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THE LIBRARY OF
_ I I L r --
I I I i I IL
FURTHER PAPERS RELATING TO
Return to an Address of The Honourable House of Commons,
dated the 7th March 1825;-for
REPORTS OF COMMISSIONERS RELATING TO
CAPTURED NEGROES, APPRENTICES,
Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed,
16 March 1825.
Of John Dougan, Esquire, late Commissioner, on the State and Condition
of the Captured Negroes, produced before the Commission at Tortola;
dated London, 20oth December 1823 - pp. 5-48.
Of Major Thomas Moodyi, Royal Engineers, late Commissioner, stating
his Reasons, why lie could not sign or approve of the Report of his
Colleague, dated London, 2d March 1825 pp. 49-152.
Is the Paper marked I. Captured Negroes, N" 114.
SEPARATE REPORT of John Dougan, Esquire, late Commissioner, onl the N .2.
State and Condition of the Captured Negroes, produced before the Comiwssioin MR DOUGI.'.
My Lord, London, 2oth Decemie-,r 1 23.
I HAVE the honour to enclose my Report on the numbers, situation and circum-
stances of Africans and other negroes liberated from slavery, under the provisions
of the Acts of Parliament for abolishing the Slave Trade, who were brought into the
island of Tortola.
This Report I have endeavoured to make to the best of my ability : it would
have reached your Lordship much sooner, and probably in a more perfect state,
but that the severe illness which compelled me to quit Tortola in June last, con-
tinued to afflict me for a considerable period after my arrival in England.
I have the honour to be,
Your Lordship's most obedient and most humble servant,
Earl Bathurst, K. G. (signed) Jo/n Dougan.
His Majesty's principal Secretary of State
fobr War and Colonies.
His Majesty's letters patent, dated the 6th of November 1821, directed to Major
Thomas JIoody and John Dougan, esq. commissioned them to inquire into, and
ascertain the present numbers, situations and circumstances of all Afticans liberated
from Slavery in the colonies, settlements and plantations in the West Indies, and
on the continent of South America, under the provisions of any of the Acts of Par-
liament for abolishing the Slave Trade; and to report to His Majesty's Government
the information they might collect, together with their opinion thereupon.
In pursuance of this commission, and of instructions received from Earl Bathurst,
I now proceed to submit to his Lordship the following Observations on the subject,
which will be found to refer, chiefly, to such of the Africans liberated from slavery
under any of the Abolition Acts, as had been brought into the Iand of Tortola, and
condemned in the court of Vice-Admiralty there.
To afford a more distinct view of the subject, I shall class these Africans under
three separate heads :
N i. The Africans, 168 in number, who composed the cargoes of two vessels,
the schooner Nancy and the brig Amedie, condemned on the 27th November 1807
and the l oth of February 18o08, and who were disposed of, previous to the issue of
His Majesty's Order in Council of the 16th March iSo8, which prescribed the
mode of disposing of such liberated Africans.
No 2. The Africans, 1,o070o in number, taken in four Spanish ships, Venus, Can-
delaria, Alanuella and Atriviedo, in the years S114 and 1815, and who form the
great body of liberated Africans brought into the port of Tortola.
N* 3. Such Africans and Creole negroes, 85 in number, as had been seized on
board small vessels, or on shore. from the year 1807 to 1823.
The aggregate llmounlt of these three clashes was 1,32-.
II-PAPERS RELATING TO
REPORT ON CLASS N.i.
No 2. AS to this Class, it will be necessary to explain, that the Afric-ins on board the
MR. DOUGANN- two ships, Nancy and Amedie, having- been taken and condemilieti previous to the
REPORI. issue of His Majesty's Order in Council of' thle i6th March iS8.s, the regulations
S contained in that order as to names, marks, and mode ot apprentice-hip, were not,
indeed could not be, carried into effect. A certain portion of the men were taken
for the use of" His Majesty's naval service; and a proposal iws made by Admiral
Sir Alexander Cochrane, through the agents of the capturing ships, that under the
peculiar circumstances in which these Africans were placed, (no person having been
as yet appointed to receive and provide for them, i he (Sir Alexander) would take
charge of all such as were not wanted for the naval service, and placed them on his
estates in the Iland of Trinidad, to await there such orders as might be transmitted
by His Majesty's Government for their future disposal.
