the reader will, we think, agree with us, that they have achieved a result which undiminished energies could not have been expected to exceed--a result sufficient, if any thing could be, to justify the sacrifice it cost them. We regret to add that the labors and exposures of Mr. Kimball, so far prevented his recovery from the disease[A] which obliged him to resort to a milder climate, or perhaps we should say aggravated it, that he has been compelled to leave to his colleague, aided by a friend, nearly the whole burden of preparing for the press--which, together with the great labor of condensing from the immense amount of collected materials, accounts for the delay of the publication. As neither Mr. Thome nor Mr. Kimball were here while the work was in the press, it is not improbable that trivial errors have occurred, especially in the names of individuals.

[Footnote A: We learn that Mr. Kimball closed his mortal career at Pembroke, N.H. April 12th, in the 25th year of his age. Very few men in the Anti-Slavery cause have been more distinguished, than this lamented brother, for the zeal, discretion and ability with which he has advocated the cause of the oppressed. "Peace to the memory of a man of worth!"]

It will be perceived that the delegates rest nothing of importance on their own unattested observation. At every point they are fortified by the statements of a multitude of responsible persons in the islands, whose names, when not forbidden, they leave taken the liberty to use in behalf of humanity. Many of these statements were given in the handwriting of the parties, and are in the possession of the Executive Committee. Most of these island authorities are as unchallengeable on the score of previous leaning towards abolitionism, as Mr. McDuffie of Mr. Calhoun would be two years hence, if slavery were to be abolished throughout the United States tomorrow.

Among the points established in this work, beyond the power of dispute or cavil, are the following:

1. That the act of IMMEDIATE EMANCIPATION in Antigua, was not attended with any disorder whatever.

2. That the emancipated slaves have readily, faithfully, and efficiently worked for wages from the first.

3. That wherever there has been any disturbance in the working of the apprenticeship, it has been invariably by the fault of the masters, or of the officers charged with the execution of the "Abolition Act."

4. That the prejudice of caste is fast disappearing in the emancipated islands.

5. That the apprenticeship was not sought for by the planters as a preparation for freedom.

6. That no such preparation was needed.

7. That the planters who have fairly made the "experiment," now greatly prefer the new system to the old.

8. That the emancipated people are perceptibly rising in the scale of civilization, morals, and religion.

From these established facts, reason cannot fail to make its inferences in favor of the two and a half millions of slaves in our republic. We present the work to our countrymen who yet hold slaves, with the utmost confidence that its perusal will not leave in their minds a doubt, either of the duty or perfect safety of immediate emancipation, however it may fail to persuade their hearts--which God grant it may not!

By order of the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

New York, April 28th, 1838.


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1. The words 'Clergy' and 'Missionary' are used to distinguish between the ministers of the English or Scotch church, and those of all other denominations.

2. The terms 'church' and 'chapel' denote a corresponding distinction in the places of worship, though the English Church have what are technically called 'chapels of ease!'

3. 'Manager' and 'overseer' are terms designating in different islands the same station. In Antigua and Barbadoes, manager is the word in general use, in Jamaica it is overseer--both meaning the practical conductor or immediate superintendent of an estate. In our own country, a peculiar odium is attached to the latter term. In the West Indies, the station of manager or overseer is an honorable one; proprietors of estates, and even men of rank, do not hesitate to occupy it.

4. The terms 'colored' and 'black' or 'negro' indicate a distinction long kept up in the West Indies between the mixed blood and the pure negro. The former as a body were few previous to the abolition act; and for this reason chiefly we presume the term of distinction was originally applied to them. To have used these terms interchangeably in accordance with the usage in the United States, would have occasioned endless confusion in the narrative.

5. 'Praedial' and 'non-praedial' are terms used in the apprenticeship colonies to mark the difference between the agricultural class and the domestic; the former are called praedials, the latter non-praedials.


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(Compiled from recent authentic documents.)


British Colonies. White. Slave. F. Col'd. Total.
Anguilla 365 2,388 357 3,110
Antigua[A] 1,980 29,839 3,895 35,714
Bahamas 4,240 9,268 2,991 16,499
Barbadoes 15,000 82,000 5,100 102,100
Berbicel 550 21,300 1,150 23,000
Bermuda[A] 3,900 4,600 740 9,240
Cape of Good Hope[B] 43,000 35,500 29,000 107,500
Demerara[B] 3,000 70,000 6,400 79,400
Dominica 850 15,400 3,600 19,850
Grenada 800 24,000 2,800 27,600
Honduras[B] 250 2,100 2,300 4,650
Jamaica 37,000 323,000 55,000 415,000
Mauritius[B] 8,000 76,000 15,000 99,000
Montserrat 330 6,200 800 7,330
Nevis 700 6,600 2,000 9,300
St. Christophers,St. Kitts 1,612 19,310 3,000 23,922
St. Lucia[B] 980 13,600 3,700 18,280
St. Vincent 1,300 23,500 2,800 27,600
Tobago 320 12,500 1,200 14,020
Tortola 480 5,400 1,300 7,180
Trinidad[B] 4,200 24,000 16,000 44,200
Virgin Isles 800 5,400 600 6,800
Total 131,257 831,105 162,733 1,125,095

[Footnote A: These islands adopted immediate emancipation, Aug 1, 1834.]

[Footnote B: These are crown colonies, and have no local legislature.]








Antigua is about eighteen miles long and fifteen broad; the interior is low and undulating, the coast mountainous. From the heights on the coast the whole island may be taken in at one view, and in a clear day the ocean can be seen entirely around the land, with the exception of a few miles of cliff in one quarter. The population of Antigua is about 37,000, of whom 30,000 are negroes--lately slaves--4500 are free people of color, and 2500 are whites.

The cultivation of the island is principally in sugar, of which the average annual crop is 15,000 hogsheads. Antigua is one of the oldest of the British West India colonies, and ranks high in importance and influence. Owing to the proportion of proprietors resident in the Island, there is an accumulation of talent, intelligence and refinement, greater, perhaps, than in any English colony, excepting Jamaica.

Our solicitude on entering the Island of Antigua was intense. Charged with a mission so nearly concerning the political and domestic institutions of the colony, we might well be doubtful as to the manner of our reception. We knew indeed that slavery was abolished, that Antigua had rejected the apprenticeship, and adopted entire emancipation. We knew also, that the free system had surpassed the hopes of its advocates. But we were in the midst of those whose habits and sentiments had been formed under the influences of slavery, whose prejudices still clinging to it might lead them to regard our visit with indifference at least, if not with jealousy. We dared not hope for aid from men who, not three years before, were slaveholders, and who, as a body, strenuously resisted the abolition measure, finally yielding to it only because they found resistance vain.

Mingled with the depressing anxieties already referred to, were emotions of pleasure and exultation, when we stepped upon the shores of an unfettered isle. We trod a soil from which the last vestige of slavery had been swept away! To us, accustomed as we were to infer the existence of slavery from the presence of a particular hue, the numbers of negroes passing to and fro, engaged in their several employments, denoted a land of oppression; but the erect forms, the active movements, and the sprightly countenances, bespoke that spirit of disinthrallment which had gone abroad through Antigua.

On the day of our arrival we had an interview with the Rev. James Cox, the superintendent of the Wesleyan mission in the island. He assured us that we need apprehend no difficulty in procuring information, adding, "We are all free here now; every man can speak his sentiments unawed. We have nothing to conceal in our present system; had you come here as the advocates of slavery you might have met with a very different reception."

At the same time we met the Rev. N. Gilbert, a clergyman of the English Church, and proprietor of an estate. Mr. G. expressed the hope that we might gather such facts during our stay in the island, as would tend effectually to remove the curse of slavery from the United States. He said that the failure of the crops, from the extraordinary drought which was still prevailing, would, he feared, be charged by persons abroad to the new system. "The enemies of freedom," said he, "will not ascribe the failure to the proper cause. It will be in vain that we solemnly declare, that for more than thirty years the island has not experienced such a drought. Our enemies will persist in laying all to the charge of our free system; men will look only at the amount of sugar exported, which will be less than half the average. They will run away with this fact, and triumph over it as the disastrous consequence of abolition."

On the same day we were introduced to the Rev. Bennet Harvey, the principal of the Moravian mission, to a merchant, an agent for several estates, and to an intelligent manager. Each of these gentlemen gave us the most cordial welcome, and expressed a warm sympathy in the objects of our visit. On the following day we dined, by invitation, with the superintendent of the Wesleyan mission, in company with several missionaries. Freedom in Antigua was the engrossing and delightful topic. They rejoiced in the change, not merely from sympathy with the disinthralled negroes, but because it had emancipated them from a disheartening surveillance, and opened new fields of usefulness. They hailed the star of freedom "with exceeding great joy," because it heralded the speedy dawning of the Sun of Righteousness.

We took an early opportunity to call on the Governor, whom we found affable and courteous. On learning that we were from the United States, he remarked, that he entertained a high respect for our country, but its slavery was a stain upon the whole nation. He expressed his conviction that the instigators of northern mobs must be implicated in some way, pecuniary or otherwise, with slavery. The Governor stated various particulars in which Antigua had been greatly improved by the abolition of slavery. He said, the planters all conceded that emancipation had been a great blessing to the island, and he did not know of a single individual who wished to return to the old system.

His excellency proffered us every assistance in his power, and requested his secretary--a colored gentleman--to furnish us with certain documents which he thought would be of service to us. When we rose to leave, the Governor followed us to the door, repeating the advice that we should "see with our own eyes, and hear with our own ears." The interest which his Excellency manifested in our enterprise, satisfied us that the prevalent feeling in the island was opposed to slavery, since it was a matter well understood that the Governor's partialities, if he had any, were on the side of the planters rather than the people.

On the same day we were introduced to a barrister, a member of the assembly and proprietor of an estate. He was in the assembly at the time the abolition act was under discussion. He said that it was violently opposed, until it was seen to be inevitable. Many were the predictions made respecting the ruin which would be brought upon the colony; but these predictions had failed, and abolition was now regarded as the salvation of the island.





The morning of our first Sabbath in Antigua came with that hushed stillness which marks the Sabbath dawn in the retired villages of New England. The arrangements of the family were conducted with a studied silence that indicated habitual respect for the Lord's day. At 10 o'clock the streets were filled with the church-going throng. The rich rolled along in their splendid vehicles with liveried outriders and postillions. The poor moved in lowlier procession, yet in neat attire, and with the serious air of Christian worshippers. We attended the Moravian service. In going to the chapel, which is situated on the border of the town, we passed through and across the most frequented streets. No persons were to be seen, excepting those whose course was toward some place of worship. The shops were all shut, and the voices of business and amusement were hushed. The market place, which yesterday was full of swarming life, and sent forth a confused uproar, was deserted and dumb--not a straggler was to be seen of all the multitude.

On approaching the Moravian chapel we observed the negroes, wending their way churchward, from the surrounding estates, along the roads leading into town.

When we entered the chapel the service had begun, and the people were standing, and repeating their liturgy. The house, which was capable of holding about a thousand persons, was filled. The audience were all black and colored, mostly of the deepest Ethiopian hue, and had come up thither from the estates, where once they toiled as slaves, but now as freemen, to present their thank-offerings unto Him whose truth and Spirit had made them free. In the simplicity and tidiness of their attire, in its uniformity and freedom from ornament, it resembled the dress of the Friends. The females were clad in plain white gowns, with neat turbans of cambric or muslin on their heads. The males were dressed in spencers, vests, and pantaloons, all of white. All were serious in their demeanor, and although the services continued more than two hours, they gave a wakeful attention to the end. Their responses in the litany were solemn and regular.

Great respect was paid to the aged and infirm. A poor blind man came groping his way, and was kindly conducted to a seat in an airy place. A lame man came wearily up to the door, when one within the house rose and led him to the seat he himself had just occupied. As we sat facing the congregation, we looked around upon the multitude to find the marks of those demoniac passions which are to strew carnage through our own country when its bondmen shall be made free. The countenances gathered there, bore the traces of benevolence, of humility, of meekness, of docility, and reverence; and we felt, while looking on them, that the doers of justice to a wronged people "shall surely dwell in safety and be quiet from fear of evil."

After the service, we visited the Sabbath school. The superintendent was an interesting young colored man. We attended the recitation of a Testament class of children of both sexes from eight to twelve. They read, and answered numerous questions with great sprightliness.

In the afternoon we attended the Episcopal church, of which the Rev. Robert Holberton is rector. We here saw a specimen of the aristocracy of the island. A considerable number present were whites,--rich proprietors with their families, managers of estates, officers of government, and merchants. The greater proportion of the auditory, however, were colored people and blacks. It might be expected that distinctions of color would be found here, if any where;--however, the actual distinction, even in this the most fashionable church in Antigua, amounted only to this, that the body pews on each side of the broad aisle were occupied by the whites, the side pews by the colored people, and the broad aisle in the middle by the negroes. The gallery, on one side, was also appropriated to the colored people, and on the other to the blacks. The finery of the negroes was in sad contrast with the simplicity we had just seen at the Moravian chapel. Their dresses were of every color and style; their hats were of all shapes and sizes, and fillagreed with the most tawdry superfluity of ribbons. Beneath these gaudy bonnets were glossy ringlets, false and real, clustering in tropical luxuriance. This fantastic display was evidently a rude attempt to follow the example set them by the white aristocracy.

The choir was composed chiefly of colored boys, who were placed on the right side of the organ, and about an equal number of colored girls on the left. In front of the organ were eight or ten white children. The music of this colored, or rather "amalgamated" choir, directed by a colored chorister, and accompanied by a colored organist, was in good taste.

In the evening, we accompanied a friend to the Wesleyan chapel, of which the Rev. James Cox is pastor. The minister invited us to a seat within the altar, where we could have a full view of the congregation. The chapel was crowded. Nearly twelve hundred persons were present. All sat promiscuously in respect of color. In one pew was a family of whites, next a family of colored persons, and behind that perhaps might be seen, side by side, the ebon hue of the negro, the mixed tint of the mulatto, and the unblended whiteness of the European. Thus they sat in crowded contact, seemingly unconscious that they were outraging good taste, violating natural laws, and "confounding distinctions of divine appointment!" In whatever direction we turned, there was the same commixture of colors. What to one of our own countrymen whose contempt for the oppressed has defended itself with the plea of prejudice against color, would have been a combination absolutely shocking, was to us a scene as gratifying as it was new.

On both sides, the gallery presented the same unconscious blending of colors. The choir was composed of a large number, mostly colored, of all ages. The front seats were filled by children of various ages--the rear, of adults, rising above these tiny choristers, and softening the shrillness of their notes by the deeper tones of mature age.

The style of the preaching which we heard on the different occasions above described, so far as it is any index to the intelligence of the several congregations, is certainly a high commendation. The language used, would not offend the taste of any congregation, however refined.

On the other hand, the fixed attention of the people showed that the truths delivered were understood and appreciated.

We observed, that in the last two services the subject of the present drought was particularly noticed in prayer.

The account here given is but a fair specimen of the solemnity and decorum of an Antigua sabbath.





Early in the week after our arrival, by the special invitation of the manager, we visited this estate. It is situated about four miles from the town of St. John's.

The smooth MacAdamized road extending across the rolling plains and gently sloping hill sides, covered with waving cane, and interspersed with provision grounds, contributed with the fresh bracing air of the morning to make the drive pleasant and animating.

At short intervals were seen the buildings of the different estates thrown together in small groups, consisting of the manager's mansion and out-houses, negro huts, boiling house, cooling houses, distillery, and windmill. The mansion is generally on an elevated spot, commanding a view of the estate and surrounding country. The cane fields presented a novel appearance--being without fences of any description. Even those fields which lie bordering on the highways, are wholly unprotected by hedge, ditch, or rails. This is from necessity. Wooden fences they cannot have, for lack of timber. Hedges are not used, because they are found to withdraw the moisture from the canes. To prevent depredations, there are watchmen on every estate employed both day and night. There are also stock keepers employed by day in keeping the cattle within proper grazing limits. As each estate guards its own stock by day and folds them by night, the fields are in little danger.

We passed great numbers of negroes on the road, loaded with every kind of commodity for the town market. The head is the beast of burthen among the negroes throughout the West Indies. Whatever the load, whether it be trifling or valuable, strong or frail, it is consigned to the head, both for safe keeping and for transportation. While the head is thus taxed, the hands hang useless by the side, or are busied in gesticulating, as the people chat together along the way. The negroes we passed were all decently clad. They uniformly stopped as they came opposite to us, to pay the usual civilities. This the men did by touching their hats and bowing, and the women, by making a low courtesy, and adding, sometimes, "howdy, massa," or "mornin', massa." We passed several loaded wagons, drawn by three, four, or five yoke of oxen, and in every instance the driver, so far from manifesting any disposition "insolently" to crowd us off the road, or to contend for his part of it, turned his team aside, leaving us double room to go by, and sometimes stopping until we had passed.

We were kindly received at Millar's by Mr. Bourne, the manager. Millar's is one of the first estates in Antigua. The last year it made the largest sugar crop on the island. Mr. B. took us before breakfast to view the estate. On the way, he remarked that we had visited the island at a very unfavorable time for seeing the cultivation of it, as every thing was suffering greatly from the drought. There had not been a single copious rain, such as would "make the water run," since the first of March previous. As we approached the laborers, the manager pointed out one company of ten, who were at work with their hoes by the side of the road, while a larger one of thirty were in the middle of the field. They greeted us in the most friendly manner. The manager spoke kindly to them, encouraging them to be industrious He stopped a moment to explain to us the process of cane-holing. The field is first ploughed[A] in one direction, and the ground thrown up in ridges of about a foot high. Then similar ridges are formed crosswise, with the hoe, making regular squares of two-feet-sides over the field. By raising the soil, a clear space of six inches square is left at the bottom. In this space the plant is placed horizontally, and slightly covered with earth. The ridges are left about it, for the purpose of conducting the rain to the roots, and also to retain the moisture. When we came up to the large company, they paused a moment, and with a hearty salutation, which ran all along the line, bade us "good mornin'," and immediately resumed their labor. The men and women were intermingled; the latter kept pace with the former, wielding their hoes with energy and effect. The manager addressed them for a few moments, telling them who we were, and the object of our visit. He told them of the great number of slaves in America, and appealed to them to know whether they would not be sober, industrious, and diligent, so as to prove to American slaveholders the benefit of freeing all their slaves. At the close of each sentence, they all responded, "Yes, massa," or "God bless de massas," and at the conclusion, they answered the appeal, with much feeling, "Yes, massa; please God massa, we will all do so." When we turned to leave, they wished to know what we thought of their industry. We assured them that we were much pleased, for which they returned their "thankee, massa." They were working at a job. The manager had given them a piece of ground "to hole," engaging to pay them sixteen dollars when they had finished it. He remarked that he had found it a good plan to give jobs. He obtained more work in this way than he did by giving the ordinary wages, which is about eleven cents per day. It looked very much like slavery to see the females working in the field; but the manager said they chose it generally "for the sake of the wages." Mr. B. returned with us to the house, leaving the gangs in the field, with only an aged negro in charge of the work, as superintendent. Such now is the name of the overseer. The very terms, driver and overseer, are banished from Antigua; and the whip is buried beneath the soil of freedom.

[Footnote A: In those cases where the plough is used at all. It is not yet generally introduced throughout the West Indies. Where the plough is not used, the whole process of holing is done with the hoe, and is extremely laborious]

When we reached the house we were introduced to Mr. Watkins, a colored planter, whom Mr. B. had invited to breakfast with us. Mr. Watkins was very communicative, and from him and Mr. B., who was equally free, we obtained information on a great variety of points, which we reserve for the different heads to which they appropriately belong.





From Millar's we proceeded to Fitch's Creek Estate, where we had been invited to dine by the intelligent manager, Mr. H. Armstrong. We three met several Wesleyan missionaries. Mr. A. is himself a local preacher in the Wesleyan connection. When a stranger visits an estate in the West Indies, almost the first thing is an offer from the manager to accompany him through the sugar works. Mr. A. conducted us first to a new boiling house, which he was building after a plan of his own devising. The house is of brick, on a very extensive scale. It has been built entirely by negroes--chiefly those belonging to the estate who were emancipated in 1834. Fitch's Creek Estate is one of the largest on the Island, consisting of 500 acres, of which 300 are under cultivation. The number of people employed and living on the property is 260. This estate indicates any thing else than an apprehension of approaching ruin. It presents the appearance, far more, of a resurrection, from the grave. In addition to his improved sugar and boiling establishment, he has projected a plan for a new village, (as the collection of negro houses is called,) and has already selected the ground and begun to build. The houses are to be larger than those at present in use, they are to be built of stone instead of mud and sticks, and to be neatly roofed. Instead of being huddled together in a bye place, as has mostly been the case, they are to be built on an elevated site, and ranged at regular intervals around three sides of a large square, in the centre of which a building for a chapel and school house is to be erected. Each house is to have a garden. This and similar improvements are now in progress, with the view of adding to the comforts of the laborers, and attaching them to the estate. It has become the interest of the planter to make it for the interest of the people to remain on his estate. This mutual interest is the only sure basis of prosperity on the one hand and of industry on the other.

The whole company heartily joined in assuring us that a knowledge of the actual working of abolition in Antigua, would be altogether favorable to the cause of freedom, and that the more thorough our knowledge of the facts in the case, the more perfect would be our confidence in the safety of IMMEDIATE emancipation.

Mr. A. said that the spirit of enterprise, before dormant, had been roused since emancipation, and planters were now beginning to inquire as to the best modes of cultivation, and to propose measures of general improvement. One of these measures was the establishing of free villages, in which the laborers might dwell by paying a small rent. When the adjacent planters needed help they could here find a supply for the occasion. This plan would relieve the laborers from some of that dependence which they must feel so long as they live on the estate and in the houses of the planters. Many advantages of such a system were specified. We allude to it here only as an illustration of that spirit of inquiry, which freedom has kindled in the minds of the planters.

No little desire was manifested by the company to know the state of the slavery question in this country. They all, planters and missionaries, spoke in terms of abhorrence of our slavery, our snobs, our prejudice, and our Christianity. One of the missionaries said it would never do for him to go to America, for he should certainly be excommunicated by his Methodist brethren, and Lynched by the advocates of slaver. He insisted that slaveholding professors and ministers should be cut off from the communion of the Church.

As we were about to take leave, the proprietor of the estate rode up, accompanied by the governor, who he had brought to see the new boiling-house, and the other improvements which were in progress. The proprietor reside in St. John's, is a gentleman of large fortune, and a member of the assembly. He said he would be happy to aid us in any way--but added, that in all details of a practical kind, and in all matters of fact, the planters were the best witnesses, for they were the conductors of the present system. We were glad to obtain the endorsement of an influential proprietor to the testimony of practical planters.



On the following day having received a very courteous invitation[A] from the governor, to dine at the government house, we made our arrangements to do so. The Hon. Paul Horsford, a member of the council, called during the day, to say, that he expected to dine with us at the government house and that he would be happy to call for us at the appointed hour, and conduct us thither. At six o'clock Mr. H.'s carriage drove up to our door, and we accompanied him to the governor's, where we were introduced to Col. Jarvis, a member of the privy council, and proprietor of several estates in the island, Col. Edwards, a member of the assembly and a barrister, Dr. Musgrave, a member of the assembly, and Mr. Shiel, attorney general. A dinner of state, at a Governor's house, attended by a company of high-toned politicians, professional gentlemen, and proprietors, could hardly be expected to furnish large accessions to our stock of information, relating to the object of our visit. Dinner being announced, we were hardly seated at the table when his excellency politely offered to drink a glass of Madeira with us. We begged leave to decline the honor. In a short time he proposed a glass of Champaign--again we declined. "Why, surely, gentlemen," exclaimed the Governor, "you must belong to the temperance society." "Yes, sir, we do." "Is it possible? but you will surely take a glass of liqueur?" "Your excellency must pardon us if we again decline the honor; we drink no wines." This announcement of ultra temperance principles excited no little surprise. Finding that our allegiance to cold water was not to be shaken, the governor condescended at last to meet us on middle ground, and drink his wine to our water.

[Footnote A: We venture to publish the note in which the governor conveyed his invitation, simply because, though a trifle in itself, it will serve to show the estimation in which our mission was held.

"If Messrs. Kimball and Thome are not engaged Tuesday next, the Lieut. Governor will be happy to see them at dinner, at six o'clock, when he will endeavor to facilitate their philanthropic inquiries, by inviting two or three proprietors to met them."

"Government House, St. John's, Dec. 18th, 1836." ]

The conversation on the subject of emancipation served to show that the prevailing sentiment was decidedly favorable to the free system. Col. Jarvis, who is the proprietor of three estates, said that he was in England at the time the bill for immediate emancipation passed the legislature. Had he been in the island he should have opposed it; but now he was glad it had prevailed. The evil consequences which he apprehended had not been realized, and he was now confident that they never would be.

As to prejudice against the black and colored people, all thought it was rapidly decreasing--indeed, they could scarcely say there was now any such thing. To be sure, there was an aversion among the higher classes of the whites, and especially among females, to associating in parties with colored people; but it was not on account of their color, but chiefly because of their illegitimacy. This was to us a new source of prejudice: but subsequent information fully explained its bearings. The whites of the West Indies are themselves the authors of that illegitimacy, out of which their aversion springs. It is not to be wondered at that they should be unwilling to invite the colored people to their social parties, seeing they might not unfrequently be subjected to the embarrassment of introducing to their white wives a colored mistress or an illegitimate daughter. This also explains the special prejudice which the ladies of the higher classes feel toward those among whom are their guilty rivals in a husband's affections, and those whose every feature tells the story of a husband's unfaithfulness!

A few days after our dinner with the governor and his friends, we took breakfast, by invitation, with Mr. Watkins, the colored planter whom we had the pleasure of meeting at Millar's, on a previous occasion. Mr. W. politely sent in his chaise for us, a distance of five miles, At an early hour we reached Donovan's, the estate of which he is manager. We found the sugar works in active operation: the broad wings of the windmill were wheeling their stately revolutions, and the smoke was issuing in dense volumes from the chimney of the boiling house. Some of the negroes were employed in carrying cane to the mill, others in carrying away the trash or megass, as the cane is called after the juice is expressed from it. Others, chiefly the old men and women, were tearing the megass apart, and strewing it on the ground to dry. It is the only fuel used for boiling the sugar.

On entering the house we found three planters whom Mr. W. had invited to breakfast with us. The meeting of a number of intelligent practical planters afforded a good opportunity for comparing their views. On all the main points, touching the working of freedom, there was a strong coincidence.

When breakfast was ready, Mrs. W. entered the room, and after our introduction to her, took her place at the head of the table. Her conversation was intelligent, her manners highly polished, and she presided at the table with admirable grace and dignity.

On the following day, Dr. Ferguson, of St. John's, called on us. Dr. Ferguson is a member of the assembly, and one of the first physicians in the island. The Doctor said that freedom had wrought like a magician, and had it not been for the unprecedented drought, the island would now be in a state of prosperity unequalled in any period of its history. Dr. F. remarked that a general spirit of improvement was pervading the island. The moral condition of the whites was rapidly brightening; formerly concubinage was respectable; it had been customary for married men--those of the highest standing--to keep one or two colored mistresses. This practice was now becoming disreputable. There had been a great alteration as to the observance of the Sabbath; formerly more business was done in St. John's on Sunday, by the merchants, than on all the other days of the week together. The mercantile business of the town had increased astonishingly; he thought that the stores and shops had multiplied in a ratio of ten to one. Mechanical pursuits were likewise in a flourishing condition. Dr. F. said that a greater number of buildings had been erected since emancipation, than had been put up for twenty years before. Great improvements had also been made in the streets and roads in town and country.



SATURDAY.--This is the regular market-day here. The negroes come from all parts of the island; walking sometimes ten or fifteen miles to attend the St. John's market. We pressed our way through the dense mass of all hues, which crowded the market. The ground was covered with wooden trays filled with all kinds of fruits, grain, vegetables, fowls, fish, and flesh. Each one, as we passed, called attention to his or her little stock. We passed up to the head of the avenue, where men and women were employed in cutting up the light fire-wood which they had brought from the country on their heads, and in binding it into small bundles for sale. Here we paused a moment and looked down upon the busy multitude below. The whole street was a moving mass. There were broad Panama hats, and gaudy turbans, and uncovered heads, and heads laden with water pots, and boxes, and baskets, and trays--all moving and mingling in seemingly inextricable confusion. There could not have been less than fifteen hundred people congregated in that street--all, or nearly all, emancipated slaves. Yet, amidst all the excitements and competitions of trade, their conduct toward each other was polite and kind. Not a word, or look, or gesture of insolence or indecency did we observe. Smiling countenances and friendly voices greeted us on every side, and we felt no fears either of having our pockets picked or our throats cut!

At the other end of the market-place stood the Lock-up House, the Cage, and the Whipping Post, with stocks for feet and wrists. These are almost the sole relics of slavery which still linger in the town. The Lock-up House is a sort of jail, built of stone--about fifteen feet square, and originally designed as a place of confinement for slaves taken up by the patrol. The Cage is a smaller building, adjoining the former, the sides of which are composed of strong iron bars--fitly called a cage! The prisoner was exposed to the gaze and insult of every passer by, without the possibility of concealment. The Whipping Post is hard by, but its occupation is gone. Indeed, all these appendages of slavery have gone into entire disuse, and Time is doing his work of dilapidation upon them. We fancied we could see in the marketers, as they walked in and out at the doorless entrance of the Lock-up House, or leaned against the Whipping Post, in careless chat, that harmless defiance which would prompt one to beard the dead lion.

Returning from the market we observed a negro woman passing through the street, with several large hat boxes strung on her arm. She accidentally let one of them fall. The box had hardly reached the ground, when a little boy sprang from the back of a carriage rolling by, handed the woman the box, and hastened to remount the carriage.



During the reign of slavery, the Christmas holidays brought with them general alarm. To prevent insurrections, the militia was uniformly called out, and an array made of all that was formidable in military enginery. This custom was dispensed with at once, after emancipation. As Christmas came on the Sabbath, it tested the respect for that day. The morning was similar, in all respects, to the morning of the Sabbath described above; the same serenity reigning everywhere--the same quiet in the household movements, and the same tranquillity prevailing through the streets. We attended morning service at the Moravian chapel. Notwithstanding the descriptions we had heard of the great change which emancipation had wrought in the observance of Christmas, we were quite unprepared for the delightful reality around us. Though thirty thousand slaves had but lately been "turned loose" upon a white population of less than three thousand! instead of meeting with scenes of disorder, what were the sights which greeted our eyes? The neat attire, the serious demeanor, and the thronged procession to the place of worship. In every direction the roads leading into town were lined with happy beings--attired for the house of God. When groups coming from different quarters met at the corners, they stopped a moment to exchange salutations and shake hands, and then proceeded on together.

The Moravian chapel was slightly decorated with green branches. They were the only adorning which marked the plain sanctuary of a plain people. It was crowded with black and colored people, and very many stood without, who could not get in. After the close of the service in the chapel, the minister proceeded to the adjacent school room, and preached to another crowded audience. In the evening the Wesleyan chapel was crowded to overflowing. The aisles and communion place were full. On all festivals and holidays, which occur on the Sabbath, the churches and chapels are more thronged than on any other Lord's day.

It is hardly necessary to state that there was no instance of a dance or drunken riot, nor wild shouts of mirth during the day. The Christmas, instead of breaking in upon the repose of the Sabbath, seemed only to enhance the usual solemnity of the day.

The holidays continued until the next Wednesday morning, and the same order prevailed to the close of them. On Monday there were religious services in most of the churches and chapels, where sabbath-school addresses, discourses on the relative duties of husband and wife, and on kindred subjects, were delivered.

An intelligent gentleman informed us that the negroes, while slaves, used to spend during the Christmas holidays, the extra money which they got during the year. Now they save it--to buy small tracts of land for their own cultivation.

The Governor informed us that the police returns did not report a single case of arrest during the holidays. He said he had been well acquainted with the country districts of England, he had also travelled extensively in Europe, yet he had never found such a peaceable, orderly, and law-abiding people as those of Antigua.

An acquaintance of nine weeks with the colored population of St. John's, meeting them by the wayside, in their shops, in their parlors, and elsewhere, enables us to pronounce them a people of general intelligence, refinement of manners, personal accomplishments, and true politeness. As to their style of dress and mode of living, were we disposed to make any criticism, we should say that they were extravagant. In refined and elevated conversation, they would certainly bear a comparison with the white families of the island.


After the Christmas holidays were over, we resumed our visits to the country. Being provided with a letter to the manager of Thibou Jarvis's estate, Mr. James Howell, we embraced the earliest opportunity to call on him. Mr. H. has been in Antigua for thirty-six years, and has been a practical planter during the whole of that time. He has the management of two estates, on which there are more than five hundred people. The principal items of Mr. Howell's testimony will be found in another place. In this connection we shall record only miscellaneous statements of a local nature.

1. The severity of the drought. He had been in Antigua since the year 1800, and he had never known so long a continuance of dry weather, although the island is subject to severe droughts. He stated that a field of yams, which in ordinary seasons yielded ten cart-loads to the acre, would not produce this year more than three. The failure in the crops was not in the least degree chargeable upon the laborers, for in the first place, the cane plants for the present crop were put in earlier and in greater quantities than usual, and until the drought commenced, the fields promised a large return.

2. The religious condition of the negroes, during slavery, was extremely low. It seemed almost impossible to teach them any higher religion than obedience to their masters. Their highest notion of God was that he was a little above their owner. He mentioned, by way of illustration, that the slaves of a certain large proprietor used to have this saying, "Massa only want he little finger to touch God!" that is, their master was lower than God only by the length of his little finger. But now the religious and moral condition of the people was fast improving.

3. A great change in the use of rum had been effected on the estates under his management since emancipation. He formerly, in accordance with the prevalent custom, gave his people a weekly allowance of rum, and this was regarded as essential to their health and effectiveness. But he has lately discontinued this altogether, and his people had not suffered any inconvenience from it. He gave them in lieu of the rum, an allowance of molasses, with which they appeared to be entirely satisfied. When Mr. H. informed the people of his intention to discontinue the spirits, he told them that he should set them the example of total abstinence, by abandoning wine and malt liquor also, which he accordingly did.

4. There had been much less pretended sickness among the negroes since freedom. They had now a strong aversion to going to the sick house[A], so much so that on many estates it had been put to some other use.

[Footnote A: The estate hospital, in which, during slavery, all sick persons were placed for medical attendance and nursing. There was one on every estate.]

We were taken through the negro village, and shown the interior of several houses. One of the finest looking huts was decorated with pictures, printed cards, and booksellers' advertisements in large letters. Amongst many ornaments of this kind, was an advertisement not unfamiliar to our eyes--"THE GIRL'S OWN BOOK. BY MRS. CHILD."

We generally found the women at home. Some of them had been informed of our intention to visit them, and took pains to have every thing in the best order for our reception. The negro village on this estate contains one hundred houses, each of which is occupied by a separate family. Mr. H. next conducted us to a neighboring field, where the great gang[B] were at work. There were about fifty persons in the gang--the majority females--under two inspectors or superintendents, men who take the place of the quondam drivers, though their province is totally different. They merely direct the laborers in their work, employing with the loiterers the stimulus of persuasion, or at farthest, no more than the violence of the tongue.

[Footnote B: The people on most estates are divided into three gangs; first, the great gang, composed of the principal effective men and women; second, the weeding gang, consisting of younger and weekly persons; and third, the grass gang, which embraces all the children able to work.]

Mr. H. requested them to stop their work, and told them who we were, and as we bowed, the men took off their hats and the women made a low courtesy. Mr. Howell then informed them that we had come from America, where there were a great many slaves: that we had visited Antigua to see how freedom was working, and whether the people who were made free on the first of August were doing well--and added, that he "hoped these gentlemen might be able to carry back such a report as would induce the masters in America to set their slaves free." They unanimously replied, "Yes, massa, we hope dem will gib um free." We spoke a few words: told them of the condition of the slaves in America, urged them to pray for them that they might be patient under their sufferings, and that they might soon be made free. They repeatedly promised to pray for the poor slaves in America. We then received their hearty "Good bye, massa," and returned to the house, while they resumed their work.

We took leave of Mr. Howell, grateful for his kind offices in furtherance of the objects of our mission.

We had not been long in Antigua before we perceived the distress of the poor from the scarcity of water. As there are but few springs in the island, the sole reliance is upon rain water. Wealthy families have cisterns or tanks in their yards, to receive the rain from the roofs. There are also a few public cisterns in St. John's. These ordinarily supply the whole population. During the present season many of these cisterns have been dry, and the supply of water has been entirely inadequate to the wants of the people. There are several large open ponds in the vicinity of St. John's, which are commonly used to water "stock." There are one or more on every estate, for the same purpose. The poor people were obliged to use the water from these ponds both for drinking and cooking while we were in Antigua. In taking our morning walks, we uniformly met the negroes either going to, or returning from the ponds, with their large pails balanced on their heads, happy apparently in being able to get even such foul water.

Attended the anniversary of the "Friendly Society," connected with the church in St. John's. Many of the most respectable citizens, including the Governor, were present. After the services in the church, the society moved in procession to the Rectory school-room. We counted one hundred males and two hundred and sixty females in the procession. Having been kindly invited by the Rector to attend at the school-room, we followed the procession. We found the house crowded with women, many others, besides those in the procession, having convened. The men were seated without under a canvass, extended along one side of the house. The whole number present was supposed to be nine hundred. Short addresses were made by the Rector, the Archdeacon, and the Governor.

The Seventh Annual Report of the Society, drawn up by the secretary, a colored man, was read. It was creditable to the author. The Rector in his address affectionally warned the society, especially the female members, against extravagance in dress.

The Archdeacon exhorted them to domestic and conjugal faithfulness. He alluded to the prevalence of inconstancy during past years, and to the great improvement in this particular lately; and concluded by wishing them all "a happy new-year and many of them, and a blessed immortality in the end." For this kind wish they returned a loud and general "thankee, massa."

The Governor then said, that he rose merely to remark, that this society might aid in the emancipation of millions of slaves, now in bondage in other countries. A people who are capable of forming such societies as this among themselves, deserve to be free, and ought no longer to be held in bondage. You, said he, are showing to the world what the negro race are capable of doing. The Governor's remarks were received with applause. After the addresses the audience were served with refreshments, previous to which the Rector read the following lines, which were sung to the tune of Old Hundred, the whole congregation standing.


"Lord at our table now appear
  And bless us here, as every where;
 Let manna to our souls be given,
   The bread of life sent down from heaven."


The simple refreshment was then handed round. It consisted merely of buns and lemonade. The Governor and the Rector, each drank to the health and happiness of the members. The loud response came up from all within and all around the house--"thankee--thankee--thankee--massa--thankee good massa." A scene of animation ensued. The whole concourse of black, colored and white, from the humblest to the highest, from the unlettered apprentice to the Archdeacon and the Governor of the island, joined in a common festivity.

After the repast was concluded, thanks were returned in the following verse, also sung to Old Hundred.


"We thank thee, Lord, for this our food,
  But bless thee more for Jesus' blood;
Let manna to our souls be given,
  The bread of life sent down from heaven."


The benediction was pronounced, and the assembly retired.

There was an aged negro man present, who was noticed with marked attention by the Archdeacon, the Rector and other clergymen. He is sometimes called the African Bishop. He was evidently used to familiarity with the clergy, and laid his hand on their shoulders as he spoke to them. The old patriarch was highly delighted with the scene. He said, when he was young he "never saw nothing, but sin and Satan. Now I just begin to live."

On the same occasion the Governor remarked to us that the first thing to be done in our country, toward the removal of slavery, was to discard the absurd notion that color made any difference, intellectually or morally, among men. "All distinctions," said he, "founded in color, must be abolished everywhere. We should learn to talk of men not as colored men, but as MEN as fellow citizens and fellow subjects." His Excellency certainly showed on this occasion a disposition to put in practice his doctrine. He spoke affectionately to the children, and conversed freely with the adults.



According to a previous engagement, a member of the assembly called and took us in his carriage to Green Castle estate.

Green Castle lies about three miles south-east from St. John's, and contains 940 acres. The mansion stands on a rocky cliff; overlooking the estate, and commanding a wide view of the island. In one direction spreads a valley, interspersed with fields of sugar-cane and provisions. In another stretches a range of hills, with their sides clad in culture, and their tops covered with clouds. At the base of the rock are the sugar Houses. On a neighboring upland lies the negro village, in the rear of which are the provision grounds. Samuel Bernard, Esq., the manager, received us kindly. He said, he had been on the island forty-four years, most of the time engaged in the management of estates. He is now the manager of two estates, and the attorney for six, and has lately purchased an estate himself. Mr. B. is now an aged man, grown old in the practice of slave holding. He has survived the wreck of slavery, and now stripped of a tyrant's power, he still lives among the people, who were lately his slaves, and manages an estate which was once his empire. The testimony of such a man is invaluable. Hear him.

1. Mr. B. said, that the negroes throughout the island were very peaceable when they received their freedom.

2. He said he had found no difficulty in getting his people to work after they had received their freedom. Some estates had suffered for a short time; there was a pretty general fluctuation for a month or two, the people leaving one estate and going to another. But this, said Mr. B., was chargeable to the folly of the planters, who overbid each other in order to secure the best hands and enough of them. The negroes had a strong attachment to their homes, and they would rarely abandon them unless harshly treated.

3. He thought that the assembly acted very wisely in rejecting the apprenticeship. He considered it absurd. It took the chains partly from off the slave, and fastened them on the master, and enslaved them both. It withdrew from the latter the power of compelling labor, and it supplied to the former no incentive to industry.

He was opposed to the measures which many had adopted for further securing the benefits of emancipation.--He referred particularly to the system of education which now prevailed. He thought that the education of the emancipated negroes should combine industry with study even in childhood, so as not to disqualify the taught for cultivating the ground. It will be readily seen that this prejudice against education, evidently the remains of his attachment to slavery, gives additional weight to his testimony.

The Mansion on the Rock (which from its elevated and almost inaccessible position, and from the rich shrubbery in perpetual foliage surrounding it, very fitly takes the name of Green Castle) is memorable as the scene of the murder of the present proprietor's grandfather. He refused to give his slaves holiday on a particular occasion. They came several times in a body and asked for the holiday, but he obstinately refused to grant it. They rushed into his bedroom, fell upon him with their hoes, and killed him.

On our return to St. John's, we received a polite note from a colored lady, inviting us to attend the anniversary of the "Juvenile Association," at eleven o'clock. We found about forty children assembled, the greater part of them colored girls, but some were white. The ages of these juvenile philanthropists varied from four to fourteen. After singing and prayer, the object of the association was stated, which was to raise money by sewing, soliciting contributions, and otherwise, for charitable purposes.

From the annual report it appeared that this was the twenty-first anniversary of the society. The treasurer reported nearly £60 currency (or about $150) received and disbursed during the year. More than one hundred dollars had been given towards the erection of the new Wesleyan chapel in St. John's. Several resolutions were presented by little misses, expressive of gratitude to God for continued blessings, which were adopted unanimously--every child holding up its right hand in token of assent.

After the resolutions and other business were despatched, the children listened to several addresses from the gentlemen present. The last speaker was a member of the assembly. He said that his presence there was quite accidental; but that he had been amply repaid for coming by witnessing the goodly work to which this juvenile society was engaged. As there was a male branch association about to be organized, he begged the privilege of enrolling his name as an honorary member, and promised to be a constant contributor to its funds. He concluded by saying, that though he had not before enjoyed the happiness of attending their anniversaries, he should never again fail to be present (with the permission of their worthy patroness) at the future meetings of this most interesting society. We give the substance of this address, as one of the signs of the times. The speaker was a wealthy merchant of St. John's.

This society was organized in 1815. The first proposal came from a few little colored girls, who, after hearing a sermon on the blessedness of doing good, wanted to know whether they might not have a society for raising money to give to the poor.

This Juvenile Association has, since its organization, raised the sum of fourteen hundred dollars! Even this little association has experienced a great impulse from the free system. From a table of the annual receipts since 1815, we found that the amount raised the two last years, is nearly equal to that received during any three years before.


On our return from Thibou Jarvis's estate, we called at Weatherill's; but the manager, Dr. Daniell, not being at home, we left our names, with an intimation of the object of our visit. Dr. D. called soon after at our lodgings. As authority, he is unquestionable. Before retiring from the practice of medicine, he stood at the head of his profession in the island. He is now a member of the council, is proprietor of an estate, manager of another, and attorney for six.

The fact that such men as Dr. D., but yesterday large slaveholders, and still holding high civil and political stations, should most cheerfully facilitate our anti-slavery investigations, manifesting a solicitude to furnish us with all the information in their power, is of itself the highest eulogy of the new system. The testimony of Dr. D. will be found mainly in a subsequent part of the work. We state, in passing, a few incidentals. He was satisfied that immediate emancipation was better policy than a temporary apprenticeship. The apprenticeship was a middle state--kept the negroes in suspense--vexed and harrassed them--fed them on a starved hope; and therefore they would not be so likely, when they ultimately obtained freedom, to feel grateful, and conduct themselves properly. The reflection that they had been cheated out of their liberty for six years would sour their minds. The planters in Antigua, by giving immediate freedom, had secured the attachment of their people.

The Doctor said he did not expect to make more than two thirds of his average crop; but he assured us that this was owing solely to the want of rain. There had been no deficiency of labor. The crops were in, in season, throughout the island, and the estates were never under better cultivation than at the present time. Nothing was wanting but RAIN--RAIN.

He said that the West India planters were very anxious to retain the services of the negro population.

Dr. D. made some inquiries as to the extent of slavery in the United States, and what was doing for its abolition. He thought that emancipation in our country would not be the result of a slow process. The anti-slavery feeling of the civilized world had become too strong to wait for a long course of "preparations" and "ameliorations." And besides, continued he, "the arbitrary control of a master can never be a preparation for freedom;--sound and wholesome legal restraints are the only preparative."

The Doctor also spoke of the absurdity and wickedness of the caste of color which prevailed in the United States. It was the offspring of slavery, and it must disappear when slavery is abolished.


We had a conversation one morning with a boatman, while he was rowing us across the harbor of St. John's. He was a young negro man. Said he was a slave until emancipation. We inquired whether he heard any thing about emancipation before it took place. He said, yes--the slaves heard of it, but it was talked about so long that many of them lost all believement in it, got tired waiting, and bought their freedom; but he had more patience, and got his for nothing. We inquired of him, what the negroes did on the first of August, 1834. He said they all went to church and chapel. "Dare was more religious on dat day dan you could tire of." Speaking of the law, he said it was his friend. If there was no law to take his part, a man, who was stronger than he, might step up and knock him down. But now no one dare do so; all were afraid of the law,--the law would never hurt any body who behaved well; but a master would slash a fellow, let him do his best.


Drove out to Newfield, a Moravian station, about eight miles from St. John's. The Rev. Mr. Morrish, the missionary at that station, has under his charge two thousand people. Connected with the station is a day school for children, and a night school for adults twice in each week.

We looked in upon the day school, and found one hundred and fifteen children. The teacher and assistant were colored persons. Mr. M. superintends. He was just dismissing the school, by singing and prayer, and the children marched out to the music of one of their little songs. During the afternoon, Mr. Favey, manager of a neighboring estate, (Lavicount's,) called on us.

He spoke of the tranquillity of the late Christmas holidays. They ended Tuesday evening, and his people were all in the field at work on Wednesday morning--there were no stragglers. Being asked to specify the chief advantages of the new system over slavery, he stated at once the following things: 1st. It (free labor) is less expensive. 2d. It costs a planter far less trouble to manage free laborers, than it did to manage slaves. 3d. It had removed all danger of insurrection, conflagration, and conspiracies.


In the evening, Mr. Morrish's adult school for women was held. About thirty women assembled from different estates--some walking several miles. Most of them were just beginning to read. They had just begun to learn something about figures, and it was no small effort to add 4 and 2 together. They were incredibly ignorant about the simplest matters. When they first came to the school, they could not tell which was their right arm or their right side, and they had scarcely mastered that secret, after repeated showing. We were astonished to observe that when Mr. M. asked them to point to their cheeks, they laid their finger upon their chins. They were much pleased with the evolutions of a dumb clock, which Mr. M. exhibited, but none of them could tell the time of day by it. Such is a specimen of the intelligence of the Antigua negroes. Mr. M. told us that they were a pretty fair sample of the country negroes generally. It surely cannot be said that they were uncommonly well prepared for freedom; yet with all their ignorance, and with the merest infantile state of intellect, they prove the peaceable subjects of law. That they have a great desire to learn, is manifest from their coming such distances, after working in the field all day. The school which they attend has been established since the abolition of slavery.

The next morning, we visited the day school. It was opened with singing and prayer. The children knelt and repeated the Lord's Prayer after Mr. M. They then formed into a line and marched around the room, singing and keeping the step. A tiny little one, just beginning to walk, occasionally straggled out of the line. The next child, not a little displeased with such disorderly movements, repeatedly seized the straggler by the frock, and pulled her into the ranks; but finally despaired of reducing her to subordination. When the children had taken their seats, Mr. M., at our request, asked all those who were free before August, 1834, to rise. Only one girl arose, and she was in no way distinguishable from a white child. The first exercise, was an examination of a passage of scripture. The children were then questioned on the simple rules of addition and subtraction, and their answers were prompt and accurate.


The hour having arrived when we were to visit a neighboring estate, Mr. M. kindly accompanied us to Lyon's, the estate upon which Dr. Nugent resides. In respect to general intelligence, scientific acquirements, and agricultural knowledge, no man in Antigua stands higher than Dr. Nugent. He has long been speaker of the house of assembly, and is favorably known in Europe as a geologist and man of science. He is manager of the estate on which he resides, and proprietor of another.

The Doctor informed us that the crop on his estate had almost totally failed, on account of the drought--being reduced from one hundred and fifty hogsheads, the average crop, to fifteen! His provision grounds had yielded almost nothing. The same soil which ordinarily produced ten cart-loads of yams to the acre--the present season barely averaged one load to ten acres! Yams were reduced from the dimensions of a man's head, to the size of a radish. The cattle were dying from want of water and grass. He had himself lost five oxen within the past week.

Previous to emancipation, said the Doctor, no man in the island dared to avow anti-slavery sentiments, if he wished to maintain a respectable standing. Planters might have their hopes and aspirations; but they could not make them public without incurring general odium, and being denounced as the enemies of their country.

In allusion to the motives which prompted the legislature to reject the apprenticeship and adopt immediate emancipation, Dr. N. said, "When we saw that abolition was inevitable, we began, to inquire what would be the safest course for getting rid of slavery. We wished to let ourselves down in the easiest manner possible--THEREFORE WE CHOSE IMMEDIATE EMANCIPATION!" These were his words.

On returning to the hospitable mansion of Mr. Morrish, we had an opportunity of witnessing a custom peculiar to the Moravians. It is called 'speaking.' All the members of the church are required to call on the missionary once a month, and particular days are appropriated to it. They come singly or in small companies, and the minister converses with each individual.

Mr. M. manifested great faithfulness in this duty. He was affectionate in manner--entered into all the minutiae of individual and family affairs, and advised with them as a father with his children. We had an opportunity of conversing with some of those who came. We asked one old man what he did on the "First of August?"[A] His reply was, "Massa, we went to church, and tank de Lord for make a we all free."

[Footnote A: By this phrase the freed people always understand the 1st of August, 1834, when slavery was abolished.]

An aged infirm woman said to us, among other things, "Since de free come de massa give me no--no, nothing to eat--gets all from my cousins." We next conversed with two men, who were masons on an estate. Being asked how they liked liberty, they replied, "O, it very comfortable, Sir--very comfortable indeed." They said, "that on the day when freedom came, they were as happy, as though they had just been going to heaven." They said, now they had got free, they never would be slaves again. They were asked if they would not be willing to sell themselves to a man who would treat them well. They replied immediately that they would be very willing to serve such a man, but they would not sell themselves to the best person in the world! What fine logicians a slave's experience had made these men! Without any effort they struck out a distinction, which has puzzled learned men in church and state, the difference between serving a man and being his property.

Being asked how they conducted themselves on the 1st of August they said they had no frolicking, but they all went to church to "tank God for make a we free." They said, they were very desirous to have their children learn all they could while they were young. We asked them if they did not fear that their children would become lazy if they went to school all the time. One said, shrewdly, "Eh! nebber mind--dey come to by'm by--belly 'blige 'em to work."

In the evening Mr. M. held a religious meeting in the chapel; the weekly meeting for exhortation. He stated to the people the object of our visit, and requested one of us to say a few words. Accordingly, a short time was occupied in stating the number of slaves in America, and in explaining their condition, physical, moral, and spiritual; and the congregation were urged to pray for the deliverance of the millions of our bondmen. They manifested much sympathy, and promised repeatedly to pray that they might be "free like we." At the close of the meeting they pressed around us to say "howdy, massa;" and when we left the chapel, they showered a thousand blessings upon us. Several of them, men and women, gathered about Mr. M.'s door after we went in, and wished to talk with us. The men were mechanics, foremen, and watchmen; the women were nurses. During our interview, which lasted nearly an hour, these persons remained standing.

When we asked them how they liked freedom, and whether it was better than slavery, they answered with a significant umph and a shrug of the shoulders, as though they would say, "Why you ask dat question, massa?"

They said, "all the people went to chapel on the first of August, to tank God for make such poor undeserving sinners as we free; we no nebber expect to hab it. But it please de Lord to gib we free, and we tank him good Lord for it."

We asked them if they thought the wages they got (a shilling per day, or about eleven cents,) was enough for them. They said it seemed to be very small, and it was as much as they could do to get along with it; but they could not get any more, and they had to be "satify and conten."

As it grew late and the good people had far to walk, we shook hands with them, and bade them good bye, telling them we hoped to meet them again in a world where all would be free. The next morning Mr. M. accompanied us to the residence of the Rev. Mr. Jones, the rector of St. Phillip's.

Mr. J. informed us that the planters in that part of the island were gratified with the working of the new system. He alluded to the prejudices of some against having the children educated, lest it should foster indolence. But, said Mr. J., the planters have always been opposed to improvements, until they were effected, and their good results began to be manifest. They first insisted that the abolition of the slave-trade would ruin the colonies--next the abolition of slavery was to be the certain destruction of the islands--and now the education of children is deprecated as fraught with disastrous consequences.


Mr. Morrish accompanied us to a neighboring estate called Frey's, which lies on the road from Newfield to English Harbor. Mr. Hatley, the manager, showed an enthusiastic admiration of the new system. Most of his testimony will be found in Chapter III. He said, that owing to the dry weather he should not make one third of his average crop. Yet his people had acted their part well. He had been encouraged by their improved industry and efficiency, to bring into cultivation lands that had never before been tilled.

It was delightful to witness the change which had been wrought in this planter by the abolition of slavery. Although accustomed for years to command a hundred human beings with absolute authority, he could rejoice in the fact that his power was wrested from him, and when asked to specify the advantages of freedom over slavery, he named emphatically and above all others the abolition of flogging. Formerly, he said, it was "whip--whip--whip--incessantly, but now we are relieved from this disagreeable task."


We called on the American Consul, Mr. Higginbotham, at his country residence, about four miles from St. John's. Shortly after we reached his elevated and picturesque seat, we were joined by Mr. Cranstoun, a planter, who had been invited to dine with us. Mr. C. is a colored gentleman. The Consul received him in such a manner as plainly showed that they were on terms of intimacy. Mr. C. is a gentleman of intelligence and respectability, and occupies a station of trust and honor in the island. On taking leave of us, he politely requested our company at breakfast on a following morning, saying, he would send his gig for us.

At the urgent request of Mr. Bourne, of Miller's, we consented to address the people of his estate, on Sabbath evening. He sent in his gig for us in the afternoon, and we drove out.

At the appointed hour we went to the place of meeting. The chapel was crowded with attentive listeners. Whenever allusions were made to the grout blessings which God had conferred upon them in delivering them from bondage, the audience heartily responded in their rough but earnest way to the sentiments expressed. At the conclusion of the meeting, they gradually withdrew, bowing or courtesying as they passed us, and dropping upon our ear their gentle "good bye, massa." During slavery every estate had its dungeon for refractory slaves. Just as we were leaving Miller's, me asked Mr. B. what had become of these dungeons. He instantly replied, "I'll show you one," In a few moments we stood at the door of the old prison, a small stone building, strongly built, with two cells. It was a dismal looking den, surrounded by stables, pig-styes, and cattlepens. The door was off its hinges, and the entrance partly filled up with mason work. The sheep and goats went in and out at pleasure.

We breakfasted one morning at the Villa estate, which lies within half a mile of St. John's. The manager was less sanguine in his views of emancipation than the planters generally. We were disposed to think that, were it not for the force of public sentiment, he might declare himself against it. His feelings are easily accounted for. The estate is situated so near the town; that his people are assailed by a variety of temptations to leave their work; from which those on other estates are exempt. The manager admitted that the danger of insurrection was removed--crime was lessened--and the moral condition of society was rapidly improving.

A few days after, we went by invitation to a bazaar, or fair, which was held in the court-house in St. John's. The avails were to be appropriated to the building of a new Wesleyan chapel in the town. The council chamber and the assembly's call were given for the purpose. The former spacious room was crowded with people of every class and complexion. The fair was got up by the colored members of the Wesleyan church; nevertheless, some of the first ladies and gentlemen in town attended it, and mingled promiscuously in the throng. Wealthy proprietors, lawyers legislators, military officers in their uniform, merchants, etc. swelled the crowd. We recognised a number of ladies whom we had previously met at a fashionable dinner in St. John's. Colored ladies presided at the tables, and before them was spread a profusion of rich fancy articles. Among a small number of books exhibited for sale were several copies of a work entitled "COMMEMORATIVE WREATH," being a collection of poetical pieces relating to the abolition of slavery in the West Indies.


On the following morning Mr. C.'s gig came for us, and we drove out to his residence. We were met at the door by the American Consul, who breakfasted with us. When he had taken leave, Mr. C. proposed that we should go over his grounds. To reach the estate, which lies in a beautiful valley far below Mr. C.'s mountainous residence, we were obliged to go on foot by a narrow path that wound along the sides of the precipitous hills. This estate is the property of Mr. Athill, a colored gentleman now residing in England. Mr. A. is post-master general of Antigua, one of the first merchants in St. John's, and was a member of the assembly until the close of 1836, when, on account of his continued absence, he resigned his seat. A high-born white man, the Attorney General, now occupies the same chair which this colored member vacated. Mr. C. was formerly attorney for several estates, is now agent for a number of them, and also a magistrate.

He remarked, that since emancipation the nocturnal disorders and quarrels in the negro villages, which were incessant during slavery, had nearly ceased. The people were ready and willing to work. He had frequently given his gang jobs, instead of paying them by the day. This had proved a gear stimulant to industry, and the work of the estate was performed so much quicker by this plan that it was less expensive than daily wages. When they had jobs given them, they would sometimes go to work by three o'clock in the morning, and work by moonlight. When the moon was not shining, he had known them to kindle fires among the trash or dry cane leaves to work by. They would then continue working all day until four o clock, stopping only for breakfast, and dispensing with the usual intermission from twelve to two.

We requested him to state briefly what were in his estimation the advantages of the free system over slavery. He replied thus: 1st. The diminished expense of free labor. 2d. The absence of coercion. 3d. The greater facility in managing an estate. Managers had not half the perplexity and trouble in watching, driving, &c. They could leave the affairs of the estate in the hands of the people with safety. 4th. The freedom from danger. They had now put away all fears of insurrections, robbery, and incendiarism.

