« السابقةمتابعة »
didly told me, that when the island was taken by the Spaniards, his ancestors would not furrender themselves, but refolved to be free, or perifh; and held out fo long in the woods, that having killed several of the English, and tired the rest, a treaty of peace was concluded upon; fince which time they have been loyal fubjects. Different parties of them traverse the island, and go armed; they take up runaway negroes and bring them to their mafters, for every one of which they are paid at a certain rate per mile.
When king Cudjo dies, his eldest fon or Captain Davy fucceeds him.-He had on a red coat, red breeches, a gold-laced hat, fhoes, and no ftockings; his wife had nothing on but an Oznabrig frock.
Some writers, in fupport of the African iniquitous trade, have endeavoured to perfuade that vast numbers of the negroes imported from that coaft partake of the brute creation; under the pretext that the fpecies of the Oran-outang, or wild man of the woods, frequently copulate with the women. And to confirm this, fays a very ludicrous writer, "Not long fince a cargo of them arrived in Jamaica, whofe hands had little or no balis to the thumb, and whofe nails were more of the claw kind than otherwife." This is a moft abfurd affertion-a notorious falfehood: for I have feen thousands and tens of thousands of both Africans and Creole negroes, not one of whom came under this denomination; nor was there the
the smallest analogy between them and fuch monfters. The fame writer again obferves very wantonly, "In this cafe the colonists in the West Indies are inftrumental in humanizing the defcendants of the offspring of even brutes." I fay that the colonies in the West Indies, for the fake of two luxuries which all the world might well dispense without, which are fugar and rum, I fay, that for the sake of these and some other trifling articles of commerce, they are inftrumental in murdering about fifty thousand human beings yearly, "God's own images, though cut on ebony." This is very obvious from the numbers imported into the West Indies; for if slaves were treated well, there would be an increase instead of a decrease; nor would there be any encouragement at all for the African trade: this has been confirmed by fome few humane masters who refided on their eftates. It is fuppofed that about one hundred thousand flaves are yearly exported from Africa; several of these poor wretches, when they get fickly on the Guinea coaft, are thrown over-board alive to fave infurance; and from their being ftowed fo close together, about fixteen thousand are computed to die during their voyage; about thirty thousand more die in the seasoning; and the reft wither out their existance, as I fhall hereafter mention.
But to return to my fubject: I will admit, with Brooks's Natural Hiftory, that there are vast numbers and various kinds of baboons refem
bling men in Africa, that they at times attack and defeat armed men, that they are lafcivious and fond of women, and that it may fometimes happen when an odd one of the latter gets aftray in the woods, that fhe may be overpowered and debauched by thofe fatyrs; but I am well convinced from good authority, and my own knowledge of the black fex, that they have the greatest averfion to them; hence I conceive it novel of those who strive to perfuade that conceptions fo frequent take place from embraces of this kind, even admitting the organs of generation in the human and brute creation to be the fame, which cannot be; for though there may be fome fimilitudes, those who have studied the fecrets of nature, point out vaft difference; befides, it is well known that blacks are in ftature as tall and comely as whites, and as exquifitely formed in every respect; and though fome may be more deformed than others, it is cruel and illiberal to infinuate the leaft fuggeftion of their partaking of the brute creation. How many white deformed, stupid, ignorant, indolent, lazy, idle favages, baboons and fatyrs in human form, are there in Great Britain and Ireland? who, in my humble opinion, are as juftly entitled to be dragged from their parents and friends, from bogs, heath and furs, shipped off, and doomed to eternal flavery, as the unhappy fons and daughters of Africa.
Others think themselves juftified in countenancing this abominable trade in human blood, becaufe
because flavery is mentioned in feveral parts of the Old Teftament: by the laws of Mofes the Ifraelites purchased flaves from the heathens, they bartered and fold each others prifoners of war as they now do in Africa. Were we to practice the barbarities practifed in days of yore, instead of poor blacks our flaves now would be French, Spaniards, Dutch, and Americans; it is thofe chriftians would be obliged to handle hoes, bills, and axes, and to cultivate our colonies, and in retaliation their colonies would be cultivated by Britons; or were we to act like Jofeph's treacherous brethren, when a brother our flesh and blood offended us, we would tumble him into a pit or well, or sell him to any remorseless stranger; or were we to imitate our first father and mother, instead of gaudy dress, breeches and petticoats, we fhould wear only the leaves of trees to hide our nakednefs, and would be in the fame innocent ftate as blacks were before they were corrupted by our first christian vifitors to their coafts; for they were as harmless as lambs till chriftians, like ferpents, beguiled them; when verfed in their damnable deceptious ftratagems, avarice, pride, and cruelty induced them to form themselves into petty kings, and then encouraged by chriftians to war with each other, by whom they are fupplied with inftruments of death, and fpirituous liquors to inflame and fet them mad, to kill and kidnap, and fell each other, for thefe and fome paulty trinkets.
There is not a word of flavery mentioned in the gospel; no, we are therein commanded to live in brotherly love, and to do unto all men as we would they should 'do unto us. It is no way ftrange to me that foreign nations carry on this trade without feeling or remorfe, when the people themselves are in a manner slaves in their defpotic governments to tyrants; but that Britons, throughout whofe laws the very spirit of liberty is infufed, fhould mingle in the horrid commerce, is a matter of no fmall amazement. Is it because the unhappy lot of a negroe is to be born in a country to which the polite arts and sciences have not yet extended, that he and his pofterity fhould be doomed to perpetual bondage? or is it because the exceffive heat of the climate turned his skin dark, that he fhould be bought and fold like an ox or a horfe, and not treated fo well?-thefe are weak apologies for the Slave Trade; for Britons once bore the name of favages, and enflaved and fold each other; and as it pleafed God, out of his great goodness, to enlighten them, they should have compaffion for their black fellow creatures; and instead of taking advantage of their weakness, and torturing them, they should exert every means to bring them from their state of darknefs and barbarifm to light and understanding. Experience teaches us that in process of time our defcendants, if they went naked in hot climates, would change their colour; this is evidently evinced by even thofe who K 2