This proposal having been approved by the Judge of the court of Vice-Admiralty,
and the President of the island, was acted upon accordingly; and conditional receipts
were taken for the Africans so disposed of. The details of the original disposal and
present state of these two cargoes will be found in the Appendix (A).
From that Appendix, it will appear that of class N* i, amounting originally to 168
persons, only twenty-one were disposed of at Tortola. Of these, six were removed to
Nevis, one is not accounted for, ten have died, and four only remain alive in Tor-
tola. By the receipts, however, taken for these twenty-one persons, it appears that
eleven of them were in bad health ; and it further appears that the deaths which
occurred in these two cargoes of 168 persons, previous to their being placed out, only
amounted to five.
The principal part of the Africans in this class must be inquired after in the
islands of Trinidad and Barbadoes, to which they were removed. Of the whole,
only four are now alive at Tortola: John, Nelson, William, and Hull. The three
first are young men in good health, and have learnt a trade to which they have served
apprenticeships of fourteen years. They are fully competent to earn their liveli-
hood. The case of two men belonging to this class, Hull, and Boatswain, or Ports-
mouth, was so peculiar as to have occasioned a representation of it by Sir James
Leith, in a letter to Lord Bathurst, dated 2 1st November iS1 i,5.-Sir James stated,
that, "when at Tortola last April, an unfortunate negro, named Boatswain, after hav-
ing been beaten and driven from the house, literally forced himself into my presence,
andclaimed his freedom, as having been apprenticed out eight years, although lie was
still employed as a slave in cultivating the ground with the rest of the gang. I insti-
tuited an inquiry and found the man's story correct, hlie having been three years with
Mlr. Mackinrot, and six years with Mr. Dix, as an apprentice, although his indenture
was only for seven years: The man was liberated. He had a broken leg, and had
not learned any trade, nor had lie received any moral instruction, and therefore was
not likely to become a useful member of society. After much inquiry of all the
negroes formerly apprenticed out, I could only learn of the existence of three of
them ". Hull, a cooper, at Carrot Bay Estate, still in a state of slavery ; his
master, however, (Mr. Dix), promised to allow him an annual sum equal to his
services, or permit him to leave the estate when lie pleased." It is painful to add,
that after Sir James Leith quitted the island, not only did the promise of wages to
this man, Hull, remain unfulfilled, but a further servitude of seven years to the
same master was imposed upon him ; for it appears, by an indenture in the Custom
House, dated 20th Mlay i S1.5, that Hull was re-apprenticed by the collector of the
customs to Mr. G. Dix, as a cooper, for a further period of seven years from that
date. Hull remained the apprentice of AMr. Dix until the death of his master.
It appears that Sir .Incies Leith applied to the cargoes of these vet;.els, the Nancy and Amedie,
collector of the customs at Tortola, for infornia- although it appears by thle ('Custoum-House books
tion as to two cargoes of Africans, of which these of entry and clearance, that 100 of the Africans
were part, but could obtain no information from which had been brought in them to T'ortola, had
him whatever. Indeed the return furnished to been exported to T'rinidad, in the brig Busy iand
the Commissioners from that Custom House, in schooner Melville, in 1808.
1822, entirely omits the import or export of the
CAPTURED NEGROES. 7
By the most undoubted proof produced to me, it appears that the following charges
were made by Mr. Dix against Carrot Bay Estate, belonging to the Reverend
MAr. Wynn, as the hire of the two apprentices, Hull and Portsmouth; viz.
For hire of Hull, a cooper, from 1st July 18 1 to 31 st
December 18i S14, is 1,279 days, at 8 s. 3 d. per day J 9
For ditto of Portsmouth, a field negro, from ditto tol
S101 1" -
ditto, at 3 per day 11 '7 -
. 631 8 9
Hull stated that he had received only the same allowance of food and clothing as
he field negroes of the estate, and never received a dog of money (i d. currency)
.or lls on ri use.
The extraordinary profit accruing to Mr. Dix *, of upwards of 150 1. per annum,
from the hire of Hull's services, may be supposed to have occasioned the second
apprenticeship of seven years to which hlie was subjected, although hlie was most
evidently fully competent to provide for himself.
This hardship was the greater, as the man wias then about forty years of age. He
is now upwards of forty-five, and has a wife and three children to support.
