George W. Williams.

History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens online

. (page 2 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Ury. - The Sudden and Unexpected Termination of the
Trial. - New Laws more stringent toward Slaves adopted. 134


CHAPTER XIV.

THE COLONY OF MASSACHUSETTS.

1633-1775.

The Earliest Mentions of Negroes in Massachusetts. - Pequod
Indians exchanged for Negroes. - Voyage of the Slave Ship
"Desire" in 1638 - Fundamental Laws adopted. - Hereditary
Slavery - Kidnapping Negroes - Growth of Slavery in the
Seventeenth Century - Taxation of Slaves - Introduction of
Indian Slaves prohibited. - The Position of the Church
respecting the Baptism of Slaves - Slave Marriage - Condition
of Free Negroes - Phillis Wheatley the African Poetess. - Her
Life - Slavery recognized in England in Order to be
maintained in the Colonies - The Emancipation of
Slaves. - Legislation favoring the Importation of White
Servants, but prohibiting the Clandestine bringing-in of
Negroes. - Judge Sewall's Attack on Slavery. - Judge Saffin's
Reply to Judge Sewall. 172


CHAPTER XV.

THE COLONY OF MASSACHUSETTS, - CONTINUED.

1633-1775.

The Era of Prohibitory Legislation against Slavery. - Boston
instructs her Representatives to vote against the
Slave-Trade. - Proclamation issued by Gov. Dummer against the
Negroes, April 13, 1723. - Persecution of the
Negroes. - "Suing for Liberty." - Letter of Samuel Adams to
John Pickering, jun., on Behalf of Negro Memorialists. - A
Bill for the Suppression of the Slave-Trade passes. - Is
vetoed by Gov. Gage, and fails to become a Law. 220


CHAPTER XVI.

THE COLONY OF MARYLAND.

1634-1775.

Maryland under the Laws of Virginia until 1630. - First
Legislation on the Slavery Question in 1637-38 - Slavery
established by Statute in 1663 - The Discussion of
Slavery. - An Act passed encouraging the Importation of
Negroes and White Slaves in 1671. - An Act laying an Impost
on Negroes and White Servants imported into the
Colony. - Duties imposed on Rum and Wine. - Treatment of
Slaves and Papists. - Convicts imported into the Colony - An
Attempt to justify the Convict-Trade. - Spirited
Replies. - The Laws of 1723, 1729, 1752. - Rights of
Slaves - Negro Population in 1728. - Increase of Slavery in
1750 - No Efforts made to prevent the Evils of Slavery. - The
Revolution nearing. - New Life for the Negroes. 238


CHAPTER XVII.

THE COLONY OF DELAWARE.

1636-1775.

The Territory of Delaware settled in part by Swedes and
Danes, anterior to the Year 1638. - The Duke of York
transfers the Territory of Delaware to William Penn. - Penn
grants the Colony the Privilege of Separate
Government. - Slavery introduced on the Delaware as early as
1636. - Complaint against Peter Alricks for using Oxen and
Negroes belonging to the Company. - The First Legislation on
the Slavery Question in the Colony. - An Enactment of a Law
for the Better Regulation of Servants. - An Act restraining
Manumission. 249


CHAPTER XVIII.

THE COLONY OF CONNECTICUT.

1646-1775.

The Founding of Connecticut, 1631-36. - No Reliable Data
given for the Introduction of Slaves. - Negroes were first
introduced by Ship during the Early Years of the
Colony. - "Committee for Trade and Foreign
Plantations." - Interrogating the Governor as to the Number
of Negroes in the Colony in 1680. - The Legislature (1690)
passes a Law pertaining to the Purchase and Treatment of
Slaves and Free Persons. - An Act passed by the General Court
in 1711, requiring Persons manumitting Slaves to maintain
them. - Regulating the Social Conduct of Slaves in 1723. - The
Punishment of Negro, Indian, and Mulatto Slaves, for the Use
of Profane Language, in 1630. - Lawfulness of Indian and
Negro Slavery recognized by Code, Sept. 5, 1646. - Limited
Rights of Free Negroes in the Colony. - Negro Population in
1762. - Act against Importation of Slaves, 1774. 252


CHAPTER XIX.

THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND.

1647-1775.

