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opposed to every measure of liberality, whether commercial or political,
as. well as the most outrageously abusive of the Duke of Wellington
since he has spoken (whether wisely or not, we leave to wiser heads to
decide) of giving peace to Ireland.

We cannot help thinking that the West India Committee have be-
haved rather shabbily to the Noble Duke. After palming upon him the
dull romance of Mr. Franklin, as " a faithful description" of Hayti —
and the detected impostures of Mr. Barclay, as a just picture of West
Indian humanity ; they now permit their mercenary journalists to take
up the cudgels for Don Miguel, and to revile the Duke himself as a
traitor to his king and country.

* It is a carioas fact, that while all the joaraals of London, and throughout
the Kingdom have been filled with details of the Edinburgh horrors, we do not
believe that with the exception of a single Loadon morning paper, and two or
three other London papers, the slightest notice has been taken of the multiplied
horrors which, on Parliamentary authority, the Anti-Slavery Reporters have
ahown to have taken place, and to be even now proceeding at an enormous rate,
in our colonial possessions, and especially in the Mauritius.

t Mr. Macqueen is supposed to have received about £16,000 in all from the
West Indies, partly in votes of money by assemblies, and partly in public sub-
scriptions. He has'since become the joint proprietor of a large body of slaves,
and is now therefore,' himself, a great West Indian planter. This circumstance
may give a sharper and a louder tone to his vituperations ; and it may also ren-
der it less necessary for the West Indian body to fee advocates so highly as it
has hitherto done. However, if the West Indian Committee should on this account
think of economizing their funds, as Mr. Franklin's jbte would seem to intimate,
a substitute may be found by some at least of that committee's mercenaries in
the liberality of the eulogists of Don Miguel, and of the furious revilers of the
Duke of Wellington. l%e Duke will learn ere long, to appreciate both them
and their employers.

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430 Cohmai Siatiitics. - Antigua-^Mauritiia.'

3. — Colonial Statistics.

In the Anti-Slavery Reporter, No. 19, will be found an abstract of
various statistical returns received from fourteen of our slave colonies.
In the last session of Parliament returns were produced from four more,
viz. Antigua, Mauritius, Montserrat, and St. Lucia, (Papers of 1st of
April, 1828, No. 204.) These we shall now abstract. The colonies
which have as yet made no return to the Order of the House of Com-
mons of 6th June, 1825, are Bermuda and the Cape of Good Hope.

1. Antigua.

The custom-house of this island furnishes no means of ascertaining
the export and import of slaves ; unquestionably a great neglect.

The manumissions effected either by purchase or bequest, from the
1st of January, 1821, to the end of 1826, six years, were 956.

The marriages of slaves in the same period were twenty-one, almost all
of them by Mr. Curtin, missionary of the Conversion Society. This
return, however, is accompanied by a letter from Thomas Lane, the Co-
lonial Secretary, stating, ^* that there is no existing law in this colony
which makes marriages between slaves a civil or religious contract, nor
any law to prevent ^e separation of husband and wife.**

There were ten slaves escheated to the Crown, waiting its pleasure.

The number of slaves sold in execution in Antigua, in these six years,
was 128. The price for which they were sold was £5774. 16«. cur-
rency, being about £45 currency each, or £20. Is. sterling. In the
same period 28 slaves were seized for taxes, and sold for a gross suin
of £1031. 125., being £37 currency, or £16. 15$, sterling each.

In 1821 the free black and coloured population was 1549 males, and
2346 females, in all, 3895. There has been no census since, but the
number manumitted as above, without reckoning the increase by births^
would raise the number to 4851.

The slave population in 1821 was 14,531 males, 16,533 females, ia
all, 31,064: in 1824, 14,225 males, 16,089 females, in all, 30,314.

The sums raised for the relief of the poor, in the above six years,
amounted to £28,247. 10s. currency, or about £13,450 sterling. But
the poor are all white, and it is distinctly stated by Archdeacon Parry-,
that ^* there are no free-coloured or black paupers provided for by the
parish ; nor are the free-coloured or free blacks taxed for the support of
the poor. Slaves are supported by their owners." The number of pau^
pers receiving relief is 211 whites.