Having built himself a house and settled at Tortola, Hull prefers remaining
there, working at his trade, when hlie can get employment, and at other times cul-
tivating a small portion of ground, and occasionally fishing, to going to Trinidad or
REPORT ON CLASS N" 2.
THIE ships Venusand MAlanuella landed 617 persons at Tortola: of this number
222 died before they were :tppreniticed out. This great mortality was occasioned by
the very sickly state of these vtnels at the time of capture.
Of the whole of this class, No 2, consisting of 1,070 Africans, 534 were appren-
ticed out at Tortola and the adjacent islands, (including 17 who were at first indented,
but afterwards taken for the military service); of these 534 apprentices, 162 have
since died. See Appendi. (B.)
Every feeling mind must lament to find so great a sacrifice of human life
among these Africans, both before and after they were apprenticed.
The mortality which has occurred since their apprenticeship, has doubtless arisen
in no small degree from the debilitated state in which many of them were, when first
landed ; but there is too much reason to apprehend that many have perished through
negligence, harsh usage, and want of proper support.
'iThe collector of customs appears, in the disposal of these Africans as apprentices,
to have given a prelercnce to the members of the legislative body, proprietors of
sugar and cotton plantations. They received parcels of from six to ten Africans,
who were indented to them as domlestics, the males for a period of fourteen years,
and the females for ten years ; but these last, in case they should have children
during their apprenticeships, were bound to serve four years longer.
About 200oo in all were placed among the proprietors, planters and managers of
estates in Tortoia ; the remainder were distributed among the inhabitants of the
Road Town of that island, and in the adjacent islands.
It appea-rs by the Parlianientary Returns, Lhat
MIr Di< li.uAI jloSessed, at least, tweuty of the
liberated t.Vricrns a- apprentices: the greater
p 1rt i' whoni after his death wtre assigned over
to his wduon ; it alko appears that the people were
let out on hire, in the lorigna island of -t. Thomas.
Shlie amount of the profits thence arising cannot
be asctriaintd; )ut Mr. Jaime. Gri-g, nlio tor-
meriy acted ,- collector at Tortola, informnied the
Co Inisisont-r that Mv. Dix had told him, that
her Africans at St. Thomas brought her in a piece
of eight of Danish money, about a2s. 6d. terling,
per day. Mr. Dix was one of the principal inha-
bitants of Tortola, a member of the Legislature,
and an officer of the customs ; he appears to have
given a suffticiency of food and clothing to his
apprentices, and as far as re-pectcd the-ir bodily
sustenance, to have done hi duty. but little
attention was paid to their moral improvement.
S II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
No 2. Very few of those Africans taken by proprietors of estates, and indented to them
MR. DOU _iAN'- as domestics, were employed in that capacity, they were engaged for the most part
RLI'ORT. in the cultivation of the ground, or as herdsmen.
By the schedule of Afiicans, with their trades and employment, it will be seen
that of 1 '1 males, and -o females, now alive, upward, of 2oo were indented as
domestics, and the remainning ninety-nne may be elahis-d under the head of trades;
of these ti'fty are females, chiet-y laundresses, seam.ttrc_,-: s and cooks, and the
remainder ai- e carpenters, .. 1:..Ifn andi fishermen.
Several of hl.,' ',pietors of estates gave up their ap-prentices previously to the
arrival of the Commissioners, and others subsequently thereto. These Africans,
together wih -the allir-eMicesof masters who had died, were motly re-apprenticed to
prcson.s abont Road Town, the chief town of Tortola, so that upwards of 200
apprentices are now placed in that town, and the remainder in the country, or in
the adjacent islands. In the mean time many of them died. On the death of
a plant- r in the iland of .\Aneada, who had taken seven apprentice-, it was found
that one apiprentitce only had survived the master.
Another pianter, at Tortola, had received a like number, and two only remained
alive. In both cases, I have great reason for believing that the apprentices had
experienced hard treatment, and a want of sufficient antl pitoper food.
I feel a high gratification in exhibiting the reverse of this picture, in the kind
treatment shown by J. M1. Donavan, esq. a sugar planter in Tortola, towards his
African appreit ices.
He had received nine out of the same cargoes as those above mentioned. Eight
of these were produced by Mr. Donavan in good health, well clothed, with smiling
satisfied looks, evidently indicating the kindness of their provident and humane
master. The characters given of the apprentices by their master was also highly
satisfactory. Only one of them had died in the course of eight years.
