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Mucco's, Coromanties, &c. they commonly set forth, that they are from the best country, the Gold Coast, or Angola &c. for there is a vast difference in the tempers and dispositions of the negroes, according to the coasts they come froin. Until the day of sale they are kept on board in the harbour; during which time the master, mate and doctor, (for every ship has a quack on board) use every are to set them off to the best advantage; the grey hairs and beards of the old men and women are cut and shaved, and not only their skins, but that of the whole cargo, are rubbed with palm and other oils : so that a person who is not a judge may purchase an old slave for a young one, a distempered boy or girl for one healthy and stout. About eight or nine o'clock every morning they are muftered on deck, and are obliged to jump and dance and roar loudly for half an hour, obedient to the sailors, who chastise those who are sick or lazy.
Several of those poor creatures, heart broken at their fate, die daily; and least any report should circulate of the cargo's being fickly, to hurt the sale, the dead bodies are concealed in the hold until night, and given to the sharks, which devour them in a trice: when there are many Guinea ships in the harbour, the fish fare well.
On the day of sale they are exposed on board as they came into the world, or at the merchants store to whom they are consigned: the planters,
overseers, overseers &c. attend, and pick and chuse them in like manner as if sheep or oxen; and grabble, grasp and joftle each other to get the best. The terms of sale are commonly fix months cre, dit ; a prime llave will cost about 43 or 441. sterling. New negroes soon learn to be as handy as Creoles, though Creoles think themselves superior 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 list, and every Nave who is abfent is paid with a few Itripes afterwards. As foon as they come into the field, they deliver to the cooks each a small earthen or metal pot and calabalh, with something 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 breakfast, they all sit in the field where their different pots have been boiled, at which time a curious variety of eatables are displayed: vegetables of one kind or other relished with “ mash malh," or rotten herrings. In about ten or fifteen minutes they are roused by the crack of the drivers, whip, and fall to work, and continue until twelve; at which time the bell is rung; they then disperse about the country to pick or gather grafs and vines for the overseers
horses 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 list, Here I must observe, that it is very imprudent for an overseer to invest his bookkeepers with power to order a negroe more than one or two lashes in the course of a day.
Ar night the negroes are obliged to pick up grass and vines in like manner as at noon, and to assemble at the Overseer's house ; about eight o'clock the list is called, and he or she who has not brought a proper sizeable bundle gets a few stripes.
When any of them are disappointed in pro-' curing their bundle, they commonly absent themselves to Thun the rod, which is often the case in dry weather, particularly on lowland plantations ; next day they fly to some of the Overseer's intimates, to beg for them; others, not so 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 shelter in the caverns of rocks for months together. By fuch impositions, and harsh treatment of Overseers, masters are deprived of the labour of many fine Naves; and often too, when most needed ; nay, and sometimes loose them all together; for being exposed to the heavy
148 MANNERS AND CUSTOMS rains and hunger, fubjects them to lock-jaws' and other diseases, and to occasion speedy and inevitable death.
It sometimes but not frequently happens, that those unhappy wretches, in a state of ftarvation, grow desperate at their fate, and resolve to redress their wrongs, and gain their freedom, or to perish in the conteft; they form themselves into strong parties, kill their task. masters, and burn and destroy houses and canes; and at the laft, when they are too closely pursued, kill themselves also; nay, it frequently happens, when Naves 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 shall mention one instance of a fierce and heroic spirit in a rude uncultivated nave, for I was present 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 having made the number of puncheons according 60 the task the Overseer had imposed on him, he was tied, hands and feet, to a ladder, and fogged severely : sometime after, when he was at work, the Overseer came to mortify him, faying, “ You black scoundrel, I'll cut your
barkside, 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 stroke chopped off his right hand! Whac must the feelings and agitations of poor Hector's heart have been to commit such a desperate 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 purest ray serene,
« The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear: .,« Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
,“ And waste its sweetness on the desert air."
On Sundays they are obliged to work all day in their grounds ; the book-keepers attend, and those who are absent, without permission, are flogged on Monday morning: this is certainly breaking the fourth commandment to all intents and purposes ; for it is not done out of necessity, 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 so long as in Europe ; for if they were eighteen hours, I believe they would be obliged to work cwenty. Again, it is well for them that the climate is warm, and that Nature is bountiful in producing fruit and vegetables, even on