2. Maueitius.

The number of slaves imported into the Mauritius from January 1821,
to the end of 1826, is stated to have been 1351 males, and 516 females,
in all, 1 867. This, however, is of course an account of those only who
passed regularly through the custom-house, and does not include the
vast numbers illicitly imported. The slaves exported in the same period
were 299 males, and 248 females, in all, 547.

The number of manumissions, by marriage, from the 1st of January
1821, to the 30Ui of June 1826, was 245; by bequest or otherwise,
199 ; in all 444. A tax, amounting to about £25 sterliiig, appeaiB lo
have been exacted on most of these manumissions.

By law, the marriage of whites with blacks is severely punbhable. If

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Statiitici of Mauritius^Fresh Proofs of Horrors. 43 1

a fipee black marriei a slave she becomes free. Cures are forbidden to
vnite slaves id marriage without the master's consent The maniages of
slaves, from the 1st of January 1821, to September 1826, are stated as
six in number, which does not correspond with the return that makes
the manumissions by marriage amount to 245.

The number of slaves sold undejr execution is 1473 ; but as they were
almost all sold with the plantations to which they were attached, it is im-
possible to ascertain the price of slaves, exclusive of land, buildings, &c.
The price, therefore, is of a very varying and uncertain rate.

The sums raised for the relief of the poor, from the 1st of January
1821, to the 31st of March 1826, amounted to £8875. 18j. Sd. The
paupers relieved were eighty-seven whites, and ninety coloured persons.

The free black and coloured population is stated as follows : 1 st of
January 1821,6121 males, 6939 females, in all, 1 3,060 ; 1 st of January
1826, 7155 males, 7970 females, in all, 15,125; showmg an increase
of 2065, from which, if 444, the number of manumissions in that time,
be deducted, it leaves an increase of 1621 by natural means, being at
the rate of upwards of two per cent, per annum. The births, however,
in those years are given as 3450, the deaths as only 1460, leaving an
excess of births over deaths of 1990, which, if correct, would exhibit a
still higher rate of mcrease, amounting to 21 per cent, per annum.

There is also an enumeration of the slave population, for the six years
in question, which betrays some very strange facts. The total amounts
of the successive years, beginning with 1821, are as follows : 66,162 ;
63,099; 63,076; 65,037; 63,432; 62,588. If any dependence could
be placed on these returns, and if we could assume that there had been
no importations, the irregularities would still be very extraordinary.
On this point light may be thrown hereafter. In the details of the above
enumeration, however, we have, as it appears to us, clear and irrefra-
gable presumptions of a frightful waste of human life, and of the conti-
nuance of large importations. In 1821 the males amounted to 58,634, the
females only to 7528 ; in 1822 the males were 55,878, the females 7221 ;
in 1823 the males were 57,134, the females 7903; in 1825 the males
were 50,788, the females 12,644 ; in 1826 the males were 53,682, the
females 8906.

Now ill 1815, by actual registry, the numbers were 56,684 males,
and 30,668 females, being a little less than two males to one female ;
but in 1821 the proportion was eight males to one female, varying little
in the following years from this proportion, except in 1825, when, all at
once, we have an increase of 5249 females, which number is as suddenly
decreased in 1826 by 3738. In no possible way, we apprehend can
these singular and anomalous appearances be accounted for, but on the
hypo^esis of an immense mortality and an immense nnportation. If
the 30,668 females of 1815, were really reduced to 7528 in 1821, the
mortality, independent of births, and even supposing no women to have
been imported, must have amounted to 23,140 females in those six
years ; and supposing a proportionate number of deaths to have taken
|)lace among the 56,684 males, it would have amounted to about
42,000, making a total mortality of upwards of 65,000 human beings in
six years. We admit there may be some fallacy in these returns,
which we had not seen when the last Reporter was published. Still it

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433 Statiitici o/MauritiuSy Montterrat^ St. Lucioy S^.

is for those who have furnished such appalling data to give us the kej
to them, and to tell us how the sudden increase of women in 1825, and
the other phenomena are to be explained. We look with much anxiety
to the steps which GU)vemment shall take respecting the Mauritius. We
may regard it as certain that, under the anomalies we have pointed out, a
mass of horrors, of which this country ^as, as yet, no conception, will be
found hidden. And yet it was to this colony, this Mauritius, this human
slaughter house, that in that very year of 1825, the Government and
Parliament of England p^wted, in spite of every remonstrance, by re-
lieving the sugar of the Mauritius from the protecting duty which they
continued to levy on the free grown sugar of India, to give a new sti*
mulus to the growth of sugar in that colony, and to that multiplica-
tion of murders in which it could not fail to issue. The case must be
searched into. It is a case of Blood.


