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

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Online LibraryGeorge W. WilliamsHistory of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens → online text (page 54 of 57)
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socially, and religiously, and the deadly climate to foreigners, make
it indeed a hard field to cultivate. I am fully prepared to indorse
what Rev. F. Fletcher, in charge of Wesleyan District, Gold Coast,
wrote a few months ago in the following language: "The Lord's work in
western Africa is as wonderful as it is deadly. In the last forty
years more than 120 missionaries have fallen victims to that climate;
but to-day the converts to Christianity number at least 30,000, many
of whom are true Christians. In this district we have 6,000 church
members, and though they are poor, last year they gave over 5,000
dollars for evangelistic and educational work.

"_Sherbro Mission_ now has four stations and chapels and over forty
appointments, 112 church members, 164 seekers of religion, 75 acres of
clear land, with carpenter, blacksmith, and tailor shops, in and upon
which, twenty five boys are taught to labor, and where eleven girls
are taught to do all ordinary house work and sewing, with its four day
and Sunday schools, 212 in the former and more than that number in the
latter, and with an influence for good that now reaches the whole
Sherbro tribe, embracing a country at least fifty miles square and
containing about 15,000 people. The seed sown is taking deep root
there, and the harvest is rapidly ripening, when thousands of souls
will be garnered for heaven. Surely we ought to thank God for past
success and resolve to do much more for that needy country in the

"We now have Revs. Corner, Wilberforce, Evans, and their wives, all
excellent missionaries, from America; then Revs. Sawyer, Hero, Pratt,
and their wives, Mrs. Lucy Caulker, and other native laborers, all of
whom are doing us good service. With these six ordained ministers, and
twice that number of teachers and helpers, who are devoting all their
time to the mission, the work is going forward gloriously. Still,
there should be new stations opened and more laborers sent out


[648] Asiatic Researches, vol. iii. pp. 4, 5.

[649] Twenty fifth Annual Report, United Brethren, 1881.

* * * * *

Part II




The following memorandum in Judge Sewall's letter book was called
forth by Samuel Smith, murderer of his Negro slave at Sandwich. It
illustrates the deplorable condition of servants at that time in
Massachusetts, and shows Judge Sewall to have been a man of great

"The poorest Boys and Girls in this Province, such as are of
the lowest Condition; whether they be English, or Indians,
or Ethiopians: They have the same Right to Religion and
Life, that the Richest Heirs have.

"And they who go about to deprive them of this Right, they
attempt the bombarding of HEAVEN, and the Shells they throw,
will fall down upon their own heads.

"Mr. Justice Davenport, Sir, upon your desire, I have sent
you these _Quotations_, and my _own Sentiment_. I pray GOD,
the Giver and Guardian of Life, to give his gracious
Direction to you, and the other Justices, and take leave,
who am your brother and most humble servant,


"BOSTON, July 20, 1719.

"I inclosed also the _selling of Joseph_, and my Extract out
of the _Athenian Oracle_.

"To Addington Davenport, Esq., etc., going to Judge Sam'l
Smith of Sandwitch, for killing his Negro."[650]

_Petition of Slaves in Boston_.

On the 23d of June, 1773, the following petition was presented to the
General Court of Massachusetts, which was read, and referred to the
next session: -



_To His Excellency, Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., Governor_ -

"To the Honorable, His Majesty's Council, and to the
Honorable House of Representatives, in general court
assembled at Boston, the 6th day of January, 1773: - The
humble petition of many slaves living in the town of Boston,
and other towns in the province, is this, namely: -

That Your Excellency and Honors, and the Honorable the
Representatives, would be pleased to take their unhappy
state and condition under your wise and just consideration.

We desire to bless God, who loves mankind, who sent his Son
to die for their salvation, and who is no respecter of
persons, that he hath lately put it into the hearts of
multitudes, on both sides of the water, to bear our
burthens, some of whom are men of great note and influence,
who have pleaded our cause with arguments, which we hope
will have their weight with this Honorable Court.

We presume not to dictate to Your Excellency and Honors,
being willing to rest our cause on your humanity and
justice, yet would beg leave to say a word or two on the

Although some of the negroes are vicious, (who, doubtless,
may be punished and restrained by the same laws which are in
force against others of the King's subjects,) there are many
others of a quite different character, and who, if made
free, would soon be able, as well as willing, to bear a part
in the public charges. Many of them, of good natural parts,
are discreet, sober, honest and industrious; and may it not
be said of many, that they are virtuous and religious,
although their condition is in itself so unfriendly to
religion, and every moral virtue, except _patience_? How
many of that number have there been and now are, in this
province, who had every day of their lives embittered with
this most intolerable reflection, that, let their behavior
be what it will, neither they nor their children, to all
generations, shall ever be able to do or to possess and
enjoy any thing - no, not even _life itself_ - but in a manner
as the _beasts_ that perish!

