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defence, therefore, as it is justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be, in fact, taken away by the law of society. The colonial assemblies have not scrupled to abrogate this “primary law of nature,” self-defence is a capital crime in a slave — and murder, a fifteen-pound penalty in his oppressor !
By the same act, any slave, who should run away and be absent for six months, was to be confined to hard labour for such time as the court should determine, or to be transported for life; and if the runaway had been two years upon the island, he was to suffer such punishment as the justices should think proper to inflict. By their former acts this punishment was death. By this, the power of inflicting it is retained, without the odium of enacting it.
In Grenada, an act was passed, November 3d, which directs, that slaves are not to be compelled (except in carrying on such manufactures as require night or extra labour) to work until day-break, nor at their times of breakfast or dining, nor after sun-set, except in rying one bundle of grass from the field to the stable. They are to have half an hour for breakfast, and from twelve till two for dinner. They are to be instructed by a clergyman in religion.'
There is a penalty of £165 currency, on any proprietor who shall debauch a married slave. An attorney or employed person so doing is to forfeit half his salary. Slaves so doing to suffer corporal punishment, not extending to life or limb. Three persons, being freeholders and possessors of thirty slaves, are by the justices to be nominated “ guardians of the slaves,” who are to take an oath to
Stephen on West Indian Slavery, p. 288.
1 Cowper says, “ Laws will, I suppose, raoh might have used to justify his de be enacted for the more humane treatment struction of the Israelites, substituting of the Negroes ; but who shall see to the only sugar for bricks, may lie ready for execution of them ? the planters will not, our use also; but I think we can find no and the Negroes cannot. In fact we know, better.”— Cowper's Correspondence. that laws of this tendency have not been “ The resolution of the House of Comwanting, enacted even amongst themselves; mons in 1823, declares that the great but there has been always a want of prose- object of emancipation must be accomcutors, or righteous judges -- deficiencies plished at the earliest period which shall which will not be very easily supplied.” be compatible with the well-being of Cowper has overlooked the greatest want, the slaves themselves, with the safety of the one which indignant prosecutors or the colonies, and with a fair and equitable upright judges cannot supply, and which consideration for the interests of private can only be remedied by enabling slaves property.' But (Lord Bathurst says) the to give evidence. “ On the whole, I fear court of policy must recollect, that if, on (he says) there is reason to wish, for the one hand, parliament and bis Majesty's honour of England, that the nuisance had
government stand pledged to give the never been troubled ; lest we eventually planters all equitable compensation, they make ourselves justly chargeable with the stand equally pledged to take such meawhole offence by not removing it. The sures as may ultimately, though gradually, enormity cannot be palliated; we can no work out the freedom of slaves. The longer plead that we were not aware of court of policy may be assured, that from it, or that our attention was otherwise the final accomplishment of this object engaged; and shall be inexcusable, there. this country will not be diverted.”- Lord fore, ourselves, if we leave the least part of Bathurst's Letter, 25th Feb. 1826. it unredressed. Such arguments as Pha
see the act duly executed: and managers and overseers are to answer them upon oath.
The number of Negroes in Barbadoes, returned on oath by Mr. Agent Brathwaite, was 64,405.
Twenty-nine thousand five hundred and six Negroes were imported into the French part of St. Domingo this year.
The Assembly at Jamaica passed a law to prohibit the burial of the dead within the walls of the churches; and as this regulation injured the rector's perquisites, an augmentation of £50 per ann. was made to most of the livings.
A bill was brought into parliament, for regulating the number of slaves to be put on board each vessel carrying them from Africa. The Liverpool merchants petitioned against the bill, and counsel for the petitioners appeared at the bar, and examined witnesses to prove that the hardships alleged did not exist. The act directs, that in every ship where the
between the two decks shall not be less than five feet in height, and where the cabin shall be fitted for the accommodation of the Negroes, in the proportion of five persons for three tons, if the ship's burthen does not exceed one hundred and sixty tons, and of three persons for two tons, if the burthen of the ship does exceed one hundred and fifty tons, and in every ship where the space between the two decks shall be less than five feet, or where the cabin shall not be fitted for the accommodation of the Negroes, in the proportion of one person for every ton burthen of the ship or vessel on board which such natives shall be so conveyed, under the penalty of £20 for every native exceeding the number allowed - half the forfeiture to go to the King, and half to the prosecutor. Valuation of British property vested in the British sugar colonies —
Report of the Privy Council, 1788:
Patented Estates, as taxed per acre. Negroes.
36,000 St. Kitts
9,500 Virgin Islands
Report of the Lords of the Committee, 1798, Supplement to No. 15. Edwards, vol. i. p. 265.; vol. iii. p. 220. Annual Register, 1788, p. 136. 300.
Sir W. Young's Common place Book, p. 24.
At £ 50 each Negro, amounts to -
On the 11th of December, Dr. Coke and Mr. Baxter the Methodist missionaries, set out for the territories of the Caribs in St. Vincent's, and were received by them with great civility. Chatoyer's son, John Dimmey, accompanied them: he had been for some time under the tuition of Mr. and Mrs. Baxter, and spoke English tolerably well. He walked twenty-five miles by the side of Dr. Coke's horse, and introduced the missionaries to De Valley, a Carib chief, who regaled them with eggs, cassada bread and punch. His little boy had been instructed by Mr. Baxter, and amused them all by his spelling.
A sehool-house had been erected for the Carib children near the river Byera, which was the boundary of their country; and the Methodists had sent a man and his wife from London, to instruct them.
The school-house was now divided : Mr. Baxter, the missionary, was to have part, and Mr. Joice, the schoolmaster, the rest.