^ In the six years, 1821 to 1826, four slaves were imported and 57 ex-
ported ; the nuipber of manumissions was 59 ; and the number of slave
marriages 9.

The slaves sold in execution were 41 , and were sold for £2142. 6s. lOrf.
currency, or at an average of £52. 5s, each, being about £23 sterling.

The slave population is given in 1821 as 6464, in 1826 as 5956, being
a decrease of 508 : the real decrease, exports and manumissions de-
ducted, is 396, being upwards of one per cent, per annum.

The free black and coloured population is m^e to amount in 1822
to 274 men and 41 1 women, in all 683.

The sum raised for the poor in the six years was £2500 currency.
The number of paupers, all white, was 14.

4. St. Lucia.

The number of Slaves imported is stated to be 83, exported 26. The
manumissions from the 1st of January, 1821, to the 31st of May, 1827
were 686. Of these 132 paid for their freedom. The rest were manu-
mitted by their masters. — No marriages of slaves have taken place. — The
number of slaves sold in execution was 34 ; and the amount for which
they were sold was 76,585 livres, or about £49 sterling each.

The slave population in 1819 is stated to have been 14,280 : in 1822,
13,788; in 1825, 13,717; and in 1826, 12,922. The free coloured
population is stated in 1826 at 3983. There are no poor in SL Lucia.

4. Conduct of the Assembly of Jamaica.
This Body met in November last, and proceeded t6 consider the two
questions of the slave law, and the claims of the free people of colour
to an extension of their privileges. These claims were refused by a
majority of twenty-five to fotmeen. — ^With respect to the slave law,
they have re-enacted that of 1826, without any alteration whatever even
in Uie persecuting clauses. Considering the language of Government
on that subject, and the expresis ground in which the former act was
disallowed, they do, in fact, by this proceeding, bid a bold defiance to
the King and Parliament of Great Britain.

Bugster and 'Ilionu, Printer*, 14, Bartliolomvw Close.

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No, 46.] For MARCH, 1^9. [No. 22. Vol. il





1. Colonial policy at the present crisis.

2. Conduct pursued towards missionaries.


I. Dr. Burgess, the present Bishop of Salisbury, 'Ml
CJoLONiAL Slavery.

Ik oar last Number we adduced the testimouy of many distinguished
prelates of the Church of England against the evils of Slavery. There
remains one living Prelate whom it would be unpardonable for us to
omit; we mean the present Bishop of Salisbury, Dr. Burgess. In the
year 1789, this learned and excellent person published a pamphlet,
which we fear has been long out of print, and is only now to be round
in such libraries as that of the British Museum, entitled, *^ Considera-
tions on the abolition of Slavery, and the Slave Trade, upon grounds of
natural, religious, and political duty." A Liverpool Clergyman of the
name of Harris, had published a paoiphlet in defence of slavery, which
he represented as a dispensation of Providence, — a state of society re-
cognised by the Gospel ; — ^in which the reciprocal duties of masters
and slaves are founded on the principle of both heing servants of Christ,
and are enforced by the Divine rules of Chnstian charity. The following
are some of the indignant observations of the good Bishop, on witnessing
such a prostitution of the sacred truths and obligations of religion: —

<' Reciprocal daties !" he exclaims, *' Reciprocal duties !— To have an adequate
sense of the propriety of these terms, we must forget the humane provisions of
the Hebrew law, as well as the liberal indulgence of Roman slavery, and think
only of West India slavery ! of unlimited, uncompensated, brutal slavery, and
then judge what rec^rocii'tr there can be between absolute authority and absolute
subjection ; and how the Divine rule of Christian charity can be said to enforce
the reciprocal duties of the West India slave and his master. Reciprocity is in-
consistent with every degree of real slaver v." '< Slavery cannot be called one of
the species of civil subordination. A slave is a non-entity in civil society.^
** Law and slavery are contradictory terms."