We have no property! we have no wives! we have no children!
we have no city! no country! But we have a Father in heaven,
and we are determined, as far as his grace shall enable us,
and as far as our degraded condition and contemptuous life
will admit, to keep all his commandments; especially will we
be obedient to our masters, so long as God, in his,
sovereign providence, shall _suffer_ us to be holden in

It would be impudent, if not presumptuous, in us to suggest
to Your Excellency and Honors, any law or laws proper to be
made in relation to our unhappy state, which although our
greatest unhappiness, is not our _fault_; and this gives us
great encouragement to pray and hope for such relief as is
consistent with your wisdom, justice and goodness.

We think ourselves very happy, that we may thus address the
great and general court of this province, which great and
good court is to us the best judge, under God, of what is
wise, just and good.

We humbly beg leave to add but this one thing more we pray
for such relief only, which by no possibility can ever be
productive of the least wrong or injury to our masters, but
to us will be as life from the dead.[651]


[650] Slavery in Mass., pp 96, 97.

[651] Neil, pp. 39-41.

* * * * *



1693, August 21st - All Indians, Negroes, and others not "listed in the
militia," are ordered to work on the fortification for repairing the
same, to be under the command of the captains of the wards they
inhabit. And £100 to be raised for the fortifications.

1722, February 20th. - A law passed by the common council of New York,
"restraining slaves, negroes, and Indians from gaming with moneys." If
found gaming with any sort of money, "copper pennies, copper
halfpence, or copper farthings," they shall be publickly whipped at
the publick whipping-post of this city, at the discretion of the
mayor, recorder, and aldermen, or any one of them, unless the owner
pay to the church wardens for the poor, 3s.

1731, November 18th - If more than three negro, mulatto, or Indian
slaves assemble on Sunday and play or make noise, (or at any other
time at any place from their master's service,) they are to be
publickly whipped fifteen lashes at the publick whipping-post.

* * * * *


Negro slavery, a favorite measure with England, was rapidly extending
its baneful influence in the colonies. The American Register, of 1769,
gives the number of negroes brought in slavery from the coast of
Africa, between Cape Blanco and the river Congo, by different nations
in one year, thus: Great Britain, 53,100; British Americans, 6,300;
France, 23,520; Holland, 11,300; Portugal, 1,700; Denmark, 1,200;
in all, 104,100, bought by barter for European and Indian
manufacturers, - £15 sterling being the average price given for each
negro. Thus we see that more than one half of the wretches who were
kidnapped, or torn by force from their homes by the agents of European
merchants (for such those who supply the market must be considered),
were sacrificed to the cupidity of the merchants of Great Britain; the
traffic encouraged by the government at the same time that the boast
is sounded through the world, that the moment a slave touches the
sacred soil, governed by those who encourage the slavemakers, and
inhabited by those who revel in the profits derived from murder, he is
free. Somerset, the negro, is liberated by the court of king's bench,
in 1772, and the world is filled with the fame of English justice and
humanity! James Grahame tells us that Somerset's case was not the
first in which the judges of Great Britain counteracted in one or two
cases the practical inhumanity of the government and the people: he
says, that in 1762, his grandfather, Thomas Grahame, judge of the
admiralty court of Glasgow, liberated a negro slave imported into

It was in vain that the colonists of America protested against the
practice of slave dealing. The governors appointed by England were
instructed to encourage it, and when the assemblies enacted laws to
prohibit the inhuman traffic, they were annulled by the vetoes of the
governors. With such encouragement, the reckless and avaricious among
the colonists engaged in the trade, and the slaves were purchased when
brought to the colonies by those who were blind to the evil, or
preferred present ease or profit to all future good. Paley, the
moralist, thought the American Revolution was designed by Providence,
to put an end to the slave trade, and to show that a nation
encouraging it was not fit to be intrusted with the government of
extensive colonies. But the planter of the Southern States have
discovered, since made free by that revolution, that slavery is no
evil; and better moralists than Paley, that the increase of slaves,
and their extension over new regions, is the duty of every good
democrat. The men who lived in 1773, to whom America owes her liberty,
did not think so.