There are two reflections which the perusal of these items will probably suggest to most minds: 1st. The coincidence in the replies of different planters to the question--What are the advantages of freedom over slavery? These replies are almost identically the same in every case, though given by men who reside in different parts of the island, and have little communication with each other. 2d. They all speak exclusively of the advantages to the master, and say nothing of the benefit accruing to the emancipated. We are at some loss to decide whether this arose from indifference to the interests of the emancipated, or from a conviction that the blessings of freedom to them were self-evident and needed no specification.

While we were in the boiling-house we witnessed a scene which illustrated one of the benefits of freedom to the slave; it came quite opportunely, and supplied the deficiency in the manager's enumeration of advantages. The head boiler was performing the work of 'striking off;' i.e. of removing the liquor, after it had been sufficiently boiled, from the copper to the coolers. The liquor had been taken out of the boiler by the skipper, and thence was being conducted to the coolers by a long open spout. By some means the spout became choaked, and the liquor began to run over. Mr. C. ordered the man to let down the valve, but he became confused, and instead of letting go the string which lifted the valve, he pulled on it the more. The consequence was that the liquor poured over the sides of the spout in a torrent. The manager screamed at the top of his voice--"let down the valve, let it down!" But the poor man, more and more frightened, hoisted it still higher,--and the precious liquid--pure sugar--spread in a thick sheet over the earthen floor. The manager at last sprang forward, thrust aside the man, and stopped the mischief, but not until many gallons of sugar were lost. Such an accident as this, occurring during slavery, would have cost the negro a severe flogging. As it was, however, in the present case, although Mr. C. 'looked daggers,' and exclaimed by the workings of his countenance, 'a kingdom for a cat,'[A] yet the severest thing which he could say was, "You bungling fellow--if you can't manage better than this, I shall put some other person in your place--that's all." 'That's ALL' indeed, but it would not have been all, three years ago. The negro replied to his chidings in a humble way, saying 'I couldn't help it, sir, I couldn't help it' Mr. C. finally turned to us, and said in a calmer tone, "The poor fellow got confused, and was frightened half to death."

[Footnote A: A species of whip, well know in the West Indies.]


We made a visit to the Moravian settlement at Grace Bay, which is on the opposite side of the island. We called, in passing, at Cedar Hall, a Moravian establishment four miles from town. Mr. Newby, one of the missionaries stationed at this place, is the oldest preacher of the Gospel in the island. He has been in Antigua for twenty-seven years. He is quite of the old way of thinking on all subjects, especially the divine right of kings, and the scriptural sanction of slavery. Nevertheless, he was persuaded that emancipation had been a great blessing to the island and to all parties concerned. When he first came to Antigua in 1809, he was not suffered to teach the slaves. After some time he ventured to keep an evening school in a secret way. Now there is a day school of one hundred and twenty children connected with the station. It has been formed since emancipation.

From Cedar Hail we proceeded to Grace Bay. On the way we met some negro men at work on the road, and stopped our chaise to chat with them. They told us that they lived on Harvey's estate, which they pointed out to us. Before emancipation that estate had four hundred slaves on it, but a great number had since left because of ill usage during slavery. They would not live on the estate, because the same manager remained, and they could not trust him.

They told us they were Moravians, and that on the first of August they all went to the Moravian chapel at Grace Bay, 'to tank and praise de good Savior for make a we free.' We asked them if they still liked liberty; they said, "Yes, massa, we all quite proud to be free." The negroes use the word proud to express a strong feeling of delight. One man said, "One morning as I was walking along the road all alone, I prayed that the Savior would make me free, for then I could be so happy. I don't know what made me pray so, for I wasn't looking for de free; but please massa, in one month de free come."

They declared that they worked a great deal better since emancipation, because they were paid for it. To be sure, said they, we get very little wages, but it is better than none. They repeated it again and again, that men could not be made to work well by flogging them, "it was no use to try it."

We asked one of the men, whether he would not be willing to be a slave again provided he was sure of having a kind master. "Heigh! me massa," said he, "me neber slave no more. A good massa a very good ting, but freedom till better." They said that it was a great blessing to them to have their children go to school. After getting them to show us the way to Grace Bay, we bade them good bye.

We were welcomed at Grace Bay by the missionary, and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Möhne.[B] The place where these missionaries reside is a beautiful spot. Their dwelling-house and the chapel are situated on a high promontory, almost surrounded by the sea. A range of tall hills in the rear cuts off the view of the island, giving to the missionary station an air of loneliness and seclusion truly impressive. In this sequestered spot, the found Mr. and Mrs. M. living alone. They informed us that they rarely have white visiters, but their house is the constant resort of the negroes, who gather there after the toil of the day to 'speak' about their souls. Mr. and Mrs. M. are wholly engrossed in their labors of love. They find their happiness in leading their numerous flock "by the still waters and the green pastures" of salvation. Occupied in this delightful work, they covet not other employments, nor other company, and desire no other earthly abode than their own little hill-embosomed, sea-girt missionary home.

[Footnote B: Pronounced Maynuh.]

There are a thousand people belonging to the church at this station, each of whom, the missionaries see once every month. A day school has been lately established, and one hundred children are already in attendance. After dinner we walked out accompanied by the missionaries to enjoy the beautiful sunset. It is one of the few harmless luxuries of a West India climate, to go forth after the heat of the day is spent and the sun is sinking in the sea, and enjoy the refreshing coolness of the air. The ocean stretched before us, motionless after the turmoil of the day, like a child which has rocked itself asleep, yet indicating by its mighty breathings as it heaved along the beach, that it only slumbered. As the sun went down, the full moon arose, only less luminous, and gradually the stars began to light up their beaming fires. The work of the day now being over, the weary laborers were seen coming from different directions to have a 'speak' with the missionaries. Mr. M. stated a fact illustrative of the influence of the missionaries over the negroes. Some time ago, the laborers on a certain estate became dissatisfied with the wages they were receiving, and refused to work unless they were increased. The manager tried in vain to reconcile his people to the grievance of which they complained, and then sent to Mr. M., requesting him to visit the estate, and use his influence to persuade the negroes, most of whom belonged to his church, to work at the usual terms. Mr. M. sent word to the manager that it was not his province, as minister, to interfere with the affairs of any estate; but he would talk with the people about it individually, when they came to 'speak.' Accordingly he spoke to each one, as he came, in a kind manner, advising him to return to his work, and live as formerly. In a short time peace and confidence were restored, and the whole gang to a man were in the field.

Mr. and Mrs. M. stated that notwithstanding the very low rate of wages, which was scarcely sufficient to support life, they had never seen a single individual who desired to return to the condition of a slave. Even the old and infirm, who were sometimes really in a suffering state from neglect of the planters and from inability of their relatives adequately to provide for them, expressed the liveliest gratitude for the great blessing which the Savior had given them. They would often say to Mrs. M. "Why, Missus, old sinner just sinkin in de grave, but God let me old eyes see dis blessed sun."

The missionaries affirmed that the negroes were an affectionate people--remarkably so. Any kindness shown them by a white person, was treasured up and never forgotten. On the other hand, the slightest neglect or contempt from a white person, was keenly felt. They are very fond of saying 'howdy' to white people; but if the salutation is not returned, or noticed kindly, they are not likely to repeat it to the same individual. To shake hands with a white person is a gratification which they highly prize. Mrs. M. pleasantly remarked, that after service on Sabbath, she was usually wearied out with saying howdy, and shaking hands.

During the evening we had some conversation with two men who came to 'speak.' They spoke about the blessings of liberty, and their gratitude to God for making them free. They spoke also, with deep feeling, of the still greater importance of being free from sin. That, they said, was better. Heaven was the first best, and freedom was the next best.

They gave us some account, in the course of the evening, of an aged saint called Grandfather Jacob, who lived on a neighboring estate. He had been a helper[A] in the Moravian church, until he became too infirm to discharge the duties connected with that station. Being for the same reason discharged from labor on the estate, he now occupied himself in giving religious instruction to the other superannuated people on the estate.

[Footnote A: An office somewhat similar to that of deacon]

Mrs. M. said it would constitute an era in the life of the old man, if he could have an interview with two strangers from a distant land; accordingly, she sent a servant to ask him to come to the mission-house early the next morning. The old man was prompt to obey the call. He left home, as he said, 'before the gun fire'--about five o'clock--and came nearly three miles on foot. He was of a slender form, and had been tall, but age and slavery had bowed him down. He shook us by the hand very warmly, exclaiming, "God bless you, God bless you--me bery glad to see you." He immediately commenced giving us an account of his conversion. Said he, putting his hand on his breast, "You see old Jacob? de old sinner use to go on drinkin', swearin', dancin', fightin'! No God-- no Savior--no soul! When old England and de Merica fall out de first time, old Jacob was a man--a wicked sinner!--drink rum, fight--love to fight! Carry coffin to de grabe on me head; put dead body under ground--dance over it--den fight and knock man down--go 'way, drink rum, den take de fiddle. And so me went on, just so, till me get sick and going to die--thought when me die, dat be de end of me;--den de Savior come to me! Jacob love de Savior, and been followin' de good Savior ever since." He continued his story, describing the opposition he had to contend with, and the sacrifices he made to go to church. After working on the estate till six o'clock at night, he and several others would each take a large stone on his head and start for St. John's; nine miles over the hills. They carried the stones to aid is building the Moravian chapel at Spring Garden, St. John's. After he had finished this account, he read to us, in a highly animated style, some of the hymns which he taught to the old people, and then sung one of them. These exercises caused the old man's heart to burn within him, and again he ran over his past life, his early wickedness, and the grace that snatched him from ruin, while the mingled tides of gratitude burst forth from heart, and eyes, and tongue.

When we turned his attention to the temporal freedom he had received, he instantly caught the word FREE, and exclaimed vehemently, "O yes, me Massa--dat is anoder kind blessin from de Savior! Him make we all free. Can never praise him too much for dat." We inquired whether he was now provided for by the manager. He said he was not--never received any thing from him--his children supported him. We then asked him whether it was not better to be a slave if he could get food and clothing, than to be free and not have enough. He darted his quick eye at us and said `rader be free still.' He had been severely flogged twice since his conversion, for leaving his post as watchman to bury the dead. The minister was sick, and he was applied to, in his capacity of helper, to perform funeral rites, and he left his watch to do it. He said, his heavenly Master called him, and he would go though he expected a flogging. He must serve his Savior whatever come. "Can't put we in dungeon now," said Grandfather Jacob with a triumphant look.

When told that there were slaves in America, and that they were not yet emancipated, he exclaimed, "Ah, de Savior make we free, and he will make dem free too. He come to Antigo first--he'll be in Merica soon."

When the time had come for him to leave, he came and pressed our hands, and fervently gave us his patriarchal blessing. Our interview with Grandfather Jacob can never be forgotten. Our hearts, we trust, will long cherish his heavenly savor--well assured that if allowed a part in the resurrection of the just, we shall behold his tall form, erect in the vigor of immortal youth, amidst the patriarchs of past generations.

After breakfast we took leave of the kind-hearted missionaries, whose singular devotedness and delightful spirit won greatly upon our affections, and bent our way homeward by another route.


We called at the estate of Mr. J. Scotland, Jr., barrister, and member of the assembly. We expected to meet with the proprietor, but the manager informed us that pressing business at court had called him to St. John's on the preceding day. The testimony of the manager concerning the dry weather, the consequent failure in the crop, the industry of the laborers, and so forth, was similar to that which we had heard before. He remarked that he had not been able to introduce job-work among his people. It was a new thing with them, and they did not understand it. He had lately made a proposal to give the gang four dollars per acre for holding a certain field. They asked a little time to consider upon so novel a proposition. He gave them half a day, and at the end of that time asked them what their conclusion was. One, acting as spokesman for the rest, said, "We rada hab de shilling wages." That was certain; the job might yield them more, and it might fall short--quite a common sense transaction!

At the pressing request of Mr. Armstrong we spent a day with him at Fitch's Creek. Mr. A. received us with the most cordial hospitality, remarking that he was glad to have another opportunity to state some things which he regarded as obstacles to the complete success of the experiment in Antigua. One was the entire want of concert among the planters. There was no disposition to meet and compare views respecting different modes of agriculture, treatment of laborers, and employment of machinery. Another evil was, allowing people to live on the estates who took no part in the regular labor of cultivation. Some planters had adapted the foolish policy of encouraging such persons to remain on the estates, in order that they might have help at hand in cases of emergency. Mr. A. strongly condemned this policy. It withheld laborers from the estates which needed them; it was calculated to make the regular field hands discontented, and it offered a direct encouragement to the negroes to follow irregular modes of living. A third obstacle to the successful operation of free labor, was the absence of the most influential proprietors. The consequences of absenteeism were very serious. The proprietors were of all men the most deeply interested in the soil; and no attorneys, agents, or managers, whom they could employ, would feel an equal interest in it, nor make the same efforts to secure the prosperous workings of the new system.

In the year 1833, when the abolition excitement was at its height in England, and the people were thundering at the doors of parliament for emancipation, Mr. A. visited that country for his health. To use his own expressive words, he "got a terrible scraping wherever he went." He said he could not travel in a stage-coach, or go into a party, or attend a religious meeting, without being attacked. No one the most remotely connected with the system could have peace there. He said it was astonishing to see what a feeling was abroad, how mightily the mind of the whole country, peer and priest and peasant, was wrought up. The national heart seemed on fire.

Mr. A. said, he became a religious man whilst the manager of a slave estate, and when he became a Christian, he became an abolitionist. Yet this man, while his conscience was accusing him--while he was longing and praying for abolition--did not dare open his mouth in public to urge it on! How many such men are there in our southern states--men who are inwardly cheering on the abolitionist in his devoted work, and yet send up no voice to encourage him, but perhaps are traducing and denouncing him!

We received a call at our lodgings in St. John's from the Archdeacon. He made interesting statements respecting the improvement of the negroes in dress, morals, education and religion, since emancipation. He had resided in the island some years previous to the abolition of slavery, and spoke from personal observation.

Among many other gentlemen who honored us with a call about the same time, was the Rev. Edward Fraser, Wesleyan missionary, and a colored gentleman. He is a native of Bermuda, and ten years ago was a slave. He received a mercantile education, and was for several years the confidential clerk of his master. He was treated with much regard and general kindness. He said he was another Joseph--every thing which his master had was in his hands. The account books and money were all committed to him. He had servants under him, and did almost as he pleased--except becoming free. Yet he must say, as respected himself, kindly as he was treated, that slavery was a grievous wrong, most unjust and sinful. The very thought--and it often came over him--that he was a slave, brought with it a terrible sense of degradation. It came over the soul like a frost. His sense of degradation grew more intense in proportion as his mind became more cultivated. He said, education was a disagreeable companion for a slave. But while he said this, Mr. F. spoke very respectfully and tenderly of his master. He would not willingly utter a word which would savor of unkindness towards him. Such was the spirit of one whose best days had been spent under the exactions of slavery. He was a local preacher in the Wesleyan connection while he was a slave, and was liberated by his master, without remuneration, at the request of the British Conference, who wished to employ him as an itinerant. He is highly esteemed both for his natural talents and general literary acquisitions and moral worth. The Conference have recently called him to England to act as an agent in that country, to procure funds for educational and religious purposes in these islands.


As we were present at the annual meeting of the Wesleyan missionaries for this district, we gained much information concerning the object of our mission, as there were about twenty missionaries, mostly from Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Christophers, Anguilla, and Tortola.

Not a few of them were men of superior acquirements, who had sacrificed ease and popular applause at home, to minister to the outcast and oppressed. They are the devoted friends of the black man. It was soul-cheering to hear them rejoice over the abolition of slavery. It was as though their own limbs had been of a sudden unshackled, and a high wall had fallen from around them. Liberty had broken upon them like the bursting forth of the sun to the watchman on his midnight tower.

During the session, the mission-house was thrown open to us, and we frequently dined with the numerous company of missionaries, who there ate at a common table. Mrs. F., wife of the colored clergyman mentioned above, presided at the social board. The missionaries and their wives associated with Mr. and Mrs. F. as unreservedly as though they wore the most delicate European tint. The first time we took supper with them, at one side of a large table, around which were about twenty missionaries with their wives, sat Mrs. F., with the furniture of a tea table before her. On the other side, with the coffee urn and its accompaniments, sat the wife of a missionary, with a skin as lily-hued as the fairest Caucasian. Nearly opposite to her, between two white preachers, sat a colored missionary. Farther down, with the chairman of the district on his right, sat another colored gentleman, a merchant and local preacher in Antigua. Such was the uniform appearance of the table, excepting that the numbers were occasionally swelled by the addition of several other colored gentlemen and ladies. On another occasion, at dinner, we had an interesting conversation, in which the whole company of missionaries participated. The Rev. M. Banks, of St. Bartholomews, remarked, that one of the grossest of all absurdities was that of preparing men for freedom. Some, said he, pretend that immediate emancipation is unsafe, but it was evident to him that if men are peaceable while they are slaves, they might be trusted in any other condition, for they could not possibly be placed in one more aggravating. If slavery is a safe system, freedom surely will be. There can be no better evidence that a people are prepared for liberty, than their patient endurance of slavery. He expressed the greatest regret at the conduct of the American churches, particularly that of the Methodist church. "Tell them," said he, "on your return, that the missionaries in these islands are cast down and grieved when they think of their brethren in America. We feel persuaded that they are holding back the car of freedom; they are holding up the gospel." Rev. Mr. Cheesbrough, of St. Christopher's, said, "Tell them that much as we desire to visit the United States, we cannot go so long as we are prohibited from speaking against slavery, or while that abominable prejudice is encouraged in the churches. We could not administer the sacrament to a church in which the distinction of colors was maintained." "Tell our brethren of the Wesleyan connection," said Mr. B. again, "that slavery must be abolished by Christians, and the church ought to take her stand at once against it." We told him that a large number of Methodists and other Christians had engaged already in the work, and that the number was daily increasing. "That's right," he exclaimed, "agitate, agitate, AGITATE! You must succeed: the Lord is with you." He dwelt particularly on the obligations resting upon Christians in the free states. He said, "Men must be at a distance from slavery to judge of its real character. Persons living in the midst of it, gradually become familiarized with its horrors and woes, so that they can view calmly, exhibitions from which they would once have shrunk in dismay."

We had some conversation with Rev. Mr. Walton, of Montserrat. After making a number of statements in reference to the apprenticeship there, Mr. W. stated that there had been repeated instances of planters emancipating all their apprentices. He thought there had been a case of this kind every month for a year past. The planters were becoming tired of the apprenticeship, and from mere considerations of interest and comfort, were adopting free labor.

A new impulse had been given to education in Montserrat, and schools were springing up in all parts of the island. Mr. W. thought there was no island in which education was so extensive. Religious influences were spreading among the people of all classes. Marriages were occurring every week.

We had an interview with the Rev. Mr. H., an aged colored minister. He has a high standing among his brethren, for talents, piety, and usefulness. There are few ministers in the West Indies who have accomplished more for the cause of Christ than has Mr. H.[A]

[Footnote A: It is a fact well known in Antigua and Barbadoes, that this colored missionary has been instrumental in the conversion of several clergymen of the Episcopal Church in those islands, who are now currently devoted men.]

He said he had at different periods been stationed in Antigua, Anguilla, Tortola, and some other islands. He said that the negroes in the other islands in which he had preached, were as intelligent as those in Antigua, and in every respect as well prepared for freedom. He was in Anguilla when emancipation took place. The negroes there were kept at work on the very day that freedom came! They worked as orderly as on any other day. The Sabbath following, he preached to them on their new state, explaining the apprenticeship to them. He said the whole congregation were in a state of high excitement, weeping and shouting. One man sprang to his feet, and exclaimed, 'Me never forget God and King William.' This same man was so full that he went out of the chapel, and burst into loud weeping.

The preaching of the missionaries, during their stay in Antigua, was full of allusions to the abolition of slavery in the West Indies, and especially to the entire emancipation in Antigua. Indeed, we rarely attended a meeting in Antigua, of any kind, in which the late emancipation was not in some way alluded to with feelings of gratitude and exultation. In the ordinary services of the Sabbath, this subject was almost uniformly introduced, either in the prayer or sermon. Whenever thanksgiving was rendered to God for favors, freedom was among the number.

The meeting of the district afforded an opportunity for holding a number of anniversary meetings. We notice them here, believing that they will present the most accurate view that can be given of the religious and moral condition of Antigua.

On the evening of the 1st of February, the first anniversary of the Antigua Temperance Society was held in the Wesleyan chapel. We had been invited to attend and take a part in the exercises. The chapel was crowded with a congregation of all grades and complexions. Colored and white gentlemen appeared together on the platform. We intimated to a member of the committee, that we could not conscientiously speak without advocating total abstinence, which doctrine, we concluded from the nature of the pledge, (which only included ardent spirits,) would not be well received. We were assured that we might use the most perfect freedom in avowing our sentiments.

The speakers on this occasion were two planters, a Wesleyan missionary, and ourselves. All advocated the doctrine of total abstinence. The first speaker, a planter, concluded by saying, that it was commonly believed that wine and malt were rendered absolutely indispensable in the West Indies, by the exhausting nature of the climate. But facts disprove the truth of this notion. "I am happy to say that I can now present this large assembly with ocular demonstration of the fallacy of the popular opinion. I need only point you to the worthy occupants of this platform. Who are the healthiest among them? The cold water drinkers--the teetotallers! We can assure you that we have not lost a pound of flesh, by abandoning our cups. We have tried the cold water experiment faithfully, and we can testify that since we became cold water men, we work better, we eat better, we sleep better, and we do every thing better than before." The next speaker, a planter also, dwelt on the inconsistency of using wine and malt, and at the same time calling upon the poor to give up ardent spirits. He said this inconsistency had been cast in his teeth by his negroes. He never could prevail upon them to stop drinking rum, until he threw away his wine and porter. Now he and all his people were teetotallists. There were two other planters who had taken the same course. He stated, as the result of a careful calculation which he had made, that he and the two planters referred to, had been in the habit of giving to their people not less than one thousand gallons of rum annually. The whole of this was now withheld, and molasses and sugar were given instead. The missionary who followed them was not a whit behind in boldness and zeal, and between them, they left us little to say in our turn on the subject of total abstinence.

On the following evening the anniversary of the Bible Society was held in the Moravian school-room. During the day we received a note from the Secretary of the Society, politely requesting us to be present. The spacious school-room was filled, and the broad platform crowded with church clergymen, Moravian ministers, and Wesleyan missionaries, colored and white. The Secretary, a Moravian minister, read the twenty-first annual report. It spoke emphatically of 'the joyful event of emancipation', and in allusion to an individual in England, of whom it spoke in terms of high commendation, it designated him, as one "who was distinguished for his efforts in the abolition of slavery." The adoption of the report was moved by one of the Wesleyan missionaries, who spoke at some length. He commenced by speaking of "the peculiar emotions with which he always arose to address an assembly of the free people of Antigua." It had been his lot for a year past to labor in a colony[A] where slavery still reigned, and he could not but thank God for the happiness of setting his foot once more on the free soil of an emancipated island.

[Footnote A: St. Martin's]

Perhaps the most interesting meeting in the series, was the anniversary of the Wesleyan Missionary Society of Antigua. Both parts of the day were devoted to this anniversary. The meetings were held in the Wesleyan chapel, which was filled above and below, with the usual commixture of white, colored, and black. We saw, as on former occasions, several colored gentlemen seated among the ministers. After the usual introductory exercises of singing and prayer, the annual report was read by the Secretary, Rev. E. Fraser, the colored minister already mentioned. It was terse, direct, and business like. The meeting was then addressed by a Moravian missionary. He dwelt upon the decrease of the sectarian spirit, and hailed the coming of Christian charity and brotherly communion. He opened his Bible, and read about the middle wall of partition being broken down. "Yes, brother," said Mr. Horne, "and every other wall." "The rest are but paper walls," responded the speaker, "and when once the middle wall is removed, these will soon be burned up by the fire of Christian love."

The next speaker was a Wesleyan missionary of Nevis. He spoke of the various instrumentalities which were now employed for the conversion of the world. "We welcome," said he, "the co-operation of America, and with all our hearts do we rejoice that she is now beginning to put away from her that vile system of oppression which has hitherto crippled her moral energy and her religious enterprise." Then turning and addressing himself to us, he said, "We hail you, dear brethren, as co-workers with us. Go forward in your blessed undertaking. Be not dismayed with the huge dimensions of that vice which you are laboring to overthrow! Be not disheartened by the violence and menaces of your enemies! Go forward. Proclaim to the church and to your countrymen the sinfulness of slavery, and be assured that soon the fire of truth will melt down the massy chains of oppression." He then urged upon the people of Antigua their peculiar obligations to extend the gospel to other lands. It was the Bible that made them free, and he begged them to bear in mind that there were millions of their countrymen still in the chains of slavery. This appeal was received with great enthusiasm.

We then spoke on a resolution which had been handed us by the Secretary, and which affirmed "that the increasing and acknowledged usefulness of Christian missions was a subject of congratulation." We spoke of the increase of missionary operations in our own country, and of the spirit of self-denial which was widely spreading, particularly among young Christians. We spoke of that accursed thing in our midst, which not only tended greatly to kill the spirit of missions in the church, but which directly withheld many young men from foreign missionary fields. It had made more than two millions of heathen in our country; and so long as the cries of these heathen at home entered the ears of our young men and young women, they could not, dare not, go abroad. How could they go to Ceylon, to Burmah, or to Hindostan, with the cry of their country's heathen ringing their ears! How could they tear themselves away from famished millions kneeling at their feet in chains and begging for the bread of life, and roam afar to China or the South Sea Islands! Increasing numbers filed with a missionary spirit felt that their obligations were at home, and they were resolved that if they could not carry the gospel forthwith to the slaves, they would labor for the overthrow of that system which made it a crime punishable with death to preach salvation to the poor. In conclusion, the hope was expressed that the people of Antigua--so highly favored with freedom, education, and religion, would never forget that in the nation whence we came, there were two millions and a half of heathen, who, instead of bread, received stones and scorpions; instead of the Bible, bolts and bars; instead of the gospel, chains and scourgings; instead of the hope of salvation thick darkness and despair. They were entreated to remember that in the gloomy dungeon, from which they had lately escaped there were deeper and more dismal cells, yet filled with millions of their countrymen. The state of feeling produced by this reference to slavery, was such as might be anticipated in an audience, a portion of which were once slaves, and still remembered freshly the horrors of their late condition.

The meeting was concluded after a sitting of more than four hours. The attendance in the evening was larger than on any former occasion. Many were unable to get within the chapel. We were again favored with an opportunity of urging a variety of considerations touching the general cause, as well as those drawn from the condition of our own country, and the special objects of our mission.

The Rev. Mr. Horne spoke very pointedly on the subject of slavery. He began by saying that he had been so long accustomed to speak cautiously about slavery that he was even now almost afraid of his own voice when he alluded to it. [General laughter.] But he would remember that he was in a free island, and that he spoke to freemen, and therefore he had nothing to fear.

He said the peace and prosperity of these colonies is a matter of great moment in itself considered, but it was only when viewed as an example to the rest of the slaveholding world that its real magnitude and importance was perceived. The influence of abolition, and especially of entire emancipation in Antigua, must be very great. The eyes of the world were fixed upon her. The great nation of America must now soon toll the knell of slavery, and this event will be hastened by the happy operation of freedom here.

Mr. H. proceeded to say, that during the agitation of the slavery question at home, he had been suspected of not being a friend to emancipation; and it would probably be remembered by some present that his name appeared in the report of the committee of the House of Commons, where it stood in no enviable society. But whatever might be thought of his course at that time, he felt assumed that the day was not far distant when he should be able to clear up every thing connected with it. It was not a little gratifying to us to see that the time had come in the West Indies, when the suspicion of having been opposed to emancipation is a stain upon the memory from which a public man is glad to vindicate himself.


After a few other addresses were delivered, and just previous to the dismission of the assembly, Rev. Mr. Cox, Chairman of the District, arose and said, that as this was the last of the anniversary meetings, he begged to move a resolution which he had no doubt would meet with the hearty and unanimous approval of that large assembly. He then read the following resolution, which we insert here as an illustration of the universal sympathy in the objects of our mission. As the resolution is not easily divisible, we insert the whole of it, making no ado on the score of modesty.

"Resolved, that this meeting is deeply impressed with the importance of the services rendered this day to the cause of missions by the acceptable addresses of Mr. ----, from America, and begs especially to express to him and his friend Mr. ----, the assurance of their sincere sympathy in the object of their visit to Antigua."

Mr. C. said he would make no remarks in support of the resolution he had just read for he did not deem them necessary. He would therefore propose at once that the vote be taken by rising. The Chairman read the resolution accordingly, and requested those who were in favor of adopting it, to rise. Not an individual in the crowded congregation kept his seat. The masters and the slaves of yesterday--all rose together--a phalanx of freemen, to testify "their sincere sympathy" in the efforts and objects of American abolitionists.

After the congregation had resumed their seats, the worthy Chairman addressed us briefly in behalf of the congregation, saying, that it was incumbent on him to convey to us the unanimous expression of sympathy on the part of this numerous assembly in the object of our visit to the island. We might regard it as an unfeigned assurance that we were welcomed among them, and that the cause which we were laboring to promote was dear to the hearts of the people of Antigua.

This was the testimonial of an assembly, many of whom, only three years before, were themselves slaveholders. It was not given at a meeting specially concerted and called for the purpose, but grew up unexpectedly and spontaneously out of the feelings of the occasion, a free-will offering, the cheerful impulsive gush of free sympathies. We returned our acknowledgments in the best manner that our excited emotions permitted.


The corner stone of a new Wesleyan Chapel was laid in St. John's, during the district meeting. The concourse of spectators was immense. At eleven o'clock religious exercises were held in the old chapel. At the close of the service a procession was formed, composed of Wesleyan missionaries, Moravian ministers, clergymen of the church, members of the council and of the assembly, planters, merchants, and other gentlemen, and the children of the Sunday and infant schools, connected with the Wesleyan Chapel.

As the procession moved to the new site, a hymn was sung, in which the whole procession united. Our position in the procession, to which we were assigned by the marshal, and much to our satisfaction, was at either side of two colored gentlemen, with whom we walked, four abreast.

On one side of the foundation a gallery had been raised, which was covered with an awning, and was occupied by a dense mass of white and colored ladies. On another side the gentlemen of the procession stood. The other sides were thronged with a promiscuous multitude of all colors. After singing and prayer, the Hon. Nicholas Nugent, speaker of the house of assembly, descended from the platform by a flight of stairs into the cellar, escorted by two missionaries. The sealed phial was then placed in his hand, and Mr. P., a Wesleyan missionary, read from a paper the inscription written on the parchment within the phial. The closing words of the inscription alluded to the present condition of the island, thus: "The demand for a new and larger place of worship was pressing, and the progress of public liberality advancing on a scale highly creditable to this FREE, enlightened, and evangelized colony." The Speaker then placed the phial in the cavity of the rock. When it was properly secured, and the corner stone lowered down by pullies to its place, he struck three blows upon it with a mallet, and then returned to the platform. The most eager curiosity was exhibited on every side to witness the ceremony.

At the conclusion of it, several addresses were delivered. The speakers were, Rev. Messrs. Horne and Harvey, and D.B. Garling, Esq. Mr. Horne, after enumerating several things which were deserving of praise, and worthy of imitation, exclaimed, "The grand crowning glory of all--that which places Antigua above all her sister colonies--was the magnanimous measure of the legislature in entirely abolishing slavery." It was estimated that there were more than two thousand persons assembled on this occasion. The order which prevailed among such a concourse was highly creditable to the island. It was pleasing to see the perfect intermixture of colors and conditions; not less so to observe the kindly bearing of the high toward the low.[A] After the exercises were finished, the numerous assembly dispersed quietly. Not an instance of drunkenness, quarrelling, or anger, fell under our notice during the day.

[Footnote A: During Mr. Home's address, we observed Mr. A., a planter, send his umbrella to a negro man who stood at the corner-stone, exposed to the sun.]


Toward the close of the district meeting, we received a kind note from the chairman, inviting us to attend the meeting, and receive in person, a set of resolutions which had been drawn up at our request, and signed by all the missionaries. At the hour appointed, we repaired to the chapel. The missionaries all arose as we entered, and gave us a brotherly salutation. We were invited to take our seats at the right hand of the chairman. He then, in the presence of the meeting, read to us the subjoined resolutions; we briefly expressed, in behalf of ourselves and our cause, the high sense we had of the value of the testimony, which the meeting had been pleased to give us. The venerable father Horne then prayed with us, commending our cause to the blessing of the Head of the church, and ourselves to the protection and guidance of our heavenly Father. After which we shook hands with the brethren, severally, receiving their warmest assurances of affectionate regard, and withdrew.

"Resolutions passed at the meeting of the Wesleyan Missionaries of the Antigua District, assembled at St. John's, Antigua, February 7th, 1837.

1. That the emancipation of the slaves of the West Indies, while it was an act of undoubted justice to that oppressed people, has operated most favorably in furthering the triumphs of the gospel, by removing one prolific source of unmerited suspicion of religious teachers, and thus opening a door to their more extensive labors and usefulness--by furnishing a greater portion of time for the service of the negro, and thus preventing the continuance of unavoidable Sabbath desecrations, in labor and neglect of the means of grace--and in its operation as a stimulus to proprietors and other influential gentlemen, to encourage religious education, and the wide dissemination of the Scriptures, as an incentive to industry and good order.

2. That while the above statements are true with reference to all the islands, even where the system of apprenticeship prevails, they are especially applicable to Antigua, where the results of the great measure, of entire freedom, so humanely and judiciously granted by the legislature, cannot be contemplated without the most devout thanks givings to Almighty God.

3. That we regard with much gratification, the great diminution among all classes in these islands, of the most unchristian prejudice of color the total absence of it in the government and ordinances of the churches of God, with which we are connected, and the prospect of its complete removal, by the abolition of slavery, by the increased diffusion of general knowledge, and of that religion which teaches to "honor all men," and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

4. That we cannot but contemplate with much humiliation and distress, the existence, among professing Christians in America, of this partial, unseemly, and unchristian system of caste, so distinctly prohibited in the word of God, and so utterly irreconcileable with Christian charity.

5. That regarding slavery as a most unjustifiable infringement of the rational and inalienable rights of men, and in its moral consequences, (from our own personal observation as well as other sources,) as one of the greatest curses with which the great Governor of the nations ever suffered this world to be blighted: we cannot but deeply regret the connection which so intimately exists between the various churches of Christ in the United States of America, and this unchristian system. With much sorrow do we learn that the principle of the lawfulness of slavery has been defended by some who are ministers of Christ, that so large a proportion of that body in America, are exerting their influence in favor of the continuance of so indefensible and monstrous a system--and that these emotions of sorrow are especially occasioned with reference to our own denomination.

6. That while we should deprecate and condemn any recourse on the part of the slaves, to measures of rebellion, as an unjustifiable mode of obtaining their freedom, we would most solemnly, and affectionately, and imploringly, adjure our respected fathers and brethren in America, to endeavor, in every legitimate way, to wipe away this reproach from their body, and thus act in perfect accordance with the deliberate and recorded sentiments of our venerated founder on this subject, and in harmony with the feelings and proceedings of their brethren in the United Kingdom, who have had the honor to take a distinguished part in awakening such a determined and resistless public feeling in that country, as issued in the abolition of slavery among 800,000 of our fellow subjects.

7. That we hail with the most lively satisfaction the progress in America of anti-slavery principles, the multiplication of anti-slavery societies, and the diffusion of correct views on this subject. We offer to the noble band of truly patriotic, and enlightened, and philanthropic men, who are combating in that country with such a fearful evil, the assurance of our most cordial and fraternal sympathy, and our earnest prayers for their complete success. We view with pity and sorrow the vile calumnies with which they have been assailed. We welcome with Christian joyfulness, in the success which has already attended their efforts, the dawn of a cloudless day of light and glory, which shall presently shine upon that vast continent, when the song of universal freedom shall sound in its length and breadth.

8. That these sentiments have been increased and confirmed by the intercourse, which some of our body Have enjoyed with our beloved brethren, the Rev. James A. Thome, and Joseph Horace Kimball, Esq., the deputation to these islands, front the Anti-Slavery Society in America. We regard this appointment, and the nomination of such men to fulfil it, as most judicious. We trust we can appreciate the spirit of entire devotedness to this cause, which animates our respected brethren, and breathes throughout their whole deportment, and rejoice in such a manifestation of the fruits of that divine charity, which flow from the constraining love of Christ, and which many waters cannot quench.

9. That the assurance of the affectionate sympathy of the twenty-five brethren who compose this district meeting, and our devout wishes for their success in the objects of their mission, are hereby presented, in our collective and individual capacity, to our endeared and Christian friends from America.

(Signed) JAMES COX, chairman of the district, and resident in Antigua.

Jonathan Cadman, St. Martin's. James Horne, St. Kitts. Matthew Banks, St. Bartholomew's. E. Frazer, Antigua. Charles Bates, do. John Keightley, do. Jesse Pilcher, do. Benjamin Tregaskiss, do. Thomas Edwards, St. Kitts. Robert Hawkins, Tortola. Thomas Pearson, Nevis. George Craft, do. W.S. Wamouth, St. Kitts. John Hodge, Tortola. William Satchel, Dominica. John Cullingford, Dominica. J. Cameron, Nevis. B. Gartside, St. Kitts. John Parker, do. Hilton Cheeseborough, do. Thomas Jeffery, do. William Rigglesworth, Tortola. Daniel Stepney, Nevis. James Walton, Montserrat."

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Having given a general outline of our sojourn in Antigua, we proceed to a mere minute account of the results of our investigations. We arrange the testimony in two general divisions, placing that which relates to the past and present condition of the colony in one, and that which bears directly upon the question of slavery in America in another.


There are three denominations of Christians in Antigua: the Established Church; the Moravians, and Wesleyans. The Moravians number fifteen thousand--almost exclusively negroes. The Wesleyans embrace three thousand members, and about as many more attendants. Of the three thousand members, says a Wesleyan missionary, "not fifty are whites--a larger number are colored; but the greater part black." "The attendance of the negro population at the churches and chapels," (of the established order,) says the Rector of St. John's, "amounts to four thousand six hundred and thirty-six." The whole number of blacks receiving religious instruction from these Christian bodies, making allowance for the proportion of white and colored included in the three thousand Wesleyans, is about twenty-two thousand--leaving a population of eight thousand negroes in Antigua who are unsupplied with religious instruction.

The Established Church has six parish churches, as many "chapels of ease," and nine clergymen. The Moravians have five settlements and thirteen missionaries. The Wesleyans have seven chapels, with as many more small preaching places on estates, and twelve ministers; half of whom are itinerant missionaries, and the other half, local preachers, employed as planters, or in mercantile, and other pursuits, and preaching only occasionally. From the limited number of chapels and missionaries, it may be inferred that only a portion of the twenty-two thousand can enjoy stated weekly instruction. The superintendent of the Moravian mission stated that their chapels could not accommodate more than one third of their members.

Each of the denominations complains of the lack of men and houses. The Wesleyans are now building a large chapel in St. John's. It will accommodate two thousand persons. "Besides free sittings, there will be nearly two hundred pews, every one of which is now in demand."

However much disposed the churches of different denominations might have been during slavery to maintain a strict discipline, they found it exceedingly difficult to do so. It seems impossible to elevate a body of slaves, remaining such, to honesty and purity. The reekings of slavery will almost inevitably taint the institutions of religion, and degrade the standard of piety. Accordingly the ministers of every denomination in Antigua, feel that in the abolition of slavery their greatest enemy has been vanquished, and they now evince a determination to assume higher ground than they ever aspired to during the reign of slavery. The motto of all creeds is, "We expect great things of freemen." A report which we obtained from the Wesleyan brethren, states, "Our own brethren preach almost daily." "We think the negroes are uncommonly punctual and regular in their attendance upon divine worship, particularly on the Sabbath." "They always show a readiness to contribute to the support of the gospel. With the present low wages, and the entire charge of self-maintenance, they have little to spare." Parham and Sion Hill (taken as specimens) have societies almost entirely composed of rural blacks--about thirteen hundred and fifty in number. These have contributed this year above £330 sterling, or sixteen hundred and fifty dollars, in little weekly subscriptions; besides giving to special objects occasionally, and contributing for the support of schools.[A]

[Footnote A: The superintendent of the Wesleyan mission informed us that the collection in the several Wesleyan chapels last year, independent of occasional contributions to Sunday schools, Missionary objects, &c., amounted to £850 sterling, or more than $4000!]

In a letter dated December 2d, 1834, but four months after emancipation, and addressed to the missionary board in England, the Rev. B. Harvey thus speaks of the Moravian missions: "With respect to our people, I believe; I may say that in all our places here, they attend the meetings of the church more numerously than ever, and that many are now in frequent attendance who could very seldom appear amongst us during slavery." The same statements substantially were made to us by Mr. H., showing that instead of any falling off the attendance was still on the increase.

In a statement drawn up at our request by the Rector of St. John's, is the following: "Cases of discipline are more frequent than is usual in English congregations, but at the same time it should be observed, that a closer oversight is maintained by the ministers, and a greater readiness to submit themselves (to discipline) is manifested by the late slaves here than by those who have always been a free people." "I am able to speak very favorably of the attendance at church--it is regular and crowded." "The negroes on some estates have been known to contribute willingly to the Bible Society, since 1832. They are now beginning to pay a penny and a half currency per week for their children's instruction."


The condition of Antigua, but a very few years previous to emancipation, is represented to have been truly revolting. It has already been stated that the Sabbath was the market day up to 1832, and this is evidence enough that the Lord's day was utterly desecrated by the mass of the population. Now there are few parts of our own country, equal in population, which can vie with Antigua in the solemn and respectful observance of the Sabbath. Christians in St. John's spoke with joy and gratitude of the tranquillity of the Sabbath. They had long been shocked with its open and abounding profanation--until they had well-nigh forgot the aspect of a Christian Sabbath. At length the full-orbed blessing beamed upon them, and they rejoiced in its brightness, and thanked God for its holy repose.

All persons of all professions testify to the fact that marriages are rapidly increasing. In truth, there was scarcely such a thing as marriage before the abolition of slavery. Promiscuous intercourse of the sexes was almost universal. In a report of the Antigua Branch Association of the Society for advancing the Christian Faith in the British West Indies, (for 1836,) the following statements are made:

"The number of marriages in the six parishes of the island, in the year 1835, the first entire year of freedom, was 476; all of which, excepting about 50, were between persons formerly slaves. The total number of marriages between slaves solemnized in the Church during the nine years ending December 31, 1832, was 157; in 1833, the last entire year of slavery, it was 61."

Thus it appears that the whole number of marriages during ten years previous to emancipation (by far the most favorable ten years that could have been selected) was but half as great as the number for a single year following emancipation!

The Governor, in one of our earliest interviews with him, said, "the great crime of this island, as indeed of all the West India Colonies, has been licentiousness, but we are certainly fast improving in this particular." An aged Christian, who has spent many years in the island, and is now actively engaged in superintending several day schools for the negro children, informed us that there was not one third as much concubinage as formerly. This he said was owing mainly to the greater frequency of marriages, and the cessation of late night work on the estates, and in the boiling houses, by which the females were constantly exposed during slavery. Now they may all be in their houses by dark. Formerly the mothers were the betrayers of their daughters, encouraging them to form unhallowed connections, and even selling them to licentious white and colored men, for their own gain. Now they were using great strictness to preserve the chastity of their daughters.

A worthy planter, who has been in the island since 1800, stated, that it used to be a common practice for mothers to sell their daughters to the highest bidder!--generally a manager or overseer. "But now;" said he, "the mothers hold their daughters up for marriage, and take pains to let every body know that their virtue is not to be bought and sold any longer." He also stated that those who live unmarried now are uniformly neglected and suffer great deprivations. Faithfulness after marriage, exists also to a greater extent than could have been expected from the utter looseness to which they had been previously accustomed, and with their ignorance of the nature and obligations of the marriage relation. We were informed both by the missionaries and the planters, that every year and month they are becoming more constant, as husband and wife, more faithful as parents, and more dutiful as children. One planter said that out of a number who left his employ after 1834, nearly all had companions on other estates, and left for the purpose of being with them. He was also of the opinion that the greater proportion of changes of residence among the emancipated which took place at that time, were owing to the same cause.[A] In an address before the Friendly Society in St. John's, the Archdeacon stated that during the previous year (1835) several individuals had been expelled from that society for domestic unfaithfulness; but he was happy to say that he had not heard of a single instance of expulsion for this cause during the year then ended. Much inconvenience is felt on account of the Moravian and Wesleyan missionaries being prohibited from performing the marriage service, even for their own people. Efforts are now making to obtain the repeal of the law which makes marriages performed by sectarians (as all save the established church are called) void.

[Footnote A: What a resurrection to domestic life was that, when long severed families flocked from the four corners of the island to meet their kindred members! And what a glorious resurrection will that be in our own country, when the millions of emancipated beings scattered over the west and south, shall seek the embraces of parental and fraternal and conjugal love.]

That form of licentiousness which appears among the higher classes in every slaveholding country, abounded in Antigua during the reign of slavery. It has yielded its redundant fruits in a population of four thousand colored people; double the number of whites. The planters, with but few exceptions, were unmarried and licentious. Nor was this vice confined to the unmarried. Men with large families, kept one or more mistresses without any effort at concealment. We were told of an "Honorable" gentleman, who had his English wife and two concubines, a colored and a black one. The governor himself stated as an apology for the prevalence of licentiousness among the slaves, that the example was set them constantly by their masters, and it was not to be wondered at if they copied after their superiors. But it is now plain that concubinage among the whites is nearly at an end. An unguarded statement of a public man revealed the conviction which exists among his class that concubinage must soon cease. He said that the present race of colored people could not be received into the society of the whites, because of illegitimacy; but the next generation would be fit associates for the whites, because they would be chiefly born in wedlock.

The uniform testimony respecting intemperance was, that it never had been one of the vices of the negroes. Several planters declared that they had rarely seen a black person intoxicated. The report of the Wesleyan missionaries already referred to, says, "Intemperance is most uncommon among the rural negroes. Many have joined the Temperance Society, and many act on tee-total principles." The only colored person (either black or brown) whom we saw drunk during a residence of nine weeks in Antigua, was a carpenter in St. John's, who as he reeled by, stared in our faces and mumbled out his sentence of condemnation against wine bibbers, "--Gemmen--you sees I'se a little bit drunk, but 'pon honor I only took th--th-ree bottles of wine--that's all." It was "Christmas times," and doubtless the poor man thought he would venture for once in the year to copy the example of the whites.

In conclusion, on the subject of morals in Antigua, we are warranted in stating, 1st., That during the continuance of slavery, immoralities were rife.

2d. That the repeated efforts of the home Government and the local Legislature, for several successive years previous to 1834, to ameliorate the system of slavery, seconded by the labors of clergymen and missionaries, teachers and catechists, to improve the character of the slaves, failed to arrest the current of vice and profligacy. What few reformations were effected were very partial, leaving the more enormous immoralities as shameless and defiant as ever, up to the very day of abolition; demonstrating the utter impotence of all attempts to purify the streams while the fountain is poison.

3d. That the abolition of slavery gave the death blow to open vice, overgrown and emboldened as it had become. Immediate emancipation, instead of lifting the flood-gates, was the only power strong enough to shut them down! It restored the proper restraints upon vice, and supplied the incentives to virtue. Those great controllers of moral action, self-respect, attachment to law, and veneration for God, which slavery annihilated, freedom has resuscitated, and now they stand round about the emancipated with flaming swords deterring from evil, and with cheering voices exhorting to good. It is explicitly affirmed that the grosser forms of immorality, which in every country attend upon slavery, have in Antigua either shrunk into concealment or become extinct.


We insert here a brief account of the benevolent institutions of Antigua. Our design in giving it, is to show the effect of freedom in bringing into play those charities of social life, which slavery uniformly stifles. Antigua abounds in benevolent societies, all of which have been materially revived since emancipation, and some of them have been formed since that event.


This is the oldest society in the island. It was organized in 1815. All denominations in the island cordially unite in this cause. The principal design of this society is to promote the Circulation of the Scriptures among the laboring population of the island. To secure this object numerous branch associations--amounting to nearly fifty--have been organized throughout the island among the negroes themselves. The society has been enabled not only to circulate the Scriptures among the people of Antigua, but to send them extensively to the neighboring islands.

The following table, drawn up at our request by the Secretary of the Society, will show the extent of foreign operations:

Years. Colonies Supplied. Bibles. Test's.
1822 Anguilla 94 156
1823 Demerara 18 18
1824 Dominica 89 204
1825 Montserrat 57 149
1827 Nevis 79 117
1832 Saba 6 12
1833 St. Bart's 111 65
1834 St. Eustatius 97 148
1835 St. Kitts 227 487
1835 St. Martins 48 37
1836 Tortola 69 136
To 1837 Trinidad 25 67
Total 920 1596

From the last annual report we quote the following cheering account, touching the events of 1834:

"The next event of importance in or annals is the magnificent grant of the parent society, on occasion of the emancipation of the slaves, and the perpetual banishment of slavery from the shores of Antigua, on the first of August, 1834; by which a choice portion of the Holy Scriptures was gratuitously circulated to about one third of the inhabitants of this colony. Nine thousand seven hundred copies of the New Testament, bound together with the book of Psalms, were thus placed at the disposal of your committee."

* * * "Following hard upon this joyful event another gratifying circumstance occurred among us. The attention of the people was roused, and their gratitude excited towards the Bible Society, and they who had freely received, now freely gave, and thus a considerable sum of money was presented to the parent society in acknowledgment of its beneficent grant."

We here add an extract from the annual report for 1826. Its sentiments contrast strongly with the congratulations of the last report upon 'the joyful event' of emancipation.

"Another question of considerable delicacy and importance still remains to be discussed. Is it advisable, under all the circumstances of the case, to circulate the Holy Scriptures, without note of comment, among the slave population of these islands? Your Committee can feel no hesitation in affirming that such a measure is not merely expedient, but one of almost indispensable necessity. The Sacred Volume is in many respects peculiarly adapted to the slave. It enjoins upon him precepts so plain, that the most ignorant cannot fail to understand them: 'Slaves, obey in all things your masters, not with eye service, as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.' It furnishes him with motives the most impressive and consoling: 'Ye serve,' says the Apostle, 'the Lord Christ.' It promises him rewards sufficient to stimulate the most indolent to exertion: 'Whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.' And it holds forth to him an example so glorious, that it would ennoble even angels to imitate it: 'Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a slave!'"

"It may here be proper to observe, that the precise import of the word, which in general throughout the English Bible is translated servant, is strictly that which has been assigned it in the foregoing quotations; (!) and so understood, the Sacred Volume will be found to hold out to our slaves, both by precept and example the most persuasive and the most compelling motives to industry, obedience, and submission."

Nothing could more plainly show the corrupting influences of slavery, upon all within its reach, than this spectacle of a noble, religious institution, prostituted to the vile work of defending oppression, and, in the zeal of its advocacy, blasphemously degrading the Savior into a self-made slave!

The receipts of the Antigua Branch Society have greatly increased since emancipation. From receipts for the year 1836, in each of the British islands, it appears that the contributions from Antigua and Bermuda, the only two islands which adopted entire emancipation, are about double those from any other two islands.


These associations are connected with the Wesleyan mission, and have been in existence since 1820. Their object is to raise funds for the parent society in England. Although it has been in existence for several years, yet it was mostly confined to the whites and free people of color, during slavery. The calling together assemblies of rural negroes, and addressing them on the subject of missions, and soliciting contributions in aid of the cause, is a new feature in the missionary operations to which nothing but freedom could give birth.


The first temperance society in Antigua was formed at the beginning of 1836. We give an extract from the first annual report: "Temperance societies have been formed in each town, and on many of the estates. A large number of persons who once used spirituous liquors moderately, have entirely relinquished the use. Some who were once intemperate have been reclaimed, and in some instances an adoption of the principles of the temperance society, has been followed by the pursuit and enjoyment of vital religion. Domestic peace and quietness have superseded discord and strife, and a very general sense of astonishment at the gross delusion which these drinks have long produced on the human species is manifest."

"The numbers on the various books of the society amount to about 1700. One pleasing feature in their history, is the very small number of those who have violated their pledge."

"On several estates, the usual allowance of spirits has been discontinued, and sugar or molasses substituted."

The temperance society in Antigua may be specially regarded as a result of emancipation. It is one of the guardian angels which hastened to the island as soon as the demon of slavery was cast out.


The friendly societies are designed exclusively for the benefit of the negro population. The general object is thus stated in the constitution of one of these societies: "The object of this society is to assist in the purchase of articles of mourning for the dead; to give relief in cases of unlooked for distress; to help those who through age or infirmities are incapable of helping themselves by marketing, or working their grounds; to encourage sobriety and industry, and to check disorderly and immoral conduct."

These societies obtain their funds by laying a tax of one shilling per month on every member above eighteen years of age, and of six pence per month on all members under that age and above twelve, which is the minimum of membership. The aged members are required to pay no more than the sum last mentioned.

The first society of this kind was established in St. John's by the present rector, in 1829. Subsequently the Moravians and Wesleyans formed similar societies among their own people. Independent of the pecuniary assistance which these societies bestow, they encourage in a variety of ways the good order of the community. For example, no one is allowed to receive assistance who is "disabled by drunkenness, debauchery, or disorderly living;" also, "if any member of the society, male or female, is guilty of adultery or fornication, the offending member shall be suspended for so long a time as the members shall see fit, and shall lose all claim on the society for any benefit during the suspension, and shall not be readmitted until clear and satisfactory evidence is given of penitence." Furthermore, "If any member of the society shall be expelled from the church to which he or she belongs, or shall commit any offence punishable by a magistrate, that member forfeits his membership in the society." Again, the society directly encourages marriage, by "making a present of a young pig to every child born in wedlock, and according as their funds will admit of it, giving rewards to those married persons living faithfully, or single persons living virtuously, who take a pride in keeping their houses neat and tidy, and their gardens flourishing."

These societies have been more than doubled, both in the number of members and in the annual receipts, since emancipation.

Of the societies connected with the established church, the rector of St. John's thus speaks: "At the beginning of 1834 there were eleven societies, embracing 1602 members. At the beginning of 1835 they numbered 4197; and in 1836 there were 4560 members," almost quadrupled in two years!

The societies connected with the Moravian church, have more than doubled, both in members and funds, since emancipation. The funds now amount to $10,000 per year.

The Wesleyans have four Friendly societies. The largest society, which contained six hundred and fifty members, was organized in the month of August, 1834. The last year it had expended £700 currency, and had then in its treasury £600 currency.

Now, be it remembered that the Friendly societies exist solely among the freed negroes, and that the moneys are raised exclusively among them. Among whom? A people who are said to be so proverbially improvident, that to emancipate them, would be to abandon them to beggary, nakedness, and starvation;--a people who "cannot take care of themselves;" who "will not work when freed from the fear of the lash;" who "would squander the earnings of the day in debaucheries at night;" who "would never provide for to-morrow for the wants of a family, or for the infirmities of old age." Yea, among negroes these things are done; and that, too, where the wages are but one shilling per day--less than sufficient, one would reasonably suppose, to provide daily food.


The main object of this society is denoted by its name. It supplies a daily meal to those who are otherwise unprovided for. A commodious house had just been completed in the suburbs of the town, capable of lodging a considerable number of beneficiaries. It is designed to shelter those who are diseased, and cannot walk to and fro for their meals. The number now fed at this house is from eighty to a hundred. The diseased, who live at the dispensary, are mostly those who are afflicted with the elephantiasis, by which they are rendered entirely helpless. Medical aid is supplied free of expense. It is worthy of remark, that there is no public poor-house in Antigua,--a proof of the industry and prosperity of the emancipated people.


This is a society in St. John's: there is also a similar one, called the Female Refuge Society, at English Harbor. Both these societies were established and are conducted by colored ladies. They are designed to promote two objects: the support of destitute aged females of color, and the rescue of poor young colored females from vice. The necessity for special efforts for the first object, arose out of the fact, that the colored people were allowed no parochial aid whatever, though they were required to pay their parochial taxes; hence, the support of their own poor devolved upon themselves. The demand for vigorous action in behalf of the young, grew out of the prevailing licentiousness of slave-holding times. The society in St. John's has been in existence since 1815. It has a large and commodious asylum, and an annual income, by subscriptions, of £350, currency. This society, and the Female Refuge Society established at English Harbor, have been instrumental in effecting a great reform in the morals of females, and particularly in exciting reprobation against that horrid traffic--the sale of girls by their mothers for purposes of lust. We were told of a number of cases in which the society in St. John's had rescued young females from impending ruin. Many members of the society itself, look to it as the guardian of their orphanage. Among other cases related to us, was that of a lovely girl of fifteen, who was bartered away to a planter by her mother, a dissolute woman. The planter was to give her a quantity of cloth to the value of £80 currency, and two young slaves; he was also to give the grandmother, for her interest in the girl, one gallon of rum! The night was appointed, and a gig in waiting to take away the victim, when a female friend was made acquainted with the plot, just in time to save the girl by removing her to her own house. The mother was infuriated, and endeavored to get her back, but the girl had occasionally attended a Sabbath school, where she imbibed principles which forbade her to yield even to her mother for such an unhallowed purpose. She was taken before a magistrate, and indentured herself to a milliner for two years. The mother made an attempt to regain her, and was assisted by some whites with money to commence a suit for that purpose. The lady who defended her was accordingly prosecuted, and the whole case became notorious. The prosecutors were foiled. At the close of her apprenticeship, the young woman was married to a highly respectable colored gentleman, now resident in St. John's. The notoriety which was given to the above case had a happy effect. It brought the society and its object more fully before the public, and the contributions for its support greatly increased. Those for whose benefit the asylum was opened, heard of it, and came begging to be received.

This society is a signal evidence that the colored people neither lack the ability to devise, nor the hearts to cherish, nor the zeal to execute plans of enlarged benevolence and mercy.

The Juvenile Association, too, of which we gave some account in describing its anniversary, originated with the colored people, and furnishes additional evidence of the talents and charities of that class of the community. Besides the societies already enumerated, there are two associations connected with the Established Church, called the "Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge," and the "Branch Association of the Society for Advancing the Christian Faith in the British West Indies, &c." These societies are also designed chiefly for the benefit of the negro population.


Our inquiries under this head were directed to three principal points--first, The extent to which education prevailed previous to emancipation; second, The improvements introduced since; and third, The comparative capacity of negroes for receiving instruction.

Being providentially in the island at the season of the year when all the schools have their annual examinations, we enjoyed the most favorable opportunities for procuring intelligence on the subject of education. From various quarters we received invitations to attend school examinations. We visited the schools at Parham, Willoughby Bay, Newfield; Cedar Hall, Grace Bay, Fitch's Creek, and others: besides visiting the parochial school, the rectory school, the Moravian and Wesleyan schools, in St. John's. All the schools, save those in St. John's, were almost exclusively composed of emancipated children from the estates.


At the invitation of the Governor, we accompanied him to the annual examination of the parochial school, in St. John's, under the superintendance of the Episcopal church. It has increased greatly, both in scholars and efficiency, since emancipation, and contributions are made to its support by the parents whose children receive its benefits. We found one hundred and fifty children, of both sexes, assembled in the society's rooms. There was every color present, from the deepest hue of the Ethiopian, to the faintest shadowing of brown.

