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those MOund them, even with married men, who were living in open and
habitual concubinage with black or coloured women. Will thia view of
things be thought exaggerated ? Non tncus hie Sermo. We refer in proof

Report of the Society for Pronotlng Christian Knowledge for 1898, bis Lordship
is represented as considering the teaching of the slaves to nmd as indispensably
necessary, in order to effect any permanent improvement among them. (Biitish
Critic, p. 4»1.)

* Dr. Paley justly represents this vice to be, from whatever cause, the most de-
praving to the moral' principle and character of any of the vices. Is it not
because the Almighty meant to brand, with a peculiar mark of degradation, a
▼ice which strikes at the root of domestic virtue and happiness?

Digitized by


of the Propagation Society coimdeted — Marriage, 493

of its accuracy to variotts West Indian writers. Bryan Edwards is
clear and explicit on the subject in his history, of the West Indies, (see
vol. Wy p. 19, &c. 5th Ed.) No less so is Mr. Stewart in his "past
and present state of Jamaica ;'' also Dr. Williamson, Mr. Bickell, and
many others. But no man's testimony is more to our purpose than that
of Mr. Orderson of Barbadoes, a man well known in that island, who,
in a pamphlet published during the period of the discussion on the re-
gistry bill in 1815 and 1816, scrupled not to admit or rather to declare,
that scarcely was there any one in Barbadoes, however favoured in his
domestic relations, who had not reason to blush for illicit connections of
this kind. ^

And amidst this overflowing tide of iniquity, what have the Society
and its agents done to counteract it on the Codrington estates ? They
do not even profess to have discouraged concubinage, or to have given
encouragement to pure and permanent unions between the sexes, at
least until very recently. What hope indeed could we entertain that
these estates should form an oasis in this moral desert, while both the
chaplain of the establishment and the agent of it concur in thinking
that slaves should not be encouraged to marry till they are inBcructed to
observe the obligations of matrimony. Till then, young and old, white
and black, male and female, are to be left, (on estates which ought to be
the shrine and sanctuary, as it were, of pure Christianity), to pursue their
own sensual inclinations, unfettered by any law or regulation, restrained
by no tie, and disturbed by no exhortations, even from the pulpit, to
'* abstain from those fleshly lusts which war agaunst the soul."

Tho^ will not think that we have been too diffuse in our remarks on
this great snbject, or that our language has been too strong, who re-
member, as we have already stated, that the permanent union of the
sexes was ordained, by God himself, on the creation of man, to be the
basis of domestic virtue and happiness, the source and the support of
all the domestic and social affections. Long, however, as we have dwelt
on this important topic, we have by no means exhausted it ; but we
hope we have said enough to rouse the good sense and Christian feeling
of the members of this Society to a due consideration of the case. If
our statements he denied, we are fully prepared to support them by the
most decisive and overwhelming evidence. But what we have already
said we trust will have its effect, and that we shall have no more apolo-
gies for fornication, and no more discouragements to marriage, from the
chafdmns and advocates of this venerable Society.

We shall not think it necessary to follow our Critic through his pre-
posterous speculations on Colonial Slavery, or through his attacks on
the conduct either of the Anti-Slavery Society or of individual members
of it. He seems to have borrowed his views chiefly, either from the
Quarterly Review of 1 824, or from Mr. Wilmot Horton, whose opinions
he nevertheless condemns on the important point of the compulsory
manumission clause. We will leave our opponent to settle, as he may,
his differences with that Right Honourable Gentleman, only observing,
that if he chooses to follow out his lucubrations on the singular and, as
we think, mischievous crotchets of Mr. Horton, he may find ready help
in our pages. Before however we quit this branch of our Critic's at-
tack, we think it right to say, that he has shewn profound ignorance of

Digitized by


4§4 Thi BfUiik OrUic #M <M^nM Skmty.

many mfti of tbt quMtmi^ and h$M «o(finMttwl blaiklenr Mt a few,
wlikm he ooM not have boneally oomfliHied iMd he consult^ fboec
aources of mfonaatidki whidi are quite accessible witk a smc^re Aeam
to asceitabi the troth. To leave him wiiiioot any Aitnre excoie M
ftttch wiorance, in respect to the principles abd past proceedings of the
Anti-SiaT«ry Society, we refer him to the list of publications inaerted it
the close of the Reporter^ No. 33, pp. 175^ 176. of which we would
recommend to his special consideration, -besides Si€pk€ns*$ DeimetUim
of Siatety,) the Prefitce to the Debate of May, 1823 ;. the pamphlets
^led NggrQ Slavery, and The Slave Colonies of Great Britain; and
the Reporters, Nos. 11, 13, 14, 18, 19, 26. 27, and 31. Several of thfe
snbaequent nnmbers of the same work wm alao be fbnnd to c<»nti^ by
anticipation an answer to some of oar Critic's niifband^ statetnaits
and ragiie specnlatioos, dl of which he aeems to hate borrowed, either
from the Quarterly Review^ or from the pamphlMe of Mr. I>wnrfift ^nd
Mr« W. HortOD, or from the speech of Lord Seaford in the last Setaion;
and to all of which an answer has already been |hren 16 onr pages, as he
nay see by a pemaal, in addition to the above rewrencas, of the Repofftf ,
No. 37 widi ito supplement $ and of Not. 38, 39, 40, and 43.*