Although resistance to the English policy of increasing the number of
negro slaves in America agitated many minds in the colonies,
opposition to the system of taxation was the principal source of
action; and this opposition now centered in a determination to baffle
the designs of Great Britain in respect to the duties on tea.
Seventeen millions of pounds of tea were now accumulated in the
warehouses of the East-India Company. The government was determined,
for reasons I have before given, to assist this mercantile company, as
well as the African merchants, at the expense of the colonists of
America. The East-India Company were now authorized to export their
tea free of all duty. Thus the venders being enabled to offer it
cheaper than hitherto to the colonists, it was expected that it would
find a welcome market. But the Americans saw the ultimate intent of
the whole scheme, and their disgust towards the mother country was
proportionably increased.


Abbott, Granville S., verses by, 111.

Adams, Abigail, views on slavery, 227.

Adams, John, views on slavery, 203;
letter to Jonathan Sewall on emancipation, 207.

Adams, Samuel, urges the consideration of the memorial of
Massachusetts Negroes, 234.

Adgai, see Crowther.

Africa, described, 14;
Negro tribes, 24, 25;
Negro kingdoms, 26, 28, 31;
natives engage in the slave-trade, 27;
laws, 30, 56, 57;
religion, 30, 81-84, 89, 90;
war between the different tribes, 35-39;
war with England, 41-43;
patriarchal government, 50, 54, 55;
villages described, 51, 52;
architecture, 51-53;
women reign in, 55, 56;
marriage, 57, 58;
polygamy, 58;
status of the natives, 58, 59;
warfare, 61, 62;
agriculture, 62, 63;
mechanic arts, 63-65;
languages, 66-70, 90, 459;
literature, 75-80;
colony founded at Sierra Leone, 86, 87;
and Liberia, 95, 97;
first emigrants to, 97;
republican government established, 100;
first constitution abolishing slavery in Liberia, 103-105;
weaker tribes chief source of slavery, 109, 120;
early Christianity in, 111;
earliest commerce for slaves between America and, 115;
slaves from Angola, 134;
shipload of slaves from Sierra Leone sold at Hispaniola, 138;
number of Negroes stolen from annually, 237;
slaves from, sold at Barbadoes, 259;
cities of, described, 450;
number of slaves brought from, 463.
See Negroes.

African Company, their charter abolished, 41:
see Royal African Company.

Akwasi Osai, king of Ashantee, invades Dahomey, 35;
his defeat and death, 36.

Alexander, James, volunteers to prosecute the Negroes in New York,
151, 158, 166.

Alricks, Peter, resident of New York 1657, 250.

Amasis, king of Egypt, 457.

Amenophis, king of Egypt, 458.

America, introduction of Negro slaves, 116;
colonies declare independence, 412;
slavery in, 461;
slaves imported to British America, 463.

American Colonization Society locate a colony at Monrovia, 97.

American Revolution, service of Negroes in the army of the, 324, 334,
337, 342, 353, 362;
slavery during the, 402.

Ames, Edward B., remarks in favor of the government of Liberia, 99.

Angola, Africa, slaves imported from, 134.

Anne, queen of England, encourages the slave-trade, 140.

Anti-slavery societies, memorials to Congress, 437;
convention held at Philadelphia, 438.

Apoko, Osai, king of Ashantee, 36.

Appleton, Nathaniel, defends the doctrine of freedom for all, 204;
author of "Consideration on Slavery," 218.

Apries, king of Egypt, 456.

Argall, Samuel, engaged in the slave-trade, 116, 117.

Ashantee Empire, described, 34;
wars of, 35, 37-39;
revolt in, 36;
troubles with England, 41, 42;
massacre of women, 42;
government, 44.

Asia, idols with Negro features in, 17;
traces of the race, 18.

Asychis, king of Egypt, 458.

Attucks, Crispus, advertised as a runaway slave, 330;
figures in the Boston Massacre, 330;
his death and funeral, 331;
letter to Gov. Hutchinson, 332.

Aviia, tribe in Africa, 51.

Aviro, Alfonso de, discovers Benin in Africa, 26.

Babel, the tower of, built by an Ethiopian, 453.

Babylon, description of, 454.

Bancroft, George, views on slavery, 206.

