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Mucco's, Coromanties, &c. they commonly fet forth, that they are from the best country, the Gold Coast, or Angola &c. for there is a vast difference in the tempers and difpofitions of the negroes, according to the coafts they come from. Until the day of fale they are kept on board in the harbour; during which time the mafter, mate and doctor, (for every fhip has a quack on board) ufe every art to fet them off to the best advantage; the grey hairs and beards of the old men and women are cut and fhaved, and not only their skins, but that of the whole cargo, are rubbed with palm and other oils: fo that a person who is not a judge may purchase an old flave for a young one, a diftempered boy or girl for one healthy and tout. About eight or nine o'clock every morning they are mustered on deck, and are obliged to jump and dance and roar loudly for half an hour, obedient to the failors, who chaftise those who are fick or lazy.
Several of thofe poor creatures, heart broken at their fate, die daily; and leaft any report fhould circulate of the cargo's being fickly, to hurt the fale, the dead bodies are concealed in the hold until night, and given to the fharks, which devour them in a trice: when there are many Guinea fhips in the harbour, the fish fare well.
On the day of fale they are exposed on board as they came into the world, or at the merchants store to whom they are configned: the planters, overfeers,
overfeers &c. attend, and pick and chufe them in like manner as if fheep or oxen; and grabble, grafp and joftle each other to get the beft. The terms of fale are commonly fix months credit; a prime flave will coft about 43 or 441. fterling. New negroes foon learn to be as handy as Creoles, though Creoles think themselves fuperior to them because they have more favy, or knowledge of the country.
The common mode of dicipline on a plantation is as follows: In the morning about half an hour after four the bell is rung to order them out to labour; at the dawn of day the bookkeeper calls the lift, and every flave who is abfent is paid with a few ftripes afterwards. As foon as they come into the field, they deliver to the cooks each a fmall earthen or metal pot and calabash, with fomething or other to prepare for breakfast (there are commonly two or three invalid women appointed for cooks, and to carry water). About nine o'clock, when called to breakfaft, they all fit in the field where their different pots have been boiled, at which time a curious variety of eatables are difplayed: vegetables of one kind or other relifhed with "mah mah," or rotten herrings. In about ten or fifteen minutes they are roufed by the crack of the drivers whip, and fall to work, and continue until twelve; at which time the bell is rung; they then difperfe about the country to pick or gather grafs and vines for the overfeers
horses and swine; about forty-five minutes after one, the bell is rung to order them out; and every one who is not in the field precisely at two, gets a certain number of lashes, by the direction of the book-keeper, who attends to call the lift, Here I must obferve, that it is very imprudent for an overfeer to inveft his bookkeepers with power to order a negroe more than one or two lashes in the courfe of a day.
At night the negroes are obliged to pick up grafs and vines in like manner as at noon, and to affemble at the Overfeer's house; about eight o'clock the lift is called, and he or the who has not brought a proper fizeable bundle gets a few ftripes.
When any of them are difappointed in procuring their bundle, they commonly abfent themselves to fhun the rod, which is often the cafe in dry weather, particularly on lowland plantations; next day they fly to fome of the Overfeer's intimates, to beg for them; others, not fo knowing, after they remain in the canes for two or three days, fearful of returning, least they are paid with double feverity, fly to the mountains, and feek fhelter in the caverns of rocks for months together. By fuch impofitions, and harsh treatment of Overseers, mafters are deprived of the labour of many fine flaves; and often too, when moft needed; nay, and fometimes loose them all together; for being expofed to the heavy
rains and hunger, fubjects them to lock-jaws' and other diseases, and to occafion fpeedy and inevitable death.
It fometimes but not frequently happens, that those unhappy wretches, in a state of ftarvation, grow defperate at their fate, and refolve to redrefs their wrongs, and gain their freedom, or to perifh in the conteft; they form themselves into ftrong parties, kill their task-mafters, and burn and deftroy houses and canes; and at the laft, when they are too closely purfued, kill themselves alfo; nay, it frequently happens, when flaves are too cruelly treated, after their fupplicating the Deity in the most humble and affecting manner, "Oh ! good God in a top!-O! good God of ebrey world!-look down and pity your poor black negroe," that they hang themselves, cut their throats, or ftab themselves. I fhall mention one inftance of a fierce and heroic fpirit in a rude uncultivated flave, for I was prefent at the time.
Hector was head-cooper on a plantation in the parish of Clarendon, and was remarked for being a handy good workman; but not hav¬ ing made the number of puncheons according to the task the Overfeer had impofed on him, he was tied, hands and feet, to a ladder, and flogged feverely: fometime after, when he was at work, the Overfeer came to mortify him, faying, "You black fcoundrel, I'll cut your. backfide
barkfide to pieces if you don't make more puncheons;" the other replied,, "Hecta don't regard him life-kill Hecta one time." "Hecta nebba will make puncheon for you, Obisha." At which he took the axe in his left hand, and with a ftroke chopped off his right hand! What muft the feelings and agitations of poor Hector's heart have been to commit fuch a defperate act on himself? What a brave general, or valiant admiral, might that man have made, had his intellects been properly cultivated from his youth, and trained to the army or navy?
"Full many a gem of pureft ray ferene,
"The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear: "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
"And waste its sweetness on the defert air.”
On Sundays they are obliged to work all day in their grounds; the book-keepers attend, and those who are abfent, without permiffion, are flogged on Monday morning: this is certainly breaking the fourth commandment to all intents and purposes; for it is not done out of neceffity, like taking an ox or a cow out of a pit, but it is done through griping avarice. It is well for the poor creatures that the days are not fo long as in Europe; for if they were eighteen hours, I believe they would be obliged to work twenty. Again, it is well for them that the climate is warm, and that Nature is bountiful in producing fruit and vegetables, even on