The number of slaves imported into the Grenades was 2,915.
The population of Dominica was returned at 1236 Whites, 445 free Negroes, and 14,967 slaves.
Mr. Parry, the governor, stated the inhabitants of Barbadoes, to amount to 25,000 Whites, and 75,000 Blacks and people of colour, exclusive of about thirty families of Caribs.
Twenty-seven thousand five hundred and fifty-three slaves had been imported since 1784 — 15,781 of whom were exported, leaving 11,772, who remained on the island.
“ Taking an indiscriminate number of children who have died in the year, all being under twelve years of age, there appears to have died of them, thirty-five at or under twelve months; forty-two from one to four years; eighteen from four to eight years; one about nine; two about ten, and one at about eleven years of age. Of these, three-fourths died of teething, worms, and the concomitants incident to these disorders."
Upon the 19th of December, the Methodist missionaries again visited Dominica. Governor Orde received them with great civility, and Mr. M‘Cornock remained upon the island, to spread the tenets of that sect. In the course of a few months he made 150 converts; but his zeal was greater than his strength, and he killed himself by his exertions.
Coke's West Indies, vol. i. p. 370.; vol. ii. pp. 122. 259. 344. 354.
January the 3d, Thomas Thompson, of the sloop Sally, saw a white flag flying upon the island of Inagua : he found twentythree women and fifty-three men and boys, who had been landed there from a brig, from Dunlary in Ireland, bound to Charlestown. They were told the island was well inhabited, and provisions plenty; but when they found themselves deceived, and wanted to return on board, they were fired at, and one man killed. They were all in a most distressed situation.
The island of Jamaica exported 1,201,801 pounds of coffee, this year.
In April, the following regulations were made at Jamaica, in favour of the Negroes:
“ Firstly. Every possessor of a slave is prohibited from turning him away, when incapacitated by sickness or age; but must provide for him the wholesome necessaries of life, under a penalty of £10 for every offence.
“ Secondly. Every person who mutilates a slave shall pay a fine not exceeding £100, and be imprisoned not exceeding twelve months; and in very atrocious cases, the slaves may be declared free.
“ Thirdly. Any person wantonly or bloody-mindedly killing a slave, shall suffer death.
“ Fourthly. Any person whipping, bruising, wounding, or imprisoning a slave, not his property, nor under his care, shall be subject to fine and imprisonment.
“ Fifthly. A parochial tax to be raised for the support of Negroes disabled by sickness and old age, having no owners.
The annual loss of slaves, in twenty years ending this year, (that is, the excess of deaths above the births), was in Jamaica about one in a 100.
Thirty-two millions of pounds of coffee were exported from the French part of St. Domingo this year.
For four years and nine months previous to the 30th of September, 1788, only fifty-two slaves had been executed in Jamaica.
Montserrat is stated to contain about 30,000 acres, of which 6000 are appropriated to the culture of sugar, 2000 to cotton, 2000 to ground provisions, 2000 to pasturage: the rest is either very mountainous or very barren.
There were 8310 slaves upon the island, one-third of whom were employed in cultivating the land, one-third were old Negroes or children incapable of work. Tradesmen, grass-gangs, and domestics formed the remainder.
The average crop, from 1784 to 1788, both inclusive, was
Annual Register, 1788, pp. 201. 206. – 1791, p. 178, Pitt's Speech.
Sir W. Young's Common place Book, p. 74.
2737 hhds. of sugar, 1107 puncheons of rum, 275 bales of cotton. No coffee or cocoa grown for exportation.
The net income of the value of the estates, not above three per cent. on the capital invested.
Nevis was stated to contain 24,640 acres, whereof 6000 were capable of culture. About 4000 slaves were employed in the cultivation of sugar; 1000 in menial offices; 500 in fishing, trades, and other employments; and 2800 unfit for labour, from infancy, age, and infirmity. The produce, one hogshead of sugar per acre.
If the planter resided on the spot, his net income was £ 10 per hogshead; if he resided in England, 18.
In Grenada, there were 26,775 slaves ; and of free coloured people, 454 males and 661 females.
A new Negro, if of a good country and young, was worth £ 40; and a young woman, £38. The island is stated to contain 80,000 acres, of which 45,000 were cultivated.
The number of slaves in St. Christopher's were estimated at 23,000; and the produce of an acre, at a hogshead and a half of sugar. The net income of the owner, “ perhaps at six per cent."
Mr. Dawson, a Liverpool merchant, contracted with the Spanish government to supply the Spanish colonies with not less than 3000 slaves, but as many more as he could procure, at 200 dollars for the males, 190 for the women, 175 for the boys, and 145 for girls. The proportion to be two-thirds males and one-third females.
The Moravian missionaries began their pious labours in Tobago.
About this year, the Assembly at Grenada passed a law to provide guardians in every parish, who were obliged, upon oath, to oversee and protect the Negroes from injurious treatment. Soon afterwards, a lady was fined £ 500, for cruelty towards her Negro.
Dr. Coke says, that the inhabitants of Grenada treat their slaves with less severity than those of any of the other islands.
The Moravians in Antigua baptized, in the course of this year, 507 adults and children in St. John's, and 217 in Gracehill, from Easter 1788 to Easter 1789.
The Assembly of Jamaica passed an act, to give the overseers twenty shillings a head, for every child they raise to twelve months old, in any of the plantations.
At Demerara, about 1000 Negroes from the different plantations agreed to murder all the white men. The time was fixed; but
Report of the Lords of the Comınittee, 1789, Mr. Spooner's Evidence. - Spain, Part VI.
Annual Register, 1789, p. 20. — 1790, p. 4,