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trade until it was put down by law, and then made a felony ;though the present Prime Minister, and nearly the whole Čabinet, were determined enemies of the Abolition ;-though Governor Farquhar owes his appointment either to the Royal Family or the Ministers, or both, and appears at first to have entertained very incorrect views upon the subject of the slave traffic ;-yet no sooner are those mistakes of his made known at home, and the pleasure of the Government signified upon them, than we have such a despatch as that now before us, equally creditable to his understanding and his principles. There are instances of a far more serious nature than this, if we are rightly informed, in which errors of a much deeper shade have been committed, and not retrieved. Officers there have been, fortified by high connexions; and who have not scrupled to share in the advantages derived from a breach of the law. To these cases, in which there was no error of judgment, but positive guilt, we cannot entertain a doubt that the attention of the Institution will speedily be directed, if it has not already inquired into them; and the public undoubtedly will look confidently to their honest and fearless discharge of a duty which is only rendered the more imposing, as it may clash with great station and exalted patronage or powerful protection.

Other instances are not wanting of the salutary effects produced by the vigilance of this excellent Institution. Thus, information had been received, that a traffic in slaves was carried on in Malta :-It appeared, that not fewer than one hundred negroes, principally from Alexandria, were imported into the island, and sold, as well to English men as to Maltese. The Directors did not fail to represent these proceedings to the Government; and an inquiry into the abuse was immediately set on foot by the ministers. It is impossible not to feel some astonishment, that such an enormity should have existed for any length of time, without exciting the attention of the civil or military authorities in the settlement. The high character of the officers who have hitherto commanded there, render this only the more inexplicable. Nor should we be surprized to find, that they have suffered themselves to be deceived by the assertions which the dealers will always have the effrontery to make, that the negroes are brought over voluntarily, and hired as indentured servants.

Passing over matters of less moment in the Report, we come to the branch of the Report which relates immediately to Africa. There is considerably less of interesting information under this head in the present, than in late publications. A potice is given of the delay occasioned, by unforeseen accidents, in VOL. XXI. NO. 42.


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publishing Mr Park's Journal. We are, however, indulged with the prospect of these obstacles being speedily removed ; and in the mean time it may be proper to extract a passage from the Journal, given in this Report, as illustrative of the difference between the Negroes on the coast and those in the interior beyond the reach of the slave trade. The Directors introduce the passage after describing the brutal and refractory nature of the people of Winnebah, where the truly lamented Governor Meredith met with his death.

· Describing the town of Sansanding, on the Niger, Mr Park says-—" Sansanding contains, according to Koontee Mamadie's account, eleven thousand inhabitants. It has no public buildings except the mosques, two of which, though built of mud, are by no means inelegant.

“ The market place is a large square, and the different articles of merchandize are exposed for sale on stalls covered with mats to shade them from the sun. The market is crowded with people from morning to night Some of the stalls contain nothing but beads ; others indigo in balls ; others wood ashes in balls ; others Houssa and Jinnie cloth. I observed one stall with nothing but antimony in little bits ; another with sulphur ; and a third with copper and silver rings and bracelets. In the houses fronting the square are sold scarlet cloth, amber, silks from Morocco, and tobacco, which looks like Levant tobacco, and comes by way of Tombuctoo.

“ Adjoining to this is the salt market, part of which occupies one corner of the square. A slab of salt is sold commonly for 8,000 cowries. A large butcher's stall, or shade, is in the centre of the square, and as good and as fat meat sold every day as any in England.

6. The beer market is at a little distance, under two large trees : and there are often exposed for sale from 80 to 100 calabashes of beer, each containing about two gallons. Near the beer market is the place where red and yellow leather is sold. Besides these market places, there is a very large space which is appropriated for the general market every Tuesday. On this day, astonishing crowds of people come from the country to purchase articles in wholesale, and retail them in the different villages. There are commonly from 16 to 20 large fat Moorish bullocks killed on the market morn. ing.