Colonial Government in Rhode Island, May, 1647. - An Act
passed to abolish Slavery in 1652, but was never
enforced. - An Act specifying what Times Indian and Negro
Slaves should not appear in the Streets. - An Impost-Tax on
Slaves (1708). - Penalties imposed on Disobedient
Slaves. - Anti Slavery Sentiment in the Colonies receives
Little Encouragement. - Circular Letter from the Board of
Trade to the Governor of the English Colonies, relative to
Negro Slaves. - Governor Cranston's Reply. - List of
Militia-Men, including White and black Servants. - Another
Letter from the Board of Trade. - An Act preventing
Clandestine Importations and Exportations of Passengers,
Negroes, or Indian Slaves. - Masters of Vessels required to
report the Names and Number of Passengers to the
Governor. - Violation of the Impost-Tax Law on Slaves
punished by Severe Penalties. - Appropriation by the General
Assembly, July 5, 1715, from the Fund derived from the
Impost Tax, for the paving of the Streets of Newport. - An
Act passed disposing of the Money raised by
Impost-Tax. - Impost-Law repealed, May, 1732. - An Act
relating to freeing Mulatto and Negro Slaves passed 1728 - An
Act passed preventing Masters of Vessels from carrying
Slaves out of the Colony, June 17, 1757. - Eve of the
Revolution. - An Act prohibiting Importation of Negroes into
the Colony in 1774. - The Population of Rhode Island in 1730
and 1774. 262


CHAPTER XX.

THE COLONY OF NEW JERSEY.

1664-1775.

New Jersey passes into the Hands of the English. - Political
Powers conveyed to Berkeley and Carteret. - Legislation on
the Subject of Slavery during the Eighteenth Century. - The
Colony divided into East and West Jersey. - Separate
Governments. - An Act concerning Slavery by the Legislature
of East Jersey. - General Apprehension respecting the rising
of Negro and Indian Slaves. - East and West Jersey surrender
their Rights of Government to the Queen. - An Act for
regulating the Conduct of Slaves. - Impost-Tax of Ten Pounds
levied upon each Negro imported into the Colony. - The
General Court passes a Law regulating the Trial of
Slaves. - Negroes ruled out of the Militia Establishment upon
Condition. - Population of the Jerseys in 1738 and 1745. 282


CHAPTER XXI.

THE COLONY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

1665-1775.

The Carolinas receive two Different Charters from the Crown
of Great Britain. - Era of Slavery Legislation. - Law
establishing Slavery. - The Slave Population of this Province
regarded as Chattel Property. - Trial of Slaves. - Increase of
Slave Population. - The Increase in the Rice-Trade. - Severe
Laws regulating the Private and Public Conduct of
Slaves. - Punishment of Slaves for running away. - The Life of
Slaves regarded as of Little Consequence by the Violent
Master Class. - An Act empowering two Justices of the Peace
to investigate Treatment of Slaves. - An Act prohibiting the
Overworking of Slaves. - Slave-Market at
Charleston. - Insurrection. - A Law authorizing the carrying
of Fire-Arms among the Whites. - The Enlistment of Slaves to
serve in Time of Alarm. - Negroes admitted to the Militia
Service. - Compensation to Masters for the Loss of Slaves
killed by the Enemy or who desert. - Few Slaves
manumitted. - From 1754-76, Little Legislation on the Subject
of Slavery. - Threatening War between England and her
Provincial Dependencies. - The Effect upon Public Sentiment. 289


CHAPTER XXII.

THE COLONY OF NORTH CAROLINA.

1669-1775.

The Geographical Situation of North Carolina favorable to
the Slave-Trade. - The Locke Constitution adopted. - William
Sayle commissioned Governor. - Legislative Career of the
Colony. - The Introduction of the Established Church of
England into the Colony. - The Rights of Negroes controlled
absolutely by their Masters. - An Act respecting
Conspiracies. - The Wrath of Ill-natured Whites visited upon
their Slaves. - An Act against the Emancipation of
Slaves. - Limited Rights of Free Negroes. 302


CHAPTER XXIII.

THE COLONY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.

1679-1775.

The Provincial Government of Massachusetts exercises
Authority over the State of New Hampshire at its
Organization. - Slavery existed from the Beginning. - The
Governor releases a Slave from Bondage. - Instruction against
Importation of Slaves. - Several Acts regulating the Conduct
of Servants. - The Indifferent Treatment of Slaves. - The
Importation of Indian Servants forbidden. - An Act checking
the Severe Treatment of Servants and Slaves. - Slaves in the
Colony until the Commencement of Hostilities. 309


CHAPTER XXIV.

THE COLONY OF PENNSYLVANIA.

1681-1775.