Banneker, Benjamin, astronomer and philosopher, 386;
farmer and inventor, 387;
mathematician, 388;
his first calculation of an eclipse, 389;
letter to George Ellicott, 389;
character of, 390;
his business transactions, 391;
verses addressed to, 392;
letter to Mrs. Mason, 392;
his first almanac, 393;
letter to Thomas Jefferson, 394;
accompanies commissioners to run the lines of District of Columbia,
his habits of studying the heavenly bodies, 397;
his death, 398.

Baptist missionaries in Liberia, 101.

Barbadoes, Negro slaves exchanged for Indians, 174;
a slave-market for New-England traders, 181;
Rhode Island supplied with slaves from, 269.

Barrère, Peter, treatise on the color of the skin, 19.

Barton, Col. William, captures Gen. Prescott, 366.

Bates, John, a slave-trader, 269.

Belknap, Jeremy, remarks on the slave-trials in Massachusetts, 232.

Benin, a kingdom in Africa, supplies America with slaves, 26;
discovered by the Portuguese and colonized, 26;
the king contracts to Christianize his subjects for a white wife,
the kingdom divided, and slave-trade suppressed, 28.

Berkeley, Sir William, opposed to education and printing, 132.

Bermuda Islands, slaves placed on Warwick's plantation, 118, 119;
Pequod Indians exchanged for Negroes at, 173.

Bernard, John, governor of the Bermudas, 118.

Beverley, Robert, correction of his History of Virginia, 116.

Bill, Jacob, a slave-trader, 269.

Billing, Joseph, sued by his slave Amos Newport, 229.

Blumenbach, Jean Frederic, opinion in regard to the color of the
skin, 19.

Blyden, Edward W., defines the term "Negro," 12;
president of Liberia College, 102.

Board of Trade, circular to the governors of the English colonies,
relative to Negro slaves, 267;
reply of Gov. Cranston of Rhode Island, 269.

Bolzius, Henry, favors the introduction of slavery into Georgia, 321.

Boombo, a Negro chief of Liberia, 106.

Borden, Cuff, a Negro slave in Massachusetts, sued for trespass and
ordered to be sold to satisfy judgment, 278.

Boston, a slave-trader from, 181;
Negro prohibited from employment in manufacturing hoops, 196;
number of slaves in, 205;
instructs the representatives to vote against the slave-trade, 221;
Negroes charged with firing the town, 226;
articles for the regulation of Negroes passed, 226;
massacre in, 1770, 330;
Negroes on Castle Island, 376, 378.

Bowditch, Thomas Edward, commissioner to treat with the Ashantees,

Bradley, Richard, attorney-general of New York, prosecutes the
Negroes, 166.

Bradstreet, Ann, frees her slave, 207.

Brazil, slaves sold to the Dutch, 136.

Brewster, Capt. Edward, banished by Capt. Argall, 117.

Brewster, Thomas, a slave-trader, 269.

Bristol County, Mass., a slave ordered to be sold, to satisfy
judgment against him for trespass, 278.

British army, Negroes in the, 87.

Brown, John, reproved by Virginia committee of 1775 for purchasing
slaves, 328.

Brown, Joseph, effect of climate on man, 46.

Bruce, James, discovers the ruins of the city of Meroe, 6.

Bunker Hill, Negroes in the battle of, 363.

Burgess, Ebenezer, missionary to Monrovia, 97.

Burton, Mary, testifies in the Negro plot at New York, 1741, 147,
148, 150, 158, 160, 162-164, 167, 168;
recompensed by the government, 170.

Busiris, king of Egypt, 458.

Butler, Nathaniel, commissioner for Virginia Company, 118.

Cade, Elizabeth, a witness in the Somersett case, 205.

Calanee, image of Buddha at, 17.

Caldwell, Jonas, killed at the Boston Massacre, 331.

Campbell, Sir Neill, determines the war with Ashantees, 43.

Canaan, the curse of, 444.

Canada, expedition from New York against, 143.

Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, 6.

Carey, Lot, vice-agent of Liberia, 101.

Carey, Peggy, implicated with Negro plot in New York, 1741, 147;
trial, 152;
found guilty, 152;
her evidence, 153;
sentenced to be hanged, 158.

Carr, Patrick, wounded at the Boston Massacre, 331.

Cartel, Edwin, a slave-trader, 269.

Carthage, description of, 452.

Castle Island, Boston, Negroes sent to the barracks at, 376;
list of the same, 378.

Cepharenus, king of Egypt, 458,

Ceylon, image of Buddha at, 17.

Chaillu, Paul B. Du, description of the Obongos, 46;
of the villages of Mandji and Ishogo, 51, 52.