The Bishop's treatise is one among many proofs that the Abolitionists
from the first contemplated the ultimate extraction of slavery as the end
of their labours*

''Such oppression," says the Bishop, (meaning the state of slavery), '*and
such traffic " (meaning the slave trade), " must be swept away at one blow. Such
horrid o0ences against God and nature can admit of no medium. Yet some of
the more moderate apologists of slavery think that a medium may be adopted*


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434 Bishop Burgess on Colonial Slavery,

They think that slavery ought not to be aboliBhed, bat modified and meliorated
by good lawB and regulations. It is well obserred by Cicero, that ' incidunt
multe ssepe causae quae conturbent animos utilitatis specie, non cum hoc deli-
beretur, Kelinquendane sit honestas propter utilitatis magnitudinem (nam hoc
qaidem improbum est,) sed illud, Possitne id quod utile videatur fieri non tur-
piter/ But it is impossible for slavery * fieri non turpiter/ '' pp. 82, 83.

The Bishop proceeds to observe, that " All the laws hitherto made, have pro-
duced little or no benefit to the slaves. But there are many reasons why it in
very improbable that such provisions should produce any effectual benefit. The
power which is exercised over the slaves, and the severe coercion necessary to
keep an immense superiority of numbers in absolute obedience to a few, and re-
strain them from insurrection, are incompatible with justice or humanity, and
are obnoxious to abuses which no legal regulations can counteract. The power
which a West Indian master has over his slave, it is impossible for the genera-
lity of masters or managers not to abuse. It is too great to be intrusted in the
hands of men subject to human passions and infirmities. The best principles
and most generous natures are perverted by the influence of passion and habit.*'*

If these arguments of the Bishop be well founded, it follows, first,
that the great mark at which every friend of humanity ought to aim,
by all lawful expedients, is complete and irrevocable emancipation ;
secondly, that in the interim, as laws, when committed to the guardian-
ship of the slave-holder, are merely waste paper, the Government and
Legislature of this country should take the matter into their own hands,
and shape their course to an ultimate extinction of an evil from which
they cannot extract all the venom but by slaving the hydra itself; and
thirdly, that too much weight should not be given to the representations
of persons even of the ** best principles and most generous natures,"
when " perverted by the influence of passion and habit," to apologize
for, or wish to perpetuate, the enormities of this accursed system.

The Bishop in reply to those who defend or connive at West India
slavery as a ** dispensation of Providence," and as, indirectly at least,
sanctioned by the word of God, observes, '

" Many attacks," says his lordship, " have been made on the authority of
Scripture ; but nothing would more effectually subvert its authority than to prove
that its injunctions are inconsistent with the common principles of benevolence,

* The poet Cowper seems to have entertained much the same opinion as the
Bishop of Salisbury ; for in one of his Letters, dated April, 1788, we find him
saying : *<JLaws will, I suppose, be enacted for the more humane treatment of the
Negroes ; but who shall see to the execution of them r The planters will not,
and the Negroes cannot. In fact, we know that laws of this tendency have not
been wanting, enacted even amongst themselves ; but there has been always a
want of prosecutors, or righteous judges, deficiencies which will not be very
easily supplied. The newspapers have lately told us, that these merciful mas-
ters, have on this occasion, been occupied in passing ordinances, by which the
lives and limbs of their slaves are to be secured from wanton cruelty hereafler.
But who does not immediately detect the artifice, or can give them a moment's
credit for any thing more than a design, by this show of lenity to avert the stonn
which they think hangs over them ? On the whole, I fear there is reason to wish,
for the honour of England, that the nuisance had never been troubled ; lest we
eventually make ourselves justly chargeable with the whole offence by not re-
moving it. The enonnity cannot be palliated : we can no longer plead that we
were not aware of it, or that our attention was otherwise engaged ; and shall be
inexcusable, therefore, ourselves, if we leave the least part of it unredressed.
Such arguments as Pharaoh might have used, to justify his destruction of the
Israelites, substituting sugar for bricks, (< ye are idle ; ye are idle,') may He
ready for our use also ; but I think we can find no better."

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Bishop Burgeu dn Colonial Slavery* 435

and ioimlcal to Ihe general rights of mankind. It would degrade the sanptity of
Scripture ; it would reverse all our ideas of God's paternal attributes, and all
arguments for the Divine origin of the Christian religion drawn from its precepts
of universal charity and benevolence/* ** That any custom so repugnant to the
natural rights of mankind as the slave trade, or slavery the iource and support qf
the slave trade, should be thought to be consonant to the principles of natural
and revealed religion, is a paradox which it is difficult to reconcile with the
reverence dne to the records of our holy religion."