The boys constituting the first class, to the number of fifty, were called up. They read with much fluency and distinctness, equalling white boys of the same age anywhere. After reading, various questions were put to them by the Archdeacon, which they answered with promptness and accuracy. Words were promiscuously selected from the chapter they had read, and every one was promptly spelled. The catechism was the next exercise, and they manifested a thorough acquaintance with its contents.

Our attention was particularly called to the examination in arithmetic. Many of the children solved questions readily in the compound rules, and several of them in Practice, giving the different parts of the pound, shilling, and penny, used in that rule, and all the whys and wherefores of the thing, with great promptness. One lad, only ten years of age, whose attendance had been very irregular on account of being employed in learning a trade, performed intricate examples in Practice, with a facility worthy the counting-house desk. We put several inquiries on different parts of the process, in order to test their real knowledge, to which we always received clear answers.

The girls were then examined in the same studies and exercises, except arithmetic, and displayed the same gratifying proficiency. They also presented specimens of needlework and strawbraiding, which the ladies, on whose better judgment we depend, pronounced very creditable. We noticed several girls much older than the others, who had made much less advance in their studies, and on inquiry learned, that they had been members of the school but a short time, having formerly been employed to wield the heavy hoe in the cane field. The parents are very desirous to give their children education, and make many sacrifices for that purpose. Many who are field-laborers in the country, receiving their shilling a day, have sent their children to reside with some relations or friends in town, for the purpose of giving them the benefits of this school. Several such children were pointed out to us. The increase of female scholars during the first year of emancipation, was in this school alone, about eighty.

For our gratification, the Governor requested that all the children emancipated on the first of August, might be called up and placed on our side of the room. Nearly one hundred children, of both sexes, who two years ago were slaves, now stood up before us FREE. We noticed one little girl among the rest, about ten years old, who bore not the least tinge of color. Her hair was straight and light, and her face had that mingling of vermilion and white, which Americans seem to consider, not only the nonpareil standard of beauty, but the immaculate test of human rights. At her side was another with the deepest hue of the native African. There were high emotions on the countenances of those redeemed ones, when we spoke to them of emancipation. The undying principle of freedom living and burning in the soul of the most degraded slave, like lamps amid the darkness of eastern sepulchres, was kindling up brilliantly within them, young as they were, and flashing in smiles upon their ebon faces.

The Governor made a few remarks, in which he gave some good advice, and expressed himself highly pleased with the appearance and proficiency of the school.

His excellency remarked to us in a tone of pleasantry, "You see, gentlemen, these children have souls."

During the progress of the examination; he said to us, "You perceive that it is our policy to give these children every chance to make men of themselves. We look upon them as our future citizens." He had no doubt that the rising generation would assume a position in society above the contempt or opposition of the whites.


We had the pleasure of attending one of the infant schools in the vicinity of Parham, on the east side of the island. Having been invited by a planter, who kindly sent his horse and carriage for our conveyance, to call and take breakfast with him on our way, we drove out early in the morning.

While we were walking about the estate, our attention was arrested by distant singing. As we cast our eyes up a road crossing the estate, we discovered a party of children! They were about twenty in number, and were marching hand in hand to the music of their infant voices. They were children from a neighboring estate, on their way to the examination at Parham, and were singing the hymns which they had learned at school. All had their Testaments in their hands, and seemed right merry-hearted.

We were received at the gate of the chapel by the Wesleyan missionary located in this distinct, a highly respectable and intelligent colored man, who was ten years since a slave. He gave us a cordial welcome, and conducted us to the chapel, where we found the children, to the number of four hundred, assembled, and the examination already commenced. There were six schools present, representing about twenty estates, and arranged under their respective teachers. The ages of the pupils were from three to ten or twelve. They were all, with the exception of two or three, the children of emancipated slaves.

They came up by classes to the superintendent's desk, where they read and were examined. They read correctly; some of them too, who had been in school only a few mouths, in any portion of the New Testament selected for them. By request of the superintendent, we put several inquiries to them, which they answered in a way which showed that they thought. They manifested an acquaintance with the Bible and the use of language which was truly surprising. It was delightful to see so many tiny beings stand around you, dressed in their tidy gowns and frocks, with their bright morning faces, and read with the self-composure of manhood, any passage chosen for them. They all, large and small, bore in their hands the charter of their freedom, the book by the influence of which they received all the privileges they were enjoying. On the cover of each was stamped in large capitals--"PRESENTED BY THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY, IN COMMEMORATION OF THE FIRST OF AUGUST, 1834."

At the close of the examination, the rewards, consisting of books, work-bags, &c. &c., chiefly sent by a society of females in England, were distributed. It was impossible to repress the effervescence of the little expectants. As a little one four years old came up for her reward, the superintendent said to her--"Well, little Becky, what do you want?" "Me wants a bag," said Becky, "and me wants a pin-cushion, and me wants a little book." Becky's desires were large, but being a good girl, she was gratified. Occasionally the girls were left to choose between a book and a work-bag, and although the bag might be gaudy and tempting, they invariably took the book.

The teachers were all but one blacks, and were formerly slaves. They are very devoted and faithful, but are ill-qualified for their duties, having obtained all the learning they possess in the Sabbath school. They are all pious, and exert a harpy influence on the morals of their pupils.

The number of scholars has very greatly increased since emancipation, and their morals have essentially improved. Instances of falsehood and theft, which at first were fearfully frequent and bold, have much lessened. They begin to have a regard for character. Their sense of right and wrong is enlightened, and their power of resisting temptation, and adhering to right, manifestly increased.

On the whole, we know not where we have looked on a more delightful scene. To stand in front of the pulpit and look around on a multitude of negro children, gathered from the sordid huts into which slavery had carried ignorance and misery--to see them coming up, with their teachers of the same proscribed hue, to hear them read the Bible, answer with readiness the questions of their superintendent, and lift up together their songs of infant praise, and then to remember that two years ago these four hundred children were slaves, and still more to remember that in our own country, boasting its republicanism and Christian institutions, there are thousands of just such children under the yoke and scourge, in utter heathenism, the victims of tyrannic law or of more tyrannic public opinion--caused the heart to swell with emotions unutterable. There were as many intelligent countenances, and as much activity and sprightliness, as we ever saw among an equal number of children anywhere. The correctness of their reading, the pertinence of their replies, the general proofs of talent which they showed through all the exercises, evinced that they are none inferior to the children of their white oppressors.

After singing a hymn they all kneeled down, and the school closed with a prayer and benediction. They continued singing as they retired from the house, and long after they had parted on their different ways home, their voices swelled on the breeze at a distance as the little parties from the estates chanted on their way the songs of the school room.


When we entered the school house at Willoughby Bay, which is capable of containing a thousand persons, a low murmur, like the notes of preparation, ran over the multitude. One school came in after we arrived, marching in regular file, with their teacher, a negro man, at their head, and their standard bearer following; next, a sable girl with a box of Testaments on her head. The whole number of children was three hundred and fifty. The male division was first called out, and marched several times around the room, singing and keeping a regular step. After several rounds, they came to a halt, filing off and forming into ranks four rows deep--in quarter-circle shape. The music still continuing, the girls sallied forth, went through the same evolutions, and finally formed in rows corresponding with those of the boys, so as to compose with the latter a semicircle.

The schools were successively examined in spelling, reading, writing, cyphering, &c., after the manner already detailed. In most respects they showed equal proficiency with the children of Parham; and in reading the Testament, their accuracy was even greater. In looking over the writing, several "incendiary" copies caught our eyes. One was, "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal." Another, "If I neglect the cause of my servant, what shall I do when I appear before my Master!" A few years ago, had children been permitted to write at all, one such copy as the above would have exploded the school, and perchance sent the teacher to jail for sedition. But now, thanks to God! the Negro children of Antigua are taught liberty from their Bibles, from their song books, and from their copy books too; they read of liberty, they sing of it, and they write of it; they chant to liberty in their school rooms, and they resume the strains on their homeward way, till every rustling lime-grove, and waving cane-field, is alive with their notes, and every hillock and dell rings with "free" echoes.

The girls, in their turn, pressed around us with the liveliest eagerness to display their little pieces of needle-work. Some had samplers marked with letters and devices in vari-colored silk. Others showed specimens of stitching; while the little ones held up their rude attempts at hemming handkerchiefs, aprons, and so on.

During the exercises we spoke to several elderly women, who were present to witness the scene. They were laborers on the estates, but having children in the school, they had put on their Sunday dresses, and "come to see." We spoke to one, of the privileges which the children were enjoying, since freedom. Her eyes filled, and she exclaimed, "Yes, massa, we do tank de good Lord for bring de free--never can be too tankful." She said she had seven children present, and it made her feel happy to know that they were learning to read. Another woman said, when she heard the children reading so finely, she wanted to "take de word's out of da mouts and put em in her own." In the morning, when she first entered the school house, she felt quite sick, but all the pleasant things she saw and heard, had made her well, and she added, "I tell you, me massa, it do my old heart good to come here." Another aged woman, who had grand-children in the school, said, when she saw what advantages the children enjoyed, she almost cried to think she was not a child too. Besides these there were a number of adult men and women, whom curiosity or parental solicitude had brought together, and they were thronging about the windows and doors witnessing the various exercises with the deepest interest. Among the rest was one old patriarch, who, anxious to bear some part however humble in the exercises of the occasion, walked to and fro among the children, with a six feet pole in his hand, to keep order.

These schools, and those examined at Parham, are under the general supervision of Mr. Charles Thwaites, an indefatigable and long tried friend of the negroes.

We here insert a valuable communication which we received from Mr. T. in reply to several queries addressed to him. It will give further information relative to the schools.

Mr. Charles Thwaites' Replies to Queries on Education in Antigua.

1. What has been your business for some years past in Antigua?

A superintendent of schools, and catechist to the negroes.

2. How long have you been engaged in this business?

Twenty-four years. The first four years engaged gratuitously, ten years employed by the Church Missionary Society, and since, by the Wesleyan Missionary Society.

3. How many schools have you under your charge?

Sunday schools, (including all belonging to the Wesleyan Missionary Society,) eight, with 1850 scholars; day schools, seventeen with 1250 scholars; night schools on twenty-six estates, 336 scholars. The total number of scholars under instruction is about 3500.

4. Are the scholars principally the children who were emancipated in August, 1834?

Yes, except the children in St. John's, most of whom were free before.

5. Are the teachers negroes, colored, or white?

One white, four colored, and sixteen black.[A]

[Footnote A: This number includes only salaried teachers, and not the gratuitous.]

6. How many of the teachers were slaves prior to the first of August, 1834?


7. What were their opportunities for learning?

The Sunday and night schools; and they have much improved themselves since they have been in their present employment.

8. What are their qualifications for teaching, as to education, religion, zeal, perseverance, &c.?

The white and two of the colored teachers, I presume, are well calculated, in all respects, to carry on a school in the ablest manner. The others are deficient in education, but are zealous, and very persevering.

9. What are the wages of these teachers?

The teachers' pay is, some four, and some three dollars per month. This sum is far too small, and would be greater if the funds were sufficient.

10. How and by whom are the expenses of superintendent, teachers, and schools defrayed?

The superintendent's salary, &c., is paid by the Wesleyan Missionary Society. The expenses of teachers and schools are defrayed by charitable societies and friends in England, particularly the Negro Education Society, which grants 50l. sterling per annum towards this object, and pays the rent of the Church Missionary Society's premises in Willoughby Bay for use of the schools. About 46l. sterling per annum is also raised from the children; each child taught writing and needle-work, pays 1-1/2d. sterling per week.

11. Is it your opinion that the negro children are as ready to receive instruction as white children?

Yes, perfectly so.

12. Do parents manifest interest in the education of their children?

They do. Some of the parents are, however, still very ignorant, and are not aware how much their children lose by irregular attendance at the schools.

13. Have there been many instances of theft among the scholars?

Not more than among any other class of children.


Besides an attendance upon the various schools, we procured specific information from teachers, missionaries, planters, and others, with regard to the past and present state of education, and the weight of testimony was to the following effect:

First, That education was by no means extensive previous to emancipation. The testimony of one planter was, that not a tenth part of the present adult population knew the letters of the alphabet. Other planters, and some missionaries, thought the proportion might be somewhat larger; but all agreed that it was very small. The testimony of the venerable Mr. Newby, the oldest Moravian missionary in the island, was, that such was the opposition among the planters, it was impossible to teach the slaves, excepting by night, secretly. Mr. Thwaites informed us that the children were not allowed to attend day school after they were six years old. All the instruction they obtained after that age, was got at night--a very unsuitable time to study, for those who worked all day under an exhausting sun. It is manifest that the instruction received under six years of age, would soon be effaced by the incessant toil of subsequent life. The account given in a former connection of the adult school under the charge of Mr. Morrish, at Newfield, shows most clearly the past inattention to education. And yet Mr. M. stated that his school was a fair specimen of the intelligence of the negroes generally. One more evidence in point is the acknowledged ignorance of Mr. Thwaites' teachers. After searching through the whole freed population for a dozen suitable teachers of children. Mr. T. could not find even that number who could read well. Many children in the schools of six years old read better than their teachers.

We must not be understood to intimate that up to the period of the Emancipation, the planters utterly prohibited the education of their slaves. Public sentiment had undergone some change previous to that event. When the public opinion of England began to be awakened against slavery, the planters were indured, for peace sake, to tolerate education to some extent; though they cannot be said to have encouraged it until after Emancipation. This is the substance of the statements made to us. Hence it appears that when the active opposition of the planters to education ceased, it was succeeded by a general indifference, but little less discouraging. We of course speak of the planters as a body; there were some honorable exceptions.

Second, Education has become very extensive since emancipation. There are probably not less than six thousand children who now enjoy daily instruction. These are of all ages under twelve. All classes feel an interest in knowledge. While the schools previously established are flourishing in newness of life, additional ones are springing up in every quarter. Sabbath schools, adult and infant schools, day and evening schools, are all crowded. A teacher in a Sabbath school in St. John's informed us, that the increase in that school immediately after emancipation was so sudden and great, that he could compare it to nothing but the rising of the mercury when the thermometer is removed out of the shade into the sun.

We learned that the Bible was the principal book taught in all the schools throughout the island. As soon as the children have learned to read, the Bible is put into their hands. They not only read it, but commit to memory portions of it every day:--the first lesson in the morning is an examination on some passage of scripture. We have never seen, even among Sabbath school children, a better acquaintance with the characters and events recorded in the Old and New Testaments, than among the negro children in Antigua. Those passages which inculcate obedience to law are strongly enforced; and the prohibitions against stealing, lying, cheating, idleness, &c., are reiterated day and night.

Great attention is paid to singing in all the schools.

The songs which they usually sung, embraced such topics as Love to God--the presence of God--obedience to parents--friendship for brothers and sisters and schoolmates--love of school--the sinfulness of sloth, of lying, and of stealing. We quote the following hymn as a specimen of the subjects which are introduced into their songs: often were we greeted with this sweet hymn, while visiting the different schools throughout the island.




We're all brothers, sisters, brothers,
   We're sisters and brothers,
   And heaven is our home.
We're all brothers, sisters, brothers,
 We're sisters and brothers,
  And heaven is our home.

The God of heaven is pleased to see
That little children all agree;
And will not slight the praise they bring,
When loving children join to sing:
  We're all brothers, sisters, brothers, &c.

For love and kindness please him more
Than if we gave him all our store;
And children here, who dwell in love,
Are like his happy ones above.
  We're all brothers, sisters, brothers, &c.

The gentle child that tries to please,
That hates to quarrel, fret, and teaze,
And would not say an angry word--
That child is pleasing to the Lord.
  We're all brothers, sisters, brothers, &c.

O God! forgive, whenever we
Forget thy will, and disagree;
And grant that each of us, may find
The sweet delight of being kind.
  We're all brothers, sisters, brothers, &c.

We were convinced that the negroes were as capable of receiving instruction as any people in the world. The testimony of teachers, missionaries, clergymen, and planters, was uniform on this point.

Said one planter of age and long experience on the island, "The negroes are as capable of culture as any people on earth. Color makes no difference in minds. It is slavery alone that has degraded the negro."

Another planter, by way of replying to our inquiry on this subject, sent for a negro child of five years, who read with great fluency in any part of the Testament to which we turned her. "Now," said the gentleman, "I should be ashamed to let you hear my own son, of the same age with that little girl, read after her." We put the following questions to the Wesleyan missionaries: "Are the negroes as apt to learn, as other people in similar circumstances?" Their written reply was this: "We think they are; the same diversified qualities of intellect appear among them, as among other people." We put the same question to the Moravian missionaries, to the clergymen, and to the teachers of each denomination, some of whom, having taught schools in England, were well qualified to judge between the European children and the negro children; and we uniformly received substantially the same answer. Such, however, was the air of surprise with which our question was often received, that it required some courage to repeat it. Sometimes it excited a smile, as though we could not be serious in the inquiry. And indeed we seldom got a direct and explicit answer, without previously stating by way of explanation that we had no doubts of our own, but wished to remove those extensively entertained among our countrymen. After all, we were scarcely credited in Antigua. Such cases as the following were common in every school: children of four and five years old reading the Bible; children beginning in their A, B, C's, and learning to read in four months; children of five and six, answering a variety of questions on the historical parts of the Old Testament; children but a little older, displaying fine specimens of penmanship, performing sums in the compound rules, and running over the multiplication table, and the pound, shilling, and pence table, without mistake.

We were grieved to find that most of the teachers employed in the instruction of the children, were exceedingly unfit for the work. They are very ignorant themselves, and have but little skill in the management of children. This however is a necessary evil. The emancipated negroes feel a great anxiety for the education of their children. They encourage them to go to school, and they labor to support them, while they have strong temptation to detain them at home to work. They also pay a small sum every week for the maintenance of the schools.

In conclusion, we would observe, that one of the prominent features of regenerated Antigua, is its education. An intelligent religion, and a religious education, are the twin glories of this emancipated colony. It is comment enough upon the difference between slavery and freedom, that the same agents which are deprecated as the destroyers of the one, are cherished as the defenders of the other.

Before entering upon a detail of the testimony which bears more directly upon slavery in America, we deem it proper to consider the inquiry.

"What is the amount of freedom in Antigua, as regulated by law?"

1st. The people are entirely free from the whip, and from all compulsory control of the master.

2d. They can change employers whenever they become dissatisfied with their situation, by previously giving a month's notice.

3d. They have the right of trial by jury in all cases of a serious nature, while for small offences, the magistrate's court is open. They may have legal redress for any wrong or violence inflicted by their employers.

4th. Parents have the entire control of their children. The planter cannot in any way interfere with them. The parents have the whole charge of their support.

5th. By an express provision of the legislature, it was made obligatory upon every planter to support all the superannuated, infirm, or diseased on the estate, who were such at this time of emancipation. Those who have become so since 1834, fall upon the hands of their relatives for maintenance.

6th. The amount of wages is not determined by law. By a general understanding among the planters, the rate is at present fixed at a shilling per day, or a little more than fifty cents per week, counting five working days. This matter is wisely left to be regulated by the character of the seasons, and the mutual agreement of the parties concerned. As the island is suffering rather from a paucity of laborers, than otherwise, labor must in good seasons command good wages. The present rate of wages is extremely low, though it is made barely tolerable by the additional perquisites which the people enjoy. They have them houses rent free, and in connection with them small premises forty feet square, suitable for gardens, and for raising poultry, and pigs, &c.; for which they always find a ready market. Moreover, they are burthened with no taxes whatever; and added to this, they are supplied with medical attendance at the expense of the estates.

7th. The master is authorized in case of neglect of work, or turning out late in the morning, or entire absence from labor, to reduce the wages, or withhold them for a time, not exceeding a week.

8th. The agricultural laborers may leave the field whenever they choose, (provided they give a month's previous notice,) and engage in any other business; or they may purchase land and become cultivators themselves, though in either case they are of course liable to forfeit their houses on the estates.

9th. They may leave the island, if they choose, and seek their fortunes in any other part of the world, by making provision for their near relatives left behind. This privilege has been lately tested by the emigration of some of the negroes to Demerara. The authorities of the island became alarmed lest they should lose too many of the laboring population, and the question was under discussion, at the time we were in Antigua, whether it would not be lawful to prohibit the emigration. It was settled, however, that such a measure would be illegal, and the planters were left to the alternative of either being abandoned by their negroes, or of securing their continuance by adding to their comforts and treating them kindly.

10. The right of suffrage, and eligibility to office are subject to no restrictions, save the single one of property, which is the same with all colors. The property qualification, however, is so great, as effectually to exclude the whole agricultural negro population for many years.

11th. The main constabulary force is composed of emancipated negroes, living on the estates. One or two trust-worthy men on each estate are empowered with the authority of constables in relation to the people on the same estate, and much reliance is placed upon these men, to preserve order and to bring offenders to trial.

12th. A body of police has been established, whose duty it is to arrest all disorderly or riotous persons, to repair to the estates in case of trouble, and co-operate with the constables, in arraigning all persons charged with the violation of law.

13th. The punishment for slight offences, such as stealing sugar-canes from the field, is confinement in the house of correction, or being sentenced to the tread-mill, for any period from three days to three months. The punishment for burglary, and other high offences, is solitary confinement in chains, or transportation for life to Botany Bay.

Such are the main features in the statutes, regulating the freedom of the emancipated population of Antigua. It will be seen that there is no enactment which materially modifies, or unduly restrains, the liberty of the subject. There are no secret reservations or postscript provisoes, which nullify the boon of freedom. Not only is slavery utterly abolished, but all its appendages are scattered to the winds; and a system of impartial laws secures justice to all, of every color and condition.

The measure of success which has crowned the experiment of emancipation in Antigua--an experiment tried under so many adverse circumstances, and with comparatively few local advantages--is highly encouraging to slaveholders in our country. It must be evident that the balance of advantages between the situation of Antigua and that of the South, is decidedly in favor of the latter. The South has her resident proprietors, her resources of wealth, talent, and enterprise, and her preponderance of white population; she also enjoys a regularity of seasons, but rarely disturbed by desolating droughts, a bracing climate, which imparts energy and activity to her laboring population, and comparatively numerous wants to stimulate and press the laborer up to the working mark; she has close by her side the example of a free country, whose superior progress in internal improvements, wealth, the arts and sciences, morals and religion, all ocular demonstration to her of her own wretched policy, and a moving appeal in favor of abolition; and above all, site has the opportunity of choosing her own mode, and of ensuring all the blessings of a voluntary and peaceable manumission, while the energies, the resources, the sympathies, and the prayers of the North, stand pledged to her assistance.

       *       *       *       *       *







We have reserved the mass of facts and testimony, bearing immediately upon slavery in America, in order that we might present them together in a condensed furor, under distinct heads. These heads, it will be perceived, consist chiefly of propositions which are warmly contested in our country. Will the reader examine these principles in the light of facts? Will the candid of our countrymen--whatever opinions they may hitherto hate entertained on this subject--hear the concurrent testimony of numerous planters, legislators, lawyers, physicians, and merchants, who have until three years past been wedded to slavery by birth, education, prejudice, associations, and supposed interest, but who have since been divorced from all connection with the system?

In most cases we shall give the names, the stations, and business of our witnesses; in a few instances, in which we were requested to withhold the name, we shall state such circumstances as will serve to show the standing and competency of the individuals. If the reader should find in what follows, very little testimony unfavorable to emancipation, he may know the reason to be, that little was to be gleaned from any part of Antigua. Indeed, we may say that, with very few exceptions, the sentiments here recorded as coming from individuals, are really the sentiments of the whole community. There is no such thing known in Antigua as an opposing, disaffected party. So complete and thorough has been the change in public opinion, that it would be now disreputable to speak against emancipation.

FIRST PROPOSITION.--The transition from slavery to freedom is represented as a greet revolution, by which a prodigious change was effected in the condition of the negroes.

In conversation with us, the planters often spoke of the greatness and suddenness of the change. Said Mr. Barnard, of Green Castle estate, "The transition from slavery to freedom, was like passing suddenly out of a dark dungeon into the light of the sun."

R.B. Eldridge, Esq., a member of the assembly, remarked, that, "There never had been in the history of the world so great and instantaneous a change in the condition of so large a body of people."

The Honorable Nicholas Nugent, speaker of the house of assembly, and proprietor, said, "There never was so sudden a transition from one state to another, by so large a body of people. When the clock began to strike the hour of twelve on the last night of July, 1834, the negroes of Antigua were slaves--when it ceased they were all freemen! It was a stupendous change," he said, "and it was one of the sublimest spectacles ever witnessed, to see the subjects of the change engaged at the very moment it occurred, in worshipping God."

These, and very many similar ones, were the spontaneous expressions of men who had long contended against the change of which they spoke.

It is exceedingly difficult to make slaveholders see that there is any material difference between slavery and freedom; but when they have once renounced slavery, they will magnify this distinction more than any other class of men.

SECOND PROPOSITION.--Emancipation in Antigua was the result of political and pecuniary considerations merely.

Abolition was seen to be inevitable, and there were but two courses left to the colonists--to adopt the apprenticeship system, or immediate emancipation. Motives of convenience led them to choose the latter. Considerations of general philanthropy, of human rights, and of the sinfulness of slavery, were scarcely so much as thought of.

Some time previous to the abolition of slavery, a meeting of the influential men of the island was called in St. John's, to memorialize parliament against the measure of abolition. When the meeting convened, the Hon. Samuel O. Baijer, who had been the champion of the opposition, was called upon to propose a plan of procedure. To the consternation of the pro-slavery meeting, their leader arose and spoke to the following effect:--"Gentlemen, my previous sentiments on this subject are well known to you all; be not surprised to learn that they have undergone an entire change, I have not altered my views without mature deliberation. I have been making calculations with regard to the probable results of emancipation, and I have ascertained beyond a doubt, that I can cultivate my estate at least one third cheaper by free labor than by slave labor." After Mr. B. had finished his remarks, Mr. S. Shands, member of assembly, and a wealthy proprietor, observed that he entertained precisely the same views with those just expressed; but he thought that the honorable gentleman had been unwise in uttering them in so public a manner; "for," said he, "should these sentiments reach the ear of parliament, as coming from us, it might induce them to withhold the compensation."

Col. Edwards, member of the assembly, then arose and said, that he had long been opposed to slavery, but he had not dared to avow his sentiments.

As might be supposed, the meeting adjourned without effecting the object for which it was convened.

When the question came before the colonial assembly, similar discussions ensued, and finally the bill for immediate emancipation passed both bodies unanimously. It was an evidence of the spirit of selfish expediency, which prompted the whole procedure, that they clogged the emancipation bill with the proviso that a certain governmental tax on exports, called the four and a half per cent tax[A], should be repealed. Thus clogged, the bill was sent home for sanction, but it was rejected by parliament, and sent back with instructions, that before it could receive his majesty's seal, it must appear wholly unencumbered with extraneous provisoes. This was a great disappointment to the legislature, and it so chagrined them that very many actually withdrew their support from the bill for emancipation, which passed finally in the assembly only by the casting vote of the speaker.

[Footnote A: We subjoin the following brief history of the four and a half per cent. tax, which we procured from the speaker of the assembly. In the rein of Charles II., Antigua was conquered by the French, and the inhabitants were forced to swear allegiance to the French government. In a very short time the French were driven off the island and the English again took possession of it. It was then declared, by order of the king, that as the people had, by swearing allegiance to another government, forfeited the protection of the British government, and all title to their lands, they should not again receive either, except on condition of paying to the king a duty of four and a half per cent on every article exported from the island--and that they were to do in perpetuity. To this hard condition they were obliged to submit, and they have groaned under the onerous duty ever since. On every occasion, which offered any hope, they have sought the repeal of the tax, but have uniformly been defeated. When they saw that the abolition question was coming to a crisis, they resolved to make a last effort for the repeal of the four and a half percent duty. They therefore adopted immediate emancipation, and then, covered as they were, with the laurels of so magnanimous an act, they presented to parliament their cherished object. The defeat was a humiliating one, and it produced such a reaction in the island, as well nigh led to the rescinding of the abolition bill.]

The verbal and written statements of numerous planters also confirm the declaration that emancipation was a measure solely of selfish policy.

Said Mr. Bernard, of Green Castle estate "Emancipation was preferred to apprenticeship, because it was attended with less trouble, and left the planters independent, instead of being saddled with a legion of stipendiary magistrates."

Said Dr. Daniell, member of the council, and proprietor--"The apprenticeship was rejected by us solely from motives of policy. We did not wish to be annoyed with stipendiary magistrates."

Said Hon. N. Nugent--"We wished to let ourselves down in the easiest manner possible; therefore we chose immediate freedom in preference to the apprenticeship."

"Emancipation was preferred to apprenticeship, because of the inevitable and endless perplexities connected with the latter system."--David Cranstoun, Esq., colonial magistrate and planter.

"It is not pretended that emancipation was produced by the influence of religious considerations. It was a measure of mere convenience and interest."--A Moravian Missionary.

The following testimony is extracted from a letter addressed to us by a highly respectable merchant of St. John's--a gentleman of long experience on the island, and now agent for several estates. "Emancipation was an act of mere policy, adopted as the safest and most economic measure."

Our last item of testimony under this head is from a written statement by the Hon. N. Nugent, speaker of the assembly, at the time of emancipation. His remarks on this subject, although long, we are sure will be read with interest. Alluding to the adoption of immediate emancipation in preference to the apprenticeship, he observes:--

"The reasons and considerations which led to this step were various, of course impressing the minds of different individuals in different degrees. As slave emancipation could not be averted, and must inevitably take place very shortly, it was better to meet the crisis at once, than to have it hanging over our heads for six years, with all its harassing doubts and anxieties; better to give an air of grace to that which would be ultimately unavoidable; the slaves should rather have a motive of gratitude and kind reciprocation, than to feel, on being declared free, that their emancipation could neither be withheld nor retarded by their owners. The projected apprenticeship, while it destroyed the means of an instant coercion in a state of involuntary labor, equally withdrew or neutralized all those urgent motives which constrain to industrious exertion in the case of freemen. It abstracted from the master, in a state of things then barely remunerative, one fourth of the time and labor required in cultivation, and gave it to the servant, while it compelled the master to supply the same allowances as before. With many irksome restraints, conditions, and responsibilities imposed on the master, it had no equivalent advantages. There appeared no reason, in short, why general emancipation would not do as well in 1834 as in 1840. Finally, a strong conviction existed that from peculiarity of climate and soil, the physical wants and necessities of the peasantry would compel them to labor for their subsistence, to seek employment and wages from the proprietors of the soil; and if the transformation could be safely and quietly brought about, that the free system might be cheaper and more profitable than the other."

The general testimony of planters, missionaries, clergymen, merchants, and others, was in confirmation of the same truth.

There is little reason to believe that the views of the colonists on this subject have subsequently undergone much change. We did not hear, excepting occasionally among the missionaries and clergy, the slightest insinuation thrown out that slavery was sinful; that the slaves had a right to freedom, or that it would have been wrong to have continued them in bondage. The politics of anti-slavery the Antiguans are exceedingly well versed in, but of its religion, they seem to feel but little. They seem never to have examined slavery in its moral relations; never to have perceived its monstrous violations of right and its impious tramplings upon God and man. The Antigua planters, it would appear, have yet to repent of the sin of slaveholding.

If the results of an emancipation so destitute of principle, so purely selfish, could produce such general satisfaction, and be followed by such happy results, it warrants us in anticipating still more decided and unmingled blessings in the train of a voluntary, conscientious, and religious abolition.

THIRD PROPOSITION.--The event of emancipation passed PEACEFULLY. The first of August, 1834, is universally regarded in Antigua, as having presented a most imposing and sublime moral spectacle. It is almost impossible to be in the company of a missionary, a planter, or an emancipated negro, for ten minutes, without hearing some allusion to that occasion. Even at the time of our visit to Antigua, after the lapse of nearly three years, they spoke of the event with an admiration apparently unabated.

For some time previous to the first of August, forebodings of disaster lowered over the island. The day was fixed! Thirty thousand degraded human beings were to be brought forth from the dungeon of slavery and "turned loose on the community!" and this was to be done "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye."

Gloomy apprehensions were entertained by many of the planters. Some timorous families did not go to bed on the night of the 31st of July; fear drove sleep from their eyes, and they awaited with fluttering pulse the hour of midnight, fearing lest the same bell which sounded the jubilee of the slaves might toll the death knell of the masters.[A]

[Footnote A: We were informed by a merchant of St. John's, that several American vessels which had lain for weeks in the harbor, weighed anchor on the 31st of July, and made their escape, through actual fear, that the island would be destroyed on the following day. Ere they set sail they earnestly besought our informant to escape from the island, as he valued his life.]

The more intelligent, who understood the disposition of the negroes, and contemplated the natural tendencies of emancipation, through philosophical principles, and to the light of human nature and history, were free from alarm.

To convey to the reader some idea of the manner in which the great crisis passed, we give the substance of several accounts which were related to us in different parts of the island, by those who witnessed them.

The Wesleyans kept "watch-night" in all their chapels on the night of the 31st July. One of the Wesleyan missionaries gave us an account of the watch meeting at the chapel in St. John's. The spacious house was filled with the candidates for liberty. All was animation and eagerness. A mighty chorus of voices swelled the song of expectation and joy, and as they united in prayer, the voice of the leader was drowned in the universal acclamations of thanksgiving and praise, and blessing, and honor, and glory, to God, who had come down for their deliverance. In such exercises the evening was spent until the hour of twelve approached. The missionary then proposed that when the clock on the cathedral should begin to strike, the whole congregation should fall upon their knees and receive the boon of freedom in silence. Accordingly, as the loud bell tolled its first note, the immense assembly fell prostrate on their knees. All was silence, save the quivering half-stifled breath of the struggling spirit. The slow notes of the clock fell upon the multitude; peal on peal, peal on peal, rolled over the prostrate throng, in tones of angels' voices, thrilling among the desolate chords and weary heart strings. Scarce had the clock sounded its last note, when the lightning flashed vividly around, and a loud peal of thunder roared along the sky--God's pillar of fire, and trump of jubilee! A moment of profoundest silence passed--then came the burst--they broke forth in prayer; they shouted, they sung, "Glory," "alleluia;" they clapped their hands, leaped up, fell down, clasped each other in their free arms, cried, laughed, and went to and fro, tossing upward their unfettered hands; but high above the whole there was a mighty sound which ever and anon swelled up; it was the utterings in broken negro dialect of gratitude to God.

After this gush of excitement had spent itself; and the congregation became calm, the religious exercises were resumed, and the remainder of the night was occupied in singing and prayer, in reading the Bible, and in addresses from the missionaries explaining the nature of the freedom just received, and exhorting the freed people to be industrious, steady, obedient to the laws, and to show themselves in all things worthy of the high boon which God had conferred upon them.

The first of August came on Friday, and a release was proclaimed from all work until the next Monday. The day was chiefly spent by the great mass of the negroes in the churches and chapels. Thither they flocked "as clouds, and as doves to their windows." The clergy and missionaries throughout the island were actively engaged, seizing the opportunity in order to enlighten the people on all the duties and responsibilities of their new relation, and above all, urging them to the attainment of that higher liberty with which Christ maketh his children free. In every quarter we were assured that the day was like a Sabbath. Work had ceased; the hum of business was still, and noise and tumult were unheard on the streets. Tranquillity pervaded the towns and country. A Sabbath indeed! when the wicked ceased from troubling, and the weary were at rest, and the slave was free from his master! The planters informed us that they went to the chapels where their own people were assembled, greeted them, shook hands with them, and exchanged the most hearty good wishes.

The churches and chapels were thronged all over the island. At Cedar Hall, a Moravian station, the crowd was so great that the minister was obliged to remove the meeting from the chapel to a neighboring grove.

At Grace Hill, another Moravian station, the negroes went to the Missionary on the day before the first of August, and begged that they might be allowed to have a meeting in the chapel at sunrise. It is the usual practice among the Moravians to hold but one sunrise meeting during the year, and that is on the morning of Easter: but as the people besought very earnestly for this special favor on the Easter morning of their freedom, it was granted to them.

Early in the morning they assembled at the chapel. For some time they sat in perfect silence. The missionary then proposed that they should kneel down and sing. The whole audience fell upon their knees, and sung a hymn commencing with the following verse:

"Now let us praise the Lord,
With body, soul and spirit,
Who doth such wondrous things,
Beyond our sense and merit."

The singing was frequently interrupted with the tears and sobbings of the melted people, until finally it was wholly arrested, and a tumult of emotion overwhelmed the congregation.

During the day, repeated meetings were held. At eleven o'clock, the people assembled in vast numbers. There were at least a thousand persons around the chapel, who could not get in. For once the house of God suffered violence, and the violent took it by force. After all the services of the day, the people went again to the missionaries in a body, and petitioned to have a meeting in the evening.

At Grace Bay, the people, all dressed in white, assembled in a spacious court in front of the Moravian chapel. They formed a procession and walked arm in arm into the chapel. Similar scenes occurred at all the chapels and at the churches also. We were told by the missionaries that the dress of the negroes on that occasion was uncommonly simple and modest. There was not the least disposition of gaiety.

We were also informed by planters and missionaries in every part of the island, that there was not a single dance known of, either day or night, nor so much as a fiddle played. There were no riotous assemblies, no drunken carousals. It was not in such channels that the excitement of the emancipated flowed. They were as far from dissipation and debauchery, as they were from violence and carnage. GRATITUDE was the absorbing emotion. From the hill-tops, and the valleys, the cry of a disenthralled people went upward like the sound of many waters, "Glory to God, glory to God."

The testimony of the planters corresponds fully with that of the missionaries.

Said R.B. Eldridge, Esq., after speaking of the number emancipated, "Yet this vast body, (30,000,) glided out of slavery into freedom with the utmost tranquillity."

Dr. Daniell observed, that after so prodigious a revolution in the condition of the negroes, he expected that some irregularities would ensue; but he had been entirely disappointed. He also said that he anticipated some relaxation from labour during the week following emancipation. But he found his hands in the field early on Monday morning, and not one missing. The same day he received word from another estate, of which he was proprietor,[A] that the negroes had to a man refused to go to the field. He immediately rode to the estate and found the people standing with their hoes in their hands doing nothing. He accosted them in a friendly manner: "What does this mean, my fellows, that you are not at work this morning?" They immediately replied, "It's not because we don't want to work, massa, but we wanted to see you first and foremost to know what the bargain would be." As soon as that matter was settled, the whole body of negroes turned out cheerfully, without a moment's cavil.

[Footnote A: It is not unusual in the West Indies for proprietors to commit their own estates into the hands of managers; and be themselves, the managers of other men's estates.]

Mr. Bourne, of Millar's, informed us that the largest gang he had ever seen in the field on his property, turned out the week after emancipation.

Said Hon. N. Nugent, "Nothing could surpass the universal propriety of the negroes' conduct on the first of August, 1834! Never was there a more beautiful and interesting spectacle exhibited, than on that occasion."

FOURTH PROPOSITION.--There has been since emancipation, not only no rebellion in fact, but NO FEAR OF IT in Antigua.

Proof 1st. The militia were not called out during Christmas holidays. Before emancipation, martial law invariably prevailed on the holidays, but the very first Christmas after emancipation, the Governor made a proclamation stating that in consequence of the abolition of slavery it was no longer necessary to resort to such a precaution. There has not been a parade of soldiery on any subsequent Christmas.[B]

[Footnote B: This has been followed by a measure on the part of the Legislature, which is further proof of the same thing. It is "an Act for amending and further continuing the several Acts at present in force for better organizing and ordering the militia."

The preamble reads thus:

"WHEREAS the abolition of slavery in this island renders it expedient to provide against an unnecessary augmentation of the militia, and the existing laws for better organizing and ordering that local force require amendment."

The following military advertisement also shows the increasing confidence which is felt in the freed men:

"RECRUITS WANTED.--The free men of Antigua are now called on to show their gratitude and loyalty to King WILLIAM, for the benefits he has conferred on them and their families, by volunteering their services as soldiers in his First West India Regiment; in doing which they will acquire a still higher rank in society, by being placed on a footing of perfect equality with the other troops in his Majesty's service, and receive the same bounty, pay, clothing, rations and allowances.

None but young men of good character can be received, and all such will meet with every encouragement by applying at St. John's Barracks, to

H. DOWNIE, Capt. 1st W.I. Regt. September 15th, 1836." ]

2d. The uniform declaration of planters and others:

"Previous to emancipation, many persons apprehended violence and bloodshed as the consequence of turning the slaves all loose. But when emancipation took place, all these apprehensions vanished. The sense of personal security is universal. We know not of a single instance in which the negroes have exhibited a revengeful spirit."

S. Bourne, Esq., of Millar's.--Watkins, Esq., of Donovan's.

"It has always appeared to me self-evident, that if a man is peaceable while a slave, he will be so when a free man."

Dr. Ferguson.

"There is no possible danger of personal violence from the slaves; should a foreign power invade our island, I have no doubt that the negroes would, to a man, fight for the planters. I have the utmost confidence in all the people who are under my management; they are my friends, and they consider me their friend."

H. Armstrong, Esq., of Fitch's Creek.

The same gentleman informed us that during slavery, he used frequently to lie sleepless on his bed, thinking about his dangerous situation--a lone white person far away from help, and surrounded by hundreds of savage slaves; and he had spent hours thus, in devising plans of self-defence in case the house should be attacked by the negroes. "If they come," he would say to himself, "and break down the door, and fill my bedroom, what shall I do? It will be useless to fire at them; my only hope is to frighten the superstitious fellows by covering myself with a white sheet, and rushing into the midst of them, crying, 'ghost, ghost.'"

Now Mr. A. sleeps in peace and safety, without conjuring up a ghost to keep guard at his bedside. His bodyguard is a battalion of substantial flesh and blood, made up of those who were once the objects of his nightly terror!

"There has been no instance of personal violence since freedom. Some persons pretended, prior to emancipation, to apprehend disastrous results; but for my part I cannot say that I ever entertained such fears. I could not see any thing which was to instigate negroes to rebellion, after they had obtained their liberty. I have not heard of a single case of even meditated revenge."

Dr. Daniell, Proprietor, Member of Council, Attorney of six estates, and Manager of Weatherill's.

"One of the blessings of emancipation has been, that it has banished the fear of insurrections, incendiarism, &c."

Mr. Favey, Manager of Lavicount's.

"In my extensive intercourse with the people, as missionary, I have never heard of an instance of violence or revenge on the part of the negroes, even where they had been ill-treated during slavery."

Rev. Mr. Morrish, Moravian Missionary.

"Insurrection or revenge is in no case dreaded, not even by those planters who were most cruel in the time of slavery. My family go to sleep every night with the doors unlocked, and we fear neither violence nor robbery."

Hon. N. Nugent.

Again, in a written communication, the same gentleman remarks:--"There is not the slightest feeling of insecurity--quite the contrary. Property is more secure, for all idea of insurrection is abolished forever."

"We have no cause now to fear insurrections; emancipation has freed us from all danger on this score."

David Cranstoun, Esq.

Extract of a letter from a merchant of St. John's who has resided in Antigua more than thirty years:

"There is no sense of personal danger arising from insurrections or conspiracies among the blacks. Serious apprehensions of this nature were formerly entertained; but they gradually died away during the first year of freedom."

We quote the following from a communication addressed to us by a gentleman of long experience in Antigua--now a merchant in St. John's--James Scotland, Sen., Esq.

"Disturbances, insubordinations, and revelry, have greatly decreased since emancipation; and it is a remarkable fact, that on the day of abolition, which was observed with the solemnity and services of the Sabbath, not an instance of common insolence was experienced from any freed man."

"There is no feeling of insecurity. A stronger proof of this cannot be given than the dispensing, within five months after emancipation, with the Christmas guards, which had been regularly and uninterruptedly kept, for nearly one hundred years--during the whole time of slavery."

"The military has never been called out, but on one occasion, since the abolition, and that was when a certain planter, the most violent enemy of freedom, reported to the Governor that there were strong symptoms of insurrection among his negroes. The story was generally laughed at, and the reporter of it was quite ashamed of his weakness and fears."

"My former occupation, as editor of a newspaper, rendered it necessary for me to make incessant inquiries into the conduct as well as the treatment of the emancipated, and I have never heard any instance of revenge for former injuries. The negroes have quitted managers who were harsh or cruel to them in their bondage, but they removed in a peaceable and orderly manner."

"Our negroes, and I presume other negroes too, are very little less sensible to the force of those motives which lead to the peace, order, and welfare of society, than any other set of people."

"The general conduct of the negroes has been worthy of much praise, especially considering the sudden transition from slavery to unrestricted freedom. Their demeanor is peaceable and orderly."

Ralph Higinbothom, U. S. Consul.

As we mingled with the missionaries, both in town and country, they all bore witness to the security of their persons and families. They, equally with the planters, were surprised that we should make any inquiries about insurrections. A question on this subject generally excited a smile, a look of astonishment, or some exclamation, such as "Insurrection! my dear sirs, we do not think of such a thing;" or, "Rebellion indeed! why, what should they rebel for now, since they have got their liberty!"

Physicians informed us that they were in the habit of riding into the country at all hours of the night, and though they were constantly passing negroes, both singly and in companies, they never had experienced any rudeness, nor even so much as an insolent word. They could go by night or day, into any part of the island where their professional duties called them, without the slightest sense of danger.

A residence of nine weeks in the island gave us no small opportunity of testing the reality of its boasted security. The hospitality of planters and missionaries, of which we have recorded so many instances in a previous part of this work, gave us free access to their houses in every part of the island. In many cases we were constrained to spend the night with them, and thus enjoyed, in the intimacies of the domestic circle, and in the unguarded moments of social intercourse, every opportunity of detecting any lurking fears of violence, if such there had been; but we saw no evidence of it, either in the arrangements of the houses or in the conduct of the inmates[A].

[Footnote A: In addition to the evidence derived from Antigua, we would mention the following fact:

A planter, who is also an attorney, informed us that on the neighboring little island of Barbuda, (which is leased from the English government by Sir Christopher Coddrington,) there are five hundred negroes and only three white men. The negroes are entirely free, yet the whites continue to live among them without any fear of having their throats cut. The island is cultivated in sugar.--Barbuda is under the government of Antigua, and accordingly the act of entire emancipation extended to that island.]

FIFTH PROPOSITION.--There has been no fear of house breaking, highway robberies, and like misdemeanors, since emancipation. Statements, similar to those adduced under the last head, from planters, and other gentlemen, might be introduced here; but as this proposition is so intimately involved in the foregoing, separate proof is not necessary. The same causes which excite apprehensions of insurrection, produce fears of robberies and other acts of violence; so also the same state of society which establishes security of person, insures the safety of property. Both in town and country we heard gentlemen repeatedly speak of the slight fastenings to their houses. A mere lock, or bolt, was all that secured the outside doors, and they might be burst open with ease, by a single man. In some cases, as has already been intimated, the planters habitually neglect to fasten their doors--so strong is their confidence of safety. We were not a little struck with the remark of a gentleman in St. John's. He said he had long been desirous to remove to England, his native country, and had slavery continued much longer in Antigua, he certainly should have gone; but now the security of property was so much greater in Antigua than it was in England, that he thought it doubtful whether he should ever venture to take his family thither.

SIXTH PROPOSITION.--Emancipation is regarded by all classes as a great blessing to the island.

There is not a class, or party, or sect, who do not esteem the abolition of slavery as a special blessing to them. The rich, because it relieved them of "property" which was fast becoming a disgrace, as it had always been a vexation and a tax, and because it has emancipated them from the terrors of insurrection, which kept them all their life time subject to bondage. The poor whites--because it lifted from off them the yoke of civil oppression. The free colored population--because it gave the death blow to the prejudice that crushed them, and opened the prospect of social, civil, and political equality with the whites. The slaves--because it broke open their dungeon, led them out to liberty, and gave them, in one munificent donation, their wives, their children, their bodies, their souls--every thing!

The following extracts from the journals of the legislature, show the state of feeling existing shortly after emancipation. The first is dated October 30, 1834:

"The Speaker said, that he looked with exultation at the prospect before us. The hand of the Most High was evidently working for us. Could we regard the universal tranquillity, the respectful demeanor of the lower classes, as less than an interposition of Providence? The agricultural and commercial prosperity of the island were absolutely on the advance; and for his part he would not hesitate to purchase estates to-morrow."

The following remark was made in the course of a speech by a member of the council, November 12, 1834:

"Colonel Brown stated, that since emancipation he had never been without a sufficient number of laborers, and he was certain he could obtain as many more to-morrow as he should wish."

The general confidence in the beneficial results of emancipation, has grown stronger with every succeeding year and month. It has been seen that freedom will bear trial; that it will endure, and continue to bring forth fruits of increasing value.

The Governor informed us that "it was universally admitted, that emancipation had been a great blessing to the island."

In a company of proprietors and planters, who met us on a certain occasion, among whom were lawyers, magistrates, and members of the council, and of the assembly, the sentiment was distinctly avowed, that emancipation was highly beneficial to the island, and there was not a dissenting opinion.

"Emancipation is working most admirably, especially for the planters. It is infinitely better policy than slavery or the apprenticeship either." --Dr. Ferguson.

"Our planters find that freedom answers a far better purpose than slavery ever did. A gentleman, who is attorney for eight estates, assured me that there was no comparison between the benefits and advantages of the two systems."--Archdeacon Parry.

"All the planters in my neighborhood (St. Philip's parish) are highly pleased with the operation of the new system."--Rev. Mr. Jones, Rector of St. Philip's.

"I do not know of more than one or two planters in the whole island, who do not consider emancipation as a decided advantage to all parties." --Dr. Daniell.

That emancipation should be universally regarded as a blessing, is remarkable, when we consider that combination of untoward circumstances which it has been called to encounter--a combination wholly unprecedented in the history of the island. In 1835, the first year of the new system, the colony was visited by one of the most desolating hurricanes which has occurred for many years. In the same year, cultivation was arrested, and the crops greatly reduced, by drought. About the same time, the yellow fever prevailed with fearful mortality. The next year the drought returned, and brooded in terror from March until January, and from January until June: not only blasting the harvest of '36, but extending its blight over the crops of '37.

Nothing could be better calculated to try the confidence in the new system. Yet we find all classes zealously exonerating emancipation, and in despite of tornado, plague, and wasting, still affirming the blessings and advantages of freedom!

SEVENTH PROPOSITION.--Free labor is decidedly LESS EXPENSIVE than slave labor. It costs the planter actually less to pay his free laborers daily wages, than it did to maintain his slaves. It will be observed in the testimony which follows, that there is some difference of opinion as to the precise amount of reduction in the expenses, which is owing to the various modes of management on different estates, and more particularly, to the fact that some estates raise all their provisions, while others raise none. But as to the fact itself, there can scarcely be said to be any dispute among the planters. There was one class of planters whose expenses seemed to be somewhat increased, viz. those who raised all their provisions before emancipation, and ceased to raise any after that event. But in the opinion of the most intelligent planters, even these did not really sustain any loss, for originally it was bad policy to raise provisions, since it engrossed that labor which would have been more profitably directed to the cultivation of sugar; and hence they would ultimately be gainers by the change.

S. Bourne, Esq. stated that the expenses on Millar's estate, of which he is manager, had diminished about one third.

Mr. Barnard, of Green Castle, thought his expenses were about the same that they were formerly.

Mr. Favey, of Lavicount's estate, enumerated, among the advantages of freedom over slavery, "the diminished expense."

Dr. Nugent also stated, that "the expenses of cultivation were greatly diminished."

Mr. Hatley, manager of Fry's estate, said that the expenses on his estate had been greatly reduced since emancipation. He showed us the account of his expenditures for the last year of slavery, and the first full year of freedom, 1835. The expenses during the last year of slavery were 1371l. 2s. 4-1/2d.; the expenses for 1835 were 821l. 16s. 7-1/2d.: showing a reduction of more than one third.

D. Cranstoun, Esq., informed us that his weekly expenses during slavery, on the estate which he managed, were, on an average, 45l.; the average expenses now do not exceed 20l.

Extract of a letter from Hon. N. Nugent:

"The expenses of cultivating sugar estates have in no instance, I believe, been found greater than before. As far as my experience goes, they are certainly less, particularly as regards those properties which were overhanded before, when proprietors were compelled to support more dependents than they required. In some cases, the present cost is less by one third. I have not time to furnish you with any detailed statements, but the elements of the calculation are simple enough."

It is not difficult to account for the diminution in the cost of cultivation. In the first place, for those estates that bought their provision previous to emancipation, it cost more money to purchase their stores than they now pay out in wages. This was especially true in dry seasons, when home provisions failed, and the island was mainly dependent upon foreign supplies.

But the chief source of the diminution lies in the reduced number of people to be supported by the planter. During slavery, the planter was required by law to maintain all the slaves belonging to the estate; the superannuated, the infirm, the pregnant, the nurses, the young children, and the infants, as well as the working slaves. Now it is only the latter class, the effective laborers, (with the addition of such as were superannuated or infirm at the period of emancipation,) who are dependent upon the planter. These are generally not more than one half, frequently less than a third, of the whole number of negroes resident on the estate; consequently a very considerable burthen has been removed from the planter.

The reader may form some estimate of the reduced expense to the planter, resulting from these causes combined, by considering the statement made to us by Hon. N. Nugent, and repeatedly by proprietors and managers, that had slavery been in existence during the present drought, many of the smaller estates must have been inevitably ruined; on account of the high price of imported provisions, (home provisions having fallen short) and the number of slaves to be fed.

EIGHTH PROPOSITION.--The negroes work more cheerfully, and do their work better than they did during slavery. Wages are found to be an ample substitute for the lash--they never fail to secure the amount of labor desired. This is particularly true where task work is tried, which is done occasionally in cases of a pressing nature, when considerable effort is required. We heard of no complaints on the score of idleness, but on the contrary, the negroes were highly commended for the punctuality and cheerfulness with which they performed the work assigned them.

The Governor stated, that "he was assured by planters, from every part of the island, that the negroes were very industriously disposed."

"My people have become much more industrious since they were emancipated. I have been induced to extend the sugar cultivation over a number of acres more than have ever been cultivated before."--Mr. Watkins, of Donovan's.

"Fearing the consequences of emancipation, I reduced my cultivation in the year '34; but soon finding that my people would work as well as ever, I brought up the cultivation the next year to the customary extent, and this year ('36) I have added fifteen acres of new land."--S. Bourne, of Millar's.

"Throughout the island the estates were never in a more advanced state than they now are. The failure in the crops is not in the slightest degree chargeable to a deficiency of labor. I have frequently adopted the job system for short periods; the results have always been gratifying--the negroes accomplished twice as much as when they worked for daily wages, because they made more money. On some days they would make three shillings--three times the ordinary wages."--Dr. Daniell.

"They are as a body more industrious than when slaves, for the obvious reason that they are working for themselves."--Ralph Higinbothom, U.S. Consul.

"I have no hesitation in saying that on my estate cultivation is more forward than ever it has been at the same season. The failure of the crops is not in the least degree the fault of the laborers. They have done well."--Mr. Favey, of Lavicount's estate.

"The most general apprehension prior to emancipation was, that the negroes would not work after they were made free--that they would be indolent, buy small parcels of land, and 'squat' on them to the neglect of sugar cultivation. Time, however, has proved that there was no foundation for this apprehension. The estates were never in better order than they are at present. If you are interrogated on your return home concerning the cultivation of Antigua, you can say that every thing depends upon the weather. If we have sufficient rain, you may be certain that we shall realize abundant crops. If we have no rain, the crops must inevitably fail. But we always depend upon the laborers. On account of the stimulus to industry which wages afford, there is far less feigned sickness than there was during slavery. When slaves, the negroes were glad to find any excuse for deserting their labor, and they were incessantly feigning sickness. The sick-house was thronged with real and pretended invalids. After '34, it was wholly deserted. The negroes would not go near it; and, in truth, I have lately used it for a stable."--Hon. N. Nugent.

"Though the laborers on both the estates under my management have been considerably reduced since freedom, yet the grounds have never been in a finer state of cultivation, than they are at present. When my work is backward, I give it out in jobs, and it is always done in half the usual time."

"Emancipation has almost wholly put an end to the practice of skulking, or pretending to be sick. That was a thing which caused the planter a vast deal of trouble during slavery. Every Monday morning regularly, when I awoke, I found ten or a dozen, or perhaps twenty men and women, standing around my door, waiting for me to make my first appearance, and begging that I would let them off from work that day on account of sickness. It was seldom the case that one fourth of the applicants were really unwell; but every one would maintain that he was very sick, and as it was hard to contend with them about it, they were all sent off to the sick-house. Now this is entirely done away, and my sick-house is converted into a chapel for religious worship."--James Howell, Esq.

"I find my people much more disposed to work than they formerly were. The habit of feigning sickness to get rid of going to the field, is completely broken up. This practice was very common during slavery. It was often amusing to hear their complaints. One would come carrying an arm in one hand, and declaring that it had a mighty pain in it, and he could not use the hoe no way; another would make his appearance with both hands on his breast, and with a rueful look complain of a great pain in the stomach; a third came limping along, with a dreadful rheumatiz in his knees; and so on for a dozen or more. It was vain to dispute with them, although it was often manifest that nothing earthly was ailing them. They would say, 'Ah! me massa, you no tink how bad me feel--it's deep in, massa.' But all this trouble is passed. We have no sick-house now; no feigned sickness, and really much less actual illness than formerly. My people say, 'they have not time to be sick now.' My cultivation has never been so far advanced at the same season, or in finer order than it is at the present time. I have been encouraged by the increasing industry of my people to bring several additional acres under cultivation."--Mr. Hatley, Fry's estate.

"I get my work done better than formerly, and with incomparably more cheerfulness. My estate was never in a finer state of cultivation than it is now, though I employ fewer laborers than during slavery. I have occasionally used job, or task work, and with great success. When I give out a job, it is accomplished in about half the time that it would have required by giving the customary wages. The people will do as much in one week at job work, as they will in two, working for a shilling a day. I have known them, when they had a job to do, turn out before three o'clock in the morning, and work by moonlight."--D. Cranstoun, Esq.

"My people work very well for the ordinary wages; I have no fault to find with them in this respect."--Manager of Scotland's estate.

Extract from the Superintendent's Report to the Commander in Chief.


"During the last month I have visited the country in almost every direction, with the express object of paying a strict attention to all branches of agricultural operations at that period progressing.

The result of my observations is decidedly favorable, as regards proprietors and laborers. The manufacture of sugar has advanced as far as the long and continued want of rain will admit; the lands, generally, appear to be in a forward state of preparation for the ensuing crop, and the laborers seem to work with more steadiness and satisfaction to themselves and their employers, than they have manifested for some length of time past, and their work is much more correctly performed.

Complaints are, for the most part, adduced by the employers against the laborers, and principally consist, (as hitherto,) of breaches of contract; but I am happy to observe, that a diminution of dissatisfaction on this head even, has taken place, as will be seen by the accompanying general return of offences reported.

Your honor's most obedient, humble servant,

Richard S. Wickham, Superintendent of police."

NINTH PROPOSITION.--The negroes are more easily managed as freemen than they were when slaves.

On this point as well as on every other connected with the system of slavery, public opinion in Antigua has undergone an entire revolution, since 1834. It was then a common maxim that the peculiar characteristics of the negro absolutely required a government of terror and brute force.

The Governor said, "The negroes are as a race remarkable for docility; they are very easily controlled by kind influence. It is only necessary to gain their confidence, and you can sway them as you please."

