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the Negroes, on one of the plantations, mistaking the day, murdered every white man on it; which gave the alarm, and saved
The ringleaders were put to the torture, which they bore with fortitude, glorying in what they were about to execute.
The population of Surinam and Berbice was estimated at 4000 Whites and 90,000 Negroes - being an increase of 40,000 slaves since the year 1769, while the number of Whites remained the same.
The lords of the privy council determined, on an appeal from the Bahama islands, that upon change of property of a vessel, a new register cannot be obtained for her at any other port than that where she was originally registered; and that a British subject, without a fixed place of residence, cannot be the owner of a vessel, so as to be entitled to register her as a British ship.
There was not any rain fell in Antigua for seven months. The crop of sugar was destroyed, and 5000 horned cattle perished for want of water.
By the statement of the Liverpool merchants, in the report of the committee of 1789, the average number of Negroes exported by Great Britain was estimated at 38,000. The opinion of the French traders, mentioned in the same report, is, that the British carry over 40,000 to their West India islands, and re-export two-thirds of that number.
A slave, in Tobago, was stabbed by a White, manager of an estate, in the presence of many other slaves. The man died on the spot, and the White was tried; but, for want of such evidence as West India courts of law require, was acquitted.“ Another case (Mr. Justice Outley says) occurred in St. Vincent's. A White was strongly suspected of having shot his brother-in-law. The fact was said by two or three slaves to have been done in their presence, and the coroner's inquest (he thinks) confirmed this suspicion, by a verdict of wilful murder against this White. At a court where he (Mr. Justice Ottley) presided, the cause was tried; and although there scarcely remained a doubt with the jury of the man's guilt, he was nevertheless acquitted, for want of sufficient evidence.”
In February, the Methodist missionary at St. Christopher's (Mr. Hammet) had raised in different parts of the island a society of 700 members. These converts were raised in the space of two years.
In June, Mr. Hammet applied to General Walterstorff, the governor of Santa Cruz, for permission to instruct the slaves in that island. He was ordered to draw up a petition to the King of Denmark for that purpose: he did so; and Dr. Knox, a Presbyterian
Annual Register, 1790, p. 16.
Edwards, vol. i. p. 485. Brougham's Colonial Policy, book i. sect. 3. p. 531. ; book ij. sect. 3. p. 179. Parliamentary Papers, 1790, Henry Ottley, Esq., Chief Justice of St. Vincent's, Evidence.
Coke's West Indies, vol. iii. pp. 58. 169.
minister upon the island, got it translated into the Danish language,
Upon the 21st of May, the Moravians at St. Christopher's laid
and many have become not only hearers of the word of God, but doers also; seventy-five adults and eleven children were baptized in the year 1789; and the number of Negroes that were baptized, or considered as candidates for baptism, belonging to this mission, was upwards of 300 at the close of the year.”
The King of Spain issued a royal order respecting the supplying the islands of Cuba, Santo Domingo, and the provinces of Caracas, with Negroes; by which Spaniards and foreigners were allowed for two years to import them duty free. If bought for domestic service, the purchaser was to pay an annual capitation-tax of two dollars, in order to check luxury.
It appears from official documents from the Havaña, dated July 1811, and laid before the Cortes, that the import of slaves into the Havaña, from 1763 to this year, 1789, was only 24,875.
Coke's West Indies, vol. iii. p. 50.
Africa, 1816, p. 57.
i Upon the 31st of May, the Spanish their masters are obliged to give them, government issued the following royal agreeable to the principles and rules of ordinance for the government and protec religion, humanity, and the good of the tion of slaves in the Spanish colonies : state dictate, consistent with slavery and
the public tranquillity: nevertheless, as it PROCLAMATION.
is not an easy matter for all my subjects in “ In the code and other collection of America who keep slaves to be sufficiently laws published in this kingdom; in the instructed in all the laws of the said col. abridgment of the statutes concerning the lection, and much less in the general and Indies; in the general and particular particular orders and ordinances approved orders communicated in my dominions in of for different provinces ; and considering America since the discovery of it; and in that, on this account, notwithstanding what the ordinances, which, being examined by has been decreed by my august predecessors my council of the Indies, have merited my with respect to the education, treatment, royal approbation, the system of making and occupation of slaves, some abuses have slaves useful has been established, observed, been introduced by their masters and the and constantly followed, and every thing stewards, which were not at all conformnecessary decreed, with respect to the edu- able, but, on the contrary, opposed to the cation, treatment, and occupation which system of the legislation, and to the general
The French in St. Domingo had in their possession, this year, 480,000 Negro slaves.
