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with him, down with him! They then pressed forwards through the crowd in order to seize me, crying out again, - Who seconds that fellow? on which my new and gallant friend, Mr. Bull, whose house was then my residence, stepped forth between the rioters and me, saying, "I second him against men and devils.' A lady also stood up, and reasoned boldly with the rioters on the impropriety of their conduct. They soon afterwards retreated, vociferating, · Down with him, down with him!'
“ The spirits of the congregation were so discomposed by this anhappy accident, that I gave out a hymn, and then chose another ext, and preached to a serious and attentive audience.
“ Between three and four hundred thousand souls, living chiefly without hope and without God in the world, forbade all supineness ; and the attention of many among those who heard, by giving an early promise of a productive harvest, presented an opening which pointed out our path.
- Four or five families of some property opened their houses, and very evidently their hearts also, to me; and assured me, that any missionaries we should in future send to the island should be welcome to beds, and to every thing their houses afforded.
“ Thus was the work of God begun in the south of Jamaica.”
Mr. Wilberforce made the following propositions to the House of Commons :
“ That the number of slaves annually carried from Africa to the British West Indies amounted to 38,000. That the probable demerits of the supposed delinquents, as alleged by the advocates for the trade, could not justify, or even sanction, the hardships they endured. That the waste of human life must be dreadfully enormous to require such an annual demand. That the influence which our support of this traffic must have on the minds of the inhabitants of Africa at large must be productive of the most pernicious consequences, and must for ever prevent that social intercourse which might ultimately tend to their civilization.
“ That the injury sustained by British seamen engaged in this inhuman employment was almost beyond calculation. That the fatal consequences attending the transportation of slaves across the Atlantic were such as made humanity shrink with horror. That if this trade were discontinued, Africa presented sources of wealth which might be secured on the ground of honourable commerce, from which we were now totally debarred. That the causes of mortality among the Negroes might be traced to this common source of their calamities. That, with proper attention to their condition, the Negro population might easily be increased in the islands of Barbadoes and Jamaica. That the present system rendered it more profitable for the planter to import Negroes from Africa than to rear an infant in the colony. That these
profits were abominable, as they were the price of blood. And, finally, it could be proved that no considerable disadvantage would be experienced ultimately by those who were interested in the trade, if all further importation were prohibited.”
The Baron de Wimpfens carried out and set the first seeds ever sown in St. Domingo of the narcissus, hyacinth, and violet
Table of West India Exports for 1789. Return to the House of
Hhds. of Sugar 13 cwt.
12,500 St. Kitt's
3,150 Tortola, &c.
5,450 St. Vincent's
Antigua varies from 2500 to 18,000 hhds.; St. Kitt's, from 8000 to 17,000; Barbadoes, from 6000 to 13,000; whilst Grenada, St. Vincent's, and Tobago, vary only as from 12,000 to 16,000
The number of slaves annually exported from Africa, as stated by the delegates from Liverpool, were 74,000. By the British
More of these came from Bonny and New Calabar than any other place.
In February, the inhabitants of Tortola amounted to 1000 Whites, and 8000 coloured people and Blacks.
The population of Santa Cruz was estimated at 30,000 souls.
Baron de Wimpfens' St. Domingo, p. 141.
Sir W. Young's Common-place Book, pp. 28, 29.
Coke's West Indies, vol. jji. p. 111.
Mr. Hammett, the first Methodist missionary at Tortola, commenced his labours in the Virgin Islands and Santa Cruz this year.
The exports from the French colony of St. Domingo were 47,516,531 pounds of white sugar, 93,773,300 of brown; 76,835,219 of coffee ; 7,004,274 of cotton; and 758,628 of indigo.
The produce of 1787, 1788, and 1789, amounted, on an average, to £4,956,780 sterling.
Mr. Gregg, secretary to the King's commission, and auctioneer, in disposing of the lands in the ceded islands, stated that he had sold 174,000 acres for £620,000, under a covenant for the purchaser to cut down, clear, and cultivate one acre out of twenty every year, till half the uncleared lands shall be cleared, under penalty of paying £5 per annum for every acre neglected.
Of the 106,470 acres of land which Barbadoes is said to contain, there are hardly any not cultivated which are capable of being brought into culture.
In January, the royal order for convoking a general colonial assembly was received at St. Domingo: it appointed Leogane for the place of meeting. The provincial assemblies disapproved of this order, adopted another plan, resolved to hold the assembly at St. Marc, and fixed the time for the 16th of April.
On the 8th of March, the national assembly, in France, voted, 66 that it never was the intention of the assembly to comprehend the interior government of the colonies in the constitution which they had framed for the mother country, or to subject them to laws which were incompatible with their local establishments: they therefore authorize the inhabitants of each colony to signify to the national assembly their sentiments and wishes concerning that plan of interior legislation and commercial arrangement which would be most conducive to their prosperity.”