"Before emancipation took place, I dreaded the consequence of abolishing the power of compelling labor, but I have since found by experience that forbearance and kindness are sufficient for all purposes of authority. I have seldom had any trouble in managing my people. They consider me their friend, and the expression of my wish is enough for them. Those planters who have retained their harsh manner do not succeed under the new system. The people will not bear it."--Mr. J. Howell.

"I find it remarkably easy to manage my people. I govern them entirely by mildness. In every instance in which managers have persisted in their habits of arbitrary command, they have failed. I have lately been obliged to discharge a manager from one of the estates under my direction, on account of his overbearing disposition. If I had not dismissed him, the people would have abandoned the estate en masse."--Dr. Daniell.

"The management of an estate under the free system is a much lighter business than it used to be. We do not have the trouble to get the people to work, or to keep them in order."--Mr. Favey.

"Before the abolition of slavery, I thought it would be utterly impossible to manage my people without tyrannizing over them as usual, and that it would be giving up the reins of government entirely, to abandon the whip; but I am now satisfied that I was mistaken. I have lost all desire to exercise arbitrary power. I have known of several instances in which unpleasant disturbances have been occasioned by managers giving way to their anger, and domineering over the laborers. The people became disobedient and disorderly, and remained so until the estates went into other hands, and a good management immediately restored confidence and peace."--Mr. Watkins.

"Among the advantages belonging to the free system, may he enumerated the greater facility in managing estates. We are freed from a world of trouble and perplexity."--David Cranstoun, Esq.

"I have no hesitation in saying, that if I have a supply of cash, I can take off any crop it may please God to send. Having already, since emancipation, taken off one fully sixty hogsheads above the average of the last twenty years. I can speak with confidence."--Letter from S. Bourne, Esq.

Mr. Bourne stated a fact which illustrates the ease with which the negroes are governed by gentle means. He said that it was a prevailing practice during slavery for the slaves to have a dance soon after they had finished gathering in the crop. At the completion of his crop in '35, the people made arrangements for having the customary dance. They were particularly elated because the crop which they had first taken off was the largest one that had ever been produced by the estate, and it was also the largest crop on the island for that year. With these extraordinary stimulants and excitements, operating in connection with the influence of habit, the people were strongly inclined to have a dance. Mr. B. told them that dancing was a bad practice--and a very childish, barbarous amusement, and he thought it was wholly unbecoming freemen. He hoped therefore that they would dispense with it. The negroes could not exactly agree with their manager--and said they did not like to be disappointed in their expected sport. Mr. B. finally proposed to them that he would get the Moravian minister, Rev. Mr. Harvey, to ride out and preach to them on the appointed evening. The people all agreed to this. Accordingly, Mr. Harvey preached, and they said no more about the dance--nor have they ever attempted to get up a dance since.

We had repeated opportunities of witnessing the management of the laborers on the estates, and were always struck with the absence of every thing like coercion.

By the kind invitation of Mr. Bourne, we accompanied him once on a morning circuit around his estate. After riding some distance, we came to the 'great gang' cutting canes. Mr. B. saluted the people in a friendly manner, and they all responded with a hearty 'good mornin, massa.' There were more than fifty persons, male and female, on the spot. The most of them were employed in cutting canes[A], which they did with a heavy knife called a bill. Mr. B. beckoned to the superintendent, a black man, to come to him, and gave him some directions for the forenoon's work, and then, after saying a few encouraging words to the people, took us to another part of the estate, remarking as we rode off, "I have entire confidence that those laborers will do their work just as I want to have it done." We next came upon some men, who were hoeing in a field of corn. We found that there had been a slight altercation between two of the men. Peter, who was a foreman, came to Mr. B., and complained that George would not leave the cornfield and go to another kind of work as he had bid him. Mr. B. called George, and asked for an explanation. George had a long story to tell, and he made an earnest defence, accompanied with impassioned gesticulation; but his dialect was of such outlandish description, that we could not understand him. Mr. B. told us that the main ground of his defence was that Peter's direction was altogether unreasonable. Peter was then called upon to sustain his complaint; he spoke with equal earnestness and equal unintelligibility. Mr. B. then gave his decision, with great kindness of manner, which quite pacified both parties.

[Footnote A: The process of cutting canes is this:--The leafy part, at top is first cut off down as low as the saccharine matter A few of the lowest joints of the part thus cut off, are then stripped of the leaves, and cut off for plants, for the next crop. The stalk is then cut off close to the ground--and it is that which furnishes the juice for sugar. It is from three to twelve feet long, and from one to two inches in diameter, according to the quality of the soil, the seasonableness of the weather, &c. The cutters are followed by gatherers, who bind up the plants and stalks, as the cutters cast them behind them, in different bundles. The carts follow in the train, and take up the bundles--carrying the stalks to the mill to be ground, and the plants in another direction. ]

As we rode on, Mr. B. informed us that George was himself the foreman of a small weeding gang, and felt it derogatory to his dignity to be ordered by Peter.

We observed on all the estates which we visited, that the planters, when they wish to influence their people, are in the habit of appealing to them as freemen, and that now better things are expected of them. This appeal to their self-respect seldom fails of carrying the point.

It is evident from the foregoing testimony, that if the negroes do not work well on any estate, it is generally speaking the fault of the manager. We were informed of many instances in which arbitrary men were discharged from the management of estates, and the result has been the restoration of order and industry among the people.

On this point we quote the testimony of James Scotland, Sen., Esq., an intelligent and aged merchant of St. John's:

"In this colony, the evils and troubles attending emancipation have resulted almost entirely from the perseverance of the planters in their old habits of domination. The planters very frequently, indeed, in the early stage of freedom, used their power as employers to the annoyance and injury of their laborers. For the slightest misconduct, and sometimes without any reason whatever, the poor negroes were dragged before the magistrates, (planters or their friends,) and mulcted in their wages, fined otherwise, and committed to jail or the house of correction. And yet those harassed people remained patient, orderly and submissive. Their treatment now is much improved. The planters have happily discovered, that as long as they kept the cultivators of their lands in agitations and sufferings, their own interests were sacrificed."

TENTH PROPOSITION.--The negroes are more trust-worthy, and take a deeper interest in their employers' affairs, since emancipation.

"My laborers manifest an increasing attachment to the estate. In all their habits they are becoming more settled, and they begin to feel that they have a personal interest in the success of the property on which they live."--Mr. Favey.

"As long as the negroes felt uncertain whether they would remain in one place, or be dismissed and compelled to seek a home elsewhere, they manifested very little concern for the advancement of their employers' interest; but in proportion as they become permanently established on an estate, they seem to identify themselves with its prosperity. The confidence between master and servant is mutually increasing."--Mr. James Howell.

The Hon. Mr. Nugent, Dr. Daniell, D. Cranstoun, Esq., and other planters, enumerated among the advantages of freedom, the planters being released from the perplexities growing out of want of confidence in the sympathy and honesty of the slaves.

S. Bourne, Esq., of Millar's, remarked as we were going towards his mill and boiling-house, which had been in operation about a week, "I have not been near my works for several days; yet I have no fears but that I shall find every thing going on properly."

The planters have been too deeply experienced in the nature of slavery, not to know that mutual jealousy, distrust, and alienation of feeling and interest, are its legitimate offspring; and they have already seen enough of the operation of freedom, to entertain the confident expectation, that fair wages, kind treatment, and comfortable homes, will attach the laborers to the estates, and identify the interests of the employer and the employed.

ELEVENTH PROPOSITION.--The experiment in Antigua proves that emancipated slaves can appreciate law. It is a prevailing opinion that those who have long been slaves, cannot at once be safely subjected to the control of law.

It will now be seen how far this theory is supported by facts. Let it be remembered that the negroes of Antigua passed, "by a single jump, from absolute slavery to unqualified freedom."[A] In proof of their subordination to law, we give the testimony of planters, and quote also from the police reports sent in monthly to the Governor, with copies of which we were kindly furnished by order of His Excellency.

[Footnote A: Dr. Daniell.]

"I have found that the negroes are readily controlled by law; more so perhaps than the laboring classes in other countries."--David Cranstoun, Esq.

"The conduct of the negro population generally, has surpassed all expectation. They are as pliant to the hand of legislation, as any people; perhaps more so than some." Wesleyan Missionary.

Similar sentiments were expressed by the Governor, the Hon. N. Nugent, R.B. Eldridge, Esq., Dr. Ferguson, Dr. Daniell, and James Scotland, Jr., Esq., and numerous other planters, managers, &c. This testimony is corroborated by the police reports, exhibiting, as they do, comparatively few crimes, and those for the most part minor ones. We have in our possession the police reports for every month from September, 1835, to January, 1837. We give such specimens as will serve to show the general tenor of the reports.

Police-Office, St. John's, Sept. 3, 1835.

"From the information which I have been able to collect by my own personal exertions, and from the reports of the assistant inspectors, at the out stations, I am induced to believe that, in general, a far better feeling and good understanding at present prevails between the laborers and their employers, than hitherto.

Capital offences have much decreased in number, as well as all minor ones, and the principal crimes lately submitted for the investigation of the magistrates, seem to consist chiefly in trifling offences and breaches of contract.

Signed, Richard S. Wickham,
Superintendent of Police

       *       *       *       *       *

"To his excellency,

Sir C.I. Murray McGregor, Governor, &c.

St. John's, Antigua, Oct. 2, 1835.

Sir--The general state of regularity and tranquillity which prevails throughout the island, admits of my making but a concise report to your Excellency, for the last month.

The autumnal agricultural labors continue to progress favorably, and I have every reason to believe, that the agriculturalists, generally, are far more satisfied with the internal state of the island affairs, than could possibly have been anticipated a short period since.

From conversations which I have had with several gentlemen of extensive interest and practical experience, united with my own observations, I do not hesitate in making a favorable report of the general easy and quietly progressing state of contentedness, evidently showing itself among the laboring class; and I may add, that with few exceptions, a reciprocity of kind and friendly feeling at present is maintained between the planters and their laborers.

Although instances do occur of breach of contract, they are not very frequent, and in many cases I have been induced to believe, that the crime has originated more from the want of a proper understanding of the time, intent, and meaning of the contract into which the laborers have entered, than from the actual existence of any dissatisfaction on their part."

Signed, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

St. John's, Antigua, Dec. 2d, 1835.

"Sir--I have the honor to report that a continued uninterrupted state of peace and good order has happily prevailed throughout the island, during the last month.

The calendar of offences for trial at the ensuing sessions, bears little comparison with those of former periods, and I am happy to state, that the crimes generally, are of a trifling nature, and principally petty thefts.

By a comparison of the two last lists of offences submitted for investigation, it will be found that a decrease has taken place in that for November."

Signed, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

St. John's, January 2d, 1836.

"Sir--I have great satisfaction in reporting to your Honor the peaceable termination of the last year, and of the Christmas vacation.

At this period of the year, which has for ages been celebrated for scenes of gaiety and amusement among the laboring, as well as all other classes of society, and when several successive days of idleness occur, I cannot but congratulate your Honor, on the quiet demeanor and general good order, which has happily been maintained throughout the island.

It may not be improper here to remark, that during the holidays, I had only one prisoner committed to my charge, and that even his offence was of a minor nature."

Signed, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract of Report for February, 1836.

"The operation of the late Contract Acts, caused some trifling inconvenience at the commencement, but now that they are clearly understood, even by the young and ignorant, I am of opinion, that the most beneficial effects have resulted from these salutary Acts, equally to master and servant, and that a permanent understanding is fully established.

A return of crimes reported during the month of January, I beg leave to enclose, and at the same time, to congratulate your Honor on the vast diminution of all minor misdemeanors, and of the continued total absence of capital offences."

       *       *       *       *       *

Superintendent's office, Antigua, April 4th, 1836.

"SIR--I am happy to remark, for the information of your Honor, that the Easter holidays have passed off, without the occurrence of any violation of the existing laws sufficiently serious to merit particular observation."[A]

Signed, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Footnote A: This and the other reports concern, not St. John's merely, but the entire population of the island.]

Extract from the Report for May, 1836.

"It affords me great satisfaction in being able to report that the continued tranquillity prevailing throughout the island, prevents the necessity of my calling the particular attention of your Honor to the existence of any serious or flagrant offence.

The crop season having far advanced, I have much pleasure in remarking the continued steady and settled disposition, which on most properties appear to be reciprocally established between the proprietors and their agricultural laborers; and I do also venture to offer as my opinion, that a considerable improvement has taken place, in the behavior of domestic, as well as other laborers, not immediately employed in husbandry."

We quote the following table of offences as a specimen of the monthly reports:

Police Office, St. John's, 1836.


NATURE OF OFFENSES. St. Johns E. Harbour Parham Johnston's Point Total More than last month Less than last month
Assaults. 2 2 4 5
  Do. and Batteries. 2 3 5 10 8
Breach of Contract. 4 11 59 74 16
Burglaries. 2 3 5 2
Commitments under Vagrant Act. 4 1 5 10
  Do. for Fines 5 5 2
  Do. under amended Porter's and Jobber's Act. 7
Felonies. 2 2 2
Injury to property. 4 9 7 20 5
Larcenies. 4 4 4
Misdemeanors. 3 12 15 15
Petty Thefts. 1 1 10
Trespasses. 1 2 2 5
Riding improperly thro' the streets.
Total. 33 41 76 150 25 61

Signed, Richard S. Wickham, Superintendent of Police.

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Superintendent's office,
Antigua, July 6th, 1836.

"SIR,--I have the honor to submit for your information, a general return of all offences reported during the last month, by which your Honor will perceive, that no increase of 'breach of contract' has been recorded.

While I congratulate your Honor on the successful maintenance of general peace, and a reciprocal good feeling among all classes of society, I beg to assure you, that the opinion which I have been able to form in relation to the behavior of the laboring population, differs but little from my late observations.

At a crisis like this, when all hopes of the ultimate success of so grand and bold an experiment, depends, almost entirely, on a cordial co-operation of the community, I sincerely hope, that no obstacles or interruptions will now present themselves, to disturb that general good understanding so happily established, since the adoption of unrestricted freedom."

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Superintendent's office,
St. John's, Sept. 4th, 1836.

"SIR--I have the honor to enclose, for the information of your Excellency, the usual monthly return of offences reported for punishment.

It affords me very great satisfaction to report, that the internal peace and tranquillity of the island has remained uninterrupted during the last month; the conduct of all classes of the community has been orderly and peaceable, and strictly obedient to the laws of their country.

The agricultural laborers continue a steady and uniform line of conduct, and with some few exceptions, afford a general satisfaction to their several employers.

Every friend to this country, and to the liberties of the world, must view with satisfaction the gradual improvement in the character and behavior of this class of the community, under the constant operation of the local enactments.

The change must naturally be slow, but I feel sure that, in due time, a general amelioration in the habits and industry of the laborers will be sensibly experienced by all grades of society in this island, and will prove the benign effects and propitious results of the co-operated exertions of all, for their general benefit and future advancement.

Complaints have been made in the public prints of the robberies committed in this town, as well as the neglect of duty of the police force, and as these statements must eventually come under the observation of your Excellency, I deem it my duty to make a few observations on this point.

The town of St. John's occupies a space of one hundred and sixty acres of land, divided into fourteen main, and nine cross streets, exclusive of lanes and alleys--with a population of about three thousand four hundred persons.

The numerical strength of the police force in this district, is eleven sergeants and two officers; five of these sergeants are on duty every twenty-four hours. One remains in charge of the premises, arms, and stores; the other four patrole by day and night, and have also to attend to the daily duties of the magistrates, and the eleventh is employed by me (being an old one) in general patrole duties, pointing out nuisances and irregularities.

One burglary and one felony alone were reported throughout the island population of 37,000 souls in the month of July; and no burglary, and three felonies, were last month reported.

The cases of robbery complained of, have been effected without any violence or noise, and have principally been by concealment in stores, which, added to the great want of a single lamp, or other light, in any one street at night, must reasonably facilitate the design of the robber, and defy the detection of the most active and vigilant body of police."

Signed, &c.

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Superintendent's office,
Antigua, January 4th, 1837.

"SIR--It is with feelings of the most lively gratification that I report, for your notice the quiet and peaceable termination of Christmas vacation, and the last year, which were concluded without a single serious violation of the governing laws.

I cannot refrain from cordially congratulating your Excellency on the regular and steady behavior, maintained by all ranks of society, at this particular period of the year.

Not one species of crime which can be considered of an heinous nature, has yet been discovered; and I proudly venture to declare my opinion, that in no part of his Majesty's dominions, has a population of thirty thousand conducted themselves with more strict propriety, at this annual festivity, or been more peaceably obedient to the laws of their country."

Signed, &c.

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In connection with the above quotation from the monthly reports, we present an extract of a letter from the superintendent of the police, addressed to us.

St. John's, 9th February, 1837.

"MY DEAR SIRS--In compliance with your request, I have not any hesitation in affording you any information on the subject of the free system adopted in this island, which my public situation has naturally provided me with.

The opinion which I have formed has been, and yet remains, in favor of the emancipation; and I feel very confident that the system has and continues to work well, in almost all instances. The laborers have conducted themselves generally in a highly satisfactory manner to all the authorities, and strikingly so when we reflect that the greater portion of the population of the island were at once removed from a state of long existing slavery, to one of unrestricted freedom. Unacquainted as they are with the laws newly enacted for their future government and guidance, and having been led in their ignorance to expect incalculable wonders and benefits arising from freedom, I cannot but reflect with amazement on the peace and good order which have been so fortunately maintained throughout the island population of thirty thousand subjects.

Some trifling difficulties sprang up on the commencement of the new system among the laborers, but even these, on strict investigation, proved to originate more from an ignorance of their actual position, than from any bad feeling, or improper motives, and consequently were of short duration. In general the laborers are peaceable orderly, and civil, not only to those who move in higher spheres of life than themselves, but also to each other.

The crimes they are generally guilty of, are petty thefts, and other minor offences against the local acts; but crimes of an heinous nature are very rare among them; and I may venture to say, that petty thefts, breaking sugar-canes to eat, and offences of the like description, principally swell the calendars of our quarterly courts of sessions. Murder has been a stranger to this island for many years; no execution has occurred among the island population for a very long period; the only two instances were two Irish soldiers.

The lower class having become more acquainted with their governing laws, have also become infinitely more obedient to them, and I have observed that particular care is taken among most of them to explain to each other the nature of the laws, and to point out in their usual style the ill consequences attending any violation of them. ==> A due fear of, and a prompt obedience to, the authority of the magistrates, is a prominent feature of the lower orders, and to this I mainly attribute the successful maintenance of rural tranquillity.

Since emancipation, the agricultural laborer has had to contend with two of the most obstinate droughts experienced for many years in the island, which has decreased the supply of his accustomed vegetables and ground provisions, and consequently subjected him and family to very great privations; but this even, I think, has been submitted to with becoming resignation.

To judge of the past and present state of society throughout the island, I presume that the lives and properties of all classes are as secure in this, as in any other portion of his Majesty's dominions; and I sincerely hope that the future behavior of all, will more clearly manifest the correctness of my views of this highly important subject.

I remain, dear sirs, yours faithfully, RICHARD S. WICKHAM,
Superintendent of police."

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This testimony is pointed and emphatic; and it comes from one whose official business it is to know the things whereof he here affirms. We have presented not merely the opinions of Mr. W., relative to the subordination of the emancipated negroes in Antigua, but likewise the facts upon which be founded his opinion.

On a point of such paramount importance we cannot be too explicit. We therefore add the testimony of planters as to the actual state of crime compared with that previous to emancipation.

Said J. Howell, Esq., of T. Jarvis's estate, "I do not think that aggressions on property, and crime in general, have increased since emancipation, but rather decreased. They appear to be more frequent, because they are made more public. During slavery, all petty thefts, insubordination, insolence, neglect of work, and so forth, were punished summarily on the estate, by order of the manager, and not even so much as the rumor of them ever reached beyond the confines of the property. Now all offences, whether great or trifling, are to be taken cognizance of by the magistrate or jury, and hence they become notorious. Formerly each planter knew only of those crimes which occurred on his own property; now every one knows something about the crimes committed on every other estate, as well as his own."

It will be remembered that Mr. H. is a man of thorough and long experience in the condition of the island, having lived in it since the year 1800, and being most of that time engaged directly is the management of estates.

"Aggression on private property, such as breaking into houses, cutting canes, &c., are decidedly fewer than formerly. It is true that crime is made more public now, than during slavery, when the master was his own magistrate."--Dr. Daniell.

"I am of the opinion that crime in the island has diminished rather than increased since the abolition of slavery. There is an apparent increase of crime, because every misdemeanor, however petty, floats to the surface."--Hon. N. Nugent.

We might multiply testimony on this point; but suffice it to say that with very few exceptions, the planters, many of whom are also civil magistrates, concur in these two statements; that the amount of crime is actually less than it was during slavery; and that it appears to be greater because of the publicity which is necessarily given by legal processes to offences which were formerly punished and forgotten on the spot where they occurred.

Some of the prominent points established by the foregoing evidence are,

1st. That most of the crimes committed are petty misdemeanors such as turning out to work late in the morning, cutting canes to eat, &c. High penal offences are exceedingly rare.

2d. That where offences of a serious nature do occur, or any open insubordination takes place, they are founded in ignorance or misapprehension of the law, and are seldom repeated a second time, if the law be properly explained and fully understood.

3d. That the above statements apply to no particular part of the island, where the negroes are peculiarly favored with intelligence and religion, but are made with reference to tire island generally. Now it happens that in one quarter of the island the negro population are remarkably ignorant and degraded. We were credibly informed by various missionaries, who had labored in Antigua and in a number of the other English islands, that they had not found in any colony so much debasement among the people, as prevailed in the part of Antigua just alluded to. Yet they testified that the negroes in that quarter were as peaceable, orderly, and obedient to law, as in any other part of the colony. We make this statement here particularly for the purpose of remarking that in the testimony of the planters, and in the police reports; there is not a single allusion to this portion of the island as forming an exception to the prevailing state of order and subordination.

After the foregoing facts and evidences, we ask, what becomes of the dogma, that slaves cannot be immediately placed under the government of equitable laws with safety to themselves and the community?

TWELFTH PROPOSITION.--The emancipated negroes have shown no disposition to roam from place to place. A tendency to rove about, is thought by many to be a characteristic of the negro; he is not allowed even an ordinary share of local attachment, but must leave the chain and staple of slavery to hold him amidst the graves of his fathers and the society of his children. The experiment in Antigua shows that such sentiments are groundless prejudices. There a large body of slaves were "turned loose;" they had full liberty to leave their old homes and settle on other properties--or if they preferred a continuous course of roving, they might change employers every six weeks, and pass from one estate to another until they had accomplished the circuit of the island. But, what are the facts? "The negroes are not disposed to leave the estates on which they have formerly lived, unless they are forced away by bad treatment. I have witnessed many facts which illustrate this remark. Not unfrequently one of the laborers will get dissatisfied about something, and in the excitement of the moment will notify me that he intends to leave my employ at the end of a month. But in nine cases out of ten such persons, before the month has expired, beg to be allowed to remain on the estate. The strength of their local attachment soon overcomes their resentment and even drives them to make the most humiliating confessions in order to be restored to the favor of their employer, and thus be permitted to remain in their old homes."--H. Armstrong, Esq.

"Nothing but bad treatment on the part of the planters has ever caused the negroes to leave the estates on which they were accustomed to live, and in such cases a change of management has almost uniformly been sufficient to induce them to return. We have known several instances of this kind."--S. Bourne, Esq., of Millar's, and Mr. Watkins, of Donavan's.

"The negroes are remarkably attached to their homes. In the year 1828, forty-three slaves were sold from the estate under my management, and removed to another estate ten miles distant. After emancipation, the whole of these came back, and plead with me to employ them, that they might live in their former houses."--James Howell, Esq.

"Very few of my people have left me. The negroes are peculiar for their attachment to their homes."--Samuel Barnard, Esq., of Green Castle.

"Love of home is very remarkable in the negroes. It is a passion with them. On one of the estates of which I am attorney, a part of the laborers were hired from other proprietors. They had been for a great many years living on the estate, and they became so strongly attached to it, that they all continued to work on it after emancipation, and they still remain on the same property. The negroes are loth to leave their homes, and they very seldom do so unless forced away by ill treatment."--Dr. Daniell.

On a certain occasion we were in the company of four planters, and among other topics this subject was much spoken of. They all accorded perfectly in the sentiment that the negroes were peculiarly sensible to the influence of local attachments. One of the gentlemen observed that it was a very common saying with them--"Me nebber leave my bornin' ground,"--i.e., birth-place.

An aged gentleman in St. John's, who was formerly a planter, remarked, "The negroes have very strong local attachments. They love their little hut, where the calabash tree, planted at the birth of a son, waves over the bones of their parents. They will endure almost any hardship and suffer repeated wrongs before they will desert that spot."

Such are the sentiments of West India planters; expressed, in the majority of cases, spontaneously, and mostly in illustration of other statements. We did not hear a word that implied an opposite sentiment. It is true, much was said about the emigration to Demerara, but the facts in this case only serve to confirm the testimony already quoted. In the first place, nothing but the inducement of very high wages[A] could influence any to go, and in the next place, after they got there they sighed to return, (but were not permitted,) and sent back word to their relatives and friends not to leave Antigua.

[Footnote A: From fifty cents to a dollar per day.]

Facts clearly prove, that the negroes, instead of being indifferent to local attachments, are peculiarly alive to them. That nothing short of cruelty can drive them from their homes--that they will endure even that, as long as it can be borne, rather than leave; and that as soon as the instrument of cruelty is removed, they will hasten back to their "bornin' ground."

THIRTEENTH PROPOSITION.--"The gift of unrestricted freedom, though so suddenly bestowed, has not made the negroes more insolent than they were while slaves, but has rendered them less so."--Dr. Daniell.

Said James Howell, Esq.--"A short time after emancipation, the negroes showed some disposition to assume airs and affect a degree of independence; but this soon disappeared, and they are now respectful and civil. There has been a mutual improvement in this particular. The planters treat the laborers more like fellow men, and this leads the latter to be respectful in their turn."

R.B. Eldridge, Esq., asked us if we had not observed the civility of the lower classes as we passed them on the streets, both in town and in the country. He said it was their uniform custom to bow or touch their hat when they passed a white person. They did so during slavery, and he had not discovered any change in this respect since emancipation.

Said Mr. Bourne--"The negroes are decidedly less insolent now than they were during slavery."

Said Mr. Watkins, of Donovan's--"The negroes are now all cap in hand; as they know that it is for their interest to be respectful to their employers."

Said Dr. Nugent--"Emancipation has not produced insolence among the negroes."

During our stay in Antigua, we saw no indications whatsoever of insolence. We spoke in a former part of this work of the uncommon civility manifested in a variety of ways on the road-sides.

A trifling incident occurred one day in St. John's, which at first seemed to be no small rudeness. As one of us was standing in the verandah of our lodging house, in the dusk of the evening, a brawny negro man who was walking down the middle of the street, stopped opposite us, and squaring himself, called out. "Heigh! What for you stand dare wid your arms so?" placing his arms akimbo, in imitation of ours. Seeing we made no answer, he repeated the question, still standing in the same posture. We took no notice of him, seeing that his supposed insolence was at most good-humored and innocent. Our hostess, a colored lady, happened to step out at the moment, and told us that the man had mistaken us for her son, with whom he was well acquainted, at the same time calling to the man, and telling him of his mistake. The negro instantly dropped his arms, took off his hat, begged pardon, and walked away apparently quite ashamed.

FOURTEENTH PROPOSITION.--Emancipation in Antigua has demonstrated that GRATITUDE is a prominent trait of the negro character. The conduct of the negroes on the first of August, 1834, is ample proof of this; and their uniform conduct since that event manifests an habitual feeling of gratitude. Said one, "The liberty we received from the king, we can never sufficiently thank God for; whenever we think of it, our hearts go out in gratitude to God." Similar expressions we heard repeatedly from the negroes.--We observed that the slightest allusion to the first of August in a company of freed persons, would awaken powerful emotions, accompanied with exclamations of "tank de good Lord," "bless de Savior," "praise de blessed Savior," and such like.

It was the remark of Mr. James Howell, manager of Thibou Jarvis's--"That the negroes evinced very little gratitude to their masters for freedom. Their gratitude all flowed toward God and the king, whom they regarded as the sole authors of their liberty."

Mr. Watkins observed that "the negroes' motto was God and the king. This feeling existed particularly at the time of emancipation, and shortly after it. They have since become more attached to their former masters."

It is by no means strange that the negroes should feel little gratitude toward their late masters, since they knew their opposition to the benevolent intentions of the English government. We were informed by Dr. Daniell and many others, that for several months before emancipation took place, the negroes had an idea that the king had sent them 'their free papers,' and that their masters were keeping them back. Besides, it was but two years before that period, that they had come into fierce and open hostility with the planters for abolishing the Sunday market, and giving them no market-day instead thereof. In this thing their masters had shown themselves to be their enemies.

That any good thing could come from such persons the slaves were doubtless slow to believe. However, it is an undeniable fact, that since emancipation, kind treatment on the part of the masters, has never failed to excite gratitude in the negroes. The planters understand fully how they may secure the attachment and confidence of their people. A grateful and contented spirit certainly characterizes the negroes of Antigua. They do not lightly esteem what they have got, and murmur because they have no more. They do not complain of small wages, and strike for higher. They do not grumble about their simple food and their coarse clothes, and flaunt about, saying 'freemen ought to live better.' They do not become dissatisfied with their lowly, cane-thatched huts, and say we ought to have as good houses as massa. They do not look with an evil eye upon the political privileges of the whites, and say we have the majority, and we'll rule. It is the common saying with them, when speaking of the inconveniences which they sometimes suffer, "Well, we must be satify and conten."

FIFTEENTH PROPOSITION.--The freed negroes of Antigua have proved that they are able to take care of themselves. It is affirmed by the opponents of emancipation in the United States, that if the slaves were liberated, they could not take care of themselves. Some of the reasons assigned for entertaining this view are--1st, "The negro is naturally improvident." 2d, "He is constitutionally indolent." 3d, "Being of an inferior race, he is deficient in that shrewdness and management necessary to prevent his being imposed upon, and which are indispensable to enable him to conduct any business with success." 4th, "All these natural defects have been aggravated by slavery. The slave never provides for himself, but looks to his master for everything he needs. So likewise he becomes increasingly averse to labor, by being driven to it daily, and flogged for neglecting it. Furthermore, whatever of mind he had originally has been extinguished by slavery." Thus by nature and by habit the negro is utterly unqualified to take care of himself. So much for theory; now for testimony. First, what is the evidence with regard to the improvidence of the negroes?

"During slavery, the negroes squandered every cent of money they got, because they were sure of food and clothing. Since their freedom, they have begun to cultivate habits of carefulness and economy".--Mr. James Howell.

Facts--1st. The low wages of the laborers is proof of their providence. Did they not observe the strictest economy, they could not live on fifty cents per week.

2d. That they buy small parcels of land to cultivate, is proof of economy and foresight. The planters have to resort to every means in their power to induce their laborers not to purchase land.

3d. The Friendly Societies are an evidence of the same thing. How can we account for the number of these societies, and for the large sums of money annually contributed in them? And how is it that these societies have trebled, both in members and means since emancipation, if it be true that the negroes are thus improvident, and that freedom brings starvation?

4th. The weekly and monthly contributions to the churches, to benevolent societies, and to the schools, demonstrate the economy of the negroes; and the great increase of these contributions since August, 1834, proves that emancipation has not made them less economical.

5th. The increasing attention paid to the cultivation of their private provision grounds is further proof of their foresight. For some time subsequent to emancipation, as long as the people were in an unsettled state, they partially neglected their grounds. The reason was, they did not know whether they should remain on the same estate long enough to reap their provisions, should they plant any. This state of uncertainty very naturally paralyzed all industry and enterprise; and their neglecting the cultivation of their provision grounds, under such circumstances, evinced foresight rather than improvidence. Since they have become more permanently established on the estates, they are resuming the cultivation of their grounds with renewed vigor.

Said Dr. Daniell--"There is an increasing attention paid by the negroes to cultivating their private lands, since they have become more permanently settled."

6th. The fact that the parents take care of the wages which their children earn, shows their provident disposition. We were informed that the mothers usually take charge of the money paid to their children, especially their daughters, and this, in order to teach them proper subordination, and to provide against casualties, sickness, and the infirmities of age.

7th. The fact that the negroes are able to support their aged parents, is further proof.

As it regards the second specification, viz., constitutional indolence, we may refer generally to the evidence on this subject under a former proposition. We will merely state here two facts.

1st. Although the negroes are not obliged to work on Saturday, yet they are in the habit of going to estates that are weak-handed, and hiring themselves out on that day.

2d. It is customary throughout the island to give two hours (from 12 to 2) recess from labor. We were told that in many cases this time is spent in working on their private provision grounds, or in some active employment by which a pittance may be added to their scanty earnings.

What are the facts respecting the natural inferiority of the negro race, and their incompetency to manage their own affairs?

Said Mr. Armstrong--"The negroes are exceedingly quick to turn a thought. They show a great deal of shrewdness in every thing which concerns their own interests. To a stranger it must be utterly incredible how they can manage to live on such small wages. They are very exact in keeping their accounts with the manager."

"The negroes are very acute in making bargains. A difficulty once arose on an estate under my charge, between the manager and the people, in settling for a job which the laborers had done. The latter complained that the manager did not give them as much as was stipulated in the original agreement. The manager contended that he had paid the whole amount. The people brought their complaint before me, as attorney, and maintained that there was one shilling and six-pence (about nineteen cents) due each of them. I examined the accounts and found that they were right, and that the manager had really made a mistake to the very amount specified."--Dr. Daniell.

"The emancipated people manifest as much cunning and address in business, as any class of persons."--Mr. J. Howell.

"The capabilities of the blacks for education are conspicuous; so also as to mental acquirements and trades."--Hon. N. Nugent.

It is a little remarkable that while Americans fear that the negroes, if emancipated, could not take care of themselves, the West Indians fear lest they should take care of themselves; hence they discourage them from buying lands, from learning trades, and from all employments which might render them independent of sugar cultivation.

SIXTEENTH PROPOSITION.--Emancipation has operated at once to elevate and improve the negroes. It introduced them into the midst of all relations, human and divine. It was the first formal acknowledgment that they were MEN--personally interested in the operations of law, and the requirements of God. It laid the corner-stone in the fabric of their moral and intellectual improvement.

"The negroes have a growing self-respect and regard for character. This was a feeling which was scarcely known by them during slavery."--Mr. J. Howell.

"The negroes pay a great deal more attention to their personal appearance, than they were accustomed to while slaves. The women in particular have improved astonishingly in their dress and manners."--Dr. Daniell.

Abundant proof of this proposition may be found in the statements already made respecting the decrease of licentiousness, the increased attention paid to marriage, the abandonment by the mothers of the horrible practice of selling their daughters to vile white men, the reverence for the Sabbath, the attendance upon divine worship, the exemplary subordination to law, the avoidance of riotous conduct, insolence, and intemperance.

SEVENTEENTH PROPOSITION--Emancipation promises a vast improvement in the condition of woman. What could more effectually force woman from her sphere, than slavery has done by dragging her to the field, subjecting her to the obscene remarks, and to the vile abominations of licentious drivers and overseers; by compelling her to wield the heavy hoe, until advancing pregnancy rendered her useless then at the earliest possible period driving her back to the field with her infant swung at her back, or torn from her and committed to a stranger. Some of these evils still exist in Antigua, but there has already been a great abatement of them, and the humane planters look forward to their complete removal, and to the ultimate restoration of woman to the quiet and purity of domestic life.

Samuel Bourne, Esq., stated, that there had been a great improvement in the treatment of mothers on his estate. "Under the old system, mothers were required to work half the time after their children were six weeks old; but now we do not call them out for nine months after their confinement, until their children are entirely weaned."

"In those cases where women have husbands in the field, they do not turn out while they are nursing their children. In many instances the husbands prefer to have their wives engaged in other work, and I do not require them to go to the field."--Mr. J Howell.

Much is already beginning to be said of the probability that the women will withdraw from agricultural labor. A conviction of the impropriety of females engaging in such employments is gradually forming in the minds of enlightened and influential planters.

A short time previous to emancipation, the Hon. N. Nugent, speaker of the assembly, made the following remarks before the house:--"At the close of the debate, he uttered his fervent hope, that the day would come when the principal part of the agriculture of the island would be performed by males, and that the women would be occupied in keeping their cottages in order, and in increasing their domestic comforts. The desire of improvement is strong among them; they are looking anxiously forward to the instruction and advancement of their children, and even of themselves."--Antigua Herald, of March, 1834.

In a written communication to us, dated January 17, 1837, the Speaker says: "Emancipation will, I doubt not, improve the condition of the females. There can be no doubt that they will ultimately leave the field, (except in times of emergency,) and confine themselves to their appropriate domestic employments."

EIGHTEENTH PROPOSITION.--Real estate has risen in value since emancipation; mercantile and mechanical occupations have received a fresh impulse; and the general condition of the colony is decidedly more flourishing than at any former period.

"The credit of the island has decidedly improved. The internal prosperity of the island is advancing in an increased ratio. More buildings have been erected since emancipation, than for twenty years before. Stores and shops have multiplied astonishingly; I can safely say that their number has more than quintupled since the abolition of slavery."--Dr. Ferguson.

"Emancipation has very greatly increased the value of, and consequently the demand for, real estate. That which three years ago was a drug altogether unsaleable by private bargain; has now many inquirers after it, and ready purchasers at good prices. The importation of British manufactured goods has been considerably augmented, probably one fourth."

"The credit of the planters who have been chiefly affected by the change, has been much improved. And the great reduction of expense in managing the estates, has made them men of more real wealth, and consequently raised their credit both with the English merchants and our own."--James Scotland, Sen., Esq.

"The effect of emancipation upon the commerce of the island must needs have been beneficial, as the laborers indulge in more wheaten flour, rice, mackerel, dry fish, and salt-pork, than formerly. More lumber is used in the superior cottages now built for their habitations. More dry goods--manufactures of wool, cotton, linen, silk, leather, &c., are also used, now that the laborers can better afford to indulge their propensity for gay clothing."--Statement of a merchant and agent for estates.

"Real estate has risen in value, and mercantile business has greatly improved."--H. Armstrong, Esq.

A merchant of St. John's informed us, that real estate had increased in value at least fifty per cent. He mentioned the fact, that an estate which previous to emancipation could not be sold for £600 current, lately brought £2000 current.

NINETEENTH PROPOSITION--Emancipation has been followed by the introduction of labor-saving machinery.

"Various expedients for saving manual labor have already been introduced, and we anticipate still greater improvements. Very little was thought of this subject previous to emancipation."--S. Bourne, Esq.

"Planters are beginning to cast about for improvements in labor. My own mind has been greatly turned to this subject since emancipation."--H. Armstrong, Esq.

"The plough is beginning to be very extensively used."--Mr. Hatley.

"There has been considerable simplification in agricultural labor already, which would have been more conspicuous, had it not been for the excessive drought which has prevailed since 1834. The plough is more used, and the expedients for manuring land are less laborious."--Extract of a letter from Hon. N. Nugent.

TWENTIETH PROPOSITION.--Emancipation has produced the most decided change in the views of the planters.

"Before emancipation took place, there was the bitterest opposition to it among the planters. But after freedom came, they were delighted with the change. I felt strong opposition myself, being exceedingly unwilling to give up my power of command. But I shall never forget how differently I felt when freedom took place I arose from my bed on the first of August, exclaiming with joy, 'I am free, I am free; I was the greatest slave on the estate, but now I am free.'"--Mr. J. Howell.

"We all resisted violently the measure of abolition, when it first began to be agitated in England. We regarded it as an outrageous interference with our rights, with our property. But we are now rejoiced that slavery is abolished."--Dr. Daniell.

"I have already seen such decided benefits growing out of the free labor system, that for my part I wish never to see the face of slavery again." --Mr. Hatley.

"I do not know of a single planter who would be willing to return to slavery. We all feel that it was a great curse."--D. Cranstoun, Esq.

The speaker of the assembly was requested to state especially the advantages of freedom both to the master and the slave; and he kindly communicated the following reply:

"The benefits to the master are conspicuous--he has got rid of the cark and care, the anxiety and incessant worry of managing slaves; all the trouble and responsibility of rearing them from infancy, of their proper maintenance in health, and sickness, and decrepitude, of coercing them to labor, restraining, correcting, and punishing their faults and crimes--settling all their grievances and disputes. He is now entirely free from all apprehension of injury, revenge, or insurrection, however transient and momentary such impression may have formerly been. He has no longer the reproach of being a slaveholder; his property has lost all the taint of slavery, and is placed on as secure a footing, in a moral and political point of view, as that in any other part of the British dominions.

As regards the other party, it seems almost unnecessary to point out the advantages of being a free man rather than a slave. He is no longer liable to personal trespass of any sort; he has a right of self-control, and all the immunities enjoyed by other classes of his fellow subjects--he is enabled to better his condition as he thinks proper--he can make what arrangements he likes best, as regards his kindred, and all his domestic relations--he takes to his own use and behoof, all the wages and profits of his own labor; he receives money wages instead of weekly allowances, and can purchase such particular food and necessaries as he prefers--and so on! IT WOULD BE ENDLESS TO ATTEMPT TO ENUMERATE ALL THE SUPERIOR ADVANTAGES OF A STATE OF FREEDOM TO ONE OF SLAVERY!"

The writer says, at the close of his invaluable letter, "I was born in Antigua, and have resided here with little interruption since 1809. Since 1814, I have taken an active concern in plantation affairs." He was born heir to a large slave property, and retained it up to the hour of emancipation. He is now the proprietor of an estate.

We have, another witness to introduce to the reader, Ralph Higinbothom, Esq., the UNITED STATES CONSUL!--Hear him!--

"Whatever may have been the dissatisfaction as regards emancipation among the planters at its commencement, there are few, indeed, if any, who are not now well satisfied that under the present system, their properties are better worked, and their laborers more contented and cheerful, than in the time of slavery."

In order that the reader may see the revolution that has taken place since emancipation in the views of the highest class of society in Antigua, we make a few extracts.

"There was the most violent opposition in the legislature, and throughout the island, to the anti-slavery proceedings in Parliament. The anti-slavery party in England were detested here for their fanatical and reckless course. Such was the state of feeling previous to emancipation, that it would have been certain disgrace for any planter to have avowed the least sympathy with anti-slavery sentiments. The humane might have their hopes and aspirations, and they might secretly long to see slavery ultimately terminated; but they did not dare to make such feelings public. They would at once have been branded as the enemies of their country!"--Hon. N. Nugent.

"There cannot be said to have been any anti-slavery party in the island before emancipation. There were some individuals in St. John's, and a very few planters, who favored the anti-slavery views, but they dared not open their mouths, because of the bitter hostility which prevailed."--S. Bourne, Esq.

"The opinions of the clergymen and missionaries, with the exception of, I believe, a few clergymen, were favorable to emancipation; but neither in their conduct, preaching, or prayers, did they declare themselves openly, until the measure of abolition was determined on. The missionaries felt restrained by their instructions from home, and the clergymen thought that it did not comport with their order 'to take part in politics!' I never heard of a single planter who was favorable, until about three months before the emancipation took place; when some few of them began to perceive that it would be advantageous to their interests. Whoever was known or suspected of being an advocate for freedom, became the object of vengeance, and was sure to suffer, if in no other way, by a loss of part of his business. My son-in-law[A], my son[B], and myself, were perhaps the chief marks for calumny and resentment. The first was twice elected a member of the Assembly, and as often put out by scrutinies conducted by the House, in the most flagrantly dishonest manner. Every attempt was made to deprive the second of his business, as a lawyer. With regard to myself, I was thrown into prison, without any semblance of justice, without any form of trial, but in the most summary manner, simply upon the complaint of one of the justices, and without any opportunity being allowed me of saying one word in my defence. I remained in jail until discharged by a peremptory order from the Colonial Secretary, to whom I appealed."--James Scotland, Sen., Esq.

[Footnote A: Dr. Ferguson, physician in St. John's. ]

[Footnote B: James Scotland, Jun., Esq., barrister, proprietor, and member of Assembly. ]

Another gentleman, a white man, was arrested on the charge of being in the interest of the English Anti-Slavery party, and in a manner equally summary and illegal, was cast into prison, and confined there for one year.

From the foregoing statements we obtain the following comparative view of the past and present state of sentiment in Antigua.

Views and conduct of the planters previous to emancipation:

1st. They regarded the negroes as an inferior race, fit only for slaves.

2d. They regarded them as their rightful property.

3d. They took it for granted that negroes could never be made to work without the use of the whip; hence,

4th. They supposed that emancipation would annihilate sugar cultivation; and,

5th. That it would lead to bloodshed and general rebellion.

6th. Those therefore who favored it, were considered the "enemies of their country"--"TRAITORS"--and were accordingly persecuted in various ways, not excepting imprisonment in the common jail.

7th. So popular was slavery among the higher classes, that its morality or justice could not be questioned by a missionary--an editor--or a planter even, without endangering the safety of the individual.

8th. The anti-slavery people in England were considered detestable men, intermeddling with matters which they did not understand, and which at any rate did not concern them. They were accused of being influenced by selfish motives, and of designing to further their own interests by the ruin of the planters. They were denounced as fanatics, incendiaries, knaves, religious enthusiasts.

9th The abolition measures of the English Government were considered a gross outrage on the rights of private property, a violation their multiplied pledges of countenance and support, and a flagrant usurpation of power over the weak.

Views and conduct of the planters subsequent to emancipation:

1st. The negroes are retarded as men--equals standing on the same footing as fellow-citizens.

2d. Slavery is considered a foolish, impolitic, and wicked system.

3d. Slaves are regarded as an unsafe species of property, and to hold them disgraceful.

4th. The planters have become the decided enemies of slavery. The worst thing they could say against the apprenticeship, was, that "it was only another name for slavery."

5th. The abolition of slavery is applauded by the planters as one of the most noble and magnanimous triumphs ever achieved by the British government.

6th. Distinguished abolitionists are spoken of in terms of respect and admiration. The English Anti-slavery Delegation[A] spent a fortnight in the island, and left it the same day we arrived. Wherever we went we heard of them as "the respectable gentlemen from England," "the worthy and intelligent members of the Society of Friends," &c. A distinguished agent of the English anti-slavery society now resides in St. John's, and keeps a bookstore, well stocked with anti-slavery books and pamphlets. The bust of GEORGE THOMPSON stands conspicuously upon the counter of the bookstore, looking forth upon the public street.

[Footnote A: Messrs. Sturge and Harvey.]

7th. The planters affirm that the abolition of slavery put an end to all danger from insurrection, rebellion, privy conspiracy, and sedition, on the part of the slaves.

8th. Emancipation is deemed an incalculable blessing, because it released the planters from an endless complication of responsibilities, perplexities, temptations and anxieties, and because it emancipated them from the bondage of the whip.

9th. Slavery--emancipation--freedom--are the universal topics of conversation in Antigua. Anti-slavery is the popular doctrine among all classes. He is considered an enemy to his country who opposes the principles of liberty. The planters look with astonishment on the continuance of slavery in the United States, and express their strong belief that it must soon terminate here and throughout the world. They hailed the arrival of French and American visitors on tours of inquiry as a bright omen. In publishing our arrival, one of the St. John's papers remarks, "We regard this as a pleasing indication that the American public have their eyes turned upon our experiment, with a view, we may hope, of ultimately following our excellent example." (!) All classes showed the same readiness to aid us in what the Governor was pleased to call "the objects of our philanthropic mission."

Such are the views now entertained among the planters of Antigua. What a complete change[B]--and all in less than three years, and effected by the abolition of slavery and a trial of freedom! Most certainly, if the former views of the Antigua planters resemble those held by pro-slavery men in this country, their present sentiments are a fac simile of those entertained by the immediate abolitionists.

[Footnote B: The following little story will further illustrate the wonderful revolution which has taken place in the public sentiment of this colony. The facts here stated all occurred while we were in Antigua, and we procured them from a variety of authentic sources. They were indeed publicly known and talked of, and produced no little excitement throughout the island. Mr. Corbett was a respectable and intelligent planter residing on an estate near Johnson's Point. Several months previous to the time of which we now speak, a few colored families (emancipated negroes) bought of a white man some small parcels of land lying adjacent to Mr. C.'s estate. They planted their lands in provisions, and also built them houses thereon, and moved into them. After they had become actively engaged in cultivating their provisions, Mr. Corbett laid claim to the lands, and ordered the negroes to leave them forthwith.

They of course refused to do so. Mr. C. then flew into a violent rage, and stormed and swore, and threatened to burn their houses down over their heads. The terrified negroes forsook their property and fled. Mr. C. then ordered his negroes to tear down their huts and burn up the materials--which was accordingly done. He also turned in his cattle upon the provision grounds, and destroyed them. The negroes made a complaint against Mr. C., and he was arrested and committed to jail in St. John's for trial on the charge of arson.

We heard of this circumstance on the day of Mr. C.'s commitment, and we were told that it would probably go very hard with him on his trial, and that he would be very fortunate if he escaped the gallows or transportation. A few days after this we were surprised to hear that Mr. C. had died in prison. Upon inquiry, we learned that he died literally from rage and mortification. His case defied the, skill and power of the physicians. They could detect the presence of no disease whatever, even on a minute post-mortem examination. They pronounced it as their opinion that he had died from the violence of his passions--excited by being imprisoned, together with his apprehensions of the fatal issue of the trial.

Not long before emancipation, Mr. Scotland was imprisoned for befriending the negroes. After emancipation, Mr. Corbett was imprisoned for wronging them.

Mr. Corbett was a respectable planter, of good family and moved in the first circles in the island]

TWENTY-FIRST PROPOSITION.--Emancipation has been followed by a manifest diminution of "prejudice against color," and has opened the prospect off its speedy extirpation.

Some thirty years ago, the president of the island, Sir Edward Byam, issued an order forbidding the great bell in the cathedral of St. John's being tolled at the funeral of a colored person; and directing a smaller bell to be hung up in the same belfry, and used on such occasions. For twenty years this distinction was strictly maintained. When a white person, however vile, was buried, the great bell was tolled; when a colored person, whatever his moral worth, intelligence, or station, was carried to his grave, the little bell was tinkled. It was not until the arrival of the present excellent Rector, that this "prejudice bell" was silenced. The Rev. Mr. Cox informed us that prejudice had greatly decreased since emancipation. It was very common for white and colored gentlemen to be seen walking arm in arm an the streets of St. John's.

"Prejudice against color is fast disappearing. The colored people have themselves contributed to prolong this feeling, by keeping aloof from the society of the whites."--James Howell, of T. Jarvis's.

How utterly at variance is this with the commonly received opinion, that the colored people are disposed to thrust themselves into the society of the whites!

"Prejudice against color exists in this community only to a limited extent, and that chiefly among those who could never bring themselves to believe that emancipation would really take place. Policy dictates to them the propriety of confining any expression of their feelings to those of the same opinions. Nothing is shown of this prejudice in their intercourse with the colored class--it is 'kept behind the scenes.'"--Ralph Higginbotham, U. S. Consul.

Mr. H. was not the only individual standing in "high places" who insinuated that the whites that still entertained prejudice were ashamed of it. His excellency the Governor intimated as much, by his repeated assurances for himself and his compeers of the first circles, that there was no such feeling in the island as prejudice against color. The reasons for excluding the colored people from their society, he said, were wholly different from that. It was chiefly because of their illegitimacy, and also because they were not sufficiently refined, and because their occupations were of an inferior kind, such as mechanical trades, small shop keeping, &c. Said he, "You would not wish to ask your tailor, or your shoemaker, to dine with you?" However, we were too unsophisticated to coincide in his Excellency's notions of social propriety.

TWENTY-SECOND PROPOSITION.--The progress of the anti-slavery discussions in England did not cause the masters to treat their slaves worse, but on the contrary restrained them from outrage.

"The treatment of the slaves during the discussions in England, was manifestly milder than before."--Dr. Daniell.

"The effect of the proceedings in parliament was to make the planters treat their slaves better. Milder laws were passed by the assembly, and the general condition of the slave was greatly ameliorated."--H. Armstrong, Esq.

"The planters did not increase the rigor of their discipline because of the anti-slavery discussions; but as a general thing, were more lenient than formerly."--S. Bourne. Esq.

"We pursued a much milder policy toward our slaves after the agitation began in England."--Mr. Jas. Hawoil.

"The planters did not treat their slaves worse on account of the discussions; but were more lenient and circumspect."--Letter of Hon. N. Nugent.

"There was far less cruelty exercised by the planters during the anti-slavery excitement in gland. They were always on their guard to escape the notice of the abolitionists. They did not wish to have their names published abroad, and to be exposed as monsters of cruelty!"--David Cranstoun, Esq.

We have now completed our observations upon Antigua. It has been our single object in the foregoing account to give an accurate statement of the results of IMMEDIATE EMANCIPATION. We have not taken a single step beyond the limits of testimony, and we are persuaded that testimony materially conflicting with this, cannot be procured from respectable sources in Antigua. We now leave it to our readers to decide, whether emancipation in Antigua has been to all classes in that island a blessing or a curse.

We cannot pass from this part of our report without recording the kindness and hospitality which we everywhere experienced during our sojourn in Antigua. Whatever may have been our apprehensions of a cool reception from a community of ex-slaveholders, none of our forebodings were realized. It rarely Falls to the lot of strangers visiting a distant land, with none of the contingencies of birth, fortune, or fame, to herald their arrival, and without the imposing circumstance of a popular mission to recommend them, to meet with a warmer reception, or to enjoy a more hearty confidence, than that with which we were honored in the interesting island of Antigua. The very object of our visit, humble, and even odious as it may appear in the eyes of many of our own countrymen, was our passport to the consideration and attention of the higher classes in that free colony. We hold in grateful remembrance the interest which all--not excepting those most deeply implicated in the late system of slavery--manifested in our investigations. To his excellency the Governor, to officers both civil and military, to legislators and judges, to proprietors and planters, to physicians, barristers, and merchants, to clergymen, missionaries, and teachers, we are indebted for their uniform readiness in furthering our objects, and for the mass of information with which they were pleased to furnish us. To the free colored population, also, we are lasting debtors for their hearty co-operation and assistance. To the emancipated, we recognise our obligations as the friends of the slave, for their simple-hearted and reiterated assurances that they should remember the oppressed of our land in their prayers to God. In the name of the multiplying hosts of freedom's friends, and in behalf of the millions of speechless but grateful-hearted slaves, we render to our acquaintances of every class in Antigua our warmest thanks for their cordial sympathy with the cause of emancipation in America. We left Antigua with regret. The natural advantages of that lovely island; its climate, situation, and scenery; the intelligence and hospitality of the higher orders, and the simplicity and sobriety of the poor; the prevalence of education, morality, and religion; its solemn Sabbaths and thronged sanctuaries; and above all, its rising institutions of liberty--flourishing so vigorously,--conspire to make Antigua one of the fairest portions of the earth. Formerly it was in our eyes but a speck on the world's map, and little had we checked if an earthquake had sunk, or the ocean had overwhelmed it; but now, the minute circumstances in its condition, or little incidents in its history, are to our minds invested with grave interest.

None, who are alive to the cause of religious freedom in the world, can be indifferent to the movements and destiny of this little colony. Henceforth, Antigua is the morning star of our nation, and though it glimmers faintly through a lurid sky, yet we hail it, and catch at every ray as the token of a bright sun which may yet burst gloriously upon us.




Barbadoes was the next island which we visited. Having failed of a passage in the steamer,[A] (on account of her leaving Antigua on the Sabbath,) we were reduced to the necessity of sailing in a small schooner, a vessel of only seventeen tons burthen, with no cabin but a mere hole, scarcely large enough to receive our baggage. The berths, for there were two, had but one mattress between them; however, a foresail folded made up the complement.

[Footnote A: There are several English steamers which ply between Barbadoes and Jamaica, touching at several of the intermediate and surrounding islands, and carrying the mails.]

The being for the most part directly against us, we were seven days in reaching Barbadoes. Our aversion to the sepulchre-like cabin obliged us to spend, not the days only, but the nights mostly on the open deck. Wrapping our cloaks about us, and drawing our fur caps over our faces, we slept securely in the soft air of a tropical clime, undisturbed save by the hoarse voice of the black captain crying "ready, bout" and the flapping of the sails, and the creaking of the cordage, in the frequent tackings of our staunch little sea-boat. On our way we passed under the lee of Guadaloupe and to the windward of Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia. In passing Guadaloupe, we were obliged to keep at a league's distance from the land, in obedience to an express regulation of that colony prohibiting small English vessels from approaching any nearer. This is a precautionary measure against the escape of slaves to the English islands. Numerous small vessels, called guarda costas, are stationed around the coast to warn off vessels and seize upon all slaves attempting to make their escape. We were informed that the eagerness of the French negroes to taste the sweets of liberty, which they hear to exist in the surrounding English islands, is so great, that notwithstanding all the vigilance by land and sea, they are escaping in vast numbers. They steal to the shores by night, and seizing upon any sort of vessel within their reach, launch forth and make for Dominica, Montserrat, or Antigua. They have been known to venture out in skiffs, canoes, and such like hazardous conveyances, and make a voyage of fifty or sixty miles; and it is not without reason supposed, that very many have been lost in these eager darings for freedom.

Such is their defiance of dangers when liberty is to be won, that old ocean, with its wild storms, and fierce monsters, and its yawning deep, and even the superadded terrors of armed vessels ever hovering around the island, are barriers altogether ineffectual to prevent escape. The western side of Guadaloupe, along which we passed, is hilly and little cultivated. It is mostly occupied in pasturage. The sugar estates are on the opposite side of the island, which stretches out eastward in a low sloping country, beautifully situated for sugar cultivation. The hills were covered with trees, with here and there small patches of cultivated grounds where the negroes raise provisions. A deep rich verdure covered all that portion of the island which we saw. We were a day and night in passing the long island of Guadaloupe. Another day and night were spent in beating through the channel between Gaudaloupe and Dominica: another day in passing the latter island, and then we stood or Martinique. This is the queen island of the French West Indies. It is fertile and healthful, and though not so large as Guadaloupe, produces a larger revenue. It has large streams of water, and many of the sugar mills are worked by them. Martinique and Dominica are both very mountainous. Their highest peaks are constantly covered with clouds, which in their varied siftings, now wheeling around, then rising or falling, give the hills the appearance of smoking volcanoes. It was not until the eighth day of the voyage, that we landed at Barbadoes. The passage from Barbadoes to Antigua seldom occupies more than three days, the wind being mostly in that direction.

In approaching Barbadoes, it presented an entirely difference appearance from that of the islands we had passed on the way. It is low and level, almost wholly destitute of trees. As we drew nearer we discovered in every direction the marks of its extraordinary cultivation. The cane fields and provision grounds in alternate patches cover the island with one continuous mantle of green. The mansions of the planters, and the clusters of negro houses, appear at shore intervals dotting the face of the island, and giving to it the appearance of a vast village interspersed with verdant gardens.

We "rounded up" in the bay, off Bridgetown, the principal place in Barbadoes, where we underwent a searching examination by the health officer; who, after some demurring, concluded that we might pass muster. We took lodgings in Bridgetown with Mrs. M., a colored lady.