It would be unjust however to the British Critic, and to the cansft
which we have naiiormly, cordially, and perMvaritigty, howev^ tttktf,
advocated, w^re we to overlook Uie aid which, by his admiasiottt, he
has rendered to that cause. We wonder indeed wh«!e hie Anti-Shiveiy
seal has been shmbering during the sit or seven years which have elapa^
ed since 1822« But though coming into the fieht somewhat tee in the
day, we nevertheless hail him as an hnportant antiliarY» and we ^raoeed
to avail oursehres of bni grattfyiag and dacisiva avowals, leaving M ioA-
self a task which wonM be beyond onr power, that of recon^Uiiig tiioM
avowals with other parts of his review, and partiodhorty with hie t^ke-
ment abuse of ua who ai« his preonrsonii at laast, in that cftre^of pfaSaa*-
thropy on which he is now entering.
■ -' - — " - •' * - ^ — ■ — ^.^.^_ ^.^— ... — .■,-.^. .-.-

* No part vit the Critters statement is more wido of dko truth than the dispa-
riigiD|( accoaat whkh he ^ves, p. 4ii, of the exertiotts of tho Moi^vians asd
Weskryan Metfaodisti moBf tbe slaTca in the West txi^ whUe he ntajj!!
rates the good offectMl by the E^tablifthnoat. The Moiatiaa aad Methodiit
missionaries, we think, are chargeable in some degree with the same ianlu if
Vagueness and of silence as to some great prevalent evil^, with which we have
eharg^ the Cenverrtoa Society ; and they may have been too ready to aacrttes,
from a well meant, but, as we think, miatakea poUoy, theii^owtt jast^^ShH wA
those of their unfriended and oppressed conTorts, to the aati-ofaristiaa e^Mt ef
the colonists. Still it is certain that they were long almost the only effisctife
labourers in 6ie vineyard of the West lodies, and ^that mnch fmit has resnlted
awm thetr kAours. The MoraWaas, indeed, have-not had math sticcess la say
ef the £agliB& islanda exeepttag Antigaa aad St Kitts, iia the Idraiev of wateh
islands thsj reckon about eight er Me thousand slayes as belongiaf to^ thtfl
church. Bnt the Methodists, at the close of 1828, actually numbered among
Umir members^ la the West India colonies, ^,600 slates, and 6470 Kree blacks
aad petfsoBs of eoloar, eSk of whom had at least arrlTed at the age t^ puberty,
aad BNMt hare keen main«akikig soaietUagofa Christian walk; astheyeoiM
not otherwise, aoeoidkig to the rales of Methodist dtsoipline^ have been ebtelM
aad continued as members of the Methodist soeiety. This certainly eaanot be
oaHed fbnalng oongregatloas on a $matt scale, as tiie British Critic describes it ;
ae tbe slMyf« aambers comprise only the adults fa Society, not the mere attettdaatB
ea wursUpi or the ehUdrea taa^«

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The British Critic an Colonial Slavery. 485

" Putting," gays the British Critic, p. 412, " the errors and exagge-
rations of the Anti-Slavery Society/' (of which by the way he prudently
avoids all specification,) '* entirely out of sight, looking solely at noto-
rious and acknowledged facts, drawing our information exclusively from
the West Indians themselves, the system pursued in tueik country is
one which must be radically reformed. The voice of this great
empire calls imperiously for such a measure. If," he adds, " the idle
din and clamour of the Anti-Colonial party were once effectually si-
lenced" — (and yet to what but to their din and clamour is it owing that
the voice of this great empire now calls imperiously for a radical Colo-
nial reform, or that the British Critic himself has become awake to the
call ?) the nation, he goes on to argue, might then learn something of
the real state of the case, (might learn it, viz. from the British Critic ;)
and then, when, by the silence of the Anti-Colonists and the eloquence
we presume of the British Critic, light is diffused, and the pr^ent
*• apathy is overcome," — (we had heard just before of the imperious
call of this great empire for a radical Colonial reform !) then, we shall be
able, the Critic thinks, to see and appreciate the difference between our
own happy lot and that of our unhappy brethren in the West Indies.

