Zachary Macauley.

The Anti-slavery reporter and aborigines' friend online

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dation of a population which, including all classes, amounts to about
400,000, there are churches and chapels belonging to the establishment
capable of containing dnly about 1 1 ,500 individuals. This is exclusive
of Baptist, Methodist, and Moravian meeting-houses. The schools for
the education of free persons contain nearly 700 scholars ; being about
one in eighty or ninety of the free population. The bishop does not
State that there are any schools/or the slaves.

Such is the Bishop of Jamaica's ecclesiastical account of his diocese.

II.— Report of the Bishop of Barbadoes.

The Bishop of Barbadoes makes a report, if possible, still more dis^
couraging than that of his brother bishop. He was received, indeed,
in the different islands of his diocese with great respect, and with as-
surances of a readiness to co-operate with him on the part of the
planters : some of whom have explicitly stated, that they hail his ap-
pointment as ''a happy means oi defeating the designs and refuting
the calumnies of their self-interested enemies." The planters of Bar-
badoes assure his Lordship, that they have '^ the most sincere desire
to afford the blessings of religious instruction to their slaves ;'* though,
weighed down as they are, they cannot '* consent to such a subtraction
of labour from the cultivation of their estates, as would lead to a mate-
rial reduction of income." They cannot, that is to say, spare the chil-
dren from the cane-field and the hog-meat gang. Accordingly we find,
from' the parochial returns sent to the Bishop, that the whole of the re-
ligious instruction given, or likely to be given, to the slaves in Barba-
does, consists in this — that on about half of the estates in the island,
either a clergyman or catechist visits the estate once a month, or once
a fortnight; or an overseer or book-keeper acts as his substitute, for
the purpose of teaching the children to repeat the Lord's Prayer, the
Creed, and the ten Commandments. We have also such remarks as
the following respecting particular estates: — "The negroes have been,
lectured by the Rector." — " It is expected the white servants give daily
instruction to the children."—** These have been attended by a Moravian



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195

missionary.** — ** These have been attended by a Methodist missionary.^
Now, as we know that no Methodist missionary has appeared in the
island of Barbadoes since Shrewsbury's expulsion in 1823, this mode
of expression throws the whole of the Bishop's statement into great
doubt and ambiguity. Does he mean to say, that some three or four
years ago the Rector gave a lecture to the negroes, on a particular estate,
the savour of which, like the attendance of the Methodist missionary,
has endured ever since ? Again, when the report says, *' it is expected
the white servants ^ive daily instruction to the children," what are we
to understand by this statement? The extent of instruction, however,
even where any mstruction at all is given, is, for the most part, confined
to the Lord*s Prayer, the Creed, and Commandments, once a monUi,
or once a fortnight, by the overseer, or by a clergyman. On some there
is an occasional lecture, and the Catechism. Only on one estate do the
young negroes appear to be taught to read, namely, Mr. Leacock's.
The exception is most honourable to him.

The Clergyman of the parish of St. Lucy states his having opened a
school in his parish ; and the language he uses, would lead a common
reader to infer that the slaves were admitted- to it. <' All children," he
says, '' are admitted into the school without distinction of rank, age, or
sex." Yet it appears that the applications for admission come from the
parents of the children that are admitted, and not from their masters,
as must be the case if they were slaves — a proof that the persons ad-
mitted are not slaves, but free. Of the planters, all that is said is, that
some of them have visited the school, and have been so much pleased
with it, as to express a wish to adopt it. Why should these statements
be involved in so much obscurity ? Why should it not be explicitly
stated, whether the children educated are slaves or free ? The omission
may be accidental, but the purpose that may be served by it is obvious.

The Bishop applies to Government for the following articles, viz : —
Twelve churches, ten chapels, thirty parsonage-houses, nineteen school-
houses, seventeen clergymen, and thirty catechists; and he says he has
pressed most earnestly on the local legislatures, and on individual pro-
prietors, the expediency of an increased number of places of worsnip,
together with residences for the clergy, and schools for the religious -
instruction of the young. He does not say ^at his urgent recommen-
dations have been complied with. In not one of the islands of his
diocese has he stated that there is a single school for slaves, connected
with the establishment, nor one even for free coloured persons, except
in Barbadoes. There it is mentioned that there are six, though of their
nature and objects, and of the number attending them, no explanation
is given. We trust soon to receive a more gratifying account of the
progress actually made in the work of instruction, than either of these
reports exhibit.