The houses are mostly built of brick or stone, or wood plastered. They are seldom more than two stories high, with flat roofs, and huge window shutters and doors--the structures of a hurricane country. The streets are narrow and crooked, and formed of white marle, which reflects the sun with a brilliancy half blinding to the eyes. Most of the buildings are occupied as stores below and dwelling houses above, with piazzas to the upper story, which jut over the narrow streets, and afford a shade for the side walks. The population of Bridgetown is about 30,000. The population of the island is about 140,000, of whom nearly 90,000 are apprentices, the remainder are free colored and white in the proportion of 30,000 free colored and 20,000 whites. The large population exists on an island not more than twenty miles long, by fifteen broad. The whole island is under the most vigorous and systematic culture. There is scarcely a foot of productive land that is not brought into requisition. There is no such thing as a forest of any extent in the island. It is thus that, notwithstanding the insignificance of its size, Barbadoes ranks among the British islands next to Jamaica in value and importance. It was on account of its conspicuous standing among the English colonies, that we were induced to visit it, and there investigate the operations of the apprenticeship system.

Our principal object in the following tales is to give an account of the working of the apprenticeship system, and to present it in contrast with that of entire freedom, which has been described minutely in our account of Antigua. The apprenticeship was designed as a sort of preparation for freedom. A statement of its results will, therefore, afford no small data for deciding upon the general principle of gradualism!

We shall pursue a plan less labored and prolix than that which it seemed necessary to adopt in treating of Antigua. As that part of the testimony which respects the abolition of slavery, and the sentiments of the planters is substantially the same with what is recorded in the foregoing pages, we shall be content with presenting it in the sketch of our travels throughout the island, and our interviews with various classes of men. The testimony respecting the nature and operations of the apprenticeship system, will be embodied in a more regular form.


At an early day after our arrival we called on the Governor, in pursuance of the etiquette of the island, and in order to obtain the assistance of his Excellency in our inquiries. The present Governor is Sir Evan John Murray McGregor, a Scotchman of Irish reputation. He is the present chieftain of the McGregor clan, which figures so illustriously in the history of Scotland. Sir Evan has been distinguished for his victory in war, and he now bears the title of Knight, for his achievements in the British service. He is Governor-General of the windward islands, which include Barbadoes, Grenada, St. Vincent's, and Tobago. The government house, at which he resides, is about two miles from town. The road leading to it is a delightful one, lined with cane fields, and pasture grounds, all verdant with the luxuriance of midsummer. It passes by the cathedral, the king's house, the noble residence of the Archdeacon, and many other fine mansions. The government house is situated in a pleasant eminence, and surrounded with a large garden, park, and entrance yard. At the large outer gate, which gives admittance to the avenue leading to the house, stood a black sentinel in his military dress, and with a gun on his shoulder, pacing to and fro. At the door of the house we found another black soldier on guard. We were ushered into the dining hall, which seems to serve as ante-chamber when not otherwise used. It is a spacious airy room, overhung with chandeliers and lamps in profusion, and bears the marks of many scenes of mirth and wassail. The eastern windows, which extend from the ceiling to the floor, look out upon a garden filled with shrubs and flowers, among which we recognised a rare variety of the floral family in full bloom. Every thing around--the extent of the buildings, the garden, the park, with deer browsing amid the tangled shrubbery--all bespoke the old English style and dignity.

After waiting a few minutes, we were introduced to his Excellency, who received us very kindly. He conversed freely on the subject of emancipation, and gave his opinion decidedly in favor of unconditional freedom. He has been in the West Indies five years, and resided at Antigua and Dominica before he received his present appointment; he has visited several other islands besides. In no island that he has visited have affairs gone on so quietly and satisfactorily to all parties as in Antigua. He remarked that he was ignorant of the character of the black population of the United States, but from what he knew of their character in the West Indies, he could not avoid the conclusion that immediate emancipation was entirely safe. He expressed his views of the apprenticeship system with great freedom. He said it was vexatious to all parties.

He remarked that he was so well satisfied that emancipation was safe and proper, and that unconditional freedom was better than apprenticeship, that had he the power, he would emancipate every apprentice to-morrow. It would be better both for the planter and the laborer.

He thought the negroes in Barbadoes, and in the windward islands generally, now as well prepared for freedom as the slaves of Antigua.

The Governor is a dignified but plain man, of sound sense and judgement, and of remarkable liberality. He promised to give us every assistance, and said, as we arose to leave him, that he would mention the object of our visit to a number of influential gentlemen, and that we should shortly hear from him again.

A few days after our visit to the Governor's, we called on the Rev. Edward Elliott, the Archdeacon at Barbadoes, to whom we had been previously introduced at the house of a friend in Bridgetown. He is a liberal-minded man. In 1812, he delivered a series of lectures in the cathedral on the subject of slavery. The planters became alarmed--declared that such discourses would lead to insurrection, and demanded that they should lie abandoned. He received anonymous letters threatening him with violence unless he discontinued them. Nothing daunted, however, he went through the course, and afterwards published the lectures in a volume.

The Archdeacon informed us that the number of churches and clergymen had increased since emancipation; religious meetings were more fully attended, and the instructions given had manifestly a greater influence. Increased attention was paid to education also. Before emancipation the planters opposed education, and as far as possible, prevented the teachers from coming to the estates. Now they encouraged it in many instances, and where they do not directly encourage, they make no opposition. He said that the number of marriages had very much increased since the abolition of slavery. He had resided in Barbados for twelve years, during which time he had repeatedly visited many of the neighboring islands. He thought the negroes of Barbadoes were as well prepared for freedom in 1834, as those of Antigua, and that there would have been no bad results had entire emancipation been granted at that time. He did not think there was the least danger of insurrection. On this subject he spoke the sentiments of the inhabitants generally. He did not suppose there were five planters on the island, who entertained any fears on this score now.

On one other point the Archdeacon expressed himself substantially thus: The planters undoubtedly treated their slaves better during the anti-slavery discussions in England.

The condition of the slaves was very much mitigated by the efforts which were made for their entire freedom. The planters softened down, the system of slavery as much as possible. They were exceedingly anxious to put a stop to discussion and investigation.

Having obtained a letter of introduction from an American merchant here to a planter residing about four miles from town, we drove out to his estate. His mansion is pleasantly situated on a small eminence, in one of the coolest and most inviting retreats which is to be seen in this clime, and we were received by its master with all the cordiality and frankness for which Barbados is famed. He introduced us to his family, consisting of three daughters and two sons, and invited us to stop to dinner. One of his daughters, now here on a visit, is married to an American, a native of New York, but now a merchant in one of the southern states, and our connection as fellow countrymen with one dear to them, was an additional claim to their kindness and hospitality.

He conducted us through all the works and out-buildings, the mill, boiling-house, caring-house, hospital, store-houses, &c. The people were at work in the mill and boiling-house, and as we passed, bowed and bade us "good mornin', massa," with the utmost respect and cheerfulness. A white overseer was regulating the work, but wanted the insignia of slaveholding authority, which he had borne for many years, the whip. As we came out, we saw in a neighboring field a gang of seventy apprentices, of both sexes, engaged in cutting up the cane, while others were throwing it into carts to be carried to the mill. They were all as quietly and industriously at work as any body of our own farmers or mechanics. As we were looking at them, Mr. C., the planter, remarked, "those people give me more work than when slaves. This estate was never under so good cultivation as at the present time."

He took us to the building used as the mechanics' shop. Several of the apprentices were at work in it, some setting up the casks for sugar, others repairing utensils. Mr. C. says all the work of the estate is done by the apprentices. His carts are made, his mill kept in order, his coopering and blacksmithing are all done by them. "All these buildings," said he, "even to the dwelling-house, were built after the great storm of 1831, by the slaves."

As we were passing through the hospital, or sick-house, as it is called by the blacks, Mr. C. told us he had very little use for it now. There is no skulking to it as there was under the old system.

Just as we were entering the door of the house, on our return, there was an outcry among a small party of the apprentices who were working near by. Mr. C. went to them and inquired the cause. It appeared that the overseer had struck one of the lads with a stick. Mr. C. reproved him severely for the act, and assured him if he did such a thing again he would take him before a magistrate.

During the day we gathered the following information:--

Mr. C. had been a planter for thirty-six years. He has had charge of the estate on which he now resides ten years. He is the attorney for two other large estates a few miles from this, and has under his superintendence, in all, more than a thousand apprenticed laborers. This estate consists of six hundred and sixty-six acres of land, most of which is under cultivation either in cane or provisions, and has on it three hundred apprentices and ninety-two free children. The average amount of sugar raised on it is two hundred hogsheads of a ton each, but this year it will amount to at least two hundred and fifty hogsheads--the largest crop ever taken off since he has been connected with it. He has planted thirty acres additional this year. The island has never been under so good cultivation, and is becoming better every year.

During our walk round the works, and during the day, he spoke several times in general terms of the great blessings of emancipation.

Emancipation is as great a blessing to the master as to the slave. "Why," exclaimed Mr. C., "it was emancipation to me. I assure you the first of August brought a great, great relief to me. I felt myself, for the first time, a freeman on that day. You cannot imagine the responsibilities and anxieties which were swept away with the extinction of slavery."

There were many unpleasant and annoying circumstances attending slavery, which had a most pernicious effect on the master. There was continual jealousy and suspicion between him and those under him. They looked on each other as sworn enemies, and there was kept up a continual system of plotting and counterplotting. Then there was the flogging, which was a matter of course through the island. To strike a slave was as common as to strike a horse--then the punishments were inflicted so unjustly, in innumerable instances, that the poor victims knew no more why they were punished than the dead in their graves. The master would be a little ill--he had taken a cold, perhaps, and felt irritable--something were wrong--his passion was up, and away went some poor fellow to the whipping post. The slightest offence at such a moment, though it might have passed unnoticed at another time, would meet with the severest punishment. He said he himself had more than once ordered his slaves to be flogged in a passion, and after he became cool he would have given guineas not to have done it. Many a night had he been kept awake in thinking of some poor fellow whom he had shut up in the dungeon, and had rejoiced when daylight came. He feared lest the slave might die before morning; either cut his throat or dash his head against the wall in his desperation. He has known such cases to occur.

The apprenticeship will not have so beneficial an effect as he hoped it would, on account of an indisposition on the part of many of the planters to abide by its regulations. The planters generally are doing very little to prepare the apprentices for freedom; but some are doing very much to unprepare them. They are driving the people from them by their conduct.

Mr. C. said he often wished for emancipation. There were several other planters among his acquaintance who had the same feelings, but did not dare express them. Most of the planters, however, were violently opposed. Many of them declared that emancipation could not and should not take place. So obstinate were they, that they would have sworn on the 31st of July, 1831, that emancipation could not happen. These very men now see and acknowledge the benefits which have resulted from the new system.

The first of August passed off very quietly. The people labored on that day as usual, and had a stranger gone over the island, he would not have suspected any change had taken place. Mr. C. did not expect his people would go to work that day. He told them what the conditions of the new system were, and that after the first of August, they would be required to turn out to work at six o'clock instead of five o'clock as before. At the appointed hour every man was at his post in the field. Not one individual was missing.

The apprentices do more work in the nine hours required by law, than in twelve hours during slavery.

His apprentices are perfectly willing to work for him during their own time. He pays them at the rate of twenty-five cents a day. The people are less quarrelsome than when they were slaves.

About eight o'clock in the evening, Mr. C. invited us to step out into the piazza. Pointing to the houses of the laborers, which were crowded thickly together, and almost concealed by the cocoa-nut and calabash trees around them, he said, "there are probably more than four hundred people in that village. All my own laborers, with their free children, are retired for the night, and with them are many from the neighboring estates." We listened, but all was still, save here and there a low whistle from some of the watchmen. He said that night was a specimen of every night now. But it had not always been so. During slavery these villages were oftentimes a scene of bickering, revelry, and contention. One might hear the inmates reveling and shouting till midnight. Sometimes it would be kept up till morning. Such scenes have much decreased, and instead of the obscene and heathen songs which they used to sing, they are learning hymns from the lips of their children.

The apprentices are more trusty. They are more faithful in work which is given them to do. They take more interest in the prosperity of the estate generally, in seeing that things are kept in order, and that the property is not destroyed.

They are more open-hearted. Formerly they used to shrink before the eyes of the master, and appear afraid to meet him. They would go out of their way to avoid him, and never were willing to talk with him. They never liked to have him visit their houses; they looked on him as a spy, and always expected a reprimand, or perhaps a flogging. Now they look up cheerfully when they meet him, and a visit to their homes is esteemed a favor. Mr. C. has more confidence in his people than he ever had before.

There is less theft than during slavery. This is caused by greater respect for character, and the protection afforded to property by law. For a slave to steal from his master was never considered wrong, but rather a meritorious act. He who could rob the most without being detected was the best fellow. The blacks in several of the islands have a proverb, that for a thief to steal from a thief makes God laugh.

The blacks have a great respect for, and even fear of law. Mr. C. believes no people on earth are more influenced by it. They regard the same punishment, inflicted by a magistrate, much more than when inflicted by their master. Law is a kind of deity to them, and they regard it with great reverence and awe.

There is no insecurity now. Before emancipation there was a continual fear of insurrection. Mr. C. said he had lain down in bed many a night fearing that his throat would be cut before morning. He has started up often from a dream in which he thought his room was filled with armed slaves. But when the abolition bill passed, his fears all passed away. He felt assured there would be no trouble then. The motive to insurrection was taken away. As for the cutting of throats, or insult and violence in any way, he never suspects it. He never thinks of fastening his door at night now. As we were retiring to bed he looked round the room in which we had been sitting, where every thing spoke of serenity and confidence--doors and windows open, and books and plate scattered about on the tables and sideboards. "You see things now," he said, "just as we leave them every night, but you would have seen quite a different scene had you come here a few years ago."

Mr. C. thinks the slaves of Barbadoes might have been entirely and immediately emancipated as well as those of Antigua. The results, he doubts not, would have been the same.

He has no fear of disturbance or insubordination in 1840. He has no doubt that the people will work. That there may be a little unsettled, excited, experimenting feeling for a short time, he thinks probable--but feels confident that things generally will move on peaceably and prosperously. He looks with much more anxiety to the emancipation of the non-praedials in 1838.

There is no disposition among the apprentices to revenge their wrongs. Mr. C. feels the utmost security both of person and property.

The slaves were very much excited by the discussions in England. They were well acquainted, with them, and looked and longed for the result. They watched every arrival of the packet with great anxiety. The people on his estate often knew its arrival before he did. One of his daughters remarked, that she could see their hopes flashing from their eyes. They manifested, however, no disposition to rebel, waiting in anxious but quiet hope for their release. Yet Mr. C. had no doubt, that if parliament had thrown out the emancipation bill, and all measures had ceased for their relief, there would have been a general insurrection.--While there was hope they remained peaceable, but had hope been destroyed it would have been buried in blood.

There was some dissatisfaction among the blacks with the apprenticeship. They thought they ought to be entirely free, and that their masters were deceiving them. They could not at first understand the conditions of the new system--there was some murmuring among them, but they thought it better, however, to wait six years for the boon, than to run the risk of losing it altogether by revolt.

The expenses of the apprenticeship are about the same as during slavery. But under the free system, Mr. C. has no doubt they will be much less. He has made a calculation of the expenses of cultivating the estate on which he resides for one year during slavery, and what they will probably be for one year under the free system. He finds the latter are less by about $3,000.

Real estate has increased in value more than thirty per rent. There is greater confidence in the security of property. Instances were related to us of estates that could not be sold at any price before emancipation, that within the last two years have been disposed of at great prices.

The complaints to the magistrates, on the part of the planters, were very numerous at first, but have greatly diminished. They are of the most trivial and even ludicrous character. One of the magistrates says the greater part of the cases that come before him are from old women who cannot get their coffee early enough in the morning! and for offences of equal importance.

Prejudice has much diminished since emancipation. The discussions in England prior to that period had done much to soften it down, but the abolition of slavery has given it its death blow.

Such is a rapid sketch of the various topics touched upon during our interview with Mr. C. and his family.

Before we left the hospitable mansion of Lear's, we had the pleasure of meeting a company of gentlemen at dinner. With the exception of one, who was provost-marshal, they were merchants of Bridgetown. These gentlemen expressed their full concurrence in the statements of Mr. C., and gave additional testimony equally valuable.

Mr. W., the provost-marshal, stated that he had the supervision of the public jail, and enjoyed the best opportunity of knowing the state of crime, and he was confident that there was a less amount of crime since emancipation than before. He also spoke of the increasing attention which the negroes paid to neatness of dress and personal appearance.

The company broke up about nine o'clock, but not until we had seen ample evidence of the friendly feelings of all the gentlemen toward our object. There was not a single dissenting voice to any of the statements made, or any of the sentiments expressed. This fact shows that the prevailing feeling is in favor of freedom, and that too on the score of policy and self-interest.

Dinner parties are in one sense a very safe pulse in all matters of general interest. They rarely beat faster than the heart of the community. No subject is likely to be introduced amid the festivities of a fashionable circle, until it is fully endorsed by public sentiment.

Through the urgency of Mr. C., we were induced to remain all night. Early the next morning, he proposed a ride before breakfast to Scotland. Scotland is the name given to an abrupt, hilly section, in the north of the island. It is about five miles from Mr. C.'s, and nine from Bridgetown. In approaching, the prospect bursts suddenly upon the eye, extorting an involuntary exclamation of surprise. After riding for miles, through a country which gradually swells into slight elevations, or sweeps away in rolling plains, covered with cane, yams, potatoes, eddoes, corn, and grass, alternately, and laid out with the regularity of a garden; after admiring the cultivation, beauty, and skill exhibited on every hand, until almost wearied with viewing the creations of art; the eye at once falls upon a scene in which is crowded all the wildness and abruptness of nature in one of her most freakish moods--a scene which seems to defy the hand of cultivation and the graces of art. We ascended a hill on the border of this section, which afforded us a complete view. To describe it in one sentence, it is an immense basin, from two to three miles in diameter at the top, the edges of which are composed of ragged hills, and the sides and bottom of which are diversified with myriads of little hillocks and corresponding indentations. Here and there is a small sugar estate in the bottom, and cultivation extends some distance up the sides, though this is at considerable risk, for not infrequently, large tracts of soil, covered with cane or provisions, slide down, over-spreading the crops below, and destroying those which they carry with them.

Mr. C. pointed to the opposite side of the basin to a small group of stunted trees, which he said were the last remains of the Barbadoes forests. In the midst of them there is a boiling spring of considerable notoriety.

In another direction, amid the rugged precipices, Mr. C. pointed out the residences of a number of poor white families, whom he described as the most degraded, vicious, and abandoned people in the island--"very far below the negroes." They live promiscuously, are drunken, licentious, and poverty-stricken,--a body of most squalid and miserable human beings.

From the height on which we stood, we could see the ocean nearly around the island, and on our right and left, overlooking the basin below us, rose the two highest points of land of which Barbadoes can boast. The white marl about their naked tops gives them a bleak and desolate appearance, which contrasts gloomily with the verdure of the surrounding cultivation.

After we had fully gratified ourselves with viewing the miniature representation of old Scotia, we descended again into the road, and returned to Lear's. We passed numbers of men and women going towards town with loads of various kinds of provisions on their heads. Some were black, and others were white--of the same class whose huts had just been shown us amid the hills and ravines of Scotland. We observed that the latter were barefoot, and carried their loads on their heads precisely like the former. As we passed these busy pedestrians, the blacks almost uniformly courtesied or spoke; but the whites did not appear to notice us. Mr. C inquired whether we were not struck with this difference in the conduct of the two people, remarking that he had always observed it. It is very seldom, said he, that I meet a negro who does not speak to me politely; but this class of whites either pass along without looking up, or cast a half-vacant, rude stare into one's face, without opening their mouths. Yet this people, he added, veriest raggamuffins that they are, despise the negroes, and consider it quite degrading to put themselves on term of equity with them. They will beg of blacks more provident and industrious than themselves, or they will steal their poultry and rob their provision grounds at night; but they would disdain to associate with them. Doubtless these sans culottes swell in their dangling rags with the haughty consciousness that they possess white skins. What proud reflections they must have, as they pursue their barefoot way, thinking on their high lineage, and running back through the long list of their illustrious ancestry whose notable badge was a white skin! No wonder they cannot stop to bow to the passing stranger. These sprouts of the Caucasian race are known among the Barbadians by the rather ungracious name of Red Shanks. They are considered the pest of the island, and are far more troublesome to the police, in proportion to their members, than the apprentices. They are estimated at about eight thousand.

The origin of this population we learned was the following: It has long been a law in Barbadoes, that each proprietor should provide a white man for every sixty slaves in his possession, and give him an acre of land, a house, and arms requisite for defence of the island in case of insurrection. This caused an importation of poor whites from Ireland and England, and their number has been gradually increasing until the present time.

During our stay of nearly two days with Mr. C., there was nothing to which he so often alluded as to the security from danger which was now enjoyed by the planters. As he sat in his parlor, surrounded by his affectionate family, the sense of personal and domestic security appeared to be a luxury to him. He repeatedly expressed himself substantially thus: "During the existence of slavery, how often have I retired to bed fearing that I should have my throat cut before morning, but now the danger is all over."

We took leave of Lear's, after a protracted visit, not without a pressing invitation from Mr. C. to call again.


The following week, on Saturday afternoon, we received a note from Mr. C., inviting us to spend the Sabbath at Lear's, where we might attend service at a neighboring chapel, and see a congregation composed chiefly of apprentices. On our arrival, we received a welcome from the residents, which reassured us of their sympathy in our object. We joined the family circle around the centre table, and spent the evening in free conversation on the subject of slavery.

During the evening Mr. C. stated, that he had lately met with a planter who, for some years previous to emancipation, and indeed up to the very event, maintained that it was utterly impossible for such a thing ever to take place. The mother country, he said, could not be so mad as to take a step which must inevitably ruin the colonies. Now, said Mr. C., this planter would be one of the last in the island to vote for a restoration of slavery; nay, he even wishes to have the apprenticeship terminated at once, and entire freedom given to the people. Such changes as this were very common.

Mr. C. remarked that during slavery, if the negro ventured to express an opinion about any point of management, he was met at once with a reprimand. If one should say, "I think such a course would he best," or, "Such a field of cane is fit for cutting," the reply would be, "Think! you have no right to think any thing about it. Do as I bid you." Mr. C. confessed frankly, that he had often used such language himself. Yet at the same time that he affected such contempt for the opinions of the slaves, he used to go around secretly among the negro houses at night to overhear their conversation, and ascertain their views. Sometimes he received very valuable suggestions from them, which he was glad to avail himself of, though he was careful not to acknowledge their origin.

Soon after supper, Miss E., one of Mr. C.'s daughters, retired for the purpose of teaching a class of colored children which came to her on Wednesday and Saturday nights. A sister of Miss E. has a class on the same days at noon.

During the evening we requested the favor of seeing Miss E.'s school. We were conducted by a flight of stairs into the basement story, where we found her sitting in a small recess, and surrounded by a dozen negro girls; from the ages of eight to fifteen. She was instructing them from the Testament, which most of them could read fluently. She afterwards heard them recite some passages which they had committed to memory, and interspersed the recitations with appropriate remarks of advice and exhortation.

It is to be remarked that Miss E. commenced instructing after the abolition; before that event the idea of such an employment would have been rejected as degrading.

At ten o'clock on Sabbath morning, we drove to the chapel of the parish, which is a mile and a half from Lear's. It contains seats for five hundred persons. The body of the house is appropriated to the apprentices. There were upwards of four hundred persons, mostly apprentices, present, and a more quiet and attentive congregation we have seldom seen. The people were neatly dressed. A great number of the men wore black or blue cloth. The females were generally dressed in white. The choir was composed entirely of blacks, and sung with characteristic excellence.

There was so much intelligence in the countenances of the people, that we could scarcely believe we were looking on a congregation of lately emancipated slaves.

We returned to Lear's. Mr. C. noticed the change which has taken place in the observance of the Sabbath since emancipation. Formerly the smoke would be often seen at this time of day pouring from the chimneys of the boiling-houses; but such a sight has not been seen since slavery disappeared.

Sunday used to be the day for the negroes to work on their grounds; now it is a rare thing for them to do so. Sunday markets also prevailed throughout the island, until the abolition of slavery.

Mr. C. continued to speak of slavery. "I sometimes wonder," said he, "at myself, when I think how long I was connected with slavery; but self-interest and custom blinded me to its enormities." Taking a short walk towards sunset, we found ourselves on the margin of a beautiful pond, in which myriads of small gold fishes were disporting--now circling about in rapid evolutions, and anon leaping above the surface, and displaying their brilliant sides in the rays of the setting sun. When we had watched for some moments their happy gambols, Mr. C. turned around and broke a twig from a bush that stood behind us; "there is a bush," said he, "which has committed many a murder." On requesting him to explain, he said, that the root of it was a most deadly poison, and that the slave women used to make a decoction of it and give to their infants to destroy them; many a child had been murdered in this way. Mothers would kill their children, rather than see them grow up to be slaves. "Ah," he continued, in a solemn tone, pausing a moment and looking at us in a most earnest manner, "I could write a book about the evils of slavery. I could write a book about these things."

What a volume of blackness and blood![A]

[Footnote A: We are here reminded of a fact stated by Mr. C. on another occasion. He said, that he once attended at the death of a planter who had been noted for his severity to his slaves. It was the most horrid scene he ever witnessed. For hours before his death he was in the extremest agony, and the only words which he uttered were, "Africa. O Africa!" These words he repeated every few minutes, till he died. And such a ghastly countenance, such distortions of the muscles, such a hellish glare of the eye, and such convulsions of the body--it made him shudder to think of them.]

When we arose on Monday morning, the daylight has scarcely broken. On looking out of the window, we saw the mill slowly moving in the wind, and the field gang were going out to their daily work. Surely, we thought, this does not look much like the laziness and insubordination of freed negroes. After dressing, we walked down to the mill, to have some conversation with the people. They all bade us a cordial "good mornin'." The tender of the mill was an old man, whose despised locks were gray and thin, and on whose brow the hands of time and sorrow had written many effaceless lines. He appeared hale and cheerful, and answered our questions in distinct intelligible language. We asked him how they were all getting along under the new system. "Very well, massa," said he, "very well, thank God. All peaceable and good." "Do you like the apprenticeship better then slavery?" "Great deal better, massa; we is doing well now." "You like the apprenticeship as well as freedom, don't you?" "O no me massa, freedom till better."

"What will you do when you are entirely free?"

"We must work; all have to work when de free come, white and black." "You are old, and will not enjoy freedom long; why do you wish for freedom, then?" "Me want to die free, massa--good ting to die free, and me want to see children free too."

We continued at Lear's during Monday, to be in readiness for a tour to the windward of the island, which Mr. C. had projected for us, and on which we were to set out early the next morning. In the course of the day we had opportunities of seeing the apprentices in almost every situation--in the field, at the mill, in the boiling-house, moving to and from work, and at rest. In every aspect in which we viewed them, they appeared cheerful, amiable, and easy of control. It was admirable to see with what ease and regularity every thing moved. An estate of nearly seven hundred acres, with extensive agriculture, and a large manufactory and distillery, employing three hundred apprentices, and supporting twenty-five horses, one hundred and thirty head of horned cattle, and hogs, sheep; and poultry in proportion, is manifestly a most complicated machinery. No wonder it should have been difficult to manage during slavery, when the main spring was absent, and every wheel out of gear.

We saw the apprentices assemble after twelve o'clock, to receive their allowances of yams. These provisions are distributed to them twice every week--on Monday and Thursday. They were strewed along the yard in heaps of fifteen pounds each. The apprentices came with baskets to get their allowances. It resembled a market scene, much chattering and talking, but no anger. Each man, woman, and child, as they got their baskets filled, placed them of their heads, and marched off to their several huts.

On Tuesday morning, at an early hour, Mr. C. took us in his phaeton on our projected excursion. It was a beautiful morning. There was a full breeze from the east, which had already started the ponderous wings of the wind-mills, in every direction. The sun was shaded by light clouds, which rendered the air quite cool. Crossing the rich valley in which the Bell estate and other noble properties are situated, we ascended the cliffs of St. John's--a ridge extending through the parish of that name and as we rode along its top, eastward, we had a delightful view of sea and land. Below us on either hand lay vast estates glowing in the, verdure of summer, and on three sides in the distance stretched the ocean. Rich swells of land, cultivated and blooming like a vast garden, extended to the north as far as the eye could reach, and on every other side down to the water's edge. One who has been accustomed to the wildness of American scenery, and to the imperfect cultivation, intercepted with woodland, which yet characterizes the even the oldest portions of the United States, might revel for a time amid the sunny meadows. The waving cane fields, the verdant provision grounds, the acres of rich black soil without a blade of grass, and divided into beds two feet square for the cane plants with the precision almost of the cells of a honey comb; and withal he might be charmed with the luxurious mansions--more luxurious than superb--surrounded with the white cedar, the cocoa-nut tree, and the tall, rich mountain cabbage--the most beautiful of all tropical trees; but perchance it would not require a very long excursion to weary him with the artificiality of the scenery, and cause him to sigh for the "woods and wilds," the "banks and braes," of his own majestic country.

After an hour and a half's drive, we reached Colliton estate, where we were engaged to breakfast. We met a hearty welcome from the manager, Samuel Hinkston, Esq. we were soon joined by several gentlemen whom Mr. H. had invited to take breakfast with us; these were the Rev. Mr. Gittens, rector of St. Philip's parish, (in which Colliton estate is situated,) and member of the colonial council; Mr. Thomas, an extensive attorney of Barbadoes; and Dr. Bell, a planter of Demerara--then on a visit to the island. We conversed with each of the gentlemen separately, and obtained their individual views respecting emancipation.

Mr. Hinkston has been a planter for thirty-six years, and is highly esteemed throughout the island. The estate which he manages, ranks among the first in the island. It comprises six hundred acres of superior land, has a population of two hundred apprentices, and yields an average crop of one hundred and eighty hogsheads. Together with his long experience and standing as a planter, Mr. H. has been for many years local magistrate for the parish in which he resides. From these circumstances combined, we are induced to give his opinions on a variety of points.

1. He remarked that the planters were getting along infinitely better under the new system than they ever did under the old. Instead of regretting that the change had taken place, he is looking forward with pleasure to a better change in 1840, and he only regrets that it is not to come sooner.

2. Mr. H. said it was generally conceded that the island was never under better cultivation than at the present time. The crops for this year will exceed the average by several thousand hogsheads. The canes were planted in good season, and well attended to afterwards.

3. Real estate has risen very much since emancipation. Mr. H. stated that he had lately purchased a small sugar estate, for which he was obliged to give several hundred pounds more than it would have cost him before 1834.

4. There is not the least sense of insecurity now. Before emancipation there was much fear of insurrection, but that fear passed away with slavery.

5. The prospect for 1840 is good. That people have no fear of ruin after emancipation, is proved by the building of sugar works on estates which never had any before, and which were obliged to cart their canes to neighbouring estates to have them ground and manufactured. There are also numerous improvements making on the larger estates. Mr. H. is preparing to make a new mill and boiling-house on Colliton, and other planters are doing the same. Arrangements are making too in various directions to build new negro villages on a more commodious plan.

6. Mr. H. says he finds his apprentices perfectly ready to work for wages during their own time. Whenever he needs their labor on Saturday, he has only to ask them, and they are ready to go to the mill, or field at once. There has not been an instance on Colliton estate in which the apprentices have refused to work, either during the hours required by law, or during their own time. When he does not need their services on Saturday, they either hire themselves to other estates or work on their own grounds.

7. Mr. H. was ready to say, both as a planter and a magistrate, that vice and crime generally had decreased, and were still on the decrease. Petty thefts are the principal offences. He has not had occasion to send a single apprentice to the court of sessions for the last six months.

8. He has no difficulty in managing his people--far less than he did when they were slaves. It is very seldom that he finds it necessary to call in the aid of the special magistrate. Conciliatory treatment is generally sufficient to maintain order and industry among the apprentices.

9. He affirms that the negroes have no disposition to be revengeful. He has never seen any thing like revenge.

10. His people are as far removed from insolence as from vindictiveness. They have been uniformly civil.

11. His apprentices have more interest in the affairs of the estate, and he puts more confidence in them than he ever did before.

12. He declares that the working of the apprenticeship, as also that of entire freedom, depends entirely on the planters. If they act with common humanity and reason, there is no fear but that the apprentices will be peaceable.

Mr. Thomas is attorney for fifteen estates, on which there are upwards of two thousand five hundred apprentices. We were informed that he had been distinguished as a severe disciplinarian under the old reign, or in plain terms, had been a cruel man and a hard driver; but he was one of those who, since emancipation, have turned about and conformed their mode of treatment to the new system. In reply to our inquiry how the present system was working, he said, "infinitely better (such was his language) than slavery. I succeed better on all the estates under my charge than I did formerly. I have far less difficulty with the people. I have no reason to complain of their conduct. However, I think they will do still better after 1840."

We made some inquiries of Dr. Bell concerning the results of abolition in Demerara. He gave a decidedly flattering account of the working of the apprenticeship system. No fears are entertained that Demerara will be ruined after 1840. On the contrary it will be greatly benefited by emancipation. It is now suffering from a want of laborers, and after 1840 there will be an increased emigration to that colony from the older and less productive colonies. The planters of Demerara are making arrangements for cultivating sugar on a larger scale than ever before. Estates are selling at very high prices. Every thing indicates the fullest confidence on the part of the planters that the prosperity of the colony will not only be permanent, but progressive.

We made some inquiries of Dr. Bell concerning the

After breakfast we proceeded to the Society's estate. We were glad to see this estate, as its history is peculiar. In 1726 it was bequeathed by General Coddington to a society in England, called "The Society for the promotion of Christian Knowledge." The proceeds of the estate were to be applied to the support of an institution in Barbadoes, for educating missionaries of the established order. Some of the provisions of the will were that the estate should always have three hundred slaves upon it; that it should support a school for the education of the negro children who were to be taught a portion of every day until they were twelve years old, when they were to go into the field; and that there should be a chapel built upon it. The negroes belonging to the estate have for upwards of a hundred years been under this kind of instruction. They have all been taught to read, though in many instances they have forgotten all they learned, having no opportunity to improve after they left school. They enjoy some other comforts peculiar to the Society's estate. They have neat cottages built apart--each on a half-acre lot, which belongs to the apprentice and for the cultivation of which he is a allowed one day out of the five working days. Another peculiarity is, that the men and women work in separate gangs.

At this estate we procured horses to ride to the College. We rode by the chapel and school-house belonging to the Society's estate which are situated on the row of a high hill. From the same hill we caught a view of Coddrington college, which is situated on a low bottom extending from the foot of the rocky cliff on which we stood to the sea shore, a space of quarter of a mile. It is a long, narrow, ill-constructed edifice.

We called on the principal, Rev. Mr. Jones, who received us very cordially, and conducted us over the buildings and the grounds connected with them. The college is large enough to accommodate a hundred students. It is fitted out with lodging rooms, various professors' departments, dining hall, chapel, library, and all the appurtenances of a university. The number of student at the close of the last term was fifteen.

The professors, two in number, are supported by a fund, consisting of £40,000 sterling, which has in part accumulated from the revenue of the estate.

The principal spoke favorably of the operation of the apprenticeship in Barbadoes, and gave the negroes a decided superiority over the lower class of whites. He had seen only one colored beggar since he came to the island, but he was infested with multitudes of white ones.

It is intended to improve the college buildings as soon as the toil of apprentices on the Society's estate furnishes the requisite means. This robbing of God's image to promote education is horrible enough, taking the wages of slavery to spread the kingdom of Christ!

On re-ascending the hill, we called at the Society's school. There are usually in attendance about one hundred children, since the abolition of slavery. Near the school-house is the chapel of the estate, a neat building, capable of holding three or four hundred people. Adjacent to the chapel is the burial ground for the negroes belonging to the Society's estate. We noticed several neat tombs, which appeared to have been erected only a short time previous. They were built of brick, and covered over with lime, so as to resemble white marble slabs. On being told that these were erected by the negroes themselves over the bodies of their friends, we could not fail to note so beautiful an evidence of their civilization and humanity. We returned to the Society's estate, where we exchanged our saddles for the phaeton, and proceeded on our eastward tour.

Mr. C. took us out of the way a few miles to show us one of the few curiosities of which Barbadoes can boast. It is called the "Horse." The shore for some distance is a high and precipitous ledge of rocks, which overhangs the sea in broken cliffs. In one place a huge mass has been riven from the main body of rock and fallen into the sea. Other huge fragments have been broken off in the same manner. In the midst of these, a number of steps have been cut in the rock for the purpose of descending to the sea. At the bottom of these steps, there is a broad platform of solid rock, where one may stand securely, and hear the waves breaking around him like heavy thunders. Through the fissures we could see the foam and spray mingling with the blue of the ocean, and flashing in the sunshine. To the right, between the largest rock and the main land, there is a chamber of about ten feet wide, and twenty feet long. The fragment, which forms one of its sides, leans towards the main rock, and touches it at top, forming a roof, with here and there a fissure, through which the light enters. At the bottom of the room there is a clear bed of water, which communicates with the sea by a small aperture under the rock. It is as placid as a summer pond, and is fitted with steps for a bathing place. Bathe, truly! with the sea ever dashing against the side, and roaring and reverberating with deafening echo.

On a granite slab, fixed in the side of the rock at the bottom of the first descent is an inscription. Time has very much effaced the letters, but by the aid of Mr. C.'s memory, we succeeded in deciphering them. They will serve as the hundred and first exemplification of the Bonapartean maxim--"There is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous."

"In this remote, and hoarse resounding place,
Which billows clash, and craggy cliffs embrace,
These babbling springs amid such horrors rise,
But armed with virtue, horrors we despise.
Bathe undismayed, nor dread the impending rock,
'Tis virtue shields us from each adverse shock.


From the "Crane," which is the name given to that section of the country in which the "Horse" is situated, we bent our way in a southerly direction to the Ridge estate, which was about eight miles distant, where we had engaged to dine. On the way we passed an estate which had just been on fire. The apprentices, fearing lest their houses should be burnt, had carried away all the moveables from them, and deposited them in separate heaps, on a newly ploughed field. The very doors and window shutters had been torn off and carried into the field, several acres of which were strewed over with piles of such furniture. Mr. C. was scarcely less struck with this scene than we were, and he assured us that he had never known such providence manifested on a similar occasion during slavery.

At the Ridge estate we met Mr. Clarke, manager at Staple Grove estate, Mr. Applewhitte of Carton, and a brother of Mr. C. The manager, Mr. Cecil, received us with the customary cordiality.

Mr. Clarke is the manager of an estate on which there are two hundred apprentices. His testimony was, that the estate was better cultivated since abolition than before, and that it is far easier to control the laborers, and secure uniformity of labor under the present system. He qualified this remark, by saying, that if harsh or violent measures were used, there would be more difficulty now than during slavery; but kind treatment and a conciliatory spirit never failed to secure peace and industry. At the time of abolition, Mr. C. owned ten slaves, whom he entirely emancipated. Some of these still remain with him as domestics; others are hired on an adjoining estate. One of those who left him to work on another estate, said to him, "Massa, whenever you want anybody to help you, send to me, and I'll come. It makes no odds when it is--I'll be ready at any time--day or night." Mr. C. declared himself thoroughly convinced of the propriety of immediate emancipation; though he was once a violent opposer of abolition. He said, that if he had the power, be would emancipate every apprentice on his estate to-morrow. As we were in the sugar-house examining the quality of the sugar, Mr. C. turned to one of us, and putting his hand on a hogshead, said, "You do not raise this article in your state, (Kentucky,) I believe." On being answered in the negative, he continued, "Well, we will excuse you, then, somewhat in your state--you can't treat your slaves so cruelly there. This, this is the dreadful thing! Wherever sugar is cultivated by slaves, there is extreme suffering."

Mr. Applewhitte said emphatically, that there was no danger in entire emancipation. He was the proprietor of more than a hundred apprentices and he would like to see them all free at once.

During a long sitting at the dinner table, emancipation was the topic, and we were gratified with the perfect unanimity of sentiment among these planters. After the cloth was removed, and we were about leaving the table, Mr. Clarke begged leave to propose a toast. Accordingly, the glasses of the planters were once more filled, and Mr. C., bowing to us, gave our health, and "success to our laudable undertaking,"--"most laudable undertaking," added Mr. Applewhitte, and the glasses were emptied. Had the glasses contained water instead of wine, our gratification would have been complete. It was a thing altogether beyond our most sanguine expectations, that a company of planters, all of whom were but three years previous the actual oppressors of the slave, should be found wishing success to the cause of emancipation.

At half past eight o'clock, we resumed our seats in Mr. C.'s phaeton, and by the nearest route across the country, returned to Lear's. Mr. C. entertained us by the way with eulogies upon the industry and faithfulness of his apprentices. It was, he said, one of the greatest pleasures he experienced, to visit the different estates under his charge, and witness the respect and affection which the apprentices entertained towards him. Their joyful welcome, their kind attentions during his stay with them, and their hearty 'good-bye, massa,' when he left, delighted him.


We were kindly invited to spend a day at the mansion of Colonel Ashby, an aged and experienced planter, who is the proprietor of the estate on which he resides. Colonel A.'s estate is situated in the parish of Christ Church, and is almost on the extreme point of a promontory, which forms the southernmost part of the island. An early and pleasant drive of nine miles from Bridgetown, along the southeastern coast of the island, brought us to his residence. Colonel A. is a native of Barbadoes, has been a practical planter since 1795, and for a long time a colonial magistrate, and commander of the parish troops. His present estate contains three hundred and fifty acres, and has upon it two hundred and thirty apprentices, with a large number of free children. His average crop is eighty large hogsheads. Colonel A. remarked to us, that he had witnessed many cruelties and enormities under "the reign of terror." He said, that the abolition of slavery had been an incalculable blessing, but added, that he had not always entertained the same views respecting emancipation. Before it took place, he was a violent opposer of any measure tending to abolition. He regarded the English abolitionists, and the anti-slavery members in parliament, with unmingled hatred. He had often cursed Wilberforce most bitterly, and thought that no doom either in this life, or in the life to come, was too bad for him. "But," he exclaimed, "how mistaken I was about that man--I am convinced of it now--O he was a good man--a noble philanthropist!--if there is a chair in heaven, Wilberforce is in it!" Colonel A. is somewhat sceptical, which will account for his hypothetical manner of speaking about heaven.

He said that he found no trouble in managing his apprentices. As local or colonial magistrate, in which capacity he still continued to act he had no cases of serious crime to adjudicate, and very few cases of petty misdemeanor. Colonel A. stated emphatically, that the negroes were not disposed to leave their employment, unless the master was intolerably passionate and hard with them; as for himself, he did not fear losing a single laborer after 1840.

He dwelt much on the trustiness and strong attachment of the negroes, where they are well treated. There were no people in the world that he would trust his property or life with sooner than negroes, provided he had the previous management of them long enough to secure their confidence. He stated the following fact in confirmation of this sentiment. During the memorable insurrection of 1816, by which the neighboring parishes were dreadfully ravaged, he was suddenly called from home on military duty. After he had proceeded some distance, he recollected that he had left five thousand dollars in an open desk at home. He immediately told the fact to his slave who was with him, and sent him back to take care of it. He knew nothing more of his money until the rebellion was quelled, and peace restored. On returning home, the slave led him to a cocoa-nut tree near by the house, and dug up the money, which he had buried under its roots. He found the whole sum secure. The negro, he said, might have taken the money, and he would never have suspected him, but would have concluded that it had been, in common with other larger sums, seized upon by the insurgents. Colonel A. said that it was impossible for him to mistrust the negroes as a body. He spoke in terms of praise also of the conjugal attachment of the negroes. His son, a merchant, stated a fact on this subject. The wife of a negro man whom he knew, became afflicted with that loathsome disease, the leprosy. The man continued to live with her, notwithstanding the disease was universally considered contagious and was peculiarly dreaded by the negroes. The man on being asked why he lived with his wife under such circumstances, said, that he had lived with her when she was well, and he could not bear to forsake her when she was in distress.

Colonel A. made numerous inquiries respecting slavery in America. He said there certainly be insurrections in the slaveholding states, unless slavery was abolished. Nothing but abolition could put an end to insurrections.

Mr. Thomas, a neighboring planter, dined with us. He had not carried a complaint to the special magistrate against his apprentices for six months. He remarked particularly that emancipation had been a great blessing to the master; it brought freedom to him as well as to the slave.

A few days subsequent to our visit to Colonel A.'s, the Reverend Mr. Packer, of the Established Church, called at our lodgings, and introduced a planter from the parish of St. Thomas. The planter is proprietor of an estate, and has eighty apprentices. His apprentices conduct themselves very satisfactorily, and he had not carried a half dozen complaints to the special magistrate since 1831. He said that cases of crime were very rare, as he had opportunity of knowing, being local magistrate. There were almost no penal offences brought before him. Many of the apprentices of St. Thomas parish were buying their freedom, and there were several cases of appraisement[A] every week. The Monday previous, six cases came before him, in four of which the apprentices paid the money on the spot.

[Footnote A: When an apprentice signifies his wish to purchase his freedom, he applies to the magistrate for an appraisement. The appraisement is made by one special and two local magistrates.]

Before this gentleman left, the Rev. Mr. C. called in with Mr. Pigeot, another planter, with whom we had a long conversation. Mr. P. has been a manager for many years. We had heard of him previously as the only planter in the island who had made an experiment in task work prior to abolition. He tried it for twenty months before that period on an estate of four hundred acres and two hundred people. His plan was simply to give each slave an ordinary day's work for a task; and after that was performed, the remainder of the time, if any, belonged to the slave. No wages were allowed. The gang were expected to accomplish just as much as they did before, and to do it as well, however long a time it might require; and if they could finish in half a day, the other half was their own, and they might employ it as they saw fit. Mr. P. said, he was very soon convinced of the good policy of the system; though he had one of the most unruly gangs of negroes to manage in the whole island. The results of the experiment he stated to be these:

1. The usual day's work was done generally before the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes it was completed in five hours.

2. The work was done as well as it was ever done under the old system. Indeed, the estate continued to improve in cultivation, and presented a far better appearance at the close of the twenty months than when he took the charge of it.

3. The trouble of management was greatly diminished. Mr. P. was almost entirely released from the care of overseeing the work: he could trust it to the slaves.

4. The whip was entirely laid aside. The idea of having a part of the day which they could call their own and employ for their own interests, was stimulus enough for the slaves without resorting to the whip.

5. The time gained was not spent (as many feared and prophecied it would be) either in mischief or indolence. It was diligently improved in cultivating their provision grounds, or working for wages on neighboring estates. Frequently a man and his wife would commence early and work together until they got the work of both so far advanced that the man could finish it alone before night; and then the woman would gather on a load of yams and start for the market.

6. The condition of the people improved astonishingly. They became one of the most industrious and orderly gangs in the parish. Under the former system they were considered inadequate to do the work of the estate, and the manager was obliged to hire additional hands every year, to take off the crop; but Mr. P. never hired any, though he made as large crops as were made formerly.

7. After the abolition of slavery, his people chose to continue on the same system of task work.

Mr. P. stated that the planters were universally opposed to his experiment. They laughed at the idea of making negroes work without using the whip; and they all prophesied that it would prove an utter failure. After some months' successful trial, he asked some of his neighbor planters what they thought of it then, and he appealed to than to say whether he did not get his work done as thoroughly and seasonably as they did theirs. They were compelled to admit it; but still they were opposed to his system, even more than ever. They called it an innovation--it was setting a bad example; and they honestly declared that they did not wish the slaves to have any time of their own. Mr. P. said, he was first induced to try the system of task work from a consideration that the negroes were men as well as himself, and deserved to he dealt with as liberally as their relation would allow. He soon found that what was intended as a favor to the slaves was really a benefit to the master. Mr. P. was persuaded that entire freedom would be better for all parties than apprenticeship. He had heard some fears expressed concerning the fate of the island after 1840; but he considered them very absurd.

Although this planter looked forward with sanguine hopes to 1840, yet he would freely say that he did not think the apprenticeship would be any preparation for entire freedom. The single object with the great majority of the planters seemed to be to get as much out of the apprentices as they possibly could during the term. No attention had been paid to preparing the apprentices for freedom.

We were introduced to a planter who was notorious during the reign of slavery for the strictness of his discipline, to use the Barbadian phrase, or, in plain English, for his rigorous treatment and his cruelty.

He is the proprietor of three sugar estates and one cotton plantation in Barbadoes, on all of which there are seven hundred apprentices. He was a luxurious looking personage, bottle-cheeked and huge i' the midst, and had grown fat on slaveholding indulgences. He mingled with every sentence he uttered some profane expression, or solemn appeal to his "honor," and seemed to be greatly delighted with hearing himself talk. He displayed all those prejudices which might naturally be looked for in a mind educated and trained as his had been. As to the conduct of the apprentices, he said they were peaceable and industrious, and mostly well disposed. But after all, the negroes were a perverse race of people. It was a singular fact, he said, that the severer the master, the better the apprentices. When the master was mild and indulgent, they were sure to be lazy, insolent, and unfaithful. He knew this by experience; this was the case with his apprentices. His house-servants especially were very bad. But there was one complaint he had against them all, domestics and praedials--they always hold him to the letter of the law, and are ready to arraign him before the special magistrate for every infraction of it on his part, however trifling. How ungrateful, truly! After being provided for with parental care from earliest infancy, and supplied yearly with two suits of clothes, and as many yams is they could eat and only having to work thirteen or fifteen hours per day in return; and now when they are no longer slaves, and new privileges are conferred to exact them to the full extent of the law which secures them--what ingratitude! How soon are the kindnesses of the past, and the hand that bestowed them, forgotten! Had these people possessed the sentiments of human beings, they would have been willing to take the boon of freedom and lay it at their master's feet, dedicating the remainder of their days to his discretionary service!

But with all his violent prejudices, this planter stated some facts which are highly favorable to the apprentices.

1. He frankly acknowledged that his estates were never under better cultivation than at the present time: and he could say the same of the estates throughout the island. The largest crops that have ever been made, will he realized this year.

2. The apprentices are generally willing to work on the estates on Saturday whenever their labor is needed.

3. The females are very much disposed to abandon field labor. He has great difficulty sometimes in inducing them to take their hoes and go out to the field along with the men; it was the case particularly with the mothers! This he regarded as a sore evil!

4. The free children he represented as being in a wretched condition. Their parents have the entire management of them, an they are utterly opposed to having them employed on the estates. He condemned severely the course taken in a particular instance by the late Governor, Sir Lionel Smith. He took it upon himself to go around the island and advise the parents never to bind their children in any kind of apprenticeship to the planters. He told them that sooner than involve their free children in any way, they ought to "work their own fingers to the stubs." The consequence of this imprudent measure, said our informant, is that the planters have no control over the children born on their estates; and in many instances their parents have sent them away lest their residence on the property should, by some chance, give the planter a claim upon their services. Under the good old system the young children were placed together under the charge of some superannuated women, who were fit for nothing else, and the mothers went into the field to work; now the nursery is broken up, and the mothers spend half of their time "in taking care of their brats."

5. As to the management of the working people, there need not he any more difficulty now then during slavery. If the magistrates, instead of encouraging the apprentices to complain and be insolent, would join their influence to support the authority of the planters, things might go on nearly as smoothly as before.

In company with Rev. Mr. Packer, late Rector of St. Thomas, we rode out to the Belle estate, which is considered one of the finest in the island. Mr. Marshall, the manager, received us cordially. He was selected, with two others, by Sir Lionel Smith, to draw up a scale of labor for general use in the island. There are five hundred acres in the estate, and two hundred and thirty-five apprenticed laborers. The manager stated that every thing was working well on his property. He corroborated the statements made by other planters with retard to the conduct of the apprentices. On one point he said the planters had found themselves greatly disappointed. It was feared that after emancipation the negroes would be very much verse to cultivating cane, as it was supposed that nothing but the whip could induce them to perform that species of labor. But the truth is, they now not only cultivate the estate lands better than they did when under the lash, but also cultivate a third of their half-acre allotments in cane on their own accounts. They would plant the whole in cane if they were not discouraged by the planter, whose principal objection to their doing so is that it would lead to the entire neglect of provision cultivation. The apprentices on Belle estate will make little short of one thousand dollars the present season by their sugar.

Mr. M. stated that he was extensively acquainted with the cultivation of the island, and he knew that it was in a better condition than it had been for many years. There were twenty-four estates under the same attorneyship with the Belle, and they were all in the same prosperous condition.

A short time before we left Barbadoes we received an invitation from Col. Barrow, to breakfast with him at his residence on Edgecome estate--about eight miles from town. Mr. Cummins, a colored gentleman, a merchant of Bridgetown, and agent of Col. B., accompanied us.

The proprietor of Edgecome is a native of Barbadoes, of polished manners and very liberal views. He has travelled extensively, has held many important offices, and is generally considered the cleverest man in the island. He is now a member of the council, and acting attorney for about twenty estates. He remarked that he had always desired emancipation, and had prepared himself for it; but that it had proved a greater blessing than he had expected. His apprentices did as much work as before, and it was done without the application of the whip. He had not had any cases of insubordination, and it was very seldom that he had any complaints to make to the special magistrate. "The apprentices." said he, "understand the meaning of law, and they regard its authority." He thought there was no such thing in the island as a sense of insecurity, either as respected person or property. Real estate had risen in value.

Col. B. alluded to the expensiveness of slavery, remarking that after all that was expended in purchasing the slaves, it cost the proprietor as much to maintain them, as it would to hire free men. He spoke of the habit of exercising arbitrary power, which being in continual play up to the time of abolition, had become so strong that managers even yet gave way to it, and frequently punished their apprentices, in spite of all penalties. The fines inflicted throughout the island in 1836, upon planters, overseers, and others, for punishing apprentices, amounted to one thousand two hundred dollars. Col. B. said that he found the legal penalty so inadequate, that in his own practice he was obliged to resort to other means to deter his book-keepers and overseers from violence; hence he discharged every man under his control who was known to strike an apprentice. He does not think that the apprenticeship will be a means of preparing the negroes for freedom, nor does he believe that they need any preparation. He should have apprehended no danger, had emancipation taken place in 1834.

At nine o'clock we sat down to breakfast. Our places were assigned at opposite sides of the table, between Col. B. and Mr. C. To an American eye, we presented a singular spectacle. A wealthy planter, a member of the legislative council, sitting at the breakfast table with a colored man, whose mother was a negress of the most unmitigated hue, and who himself showed a head of hair as curly as his mother's! But this colored guest was treated with all that courtesy and attention to which his intelligence, worth and accomplished manners so justly entitle him.

About noon, we left Edgecome, and drove two miles farther, to Horton--an estate owned by Foster Clarke, Esq., an attorney for twenty-two estates, who is now temporarily residing in England. The intelligent manager of Horton received us and our colored companion, with characteristic hospitality. Like every one else, he told us that the apprenticeship was far better than slavery, though he was looking forward to the still better system, entire freedom.

After we had taken a lunch, Mr. Cummins invited our host to take a seat, with us in his carriage, and we drove across the country to Drax Hall. Drax Hall is the largest estate in the island--consisting of eight hundred acres. The manager of this estate confirmed the testimony of the Barbadian planters in every important particular.

From Drax Hall we returned to Bridgetown, accompanied by our friend Cummins.



Next in weight to the testimony of the planters is that of the special magistrates. Being officially connected with the administration of the apprenticeship system, and tire adjudicators in all difficulties between master and servant, their views of the system and of the conduct of the different parties are entitled to special consideration. Our interviews with this class of men were frequent during our stay in the island. We found them uniformly ready to communicate information, and free to express their sentiments.

In Barbadoes there are seven special magistrates, presiding over as many districts, marked A, B, C, &c., which include the whole of the apprentice population, praedial and non-praedial. These districts embrace an average of twelve thousand apprentices--some more and some less. All the complaints and difficulties which arise among that number of apprentices and their masters, overseers and book-keepers, are brought before the single magistrate presiding in the district in which they occur. From the statement of this fact it will appear in the outset either that the special magistrates have an incalculable amount of business to transact, or that the conduct of the apprentices is wonderfully peaceable. But more of this again.

About a week following our first interview with his excellency, Sir Evan McCregor, we received an invitation to dine at Government House with a company of gentlemen. On our arrival at six o'clock, we were conducted into a large antechamber above the dining hall, where we were soon joined by the Solicitor-General, Hon. R.B. Clarke. Dr. Clarke, a physician, Maj. Colthurst, Capt. Hamilton, and Mr. Galloway, special magistrates. The appearance of the Governor about an hour afterwards, was the signal for an adjournment to dinner.

Slavery and emancipation were the engrossing topics during the evening. As our conversation was for the most part general, we were enabled to gather at the same time the opinions of all the persons present. There was, for aught we heard or could see to the contrary, an entire unanimity of sentiment. In the course of the evening we gathered the following facts and testimony:

1. All the company testified to the benefits of abolition. It was affirmed that the island was never in so prosperous a condition as at present.

2. The estates generally are better cultivated than they were during slavery. Said one of the magistrates:

"If, gentlemen, you would see for yourselves the evidences of our successful cultivation, you need but to travel in any part of the country, and view the superabundant crops which are now being taken off; and if you would satisfy yourselves that emancipation has not been ruinous to Barbadoes, only cast your eyes over the land in any direction, and see the flourishing condition both of houses and fields: every thing is starting into new life."

It as also stated that more work was done during the nine hours required by law, than was done during slavery in twelve or fifteen hours, with all the driving and goading which were then practised.

3. Offences have not increased, but rather lessened. The Solicitor-General remarked, that the comparative state of crime could not be ascertained by a mere reference to statistical records, since previous to emancipation all offences were summarily punished by the planter. Each estate was a little despotism, and the manager took cognizance of all the misdemeanors committed among his slaves--inflicting such punishment as he thought proper. The public knew nothing about the offences of the slaves, unless something very atrocious was committed. But since emancipation has taken place, all offences, however trivial, come to the light and are recorded. He could only give a judgment founded on observation. It was his opinion, that there were fewer petty offences, such as thefts, larcenies, &c., than during slavery. As for serious crime, it was hardly known in the island. The whites enjoy far greater safety of person and property than they did formerly.

Maj. Colthurst, who is an Irishman, remarked, that he had long been a magistrate or justice of the peace in Ireland, and he was certain that at the present ratio of crime in Barbadoes, there would not be as much perpetrated in six years to come, as there is in Ireland among an equal population in six months. For his part, he had never found in any part of the world so peaceable and inoffensive a community.

4. It was the unanimous testimony that there was no disposition among the apprentices to revenge injuries committed against them. They are not a revengeful people, but on the contrary are remarkable for forgetting wrongs, particularly when the are succeeded by kindness.

5. The apprentices were described as being generally civil and respectful toward their employers. They were said to manifest more independence of feeling and action than they did when slaves; but were seldom known to be insolent unless grossly insulted or very harshly used.

6. Ample testimony was given to the law-abiding character of the negroes. When the apprenticeship system was first introduced, they did not fully comprehend its provisions, and as they had anticipated entire freedom, they were disappointed and dissatisfied. But in a little while they became reconciled to the operations of the new system, and have since manifested a due subordination to the laws and authorities.

7. There is great desire manifested among them to purchase their freedom. Not a week passes without a number of appraisements. Those who have purchased their freedom have generally conducted well, and in many instances are laboring on the same estates on which they were slaves.

8. There is no difficulty in inducing the apprentices to work on Saturday. They are usually willing to work if proper wages are given them. If they are not needed on the estates, they either work on their own grounds, or on some neighboring estate.