Organization of the Government of Pennsylvania. - The Swedes
and Dutch plant Settlements on the Western Bank of the
Delaware River. - The Governor of New York seeks to exercise
Jurisdiction over the Territory of Pennsylvania. - The First
Laws agreed upon in England. - Provisions of the
Law. - Memorial against Slavery draughted and adopted by the
Germantown Friends. - William Penn presents a Bill for the
Better Regulation of Servants. - An Act preventing the
Importation of Negroes and Indians. - Rights of Negroes. - A
Duty laid upon Negroes and Mulatto Slaves. - The Quaker the
Friend of the Negro. - England begins to threaten her
Dependencies in North America. - The People of Pennsylvania
reflect upon the Probable Outrages their Negroes might
commit. 312


CHAPTER XXV.

THE COLONY OF GEORGIA.

1732-1775.

Georgia once included in the Territory of Carolina. - The
Thirteenth Colony planted in North America by the English
Government. - Slaves ruled out altogether by the
Trustees. - The Opinion of Gen. Oglethorpe concerning
Slavery. - Long and Bitter Discussion in Regard to the
Admission of Slavery into the Colony. - Slavery
introduced. - History of Slavery in Georgia. 316

* * * * *

Part III.

_THE NEGRO DURING THE REVOLUTION_.


CHAPTER XXVI.

MILITARY EMPLOYMENT OF NEGROES.

1775-1780.

The Colonial States in 1715. - Ratification of the
Non-Importation Act by the Southern Colonies. - George
Washington presents Resolutions against Slavery, in a
Meeting at Fairfax Court-House, Va. - Letter written by
Benjamin Franklin to Dean Woodward, pertaining to
Slavery. - Letter to the Freemen of Virginia from a
Committee, concerning the Slaves brought from
Jamaica. - Severe Treatment of Slaves in the Colonies
modified. - Advertisement in "The Boston Gazette" of the
Runaway Slave Crispus Attucks. - The Boston Massacre. - Its
Results. - Crispus Attucks shows his Loyalty. - His Spirited
Letter to the Tory Governor of the Province. - Slaves
admitted into the Army. - The Condition of the Continental
Army. - Spirited Debate in the Continental Congress, over the
Draught of a Letter to Gen. Washington. - Instructions to
discharge all Slaves and Free Negroes in his Army. - Minutes
of the Meeting held at Cambridge. - Lord Dunmore's
Proclamation. - Prejudice in the Southern Colonies. - Negroes
in Virginia flock to the British Army. - Caution to the
Negroes printed in a Williamsburg Paper. - The Virginia
Convention answers the Proclamation of Lord Dunmore. - Gen.
Greene, in a Letter to Gen. Washington, calls Attention to
the raising of a Negro Regiment on Staten Island. - Letter
from a Hessian Officer. - Connecticut Legislature on the
Subject of Employment of Negroes as Soldiers. - Gen. Varnum's
Letter to Gen. Washington, suggesting the Employment of
Negroes, sent to Gov. Cooke. - The Governor refers Varnum's
Letter to the General Assembly. - Minority Protest against
enlisting Slaves to serve in the Army. - Massachusetts tries
to secure Legal Enlistments of Negro Troops. - Letter of
Thomas Kench to the Council and House of Representatives,
Boston, Mass. - Negroes serve in White Organizations until
the Close of the American Revolution. - Negro Soldiers serve
in Virginia. - Maryland employs Negroes. - New York passes an
Act providing for the Raising of two Colored Regiments. - War
in the Middle and Southern Colonies. - Hamilton's Letter to
John Jay. - Col. Laurens's Efforts to raise Negro Troops in
South Carolina. - Proclamation of Sir Henry Clinton inducing
Negroes to desert the Rebel Army. - Lord Cornwallis issues a
Proclamation offering Protection to all Negroes seeking his
Command, - Col. Laurens is called to France on Important
Business. - His Plan for securing Black Levies for the South
upon his Return. - His Letters to Gen. Washington in Regard
to his Fruitless Plans. - Capt David Humphreys recruits a
Company of Colored Infantry in Connecticut. - Return of
Negroes in the Army in 1778. 324


CHAPTER XXVII.

NEGROES AS SOLDIERS.

1775-1783.

The Negro as a Soldier. - Battle of Bunker Hill - Gallantry of
Negro Soldiers. - Peter Salem, the Intrepid Black
Soldier. - Bunker-hill Monument. - The Negro Salem Poor
distinguishes himself by Deeds of Desperate Valor. - Capture
of Gen. Lee. - Capture of Gen. Prescott - Battle of Rhode
Island. - Col. Greene commands a Negro Regiment. - Murder of
Col. Greene in 1781. - The Valor of the Negro Soldiers. 363


CHAPTER XXVIII.

LEGAL STATUS OF THE NEGRO DURING THE REVOLUTION

1775-1783.