Edwards, vol. iii. p. 13.
ad particular orders decreed upon the quality of the food and clothes which are subject. Therefore, in order to remedy to be given them, on account of the difsuch abuses, and having in consideration, ference of climates, constitutions, and other that, in consequence of the liberty granted particular causes, it is ordered, that with to my subjects by my royal order of the respect to those matters, the justices of the 28th of last February, for carrying on the districts in which the estates are situated, dare trade, the number of slaves will be with the approbation of the magistrates considerably augmented in America, and and syndic, or recorder, as protector of the having a due attention to this class of indi slaves, shall fix upon and determine the viduals, in the mean time that the general quantity and quality of the food and code of laws, which is forming for the clothes which are daily to be given them, dominions of America, is established, and according to their ages and sexes, and that they are published, I have resolved, conformable to the custom of the country, that, for the present, the following instruc. and like those which are commonly given tion shall be punctually observed by all to day labourers, and linen, the same as the masters and possessors of slaves in my the work people, who are free, have. said dominions :
Which determination, after having been “ CHAPTER I.--Education.
approved of by the audience of the district,
shall be fixed upon the door of the town« Every one who has slaves, of whatever house, and the churches of every place, class and condition he may be, is obliged and of the oratories or hermitages of the to instruct them in the principles of the estates, that every one may know it, and Roman Catholic religion, and in the ne that no one may plead ignorance. cessary truths, in order that they may be baptised within the year of their residence
“ CHAPTER III.- Occupation of Slaves. in my dominions; taking care to explain “ The first and principle occupation of to them the Christian doctrine every slaves must be agriculture, and not those holy day, on which they shall not be obliged labours that require a sedentary life ; and por permitted to work neither for them thus, in order that their masters and the selves nor for their masters, excepting at state may be benefited by their work, and the time of the crop, when it is customary that they perform it as they ought to to grant them liberty to work on holy days. do, the justices of towns and villages, in the On those, and other days, when they are same form as has been mentioned in the obliged to hear mass, the owners of the foregoing chapter, shall regulate the work estate shall be at the expense of main to be done in the course of the day, and taining a priest to say mass to them, and they shall have two hours to themselves, to to explain to them the Christian doctrine, be employed in manufactures or other as likewise to administer the holy sacra. occupations, for their own advantage; ments, not only on such days when he neither the masters nor their stewards can is obliged to do it, but likewise whenever oblige those slaves to work who are sixty he is wanted; taking care that every day, years old, or younger than seventeen; nor as soon as their work is finished, they say employ the women slaves in any business the rosary in presence of the master or of which is not conformable to their sex, or the steward with the greatest composure
in which they must be with the males ; and devotion.
and the said masters shall contribute two * CHAPTER II.- Food and Clothes.
dollars every year for their domestic ser
vice, as it is ordered in the eighth chapter " It being manifest that the masters of of the Royal Order, published on the 28th slaves are under the obligation of feeding of last February and clothing thern, as likewise their wives and children, whether these be of the same
“ CHAPTER IV.-Diversions. condition or free, until they can earn their “ On holy days, when masters cannot obown bread, which it is presumed they are lige nor permit their slaves to work, after able to do when the females arrive at the they have heard mass and the Christian docage of twelve, and the males at that of trine explained to them, the said masters, or fourteen ; and not being able to give any
their stewards, shall allow the slaves to
The colonists summoned parochial and provincial meetings, for the purpose of electing deputies to be sent to the states-general then
Edwards, vol. iii. p. 16.
sence; but they shall not allow them to be a third shall be appointed by the justice to
“ CHAPTER VIII. - Obligations and
Punishments of Slaves. “ CHAPTER V.-Habitations and Infirmary.
“ As masters of slaves are obliged to “ All masters of slaves must give them maintain them, to educate, and to employ habitations, distant those of the men from them, in useful work, proportioned to their those of the women, if they are not
strength, age, and sex, without forsaking married; and they must be commodious, their children and those who are old and and sufficient to defend them from the
sickly, so, on the other hand, there is an inclemencies of the weather, with beds, obligation on slaves to obey and respect blankets, and every thing necessary. Each their masters and the stewards, to perform man shall have his own bed, and there the work which is given them to do, conshall be no more than two in a room. formable to their strength, and to venerate Another habitation, separated from the them as heads of the family. Thus he rest, which must be warm and commo who will not fulfil any of those obligations dious, shall be destined for the sick, who
must be punished, either by the master of must be assisted with every thing neces his estate, or by his steward, according to sary by their masters : and in case that
the nature of his offence, with prison, the latter, on account of not having room
chains, or lashes, which must not exceed enough, or being near some town, do wish
the number of twenty-five, and those must to send them to the hospital, they shall
be given them in such a manner as not to contribute a daily sum, which shall be
cause any contusion or effusion of blood; determined by the justices, for their assist which punishment cannot be imposed on ance, in the manner and form mentioned
slaves but by their masters or their stewards. in the second chapter; and if any of them should die, it is the master's obligation to
“ Chapter IX. – Of the Imposition of pay the charges of the funeral.
greater Punishments. “ CHAPTER VI.- Old Men, and those who
“ When slaves commit crimes against are constantly ill.