9. The special magistrates were all of the opinion that it would have been entirely safe to have emancipated the slaves of Barbadoes in 1834. They did not believe that any preparation was needed; but that entire emancipation would have been decidedly better than the apprenticeship.

10. The magistrates also stated that the number of complaints brought before them was comparatively small, and it was gradually diminishing. The offences were of a very trivial nature, mostly cases of slight insubordination, such as impertinent replies and disobedience of orders.

11. They stated that they had more trouble with petty overseers and managers and small proprietors than with the entire black population.

12. The special magistrates further testified that wherever the planters have exercised common kindness and humanity, the apprentices have generally conducted peaceably. Whenever there are many complaints from one estate, it is presumable that the manager is a bad man.

13. Real estate is much higher throughout the island than it has been for many years. A magistrate said that he had heard of an estate which had been in market for ten years before abolition and could not find a purchaser. In 1835, the year following abolition, it was sold for one third more than was asked for it two years before.

14. It was stated that there was not a proprietor in the island, whose opinion was of any worth, who would wish to have slavery restored. Those who were mostly bitterly opposed to abolition, have become reconciled, and are satisfied that the change has been beneficial. The Solicitor-General was candid enough to own that he himself was openly opposed to emancipation. He had declared publicly and repeatedly while the measure was pending in Parliament, that abolition would ruin the colonies. But the results had proved so different that he was ashamed of his former forebodings. He had no desire ever to see slavery re-established.

15. The first of August, 1834, was described as a day of remarkable quiet and tranquillity. The Solicitor-General remarked, that there were many fears for the results of that first day of abolition. He said he arose early that morning, and before eight o'clock rode through the most populous part of the island, over an extent of twelve miles. The negroes were all engaged in their work as on other days. A stranger riding through the island, and ignorant of the event which had taken place that morning, would have observed no indications of so extraordinary a change. He returned home satisfied that all would work well.

16. The change in 1840 was spoken of as being associated with the most sanguine expectations. It was thought that there was more danger to be apprehended from the change in 1834. It was stated that there were about fifteen thousand non-praedials, who would then be emancipated in Barbadoes. This will most likely prove the occasion of much excitement and uneasiness, though it is not supposed that any thing serious will arise. The hope was expressed that the legislature would effect the emancipation of the whole population at that time. One of the magistrates informed us that he knew quite a number of planters in his district who were willing to liberate their apprentices immediately, but they were waiting for a general movement. It was thought that this state of feeling was somewhat extensive.

17. The magistrates represented the negroes as naturally confiding and docile, yielding readily to the authority of those who are placed over them. Maj. Colthurst presides over a district of 9,000 apprentices; Capt. Hamilton over a district of 13,000, and Mr. Galloway over the same number. There are but three days in the week devoted to hearing and settling complaints. It is very evident that in so short a time it would be utterly impossible for one man to control and keep in order such a number, unless the subjects were of themselves disposed to be peaceable and submissive. The magistrates informed us that, notwithstanding the extent of their districts, they often did not have more than from a dozen to fifteen complaints in a week.

We were highly gratified with the liberal spirit and the intelligence of the special magistrates. Major Colthurst is a gentleman of far more than ordinary pretensions to refinement and general information. He was in early life a justice of the peace in Ireland, he was afterwards a juror in his Majesty's service, and withal, has been an extensive traveller. Fifteen years ago he travelled in the United States, and passed through several of the slaveholding states, where he was shocked with the abominations of slavery. He was persuaded that slavery was worse in our country, than it has been for many years in the West Indies. Captain Hamilton was formerly an officer in the British navy. He seems quite devoted to his business, and attached to the interests of the apprentices. Mr. Galloway is a colored gentleman, highly respected for his talents. Mr. G. informed us that prejudice against color was rapidly diminishing--and that the present Governor was doing all in his power to discountenance it.

The company spoke repeatedly of the noble act of abolition, by which Great Britain had immortalized her name more than by all the achievements of her armies and navies.

The warmest wishes were expressed for the abolition of slavery in the United States. All said they should rejoice when the descendants of Great Britain should adopt the noble example of their mother country. They hailed the present anti-slavery movements. Said the Solicitor-General, "We were once strangely opposed to the English anti-slavery party, but now we sympathize with you. Since slavery is abolished to our own colonies, and we see the good which results from the measure, we go for abolition throughout the world. Go on, gentlemen, we are with you; we are all sailing in the same vessel."

Being kindly invited by Captain Hamilton, during our interview with him at the government house, to call on him and attend his court, we availed ourselves of his invitation a few days afterwards. We left Bridgetown after breakfast, and as it chanced to be Saturday, we had a fine opportunity of seeing the people coming into market. They were strung all along the road for six miles, so closely, that there was scarcely a minute at any time in which we did not pass them. As far as the eye could reach there were files of men and women, moving peaceably forward. From the cross paths leading through the estates, the busy marketers were pouring into the highway. To their heads as usual was committed the safe conveyance of the various commodities. It was amusing to observe the almost infinite diversity of products which loaded them. There were sweet potatoes, yams, eddoes, Guinea and Indian corn, various fruits and berries, vegetables, nuts, cakes, bottled beer and empty bottles, bundles of sugar cane, bundles of fire wood, &c. &c. Here was one woman (the majority were females, as usual with the marketers in these islands) with a small black pig doubled up under her arm. Another girl had a brood of young chickens, with nest, coop, and all, on her head. Further along the road we were specially attracted by a woman who was trudging with an immense turkey elevated on her head. He quite filled the tray; head and tail projecting beyond its bounds. He advanced, as was very proper, head foremost, and it was irresistibly laughable to see him ever and anon stretch out his neck and peep under the tray, as though he would discover by what manner of locomotive it was that he got along so fast while his own legs were tied together.

Of the hundreds whom we past, there were very few who were not well dressed, healthy, and apparently in good spirits. We saw nothing indecorous, heard no vile language, and witnessed no violence.

About four miles from town, we observed on the side of the road a small grove of shade trees. Numbers of the marketers were seated there, or lying in the cool shade with their trays beside them. It seemed to be a sort of rendezvous place, where those going to, and those returning from town, occasionally halt for a time for the purpose of resting, and to tell and hear news concerning the state of the market. And why should not these travelling merchants have an exchange as well as the stationary ones of Bridgetown?

On reaching the station-house, which is about six miles from town, we learned that Saturday was not one of the court days. We accordingly drove to Captain Hamilton's residence. He stated that during the week he had only six cases of complaint among the thirteen thousand apprentices embraced in his district. Saturday is the day set apart for the apprentices to visit him at his house for advice on any points connected with their duties. He had several calls while we were with him. One was from the mother of an apprentice girl who had been committed for injuring the master's son. She came to inform Captain H. that the girl had been whipped twice contrary to law, before her commitment. Captain H. stated that the girl had said nothing about this at the time of her trial; if she had, she would in all probability have been set free, instead of being committed to prison. He remarked that he had no question but there were numerous cases of flogging on the estates which never came to light. The sufferers were afraid to inform against their masters, lest they should be treated still worse. The opportunity which he gave them of coming, to him one day in the week for private advice, was the means of exposing many outrages which would otherwise he unheard of: He observed that there were not a few whom he had liberated on account of the cruelty of their masters.

Captain H. stated that the apprentices were much disposed to purchase their freedom. To obtain money to pay for themselves they practice the most severe economy and self-denial in the very few indulgences which the law grants them. They sometimes resort to deception to depreciate their value with the appraisers. He mentioned an instance of a man who lead for many years been an overseer on a large estate. Wishing to purchase himself, and knowing that his master valued him very highly, he permitted his beard to grow; gave his face a wrinkled and haggard appearance, and bound a handkerchief about his head. His clothes were suffered to become ragged and dirty, and he began to feign great weakness in his limbs, and to complain of a "misery all down his back." He soon appeared marked with all the signs of old age and decrepitude. In this plight, and leaning on a stick, he hobbled up to the station-house one day, and requested to be appraised. He was appraised at £10, which he immediately paid. A short time afterwards, he engaged himself to a proprietor to manage a small estate for £30 per year in cash and his own maintenance, all at once grew vigorous again; and is prospering finely. Many of the masters in turn practice deception to prevent the apprentices from buying themselves, or to make them pay the very highest sum for their freedom. They extol their virtues--they are every thing that is excellent and valuable--their services on the estate are indispensable no one can fill their places. By such misrepresentations they often get an exorbitant price for the remainder of the term--more, sometimes, than they could have obtained for them for life while they were slaves.

From Captain H.'s we returned to the station-house, the keeper of which conducted us over the buildings, and showed us the cells of the prison. The house contains the office and private room of the magistrate, and the guard-room, below, and chambers for the police men above. There are sixteen solitary cells, and two large rooms for those condemned to hard labour--one for females and the other for males. There were at that time seven in the solitary cells, and twenty-four employed in labor on the roads. This is more than usual. The average number is twenty in all. When it is considered that most of the commitments are for trivial offences, and that the district contains thirteen thousand apprentices, certainly we have grounds to conclude that the state of morals in Barbadoes is decidedly superior to that in our own country.

The whole police force for this district is composed of seventeen horsemen, four footmen, a sergeant, and the keeper. It was formerly greater but has been reduced within the past year.

The keeper informed us that he found the apprentices, placed under his care, very easily controlled. They sometimes attempt to escape; but there has been no instance of revolt or insubordination. The island, he said, was peaceable, and were it not for the petty complaints of the overseers, nearly the whole police force might be disbanded. As for insurrection, he laughed at the idea of it. It was feared before abolition, but now no one thought of it. All but two or three of the policemen at this station are black and colored men.


Being disappointed in our expectations of witnessing some trials at the station-house in Captain Hamilton's district (B,) we visited the court in district A, where Major Colthurst presides. Major C. was in the midst of a trial when we entered, and we did not learn fully the nature of the case then pending. We were immediately invited within the bar, whence we had a fair view of all that passed.

There were several complaints made and tried, during our stay. We give a brief account of them, as they will serve as specimens of the cases usually brought before the special magistrates.

I. The first was a complaint made by a colored lady, apparently not more than twenty, against a colored girl--her domestic apprentice. The charge was insolence, and disobedience of orders. The complainant said that the girl was exceedingly insolent--no one could imagine how insolent she had been--it was beyond endurance. She seemed wholly unable to find words enough to express the superlative insolence of her servant. The justice requested her to particularize. Upon this, she brought out several specific charges such as, first, That the girl brought a candle to her one evening, and wiped her greasy fingers on her (the girl's) gown: second, That one morning she refused to bring some warm water, as commanded, to pour on a piece of flannel, until she had finished some other work that she was doing at the time; third, That the same morning she delayed coming into her chamber as usual to dress her, and when she did come, she sung, and on being told to shut her mouth, she replied that her mouth was her own, and that she would sing when she pleased; and fourth, That she had said in her mistress's hearing that she would be glad when she was freed. These several charges being sworn to, the girl was sentenced to four days' solitary confinement, but at the request of her mistress, she was discharged on promise of amendment.

II. The second complaint was against an apprentice-man by his master, for absence from work. He had leave to go to the funeral of his mother, and he did not return until after the time allowed him by his master. The man was sentence to imprisonment.

III. The third complaint was against a woman for singing and making a disturbance in the field. Sentenced to six days' solitary confinement.

IV. An apprentice was brought up for not doing his work well. He was a mason, and was employed in erecting an arch on one of the public roads. This case excited considerable interest. The apprentice was represented by his master to be a praedial--the master testified on oath that he was registered as a praedial; but in the course of the examination it was proved that he had always been a mason; that he had labored at that trade from his boyhood, and that he knew 'nothing about the hoe,' having never worked an hour in the field. This was sufficient to prove that he was a non-praedial, and of course entitled to liberty two years sooner than he would have been as a praedial. As this matter came up incidentally, it enraged the master exceedingly. He fiercely reiterated his charge against the apprentice, who, on his part, averred that he did his work as well as he could. The master manifested the greatest excitement and fury during the trial. At one time, because the apprentice disputed one of his assertions, he raised his clenched fist over him, and threatened, with an oath, to knock him down. The magistrate was obliged to threaten him severely before he would keep quiet.

The defendant was ordered to prison to be tried the next day, time being given to make further inquiries about his being a praedial.

V. The next case was a complaint against an apprentice, for leaving his place in the boiling house without asking permission. It appeared that he had been unwell during the evening, and at half past ten o'clock at night, being attacked more severely, he left for a few moments, expecting to return. He, however, was soon taken so ill that the could not go back, but was obliged to lie down on the ground, where he remained until twelve o'clock, when he recovered sufficiently to creep home. His sickness was proved by a fellow apprentice, and indeed his appearance at the bar clearly evinced it. He was punished by several days imprisonment. With no little astonishment in view of such a decision, we inquired of Maj. C. whether the planters had the power to require their people to work as late as half past ten at night. He replied, "Certainly, the crops must be secured at any rate, and if they are suffering, the people must be pressed the harder."[A]

[Footnote A: We learned subsequently from various authentic sources, that the master has not the power to compel his apprentices to labor more than nine hours per day on any condition, except in case of a fire, or some similar emergency. If the call for labor in crop-time was to be set down as an emergency similar to a "fire," and if in official decisions he took equal latitude, alas for the poor apprentices!]

VI. The last case was a complaint against a man for not keeping up good fires under the boilers. He stoutly denied the charge; said he built as good fires as he could. He kept stuffing in the trash, and if it would not burn he could not help it. He was sentenced to imprisonment.

Maj. C. said that these complaints were a fair specimen of the cases that came up daily, save that there were many more frivolous and ridiculous. By the trials which we witnessed we were painfully impressed with two things:

1st. That the magistrate, with all his regard for the rights and welfare of the apprentices, showed a great and inexcusable partiality for the masters. The patience and consideration with which he heard the complaints of the latter, the levity with which he regarded the defence of the former, the summary manner in which he despatched the cases, and the character of some of his decisions, manifested no small degree of favoritism.

2d That the whole proceedings of the special magistrates' courts are eminently calculated to perpetuate bad feeling between the masters and apprentices. The court-room is a constant scene of angry dispute between these parties. The master exhausts his store of abuse and violence upon the apprentice, and the apprentice, emboldened by the place, and provoked by the abuse, retorts in language which he would never think of using on the estate, and thus, whatever may be the decision of the magistrate, the parties return home with feelings more embittered than ever.

There were twenty-six persons imprisoned at the station-house, twenty-four were at hard labor, and two were in solitary confinement. The keeper of the prison said, he had no difficulty in managing the prisoners. The keeper is a colored man, and so also is the sergeant and most of the policemen.

We visited one other station-house, in a distant part of the island, situated in the district over which Captain Cuppage presides. We witnessed several trials there which were similar in frivolity and meanness to those detailed above. We were shocked with the mockery of justice, and the indifference to the interests of the negro apparent in the course of the magistrate. It seemed that little more was necessary than for the manager or overseer to make his complaint and swear to it, and the apprentice was forthwith condemned to punishment.

We never saw a set of men in whose countenances fierce passions of every name were so strongly marked as in the overseers and managers who were assembled at the station-houses. Trained up to use the whip and to tyrannize over the slaves, their grim and evil expression accorded with their hateful occupation.

Through the kindness of a friend in Bridgetown we were favored with an interview with Mr. Jones, the superintendent of the rural police--the whole body of police excepting those stationed in the town. Mr. J. has been connected with the police since its first establishment in 1834. He assured us that there was nothing in the local peculiarities of the island, nor in the character of its population, which forbade immediate emancipation in August, 1834. He had no doubt it would be perfectly safe and decidedly profitable to the colony.

2. The good or bad working of the apprenticeship depends mainly on the conduct of the masters. He was well acquainted with the character and disposition of the negroes throughout the island, and he was ready to say, that if disturbances should arise either before or after 1840, it would be because the people were goaded on to desperation by the planters, and not because they sought disturbance themselves.

3. Mr. J. declared unhesitatingly that crime had not increased since abolition, but rather the contrary.

4. He represented the special magistrates as the friends of the planters. They loved the dinners which they got at the planters' houses. The apprentices had no sumptuous dinners to give them. The magistrates felt under very little obligation of any kind to assert the cause of the apprentice and secure him justice, while they were under very strong temptations to favor the master.

5. Real estate had increased in value nearly fifty per cent since abolition. There is such entire security of property, and the crops since 1834 have been so flattering, that capitalists from abroad are desirous of investing their funds in estates or merchandise. All are making high calculations for the future.

6. Mr. J. testified that marriages had greatly increased since abolition. He had seen a dozen couples standing at one time on the church floor. There had, he believed, been more marriages within the last three years among the negro population, than have occurred before since the settlement of the island.

We conclude this chapter by subjoining two highly interesting documents from special magistrates. They were kindly furnished us by the authors in pursuance of an order from his excellency the Governor, authorizing the special magistrates to give us any official statements which we might desire. Being made acquainted with these instructions from the Governor, we addressed written queries to Major Colthurst and Captain Hamilton. We insert their replies at length.


The following fourteen questions on the working of the apprenticeship system in this colony were submitted to me on the 30th of March, 1837, requesting answers thereto.

1. What is the number of apprenticed laborers in your district, and what is their character compared with other districts?

The number of apprenticed laborers, of all ages, in my district, in nine thousand four hundred and eighty, spread over two hundred and ninety-seven estates of various descriptions--some very large, and others again very small--much the greater number consisting of small lots in the near neighborhood of Bridgetown. Perhaps my district, in consequence of this minute subdivision of property, and its contact with the town, is the most troublesome district in the island; and the character of the apprentices differs consequently from that in the more rural districts, where not above half the complaints are made. I attribute this to their almost daily intercourse with Bridgetown.

2. What is the state of agriculture in the island?

When the planters themselves admit that general cultivation was never in a better state, and the plantations extremely clean, it is more than presumptive proof that agriculture generally is in a most prosperous condition. The vast crop of canes grown this year proves this fact. Other crops are also luxuriant.

3. Is there any difficulty occasioned by the apprentices refusing to work?

No difficulty whatever has been experienced by the refusal of the apprentices to work. This is done manfully and cheerfully, when they are treated with humanity and consideration by the masters or managers. I have never known an instance to the contrary.

4. Are the apprentices willing to work in their own time?

The apprentices are most willing to work in their own time.

5. What is the number and character of the complaints brought before you--are they increasing or otherwise?

The number of complaints brought before me, during the last quarter, are much fewer than during the corresponding quarter of the last year. Their character is also greatly improved. Nine complaints out of ten made lately to me are for small impertinences or saucy answers, which, considering the former and present position of the parties, is naturally to be expected. The number of such complaints is much diminished.

6. What is the state of crime among the apprentices?

What is usually denominated crime in the old countries, is by no means frequent among the blacks or colored persons. It is amazing how few material breaches of the law occur in so extraordinary a community. Some few cases of crime do occasionally arise;--but when it is considered that the population of this island is nearly as dense as that of any part of China, and wholly uneducated, either by precept or example, this absence of frequent crime excites our wonder, and is highly creditable to the negroes. I sincerely believe there is no such person, of that class called at home an accomplished villain, to be found in the whole island.--Having discharged the duties of a general justice of the peace in Ireland, for above twenty-four years, where crimes of a very aggravated nature were perpetrated almost daily. I cannot help contrasting the situation of that country with this colony, where I do not hesitate to say perfect tranquillity exists.

7. Have the apprentices much respect for law?

It is perhaps, difficult to answer this question satisfactorily, as it has been so short a time since they enjoyed the blessing of equal laws. To appreciate just laws, time, and the experience of the benefit arising from them must be felt. That the apprentices do not, to any material extent, outrage the law, is certain; and hence it may be inferred that they respect it.

8. Do you find a spirit of revenge among the negroes?

From my general knowledge of the negro character in other countries, as well as the study of it here, I do not consider them by any means a revengeful people. Petty dislikes are frequent, but any thing like a deep spirit of revenge for former injuries does not exist, nor is it for one moment to be dreaded.

9. Is there any sense of insecurity arising from emancipation?

Not the most remote feeling of insecurity exists arising from emancipation; far the contrary. All sensible and reasonable men think the prospects before them most cheering, and would not go back to the old system on any account whatever. There are some, however, who croak and forebode evil; but they are few in number, and of no intelligence,--such as are to be found in every community.

10. What is the prospect for 1840?--for 1838?

This question is answered I hope satisfactorily above. On the termination of the two periods no evil is to be reasonably anticipated, with the exception of a few days' idleness.

11. Are the planters generally satisfied with the apprenticeship, or would they return back to the old system?

The whole body of respectable planters are fully satisfied with the apprenticeship, and would not go back to the old system on any account whatever. A few young managers, whose opinions are utterly worthless, would perhaps have no objection to be put again into their puny authority.

12. Do you think it would have been dangerous for the slaves in this island to have been entirely emancipated in 1834?

I do not think it would have been productive of danger, had the slaves of this island been fully emancipated in 1834; which is proved by what has taken place in another colony.

13. Has emancipation been a decided blessing to this island, or has it been otherwise?

Emancipation has been, under God, the greatest blessing ever conferred upon this island. All good and respectable men fully admit it. This is manifest throughout the whole progress of this mighty change. Whatever may be said of the vast benefit conferred upon the slaves, in right judgment the slave owner was the greatest gainer after all.

14. Are the apprentices disposed to purchase their freedom? How have those conducted themselves who have purchased it?

The apprentices are inclined to purchase their discharge, particularly when misunderstandings occur with their masters. When they obtain their discharge they generally labor in the trades and occupations they were previously accustomed to, and conduct themselves well. The discharged apprentices seldom take to drinking. Indeed the negro and colored population are the most temperate persons I ever knew of their class. The experience of nearly forty years in various public situations, confirms me in this very important fact.

The answers I have had the honor to give to the questions submitted to me, have been given most conscientiously, and to the best of my judgment are a faithful picture of the working of the apprenticeship in this island, as far as relates to the inquiries made.--John B. Colthurst, Special Justice of the Peace, District A. Rural Division.


Barbadoes, April 4th, 1837.


Presuming that you have kept a copy of the questions[A] you sent me, I shall therefore only send the answers.

[Footnote A: The same interrogatories were propounded to Capt. Hamilton which have been already inserted in Major Colthurst's communication.]

1. There are at present five thousand nine hundred and thirty male, and six thousand six hundred and eighty-nine female apprentices in my district, (B,) which comprises a part of the parishes of Christ Church and St. George. Their conduct, compared with the neighboring districts, is good.

2. The state of agriculture is very flourishing. Experienced planters acknowledge that it is generally far superior to what it was during slavery.

3. Where the managers are kind and temperate, they have not any trouble with the laborers.

4. The apprentices are generally willing to work for wages in their own time.

5. The average number of complaints tried by me, last year, ending December, was one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two. The average number of apprentices in the district during that time was twelve thousand seven hundred. Offences, generally speaking, are not of any magnitude. They do not increase, but fluctuate according to the season of the year.

6. The state of crime is not so bad by any means as we might have expected among the negroes--just released from such a degrading bondage. Considering the state of ignorance in which they have been kept, and the immoral examples set them by the lower class of whites, it is matter of astonishment that they should behave so well.

7. The apprentices would have a great respect for law, were it not for the erroneous proceedings of the managers, overseers, &c., in taking them before the magistrates for every petty offence, and often abusing the magistrate in the presence of the apprentices, when his decision does not please them. The consequence is, that the apprentices too often get indifferent to law, and have been known to say that they cared not about going to prison, and that they would do just as they did before as soon as they were released.

8. The apprentices in this colony are generally considered a peaceable race. All acts of revenge committed by them originate in jealousy, as, for instance, between husband and wife.

9. Not the slightest sense of insecurity. As a proof of this, property has, since the commencement of the apprenticeship, increased in value considerably--at least one third.

10. The change which will take place in 1838, in my opinion, will occasion a great deal of discontent among those called praedials--which will not subside for some months. They ought to have been all emancipated at the same period. I cannot foresee any bad effects that will ensue from the change in 1840, except those mentioned hereafter.

11. The most prejudiced planters would not return to the old system if they possibly could. They admit that they get more work from the laborers than they formerly did, and they are relieved from a great responsibility.

12. It is my opinion that if entire emancipation had taken place in 1834, no more difficulty would have followed beyond what we may naturally expect in 1810. It will then take two or three months before the emancipated people finally settle themselves. I do not consider the apprentice more fit or better prepared for entire freedom now than he was in 1834.

13. I consider, most undoubtedly, that emancipation has been a decided blessing to the colony.

14. They are much disposed to purchase the remainder of the apprenticeship term. Their conduct after they become free is good.

I hope the foregoing answers and information may be of service to you in your laudable pursuits, for which I wish you every success.

I am, gentlemen, your ob't serv't,

Jos. Hamilton, Special Justice.


There are three religious denominations at the present time in Barbadoes--Episcopalians, Wesleyans, and Moravians. The former have about twenty clergymen, including the bishop and archdeacon. The bishop was absent during our visit, and we did not see him; but as far as we could learn, while in some of his political measures, as a member of the council, he has benefited the colored population, his general influence has been unfavorable to their moral and spiritual welfare. He has discountenanced and defeated several attempts made by his rectors and curates to abolish the odious distinctions of color in their churches.

We were led to form an unfavorable opinion of the Bishop's course, from observing among the intelligent and well-disposed classes of colored people, the current use of the phrase, "bishop's man," and "no bishop's man," applied to different rectors and curates. Those that they were averse to, either as pro-slavery or pro-prejudice characters, they usually branded as "bishop's men," while those whom they esteemed their friends, they designated as "no bishop's men."

The archdeacon has already been introduced to the reader. We enjoyed several interviews with him, and were constrained to admire him for his integrity, independence and piety. He spoke in terms of strong condemnation of slavery, and of the apprenticeship system. He was a determined advocate of entire and immediate emancipation, both from principle and policy. He also discountenanced prejudice, both in the church and in the social circle. The first time we had the pleasure of meeting him was at the house of a colored gentleman in Bridgetown where we were breakfasting. He called in incidentally, while we were sitting at table, and exhibited all the familiarity of a frequent visitant.

One of the most worthy and devoted men whom we met in Barbadoes was the Rev. Mr. Cummins, curate of St. Paul's church, in Bridgetown. The first Sabbath after our arrival at the island we attended his church. It is emphatically a free church. Distinctions of color are nowhere recognized. There is the most complete intermingling of colors throughout the house. In one pew were seen a family of whites, in the next a family of colored people, and in the next perhaps a family of blacks. In the same pews white and colored persons sat side by side. The floor and gallery presented the same promiscuous blending of hues and shades. We sat in a pew with white and colored people. In the pew before and in that behind us the sitting was equally indiscriminate. The audience was kneeling in their morning devotions when we entered, and we were struck with the different colors bowing side by side as we passed down the aisles. There is probably no clergyman in the island who has secured so perfectly the affections of his people as Mr. C. He is of course "no bishop's man." He is constantly employed in promoting the spiritual and moral good of his people, of whatever complexion. The annual examination of the Sabbath school connected with St. Paul's occurred while we were in the island, and we were favored with the privilege of attending it. There were about three hundred pupils present, of all ages, from fifty down to three years. There were all colors--white, tawny, and ebon black. The white children were classed with the colored and black, in utter violation of those principles of classification in vogue throughout the Sabbath schools of our own country. The examination was chiefly conducted by Mr. Cummins. At the close of the examination about fifty of the girls, and among them the daughter of Mr. Cummins, were arranged in front of the altar, with the female teachers in the rear of them, and all united in singing a hymn written for the occasion. Part of the teachers were colored and part white, as were also the scholars, and they stood side by side, mingled promiscuously together. This is altogether the best Sabbath school in the island.

After the exercises were closed, we were introduced, by a colored gentleman who accompanied us to the examination, to Mr. Cummins, the Rev. Mr. Packer, and the Rev. Mr. Rowe, master of the public school in Bridgetown. By request of Mr. C., we accompanied him to his house, where we enjoyed an interview with him and the other gentlemen, just mentioned. Mr. C. informed us that his Sabbath school was commenced in 1833; but was quite small and inefficient until after 1834. It now numbers more than four hundred scholars. Mr. C. spoke of prejudice. It had wonderfully decreased within the last three years. He said he could scarcely credit the testimony of his own senses, when he looked around on the change which had taken place. Many now associate with colored persons, and sit with them in the church, who once would have scorned to be found near them. Mr. C. and the other clergymen stated, that there had been an increase of places of worship and of clergymen since abolition. All the churches are now crowded, and there is a growing demand for more. The negroes manifest an increasing desire for religious instruction. In respect to morals, they represent the people as being greatly improved. They spoke of the general respect which was now paid to the institution of marriage among the negroes, Mr. C. said, he was convinced that the blacks had as much natural talent and capacity for learning as the whites. He does not know any difference. Mr. Pocker, who was formerly rector of St. Thomas' parish, and has been a public teacher of children of all colors, expressed the same opinion. Mr. Rowe said, that before he took charge of the white school, he was the teacher of one of the free schools for blacks, and he testified that the latter has just as much capacity for acquiring any kind of knowledge, as much inquisitiveness, and ingenuity, as the former.

Accompanied by an intelligent gentleman of Bridgetown, we visited two flourishing schools for colored children, connected with the Episcopal church, and under the care of the Bishop. In the male school, there were one hundred and ninety-five scholars, under the superintendence of one master, who is himself a black man, and was educated and trained up in the same school. He is assisted by several of his scholars, as monitors and teachers. It was, altogether, the best specimen of a well-regulated school which we saw in the West Indies.

The present instructor has had charge of the school two years. It has increased considerably since abolition. Before the first of August, 1834, the whole number of names on the catalogue was a little above one hundred, and the average attendance was seventy-five. The number immediately increased, and new the average attendance is above two hundred. Of this number at least sixty are the children of apprentices.

We visited also the infant school, established but two weeks previous. Mr. S. the teacher, who has been for many years an instructor, says he finds them as apt to learn as any children he ever taught. He said he was surprised to see how soon the instructions of the school-room were carried to the homes of the children, and caught up by their parents.

The very first night after the school closed, in passing through the streets, he heard the children repeating what they had been taught, and the parents learning the songs from their children's lips Mr. S. has a hundred children already in his school, and additions were making daily. He found among the negro parents much interest in the school.


We called on the Rev. Mr. Fidler, the superintendent of the Wesleyan missions in Barbadoes. Mr. F. resides in Bridgetown, and preaches mostly in the chapel in town. He has been in the West Indies twelve years, and in Barbadoes about two years. Mr. F. informed us that there were three Wesleyan missionaries in the island, besides four or five local preachers, one of whom is a black man. There are about one thousand members belonging to their body, the greater part of whom live in town. Two hundred and thirty-five were added during the year 1836, being by far the largest number added in any one year since they began their operations in the island.

A brief review of the history of the Wesleyan Methodists in Barbadoes, will serve to show the great change which has been taking place in public sentiment respecting the labors of missionaries. In the year 1823, not long after the establishment of the Wesleyan church in the island, the chapel in Bridgetown was destroyed by a mob. Not one stone was left upon another. They carried the fragments for miles away from the site, and scattered them about in every direction, so that the chapel might never be rebuilt. Some of the instigators and chief actors in this outrage, were "gentlemen of property and standing," residents of Bridgetown. The first morning after the outrage began, the mob sought for the Rev. Mr. Shrewsbury, the missionary, threatening his life, and he was obliged to flee precipitately from the island, with his wife. He was hunted like a wild beast, and it is thought that he would have been torn in pieces if he had been found. Not an effort or a movement was made to quell the mob, during their assault upon the chapel. The first men of the island connived at the violence--secretly rejoicing in what they supposed would be the extermination of Methodism from the country. The governor, Sir Henry Ward, utterly refused to interfere, and would not suffer the militia to repair to the spot, though a mere handful of soldiers could have instantaneously routed the whole assemblage.

The occasion of this riot was partly the efforts made by the Wesleyans to instruct the negroes, and still more the circumstance of a letter being written by Mr. Shrewsbury, and published in an English paper, which contained some severe strictures on the morals of the Barbadians. A planter informed us that the riot grew out of a suspicion that Mr. S. was "leagued with the Wilberforce party in England."

Since the re-establishment of Wesleyanism in this island, it has continued to struggle against the opposition of the Bishop, and most of the clergy, and against the inveterate prejudices of nearly the whole of the white community. The missionaries have been discouraged, and in many instances absolutely prohibited from preaching on the estates. These circumstances have greatly retarded the progress of religious instruction through their means. But this state of things had been very much altered since the abolition of slavery. There are several estates now open to the missionaries. Mr. F. mentioned several places in the country, where he was then purchasing land, and erecting chapels. He also stated, that one man, who aided in pulling down the chapel in 1823, had offered ground for a new chapel, and proffered the free use of a building near by, for religious meetings and a school, till it could be erected.

The Wesleyan chapel in Bridgetown is a spacious building, well filled with worshippers every Sabbath. We attended service there frequently, and observed the same indiscriminate sitting of the various colors, which is described in the account of St. Paul's church.

The Wesleyan missionaries have stimulated the clergy to greater diligence and faithfulness, and have especially induced them to turn their attention to the negro population more than they did formerly.

There are several local preachers connected with the Wesleyan mission in Barbadoes, who have been actively laboring to promote religion among the apprentices. Two of these are converted soldiers in his Majesty's service--acting sergeants of the troops stationed in the island. While we were in Barbadoes, these pious men applied for a discharge from the army, intending to devote themselves exclusively to the work of teaching and preaching. Another of the local preachers is a negro man, of considerable talent and exalted piety, highly esteemed among his missionary brethren for his labors of love.


Of the Moravians, we learned but little. Circumstances unavoidably prevented us from visiting any of the stations, and also from calling on any of the missionaries. We were informed that there were three stations in the island, one in Bridgetown, and two in the country, and we learned in general terms, that the few missionaries there were laboring with their characteristic devotedness, assiduity, and self-denial, for the spiritual welfare of the negro population.



The colored, or as they were termed previous to abolition, by way of distinction, the free colored population, amount in Barbadoes to nearly thirty thousand. They are composed chiefly of the mixed race, whose paternal connection, though illegitimate, secured to them freedom at their birth, and subsequently the advantages of an education more or less extensive. There are some blacks among them, however, who were free born, or obtained their freedom at an early period, and have since, by great assiduity, attained an honorable standing.

During our stay in Barbadoes, we had many invitations to the houses of colored gentlemen, of which we were glad to avail ourselves whenever it was possible. At an early period after our arrival, we were invited to dine with Thomas Harris, Esq. He politely sent his chaise for us, as he resided about a mile from our residence. At his table, we met two other colored gentlemen, Mr. Thorne of Bridgetown, and Mr. Prescod, a young gentleman of much intelligence and ability. There was also at the table a niece of Mr. Harris, a modest and highly interesting young lady. All the luxuries and delicacies of a tropical clime loaded the board--an epicurean variety of meats, flesh, fowl, and fish--of vegetables, pastries, fruits, and nuts, and that invariable accompaniment of a West India dinner, wine.

The dinner was enlivened by an interesting and well sustained conversation respecting the abolition of slavery, the present state of the colony, and its prospects for the future. Lively discussions were maintained on points where there chanced to be a difference of opinion, and we admired the liberality of the views which were thus elicited. We are certainly prepared to say, and that too without feeling that we draw any invidious distinctions, that in style of conversation, in ingenuity and ability of argument, this company would compare with any company of white gentlemen that we met in the island. In that circle of colored gentlemen, were the keen sallies of wit, the admirable repartee, the satire now severe, now playful, upon the measures of the colonial government, the able exposure of aristocratic intolerance, of plantership chicanery, of plottings and counterplottings in high places--the strictures on the intrigues of the special magistrates and managers, and withal, the just and indignant reprobation of the uniform oppressions which have disabled and crushed the colored people.

The views of these gentlemen with regard to the present state of the island, we found to differ in some respects from those of the planters and special magistrates. They seemed to regard both those classes of men with suspicion. The planters they represented as being still, at least the mass of them, under the influence of the strong habits of tyrannizing and cruelty which they formed during slavery. The prohibitions and penalties of the law are not sufficient to prevent occasional and even frequent outbreakings of violence, so that the negroes even yet suffer much of the rigor of slavery. In regard to the special magistrates, they allege that they are greatly controlled by the planters. They associate with the planters, dine with the planters, lounge on the planters' sofas, and marry the planters daughters. Such intimacies as these, the gentlemen very plausibly argued, could not exist without strongly biasing the magistrate towards the planters, and rendering it almost impossible for them to administer equal justice to the poor apprentice, who, unfortunately, had no sumptuous dinners to give them, no luxurious sofas to offer them, nor dowered daughters to present in marriage.

The gentlemen testified to the industry and subordination of the apprentices. They had improved the general cultivation of the island, and they were reaping for their masters greater crops than they did while slaves. The whole company united in saying that many blessings had already resulted from the abolition of slavery--imperfect as that abolition was. Real estate had advanced in value at least one third. The fear of insurrection had been removed; invasions of property, such as occurred during slavery, the firing of cane-fields, the demolition of houses, &c., were no longer apprehended. Marriage was spreading among the apprentices, and the general morals of the whole community, high and low, white, colored, and black, were rapidly improving.

At ten o'clock we took leave of Mr. Harris and his interesting friends. We retired with feelings of pride and gratification that we had been privileged to join a company which, though wearing the badge of a proscribed race, displayed in happy combination, the treasures of genuine intelligence, and the graces of accomplished manners. We were happy to meet in that social circle a son of New England, and a graduate of one of her universities. Mr. H. went to the West Indies a few months after the abolition of slavery. He took with him all the prejudices common to our country, as well as a determined hostility to abolition principles and measures. A brief observation of the astonishing results of abolition in those islands, effectually disarmed him of the latter, and made him the decided and zealous advocate of immediate emancipation. He established himself in business in Barbados, where he has been living the greater part of the time since he left his native country. His prejudices did not long survive his abandonment of anti-abolition sentiments. We rejoiced to find him on the occasion above referred to, moving in the circle of colored society, with all the freedom of a familiar guest, and prepared most cordially to unite with us in the wish that all our prejudiced countrymen could witness similar exhibitions. The gentleman at whose table we had the pleasure to dine, was born a slave, and remained such until he was seventeen years of age. After obtaining his freedom, he engaged as a clerk in a mercantile establishment, and soon attracted attention by his business talents. About the same period he warmly espoused the cause of the free colored people, who were doubly crushed under a load of civil and political impositions, and a still heavier one of prejudice. He soon made himself conspicuous by his manly defence of the rights of his brethren against the encroachments of the public authorities, and incurred the marked displeasure of several influential characters. After a protracted struggle for the civil immunities of the colored people, during which he repeatedly came into collision with public men, and was often arraigned before the public tribunals; finding his labors ineffectual, he left the island and went to England. He spent some time there and in France, moving on a footing of honorable equality among the distinguished abolitionists of those countries. There, amid the free influences and the generous sympathies which welcomed and surrounded him,--his whole character ripened in those manly graces and accomplishments which now so eminently distinguish him.

Since his return to Barbadoes, Mr. H. has not taken so public a part in political controversies as he did formerly, but is by no means indifferent to passing events. There is not, we venture to say, within the colony, a keener or more sagacious observer of its institutions, its public men and their measures.

When witnessing the exhibitions of his manly spirit, and listening to his eloquent and glowing narratives of his struggles against the political oppressions which ground to the dust himself and his brethren, we could scarcely credit the fact that he was himself born and reared to manhood--A SLAVE.


By invitation we took breakfast with Mr. Joseph Thorne, whom we met at Mr. Harris's. Mr. T. resides in Bridgetown. In the parlor, we met two colored gentlemen--the Rev. Mr. Hamilton, a local Wesleyan preacher, and Mr. Cummins, a merchant of Bridgetown, mentioned in a previous chapter. We were struck with the scientific appearance of Mr. Thorne's parlor. On one side was a large library of religious, historical and literary works, the selection of which displayed no small taste and judgment. On the opposite side of the room was a fine cabinet of minerals and shells. In one corner stood a number of curious relics of the aboriginal Caribs, such as bows and arrows, etc., together with interesting fossil remains. On the tops of the book-cases and mineral stand, were birds of rare species, procured from the South American Continent. The centre table was ornamented with shells, specimens of petrifactions, and elegantly bound books. The remainder of the furniture of the room was costly and elegant. Before breakfast two of Mr. Thorne's children, little boys of six and four, stepped in to salute the company. They were of a bright yellow, with slightly curled hair. When they had shaken hands with each of the company, they withdrew from the parlor and were seen no more. Their manners and demeanor indicated the teachings of an admirable mother, and we were not a little curious to see the lady of whose taste and delicate sense of propriety we had witnessed so attractive a specimen in her children. At the breakfast table we were introduced to Mrs. Thorne, and we soon discovered from her dignified air, from the chaste and elevated style of her conversation, from her intelligence, modesty and refinement, that we were in the presence of a highly accomplished lady. The conversation was chiefly on subjects connected with our mission. All spoke with great gratitude of the downfall of slavery. It was not the slaves alone that were interested in that event. Political oppression, prejudice, and licentiousness had combined greatly to degrade the colored community, but these evils were now gradually lessening, and would soon wholly disappear after the final extinction of slavery--the parent of them all.

Several facts were stated to show the great rise in the value of real estate since 1834. In one instance a gentleman bought a sugar estate for nineteen thousand pounds sterling, and the very next year, after taking off a crop from which he realized a profit of three thousand pounds sterling, he sold the estate for thirty thousand pounds sterling. It has frequently happened within two years that persons wishing to purchase estates would inquire the price of particular properties, and would hesitate to give what was demanded. Probably soon after they would return to close the bargain, and find that the price was increased by several hundreds of pounds; they would go away again, reluctant to purchase, and return a third time, when they would find the price again raised, and would finally be glad to buy at almost any price. It was very difficult to purchase sugar estates now, whereas previous to the abolition of slavery, they were, like the slaves, a drug in the market.

Mr. Joseph Thorne is a gentleman of forty-five, of a dark mulatto complexion, with the negro features and hair. He was born a slave, and remained so until about twenty years of age. This fact we learned from the manager of the Belle estate, on which Mr. T. was born and raised a slave. It was an interesting coincidence, that on the occasion of our visit to the Belle estate we were indebted to Mr. Thorne, the former property of that estate, for his horse and chaise, which he politely proffered to us. Mr. T. employs much of his time in laboring among the colored people in town, and among the apprentices on the estates, in the capacity of lay-preacher. In this way he renders himself very useful. Being very competent, both by piety and talents, for the work, and possessing more perhaps than any missionary, the confidence of the planters, he is admitted to many estates, to lecture the apprentices on religious and moral duties. Mr. T. is a member of the Episcopal church.


We next had the pleasure of breakfasting with Mr. Prescod. Our esteemed friend, Mr. Harris, was of the company. Mr. P. is a young man, but lately married. His wife and himself were both liberally educated in England. He was the late editor of the New Times, a weekly paper established since the abolition of slavery and devoted chiefly to the interests of the colored community. It was the first periodical and the only one which advocated the rights of the colored people, and this it did with the utmost fearlessness and independence. It boldly exposed oppression, whether emanating from the government house or originating in the colonial assembly. The measures of all parties, and the conduct of every public man, were subject to its scrutiny, and when occasion required, to its stern rebuke. Mr. P. exhibits a thorough acquaintance with the politics of the country, and with the position of the various parties. He is familiar with the spirit and operations of the white gentry--far more so, it would seem; than many of his brethren who have been repeatedly deceived by their professions of increasing liberality, and their show of extending civil immunities, which after all proved to be practical nullities, and as such were denounced by Mr. P. at the outset. A few years ago the colored people mildly petitioned the legislature for a removal of their disabilities. Their remonstrance was too reasonable to be wholly disregarded. Something must he done which would at least bear the semblance of favoring the object of the petitioners. Accordingly the obnoxious clauses were repealed, and the colored people were admitted to the polls. But the qualification was made three times greater than that required of white citizens. This virtually nullified the extension of privilege, and actually confirmed the disabilities of which it was a pretended abrogation. The colored people, in their credulity, hailed the apparent enfranchisement, and had a public rejoicing in the occasion. But the delusion could not escape the discrimination of Mr. P. He detected it at once, and exposed it, and incurred the displeasure of the credulous people of color by refusing to participate in their premature rejoicings. He soon succeeded however in convincing his brethren that the new provision was a mockery of their wrongs, and that the assembly had only added insult to past injuries. Mr. P. now urged the colored people to be patient, as the great changes which were working in the colony must bring to them all the rights of which they had been so cruelly deprived. On the subject of prejudice he spoke just as a man of keen sensibilities and manly spirit might be expected to speak, who had himself been its victim. He was accustomed to being flouted, scorned and condemned by those whom he could not but regard as his interiors both in native talents and education. He had submitted to be forever debarred from offices which were filled by men far less worthy except in the single qualification of a white skin, which however was paramount to all other virtues and acquirements! He had seen himself and his accomplished wife excluded from the society of whites, though keenly conscious of their capacity to move and shine in the most elevated social circles. After all this, it may readily be conceived how Mr. P. would speak of prejudice. But while he spoke bitterly of the past, he was inspired with buoyancy of hope as he cast his eye to the future. He was confident that prejudice would disappear. It had already diminished very much, and it would ere long be wholly exterminated.

Mr. P. gave a sprightly picture of the industry of the negroes. It was common, he said, to hear them called lazy, but this was not true. That they often appeared to be indolent, especially those about the town, was true; but it was either because they had no work to do, or were asked to work without reasonable wages. He had often been amused at their conduct, when solicited to do small jobs--such as carrying baggage, loading of unloading a vessel, or the like. If offered a very small compensation, as was generally the case at first, they would stretch themselves on the ground, and with a sleepy look, and lazy tone, would say, "O, I can't do it, sir." Sometimes the applicants would turn away at once, thinking that they were unwilling to work, and cursing "the lazy devils;" but occasionally they would try the efficacy of offering a larger compensation, when instantly the negroes would spring to their feet, and the lounging inert mass would appear all activity.

We are very willing to hold up Mr. P as a specimen of what colored people generally may become with proper cultivation, or to use the language of one of their own number,[A] "with free minds and space to rise."

[Footnote A: Thomas C. Brown, who renounced colonization, returned from a disastrous and almost fatal expedition to Liberia, and afterwards went to the West Indies, in quest of a free country.]

We have purposely refrained from speaking of Mrs. P., lest any thing we should be willing to say respecting her, might seem to be adulation. However, having alluded to her, we will say that it has seldom fallen to our lot to meet with her superior.


After what has been said in this chapter to try the patience and irritate the nerves of the prejudiced, if there should be such among our readers, they will doubtless deem it quite intolerable to be introduced, not as hitherto to a family in whose faces the lineaments and the complexion of the white man are discernible, relieving the ebon hue, but to a household of genuine unadulterated negroes. We cordially accepted an invitation to breakfast with Mr. London Bourne. If the reader's horror of amalgamation does not allow him to join us at the table, perhaps he will consent to retire to the parlor, whence, without fear of contamination, he may safely view us through the folding doors, and note down our several positions around the board. At the head of the table presides, with much dignity, Mrs. Bourne; at the end opposite, sits Mr. Bourne--both of the glossiest jet; the thick matted hair of Mr. B. slightly frosted with age. He has an affable, open countenance, in which the radiance of an amiable spirit, and the lustre of a sprightly intellect, happily commingle, and illuminate the sable covering. On either hand of Mr. B. we sit, occupying the posts of honor. On the right and left of Mrs. B., and at the opposite corners from us, sit two other guests, one a colored merchant, and the other a young son-in-law of Mr. B., whose face is the very double extract of blackness; for which his intelligence, the splendor of his dress, and the elegance of his manners, can make to be sure but slight atonement! The middle seats are filled on the one side by an unmarried daughter of Mr. B., and on the other side by a promising son of eleven, who is to start on the morrow for Edinburgh, where he is to remain until he has received the honors of Scotland's far famed university.

We shall doubtless be thought by some of our readers to glory in our shame. Be it so. We did glory in joining the company which we have just described. On the present occasion we had a fair opportunity of testing the merits of an unmixed negro party, and of determining how far the various excellences of the gentlemen and ladies previously noticed were attributable to the admixture of English blood. We are compelled in candor to say; that the company of blacks did not fall a whit below those of the colored race in any respect. We conversed on the same general topics, which, of course, were introduced where-ever we went. The gentlemen showed an intimate acquaintance with the state of the colony, with the merits of the apprenticeship system, and with the movements of the colonial government. As for Mrs. B., she presided at the table with great ease, dignity, self-possession, and grace. Her occasional remarks, made with genuine modesty, indicated good sense and discrimination. Among other topics of conversation, prejudice was not forgotten. The company were inquisitive as to the extent of it in the United States. We informed them that it appeared to be strongest in those states which held no slaves, that it prevailed among professing Christians, and that it was most manifestly seen in the house of God. We also intimated, in as delicate a manner as possible, that in almost any part of the United States such a table-scene as we then presented would be reprobated and denounced, if indeed it escaped the summary vengeance of the mob. We were highly gratified with their views of the proper way for the colored people to act in respect to prejudice. They said they were persuaded that their policy was to wait patiently for the operation of those influences which were now at work for the removal of prejudice. "Social intercourse," they said, "was not a thing to be gained by pushing." "They could not go to it, but it would come to them." It was for them however, to maintain an upright, dignified course, to be uniformly courteous, to seek the cultivation of their minds, and strive zealously for substantial worth, and by such means, and such alone, they could aid in overcoming prejudice.

Mr. Bourne was a slave until he was twenty-three years old. He was purchased by his father, a free negro, who gave five hundred dollars for him. His mother and four brothers were bought at the same time for the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars. He spoke very kindly of his former master. By industry, honesty, and close attention to business, Mr. B. has now become a wealthy merchant. He owns three stores in Bridgetown, lives in very genteel style in his own house, and is worth from twenty to thirty thousand dollars. He is highly respected by the merchants of Bridgetown for his integrity and business talents. By what means Mr. B. has acquired so much general information, we are at a loss to conjecture. Although we did not ourselves need the evidence of his possessing extraordinary talents, industry, and perseverance, yet we are happy to present our readers with such tangible proofs--proofs which are read in every language, and which pass current in every nation.

The foregoing sketches are sufficient to give a general idea of the colored people of Barbadoes. Perchance we may have taken too great liberties with those whose hospitalities we enjoyed; should this ever fall under their notice, we doubt not they will fully appreciate the motives which have actuated us in making them public. We are only sorry, for their sakes, and especially for that of our cause, that the delineations are so imperfect. That the above specimens are an exact likeness of the mass of colored people we do not pretend; but we do affirm, that they are as true an index to the whole community, as the merchants, physicians, and mechanics of any of our villages are to the entire population. We must say, also, that families of equal merit are by no means rare among the same people. We might mention many names which deservedly rank as high as those we have specified. One of the wealthiest merchants in Bridgetown is a colored gentleman. He has his mercantile agents in England, English clerks in his employ, a branch establishment in the city, and superintends the concerns of an extensive and complicated business with distinguished ability and success. A large portion, of not a majority of the merchants of Bridgetown are colored. Some of the most popular instructors are colored men and ladies, and one of these ranks high as a teacher of the ancient and modern languages. The most efficient and enterprising mechanics of the city, are colored and black men. There is scarcely any line of business which is not either shared or engrossed by colored persons, if we except that of barber. The only barber in Bridgetown is a white man.

That so many of the colored people should have obtained wealth and education is matter of astonishment, when we consider the numerous discouragements with which they have ever been doomed to struggle. The paths of political distinction have been barred against them by an arbitrary denial of the right of suffrage, and consequent ineligibility to office. Thus a large and powerful class of incitements to mental effort, which have been operating continually upon the whites, have never once stirred the sensibilities nor waked the ambition of the colored community. Parents, however wealthy, had no inducement to educate their sons for the learned professions, since no force of talent nor extent of acquirement could hope to break down the granite walls and iron bars which prejudice had erected round the pulpit, the bar, and the bench. From the same cause there was very little encouragement to acquire property, to seek education, to labor for the graces of cultivated manners, or even to aspire to ordinary respectability, since not even the poor favor of social intercourse with the whites, of participating in the civilities and courtesies of every day life, was granted them.

The crushing power of a prevailing licentiousness, has also been added to the other discouragements of the colored people. Why should parents labor to amass wealth enough, and much of course it required, to send their daughters to Europe to receive their educations, if they were to return only to become the victims of an all-whelming concubinism! It is a fact, that in many cases young ladies, who have been sent to England to receive education, have, after accomplishing themselves in all the graces of womanhood, returned to the island to become the concubines of white men. Hitherto this vice has swept over the colored community, gathering its repeated conscriptions of beauty and innocence from the highest as well as the lowest families. Colored ladies have been taught to believe that it was more honorable, and quite as virtuous, to be the kept mistresses of white gentlemen, than the lawfully wedded wives of colored men. We repeat the remark, that the actual progress which the colored people of Barbadoes have made, while laboring under so many depressing influences, should excite our astonishment, and, we add, our admiration too. Our acquaintance with this people was at a very interesting period--just when they were beginning to be relieved from these discouragements, and to feel the regenerating spirit of a new era. It was to us like walking through a garden in the early spring. We could see the young buds of hope, the first bursts of ambition, the early up-shoots of confident aspiration, and occasionally the opening bloom of assurance. The star of hope had risen upon the colored people, and they were beginning to realize that their day had come. The long winter of their woes was melting into "glorious summer." Civil immunities and political privileges were just before them, the learned professions were opening to them, social equality and honorable domestic connections would soon be theirs. Parents were making fresh efforts to establish schools for the children, and to send the choicest of their sons and daughters to England. They rejoiced in the privileges they were securing, and they anticipated with virtuous pride the free access of their children to all the fields of enterprise, all the paths of honest emulation, and all the eminences of distinction.

We remark in conclusion, that the forbearance of the colored people of Barbadoes under their complicated wrongs is worthy of all admiration. Allied, as many of them are, to the first families of the island, and gifted as they are with every susceptibility to feel disgrace, it is a marvel that they have not indignantly cast off the yoke and demanded their political rights. Their wrongs have been unprovoked on their part, and unnatural on the part of those who have inflicted them--in many cases the guilty authors of their being. The patience and endurance of the sufferers under such circumstances are unexampled, except by the conduct of the slaves, who, though still more wronged, were, if possible, still more patient.

We regret to add, that until lately, the colored people of Barbadoes hate been far in the background in the cause of abolition, and even now, the majority of them are either indifferent, or actually hostile to emancipation. They have no fellow feeling with the slave. In fact; they have had prejudices against the negroes no less bitter than those which the whites have exercised toward them. There are many honorable exceptions to this, as has already been shown; but such, we are assured, is the general fact.[A]

[Footnote A: We are here reminded, by the force of contrast, of the noble spirit manifested by the free colored people of our own country. As early as 1817, a numerous body of them in Philadelphia, with the venerable James Forten at their head, pledged themselves to the cause of the slave in the following sublime sentiment, which deserves to be engraver to their glory on the granite of our "everlasting hills"--"Resolved, That we never will separate ourselves voluntarily from the slave population in this country; they are our brethren by the ties of consanguinity, of suffering, and of wrong; and we feel that there is more virtue in suffering privations with them, than enjoying fancied advantages for a season."

We believe that this resolution embodies the feelings and determinations of the free colored people generally in the free states.]



According to the declaration of one of the special magistrates, "Barbadoes has long been distinguished for its devotion to slavery." There is probably no portion of the globe where slave-holding, slave driving, and slave labor, have been reduced to a more perfect system.

The records of slavery in Barbadoes are stained with bloody atrocities. The planters uniformly spoke of slavery as a system of cruelties; but they expressed themselves in general terms. From colored gentlemen we learned some particulars, a few of which we give. To most of the following facts the narrators were themselves eye witnesses, and all of them happened in their day and were fresh in their memories.

The slaves were not unfrequently worked in the streets of Bridgetown with chains on their wrists and ankles. Flogging on the estates and in the town, were no less public than frequent, and there was an utter shamelessness often in the manner of its infliction. Even women were stripped naked on the sides of the streets, and their backs lacerated with the whip. It was a common practice, when a slave offended a white man, for the master to send for a public whipper, and order him to take the slave before the door of the person offended, and flog him till the latter was satisfied. White females would order their male slaves to be stripped naked in their presence and flogged, while they would look on to see that their orders were faithfully executed. Mr. Prescod mentioned an instance which he himself witnessed near Bridgetown. He had seen an aged female slave, stripped and whipped by her own son, a child of twelve, at the command of the mistress. As the boy was small, the mother was obliged to get down upon her hands and knees, so that the child could inflict the blows on her naked person with a rod. This was done on the public highway, before the mistress's door. Mr. T. well remembered when it was lawful for any man to shoot down his slave, under no greater penalty than twenty-five pounds currency; and he knew of cases in which this had been done. Just after the insurrection in 1816, white men made a regular sport of shooting negroes. Mr. T. mentioned one case. A young man had sworn that he would kill ten negroes before a certain time. When he had shot nine he went to take breakfast with a neighbor, and carried his gun along. The first slave he met on the estate, he accused of being concerned in the rebellion. The negro protested that he was innocent, and begged for mercy. The man told him to be gone, and as he turned to go away, he shot him dead. Having fulfilled his bloody pledge, the young knight ate his breakfast with a relish. Mr. H. said that a planter once, in a time of perfect peace, went to his door and called one of his slaves. The negro made some reply which the master construed into insolence, and in a great rage he swore if he did not come to him immediately he would shoot him. The man replied he hoped massa wan't in earnest. 'I'll show you whether I am in earnest,' said the master, and with that he levelled his rifle, took deliberate aim, and shot the negro on the spot. He died immediately. Though great efforts were made by a few colored men to bring the murderer to punishment, they were all ineffectual. The evidence against him was clear enough, but the influence in his favor was so strong that he finally escaped.

Dungeons were built on all the estates, and they were often abominably filthy, and infested with loathsome and venomous vermin. For slight offences the slaves were thrust into these prisons for several successive nights--being dragged out every morning to work during the day. Various modes of torture were employed upon those who were consigned to the dungeon. There were stocks for their feet, and there were staples in the floor for the ankles and wrists, placed in such a position as to keep the victim stretched out and lying on his face. Mr. H. described one mode which was called the cabin. A narrow board, only wide enough for a man to lie upon, was fixed in an inclined position, and elevated considerably above the ground. The offending slave was made to lay upon this board, and a strong rope or chain, was tied about his neck and fastened to the ceiling. It was so arranged, that if he should fall from the plank, he would inevitably hang by his neck. Lying in this position all night, he was more likely than not to fall asleep, and then there were ninety-nine chances to one that he would roll off his narrow bed and be killed before he could awake, or have time to extricate himself. Peradventure this is the explanation of the anxiety Mr. ---- of ----, used to feel, when he had confined one of his slaves in the dungeon. He stated that he would frequently wake up in the night, was restless, and couldn't sleep, from fear that the prisoner would kill himself before morning.

It was common for the planters of Barbadoes, like those of Antigua, to declare that the greatest blessing of abolition to them, was that it relieved them from the disagreeable work of flogging the negroes. We had the unsolicited testimony of a planter, that slave mothers frequently poisoned, and otherwise murdered, their young infants, to rid them of a life of slavery. What a horrible comment this upon the cruelties of slavery! Scarce has the mother given birth to her child, when she becomes its murderer. The slave-mother's joy begins, not like that of other mothers, when "a man is born into the world," but when her infant is hurried out of existence, and its first faint cry is hushed in the silence of death! Why this perversion of nature? Ah, that mother knows the agonies, the torments, the wasting woes, of a life of slavery, and by the bowels of a mother's love, and the yearnings of a mother's pity, she resolves that her babe shall never know the same. O, estimate who can, how many groans have gone up from the cane field, from the boiling-house, from around the wind mill, from the bye paths, from the shade of every tree, from the recesses of every dungeon!