He then proceeds to give us that just description of the condition of
the slaves which we have already twice quoted, (see above p. 477, and
No. 47, p. 461,)— and at the close of it adds, wanned with his subject,
** We protest therefore, once for all, against those defences and palliations
of the West India system which formerly were familiar in the mouths of
all, and are still to be heard from some who consider themselves bound
to persevere in upholding the Colonial interest, or in opposing the at-
tempts of the atK>litionist," p. 413. And, " What, in one word," he
asks, '^ was the condition of the British West Indies previously to the
formation of the Colonial Episcopate?" — (Ought not the question to
have been. What was it previous to the formation of the Anti-Slavery
Society, to which even the Episcopate has owed its existence ?) To that
question the following is his answer ; and on that answer we shall take
the liberty of making a comment or two.

" The religious teachers (of the West Indies) were such as they have
been just described — few in number, and cramped in their operations.*
The whites were far behind their European brethren in general character
and attamments, and were wedded to a system which it was impossible
to defend, and most difficult to relinquish or reform. The coloured po-

* The description giveo, by the British Critic, of the West Indian clergy of
former times is, we fear, far more favoarable than the troth will warrant. It
is true that in general they were wholly regardless of the spiritual inte-
rests of the slaves, not even considering them as a part of their flock, thongh
ready to poor the water of baptism npon them when reqoested to do so, and pM
for doing it» and that they miserably neglected also their daties to the hee
whether white or coloared, except when gain accmed to them from the perform-
ance of the occasional services of the church, burials, marriages^ and christen-
ings'; but it is also true that the conduct of many of them niotwithstandlDg a
few bright examples of a contrary kind^ was of the most opprobrious description,
and strangely at variance with the decencies and proprieties of the derical
character ; so that even in the midst of a community of peculiarly dissolute habits j

Digitized by


486 The Brituh Critic an Cohniid Skvery.

pulatioQ of all shades and ranks* were degraded to a degree of which it
u difficult to form an adequate conception. Even the free aod tbe
Wealthy were deprived of every political privilege, for no other offence
than the colour of their skins ; while the slaves, if not treated with en*
elty which, in later times, at least, was the exception naher than the
rule, yet passed their lives in severe labour, men and women woridng Uy-
gether in a state of total, or nearly total nakedness ; their sabbath, ia*
stead of being a day of religious rest, was commenced by public mar-
ketings, and concluaed by public dances ; the marriage of one man to
one woman was hardly known ; their very names were the names which
were ^ven to monkeys or puppy dogs ; the small portion of them that
were mitiated into the Christian church were reminded of their wretched
condition and inferiority as often as they entered the house of God, and
even when they knelt at his altar ; and when they came to die, their
bodies were buried with the burial of an ass, and the whites would h»Fe
considered their cemetery as profaned, if the bones of a black had found
admission within its pale. We do not lay these things to the chaif^ of
the individuals who exercised authority in the colonies, but to that of
the system under which they were unhappily bom. For a long coime
of years they had been supplied by the slave trade with labouien
whom they treated as if they had been brutes; and when kkboor,
though still too severe, was in some degree lightened, ajvl crueltj wts
in a great measure renounced, contempt, the bitterest and moat on-
mitigated remained, and was strengthened by the absence of other and
more detestable feelings."* B. C. p. 426.

tbey became too often the song of the dmnkard and the meiry lest of the pro-
fhne; nof, at sometimee is the case, on aocoant of the sanctity of ihar deseu-
oor, but because the]r oatdid those aromnd thtm in the irregularity and oofnipl-
neas of theix example* We speak, of course, of by-gone, though not very remote
periods. Whether such instances find their parallel in the present day we do
not take it upon us to affirm ; bat that approximations to them may stiU be met
with, no one is permitted to doabt who has read the Rev. Richard BickeUli
West Indies as they are ; or who is familiar wilK the ooloaial' traasartioM «f
late years.