Under the head of Africa, we must also notice the very judicious plan of profiting by the opportunity of inducing Captain Paul Cúffee to settle in Sierra Leone, and carry over with him free Blacks of good character and of some property, who might settle in the colony, and practise among the natives the mechanical arts, and the cultivation of tropical produce. Paul Cuffee, as many of our readers know, is a free black, who, by his industry and talents, has acquired considerable wealth, a part

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of which he invests in trade, commanding his vessel in person, and manning her with a fine crew of free Negroes. They were lately in this country, and attracted universal respect by the propriety of their deportment, as well as admiration by their singular proficiency in both the science and the practice of navigation. The African Board held a meeting, although in vacation time, for the purpose of seeing and conferring with the Captain. His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester attended, as he always does, at the Board, and, together with the other Directors, entered fully into the subjects, alike interesting to those distinguished philanthropists, and to their dark-coloured but civilized aily. They were highly gratified with the interview, and were led to form the most sanguine expectations of the benefits to be derived from his active cooperation. Their application for a grant of land was unhappily rendered unsuccessful, by the intervention of hostilities with America, Captain Cullee being a citizen of the United States; but we trust that some means may still be found of renewing a negociation so manifestly calculated to carry civilization into Africa by the most sure and practicable road. This is in truth precisely the principle of the plan pursued with such signal success by the Quakers, in civilizing the North American Indians. We formerly called the attention of our readers to this subject; and, by referring to what was there detailed, the grounds of our confident expectations from the present plan may be seen. * In the mean time, it is gratifying to learn, that Paul Cuffee, retaining all his zeal for the improvement of his race, is now exerting himself in America with the great object of African civilization constantly before him.

The course of this article has now brought us to the West Indian part of the subject. And here we lament to find, that, instead of such improvements in the treatment of the unhappy negroes, as might fairly have been expected to result from a stoppage of the supply since the abolition, instances are to be met with, of enormities exceeding the former rate of West Indian depravity. The cruelties committed in the face of day, before Magistrates, in some instances nearly approaching to murder-the effrontery with which the law is braved by persons secure in their powerful connexions, or their influence over judges and juries--the additional security afforded to their erimes by the common law of the colonies, the whole spirit of which is adverse to freedom, and bears uniformly against the slaves—These things ought to be most maturely considered by the Legislature of the empire, and made the foundation of an inquiry into the remedies applicable to the diseased state of colonial society. Among these remedies, the prominent ones almost immediately suggest themselves ; and it might have been expected that the colonial legislature would, before this time, have proceeded to consider them. One is the abolition, as far as possible, of slavery or villenage in gross, by annexing the slaves to the soil in all plantations or estates, or wherever Negroes are employed in agriculture, or works connected with agriculture. Towards this most salutary improvement, no step has yet been taken in any of the islands. Another measure of the greatest moment, would be the admission of free persons of colour to give evidence, even against Whites; and this avowedly as a step towards establishing the competency of Negro evidence generally. The credit of such testimony would, of course, remain subject to the deductions always very sure to be made from it by the feelings and prejudices of a tribunal untainted (to use the West Indian language) by colour. This is a very important subject ; and we can at present do no more than merely touch it. The remaining step, and the one which ought unquestionably to be taken first, is the extension to all the colonies of the registering of slaves, established in Trinidad by order in Council. The Appendix to the Report now before us contains an ample abstract of this important order, which is now in full force in Trinidad, and cannot fail to produce the most salutary effects, both in preventing all contraband slave traffic, and in imposing checks upon the gross abuse of their power, so prevalent among West Indian masters or, we ought rather to say, their agents and overseers. The Directors warmly recommend the extension of this excellent plan to all the islands by the authority of the Legislature, which, as our readers know, must be interposed-in all except the conquered settleir ents—to give such a measure the force of law.

* Number for July 1806.

We shall revert, at an early opportunity, to the consideration of these important subjects, which we have now only been able to mention. But we earnestly solicit the attention of our readers to them; and if any additional motive to an anxious examination of them were wanting, we should remind all who have the common feelings of humanity or rather the ordinary sense of justice within them, that the horrors already detailed in this Journal--the bloody tragedies of Tortola and Nevis the enormities of the Hodges and Huggins—are inseparable from the present system ; and that the system is incapable of reformation, except by the superintending wisdom and justice of the Imperial Parliament.


From February to July 1813.


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