Colonel Barrow, of Edgecome estate, declared, that the habit of flogging was so strong among the overseers and book-keepers, that even now they frequently indulge it in the face of penalties and at the risk of forfeiting their place.

The descriptions which the special magistrates give of the lower class of overseers and the managers of the petty estates, furnish data enough for judging of the manner in which they would be likely to act when clothed with arbitrary power. They are "a low order of men," "without education," "trained up to use the whip," "knowing nothing else save the art of flogging," "ready at any time to perjure themselves in any matter where a negro is concerned," &c. Now, may we not ask what but cruelty, the most monstrous, could be expected under a system where such men were constituted law makers, judges, and executioners?

From the foregoing facts, and the still stronger circumstantial evidence, we leave the reader to judge for himself as to the amount of cruelty attendant upon "the reign of terror," in Barbadoes. We must, however, mention one qualification, without which a wrong impression may be made. It has already been remarked that Barbadoes has, more than any other island, reduced slave labor and sugar cultivation to a regular system. This the planters have been compelled to do from the denseness of their population, the smallness of their territory, the fact that the land was all occupied, and still more, because the island, from long continued cultivation, was partly worn out. A prominent feature in their system was, theoretically at least, good bodily treatment of the slaves, good feeding, attention to mothers, to pregnant women, and to children, in order that the estates might always be kept well stocked with good-conditioned negroes. They were considered the best managers, who increased the population of the estates most rapidly, and often premiums were given by the attorneys to such managers. Another feature in the Barbadoes system was to raise sufficient provisions in the island to maintain the slaves, or, in planter's phrase, to feed the stock, without being dependent upon foreign countries. This made the supplies of the slaves more certain and more abundant. From several circumstances in the condition of Barbadoes, it is manifest, that there were fewer motives to cruelty there than existed in other islands. First, the slave population was abundant, then the whole of the island was under cultivation, and again the lands were old and becoming exhausted. Now, if either one of these things had not been true, if the number of slaves had been inadequate to the cultivation, or if vast tracts of land, as in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Demerara, had been uncultivated, or were being brought into cultivation; or, again, if the lands under cultivation had been fresh and fertile, so as to bear pushing, then it is plain that there would have been inducements to hard driving, which, as the case was, did not exist.

Such is a partial view of Barbadoes as it was, touching the matter of cruelty. We say partial, for we have omitted to mention the selling of slaves from one estate to another, whereby families were separated, almost as effectually as though an ocean intervened. We have omitted to notice the transportation of slaves to Trinidad, Berbice, and Demerara, which was made an open traffic until prohibited in 1827, and was afterwards continued with but little abatement by evasions of the law.

From the painful contemplation of all this outrage and wrong, the mind is relieved by turning to the present state of the colony. It cannot be denied that much oppression grows out of the apprenticeship system, both from its essential nature, and from the want of virtuous principle and independence in the men who administer it. Yet it is certainly true that there has been a very great diminution in the amount of actual cruelty. The total abolition of flogging on the estates, the prohibition to use the dungeons, and depriving the masters, managers, overseers and drivers, of the right to punish in any case, or in any way whatever, leave no room for doubt on this subject. It is true, that the laws are often violated, but this can only take place in cases of excessive passion, and it is not likely to be a very frequent occurrence. The penalty of the law is so heavy,[A] and the chances of detection[B] are so great, that in all ordinary circumstances they will be a sufficient security against the violence of the master. On the other hand, the special magistrates themselves seldom use the whip, but resort to other modes of punishment less cruel and degrading. Besides, it is manifest that if they did use the whip and were ever so cruelly disposed, it would be physically impossible for them to inflict as much suffering as the drivers could during slavery; on account of the vast numbers over whom they preside. We learned from the apprentices themselves, by conversing with them, that their condition, in respect to treatment, is incomparably better than it was during slavery. We were satisfied from our observations and inquiries, that the planters, at least the more extensive and enlightened ones, conduct their estates on different principles from those formerly followed. Before the abolition of slavery, they regarded the whip as absolutely necessary to the cultivation of sugar, and hence they uniformly used it, and loudly deprecated its abolition as being their certain ruin. But since the whip has been abolished, and the planters have found that the negroes continue, nevertheless, industrious and subordinate, they have changed their measures, partly from necessity, and partly from policy, have adopted a conciliatory course.

[Footnote A: A fine of sixteen dollars for the first assault, and the liberation of the apprentice after a second.]

[Footnote B: Through the complaint of the apprentice to the special magistrate]

Barbadoes was not without its insurrections during slavery. Although not very frequent, they left upon the minds of the white colonists this conviction, (repeatedly expressed to us by planters and others,) that slavery and rebellions are inseparable. The last widely extended insurrection occurred in 1816, in the eastern part of the island. Some of the particulars were given us by a planter who resided to that region, and suffered by it great loss of property. The plot was so cautiously laid, and kept so secret, that no one suspected it. The planter observed that if any one had told him that such a thing was brewing ten minutes before it burst forth, he would not have credited the statement. It began with firing the cane-fields. A signal was given by a man setting fire to a pile of trash on an elevated spot, when instantly the fires broke out in every direction, and in less than a half hour, more than one hundred estates were in flames. The planters and their families, in the utmost alarm, either fled into other parts of the island, or seized their arms and hurriedly mustered in self-defence. Meanwhile the negroes, who had banded themselves in numerous companies, took advantage of the general consternation, proceeded to the deserted mansions of the planters, broke down the doors, battered in the windows, destroyed all the furniture, and carried away the provision stores to their own houses.

These ravages continued for three days, during which, the slaves flocked together in increasing numbers; in one place there were several thousands assembled. Above five hundred of the insurgents were shot down by the militia, before they could be arrested. The destruction of property during the rebellion was loosely estimated at many hundred thousand pounds. The canes on many estates were almost wholly burned; so that extensive properties, which ordinarily yielded from two to three hundred hogsheads, did not make more than fifteen or twenty.

Our informant mentioned two circumstances which he considered remarkable. One was, that the insurgents never touched the property of the estates to which they severally belonged; but went to the neighboring or more distant estates. The other was, that during the whole insurrection the negroes did not make a single attempt to destroy life. On the other hand, the sacrifice of negroes during the rebellion, and subsequent to it, was appalling. It was a long time before the white man's thirst for blood could be satiated.

No general insurrection occurred after this one. However, as late as 1823, the proprietor of Mount Wilton--the noblest estate in the island--was murdered by his slaves in a most horrid manner. A number of men entered his bed-chamber at night. He awoke ere they reached him, and grasped his sword, which always hung by his bed, but it was wrested from his hand, and he was mangled and killed. His death was caused by his cruelties, and especially by his extreme licentiousness. All the females on this estate were made successively the victims of his lust. This, together with his cruelties, so incensed the men, that they determined to murder the wretch. Several of them were publicly executed.

Next to the actual occurrence of rebellions, the fear of them deserves to be enumerated among the evils which slavery entailed upon Barbadoes. The dread of hurricanes to the people of Barbadoes is tolerable in comparison with the irrepressible apprehensions of bloody rebellions. A planter told us that he seldom went to bed without thinking he might be murdered before morning.

But now the whites are satisfied that slavery was the sole instigator of rebellions, and since its removal they have no fear on this score.

Licentiousness was another of the fruits of slavery. It will be difficult to give to the reader a proper conception of the prevalence of this vice in Barbadoes, and of the consequent demoralization. A numerous colored population were both the offspring and the victims of it. On a very moderate calculation, nineteen-twentieths of the present adult colored race are illegitimate. Concubinage was practised among the highest classes. Young merchants and others who were unmarried, on first going to the island, regularly engaged colored females to live with them as housekeepers and mistresses, and it was not unusual for a man to have more than one. The children of these connections usually sat with the mothers at the father's table, though when the gentlemen had company, neither mothers nor children made their appearance. To such conduct no disgrace was attached, nor was any shame felt by either party. We were assured that there are in Bridgetown, colored ladies of "respectability," who, though never married, have large families of children whose different surnames indicate their difference of parentage, but who probably do not know their fathers by any other token. These remarks apply to the towns. The morals of the estates were still more deplorable. The managers and overseers, commonly unmarried, left no female virtue unattempted. Rewards sometimes, but oftener the whip, or the dungeon, gave them the mastery in point of fact, which the laws allowed in theory. To the slaves marriage was scarcely known. They followed the example of the master, and were ready to minister to his lust. The mass of mulatto population grew paler as it multiplied, and catching the refinement along with the tint of civilization, waged a war upon marriage which had well nigh expelled it from the island. Such was Barbadoes under the auspices of slavery.

Although these evils still exist, yet, since the abolition of slavery, there is one symptom of returning purity, the sense of shame. Concubinage is becoming disreputable. The colored females are growing in self-respect, and are beginning to seek regular connections with colored men. They begin to feel (to use the language of one of them) that the light is come, and that they can no longer have the apology of ignorance to plead for their sin. It is the prevailing impression among whites, colored, and blacks, that open licentiousness cannot long survive slavery.

Prejudice was another of the concomitants of slavery. Barbadoes was proverbial for it. As far as was practicable, the colored people were excluded from all business connections; though merchants were compelled to make clerks of them for want of better, that is, whiter, ones. Colored merchants of wealth were shut out of the merchants' exchange, though possessed of untarnished integrity, while white men were admitted as subscribers without regard to character. It was not a little remarkable that the rooms occupied as the merchants' exchange were rented from a colored gentleman, or more properly, a negro;[A] who, though himself a merchant of extensive business at home and abroad, and occupying the floor below with a store, was not suffered to set his foot within them. This merchant, it will be remembered, is educating a son for a learned profession at the university of Edinburgh. Colored gentlemen were not allowed to become members of literary associations, nor subscribers to the town libraries. Social intercourse was utterly interdicted. To visit the houses of such men as we have already mentioned in a previous chapter, and especially to sit down at their tables, would have been a loss of caste; although the gentry were at the same time living with colored concubines. But most of all did this wicked prejudice delight to display itself in the churches. Originally, we believe, the despised color was confined to the galleries, afterwards it was admitted to the seats under the galleries, and ultimately it was allowed to extend to the body pews below the cross aisle. If perchance one of the proscribed class should ignorantly stray beyond these precincts, and take a seat above the cross aisle, he was instantly, if not forcibly, removed. Every opportunity was maliciously seized to taunt the colored people with their complexion. A gentleman of the highest worth stated that several years ago he applied to the proper officer for a license to be married. The license was accordingly made out and handed to him. It was expressed in the following insulting style: "T---- H----, F.M., is licensed to marry H---- L----, F.C.W." The initials F.M. stood for free mulatto, and F.C.W. for free colored woman! The gentleman took his knife and cut out the initials; and was then threatened with a prosecution for forging his license.

[Footnote A: Mr. London Bourne, the merchant mentioned in the previous chapter.]

It must be admitted that this cruel feeling still exists in Barbadoes. Prejudice is the last viper of the slavery-gendered brood that dies. But it is evidently growing weaker. This the reader will infer from several facts already stated. The colored people themselves are indulging sanguine hopes that prejudice will shortly die away. They could discover a bending on the part of the whites, and an apparent readiness to concede much of the ground hitherto withheld. They informed us that they had received intimations that they might be admitted as subscribers to the merchants' exchange if they would apply; but they were in no hurry to make the advances themselves. They felt assured that not only business equality, but social equality, would soon be theirs, and were waiting patiently for the course of events to bring them. They have too much self-respect to sue for the consideration of their white neighbors, or to accept it as a condescension and favor, when by a little patience they might obtain it on more honorable terms. It will doubtless be found in Barbadoes, as it has been in other countries--and perchance to the mortification of some lordlings--that freedom is a mighty leveller of human distinctions. The pyramid of pride and prejudice which slavery had upreared there, must soon crumble in the dust.

Indolence and inefficiency among the whites, was another prominent feature in slaveholding Barbadoes. Enterprise, public and personal, has long been a stranger to the island. Internal improvements, such as the laying and repairing of roads, the erection of bridges, building wharves, piers, &c., were either wholly neglected, or conducted in such a listless manner as to be a burlesque on the name of business. It was a standing task, requiring the combined energy of the island, to repair the damages of one hurricane before another came. The following circumstance was told us, by one of the shrewdest observers of men and things with whom we met in Barbadoes. On the southeastern coast of the island there is a low point running far out into the sea, endangering all vessels navigated by persons not well acquainted with the island. Many vessels have been wrecked upon it in the attempt to make Bridgetown from the windward. From time immemorial, it has been in contemplation to erect a light-house on that point. Every time a vessel has been wrecked, the whole island has been agog for a light-house. Public meetings were called, and eloquent speeches made, and resolutions passed, to proceed to the work forthwith. Bills were introduced into the assembly, long speeches made, and appropriations voted commensurate with the stupendous undertaking. There the matter ended, and the excitement died away, only to be revived by another wreck, when a similar scene would ensue. The light-house is not built to this day. In personal activity, the Barbadians are as sadly deficient as in public spirit. London is said to have scores of wealthy merchants who have never been beyond its limits, nor once snuffed the country air. Bridgetown, we should think, is in this respect as deserving of the name Little London as Barbadoes is of the title "Little England," which it proudly assumes. We were credibly informed that there were merchants in Bridgetown who had never been off the island in their lives, nor more than five or six miles into the country. The sum total of their locomotion might be said to be, turning softly to one side of their chairs, and then softly to the other. Having no personal cares to harass them, and no political questions to agitate them--having no extended speculations to push, and no public enterprises to prosecute, (save occasionally when a wreck on the southern point throws them into a ferment,) the lives of the higher classes seem a perfect blank, as it regards every thing manly. Their thoughts are chiefly occupied with sensual pleasure, anticipated or enjoyed. The centre of existence to them is the dinner-table.

"They eat and drink and sleep, and then--
Eat and drink and sleep again."

That the abolition of slavery has laid the foundation for a reform in this respect, there can be no doubt. The indolence and inefficiency of the white community has grown out of slavery. It is the legitimate offspring of oppression everywhere--one of the burning curses which it never fails to visit upon its supporters. It may be seriously doubted, however, whether in Barbadoes this evil will terminate with its cause. There is there such a superabundance of the laboring population, that for a long time to come, labor must be very cheap, and the habitually indolent will doubtless prefer employing others to work for them, than to work themselves. If, therefore, we should not see an active spirit of enterprise at once kindling among the Barbadians, if the light-house should not be build for a quarter of a century to come, it need not excite our astonishment.

We heard not a little concerning the expected distress of those white families whose property consisted chiefly of slaves. There were many such families, who have hitherto lived respectably and independently by hiring out their slaves. After 1840, these will be deprived of all their property, and will have no means of support whatever. As they will consider it degrading to work, and still more so to beg, they will be thrown into extremely embarrassing circumstances. It is thought that many of this class will leave the country, and seek a home where they will not be ashamed to work for their subsistence. We were forcibly reminded of the oft alleged objection to emancipation in the United States, that it would impoverish many excellent families in the South, and drive delicate females to the distaff and the wash-tub, whose hands have never been used to any thing--rougher than the cowhide. Much sympathy has been awakened in the North by such appeals, and vast numbers have been led by them to conclude that it is better for millions of slaves to famish in eternal bondage, than that a few white families, here and there scattered over the South, should be reduced to the humiliation of working.

Hostility to emancipation prevailed in Barbadoes. That island has always been peculiarly attached to slavery. From the beginning of the anti-slavery agitations in England, the Barbadians distinguished themselves by their inveterate opposition. As the grand result approximated they increased their resistance. They appealed, remonstrated, begged, threatened, deprecated, and imprecated. They continually protested that abolition would ruin the colony--that the negroes could never be brought to work--especially to raise sugar--without the whip. They both besought and demanded of the English that they should cease their interference with their private affairs and personal property.

Again and again they informed them that they were wholly disqualified, by their distance from the colonies, and their ignorance of the subject, to do any thing respecting it, and they were entreated to leave the whole matter with the colonies, who alone could judge as to the best time and manner of moving, or whether it was proper to move at all.

We were assured that there was not a single planter in Barbadoes who was known to be in favor of abolition, before it took place; if, however, there had been one such, he would not have dared to avow his sentiments. The anti-slavery party in England were detested; no epithets were too vile for them--no curses too bitter. It was a Barbadian lady who once exclaimed in a public company in England, "O, I wish we had Wilberforce in the West Indies, I would be one of the very first to tear his heart out!" If such a felon wish could escape the lips of a female, and that too amid the awing influence of English society, what may we conclude were the feelings of planters and drivers on the island!

The opposition was maintained even after the abolition of slavery; and there was no colony, save Jamaica, with which the English government had so much trouble in arranging the provisions and conditions under which abolition was to take place.

From statements already made, the reader will see how great a change has come over the feelings of the planters.

He has followed us through this and the preceding chapters, he has seen tranquillity taking the place of insurrections, a sense of security succeeding to gloomy forbodings, and public order supplanting mob law; he has seen subordination to authority, peacefulness, industry, and increasing morality, characterizing the negro population; he has seen property rising in value, crime lessening, expenses of labor diminishing, the whole island blooming with unexampled cultivation, and waving with crops unprecedented in the memory of its inhabitants; above all, he has seen licentiousness decreasing, prejudice fading away, marriage extending, education spreading, and religion preparing to multiply her churches and missionaries over the land.

These are the blessing of abolition--begun only, and but partially realized as yet, but promising a rich maturity in time to come, after the work of freedom shall have been completed.



The nature of the apprenticeship system may be learned form the following abstract of its provisions, relative to the three parties chiefly concerned in its operation--the special magistrate, the master, and the apprentice.


1. They must be disconnected with planters and plantership, that they may be independent of all colonial parties and interests whatever.

2. The special magistrates adjudicate only in cases where the master and apprentice are parties. Offences committed by apprentices against any person not connected with the estates on which they live, come under the cognizance of the local magistrates or of higher courts.

3. The special justices sit three days in the week at their offices, where all complaints are carried, both by the master and apprentice. The magistrates do not go the estate, either to try or to punish offenders. Besides, the three days the magistrates are required to be at home every Saturday, (that being the day on which the apprentices are disengaged,) to give friendly advice and instruction on points of law and personal rights to all apprentices who may call.


1. The master is allowed the gratuitous labor of the apprentice for forty-five hours each week. The several islands were permitted by the English government to make such a division of this time as local circumstances might seem to require. In some islands, as for instance in St. Christopher's and Tortola, it is spread over six days of the week in proportions of seven and a half hours per day, thus leaving the apprentice mere shreds of time in which he can accomplish nothing for himself. In Barbadoes, the forty-five hours is confined within five days, in portions of nine hours per day.

2. The allowances of food continue the same as during slavery, excepting that now the master may give, instead of the allowance, a third of an acre to each apprentice, but then he must also grant an additional day every week for the cultivation of this land.

3. The master has no power whatever to punish. A planter observed, "if I command my butler to stand for half an hour on the parlor floor, and it can be proved that I designed it as a punishment, I may be fined for it." The penalty for the first offence (punishing an apprentice) is a fine of five pounds currency, or sixteen dollars, and imprisonment if the punishment was cruel. For a second offence the apprentice is set free.

Masters frequently do punish their apprentices in despite of all penalties. A case in point occurred not long since, in Bridgetown. A lady owned a handsome young mulatto woman, who had a beautiful head of hair of which she was very proud. The servant did something displeasing to her mistress, and the latter in a rage shaved off her hair close to her head. The girl complained to the special magistrate, and procured an immediate release from her mistress's service.

4. It is the duty of the master to make complaint to the special magistrate. When the master chooses to take the punishment into his own hand, the apprentice has a right to complain.

5. The master is obliged to sell the remainder of the apprentice's term, whenever the apprentice signifies a wish to buy it. If the parties cannot agree about the price, the special magistrate, in connection with two local magistrates, appraises the latter, and the master is bound to take the amount of the appraisement, whatever that is. Instances of apprentices purchasing themselves are quite frequent, not withstanding the term of service is now so short, extending only to August, 1840. The value of an apprentice varies from thirty to one hundred dollars.


1. He has the whole of Saturday, and the remnants of the other five days, after giving nine hours to the master.

2. The labor does not begin so early, nor continue so late as during slavery. Instead of half past four or five o'clock the apprentices are called out at six o'clock in the morning. They then work till seven, have an hour for breakfast, again work from eight to twelve, have a respite of two hours, and then work till six o'clock.

3. If an apprentice hires his time from his master as is not unfrequently the case, especially among the non-praedials, he pays a dollar a week, which is two thirds, or at least one half of his earnings.

4. If the apprentice has a complaint to make against his master, he must either make it during his own time, or if he prefers to go to the magistrate during work hours, he must ask his master for a pass. If his master refuse to give him one, he can then go without it.

5. There is an unjustifiable inequality in the apprentice laws, which was pointed out by one of the special magistrates. The master is punishable only for cruelty or corporeal inflictions, whereas the apprentice is punishable for a variety of offences, such as idleness, stealing, insubordination, insolence, &c. The master may be as insolent and abusive as he chooses to be, and the slave can have no redress.

6. Hard labor, solitary confinement, and the treadmill, are the principal modes of punishment. Shaving the head is sometimes resorted to. A very sever punishment frequently adopted, is requiring the apprentice to make up for the time during which he is confined. If he is committed for ten working days, he must give the master ten successive Saturdays.

This last regulation is particularly oppressive and palpably unjust. It matters not how slight the offence may have been, it is discretionary with the special magistrate to mulct the apprentice of his Saturdays. This provision really would appear to have been made expressly for the purpose of depriving the apprentices of their own time. It is a direct inducement to the master to complain. If the apprentice has been absent from his work but an hour, the magistrate may sentence him to give a whole day in return; consequently the master is encouraged to mark the slightest omission, and to complain of it whether it was unavoidable or not.

THE DESIGN OF THE APPRENTICESHIP.--It is a serious question with a portion of the colonists, whether or not the apprenticeship was originally designed as a preparation for freedom. This however was the professed object with its advocates, and it was on the strength of this plausible pretension, doubtless, that the measure was carried through. We believe it is pretty well understood, both in England and the colonies; that it was mainly intended as an additional compensation to the planters. The latter complained that the twenty millions of pounds was but a pittance of the value of their slaves, and to drown their cries about robbery and oppression this system of modified slavery was granted to them, that they might, for a term of years, enjoy the toil of the negro without compensation. As a mockery to the hopes of the slaves this system was called an apprenticeship, and it was held out to them as a needful preparatory stage for them to pass through, ere they could rightly appreciate the blessings of entire freedom. It was not wonderful that they should be slow to apprehend the necessity of serving a six years' apprenticeship, at a business which they had been all their lives employed in. It is not too much to say that it was a grand cheat--a national imposture at the expense of the poor victims of oppression, whom, with benevolent pretences, it offered up a sacrifice to cupidity and power.

PRACTICAL OPERATION OF THE APPRENTICESHIP.--It cannot be denied that this system is in some respects far better than slavery. Many restraints are imposed upon the master, and many important privileges are secured to the apprentice. Being released from the arbitrary power of the master, is regarded by the latter as a vast stride towards entire liberty. We once asked an apprentice; if he thought apprenticeship was better than slavery. "O yes," said he, "great deal better, sir; when we was slaves, our masters git mad wid us, and give us plenty of licks; but now, thank God, they can't touch us." But the actual enjoyment of these advantages by the apprentices depends upon so many contingencies, such as the disposition of the master, and the faithfulness of the special magistrate, that it is left after all exceedingly precarious. A very few observations respecting the special magistrates, will serve to show how liable the apprentice is to suffer wrong without the possibility of obtaining redress. It is evident that this will be the case unless the special magistrates are entirely independent. This was foreseen by the English government, and they pretended to provide for it by paying the magistrates' salaries at home. But how inadequate was their provision! The salaries scarcely answer for pocket money in the West Indies. Thus situated, the magistrates are continually exposed to those temptations, which the planters can so artfully present in the shape of sumptuous dinners. They doubtless find it very convenient, when their stinted purses run low, and mutton and wines run high, to do as the New England school master does, "board round;" and consequently the dependence of the magistrate upon the planter is of all things the most deprecated by the apprentice.[A]

[Footnote A: The feelings of apprentices on this point are well illustrated by the following anecdote, which was related to us while in the West Indies. The governor of one of the islands, shortly after his arrival, dined with one of the wealthiest proprietors. The next day one of the negroes of the estate said to another, "De new gubner been poison'd." "What dat you say?" inquired the other in astonishment, "De gubner been poison'd." "Dah, now!--How him poisoned!" "Him eat massa turtle soup last night," said the shrewd negro. The other took his meaning at once; and his sympathy for the governor was turned into concern for himself, when he perceived that the poison was one from which he was likely to suffer more than his excellency.]

Congeniality of feeling, habits, views, style and rank--identity of country and color--these powerful influences bias the magistrate toward the master, at the same time that the absence of them all, estrange and even repel him from the apprentice. There is still an additional consideration which operates against the unfortunate apprentice. The men selected for magistrates, are mostly officers of the army and navy. To those who are acquainted with the arbitrary habits of military and naval officers, and with the iron despotism which they exercise among the soldiers and sailors,[B] the bare mention of this fact is sufficient to convince them of the unenviable situation of the apprentice. It is at best but a gloomy transfer from the mercies of a slave driver, to the justice of a military magistrate.

[Footnote B: We had a specimen of the stuff special magistrates are made of in sailing from Barbadoes to Jamaica. The vessel was originally an English man-of-war brig, which had been converted into a steamer, and was employed by the English government, in conveying the island mails from Barbadoes to Jamaica--to and fro. She was still under the strict discipline of a man-of-war. The senior officer on board was a lieutenant. This man was one of the veriest savages on earth. His passions were in a perpetual storm, at some times higher than at others, occasionally they blew a hurricane. He quarrelled with his officers, and his orders to his men were always uttered in oaths. Scarcely a day passed that he did not have some one of his sailors flogged. One night, the cabin boy left the water-can sitting on the cabin floor, instead of putting it on the sideboard, where it usually stood. For this offence the commander ordered him up on deck after midnight, and made the quarter-master flog him. The instrument used in this case, (the regular flogging stick having been used up by previous service,) was the commander's cane--a heavy knotted club. The boy held out one hand and received the blows. He howled most piteously, and it was some seconds before he recovered sufficiently from the pain to extend the other. "Lay on," stormed the commander. Down went the cane a second time. We thought it must have broken every bone in the boy's hand. This was repeated several times, the boy extending each hand alternately, and recoiling at every blow. "Now lay on to his back," sternly vociferated the commander--"give it to him--hard--lay on harder." The old seaman, who had some mercy in his heart, seemed very loth to lay out his strength on the boy with such a club. The commander became furious--cursed and swore--and again yelled, "Give it to him harder, more--MORE--MORE--there, stop." "you infernal villain"--speaking to the quarter-master and using the most horrid oaths--"You infernal villain, if you do not lay on harder the next time I command you, I'll have you put in irons." The boy limped away, writhing in every joint, and crying piteously, when the commander called at him, "Silence there, you imp--or I'll give you a second edition." One of the first things the commander did after we left Barbadoes, was to have a man flogged, and the last order we heard him give as we left the steamer at Kingston, was to put two of the men in irons.]

It is not a little remarkable that the apprenticeship should be regarded by the planters themselves, as well as by other persons generally throughout the colony, as merely a modified form of slavery. It is common to hear it called 'slavery under a different form,' 'another name for slavery,'--'modified slavery,' 'but little better than slavery.'

Nor is the practical operation of the system upon the master much less exceptionable. It takes out of his hand the power of coercing labor, and provides no other stimulus. Thus it subjects him to the necessity either of resorting to empty threats, which must result only in incessant disputes, or of condescending to persuade and entreat, against which his habits at once rebel, or of complaining to a third party--an alternative more revolting if possible, than the former, since it involves the acknowledgment of a higher power than his own. It sets up over his actions a foreign judge, at whose bar he is alike amenable (in theory) with his apprentice, before whose tribunal he may be dragged at any moment by his apprentice, and from whose lips he may receive the humiliating sentence of punishment in the presence of his apprentice. It introduces between him and his laborers, mutual repellancies and estrangement; it encourages the former to exercise an authority which he would not venture to assume under a system of perfect freedom; it emboldens the latter to display an insolence which he would not have dreamed of in a state of slavery, and thus begetting in the one, the imperiousness of the slaveholder without his power, and in the other, the independence of the freeman without his immunities, it perpetuates a scene of angry collision, jealousy and hatred.

It does not even serve for the master the unworthy purpose for which it was mainly devised, viz., that of an additional compensation. The apprenticeship is estimated to be more expensive than a system of free labor would be. It is but little less expensive than slavery, and freedom it is confidently expected will be considerably less. So it would seem that this system burthens the master with much of the perplexity, the ignominy and the expensiveness of slavery, while it denies him its power. Such is the apprenticeship system. A splendid imposition!--which cheats the planter of his gains, cheats the British nation of its money, and robs the world of what else might have been a glorious example of immediate and entire emancipation.

THE APPRENTICESHIP IS NO PREPARATION FOR FREEDOM.--Indeed, as far as it can be, it is an actual disqualification. The testimony on this subject is ample. We rarely met a planter, who was disposed to maintain that the apprenticeship was preparing the negroes for freedom. They generally admitted that the people were no better prepared for freedom now, than they were in 1834; and some of them did not hesitate to say that the sole use to which they and their brother planters turned the system, was to get as much work out of the apprentices while it lasted, as possible. Clergymen and missionaries, declared that the apprenticeship was no preparation for freedom. If it were a preparation at all, it would most probably be so in a religious and educational point of view. We should expect to find the masters, if laboring at all to prepare their apprentices for freedom, doing so chiefly by encouraging missionaries and teachers to come to their estates, and by aiding in the erection of chapels and school-houses. But the missionaries declare that they meet with little more direct encouragement now, than they did during slavery.

The special magistrates also testify that the apprenticeship is no preparation for freedom. On this subject they are very explicit.

The colored people bear the same testimony. Not a few, too, affirm, that the tendency of the apprenticeship is to unfit the negroes for freedom, and avow it as their firm persuasion, that the people will be less prepared for liberty at the end of the apprenticeship, than they were at its commencement. And it is not without reason that they thus speak. They say, first, that the bickerings and disputes to which the system gives rise between the master and the apprentice, and the arraigning of each other before the special magistrate, are directly calculated to alienate the parties. The effect of these contentions, kept up for six years, will be to implant deep mutual hostility; and the parties will be a hundred fold more irreconcilable than they were on the abolition of slavery. Again, they argue that the apprenticeship system is calculated to make the negroes regard law as their foe, and thus it unfits them for freedom. They reason thus--the apprentice looks to the magistrate as his judge, his avenger, his protector; he knows nothing of either law or justice except as he sees them exemplified in the decisions of the magistrate. When, therefore, the magistrate sentences him to punishment, when he knows he was the injured party, he will become disgusted with the very name of justice, and esteem law his greatest enemy.

The neglect of the planters to use the apprenticeship as a preparation for freedom, warrants us in the conclusion, that they do not think any preparation necessary. But we are not confined to doubtful inferences on this point. They testify positively--and not only planters, but all other classes of men likewise--that the slaves of Barbadoes were fit for entire freedom in 1834, and that they might have been emancipated then with perfect safety. Whatever may have been the sentiment of the Barbadians relative to the necessity of preparation before the experiment was made, it is clear that now they have no confidence either in the necessity or the practicability of preparatory schemes.

But we cannot close our remarks upon the apprenticeship system without noticing one good end which it has undesignedly accomplished, i.e., the illustration of the good disposition of the colored people. We firmly believe that if the friends of emancipation had wished to disprove all that has ever been said about the ferocity and revengefulness of the negroes, and at the same time to demonstrate that they possess, in a pre-eminent degree, those other qualities which render them the fit subjects of liberty and law, they could not have done it more triumphantly than it has been done by the apprenticeship. How this has been done may be shown by pointing out several respects in which the apprenticeship has been calculated to try the negro character most severely, and to develop all that was fiery and rebellious in it.

1. The apprenticeship removed that strong arm of slavery and substituted no adequate force. The arbitrary power of the master, which awed the slave into submission, was annihilated. The whip which was held over the slave, and compelled a kind of subordination--brutal, indeed, but effectual--was abolished. Here in the outset the reins were given to the long-oppressed, but now aspiring mass. No adequate force was substituted, because it was the intent of the new system to govern by milder means. This was well, but what were the milder means which were to take the place of brute force?

2. Was the stimulus of wages substituted? No! That was expressly denied. Was the liberty of locomotion granted? No. Was the privilege of gaining a personal interest in the soil extended to them? No. Were the immunities and rights of citizenship secured to them? No. Was the poor favor allowed them of selecting their own business, or of choosing their employer? Not even this? Thus far, then, we see nothing of the milder measures of the apprenticeship. It has indeed opened the prison doors and knocked off the prisoners' chains--but it still keeps them grinding there, as before, and refuses to let them come forth, except occasionally, and then only to be thrust back again. Is it not thus directly calculated to encourage indolence and insubordination?

3. In the next place, this system introduces a third party, to whom the apprentice is encouraged to look for justice, redress, and counsel. Thus he is led to regard his master as his enemy, and all confidence in him is for ever destroyed. But this is not the end of the difficulty. The apprentice carries up complaints against his master. If they gain a favorable hearing he triumphs over him--if they are disregarded, he concludes that the magistrate also is his enemy, and he goes away with a rankling grudge against his master. Thus he is gradually led to assert his own cause, and he learns to contend with his master, to reply insolently, to dispute, quarrel, and--it is well that we cannot add, to fight. At least one thing is the result--a permanent state of alienation, contempt of authority, and hatred. All these are the fruits of the apprenticeship system. They are caused by transferring the power of the master, while the relation continues the same. Nor is this contempt for the master, this alienation and hatred, all the mischief. The unjust decisions of the magistrate, of which the apprentices have such abundant reasons to complain, excite their abhorrence of him, and thus their confidence in the protection of law is weakened or destroyed. Here, then, is contempt for the master, abhorrence of the magistrate, and mistrust of the law--the apprentice regarding all three as leagued together to rob him of his rights. What a combination of circumstances to drive the apprentices to desperation and madness! What a marvel that the outraged negroes have been restrained from bloody rebellions!

Another insurrectionary feature peculiar to the apprenticeship is its making the apprentices free a portion of the time. One fourth of the time is given them every week--just enough to afford them a taste of the sweets of liberty, and render them dissatisfied with their condition. Then the manner in which this time is divided is calculated to irritate. After being a slave nine hours, the apprentice is made a freeman for the remainder of the day; early the next morning the halter is again put on, and he treads the wheel another day. Thus the week wears away until Saturday; which is an entire day of freedom. The negro goes out and works for his master, or any one else, as he pleases, and at night he receives his quarter of a dollar. This is something like freedom, and he begins to have the feelings of a freeman--a lighter heart and more active limbs. He puts his money carefully away at night, and lays himself down to rest his toil-worn body. He awakes on Sabbath morning, and is still free. He puts on his best clothes, goes to church, worships a free God, contemplates a free heaven, sees his free children about him, and his wedded wife; and ere the night again returns, the consciousness that he is a slave is quite lost in the thoughts of liberty which fill his breast, and the associations of freedom which cluster around him. He sleeps again. Monday morning he is startled from his dreams by the old "shell-blow" of slavery, and he arises to endure another week of toil, alternated by the same tantalizing mockeries of freedom. Is not this applying the hot iron to the nerve?

5. But, lastly, the apprenticeship system, as if it would apply the match to this magazine of combustibles, holds out the reward of liberty to every apprentice who shall by any means provoke his master to punish him a second time.

[NOTE.--In a former part of this work--the report of Antigua--we mentioned having received information respecting a number of the apprenticeship islands, viz., Dominica, St. Christopher's, Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, and Tortola, from the Wesleyan Missionaries whom we providentially met with at the annual district meeting in Antigua. We designed to give the statements of these men at some length in this connection, but we find that it would swell our report to too great a size. It only remains to say, therefore, in a word, that the same things are generally true of those colonies which have been detailed in the account of Barbadoes. There is the same peaceableness, subordination, industry, and patient suffering on the part of the apprentices, the same inefficiency of the apprenticeship as a preparation for freedom, and the same conviction in the community that the people will, if at all affected by it, be less fit for emancipation in 1840 than they were in 1834. A short call at St. Christopher's confirmed these views in our minds, so far as that island is concerned.

While in Barbadoes, we had repeated interviews with gentlemen who were well acquainted with the adjacent islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent's, Grenada, &c.; one of whom was a proprietor of a sugar estate in St. Vincent's; and they assured us that there was the same tranquillity reigning in those islands which we saw in Barbadoes. Sir Evan McGregor, who is the governor-general of the windward colonies, and of course thoroughly informed respecting their internal state, gave us the same assurances. From Mr. H., an American gentleman, a merchant of Barbadoes, and formerly of Trinidad, we gathered similar information touching that large and (compared with Barbadoes or Antigua) semi-barbarous island.

We learned enough from these authentic sources to satisfy ourselves that the various degrees of intelligence in the several islands makes very little difference in the actual results of abolition; but that in all the colonies, conciliatory and equitable management has never failed to secure industry and tranquillity.]




Having drawn out in detail the results of abolition, and the working of the apprenticeship system in Barbadoes, we shall spare the reader a protracted account of Jamaica; but the importance of that colony, and the fact that greater dissatisfaction on account of the abolition of slavery has prevailed there than in all the other colonies together, demand a careful statement of facts.

On landing in Jamaica, we pushed onward in our appropriate inquiries, scarcely stopping to cast a glance at the towering mountains, with their cloud-wreathed tops, and the valleys where sunshine and shade sleep side by side--at the frowning precipices, made more awful by the impenetrable forest-foliage which shrouds the abysses below, leaving the impression of an ocean depth--at the broad lawns and magnificent savannahs glowing in verdure and sunlight--at the princely estates and palace mansions--at the luxuriant cultivation, and the sublime solitude of primeval forests, where trees of every name, the mahogany, the boxwood, the rosewood, the cedar, the palm, the fern, the bamboo, the cocoa, the breadfruit, the mango, the almond, all grow in wild confusion, interwoven with a dense tangled undergrowth.[A]

[Footnote A: It is less necessary for us to dwell long on Jamaica, than it would otherwise be, since the English gentlemen, Messrs. Sturge and Harvey, spent most of their time in that island, and will, doubtless, publish their investigations, which will, ere long, be accessible to our readers. We had the pleasure of meeting these intelligent philanthropic and pious men in the West Indies, and from the great length of time, and the superior facilities which they enjoyed over us, of gathering a mass of facts in Jamaica, we feel assured that their report will be highly interesting and useful, as well among us as on the other side of the water.]

We were one month in Jamaica. For about a week we remained in Kingston,[B] and called on some of the principal gentlemen, both white and colored. We visited the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, some of the editors, the Baptist and Wesleyan missionaries, and several merchants. We likewise visited the public schools, the house of correction, penitentiary, hospital, and other public institutions. We shall speak briefly of several individuals whom we saw in Kingston, and give some of their statements.

[Footnote B: The chief town of the island, with about forty thousand inhabitants.]

The Hon. Dowel O'Reily; the Attorney-General; is an Irishman, and of one of the influential families. In his own country he was a prominent politician, and a bold advocate of Catholic Emancipation. He is decidedly one of the ablest men in the island, distinguished for that simplicity of manners, and flow of natural benevolence, which are the characteristics of the Irishman. He received his present appointment from the English government about six years ago, and is, by virtue of his office, a member of the council. He declared that the apprenticeship was in no manner preparing the negroes for freedom, but was operating in a contrary way, especially in Jamaica, where it had been made the instrument of greater cruelties in some cases, than slavery itself. Mr. O'Reily is entirely free from prejudice; with all his family rank and official standing, he identifies himself with the colored people as far as his extensive professional engagements will allow. Having early learned this, we were surprised to find him so highly respected by the whites. In our subsequent excursions to the country, the letters of introduction with which he kindly furnished us, to planters and others, were uniformly received with avowals of the profoundest respect for him. It should be observed, that Mr. O'Reily's attachment to the cause of freedom in the colonies, is not a mere partizan feeling assumed in order to be in keeping with the government under which he holds his office. The fact of his being a Roman Catholic must, of itself, acquit him of the suspicion of any strong partiality for the English government. On the other hand, his decided hostility to the apprenticeship--the favorite offspring of British legislation--demonstrates equally his sincerity and independence.

We were introduced to the Solicitor-General, William Henry Anderson, Esq., of Kingston. Mr. A. is a Scotchman, and has resided to Jamaica for more than six years. We found him the fearless advocate of negro emancipation. He exposed the corruptions and abominations of the apprenticeship without reserve. Mr. A. furnished us with a written statement of his views, respecting the state of the island, the condition of the apprentices, &c., from which we here make a few extracts.

"1. A very material change for the better has taken place in the sentiments of the community since slavery was abolished. Religion and education were formerly opposed as subversive of the security of property; now they are in the most direct manner encouraged as its best support. The value of all kinds of property has risen considerably, and a general sense of security appears to be rapidly pervading the public mind. I have not heard one man assert that it would be an advantage to return to slavery, even were it practicable; and I believe that the public is beginning to see that slave labor is not the cheapest."

"2. The prejudices against color are rapidly vanishing. I do not think there is a respectable man, I mean one who would be regarded as respectable on account of his good sense and weight of character, who would impugn another's conduct for associating with persons of color. So far as my observation goes, those who would formerly have acted on these prejudices, will be ashamed to own that they had entertained them. The distinction of superior acquirements still belongs to the whites, as a body; but that, and character, will shortly be the only distinguishing mark recognized among us."

"3. The apprentices are improving, not, however, in consequence of the apprenticeship, but in spite of it, and in consequence of the great act of abolition!"

"4. I think the negroes might have been emancipated as safely in 1834, as in 1840; and had the emancipation then taken place, they would be found much further in advance in 1840, than they can be after the expiration of the present period of apprenticeship, through which all, both apprentices and masters, are LABORING HEAVILY."

"5. That the negroes will work if moderately compensated, no candid man can doubt. Their endurance for the sake of a very little gain is quite amazing, and they are most desirous to procure for themselves and families as large a share as possible of the comforts and decencies of life. They appear peculiarly to reverence and desire intellectual attainments. They employ, occasionally, children who have been taught in the schools to teach them in their leisure time to read."

"6. I think the partial modifications of slavery have been attended by so much improvement in all that constitutes the welfare and respectability of society, that I cannot doubt the increase of the benefit were a total abolition accomplished of every restriction that has arisen out of the former state of things."

During our stay in Kingston, we called on the American consul, to whom we had a letter from the consul at Antigua. We found him an elderly gentleman, and a true hearted Virginian, both in his generosity and his prejudices in favor of slavery. The consul, Colonel Harrison, is a near relation of General W.H. Harrison, of Ohio. Things, he said, were going ruinously in Jamaica. The English government were mad for abolishing slavery. The negroes of Jamaica were the most degraded and ignorant of all negroes he had ever seen. He had travelled in all our Southern States, and the American negroes, even those of South Carolina and Georgia, were as much superior to the negroes of Jamaica, as Henry Clay was superior to him. He said they were the most ungrateful, faithless set he ever saw; no confidence could be placed in them, and kindness was always requited by insult. He proceeded to relate a fact from which it appeared that the ground on which his grave charges against the negro character rested, was the ill-conduct of one negro woman whom he had hired some time ago to assist his family. The town negroes, he said, were too lazy to work; they loitered and lounged about on the sidewalks all day, jabbering with one another, and keeping up an incessant noise; and they would not suffer a white man to order them in the least. They were rearing their children in perfect idleness and for his part he could not tell what would become of the rising population of blacks. Their parents were too proud to let them work, and they sent them to school all the time. Every afternoon, he said, the streets are thronged with the half-naked little black devils, just broke from the schools, and all singing some noisy tune learned in the infant schools; the burthen of their songs seems to be, "O that will be joyful." These words, said he, are ringing in your ears wherever you go. How aggravating truly such words must be, bursting cheerily from the lips of the little free songsters! "O that will be joyful, joyful, JOYFUL"--and so they ring the changes day after day, ceaseless and untiring. A new song this, well befitting the times and the prospects, but provoking enough to oppressors. The consul denounced he special magistrates; they were an insolent set of fellows, they would fine a white man as quick as they would flog a nigger.[A] If a master called his apprentice "you scoundrel," or, "you huzzy," the magistrate would either fine him for it or reprove him sharply in the presence of the apprentice. This, in the eyes of the veteran Virginian, was intolerable. Outrageous, not to allow a gentleman to call his servant what names he chooses! We were very much edified by the Colonel's exposé of Jamaica manners. We must say, however, that his opinions had much less weight with us after we learned (as we did from the best authority) that he had never been a half dozen miles into the country during a ten year's residence in Kingston.

[Footnote A: We fear there is too little truth in this representation.]

We called on the Rev. Jonathan Edmonson, the superintendent of the Wesleyan missions in Jamaica. Mr. E. has been for many years laboring as a missionary in the West Indies, first in Barbadoes, then in St. Vincent's, Grenada, Trinidad, and Demerara, and lastly in Jamaica. He stated that the planters were doing comparatively nothing to prepare the negroes for freedom. "Their whole object was to get as much sugar out of them as they possibly could."

We received a call from the Rev. Mr. Wooldridge, one of the Independent missionaries. He thinks the conduct of the planters is tending to make the apprentices their bitter enemies. He mentioned one effect of the apprenticeship which had not been pointed out to us before. The system of appraisement, he said, was a premium upon all the bad qualities of the negroes and a tax upon all the good ones. When a person is to be appraised, his virtues and his vices are always inquired into, and they materially influence the estimate of his value. For example, the usual rate of appraisement is a dollar per week for the remainder of the term; but if the apprentice is particularly sober, honest, and industrious, more particularly if he be a pious man, he is valued at the rate of two or three dollars per week. It was consequently for the interest of the master, when an apprentice applied for an appraisement, to portray his virtues, while on the other hand there was an inducement for the apprentice to conceal or actually to renounce his good qualities, and foster the worst vices. Some instances of this kind had fallen under his personal observation.

We called on the Rev. Mr. Gardiner, and on the Rev. Mr. Tinson, two Baptist missionaries in Kingston. On Sabbath we attended service at the church of which Mr. G. is the pastor. It is a very large building, capable of seating two thousand persons. The great mass of the congregation were apprentices. At the time we were present, the chapel was well filled, and the broad surface of black faces was scarcely at all diversified with lighter colors. It was gratifying to witness the neatness of dress, the sobriety of demeanor, the devotional aspect of countenance, the quiet and wakeful attention to the preacher which prevailed. They were mostly rural negroes from the estates adjacent to Kingston.

The Baptists are the most numerous body of Christians in the island. The number of their missionaries now in Jamaica is sixteen, the number of Chapels is thirty-one, and the number of members thirty-two thousand nine hundred and sixty. The increase of members during the year 1836 was three thousand three hundred and forty-four.

At present the missionary field is mostly engrossed by the Baptists and Wesleyans. The Moravians are the next most numerous body. Besides these, there are the clergy of the English Church, with a Bishop, and a few Scotch clergymen. The Baptist missionaries, as a body, have been most distinguished for their opposition to slavery. Their boldness in the midst of suffering and persecutions, their denunciations of oppression, though they did for a time arouse the wrath of oppressors, and cause their chapels to be torn down and themselves to be hunted, imprisoned, and banished, did more probably than any other cause, to hasten the abolition of slavery.

Schools in Kingston.--We visited the Wolmer free school--the largest and oldest school in the island. The whole number of scholars is five hundred. It is under the charge of Mr. Reid, a venerable Scotchman, of scholarship and piety. All colors are mingled in it promiscuously. We saw the infant school department examined by Mr. R. There were nearly one hundred and fifty children, of every hue, from the jettiest black to the fairest white; they were thoroughly intermingled, and the ready answers ran along the ranks from black to white, from white to brown, from brown to pale, with undistinguished vivacity and accuracy. We were afterwards conducted into the higher department, where lads and misses from nine to fifteen, were instructed in the various branches of academic education. A class of lads, mostly colored, were examined in arithmetic. They wrought several sums in pounds, shillings and pence currency, with wonderful celerity.

Among other things which we witnessed in that school, we shall not soon forget having seen a curly headed negro lad of twelve, examining a class of white young ladies in scientific history.

Some written statements and statistical tables were furnished us by Mr. Reid, which we subjoin..

Kingston, May 13th, 1837

DEAR SIR,--I delayed answering your queries in hopes of being able to give you an accurate list of the number of schools in Kingston, and pupils under tuition, but have not been able completely to accomplish my intention. I shall now answer your queries in the order you propose them. 1st Quest. How long have you been teaching in Jamaica? Ans. Thirty-eight years in Kingston. 2d Q. How long have you been master of Wolmer's free school? A. Twenty-three years. 3d Q. What is the number of colored children now in the school? A. Four hundred and thirty. 4th Q. Was there any opposition to their admission at first? A. Considerable opposition the first year, but none afterwards. 5th Q. Do they learn as readily us the white children? A. As they are more regular in their attendance, they learn better. 6th Q. Are they as easily governed? A. Much easier. 7th Q. What proportion of the school are the children of apprentices? A. Fifty. 8th Q. Do their parents manifest a desire to have them educated? A. In general they do. 9th Q. At what age do the children leave your school? A. Generally between twelve and fourteen. 10th Q What employments do they chiefly engage in upon leaving you? A. The boys go to various mechanic trades, to counting-houses, attorney's offices, clerks to planting attorneys, and others become planters. The, girls seamstresses, mantuamakers, and a considerable proportion tailoresses, in Kingston and throughout Jamaica, as situations offer.

I am, dear sirs, yours respectfully,


The following table will show the average numbers of the respective classes, white and colored, who have attended Wolmer's free school in each year, from 1814 to the present time.

White Children. Colored Children. Total.
Average number in 1814 87 87
  "            "            1815 111 3 114
  "            "            1816 129 25 154
  "            "            1817 146 36 182
  "            "            1818 155 38 193
  "            "            1819 136 57 193
  "            "            1820 116 78 194
  "            "            1821 118 122 240
  "            "            1822 93 167 260
  "            "            1823 97 187 280
  "            "            1824 94 196 290
  "            "            1825 89 185 274
  "            "            1826 93 176 269
  "            "            1827 92 156 248
  "            "            1828 88 152 240
  "            "            1829 79 192 271
  "            "            1830 88 194 282
  "            "            1831 88 315 403
  "            "            1832 90 360 450
  "            "            1833 93 411 504
  "            "            1834 81 420 501
  "            "            1835 85 425 510
  "            "            1836 78 428 506
  "            "            1837 72 430 502



With regard to the comparative intellect of white and colored children, Mr. Reid gives the following valuable statement:

"For the last thirty-eight years I have been employed in this city in the tuition of children of all classes and colors, and have no hesitation in saying that the children of color are equal both in conduct and ability to the white. They have always carried off more than their proportion of prizes, and at one examination, out of seventy prizes awarded, sixty-four were obtained by children of color."

Mr. R. afterwards sent to us the table of the number of schools in Kingston, alluded to in the foregoing communication. We insert it here, as it affords a view of the increase of schools and scholars since the abolition of slavery.


Schools. Scholars.
2 Wolmer's, 403
1 National, 270
34 Gentlemen's private, 1368
40 Ladies' do., 1005
8 Sunday, 1042
85 Total, 4088


Schools. Scholars.
2 Wolmer's, 472
1 National, 260
31 Gentlemen's private, 1169
41 Ladies' do., 856
8 Sunday, 981
83 Total, 3738


Schools. Scholars.
2 Wolmer's, 527
3 National, 1136
3 Mico, 590
1 Baptist, 250
1 Jamaica Union, 120
31 Gentlemen's private, 1137
59 Ladies' do., 1339
9 Sunday, 1108
By itinerant teachers and children. 1500
109 Total, 7707


Schools. Scholars.
2 Wolmer's, 502
3 National, 1238
4 Mico, 611
1 Baptist, 260
1 Jamaica Union, 200
34 Gentlemen's private, 1476
63 Ladies' do., 1525
10 Sunday, 1316
By itinerant teachers and children. 1625
118 Total, 8753

We also visited the Union school, which has been established for some years in Kingston. All the children connected with it, about one hundred and fifty, are, with two exceptions, black or colored. The school is conducted generally on the Lancasterian plan. We examined several of the boys in arithmetic. We put a variety of questions to them, to be worked out on the slate, and the reasons of the process to be explained as they went along; all which they executed with great expertness. There was a jet black boy, whom we selected for a special trial. We commenced with the simple rules, and went through them one by one, together with the compound rules and Reduction, to Practice, propounding questions and examples in each of them, which were entirely new to him, and to all of them he gave prompt and correct replies. He was only thirteen years old, and we can aver we never saw a boy of that age in any of our common schools, that exhibited a fuller and clearer knowledge of the science of numbers.

In general, our opinion of this school was similar to that already expressed concerning the others. It is supported by the pupils, aided by six hundred dollars granted by the assembly.

In connection with this subject, there is one fact of much interest. However strong and exclusive was the prejudice of color a few years since in the schools of Jamaica, we could not, during our stay in that island, learn of more than two or three places of education, and those private ones, from which colored children were excluded, and among the numerous schools in Kingston, there is not one of this kind.

We called on several colored gentlemen of Kingston, from whom we received much valuable information. The colored population are opposed to the apprenticeship, and all the influence which they have, both in the colony and with the home government, (which is not small,) is exerted against it. They are a festering thorn in the sides of the planters, among whom they maintain a fearless espionage, exposing by pen and tongue their iniquitous proceedings. It is to be regretted that their influence in this respect is so sadly weakened by their holding apprentices themselves.

We had repeated invitations to breakfast and dine with colored gentlemen, which we accepted as often as our engagements would permit. On such occasions we generally met a company of gentlemen and ladies of superior social and intellectual accomplishments. We must say, that it is a great self-denial to refrain from a description of some of the animated, and we must add splendid, parties of colored people which we attended. The conversation on these occasions mostly turned on the political and civil disabilities under which the colored population formerly labored, and the various straggles by which they ultimately obtained their rights. The following are a few items of their history. The colored people of Jamaica, though very numerous, and to some extent wealthy and intelligent, were long kept by the white colonists in a state of abject political bondage. Not only were offices withheld from them, and the right of suffrage denied, but they were not even allowed the privilege of an oath in court, in defense of their property or their persons. They might be violently assaulted, their limbs broken, their wives and daughters might be outraged before their eyes by villains having white skins; yet they had no legal redress unless another white man chanced to see the deed. It was not until 1824 that this oppressive enactment was repealed, and the protection of an oath extended to the colored people; nor was it then effected without a long struggle on their part.

Another law, equally worthy of a slaveholding legislature, prohibited any white man, however wealthy, bequeathing, or in any manner giving his colored son or daughter more than £2000 currency, or six thousand dollars. The design of this law was to keep the colored people poor and dependent upon the whites. Further to secure the same object, every effort, both legislative and private, was made to debar them from schools, and sink them in the lowest ignorance. Their young men of talent were glad to get situations as clerks in the stores of white merchants. Their young ladies of beauty and accomplishments were fortune-made if they got a place in the white man's harem. These were the highest stations to which the flower of their youth aspired. The rest sank beneath the discouragements, and grovelled in vice and debasement. If a colored person had any business with a white gentleman, and should call at his house, "he must take off his hat, and wait at the door, and be as polite as a dog."

These insults and oppressions the colored people in Jamaica bore, until they could bear them no longer. By secret correspondence they formed a union throughout the island, for the purpose of resistance. This, however, was not effected for a long time, and while in process, the correspondence was detected, and the most vigorous means were used by the whites to crush the growing conspiracy--for such it was virtually. Persuasions and intimations were used privately, and when these failed, public persecutions were resorted to, under the form of judicial procedures. Among the milder means was the dismission of clerks, agents, &c., from the employ of a white men. As soon as a merchant discovered that his clerk was implicated in the correspondence, he first threatened to discharge him unless he would promise to desert his brethren: if he could not extort this promise, he immediately put his threat in execution. Edward Jordon, Esq., the talented editor of the Watchman, then first clerk in the store of a Mr. Briden, was prominently concerned in the correspondence, and was summarily dismissed.

White men drove their colored sons from their houses, and subjected them to every indignity and suffering, in order to deter them from prosecuting an enterprise which was seen by the terrified oppressors to be fraught with danger to themselves. Then followed more violent measures. Persons suspected of being the projectors of the disaffection, were dragged before incensed judges, and after mock trials, were sentenced to imprisonment in the city jail. Messrs. Jordon and Osborne, (after they had established the Watchman paper,) were both imprisoned; the former twice, for five months each time. At the close of the second term of imprisonment, Mr. Jordon was tried for his life, on the charge of having published seditious matter in the Watchman.

The paragraph which was denominated 'seditious matter' was this--

"Now that the member for Westmoreland (Mr. Beaumont) has come over to our side, we will, by a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether, bring down the system by the run, knock off the fetters, and let the oppressed go free."

On the day of Mr. J.'s trial, the court-room was thronged with colored men, who had armed themselves, and were determined, if the sentence of death were pronounced upon Mr. Jordon, to rescue him at whatever hazard. It is supposed that their purpose was conjectured by the judges--at any rate, they saw fit to acquit Mr. J. and give him his enlargement. The Watchman continued as fearless and seditious as ever, until the Assembly were ultimately provoked to threaten some extreme measure which should effectually silence the agitators. Then Mr. Jordon issued a spirited circular, in which he stated the extent of the coalition among the colored people, and in a tone of defiance demanded the instant repeal of every restrictive law, the removal of every disability, and the extension of complete political equality; declaring, that if the demand were not complied with, the whole colored population would rise in arms, would proclaim freedom to their own slaves, instigate the slaves generally to rebellion, and then shout war and wage it, until the streets of Kingston should run blood. This bold piece of generalship succeeded. The terrified legislators huddled together in their Assembly-room, and swept away, at one blow, all restrictions, and gave the colored people entire enfranchisement. These occurrences took place in 1831; since which time the colored class have been politically free, and have been marching forward with rapid step in every species of improvement, and are now on a higher footing than in any other colony. All offices are open to them; they are aldermen of the city, justices of the peace, inspectors of public institutions, trustees of schools, etc. There are, at least, then colored special magistrates, natives of the island. There are four colored members of the Assembly, including Messrs. Jordon and Osborne. Mr. Jordon now sits in the same Assembly, side by side, with the man who, a few years ago, ejected him disdainfully from his clerkship. He is a member of the Assembly for the city of Kingston, where not long since he was imprisoned, and tried for his life. He is also alderman of the city, and one of its local magistrates. He is now inspector of the same prison in which he was formerly immured as a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition.

The secretary of the special magistrate department, Richard Hill, Esq., is a colored gentleman, and is one of the first men in the island,[A] for integrity, independence, superior abilities, and extensive acquirements. It has seldom been our happiness to meet with a man more illustrious for true nobility of soul, or in whose countenance there were deeper traces of intellectual and moral greatness. We are confident that no man can see him without being impressed with his rare combination of excellences.

[Footnote A: We learn from the Jamaica papers, since our return to this country, that Mr. Hill has been elected a member of the Assembly.]