* The British Critic seems to speak of all these abominatioos as if they wera
matter only of past history. Bat whatever he may have been informed, or may
dream to the contrary, they characterise, though still faintly, the actual, the now
existing state of society, with very f^w exceptioos, throo^oat our tiiKwe osle-
nies. Speaking generally, the whites are still very low in character and attain*
ments ; the free black and coloured popnlation are still deeply degraded and
oppressed ; the slaves are still treated with cruelty, still driven to excessive and
uncompensated labour, men and wobmo, by bmte force; stUl d eprived of their
sabbaths: still strangers to the nMurriage^ tie and the charkiea of domeatio Hfe;
and still treated as tarate animals, a race beneath humanity's level, and, as the
reviewer admits, so bitteriy contenmed as not to be even entitled to the syn*

Esthy which their namesakes of the horse and dor species receive ; wtrile tMr
ves, iM add, art fast wearing away by exoett of toil and toaatineas mi Ibod.
This is now, as we maintaia, and have, over and over agaaa, pnoved^ in spite ef
all the tales with which Mr. Dwarris, or the Quarterly Review, er tha British
Critic, or other West India writers may attempt to delude the public, the actual
state of things, at the preteat day, in out tlave colonies.-^See Reporters, Nes.
6; 16; 18; 19; Bl; %6; 96; 98, p. 96; 99; 91, p. 196; 9T; 41; 49; 49; 44;
46, p. 411 ; 46^ p. 499; and 47, p. 461.

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Colonies menaced by tlie British Critic jr Quarterly Reifi&w. 487.

We have shewn, in a note, (last page,) how incorrect our Critic is in
representing the evils which he enumerates as past, and not as now exist-
ing ; imitating, in this respect, the successive advocates of colonial bondage
during half a century, who have never been able to find in their vocabu*^
lary any present tense for the atrocities of the system.. But we must
do our Critic the justice to say, that he himself appears to have some
misgivings on the subject ; for he seems unwilling to quit it without at*
tempting to obviate the effect of his too flattering delineations of the
colonial desire of improvement. He even shakes bis mantle in a some*
what menacing attitude while he utters his valedictory warning,. '* that,
unless the progress of colonial reform is materially accelerated in the
course of the present year, no one will believe that the colonial iegis*
latures entertain a sincere desire for the religious instruction of the
slaves. There arc rules and practices, and even laws," he adds, ** still
existing in almost every colony, which no membec of the West Indian
body in England would venture to defend either in parliament or in any
other public assembly. The Sunday markets, the rejection of slave
evidence, and the whipping of women" (Is this all? might he not have
greatly swelled the list ?) '^ are condemned by the unanimous voice of this
great empire ; and, if the colonial legislatures refuse to purge them-
selves of these abominationSf thet must even take the con-
sequences." p. 454.

Nor is it only the British Critic who has surprised the world by this
threatening language. The Quarterly Review, which, in 1 824, was fairly
embarked as a partizan in support of the colonial cause, and loaded the
abolitionists with heavy censures for the unconciliating tone of (heir
Anti-Slavery proceedings, and was particularly loud in denouncing
whatever partook of menace, (see Nos. 58 and 60,) seems now, af)er a
silence of some years, eidier to have changed its opinions or to have bad
new opinions dictated to it. In the last number, (No. 78,) its port to«
wards the Colonists is still more unequivocally one of reproach and
defiance than even that of the British Critic. Well may they say *' et
ttt Btfute 1" The Quarterly Reviewer seems almost to have had in his eve
an wticle in the 81st number of the Edinburgh Review, which, at the
time of its appearance, was denounced as outrageously offensive.

" With regard to Jamaica, and some other of the West India Islands,''
(says the last Quarterly Review, p. 343,) ** which have their houses of
assembly ; their systematic opposition to every measure proposed by the
Kmg*s government, considering the precarious situation in which they
stand, appears to us to be little short of insanity. They seem not to
k-new that they are tottering on the very brinh of a volcano, which the
first blast of a trumpet from St, Domingo would cause to explode, and
bury in one common ruin, man, wdman, and child. As it is, nothing
but the King's armed force preserves them from destruction. And yet
these silly people have been so unwise as to refuse to continue the sup-
plies which they are bound to furnish to the troops who protect them,
nay, even to throw out something of a threat to sever themselves from
the mother country, and seek for protection elsewhere. Is it possible
that these people can for a moment forget that England protects them
an& their sugars at the expense of her other colonies ? Do they not
know that if she were to admit the sugars of the East Indies and the

Digitized by


488 Advice of the British Critic to the Anti-Slavery Society.

Mauritius/ on the payment of equal duties ; or still more effectually if
she were to levy a discriminating duty on West India sugar, the sun of
their prosperity would immediately set? Let the House of Assembly
look at these things, and desist in time from using or abusing its autho-
^ity, by a vexatious opposition to his Majesty*s Oovemment*'

Before we close this long article, we feel called upon to acknowledge
our obligations to the British Critic for the kind advice he has lavished
upon us. He warns us, (p. 418,) that the work of weaning men from
their errors, or of reforming such a body as the whites in our slave
colonies, ^ is not to be accomplished by ridicule, misrepresentation,
threats, or blows; that the abolitionist should enter upon his work with
dean hands and a single eye ; that good sense and moderation should
be conspicuous in his conduct ; that he should bring forward no charges
which he cannot substantiate ; that he should be ready to soften rather
than exaggerate existing abuses ; and that if he does not succeed in re-
moving the suspicion, quieting the fears, and doing away the prejudices
of the planter, he should, at least, conduct his cause in a manner which,
in the estimation of impartial men, ought to produce these effects."