Before we quit these reports, shall we do wrong in adverting to some
of the gross misrepresentations, respecting the state of slavery in the
West Indies, which they are calculated to expose ? A large octavo
volume has recently made its appearance in this country, entitled " A
Practical View of the Present State of Slavery in the West Indies,*'
&c. by Alexander Barclay, lately, and for twenty-one years, resident



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m the We3t In^ib AmoQg % vi^ieiy of very palpi^Ms mis-statements,
to wiuch we may hereafter Advert, he gives us the foIlpwUig favour^^
tie picture of pegrp untproveqi^t : (p. x?Ui.) "Twenty years fgo, the
churches were scarcely aj ^]\ attended by the slo^vesf sin^pe then, the
Q^mber of churches or places of worship, pf oiie Iqna or other, has been
more than doublet^ io f»ct, iwarly trehlf4; s^id yet, in the districts
wheri& J have had an opportunity pf seeifig ^m^ they are fi^Uy at-
i^^ij, ^iid principally by slaves." Now, the Bishop d|»tlncUy tells
^^, tJitat in the whole island, there are nqt places oif worship belonging
to Ui^ established Church capable of coutaining mpre than eleven or
twelve thoi^sand i)[)diTi4^als, the whole population beiji^g 400,000; and
that ** th0 parishes in the interior are ahsoluteljf witkpui the semblance
qf the form^ ^ religious worship** "the dissenting places of worship
4wected in the Uhud, have afforded spme additional room to the slaves;
but still, can any statements be substantially more at variance th^
those of Mr. Barclay and the Bishop t

, Again Mr, Barclay affirms, that in Jamaica " Sunday is strjctly, a
day of rest.'' Yet it is the market-day throughout the island ; and the
very S^ve-law now in force there sUit^, that slaves ;m^ to be allowed
twenty-si^ days in the year, exclusive qf Sunda'ifs, for thiwr pravi^ion
grquuds, Actof 1816, §4. ^

The looseness with wl^jch similar statements are made by gentlemea
who may be considered as having strouger claims on our GOQfideB<:^e
than Mr. Barclay, is wortliy of particular notice. At the late Surrey
election, oac of tl^e candidates, Mr. Pallmer^ is reported to have said,
that he had been the instrument of introducing; within the pale of the
Christian Church a tbous^d slaves, not nommally, hut really^ Th^
statement, coming from that gentlem^^ surprised us no^ a iitde,
because we cap have no doubt whatever that it is altogether mitrue;
and d^t be ha^ suffered faimseif to be deceived by his info|rmant. S^ch
an eyent as this occurrixig, in any one of the parishes where Mr. Pallmer's
estates are situated, in which, until 1825, if even then, there liad been
little or no instruction^ could not have escaped ^ notice of the Bishop,
or of Us eye, the Archdeacon^ So desirous was his lordship of cojlect-
ing every fact creditable tp the planters, that in October Ifist, ip giving
an accpunt of the very parishes in which this great reUgious revolutipi^
ipiust have taken place^ if it took place s^t all, while he notices the fact, tha^t
on Halse-hall esta^ (bjelppging to Mr. De la B^e) a Methodist Mis-
sionary attended oncje a fortnight, he s^ys not one word of Mr, Pall-
mer's thousand new and real converts to Cbristjiapity. We should l^e
glad to bive spmp mpre distinct specification of ^is most ejttraordipary
transaction; time, place, circifmstaoces^ and means, clesgriy pointegi
put ; lor the facts, if true, deserve to be recprded \n the piost authentic
form, and with all the requisite proof.

Thi^ and eli Q^her pubUcmtions of the Societifi ma^ be ba<^ ^ tfieir pfkf
18, Afdermanbury ; oral Messrs, Hutckard^, 187, Picca(iUly,an4 Arcfi%ComhiO»
iTheif fiiay also be proturedy through any bookseller, or at the depots of the Anti-
Slavery Society throughout the kingdom.



Lmfton^—BAOSTJER 4 THO.\J.% Printer*^ ifl, B^t U^otomuf aost.



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London, 18, Aldermanbury, July SI, 1826.

No. 14. ^

ANTI-SLAVERY

MONTHLY REPORTER.