'In consequence of the deafih or removal of some masters from the island, and the
surrender of many apprentices by others, and in consequence, also, of the dimi-
nished population of white persons in these small islands, the collector found great
difficulty in obtaining proper masters for the Africans, and was compelled at last to
apprentice them to -pesous who were in very poor circumstances, and unable to
To exemplify this, an instance or two may be adduced :
A black man and his wife, (who cultivated some unproductive land which they
hired,) had taken two females as apprentices. This man applied to me for some
,pecumiary assistance, confessing his inability to pay for the expense of a midwife,
'who had attended one-of the apprentices in her confinement. On a representation
to him of 'the injustice, in his circumstances, of keeping these people as apprentices,
he was induced to carry them back to the collector, confessing his inability to provide
for them. They were not received by the collector, but the master was desired to
look about for a proper person to whom to transfer them ; such, however, could not
be found, and several months elapsed, during which they wandered about the island
without a protector, iand one of them went to a foreign island in quest of employ-
Another apprentice complained of the ill-treatment of his mistress. On inquiry
it was found the mistress was receiving from the parish about i s. a day for the
support of herself and children, and was actually indebted to the apprentice for part
of a pig which she had purchased of him and could not pay for.
An application was made to the clergyman of the parish by a female pauper, who
received from the parish a weekly allowance of 4s., for the loan of 12s. On being
asked for what purpose the loan was required ? she answered, It was to enable her
to pay for the indenture of an African apprentice, from whose labour she thought
she could derive great advantage." The loan was refused, and she did not obtain
the apprentice; but she mentioned the want of the price of the indentures as the
sole cause of prevention to her wish. The effect of this improper mode of appren-
ticeship was, that many of the Africans who were ill-treated, or who were accustomed
to be let out on hire, went off in small boats to the foreign island of St. Thomas.
At one time these amounted to ipwvards of forty persons. They were occasionally
CAPTURED NEGROES. o
brought back on application to the Danish Governor ; but as no proper masters No 2.
could be found for them at Tortola, many of them returned to St. Thomas, where a RFPOP4G.
they procured employment for themselves ; and there is reason to suppose, in gene-
ral, profitable employment. Many of them, during the festival of Christmas 1 822,
came up to Tortola of their own accord, to visit their companions and friends ; they
appeared healthy and well clothed.
It has been remarked that the cause of this desertion of the apprentices from
Tortola, and their repairing to St. Thomas, has been a desire to be their own
masters, and a disposition tu lead an idle life, working only occasionally when so
disposed. There may be individual cases of this kind, but numerous proofs
occurred to convince me, that their ilil-tueatwent, their being appnentic.ed to indigent
masters, and the habit of .being sent off' the island on hire by their ow. master,
were the true causes of this .desirntion. W .V-y did none ,of Mr. Donavan's appien-
tices leave their master and go to St. Thomas ? most of them iwasre 0ejinoydal as
boatmen, and boats went from their master's estate to St. Thomas alhnot every
The following extracts from a correspondence with Mr. Beare, the collector of
the customs of Tortola, see Appendix (C.) will show that that gentleman considered
" the brutal conduct of some masters to be the cau.=e of the apprentices running
away from the island." In a letter addressed to the Commissioners of Inquiry,
dated Custom House, Tortola, 28th April 1823, the collector observes :-" J am
convinced it is the brutal conduct of some masters (who treat their apprentices like
slaves, and never think of performing their own engagements to His Majesty,) ,that
occasions the .running of.the Africans from the island." (On the goth Apri- l Aijor
Moody wrote to Mr. Beare to the following effect :-" I request you toifumish
this otiiee with names and numbers of the African apprentices .who ha"e run away
from the island on account of the brutal conduct of some masters, who treat their
apprentices like slaves, and never think of performing their own engagenimtts to
His Majesty, as also your reasons for believing this general but indefinite charge,
and which it is of the utmost importance tohave investigated, that the innocent
may not be confounded with the guilty." Mr. Beare, in a letter dated 1st May
1 823, addressed to Major Moody, thus replied,-
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday, in answer.to
mine of the 28th ultimo, by which it would appear-that you have given too general
a construction to my meaniing, in respect of the words used therein, regarding the
treatment of African apprentices. I did not by such words intend to convey an
iimputa tion against masters generally, but only against some individuals. I do not
pretend to furnish the names and numbers of those who have run away from the
island, wholly/ on account of ill-usage ; but the opinion I expressed in my letter,
%uith respect to the conduct of some masters to their apprentices, is founded on
circumstances that have come under my own observation, or been communicated to
me in the shape of complaint, of which an instance or two may suffice to relate :
In October last I apprenticed to Mr. Wheatly (now in the Danish island of
St. Croix) the African named Henry, who complained soon after that his master
had ordered him to be cart-whipped, and that be was cart-whipped in his yard in
the town, in consequence of which he ran from the island.