The Negro was Chattel or Real Property. - His Legal Status
during his New Relation as a Soldier - Resolution introduced
in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to prevent the
selling of Two Negroes captured upon the High Seas - The
Continental Congress appoints a Committee to consider what
should be done with Negroes taken by Vessels of War in the
Service of the United Colonies. - Confederation of the New
States. - Spirited Debate in Congress respecting the Disposal
of Recaptures. - The Spanish Ship "Victoria" captures an
English Vessel having on Board Thirty-four Negroes taken
from South Carolina. - The Negroes recaptured by Vessels
belonging to the State of Massachusetts. - They are delivered
to Thomas Knox, and conveyed to Castle Island. - Col. Paul
Revere has Charge of the Slaves on Castle
Island - Massachusetts passes a Law providing for the
Security, Support, and Exchange of Prisoners brought into
the State. - Gen Hancock receives a Letter from the Governor
of South Carolina respecting the Detention of Negroes - In
the Provincial Articles between the United States of America
and His Britannic Majesty, Negroes were rated as
Property. - And also in the Definite Treaty of Peace between
the United States of America and His Britannic Majesty. - And
also in the Treaty of Peace of 1814, between His Britannic
Majesty and the United States, Negroes were designated as
Property. - Gen. Washington's Letter to Brig-Gen Rufus Putnam
in regard to a Negro in his Regiment claimed by Mr.
Hobby. - Enlistment in the Army did not always work a
Practical Emancipation. 370


CHAPTER XXIX.

THE NEGRO INTELLECT. - BANNEKER THE ASTRONOMER. - FULLER THE
MATHEMATICIAN. - DERHAM THE PHYSICIAN.

Statutory Prohibition against the Education of
Negroes. - Benjamin Banneker, the Negro Astronomer and
Philosopher. - His Antecedents - Young Banneker as a Farmer
and Inventor - The Mills of Ellicott & Co. - Banneker
cultivates his Mechanical Genius and Mathematical
Tastes. - Banneker's first Calculation of an Eclipse
submitted for Inspection in 1789. - His Letter to Mr
Ellicott. - The Testimony of a Personal Acquaintance of
Banneker as to his Upright Character. - His Home becomes a
Place of Interest to Visitors. - Record of his Business
Transactions. - Mrs. Mason's Visit to him. - She addresses him
in Verse. - Banneker replies by Letter to her. - Prepares his
First Almanac for Publication in 1792. - Title of his
Almanac - Banneker's Letter to Thomas Jefferson. - Thomas
Jefferson's Reply. - Banneker invited to accompany the
Commissioners to run the Lines of the District of
Columbia. - Banneker's Habits of studying the Heavenly
Bodies. - Minute Description given to his Sisters in
Reference to the Disposition of his Personal Property after
Death. - His Death. - Regarded as the most Distinguished Negro
of his Time. - Fuller the Mathematician, or "The Virginia
Calculator." - Fuller of African Birth, but stolen and sold
as a Slave into Virginia. - Visited by Men of Learning. - He
was pronounced to be a Prodigy in the Manipulation of
Figures. - His Death. - Derham the Physician. - Science of
Medicine regarded as the most Intricate Pursuit of
Man. - Early Life of James Derham. - His Knowledge of
Medicine, how acquired. - He becomes a Prominent Physician in
New Orleans. - Dr. Rush gives an Account of an Interview with
him. - What the Negro Race produced by their Genius in
America. 385


CHAPTER XXX.

SLAVERY DURING THE REVOLUTION.

1775-1783.

Progress of the Slave-Trade. - A Great War for the
Emancipation of the Colonies from Political
Bondage. - Condition of the Southern States during the
War. - The Virginia Declaration of Rights. - Immediate
Legislation against Slavery demanded. - Advertisement from
"The Independent Chronicle." - Petition of Massachusetts
Slaves. - An Act preventing the Practice of holding Persons
in Slavery. - Advertisements from "The Continental
Journal." - A Law passed in Virginia limiting the Rights of
Slaves. - Law emancipating all Slaves who served in the
Army. - New York promises her Negro Soldiers Freedom. - A
Conscientious Minority in Favor of the Abolition of the
Slave-Trade. - Slavery flourishes during the Entire
Revolutionary Period. 402


CHAPTER XXXI.

SLAVERY AS A POLITICAL AND LEGAL PROBLEM.

1775-1800.