Chambers, John, volunteers to prosecute the Negroes in New York, 151,
158, 166.

Charles V., grants a patent to import Negroes to America, 115.

Charleston, S.C., slave-market at, 299,
Negroes from, recaptured, 376;
list of, 378;
claimed by owners, 379.

Charlestown, Mass., Negro slaves executed at, in 1755, 226.

Chastellux, Marquis de, describes the bravery of Col. Greene's Negro
regiment at the battle of Rhode Island, 368.

Cheops, king of Egypt, 458.

Chibbu, Kudjoh, captured by the English, 42.

Chisholm, Major J, services in Ashantee mentioned, 41, 42.

Christy, David, describes the colony of Liberia, 107.

Cintra, Piedro de, discoverer of Sierra Leone, 85.

Clinton, Sir Henry, proclamation concerning fugitive Negroes, 1779,

Codman, John, poisoned by his slave, 226.

Coleman, Elihu, author of "Testimony against making Slaves of Men,"

Coney Island, N.Y., slave captured at, 343.

Congo Empire, Shinga queen of, 55.

Congress, see United-States Congress.

Connecticut, slavery in, 252-261;
Negro slaves introduced, 252;
number of Negroes in 1680, 253;
purchase and treatment of slaves and free persons, 253;
persons manumitting slaves, to maintain them, 254;
commerce with slaves prohibited, 255;
punishment of insubordinate slaves, 256;
social conduct regulated, 257;
punished for using profane language, 258;
number of slaves in 1730, 259;
Indian slaves prohibited, 250;
Indian and Negro slavery legalized, 259;
limited rights of free Negroes, 259;
Negro population in 1762, 260;
importation of slaves prohibited, 261;
number of slaves in 1715, 325;
enlistment of Negroes prohibited, 343;
enlisted, 345;
a Colored company recruited by David Humphreys, 361;
slave population in 1790, 436.

Continental army, condition of the, 334;
Negroes in the, 337;
Negro regiment raised for the, 342;
number of men supplied to the, 353;
return of Negroes in 1778, 362.

Continental Congress, prohibits the importation of Negroes, 325;
debate on the discharge of Negroes from the army, 335;
action on the enlistment of Negroes, 355;
resolution to establish courts to decide cases of captured slaves,
action of the, relative to Negroes captured at sea, 373;
discussion on the, Western territory, 415, 416;
last meeting, 416.

Cooke, Nicholas, governor of Rhode Island, letters to Washington on
the enlistment of Negroes, 346, 349.

Cornwallis, Lord, proclamation offering protection to fugitive
Negroes, 358.

Cox, Melville B., missionary to Monrovia, 98.

Cranston, Samuel, letter to the board of trade, relative to Negro
slaves in Rhode Island, 269.

Croker, John, testimony in the Negro plot at New York, 168.

Crowther, Negro sold into slavery, 32;
set at liberty by the English, 33;
fitted for the ministry, returns to Africa as a missionary, 33.

Cuffe, John, sketch of, 202.

Cuffe, Paul, a distinguished Negro, 202.

Cush, ancestor of the Negro race, 10;
meaning of the term, 13.

Cushing, Nathan, his opinion, 1783, relative to the South-Carolina
Negroes, 381.

Cuvier, Baron, varieties of the human form, 3.

Cyrene, Africa, mentioned, 5;
described, 452.

Dahomey, a Negro kingdom of Africa, described, 28;
women serve in the army, 29;
laws, 30;
invaded by King Akwasi, 35.

Dalton, Richard, his slave reads Greek, 202.

Davis, Hugh, a white servant, flogged in Virginia, for consorting
with a Negro woman, 121.

Deane, Thomas, mentioned, 196.

Delaware, slavery in, 249-251;
settled by Danes and Swedes, 249;
slavery not allowed by the Swedes, 249;
conveyed to William Penn, 249;
granted a separate government, 249;
slavery introduced, 249;
first legislation on slavery, 250;
law for the regulation of servants, 250;
act restraining manumission of slaves, 250;
number of slaves in 1715, 325;
slave population in 1790, 436.

Denmark, engaged in the slave-trade, 463.

Denny, Thomas, representative of Leicester, Mass., instructed to vote
against slavery, 225.

Derham, James, a Negro physician of New Orleans, 400.

Desbrosses, Elias, testimony in the Negro plot in New York, 1741, 165.

Online LibraryGeorge W. WilliamsHistory of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens → online text (page 54 of 57)