The " Anti-Sla?eey Monthly Reporter" wHl be ready for delivery on the
last day of every month. Copies T?ill be forwarded, at the request of any Anti-
Slavery Society, at the rate of four shillings per hundred, when not exceeding
half a sheet, and in proportion, when it exceeds Uiat quantity. All persons wish-
ing to receive a regular supply are requested to make application to the Secretary,
at the Society's office. No. 18, Aldermanbury, and mention the conveyance by
which they may be most conveniently setit.



ANTI-SLAVERY PETITIONS AND MOTIONS.

The number of Anti-slavery petitions which have been presented to
the House of Commons in the last session amounts to 674. Several
more would have been presented on the last day of the session had an
opportunity been afforded. A like number was presented to th^ House
of Peers. Many of these pettttons conveyed the sentiments (almost
always unanimous) of large county and other meetings, at which the
whole subject of Colonial Slavery was fully and freely discussed ; and
all of them were numerously subscribed by persons of every class. The
petition from London contained, 72,000 signatures ; that from Manclies-
ter, 41,000; that from Glasgow, 38,000 ; that from Edinburgh, 17,000 ;
that from the county of Norfolk, 38,000 ; and from other places in a
like proportion.

Various attempts have been made to detract from the weight due to
these petitions as a fair expression of the public feeling on the subject
of slavery, but with no success. They could not justly be said to pre-
cede inquiry, for they followed three years of active discussion, during
which no one can truly reproach the friends of slavery with having been
inert in pleading their own cause, or in counteracting the efforts of their op-
ponents. The merits of the g^eat question at issue have been fully can*
vassed ; and the effect of its thorough exposure has indubitably been
a growing, and it may even be said an almost universal conviction, on
the part of the public, that the slavery which prevails in our colonies is
opposed to the spirit of our holy religion, to the genius of the British
Constitution, to the principles of humanity and justice, and to every
sound view even of our commercial interests.

It has been alleged indeed that great pains were taken by the Com-
mittee in London to excite the public feeling, and that much unfair ar^
tifice was employedi by them to get up petitions from all parts of the
country ; while the identity in their language end structure ^ufficiendy
shewed them to have been formed on some common model which had
been supplied from the Anti-Slavery Office.



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198

In reply to these charges it may be sufficient to state, that all the
publications circulated by the Society are easily accessible lo its bK-
terest enemies, who may be challenged to cite a single passage
therein contained which is opposed to rair dealing, or which is charge-
able with undue excitement. If they can find such a passage, lei them
produce it, chat the public may judge between the parties. Such an
enquiry, it may be said with confidence, will prove most clearly that
the Society has not transgressed the limits of truth and soberness, either
in its appeals to the country, or in the statements on which those appeals
were founded. Of course, the Society cannpt be made responsible for
any rash or exaggerated statements of individual writers or orators^ who
niay have espoused their cause.

With respect to the charge of identity in the language of the peti-
titions, the refutation is equally easy. Of the 674 petitions present^ to
the House of Commons, 376 have been printed in the Appendix to the
votes of that house. A very cursory inspection of them will prove, that
on no occasion have so many petitions, relating to one subject, and
uniting in the same general prayer, manifested so clearly that they spoke
the unprompted and spontaneous feelings of the petitioners, and that
they were not servilely copied from any model. And, in point of fact,
no such model was supplied. So far indeed is this charge from being true,
that it might be shewn that not a few of the petitioas contain statements
in which the London Committee would not have concurred. Some of
them, for example, express their satisfaction (a satisfaction certaiidy in
which the Committee did not participate) widi the measures that had
been adopted in Demerara for ameliorating the conditbn of the slaves,
and with the provisions generally made for their rdigious instruction ;
while many of them omit all mention of the impolitic restridions in
favour of Slave culture, or of that enormous injustice by which the pe<^[)le
of this country are made to contribute^ in bounties and protecting duties,
to the maintenance of a system which they detest and reprobate.

From the commencement of the Blave Trade controversy, it has been
the uniform practice of the West Indians to endeavour to depreciate
both the number and the value of the petitions presented to parliament
on the subject In like manner the journals which now support
Slavery have been anxious to represent those presented in the last
session, as small in number and identical in language. One journal
speaks slightingly of them as amounting only to 46 ; and this false^state-
ment is copied into the <u)lonial newspapers as if it were true, and is
made a ground for encouraging the Planters in their resistance to Go-
vernment. This fact, however, only evinces more clearly tlie impressio]\
of the importai»ce of those petitions, and tiie apprehension of their efiect,
which are entertained by the Colonists.

