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are exposed to the sun in Madeira and Turk's island,—the latter place is between Jamaica and Hispaniola; there are about thirty inhabitants of the Bermudian race on this fandy barren island; their children run naked, and, as soon as they are able, rake falt at the pond, and carry it to the beach, where they pile it in heaps: it is their only article of commerce.
I observed, with attention, the tawny fry busy at their labour: their hair was coarse, short, and curly; their skin as dark and brown as any Mulatto, and they were as rude and aimost as wild as favages; so thac no rational being would take them to be the children of white parents; then if in one generation they change to Mulattoes, in. all human probability, in fifteen or twenty generations to come the descendants would be black.
Blacks, I contend, are human flesh and blood, and have souls and intellects as well as whites; and if their geniuses were properly cultivated, would make as great improvements in all the polite arts and sciences as whites; yes, most certainly they would. Good God! when I think how many millions of my fellow creatures ha/fe been murdered since the beginning of this horrid commerce, and how many more are still groaning in bondage and misery, and no prospect of a change, my blood runs cold. Great Creator of this terrestrial ball! surely thou didst not people one quarter of it to be staves to the other three; nor didst thou cause the West Indies to emerge • • from from the waters to be theatres for rapine and murder.—No—those islands teem with bounteous nature and spontaneous plenty; but barbarous man, tyrant of the world, has changed the delightsul scenes to scenes of horror, chains and torture, and unparalelled cruelty!
In Great Britain and Ireland the beasts of the field are better protected by the laws than slaves in the West Indies: for if a horse or a cow is wantonly killed, or deprived of the tail or horns, or any way maliciously maimed, diligent enquiry is made, and if the offender bedetected, he isbrought to trial and transported; and though a white man or woman barbarously and wantonly attacks a slave, even the property of another, and lops off the ears, nose, or testicles of the fame, the only punishment by the law, though the owner of the injured stave prosecutes most vigorously, is a fine, perhaps not one fourth the value of the slave: to authenticate this assertion, 1 shall submit the first and second clauses of the Slave Act in Jamaica.
«* After the passing of this act, if any person whatsoever shall wittingly, wantonly, or bloody-mindedly kill/ any negroe or stave, such person or persons so offending shall for the first offence be guilty of felony, and have the benefit of the clergy, and shall suffer as a further punishment, an imprisonment for such time as the court, before whom such offender shall be tried, shall adjudge;
K 3 not not exceeding twelve months. That such person being convicted of felony for killing 3 slave, if such Gave did belong to any other person than the person convicted of. such felony, such person so convicted shall pay the sum of sixty pounds to the owner to whom such slave did belong, to be recovered by action of debt."
The fifty-fourth clause of the Slave Act in the Island of St. Vincent is as follows: to wit; «* And be it surther enacted by the authority aforefaid, that if any free person or persons whatsoever, shall * geld or dismember any slave, such person or persons so offending, shall and may be prosecuted by presentment, indictment or information, before the justices of the peace in their sessions, or the justices of Oyer and Terminer, and general goal delivery; and upon conviction of any such gelding or dismembering, the offender or offenders shall and may be fined any sum not exceeding sixty pounds current money, or less than forty; and shall be imprisoned until such fine shall be paid, and shall give security for his or her good behaviour."
* It occurs to me that some one or more of the council ©r assembly must have been jealous of blacjt wenches, and compiled this clause merely for the purpose of gratifying their revenge on black men; and it is a cruel and ridiculous clause.
Though there is a clause in the Slave Act, setting forth, That if any master or owner of a slave . gives more than thirty-nine stripes at one time to his slave, he is liable to be indicted before the justices of the peace in their sessions, and upon conviction to forfeit a small penalty, this but very little protects poor staves from the severity of cruel and vindictive whites: for as the evidence of a slave will not be admitted against a free person, a free person may flog in private his own or any other person's staves; and supposing he was instigated by the devil to kill them, if a free person was not present, he could not be injured; and if a slave who is wantonly cut and mangled, battered and bruised by a white man, attempts to fave his eyes, his nose, ears, &c. by lifting up his hand in his own defence, he is instantly brought to tryal before two or three calJiloo justices, and immediately tucked up; this is, I appeal to all the world, a more cruel, unjust and barbarous law than any of those of old; though the Gibeonites were slaves, kings could not injure them with impunity: Saul had seven of his sons hung up in his presence for murdering a few of them, though they were only "hewers of wood, and drawers of Water," like poor Africans.
There was a law at Athens, setting forth, That he who flogged or ill treated another's slave, was to suffer severe corporal punishment; and in some cases was put to death.
By a law of the Greeks, when a slave was barbarously tr ated by his master, he could infill on being sold, and could chuse another master:— there was a similar law at Rome, so that slaves in those places had some protection; but how is it in the West Indies? There their lives and properties are in the hands of their owners, nor can a slave do any thing through a virtuous motive: therefore, slavery is bad in various respects: it is bad for the slave, because he is compelled to act contrary to his disposition, to break the commandments, and to do every diabolical business he is directed: it is bad for the master, because he has an unlimited power over his stave, and insensibly forgets all moral virtues, and becomes cruel, fierce and voluptuous.
Good God! how cruel and depraved the heart of man! I have known clergymen, on the most frivolous occasions, to order their staves to be flogged and tortured, contrary to all the texts in the gospel; and to sit in their piazza's looking on, singing and laughing at the shrieks of anguish forced by the lashing and cutting of their drivers.
When a ship arrives in the West Indies from the coast of Africa with a cargo of negroes (three, four or five hundred, or perhaps more), an advertisement immediately appears in the newspapers, that on a certain day will be fold a choice parcel of prime staves; and though they may be a mixture of different countries, such as