Having said thus much respecting the political advancement of the colored people, it is proper to remark, that they have by no means evinced a determination to claim more than their share of office and influence. On the contrary, they stop very far short of what they are entitled to. Having an extent of suffrage but little less than the whites, they might fill one third of the seats in the Assembly, whereas they now return but four members out of forty-five. The same may be said of other offices, particularly those in the city of Kingston, and the larger towns, where they are equal to, or more numerous, than the whites. It is a fact, that a portion of the colored people continue at this time to return white members to the Assembly, and to vote for white aldermen and other city officers. The influential men among them, have always urged them to take up white men, unless they could find competent men of their own color. As they remarked to us, if they were obliged to send an ass to the Assembly, it was far better for them to send a white ass than a black one.

In company with a friend, we visited the principal streets and places of business in Kingston, for the purpose of seeing for ourselves the general employments of the people of color; and those who engage in the lowest offices, such as porters, watermen, draymen, and servants of all grades, from him who flaunts in livery, to him who polishes shoes, are of course from this class. So with the fruiterers, fishmongers, and the almost innumerable tribe of petty hucksters which swarm throughout the city, and is collected in a dense mass in its suburbs. The market, which is the largest and best in the West Indies, is almost entirely supplied and attended by colored persons, mostly females. The great body of artisans is composed mostly of colored persons.

There are two large furniture and cabinet manufactories in Kingston, one owned by two colored men, and the other by a white man. The operatives, of which one contains eighty, and the other nearly as many, are all black and colored. A large number of them are what the British law terms apprentices, and are still bound in unremunerated servitude, though some of them for thrice seven years have been adepts in their trades, and not a few are earning their masters twenty or thirty dollars each month, clear of all expenses. Some of these apprentices are hoary-headed and wrinkle-browned men, with their children, and grand-children, apprentices also, around them, and who, after having used the plane and the chisel for half a century, with faithfulness for others, are now spending the few hours and the failing strength of old again in preparing to use the plane and the chisel for themselves. The work on which they were engaged evinced no lack of mechanical skill and ingenuity, but on the contrary we were shown some of the most elegant specimens of mechanical skill, which we ever saw. The rich woods of the West Indies were put into almost every form and combination which taste could designate or luxury desire.

The owners of these establishments informed us that their business had much increased within the last two years, and was still extending. Neither of them had any fears for the results of complete emancipation, but both were laying their plans for the future as broadly and confidently as ever.

In our walk we accidentally met a colored man, whom we had heard mentioned on several occasions as a superior architect. From the conversation we had with him, then and subsequently, he appeared to possess a fine mechanical genius, and to have made acquirements which would be honorable in any man, but which were truly admirable in one who had been shut up all his life by the disabilities which in Jamaica have, until recently, attached to color. He superintended the erection of the Wesleyan chapel in Kingston, the largest building of the kind in the island, and esteemed by many as the most elegant. The plan was his own, and the work was executed under his own eye. This man is using his means and influence to encourage the study of his favorite art, and of the arts and sciences generally, among those of his own hue.

One of the largest bookstores in the island is owned by two colored men. (Messrs. Jordon and Osborne, already referred to.) Connected with it is an extensive printing-office, from which a newspaper is issued twice a week. Another paper, under the control of colored men, is published at Spanishtown. These are the two principal liberal presses in Jamaica, and are conducted with spirit and ability. Their influence in the political and civil affairs of the island is very great. They are the organs of the colored people, bond and free, and through them any violation of law or humanity is exposed to the public, and redress demanded, and generally obtained. In literary merit and correctness of moral sentiment, they are not excelled by any press there, while some of their white contemporaries fall far below them in both. Besides the workmen employed in these two offices, there is a large number of colored printers in the other printing offices, of which there are several.

We called at two large establishment for making jellies, comfits, pickles, and all the varieties of tropic preserves. In each of them thirty or more persons are constantly employed, and a capital of some thousands of dollars invested. Several large rooms were occupied by boxes, jars, and canisters, with the apparatus necessary to the process, through which the fruit passes. We saw every species of fruits and vegetables which the island produces, some fresh from the trees and vines, and others ready to be transported to the four quarters of the globe, in almost every state which the invalid or epicure could desire. These articles, with the different preparations of arrow-root and cassada, form a lucrative branch of trade, which is mostly in the hands of the colored people.

We were introduced to a large number of colored merchants, dealers in dry goods, crockery and glass ware, ironmongers, booksellers, druggists, grocers, and general importers and were conducted by them through their stores; many of which were on an extensive scale, and managed, apparently, with much order and regularity. One of the largest commercial houses in Kingston has a colored man as a partner, the other two being white. Of a large auction and commission firm, the most active and leading partner is a colored man. Besides these, there is hardly a respectable house among the white merchants, in which some important office, oftentimes the head clerkship, is not filled by a person of color. They are as much respected in business transactions, and their mercantile talents, their acquaintance with the generalities and details of commerce, and sagacity and judgment in making bargains, are as highly esteemed by the white merchants, as though they wore an European hue. The commercial room is open to them, where they resort unrestrainedly to ascertain the news; and a visitor may not unfrequently see sitting together at a table of newspapers, or conversing together in the parlance of trade, persons as dissimilar in complexion as white and black can make them. In the streets the same intercourse is seen.

The general trade of the island is gradually and quietly passing into the hands of the colored people. Before emancipation, they seldom reached a higher grade in mercantile life than a clerkship, or, if they commenced business for themselves, they were shackled and confined in their operations by the overgrown and monopolizing establishments which slavery had built up. Though the civil and political rights of one class of them were acknowledged three years previous, yet they found they could not, even if they desired it, disconnect themselves from the slaves. They could not transact business--form credits and agencies, and receive the confidence of the commercial public--like free men. Strange or not, their fate was inseparably linked with that of the bondman, their interests were considered as involved with his. However honest they might be, it was not safe to trust them; and any attempt to rise above a clerkship, to become the employer instead of the employed, was regarded as a kind of insurrection, and strongly disapproved and opposed. Since emancipation, they have been unshackling them selves from white domination in matters of trade; extending their connections, and becoming every day more and more independent. They have formed credits with commercial houses abroad, and now import directly for themselves, at wholesale prices, what they were formerly obliged to receive from white importers, or rather speculators, at such prices as they, in their tender mercies, saw fit to impose.

Trade is now equalizing itself among all classes. A spirit of competition is awakened, banks have been established, steam navigation introduced, railroads projected, old highways repaired, and new ones opened. The descendants of the slaves are rapidly supplying the places which were formerly filled by whites from abroad.

We had the pleasure of being present one day at the sitting of the police court of Kingston. Mr. Jordon, the editor of the Watchman, in his turn as a member of the common council, was presiding justice, with an alderman of the city, a black man, as his associate. At a table below them sat the superintendent of police, a white man, and two white attorneys, with their huge law books and green bags before them. The bar was surrounded by a motley assemblage of black, colored, and white faces, intermingled without any regard to hue in the order of superiority and precedence. There were about a dozen cases adjudged while we were present. The court was conducted with order and dignity, and the justices were treated with great respect and deference both by white and black.

After the adjournment of the court, we had some conversation with the presiding justice. He informed us that whites were not unfrequently brought before him for trial, and, in spite of his color, sometimes even our own countrymen. He mentioned several instances of the latter, in some of which American prejudice assumed very amusing and ludicrous forms. In one case, he was obliged to threaten the party, a captain from one of our southern ports, with imprisonment for contempt, before he could induce him to behave himself with proper decorum. The captain, unaccustomed to obey injunctions from men of such a complexion, curled his lip in scorn, and showed a spirit of defiance, but on the approach of two police officers, whom the court had ordered to arrest him, he submitted himself. We were gratified with the spirit of good humor and pleasantry with which Mr. J. described the astonishment and gaping curiosity which Americans manifest on seeing colored men in offices of authority, particularly on the judicial bench, and their evident embarrassment and uneasiness whenever obliged to transact business with them as magistrates. He seemed to regard it as a subject well worthy of ridicule; and we remarked, in our intercourse with the colored people, that they were generally more disposed to make themselves merry with American sensitiveness on this point, than to bring serious complaints against it, though they feel deeply the wrongs which they have suffered from it, and speak of them occasionally with solemnity and earnestness. Still the feeling is so absurd and ludicrous in itself, and is exhibited in so many grotesque positions, even when oppressive, that the sufferer cannot help laughing at it. Mr. Jordon has held his present office since 1832. He has had an extensive opportunity, both as a justice of the police court, and as a member of the jail committee, and in other official stations, to become well acquainted with the state of crime in the island at different periods. He informed us that the number of complaints brought before him had much diminished since 1834, and he had no hesitation in saying, that crime had decreased throughout the island generally more than one third.

During one of our excursions into the country, we witnessed another instance of the amicability with which the different colors associated in the civil affairs of the island. It was a meeting of one of the parish vestries, a kind of local legislature, which possesses considerable power over its own territory. There were fifteen members present, and nearly as many different shades of complexion. There was the planter of aristocratic blood, and at his side was a deep mulatto, born in the same parish a slave. There was the quadroon, and the unmitigated hue and unmodified features of the negro. They sat together around a circular table, and conversed as freely as though they had been all of one color. There was no restraint, no uneasiness, as though the parties felt themselves out of place, no assumption nor disrespect, but all the proceedings manifested the most perfect harmony, confidence, and good feeling.

At the same time there was a meeting of the parish committee on roads, at which there was the same intermixture of colors, the same freedom and kindness of demeanor, and the same unanimity of action. Thus it is with all the political and civil bodies in the island, from the House of Assembly, to committees on jails and houses of correction. Into all of them, the colored people are gradually making their way, and participating in public debates and public measures, and dividing with the whites legislative and judicial power, and in many cases they exhibit a superiority, and in all cases a respectability, of talents and attainments, and a courtesy and general propriety of conduct, which gain for them the respect of the intelligent and candid among their white associates.

We visited the house of correction for the parish of St. Andrews. The superintendent received us with the iron-hearted courtesy of a Newgate turnkey. Our company was evidently unwelcome, but as the friend who accompanied us was a man in authority, he was constrained to admit us. The first sound that greeted us was a piercing outcry from the treadmill. On going to it, we saw a youth of about eighteen hanging in the air by a strap bound to his wrist, and dangling against the wheel in such a manner that every revolution of it scraped the body from the breast to the ankles. He had fallen off from weakness and fatigue, and was struggling and crying in the greatest distress, while the strap, which extended to a pole above and stretched his arm high above his head, held him fast. The superintendent, in a harsh voice, ordered him to be lifted up, and his feet again placed on the wheel. But before he had taken five steps, he again fell off, and was suspended as before. At the same instant, a woman also fell off, and without a sigh or the motion of a muscle, for she was too much exhausted for either, but with a shocking wildness of the eye, hung by her half-dislocated arms against the wheel. As the allotted time (fifteen minutes) had expired, the persons on the wheel were released, and permitted to rest. The boy could hardly stand on the ground. He had a large ulcer on one of his feet, which was much swollen and inflamed, and his legs and body were greatly bruised and peeled by the revolving of the wheel. The gentleman who was with us reproved the superintendent severely for his conduct, and told him to remove the boy from the treadmill gang, and see that proper care was taken of him. The poor woman who fell off, seemed completely exhausted; she tottered to the wall near by, and took up a little babe which we had not observed before. It appeared to be not more than two or three months old, and the little thing stretched out its arms and welcomed its mother. On inquiry, we ascertained that this woman's offence was absence from the field an hour after the required time (six o'clock) in the morning. Besides the infant with her, she had two or three other children. Whether the care of them was any excuse for her, we leave American mothers to judge. There were two other women on the treadmill--one was sentenced there for stealing cane from her master's field, and the other, we believe, for running away.

The superintendent next took us to the solitary cells. They were dirty, and badly ventilated, and unfit to keep beasts in. On opening the doors, such a stench rushed forth, that we could not remain. There was a poor woman in one of them, who appeared, as the light of day and the fresh air burst in upon her, like a despairing maniac.

We went through the other buildings, all of which were old and dirty, nay, worse, filthy in the extreme. The whole establishment was a disgrace to the island. The prisoners were poorly clad, and had the appearance of harsh usage. Our suspicions of ill treatment were strengthened by noticing a large whip in the treadmill, and sundry iron collars and handcuffs hanging about in the several rooms through which we passed.

The number of inmates in this house at our visit, was forty-eight--eighteen of whom were females. Twenty of these were in the treadmill and in solitary confinement--the remainder were working on the public road at a little distance--many of them in irons--iron collars about their necks, and chains passing between, connecting them together two and two.



Wishing to accomplish the most that our limited time would allow; we separated at Kingston;--the one taking a northwesterly route among the mountainous coffee districts of Port Royal and St. Andrews, and the other going into the parish of St. Thomas in the East.

St. Thomas in the East is said to present the apprenticeship in its most favorable aspects. There is probably no other parish in the island which includes so many fine estates, or has so many liberal-minded planters.[A] A day's easy drive from Kingston, brought us to Morant Bay, where we spent two days, and called on several influential gentlemen, besides visiting the neighboring estate of Belvidere. One gentleman whom we met was Thomas Thomson, Esq., the senior local magistrate of the Parish, next in civil influence to the Custos. His standing may be inferred from the circumstance, (not trifling in Jamaica,) that the Governor, during his tour of the island, spent a night at his house. We breakfasted with Mr. Thomson, and at that time, and subsequently, he showed the utmost readiness in furnishing us with information. He is a Scotchman, has been in the island for thirty-eight years, and has served as a local magistrate for thirty-four. Until very lately, he has been a proprietor of estates; he informed us that he had sold out, but did not mention the reasons. We strongly suspected, from the drift of his conversation, that he sold about the time of abolition, through alarm for the consequences. We early discovered that he was one of the old school tyrants, hostile to the change which had taken place, and dreadfully alarmed in view of that which was yet to come. Although full of the prejudices of an old slaveholder, yet we found him a man of strong native sense and considerable intelligence. He declared it most unreservedly as his opinion, that the negroes would not work after 1810--they were naturally so indolent, that they would prefer gaining a livelihood in some easier way than by digging cane holes. He had all the results of the emancipation of 1840 as clearly before his mind, as though he saw them in prophetic vision; he knew the whole process. One portion of the negroes, too lazy to provide food by their own labor, will rob the provision grounds of the few who will remain at work. The latter will endure the wrong as long as they well can, and then they will procure arms and fire upon the marauders; this will give rise to incessant petty conflicts between the lazy and the industrious, and a great destruction of life will ensue. Others will die in vast numbers from starvation; among these will be the superannuated and the young, who cannot support themselves, and whom the planters will not be able to support. Others numerous will perish from disease, chiefly for want of medical attendance, which it will be wholly out of their power to provide. Such is the dismal picture drawn by a late slaveholder, of the consequences of removing the negroes from the tender mercies of oppressors. Happily for all parties, Mr. Thomson is not very likely to establish his claim to the character of a prophet. We were not at all surprised to hear him wind up his prophecies against freedom with a denunciation of slavery. He declared that slavery was a wretched system. Man was naturally a tyrant. Mr. T. said he had one good thing to say of the negroes, viz., that they were an exceedingly temperate people. It was a very unusual thing to see one of them drunk. Slavery, he said, was a system of horrid cruelties. He had lately read, in the history of Jamaica, of a planter, in 1763, having a slave's leg cut off, to keep him from running away. He said that dreadful cruelties were perpetrated until the close of slavery, and they were inseparable from slavery. He also spoke of the fears which haunted the slaveholders. He never would live on an estate; and whenever he chanced to stay over night in the country, he always took care to secure his door by bolting and barricading it. At Mr. Thomson's we met Andrew Wright, Esq., the proprietor of a sugar estate called Green Wall, situated some six miles from the bay. He is an intelligent gentleman, of an amiable disposition--has on his estate one hundred and sixty apprentices. He described his people as being in a very peaceable state, and as industrious as he could wish. He said he had no trouble with them, and it was his opinion, that where there is trouble, it must be owing to bad management. He anticipated no difficulty after 1840, and was confident that his people would not leave him. He believed that the negroes would not to any great extent abandon the cultivation of sugar after 1840. Mr. T. stated two facts respecting this enlightened planter, which amply account for the good conduct of his apprentices. One was, that he was an exceedingly kind and amiable man. He had never been known to have a falling out with any man in his life. Another fact was, that Mr. Wright was the only resident sugar proprietor in all that region of country. He superintends his own estate, while the other large estates are generally left in the hands of unprincipled, mercenary men.

[Footnote A: We have the following testimony of Sir Lionel Smith to the superiority of St. Thomas in the East. It is taken from the Royal Gazette, (Kingston.) May 6, 1837. "His Excellency has said, that in all his tour he was not more highly gratified with any parish than he was with St. Thomas in the East."]

We called on the Wesleyan missionary at Morant Bay, Rev. Mr. Crookes, who has been in Jamaica fifteen years. Mr. C. said, that in many respects there had been a great improvement since the abolition of slavery, but, said he, "I abominate the apprenticeship system. At best, it is only improved slavery." The obstacles to religious efforts have been considerably diminished, but the masters were not to be thanked for this; it was owing chiefly to the protection of British law. The apprenticeship, Mr. C. thought, could not be any material preparation for freedom. He was persuaded that it would have been far better policy to have granted entire emancipation at once.

In company with Mr. Howell, an Independent, and teacher of a school of eighty negro children in Morant Bay, we drove out to Belvidere estate, which is situated about four miles from the bay, in a rich district called the Blue Mountain Valley. The Belvidere is one of the finest estates in the valley. It contains two thousand acres, only four hundred of which are cultivated in sugar; the most of it is woodland. This estate belongs to Count Freeman, an absentee proprietor. We took breakfast with the overseer, or manager, Mr. Briant. Mr. B. stated that there was not so much work done now as there was during slavery. Thinks there is as much done for the length of time that the apprentices are at work; but a day and a half every week is lost; neither are they called out as early in the morning, nor do they work as late at night. The apprentices work at night very cheerfully for money: but they will not work on Saturday for the common wages--quarter of a dollar. On inquiry of Mr. B. we ascertained that the reason the apprentices did not work on Saturdays was, that they could make twice or three times as much by cultivating their provision grounds, and carrying their produce to market. At night they cannot cultivate their grounds, then they work for their masters "very cheerfully."

The manager stated, that there had been no disturbance with the people of Belvidere since the change. They work well, and conduct themselves peaceably; and he had no fear but that the great body of the negroes would remain on the estate after 1840, and labor as usual. This he thought would be the case on every estate where there is mild management. Some, indeed, might leave even such estates to try their fortunes elsewhere, but they would soon discover that they could get no better treatment abroad, and they would then return to their old homes.

While we were at Belvidere, Mr. Howell took us to see a new chapel which the apprentices of that estate have erected since 1834, by their own labor, and at their own expense. The house is thirty feet by forty; composed of the same materials of which the negro huts are built. We were told that the building of this chapel was first suggested by the apprentices, and as soon as permission was obtained, they commenced the preparations for its erection. We record this as a delightful sign of the times.

On our return to Morant Bay, we visited the house of correction, situated near the village. This is the only "institution," as a Kingston paper gravely terms it, of the kind in the parish. It is a small, ill-constructed establishment, horribly filthy, more like a receptacle for wild beasts than human beings. There is a treadmill connected with it, made to accommodate fifteen persons at a time. Alternate companies ascend the wheel every fifteen minutes. It was unoccupied when we went in; most of the prisoners being at work on the public roads. Two or three, who happened to be near by, were called in by the keeper, and ordered to mount the wheel, to show us how it worked. It made our blood run cold as we thought of the dreadful suffering that inevitably ensues, when the foot loses the step, and the body hangs against the revolving cylinder.

Leaving the house of correction, we proceeded to the village. In a small open square in the centre of it, we saw a number of the unhappy inmates of the house of correction at work under the direction, we are sorry to say, of our friend Thomas Thomson, Esq. They were chained two and two by heavy chains fastened to iron bands around their necks. On another occasion, we saw the same gang at work in the yard attached to the Independent chapel.

We received a visit, at our lodgings, from the special justice of this district, Major Baines. He was accompanied by Mr. Thomson, who came to introduce him as his friend. We were not left to this recommendation alone, suspicious as it was, to infer the character of this magistrate, for we were advertised previously that he was a "planter's man"--unjust and cruel to the apprentices. Major B. appeared to have been looking through his friend Thomson's prophetic telescope. There was certainly a wonderful coincidence of vision--the same abandonment of labor, the same preying upon provision grounds; the same violence, bloodshed and great loss of life among the negroes themselves! However, the special magistrate appeared to see a little further than the local magistrate, even to the end of the carnage, and to the re-establishment of industry, peace and prosperity. The evil, he was confident, would soon cure itself.

One remark of the special magistrate was worthy a prophet. When asked if he thought there would be any serious disaffection produced among the praedials by the emancipation of the non-praedials in 1838, he said, he thought there would not be, and assigned as the reason, that the praedials knew all about the arrangement, and did not expect to be free. That is, the field apprentices knew that the domestics were to be liberated two years sooner than they, and, without inquiring into the grounds, or justice of the arrangement, they would promptly acquiesce in it!

What a fine compliment to the patience and forbearance of the mass of the negroes. The majority see the minority emancipated two years before them, and that, too, upon the ground of an odious distinction which makes the domestic more worthy than they who "bear the heat and burthen of the day," in the open field; and yet they submit patiently, because they are told that it is the pleasure of government that it should be so!

The non-praedials, too, have their noble traits, as well as the less favored agriculturalists. The special magistrate said that he was then engaged in classifying the apprentices of the different estates in his district. The object of this classification was, to ascertain all those who were non-praedials, that they might be recorded as the subjects of emancipation in 1838. To his astonishment he found numbers of this class who expressed a wish to remain apprentices until 1840. On one estate, six out of eight took this course, on another, twelve out of fourteen, and in some instances, all the non-praedials determined to suffer it out with the rest of their brethren, refusing to accept freedom until with the whole body they could rise up and shout the jubilee of universal disinthrallment. Here is a nobility worthy to compare with the patience of the praedials. In connection with the conduct of the non-praedials, he mentioned the following instance of white brutality and negro magnanimity. A planter, whose negroes he was classifying, brought forward a woman whom he claimed as a praedial. The woman declared that she was a non-praedial, and on investigation it was clearly proved that she had always been a domestic; and consequently entitled to freedom in 1838. After the planter's claim was set aside, the woman said, "Now I will stay with massa, and be his 'prentice for de udder two year."

Shortly before we left the Bay, our landlady, a colored woman, introduced one of her neighbors, whose conversation afforded us a rare treat. She was a colored lady of good appearance and lady like manners. Supposing from her color that she had been prompted by strong sympathy in our objects to seek an interview with us, we immediately introduced the subject of slavery, stating that as we had a vast number of slaves in our country, we had visited Jamaica to see how the freed people behaved, with the hope that our countrymen might be encouraged to adopt emancipation. "Alack a day!" The tawny madam shook her head, and, with that peculiar creole whine, so expressive of contempt, said, "Can't say any thing for you, sir--they not doing no good now, sir--the negroes an't!"--and on she went abusing the apprentices, and denouncing abolition. No American white lady could speak more disparagingly of the niggers, than did this recreant descendant of the negro race. They did no work, they stole, were insolent, insubordinate, and what not.

She concluded in the following elegiac strain, which did not fail to touch our sympathies. "I can't tell what will become of us after 1840. Our negroes will be taken away from us--we shall find no work to do ourselves--we shall all have to beg, and who shall we beg from? All will be beggars, and we must starve!"

Poor Miss L. is one of that unfortunate class who have hitherto gained a meagre support from the stolen hire of a few slaves, and who, after entire emancipation, will be stripped of every thing. This is the class upon whom emancipation will fall most heavily; it will at once cast many out of a situation of ease, into the humiliating dilemma of laboring or begging--to the latter of which alternatives, Miss L. seems inclined. Let Miss L. be comforted! It is better to beg than to steal.

We proceeded from Morant Bay to Bath, a distance of fourteen miles, where we put up at a neat cottage lodging-house, kept by Miss P., a colored lady. Bath is a picturesque little village, embowered in perpetual green, and lying at the foot of a mountain on one side, and on the other by the margin of a rambling little river. It seems to have accumulated around it and within it, all the verdure and foliage of a tropical clime.

Having a letter of introduction, we called on the special magistrate for that district--George Willis, Esq. As we entered his office, an apprentice was led up in irons by a policeman, and at the same time another man rode up with a letter from the master of the apprentice, directing the magistrate to release him instantly. The facts of this case, as Mr. W. himself explained them to us, will illustrate the careless manner in which the magistrates administer the law. The master had sent his apprentice to a neighboring estate, where there had been some disturbance, to get his clothes, which had been left there. The overseer of the estate finding an intruder on his property, had him handcuffed forthwith, notwithstanding his repeated declarations that his master had sent him. Having handcuffed him, he ordered him to be taken before the special magistrate, Mr. W., who had him confined in the station-house all night. Mr. W., in pursuance of the direction received from the master, ordered the man to be released, but at the same time repeatedly declared to him that the overseer was not to blame for arresting him.

After this case was disposed of, Mr. W, turned to us. He said he had a district of thirty miles in extent, including five thousand apprentices; these he visited thrice every month. He stated that there had been a gradual decrease of crime since he came to the district, which was early in 1835. For example, in March, 1837, there were but twenty-four persons punished, and in March, 1835, there were as many punished in a single week. He explained this by saying that the apprentices had become better acquainted with the requirements of the law. The chief offence at present was absconding from labor.

This magistrate gave us an account of an alarming rebellion which had lately occurred in his district, which we will venture to notice, since it is the only serious disturbance on the part of the negroes, which has taken place in the island, from the beginning of the apprenticeship. About two weeks before, the apprentices on Thornton estate, amounting to about ninety, had refused to work, and fled in a body to the woods, where they still remained. Their complaint, according to our informant, was, that their master had turned the cattle upon their provision grounds, and all their provisions were destroyed, so that they could not live. They, therefore, determined that they would not continue at work, seeing they would be obliged to starve. Mr. W. stated that he had visited the provision grounds, in company with two disinterested planters, and he could affirm that the apprentices had no just cause of complaint. It was true their fences had been broken down, and their provisions had been somewhat injured, but the fence could be very easily repaired, and there was an abundance of yams left to furnish food for the whole gang for some time to come--those that were destroyed being chiefly young roots which would not have come to maturity for several months. These statements were the substance of a formal report which he had just prepared for the eye of Sir Lionel Smith, and which he was kind enough to read to us. This was a fine report, truly, to come from a special justice. To say nothing of the short time in which the fence might be repaired, those were surely very dainty-mouthed cattle that would consume those roots only which were so small that several months would be requisite for their maturity. The report concluded with a recommendation to his Excellency to take seminary vengeance upon a few of the gang as soon as they could be arrested, since they had set such an example to the surrounding apprentices. He could not see how order and subordination could be preserved in his district unless such a punishment was inflicted as would be a warning to all evil doers. He further suggested the propriety of sending the maroons[A] after them, to hunt them out of their hiding places and bring them to justice.

[Footnote A: The maroons are free negroes, inhabiting the mountains of the interior, who were formerly hired by the authorities, or by planters, to hunt up runaway slaves, and return them to their masters. Unfortunately our own country is not without its maroons.]

We chanced to obtain a different version of this affair, which, as it was confirmed by different persons in Bath, both white and colored, who had no connection with each other, we cannot help thinking it the true one.

The apprentices on Thornton, are what is termed a jobbing gang, that is, they are hired out by their master to any planter who may want their services. Jobbing is universally regarded by the negroes as the worst kind of service, for many reasons--principally because it often takes them many miles from their homes, and they are still required to supply themselves with food from their own provision grounds. They are allowed to return home every Friday evening or Saturday, and stay till Monday morning. The owner of the gang in question lately died--to whom it is said they were greatly attached--and they passed into the hands of a Mr. Jocken, the present overseer. Jocken is a notoriously cruel man. It was scarcely a twelvemonth ago, that he was fined one hundred pounds currency, and sentenced to imprisonment for three months in the Kingston jail, for tying one of his apprentices to a dead ox, because the animal died while in the care of the apprentice. He also confined a woman in the same pen with a dead sheep, because she suffered the sheep to die. Repeated acts of cruelty have caused Jocken to be regarded as a monster in the community. From a knowledge of his character, the apprentices of Thornton had a strong prejudice against him. One of the earliest acts after he went among them, was to break down their fences, and turn his cattle into their provision grounds. He then ordered them to go to a distant estate to work. This they refused to do, and when he attempted to compel them to go, they left the estate in a body, and went to the woods. This is what is called a state of open rebellion, and for this they were to be hunted like beasts, and to suffer such a terrible punishment as would deter all other apprentices from taking a similar step.

This Jocken is the same wretch who wantonly handcuffed the apprentice, who went on to his estate by the direction of his master.

Mr. Willis showed us a letter which he had received that morning from a planter in his district, who had just been trying an experiment in job work, (i.e., paying his people so much for a certain amount of work.) He had made a proposition to one of the head men on the estate, that he would give him a doubloon an acre if he would get ten acres of cane land holed. The man employed a large number of apprentices, and accomplished the job on three successive Saturdays. They worked at the rate of nearly one hundred holes per day for each man, whereas the usual day's work is only seventy-five holes.

Mr. W. bore testimony that the great body of the negroes in his district were very peaceable. There were but a few incorrigible fellows, that did all the mischief. When any disturbance took place on an estate, he could generally tell who the individual offenders were. He did not think there would be any serious difficulty after 1840. However, the result he thought would greatly depend on the conduct of the managers!

We met in Bath with the proprietor of a coffee estate situated a few miles in the country. He gave a very favorable account of the people on his estate; stating that they were as peaceable and industrious as he could desire, that he had their confidence, and fully expected to retain it after entire emancipation. He anticipated no trouble whatever, and he felt assured, too, that if the planters would conduct in a proper manner, emancipation would be a blessing to the whole colony.

We called on the Wesleyan missionary, whom we found the decided friend and advocate of freedom. He scrupled not to declare his sentiments respecting the special magistrate, whom he declared to be a cruel and dishonest man. He seemed to take delight in flogging the apprentices. He had got a whipping machine made and erected in front of the Episcopal church in the village of Bath. It was a frame of a triangular shape, the base of which rested firmly on the ground, and having a perpendicular beam from the base to the apex or angle. To this beam the apprentice's body was lashed, with his face towards the machine, and his arms extended at right angles, and tied by the wrists. The missionary had witnessed the floggings at this machine repeatedly, as it stood but a few steps from his house. Before we reached Bath, the machine had been removed from its conspicuous place and concealed in the bushes, that the governor might not see it when he visited the village.

As this missionary had been for several years laboring in the island, and had enjoyed the best opportunities to become extensively acquainted with the negroes, we solicited from him a written answer to a number of inquiries. We make some extracts from his communication.

1. Have the facilities for missionary effort greatly increased since the abolition of slavery?

The opportunities of the apprentices to attend the means of grace are greater than during absolute slavery. They have now one day and a half every week to work for their support, leaving the Sabbath free to worship God.

2. Do you anticipate that these facilities will increase still more after entire freedom?

Yes. The people will then have six days of their own to labor for their bread, and will be at liberty to go to the house of God every Sabbath. Under the present system, the magistrate often takes away the Saturday, as a punishment, and then they must either work on the Sabbath or starve.

3. Are the negroes likely to revenge by violence the wrongs which they have suffered, after they obtain their freedom?

I never heard the idea suggested, nor should I have thought of it had you not made the inquiry.

We called on Mr. Rogers, the teacher of a Mico charity infant school in Bath. Mr. R., his wife and daughter, are all engaged in this work. They have a day school, and evening school three evenings in the week, and Sabbath school twice each Sabbath. The evening schools are for the benefit of the adult apprentices, who manifest the greatest eagerness to learn to read. After working all day, they will come several miles to school, and stay cheerfully till nine o'clock.

Mr. R. furnished us with a written communication, from which we extract the following.

Quest. Are the apprentices desirous of being instructed?

Ans. Most assuredly they are; in proof of which I would observe that since our establishment in Bath, the people not only attend the schools regularly, but if they obtain a leaf of a book with letters upon it, that is their constant companion. We have found mothers with their sucking babes in their arms, standing night after night in their classes learning the alphabet.

Q. Are the negroes grateful for attentions and favors?

A. They are; I have met some who have been so much affected by acts of kindness, that they have burst into tears, exclaiming, 'Massa so kind--my heart full.' Their affection to their teachers is very remarkable. On my return lately from Kingston, after a temporary absence, the negroes flocked to our residence and surrounded the chaise, saying, 'We glad to see massa again; we glad to see school massa.' On my way through an estate some time ago, some of the children observed me, and in a transport of joy cried, 'Thank God, massa come again! Bless God de Savior, massa come again!'

Mr. R., said he, casually met with an apprentice whose master had lately died. The man was in the habit of visiting his master's grave every Saturday. He said to Mr. R., "Me go to massa grave, and de water come into me yeye; but me can't help it, massa, de water will come into me yeye."

The Wesleyan missionary told us, that two apprentices, an aged man and his daughter, a young woman, had been brought up by their master before the special magistrate who sentenced them to several days confinement in the house of correction at Morant Bay and to dance the treadmill. When the sentence was passed the daughter entreated that she might be allowed to do her father's part, as well as her own, on the treadmill, for he was too old to dance the wheel--it would kill him.

From Bath we went into the Plantain Garden River Valley, one of the richest and most beautiful savannahs in the island. It is an extensive plain, from one to three miles wide, and about six miles long. The Plantain Garden River, a small stream, winds through the midst of the valley lengthwise, emptying into the sea. Passing through the valley, we went a few miles south of it to call on Alexander Barclay, Esq., to whom we had a letter of introduction. Mr. Barclay is a prominent member of the assembly, and an attorney for eight estates. He made himself somewhat distinguished a few years ago by writing an octavo volume of five hundred pages in defence of the colonies, i.e., in defence of colonial slavery. It was a reply to Stephen's masterly work against West India slavery, and was considered by the Jamaicans a triumphant vindication of their "peculiar institutions." We went several miles out of our route expressly to have an interview with so zealous and celebrated a champion of slavery. We were received with marked courtesy by Mr. B., who constrained us to spend a day and night with him at his seat at Fairfield. One of the first objects that met our eye in Mr. B.'s dining hall was a splendid piece of silver plate, which was presented to him by the planters of St. Thomas in the East, in consideration of his able defence of colonial slavery. We were favorably impressed with Mr. B.'s intelligence, and somewhat so with his present sentiments respecting slavery. We gathered from him that he had resisted with all his might the anti-slavery measures of the English government, and exerted every power to prevent the introduction of the apprenticeship system. After he saw that slavery would inevitably be abolished, he drew up at length a plan of emancipation according to which the condition of the slave was to be commuted into that of the old English villein--he was to be made an appendage to the soil instead of the "chattel personal" of the master, the whip was to be partially abolished, a modicum of wages was to be allowed the slave, and so on. There was to be no fixed period when this system would terminate, but it was to fade gradually and imperceptibly into entire freedom. He presented a copy of his scheme to the then governor, the Earl of Mulgrave, requesting that it might be forwarded to the home government. Mr. B. said that the anti-slavery party in England had acted from the blind impulses of religious fanaticism, and had precipitated to its issue a work which required many years of silent preparation in order to its safe accomplishment. He intimated that the management of abolition ought to have been left with the colonists; they had been the long experienced managers of slavery, and they were the only men qualified to superintend its burial, and give it a decent interment.

He did not think that the apprenticeship afforded any clue to the dark mystery of 1840. Apprenticeship was so inconsiderably different from slavery, that it furnished no more satisfactory data for judging of the results of entire freedom than slavery itself. Neither would he consent to be comforted by the actual results of emancipation in Antigua.

Taking leave of Mr. Barclay, we returned to the Plantain Garden River Valley, and called at the Golden Grove, one of the most splendid estates in that magnificent district. This is an estate of two thousand acres; it has five hundred apprentices and one hundred free children. The average annual crop is six hundred hogsheads of sugar. Thomas McCornock, Esq., the attorney of this estate, is the custos, or chief magistrate of the parish, and colonel of the parish militia. There is no man in all the parish of greater consequence, either in fact or in seeming self-estimation, than Thomas McCornock, Esq. He is a Scotchman, as is also Mr. Barclay. The custos received us with as much freedom as the dignity of his numerous offices would admit of. The overseer, (manager,) Mr. Duncan, is an intelligent, active, business man, and on any other estate than Golden Grove, would doubtless be a personage of considerable distinction. He conducted us through the numerous buildings, from the boiling-house to the pig-stye. The principal complaint of the overseer, was that he could not make the people work to any good purpose. They were not at all refractory or disobedient; there was no difficulty in getting them on to the field; but when they were there, they moved without any life or energy. They took no interest in their work, and he was obliged to be watching and scolding them all the time, or else they would do nothing. We had not gone many steps after this observation, before we met with a practical illustration of it. A number of the apprentices had been ordered that morning to cart away some dirt to a particular place. When we approached them, Mr. D. found that one of the "wains" was standing idle. He inquired of the driver why he was keeping the team idle. The reply was, that there was nothing there for it to do; there were enough other wains to carry away all the dirt. "Then," inquired the overseer with an ill-concealed irritation, "why did not go to some other work?" The overseer then turned to us and said, "You see, sir, what lazy dogs the apprentices are--this is the way they do every day, if they are not closely watched." It was not long after this little incident, before the overseer remarked that the apprentices worked very well during their own time, when they were paid for it. When we went into the hospital, Mr. D. directed out attention to one fact, which to him was very provoking. A great portion of the patients that come in during the week, unable to work, are in the habit of getting well on Friday evening, so that they can go out on Saturday and Sunday; but on Monday morning they are sure to be sick again, then they return to the hospital and remain very poorly till Friday evening, when they get well all at once, and ask permission to go out. The overseer saw into the trick; but he could find no medicine that could cure the negroes of that intermittent sickness. The Antigua planters discovered the remedy for it, and doubtless Mr. D. will make the grand discovery in 1840.

On returning to the "great house," we found the custos sitting in state, ready to communicate any official information which might be called for. He expressed similar sentiments in the main, with those of Mr. Barclay. He feared for the consequences of complete emancipation; the negroes would to a great extent abandon the sugar cultivation and retire to the woods, there to live in idleness, planting merely yams enough to keep them alive, and in the process of time, retrograding into African barbarism. The attorney did not see how it was possible to prevent this. When asked whether he expected that such would be the case with the negroes on Golden Grove, he replied that he did not think it would, except with a very few persons. His people had been so well treated, and had so many comforts, that they would not be at all likely to abandon the estate! [Mark that!] Whose are the people that will desert after 1840? Not Thomas McCornock's, Esq.! They are too well situated. Whose then will desert? Mr. Jocken's, or in other words, those who are ill-treated, who are cruelly driven, whose fences are broken down, and whose provision grounds are exposed to the cattle. They, and they alone, will retire to the woods who can't get food any where else!

The custos thought the apprentices were behaving very ill. On being asked if he had any trouble with his, he said, O, no! his apprentices did quite well, and so did the apprentices generally, in the Plantain Garden River Valley. But in far off parishes, he heard that they were very refractory and troublesome.

The custos testified that the negroes were very easily managed. He said he had often thought that he would rather have the charge of six hundred negroes, than of two hundred English sailors. He spoke also of the temperate habits of the negroes. He had been in the island twenty-two years, and he had never seen a negro woman drunk, on the estate. It was very seldom that the men got drunk. There were not more than ten men on Golden Grove, out of a population of five hundred, who were in the habit of occasionally getting intoxicated. He also remarked that the negroes were a remarkable people for their attention to the old and infirm among them; they seldom suffered them to want, if it was in their power to supply them. Among other remarks of the custos, was this sweeping declaration--"No man in his senses can pretend to defend slavery."

After spending a day at Golden Grove, we proceeded to the adjacent estate of Amity Hall. On entering the residence of the manager, Mr. Kirkland, we were most gratefully surprised to find him engaged in family prayers. It was the first time and the last that we heard the voice of prayer in a Jamaican planter's house. We were no less gratefully surprised to see a white lady, to whom we were introduced as Mrs. Kirkland, and several modest and lovely little children. It was the first and the last family circle that we were permitted to see among the planters of that licentious colony. The motley group of colored children--of every age from tender infancy--which we found on other estates, revealed the state of domestic manners among the planters.

Mr. K. regarded the abolition of slavery as a great blessing to the colony; it was true that the apprenticeship was a wretchedly bad system, but notwithstanding, things moved smoothly on his estate. He informed us that the negroes on Amity Hall had formerly borne the character of being the worst gang in the parish; and when he first came to the estate, he found that half the truth had not been told of them; but they had become remarkably peaceable and subordinate. It was his policy to give them every comfort that he possibly could. Mr. K. made the same declaration, which has been so often repeated in the course of this narrative, i.e., that if any of the estates were abandoned, it would be owing to the harsh treatment of the people. He knew many overseers and book-keepers who were cruel driving men, and he should not be surprised if they lost a part, or all, of their laborers. He made one remark which we had not heard before. There were some estates, he said, which would probably be abandoned, for the same reason that they ought never to have been cultivated, because they require almost double labor;--such are the mountainous estates and barren, worn-out properties, which nothing but a system of forced labor could possibly retain in cultivation. But the idea that the negroes generally would leave their comfortable homes, and various privileges on the estates, and retire to the wild woods, he ridiculed as preposterous in the extreme. Mr. K. declared repeatedly that he could not look forward to 1840, but with the most sanguine hopes; he confidently believed that the introduction of complete freedom would be the regeneration of the island. He alluded to the memorable declaration of Lord Belmore, (made memorable by the excitement which it caused among the colonists,) in his valedictory address to the assembly, on the eve of his departure for England.[A] "Gentlemen," said he, "the resources of this noble island will never be fully developed until slavery is abolished!" For this manly avowal the assembly ignobly refused him the usual marks of respect and honor at his departure. Mr. K. expected to see Jamaica become a new world under the enterprise and energies of freedom. There were a few disaffected planters, who would probably remain so, and leave the islands after emancipation. It would be a blessing to the country if such men left it, for as long as they were disaffected, they were the enemies of its prosperity.

[Footnote A: Lord Belmore left the government of Jamaica, a short time before the abolition act passed in parliament.]

Mr. K. conducted us through the negro quarters, which are situated on the hill side, nearly a mile from his residence. We went into several of the houses; which were of a better style somewhat than the huts in Antigua and Barbadoes--larger, better finished and furnished. Some few of them had verandahs or porches on one or more sides, after the West India fashion, closed in with jalousies. In each of the houses to which we were admitted, there was one apartment fitted up in a very neat manner, with waxed floor, a good bedstead, and snow white coverings, a few good chairs, a mahogany sideboard, ornamented with dishes, decanters, etc.

From Amity Hall, we drove to Manchioneal, a small village ten miles north of the Plantain Garden River Valley. We had a letter to the special magistrate for that district, R. Chamberlain, Esq., a colored gentleman, and the first magistrate we found in the parish of St. Thomas in the East, who was faithful to the interests of the apprentices. He was a boarder at the public house, where we were directed for lodgings, and as we spent a few days in the village, we had opportunities of obtaining much information from him, as well as of attending some of his courts. Mr. C. had been only five months in the district of Manchioneal, having been removed thither from a distant district. Being a friend of the apprentices, he is hated and persecuted by the planters. He gave us a gloomy picture of the oppressions and cruelties of the planters. Their complaints brought before him are often of the most trivial kind; yet because he does not condemn the apprentices to receive a punishment which the most serious offences alone could justify him in inflicting, they revile and denounce him as unfit for his station. He represents the planters as not having the most distant idea that it is the province of the special magistrate to secure justice to the apprentice; but they regard it as his sole duty to help them in getting from the laborers as much work as whips, and chains, and tread-wheels can extort. His predecessor, in the Manchioneal district, answered perfectly to the planters' beau ideal. He ordered a cat to be kept on every estate in his district, to be ready for use as he went around on his weekly visits. Every week he inspected the cats, and when they became too much worn to do good execution, he condemned them, and ordered new ones to be made.

Mr. C. said the most frequent complaints made by the planters are for insolence. He gave a few specimens of what were regarded by the planters as serious offences. An overseer will say to his apprentice, "Work along there faster, you lazy villain, or I'll strike you;" the apprentice will reply, "You can't strike me now," and for this he is taken before the magistrate on the complaint of insolence. An overseer, in passing the gang on the field, will hear them singing; he will order them, in a peremptory tone to stop instantly, and if they continue singing, they are complained of for insubordination. An apprentice has been confined to the hospital with disease,--when he gets able to walk, tired of the filthy sick house, he hobbles to his hut, where he may have the attentions of his wife until he gets well. That is called absconding from labor! Where the magistrate does not happen to be an independent man, the complaint is sustained, and the poor invalid is sentenced to the treadmill for absenting himself from work. It is easy to conjecture the dreadful consequence. The apprentice, debilitated by sickness, dragged off twenty-five miles on foot to Morant Bay, mounted on the wheel, is unable to keep the step with the stronger ones, slips off and hangs by the wrists, and his flesh is mangled and torn by the wheel.

The apprentices frequently called at our lodgings to complain to Mr. C. of the hard treatment of their masters. Among the numerous distressing cases which we witnessed, we shall never forget that of a poor little negro boy, of about twelve, who presented himself one afternoon before Mr. C., with a complaint against his master for violently beating him. A gash was cut in his head, and the blood had flowed freely. He fled from his master, and came to Mr. C. for refuge. He belonged to A. Ross, Esq., of Mulatto Run estate. We remembered that we had a letter of introduction to that planter, and we had designed visiting him, but after witnessing this scene, we resolved not to go near a monster who could inflict such a wound, with his own hand, upon a child. We were highly gratified with the kind and sympathizing manner in which Mr. C. spoke with the unfortunate beings who, in the extremity of their wrongs, ventured to his door.

At the request of the magistrate we accompanied him, on one occasion, to the station-house, where he held a weekly court. We had there a good opportunity to observe the hostile feelings of the planters towards this faithful officer--"faithful among the faithless," (though we are glad that we cannot quite add, "only he.")

A number of managers, overseers, and book-keepers, assembled; some with complaints, and some to have their apprentices classified. They all set upon the magistrate like bloodhounds upon a lone stag. They strove together with one accord, to subdue his independent spirit by taunts, jeers, insults, intimidations and bullyings. He was obliged to threaten one of the overseers with arrest, on account of his abusive conduct. We were actually amazed at the intrepidity of the magistrate. We were convinced from what we saw that day, that only the most fearless and conscientious men could be faithful magistrates in Jamaica. Mr. C. assured us that he met with similar indignities every time he held his courts, and on most of the estates that he visited. It was in his power to punish them severely, but he chose to use all possible forbearance, so as not to give the planters any grounds of complaint.

On a subsequent day we accompanied Mr. C. in one of his estate visits. As it was late in the afternoon, he called at but one estate, the name of which was Williamsfield. Mr. Gordon, the overseer of Williamsfield, is among the fairest specimens of planters. He has naturally a generous disposition, which, like that of Mr. Kirkland, has out-lived the witherings of slavery.

He informed us that his people worked as well under the apprenticeship system, as ever they did during slavery; and he had every encouragement that they would do still better after they were completely free. He was satisfied that he should be able to conduct his estate at much less expense after 1840; he thought that fifty men would do as much then as a hundred do now. We may add here a similar remark of Mr. Kirkland--that forty freemen would accomplish as much as eighty slaves. Mr. Gordon hires his people on Saturdays, and he expressed his astonishment at the increased vigor with which they worked when they were to receive wages. He pointedly condemned the driving system which was resorted to by many of the planters. They foolishly endeavored to keep up the coercion of slavery, and they had the special magistrates incessantly flogging the apprentices. The planters also not unfrequently take away the provision grounds from their apprentices, and in every way oppress and harass them.

In the course of the conversation Mr. G. accidentally struck upon a fresh vein of facts, respecting the SLAVERY OF BOOK-KEEPERS,[A] under the old system. The book-keepers, said Mr. G., were the complete slaves of the overseers, who acted like despots on the estates. They were mostly young men from England, and not unfrequently had considerable refinement; but ignorant of the treatment which book-keepers had to submit to, and allured by the prospect of becoming wealthy by plantership, they came to Jamaica and entered as candidates. They soon discovered the cruel bondage in which they were involved. The overseers domineered over them, and stormed at them as violently as though they were the most abject slaves. They were allowed no privileges such as their former habits impelled them to seek. If they played a flute in the hearing of the overseer, they were commanded to be silent instantly. If they dared to put a gold ring on their finger, even that trifling pretension to gentility was detected and disallowed by the jealous overseer. (These things were specified by Mr. G. himself.) They were seldom permitted to associate with the overseers as equals. The only thing which reconciled the book-keepers to this abject state, was the reflection that they might one day possibly become overseers themselves, and then they could exercise the same authority over others. In addition to this degradation, the book-keepers suffered great hardships. Every morning (during slavery) they were obliged to be in the field before day; they had to be there as soon as the slaves, in order to call the roll, and mark absentees, if any. Often Mr. G. and the other gentleman had gone to the field, when it was so dark that they could not see to call the roll, and the negroes have all lain down on their hoes, and slept till the light broke. Sometimes there would be a thick dew on the ground, and the air was so cold and damp, that they would be completely chilled. When they were shivering on the ground, the negroes would often lend them their blankets, saying, "Poor busha pickaninny sent out here from England to die." Mr. Gordon said that his constitution had been permanently injured by such exposure. Many young men, he said, had doubtless been killed by it. During crop time, the book-keepers had to be up every night till twelve o'clock, and every other night all night, superintending the work in the boiling-house, and at the mill. They did not have rest even on the Sabbath; they must have the mill put about (set to the wind so as to grind) by sunset every Sabbath. Often the mills were in the wind before four o'clock, on Sabbath afternoon. They knew of slaves being flogged for not being on the spot by sunset, though it was known that they had been to meeting. Mr. G. said that he had a young friend who came from England with him, and acted as book-keeper. His labors and exposures were so intolerable, that he had often said to Mr. G., confidentially, that if the slaves should rise in rebellion, he would most cheerfully join them! Said Mr. G., there was great rejoicing among the book-keepers in August 1834! The abolition of slavery was EMANCIPATION TO THE BOOK-KEEPERS.

[Footnote A: The book-keepers are subordinate overseers and drivers; they are generally young white men, who after serving a course of years in a sort of apprenticeship, are promoted to managers of estates.]

No complaints were brought before Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Gordon pleasantly remarked when we arrived, that he had some cases which he should have presented if the magistrate had come a little earlier, but he presumed he should forget them before his next visit. When we left Williamsfield, Mr. C. informed us that during five months there had been but two cases of complaint on that estate--and but a single instance of punishment. Such are the results where there is a good manager and a good special magistrate.

On Sabbath we attended service in the Baptist chapel, of which Rev. Mr. Kingdon is pastor. The chapel, which is a part of Mr. K.'s dwelling-house, is situated on the summit of a high mountain which overlooks the sea. As seen from the valley below, it appears to topple on the very brink of a frightful precipice. It is reached by a winding tedious road, too rugged to admit of a chaise, and in some places so steep as to try the activity of a horse. As we approached nearer, we observed the people climbing up in throngs by various footpaths, and halting in the thick woods which skirted the chapel, the men to put on their shoes, which they had carried in their hands up the mountain, and the women to draw on their white stockings and shoes. On entering the place of worship, we found it well filled with the apprentices, who came from many miles around in every direction. The services had commenced when we arrived. We heard an excellent sermon from the devoted and pious missionary, Mr. Kingdon, whose praise is among all the good throughout the island, and who is eminently known as the negro's friend. After the sermon, we were invited to make a few remarks; and the minister briefly stated to the congregation whence we had come, and what was the object of our visit. We cannot soon forget the scene which followed. We begun by expressing, in simple terms, the interest which we felt in the temporal and spiritual concerns of the people present, and scarcely had we uttered a sentence when the whole congregation were filled with emotion. Soon they burst into tears--some sobbed, others cried aloud; insomuch that for a time we were unable to proceed. We were, indeed, not a little astonished at so unusual a scene; it was a thing which we were by no means expecting to see. Being at a loss to account for it, we inquired of Mr. K. afterwards, who told us that it was occasioned by our expressions of sympathy and regard. They were so unaccustomed to hear such language from the lips of white people, that it fell upon them like rain upon the parched earth. The idea that one who was a stranger and a foreigner should feel an interest in their welfare, was to them, in such circumstances, peculiarly affecting, and stirred the deep fountains of their hearts.

After the services, the missionary, anxious to further our objects, proposed that we should hold an interview with a number of the apprentices; and he accordingly invited fifteen of them into his study, and introduced them to us by name, stating also the estates to which they severally belonged. We had thus an opportunity of seeing the representatives of twelve different estates, men of trust on their respective estates, mostly constables and head boilers. For nearly two hours we conversed with these men, making inquiries on all points connected with slavery, the apprenticeship, and the expected emancipation.

From no interview, during our stay in the colonies, did we derive so much information respecting the real workings of the apprenticeship; from none did we gain such an insight into the character and disposition of the negroes. The company was composed of intelligent and pious men;--so manly and dignified were they in appearance, and so elevated in their sentiments, that we could with difficulty realize that they were slaves. They were wholly unreserved in their communications, though they deeply implicated their masters, the special magistrates, and others in authority. It is not improbable that they would have shrunk from some of the disclosures which they made, had they known that they would be published. Nevertheless we feel assured that in making them public, we shall not betray the informants, concealing as we do their names and the estates to which they belong.

With regard to the wrongs and hardships of the apprenticeship much as said; we can only give a small part.

Their masters were often very harsh with them, more so than when they were slaves. They could not flog them, but they would scold them, and swear at them, and call them hard names, which hurt their feelings almost as much as it would if they were to flog them. They would not allow them as many privileges as they did formerly. Sometimes they would take their provision grounds away, and sometimes they would go on their grounds and carry away provisions for their own use without paying for them, or as much as asking their leave. They had to bear this, for it was useless to complain--they could get no justice; there was no law in Manchioneal. The special magistrate would only hear the master, and would not allow the apprentices to say any thing for themselves[A]. The magistrate would do just as the busha (master) said. If he say flog him, he flog him; if he say, send him to Morant Bay, (to the treadmill,) de magistrate send him. If we happen to laugh before de busha, he complain to de magistrate, and we get licked. If we go to a friend's house, when we hungry, to get something to eat, and happen to get lost in de woods between, we are called runaways, and are punished severely. Our half Friday is taken away from us; we must give that time to busha for a little salt-fish, which was always allowed us during slavery. If we lay in bed after six o'clock, they take away our Saturday too. If we lose a little time from work, they make us pay a great deal more time. They stated, and so did several of the missionaries, that the loss of the half Friday was very serious to them; as it often rendered it impossible for them to get to meeting on Sunday. The whole work of cultivating their grounds, preparing their produce for sale, carrying it to the distant market, (Morant Bay, and sometimes further,) and returning, all this was, by the loss of the Friday afternoon, crowded into Saturday, and it was often impossible for them to get back from market before Sabbath morning; then they had to dress and go six or ten miles further to chapel, or stay away altogether, which, from weariness and worldly cares, they would be strongly tempted to do. This they represented as being a grievous thing to them. Said one of the men; in a peculiarly solemn and earnest manner, while the tears stood in his eyes, "I declare to you, massa, if de Lord spare we to be free, we be much more 'ligiours--we be wise to many more tings; we be better Christians; because den we have all de Sunday for go to meeting. But now de holy time taken up in work for we food." These words were deeply impressed upon us by the intense earnestness with which they were spoken. They revealed "the heart's own bitterness." There was also a lighting up of joy and hope in the countenance of that child of God, as he looked forward to the time when he might become wise to many more tings.

[Footnote A: We would observe, that they did not refer to Mr. Chamberlain, but to another magistrate, whose name they mentioned.]

They gave a heart-sickening account of the cruelties of the treadmill. They spoke of the apprentices having their wrists tied to the handboard, and said it was very common for them to fall and hang against the wheel. Some who had been sent to the treadmill, had actually died from the injuries they there received. They were often obliged to see their wives dragged off to Morant Bay, and tied to the treadmill, even when they were in a state of pregnancy. They suffered a great deal of misery from that; but they could not help it.

Sometimes it was a wonder to themselves how they could endure all the provocations and sufferings of the apprenticeship; it was only "by de mercy of God!"

They were asked why they did not complain to the special magistrates. They replied, that it did no good, for the magistrates would not take any notice of their complaints, besides, it made the masters treat them still worse. Said one, "We go to de magistrate to complain, and den when we come back de busha do all him can to vex us. He wingle (tease) us, and wingle us; de book-keeper curse us and treaten us; de constable he scold us, and call hard names, and dey all strive to make we mad, so we say someting wrong, and den dey take we to de magistrate for insolence." Such was the final consequence of complaining to the magistrate. We asked them why they did not complain, when they had a good magistrate who would do them justice. Their answer revealed a new fact. They were afraid to complain to a magistrate, who they knew was their friend, because their masters told them that the magistrate would soon be changed, and another would come who would flog them; and that for every time they dared to complain to the GOOD magistrate, they would be flogged when the BAD one came. They said their masters had explained it all to them long ago.

We inquired of them particularly what course they intended to take when they should become free. We requested them to speak, not only with reference to themselves, but of the apprentices generally, as far as they knew their views. They said the apprentices expected to work on the estates, if they were allowed to do so. They had no intention of leaving work. Nothing would cause them to leave their estates but bad treatment; if their masters were harsh, they would go to another estate, where they would get better treatment. They would be obliged to work when they were free; even more than now, for then they would have no other dependence.

One tried to prove to us by reasoning, that the people would work when they were free. Said he, "In slavery time we work even wid de whip, now we work 'till better--what tink we will do when we free? Won't we work den, when we get paid?" He appealed to us so earnestly, that we could not help acknowledging we were fully convinced. However, in order to establish the point still more clearly, he stated some facts, such as the following:

During slavery, it took six men to tend the coppers in boiling sugar, and it was thought that fewer could not possibly do the work; but now, since the boilers are paid for their extra time, the work is monopolized by three men. They would not have any help; they did all the work "dat dey might get all de pay."

We sounded them thoroughly on their views of law and freedom. We inquired whether they expected to be allowed to do as they pleased when they were free. On this subject they spoke very rationally. Said one, "We could never live widout de law; (we use, his very expressions) we must have some law when we free. In other countries, where dey are free, don't dey have law? Wouldn't dey shoot one another if they did not have law?" Thus they reasoned about freedom. Their chief complaint against the apprenticeship was, that it did not allow them justice. "There was no law now." They had been told by the governor, that there was the same law for all the island; but they knew better, for there was more justice done them in some districts than in others.

Some of their expressions indicated very strongly the characteristic kindness of the negro. They would say, we work now as well as we can for the sake of peace; any thing for peace. Don't want to be complained of to the magistrate; don't like to be called hard names--do any thing to keep peace. Such expressions were repeatedly made. We asked them what they thought of the domestics being emancipated in 1838, while they had to remain apprentices two years longer? They said, "it bad enough--but we know de law make it so, and for peace sake, we will be satisfy. But we murmur in we minds."

We asked what they expected to do with the old and infirm, after freedom? They said, "we will support dem--as how dey brought us up when we was pickaninny, and now we come trong, must care for dem." In such a spirit did these apprentices discourse for two hours. They won greatly upon our sympathy and respect. The touching story of their wrongs, the artless unbosoming of their hopes, their forgiving spirit toward their m