On the 28th of the same month, the national assembly passed a decree of instructions for the execution of their decree of the 8th: it consisted of eighteen articles, and contained, among other things, a declaration, “ that every person of the age of twenty-five and upwards, possessing property, or having resided two years in the colony, and paid taxes, should be permitted to vote in the formation of the colonial assembly.” And, “ that the
And, “ that the national assembly would not cause any innovation to be made, directly or indirectly,
Coke's West Indies, vol. iii. pp. 112. 398. Parliamentary Papers, 1789, Slave Trade Examination, John Gregg, Esq. Report of the Lords of the Committee, 1789. Edwards, vol. iii. pp. 24, 25. 63.
in any system of commerce in which the colonies were already concerned.”
The Mulattoes, doubting the meaning of the decree, or not being powerful enough to enforce their claims, sent deputies to the national assembly, to demand an explanation of it.
The general assembly met at St. Marc, on the 16th of April : it was composed of 213 members, of whom twenty-four were for the city of Cape François, sixteen for Port-au-Prince, and eight for Las Cayes, most of the other parishes returned two each; and the colony, as far as regarded the Whites, was allowed to be fairly represented.
M. Peynier, the governor-general, with the officers of the army, tax-gatherers, and all the persons belonging to the courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction, beheld with indignation and dread this great and sudden revolution, and the planters were not united among themselves. The provincial assembly of the north counteracted by every means in their power the proceedings of the general assembly at St. Marc; who, on the 28th of May, published a decree, which became the ostensible motive, on the part of the executive, for commencing hostilities: it consisted of ten fundamental positions.
“ 1. The legislative authority, in every thing which relates to the internal concerns of the colony, is declared to reside in the assembly of its representatives.
“ 2. That no law be considered as a law definitive,' unless it be made by the assembly, and confirmed by the King.
“ 3. That, in cases of urgent necessity, a decree of the assembly should be considered as ó a law provisional :' such decree to be sent to the governor-general, who, within ten days, was to cause it to be enforced, or transmit his observations thereon.
“ 4. The necessity of the case on which such decree was to depend, to be decided by a majority of two-thirds of the assembly.
6 5. If the governor shall send his observations, a majority of two-thirds confirm the decree, and the governor-general shall immediately enforce it.
“ 6. No decree shall be enforced in the colony, until the general assembly shall have consented thereto.
“ 7. In cases of pressing necessity, the importation of articles for the support of the inhabitants shall not be considered as any breach in the commercial regulations between St. Domingo and France.
“ 8. Provided also, that every act executed provisionally, in cases of urgent necessity, shall be sent for the royal sanction. And if the King shall refuse his consent, its execution shall cease.
• 9. A new general assembly shall be chosen every two years, and none of the members who have served in the former shall be eligible in the new one.
“ 10. The assembly decree, the preceding articles form part of
Edwards, vol. iii. pp. 28, 29, 31. 33, 34. 64.
the constitution of the French colony in St. Domingo. They shall be sent to France, for the sanction of the national assembly and the King – be notified to the governor-general, and transmitted to all the districts of the colony."
Upon the publication of this decree, thc enemies to the assembly industriously spread a report that the assembly intended to declare the colony an independant state; and when this report failed, it was asserted that the members were sold to the English. This was believed: the western parishes recalled their deputies; the inhabitants of Cape François renounced obedience to the , assembly, and requested the governor to dissolve it. These disputes gave him great satisfaction.
At this time the crew of the Leopard, line-of-battle ship, at Portau-Prince, declared themselves in the interest of the assembly, and refused obedience to their captain. The assembly immediately transmitted a vote of thanks to the seamen, and required them, in the name of the law and the King, to detain the ship, and wait their orders. The seamen affixed the vote of thanks
the ship's mainmast.
Two days after this, M. Peynier, the governor, issued a proclamation to dissolve the assembly: he pronounced the members and their adherents traitors to their country, and enemies to the King. He declared his intention to employ all his force to defeat their projects, and called on all officers, civil and military, for their cooperation and support.
His first proceedings were directed against the committee of the western provincial assembly, who met at Port-au-Prince: he determined to arrest their persons; and M. Mauduit, colonel of the regiment of Port-au-Prince, undertook to conduct the enterprize, with 100 of his soldiers. The committee held their consultations at midnight. M. Mauduit found the house protected by 400 of the national guards. A skirmish ensued : several were wounded on both sides, and two were killed on the part of the assembly. M. Mauduit returned, bringing away the national colours in triumph.
The general assembly now summoned the people to hasten, properly armed, to protect their representatives; and most of the inhabitants of the adjoining parishes obeyed the summons. The Leopard was brought to St. Marc, for the same purpose. The northern provincial assembly joined the governor, and the preparations on both sides threatened an obstinate and bloody conflict, when the general assembly unexpectedly determined to go to France, and justify their conduct to the King and the national assembly in person. Accordingly, eighty-five members, of whom sixty-four were fathers of families, embarked on board the Leopard, and on the 8th of August sailed for Europe. A momentary calm
Edwards, vol. iii. pp. 35, 36, 37, 38, 39.