This good counsel our Critic follows up by the rather hazardous
observation, that AOt a single abolitionist will be found to say that his
party have adhered to these maxims, and, at least, that no one out of
their rauks would venture on such an assertion. We know not what
those out of their ranks may say, but we will twidly maintain that we
have acted up to, and even beyond, the Critic's bean ideal of an Aboli*
ttonist, and of which, we suspect, he must have even borrowed his con-
ception from our pages. He must, moreover, be little acquainted with
the feelings of abolitionists, if he does not know that the moderation of
the Anti-Slavery Reporter is deemed by some of them one of its great
faults. Leaving him and our ultra friends to settle between them their
conflicting views of our conduct, we challeng;e both to quit thdr vague
and general accusations, and to condescend to point out in our pages
the particular and specific instances, either of a charge which we have
made and not substantiated, or of an existing abuse which we have
exaggerated, or of one just and essential principle which we have com-
promised ; — and we promise to give them ample satisfaction.

Before we conclude, we take this opportunity of again thanking the
British Critic for the opportunity he has given us of so fully vindicating
our principles and our conduct, and we shall rejoice if the result shall
prove as satisfactory to him, as we have no doubt it will to the public
at large.

* Does the Quarterly Reviewer not know that the Mauri tins fugars have haw
admitted for some years to home consuioption on equahduties with those of the
West Indies. They have obtained this favour for no other reason that we can
discover, bat, because they are, like the sugars of the West Indies, grown by
•laves ; while the sugars of Bengal, the growth of free labdur, are suJb^fected to
haavy duties, for the couunon benefit of all British skveholders.


LondAD : B«ff«ter ainI Thorns, Printer*. 14, Bartholmnew CIom

Digitized by



Vols. L and II.

AMitumiM.De^iX of, finoro the Attacks of tli«
Quarterly Review. L ni-from the Charge, of
Mr. Canning I. iW-of Mr. Dwarris, H. S-

^'^u'J^ ."{i Denman, iL W4, and by /iSKBux.

^%?^4uv!![l'J* ^<^"/". compared with the
Negro Stavtt ©f our Colonies, i. 293 . - Its Infrac
tioas of the Law of NaUonsYnH worae San bur
own in the West Indies, i.887; U. iS!

'^%f/^*^*'**'*''-Mr.Dwarris'9 Statements
ou this suhiect commented on. ii. 888, 887, 837.

America, Korthy vide UnitU StmUt.

— -— —- 5iitt/A. the. extent of Free Labour In-
dustry there, described by Humboldt. ir57.

-A«W««. Statiati« of, ii. U. 1.1, 17, 430 .—Pwwress
rf XeTOlativeJlefonn,il 80, S90 :-Case oF the
Stave Grmct, n, 143 .-—Observation of the Sab-
J;|^.^«l-«38:-ll«ligious Instrurtio^ii. sS

Anti'Slaverjf Aseociatient, Address to. i. ]. •—
Arguments, for their mulUplication, i. 848.—
NoTice of. m the United SUtes, ii. 8 /-Inawe
of, ID this Country, L « ; ii. 8fi£ *«"«»«

'^•^*;S*S57 ^•*^' Remarks on its state in 1888.
"\174-80^Remarks bvMr, Wilberfotce, ii. 8147
-Wntere in support of it, ii. 176.

Anii^verjf Meftingi; at Norwich, Oct SO, 1885.
Vt*'^? 1' ^^ I'J®?' i-«^BuckinghaiA, Jan
17, 1886, i. 87-Edmburgh, Feb. 1, 1&8. i. 90-
Liverpool, i WS-Couoty of' Surrey, Oct 85, 1887,

Jf ^^»8»jg 1888 at Liverpool, Birmingham,

jtortftMMMr; CUose in the Trinidad Order on
tfab subject, L 13»-refereoces to and remarks
on this Clause, 1. 148, 818, 300, 301, 383 : ii. 85-

Online LibraryZachary MacaulayAnti-slavery monthly reporter → online text (page 70 of 72)