These common and unworthy artifices of the avowed advocates of
Slavery may well be disregarded. We deem it incumbent upon us, how-
ever, to advert at greater length to objections coming from another and a
more respectable quarter, — not from a friend, but from an avowed oppo-
nent of Slavery, whose high official situation gives scarcely more weight
to his observations, than they acquire from his splendid talents and com-
manding eloquence.



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On the 20ih of April last, a motioii was. made in the Houae p£
CoiDiQons by Mr. Wtlliam Soaithy the object of which wa3 to urge
on Parliament the expediency of placing the adnunistration of the Colo-
nkd Slave Laws exclusively in the hands of men unconnected with Slavie
property. On this occasion Mr. Canning, adverting to the numeroua
petitions ^ich had been presented to the House, and which be admitted
to convey an unequivocal expression of the prevalent wish of the nation,
for the mitigation and extinction of Slavery, is reported to have thus,
spoken : —

" Such aid " (as it is alleged these petitions afford to the Government).
^* rather adds to our incumbrance than increases our power. What are
our difficulties ? On the one hand, overweening expectations of too
sudden results ; — hopes of wrong placed enthusiasm inculcating imn
practicable measures. Ou the other, alarms for property and life. — Re-
solutions at public meetings add to the enthusiasm of the eothusiatics,
and, threatening those at a distance, make obstinacy more obstinate,
and apprehension more fearfuL On one side enthusiasm is increaaed.
Oa tfa^Q^MS m^ pftavooa are acosised, and alarms are quickened;
new opposition is engendered ; new difficulties are created ; old ones are
aggravated, and obstacles multiplied. If the question now were whether
this system should be upheld or not; if there were any lingering reluctance
to acknowledge its enormities ; if any attempt were made in this House
to uphold the system, the object of bringing forward facts and crueltiea
to excite abhorrence and disgust would be just and necessajry. Buttbis
is not the object to be obtained. No man upholds the system ; all
agree that it is oteceasary to amend it; and these facts are only brought
forward to excite enthusiasm which requires controul, and which can lead
to no practical good ; while they excite in the colonies determined re»
sistance which must be overcome before our purposes can be e^ted/'

The above passage is without doubt very forcibly and. eloquently ex*
pvessed. It is also well adapted to excite a prejudice against the abo-
litioniats. It is not, however, too much to affirm^ that it is neither accu-
rate in its statements, nor sound in its anticipations.

In the first place, is it true — on the contrary, is it not the very reverse of
truth, that, now, '' no man upholds thesystem," and that there is no longer
** any lingering reluctance to acknowledge its enormities V Or is it
true, that the facts which serve to excite an abhorrence of slavery are
brdught forward by the abolitionists only for the reasons said to be as-
signed by Mr. Canning ? Have they not of late been broughtforward on^
or chiefly in self defence ? The abohtionists have been charged agm
^nd again with the crime of calunmtating slavery. This charge was re-*
newed with great vehemence on the very evening on which Mr. Canning's
speech was delivered ; and the mildness and humanity of the ^ysitemt
i«»9re again and again affirmed. Is no. reply to be made to such repre-
sentations ? And what reply can be so summary and ^ectual as a re-
ierencse to facts that are matter both of public and authentic record, and
of recent occurrence ? ^* No man," says Mr. Canningi ''' upholda the
systeijQ ;^ th^e is no longer '^ any lingering reluctance to. admowledge
its enormities.'' Mr. Canning's numerous and important avocatioM
hai|^ dotthdess j^evented his knovung how tittle such an averment coe-.



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responds with the reality of the case. He cdnnot be aware that the
whole of the West Indian periodical press, and a considerable part of
that of Great Britain are re^larly employed in attempting touphold>
Slavery, to palliate, if not to deny its enormities, and, in some instances^
to prove it to be a humane and beneficent institution. If he had read
the Quarterly Review, or Blackwood's Magazine ; or the pamphlets
reported to be demi-official, which the last year has produced ; or
the voluminous reports framed by persons more or less connected with
the Colonial department, which load the table of the House of Commons ;
all tendmg to the same point; — to abate the disgust and horror of
Slavery, to retard its extinction, and to fritter away the pledges of
Government and Parliament on that momentous subject, he would have
somewhat qualified this allegation.