British Colonies in North America declare their
Independence. - A New Government established. - Slavery the
Bane of American Civilization. - The Tory Party accept the
Doctrine of Property in Man. - The Doctrine of the Locke
Constitution in the South. - The Whig Party the Dominant
Political Organization in the Northern States. - Slavery
recognized under the New Government. - Anti Slavery Agitation
in the States. - Attempted Legislation against
Slavery. - Articles of Confederation. - Then Adoption in
1778. - Discussion concerning the Disposal of the Western
Territory. - Mr. Jefferson's Recommendation. - Amendment by
Mr. Spaight. - Congress in New York in 1787. - Discussion
respecting the Government of the Western
Territory. - Convention at Philadelphia to frame the Federal
Constitution. - Proceedings of the Convention. - The Southern
States still advocate Slavery. - Speeches on the Slavery
Question by Leading Statesmen. - Constitution adopted by the
Convention in 1787. - First Session of Congress under the
Federal Constitution held in New York in 1789. - The
Introduction of a Tariff-Bill. - An Attempt to amend it by
inserting a Clause levying a Tax on Slaves brought by
Water. - Extinction of Slavery in Massachusetts. - A Change in
the Public Opinion of the Middle and Eastern States on the
Subject of Slavery. - Dr. Benjamin Franklin's Address to the
Public for promoting the Abolition of Slavery. - Memorial to
the United-States Congress. - Congress in 1790. - Bitter
Discussion on the Restriction of the
Slave-Trade. - Slave-Population. - Vermont and Kentucky
admitted into the Union. - A Law providing for the Return of
Fugitives from "Labor and Service." - Convention of Friends
held in Philadelphia. - An Act against the Foreign
Slave-Trade. - Mississippi Territory. - Constitution of
Georgia revised. - New York passes a Bill for the Gradual
Extinction of Slavery. - Constitution of Kentucky
revised. - Slavery as an Institution firmly established. 412




HISTORY OF THE NEGRO RACE IN AMERICA.


Part I.


_PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS._




CHAPTER I.

THE UNITY OF MANKIND.

THE BIBLICAL ARGUMENT. - ONE RACE AND ONE LANGUAGE. - ONE
BLOOD. - THE CURSE OF CANAAN.


During the last half-century, many writers on ethnology, anthropology,
and slavery have strenuously striven to place the Negro outside of the
human family; and the disciples of these teachers have endeavored to
justify their views by the most dehumanizing treatment of the Negro.
But, fortunately for the Negro and for humanity at large, we live now
in an epoch when race malice and sectional hate are disappearing
beneath the horizon of a brighter and better future. The Negro in
America is free. He is now an acknowledged factor in the affairs of
the continent; and no community, state, or government, in this period
of the world's history, can afford to be indifferent to his moral,
social, intellectual, or political well-being.

It is proposed, in the first place, to call the attention to the
absurd charge that the Negro does not belong to the human family.
Happily, there are few left upon the face of the earth who still
maintain this belief.

In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis it is clearly stated that
"God created man," "male and female created he them;"[1] that "the
Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul;"[2] and
that "the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden
to dress it and to keep it."[3] It is noticeable that the sacred
historian, in every reference to Adam, speaks of him as "_man_;" and
that the divine injunction to them was, - Adam and Eve, - "Be fruitful,
and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and
over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."[4] As among the
animals, so here in the higher order, there were two, - a pair, - "male
and female," of the human species. We may begin with man, and run down
the scale, and we are sure to find two of a kind, "male and female."
This was the divine order. But they were to "be fruitful," were to
"replenish the earth." That they did "multiply," we have the
trustworthy testimony of God; and it was true that man and beast, fowl
and fish, increased. We read that after their expulsion from the
Garden of Eden, Eve bore Adam a family. Cain and Abel; and that they
"peopled the earth."

After a number of years we find that wickedness increased in the
earth; so much so that the Lord was provoked to destroy the earth with
a flood, with the exception of Noah, his wife, his three sons and
their wives, - eight souls in all.[5] Of the animals, two of each kind
were saved.

But the most interesting portion of Bible history comes after the
Flood. We then have the history of the confusion of tongues, and the
subsequent and consequent dispersion of mankind. In the eleventh
chapter and first verse of Genesis it is recorded: "_And the_ WHOLE
EARTH _was of_ ONE LANGUAGE, _and of_ ONE SPEECH." "The whole earth"
here means all the inhabitants of the earth, - all mankind. The medium
of communication was common. Everybody used one language. In the sixth
verse occurs this remarkable language: "And the Lord said, Behold, the
people is _one_, and they have all _one_ language." Attention is
called to this verse, because we have here the testimony of the Lord
that "the people is _one_," and that the language of the people is
one. This verse establishes two very important facts; i.e., there was