their masters, mistresses, the children, “ Slaves who, on account of old age or
stewards, or any other person, which reillness, are not able to work, as, likewise,
quire greater punishments than those men
tioned in the before-going chapter, the children of either of the two sexes, must
master, his steward, or any one else who be maintained by their masters; and these latter cannot give them their liberty in
was present when the offence was comorder to get rid of them, except by giving
mitted, shall secure the delinquent, and them a sufficient stock, which must be
inform the justice of it, that in the audience
of the slave's master and of the attorney who approved of by the justices and syndic,
defends the cause of the former, a law-suit to maintain them without any other assistance.
may be commenced against him, and a
punishment imposed upon him according “ “ CHAPTER VII.—Marriages of Slaves. to the importance and circumstances of the
“ The masters of slaves must not allow offence; observing in every thing what is the unlawful intercourse of the two sexes, ordered by the laws with respect to the but must encourage matrimony. Neither causes of other delinquents in general. must he hinder them from marrying with And if the slave be sentenced to pay oneslaves of other masters; in which case, third of the charges of the law-suit, his if the estates are distant from one another, master shall be responsible for it, besides so that the new married couple cannot the corporal punishment which, according fulfil the object of marriage, the wife shall to the importance of the crime, the delinfollow the husband, whose master shall quent shall suffer, after having been apbuy her at a fair valuation, set upon her by proved of by the audience of the district, skilful men, who shall be nominated by the whether it be death or mutilation of two parties; and in case of disagreement, members.
sitting in France: eighteen were elected, six for each province; who, without any authority from the French ministry or the colo
Edwards, vol. iii. p. 16.
“ CHAPTER X.- Defects or Excess of their suit against the criminal, and the attorney, Masters and their Stewards.
as protector of slaves, shall defend his “ The master or his steward, who does not fulfil what is ordered in the before-going
“ CHAPTER XII.—List of Slaves. chapters, with respect to the education,
“ The masters of slaves shall be obliged habitations, &c. of slaves, or who shall every year to deliver in to the justice of the forsake their children, and those that are town or village, in the district of which old and sickly, shall be fined fifty dollars their estates are situated, a list, signed and for the first time, one hundred for the sworn to by them, of all the slaves which second, and two hundred for the third ; they have, with distinction of sexes and and those fines shall be paid by the master, ages, in order that the notary of the towneven in the case that the fault had been house may take an account of them in a committed by his steward only, if the separate book, which is to be kept for this latter were not able to pay it; one-third of purpose at the said town-house, together which belongs to the informer, another to with the list presented by the master, who, the judge, and the other is to be put into whenever any of his slaves die, or absent the fine chest, which will be treated of themselves from his estate, must inform afterwards : and in case the before-men the justice of it, within the term of three tioned fines should not produce the desired days, that, by order of the attorney-geneeffect, and they should commit the same ral, it may be noted in the book, in order fault again, other greater punishments
to avoid all suspicion of having been shall be inflicted upon them, as disobedient killed : and if the master does not fulfil to my royal orders; and as soon as I am this, he shall be obliged fully to prove informed of their disobedience, I shall either the absence of the slave or his take my measures accordingly. When natural death, for, on the contrary, a lawtheir masters or their stewards are guilty suit will be commenced against him. of excess in punishing the slaves, causing “Chapter XIII.—Method of investigating them contusion, effusion of blood, or muti
the Excesses of Masters or Stewards. lation of members; besides paying the before-mentioned fines, they shall be pro
“ The distance of some estates from the secuted as criminals, and have a punish
towns; the inconvenience that would ment inflicted upon them according to the
result from permitting slaves to go out crime which they had committed ; and
without an order from their master, under the slave shall be confiscated and sold to
the pretext of complaining; and the just another master, if he is able to work, regulations of the law, which orders that
no fugitive slave shall be assisted, proputting the amount of him into the fine chest; and if he cannot be sold on account
tected, or concealed ; require that means
be facilitated which are proportioned to all of being unable to work, he shall not
those circumstances, in order that it may - be restored to his master, who shall be obliged to allow him a daily sum, which
be known how they are treated by their shall be fixed upon by the justice, for his
masters; and one of those is, that the maintenance and clothes during the re.
priests who go to the estates to explain to mainder of his life, paying it every three
them the Christian doctrine and to say
mass, do obtain information from the said months in advance.
slaves how they are treated by their “ Chapter XI.-Of those who injure Slaves. masters and the stewards, and if every
“ As masters and stewards can alone thing be observed which is ordered in the chastise slaves with that moderation which before-going chapters, in order that they is required, no other person who is not may give a secret and reserved notice of it their inaster, or his steward, shall injure, to the attorney-general, and that he may chastise, wound, or kill them, without cause it to be investigated whether the incurring the punishment enacted by the masters or their stewards are wanting in the laws against those who commit the like whole or in part of their respective obligaexcesses towards free people ; and the tions; and the said priests, who, by reason mnaster of the slave who has been injured, of their ministry, do give the said secret