HiSr Lordship then proceeds to shew, Ist, That slavery and the slave trade ar»
inconsistent with the principles of nature (in allusion to his opponent's argu-
ment), deducible from Scripture. 2d. That no conclusion can be drawn in favour
of West India slavery or the African slave trade (which the Bishop always
classes and brands together) from particular transactions recorded in Scripture ;
both because the trade in slaves bears no resemblance to the slavery and slave
trade in question, and because transactions merely recorded in Scriplure history
are not sanctioned by the record. 8d, That no conclusion can be formed from
Hebrew laws respecting West Indian Slavery, because the conditions are by no
means analogous ; and because, even if they were, laws neither introduce nor
justify every custom which they regulate. 4th, That the clearest and fullest
permission of slavery to the Jews under the Law of Moses does not make it
allowable to Christians, because the new law has succeeded to the ritual and
Judicial ordinances of the old ; and we cannot reason from one state of things
to another when any great revolution has intervened in the progress of religion,
(thy That, however such permission might appear to make slavery in any degree
allowable to the first Hebrew Christians under the Roman government, it does
not by any means make it allowable under the free government of this country,
because we cannot reason from one form of government to another. 6th. That
whatever may be the commercial and national advantages of slavery, (which
however the Bishop does not estimate very highly : on the contrary, he strongly
insists on its improvidence, and the vast superiority of free labour,) it ought not
to be tolerated, because of the inadequacy of those advantages to their many bad
effects and consequences. 7th, That slavery and the slave trade ought to ba
abolished on account of the good which would follow to relig^ion, to mankindy
and to ourselves.

We have not space to condense the whole of the Bishop's arguments^
but we shall present our readers with a few succinct notices. As for
the atrocities of the African slave trade, or the cruelties of West India
slavery, he says there is nothing in Scripture that is parallel to either ;
but he argues that "slavery itself (in every form) is inconsistent with
the law of nature deducible from Scripture^ and therefore with the will
of God;" and that, therefore, "much more so are the cruelties of West
India slavery, and the African slave trade." Slavery, he further re-
marks, "even in its mildest sense, considered as unlimited, involuntary,
uncompensated subjection to the service of another, is a total annihila-
tion of all natural rights." This forcible abduction of liberty, he con-
tends, is inconsistent with the patural rights of society, as deducible
from Scripture. In God's first commission to man he gave him domi*
nion over the brute creation ; but there is no expression by which Adam
or any of his posterity could collect that they had a right of dominion
over their own species. The extent of this primary charter, remarks
the Bishop, cannot be more forcibly expressed than in the le^nguage of
our great poet;

O execrable son, so to aspire
Above his brother! to himself assuming <
Authority usurped, from God not given.
He gave us only over beasts, flesh, fowl.
Dominion absolute. That right we hold

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436 Bkhop Burgeu on Cobmial Slavery.

By hit donation : bat man over man

He made not lord ; Bach title to himself

Reaenring, homan left from haman free.
To those advocates of slavery who would use in its favour the golden
rule of doing as we would be done by, the Bishop in reply exclaims,

^Detestable perTersion,..of the most benevolent of all precepU!*' Yet there
is one very obvious view, he adds, in which the precept applies i^the case of
slavery ; ^< for as too person woald wish to be reduced to slavery, sr to eoutme
90y no person whatever should reduce a fellovr-creature to slavery er keep him m
that eonditiou" '* The precept may enjoin the submission of the slave to his mas*
ter, but it does not enjoin slavery : it neither makes the occasion nor Justifies it.
Submission is a virtue in a slave ; but the exercise of this virtue neither justifies
the making of slaves nor the keeping of them. Offences must come, and injus-
tice will prevail ; but woe be to them by whom the offences come I It should not
be forgotten that, if the precept e^)oins submission in the slave, it applies
4oukl§ to the master; for it e^ioins humanity in the treatment of his slaves, and


That the slaves are in a happier condition, and ''&r better off than

Online LibraryZachary MacaulayAnti-slavery monthly reporter → online text (page 62 of 72)