" No man upholds the system.'' For what object then are large
sums raised, by the West India Committee, on all West India produce
imported into this country, of the appropriation of which no account is
given ? What mean also the thousands of pounds voted by West
Indian Legislatures, or subscribed by West Indian communities, and
lavished on writers whose claim arises from the dexterity with which
they varnish the deformities of the West Indian System, and the viru-
lence with which they blacken and revile its adversaries ?

But, although Mr. Canning may have been unapprised of the extent
and efficacy of all this combination of means (and we have only glanced
at some of them), which are at work to " uphold the system " and to
abate the feeling of its enormities, yet he must be cognizant of what
passed within his hearing in the House of Commmons. On the very
night on which he is said to hkve uttered the words in question, no
fewer than five or six West Indians rose in their places to charge the
abolitionists, in strong but general terms, with misrepresentation, exag-
geration, and falsehood. Against such charges how are the aboli-
tionists to defend themselves ; how are they to prove that they have not
misled the public ; how are they to vindicate their own character for
fair dealing, except by not only referring to the latest colonial enact-
ments, but by citing recent and authentic facts, facts which stand on the
unexceptionable testimony of West Indian authority, as fully bearing
out all that they have asserted of the cruelty and oppressiveness and
undiminished malignity of the system ?

Much more might I'', said on this subject did our limits allow of it;
but we pass to another a ^ertion contained in the above passage, which
appears equally unfoundea with that which has now been commented-
upon. The abolitionists are there charged with indulging " overweening
expectations of too sudden results, and hopes ot wrong placed entbu^''
siasm f* and with ** inculcating impracticable measures."

We have not the slightest conception what those impracticable mea*'
sures are to which Mr. Canning alludes. We have searched for them:
in vain in tbe speeches of Abolittomsts in Parliament, and in the public'
cations of the Anti-Slavery Society. In point of fact, the identical mea-^
sures, originally recommended by Mr. Buxton, were those, whicb, witb
only one material exception, were adopted by Government, and recom-
mended in biii^ Mstjesty 's name, by the Earl Bathurst^ to th# Cdonialautko**



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201

TiUes. Tbe exception related to the emancipation of children born after
a certain period. Bat even this point has not been brought forward in
Parliament, the abolitionists having consented that, in furtherance of the
well-known resolution of the 15th of May, 1823, those measures should
be adopted in the first instance, on the expediency and beneficial
tendency of which no difference of opinion existed between them and
bis Majesty's ministers. Those measures may be briefly stated to be,

1 . To provide the means of religious instruction and Christian edu*
cadon for the slave population.

2. To put an end to markets and to labour on the Sunday, and to
-appropriate that day entirely to rest and recreation, and to religiouft
worship and instruction ; and instead of Sunday, which had hitherto
been the day on which, in most of the Colonies, the slaves had chid*
vated their provision grounds, to allow them equivalent time on other
days for that purpose.

3. To admit the testimony of slaves in courts of justice.

4. To legalize the marriages of slaves, and to protect them in the
enjoyment of their connubial rights.

5. To protect the slaves by law in the acquisition and possession of
property, and its transmission by bequest, or otherwise.

6. To remove all the existing obstructions to manumission, and to
^ant to the slave the power of redeeming himself, and his wife and
^ildren, at a fair appraisement

7. To prevent the separation of families by sale, or otherwise.

8. To prevent the seizure and sale of slaves detached from the estate
or plantation to which they belong.

9. To restrain generally the power, and to prevent.the abuse, of arbi-
trary punishment at tbe will of the master.

10. To abolish the degrading corporal punishment of females.

11. To abolish the use of the driving-whip in the field, either as an
^nblem of authority, or as a stimulus to labour.

12. To establish Savings' Banks for the use of slaves.

It had been previously intimated, that as soon as the requisite in-
formation could be obtained, means should be taken 'to reform the ad-
ministration of justice in the Colonies.

Wherein then have the views of the abolitionists so differed from those
^f his Majesty's ministers, as to justify Mr. Canning in designating the
former as visionary and impracticable, while the latter must, of course,



Online LibraryZachary MacauleyThe Anti-slavery reporter and aborigines' friend → online text (page 30 of 58)