Very soon after my arrival here, I observed a severe whipping given in the
street by Mr. Fisher to the African man Edgar. The same man, some months
since, complained against the same master, of which you are aware ; and a few days
ago the same apprentice complained of ill-treatment experienced from the same
master, in consequence of which, and of the situation of his other apprentices at
Porto Rico, I deemed it proper to forward the letter I addressed to you and Mr.
Dougan on the 28th ultimo."
Thus far.Mr. Beare. But besides the cases specified by him several others may
The -case of Thomas, or Aquabia, apprentice to Mr. Crandell, the manager of
an estate, was one of great hardship and severity. This apprentice had been severely
whipped by his master, and applied for redress to the King's Counsel, to whom he
exhibited the nmaiks of chnstisement. The master justified himself on the alleged
ground of a thlft committed by the apprentice, atnd the apprentice was sent back
I5. B3 to
10 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N* 2. to his master without redress. It appears by the Marshal's return that on the
MR DOUGAN's i.5th January 1822, the apprentice was committed to prison by his master, where
REPORT. he remained until 27th February S-22, when lie was discharged, a new master,
who accepted a transfer of him, paying the gaol fees; but the committal and the
discharge were both without any legal authority. In consequence of his ill-treat-
ment the poor man was induced to quit the island along- with a Spaniard, who
having taken him to Porto Rico sold him there for a slave, and in that state lie still
The case of the two females, Kitty and Amelia, whipped by their master Mr.
M'Clean, has been already represented to Lord Bathurst.
In this case his Lordship was of opinion that the conduct of Mr. 1M'Clean, in
having inflicted a flogging upon these female apprentices, as a punishment for the
evidence they had given before the Commissioners, was a sufficient reason, coupled
with the previous evidence of all the parties, to authorize the Commissioners to
direct the collector of the customs at once and immediately to remove the appren-
tices fi-om the service of such a master : before, however, his Lordship's decision
was known in Tortola, these two female Africans, although it had been recommended
by the Commissioners to the collector to remove them from their master, who then
indeed held them without any legal title, were re-apprenticed by him to the same
master, and with whom they still remain.
The reasons assigned by the collector for placing these women again under Mr.
M'Clean, and giving lim a title to them which he had not before, notwithstanding
that gentleman's past misconduct, was the respectability of hui character, and the
assurance he gave of future good treatment to the apprentices, coupled with the
difficulty in these small islands of obtaining responsible 'persons to take charge of
them as masters. See Appendix (D.)
At the sessions of March 1 S23, a bill of indictment was prepared against Mr.
Job P. Doan, for the improper chastisement, with a cart-whip, of his apprentices
George and William. This mode of proceeding was unfortunately adopted, instead
of the summary process, of ar immediate removal by order of the collector of these
apprentices from their master, as had been done in many other instances of a less
aggravated nature ; and the result of it has been, that it was found impossible to
form a grand jury, although the court was twice adjourned for the purpose. The
matter therefore stood over for six months, the apprentices still remaining in the
service of Mr. Doan. See Appendix (E.)
In these and other instances of improper treatment of the African apprentices
at Tortola, which came within my own view, I found it impossible to obtain effectual
redress for, or even succeed in removing them from the service of the masters and
mistresses who had treated them ill, so that I was in a manner compelled to give up
my solitary and unavailing efforts to that end. An instance, however, of more than
ordinary brutality in the treatment of a female apprentice, which I myself witnessed,
forced me to interfere, though with little hope of redressing her wrongs.
On the yth April 1823, I was urged by some Africans to witness, with my own
eyes, the ill-treatment which their countrywoman Ariange, or Kate, apprentice of
LR. Rymer, a free woman of colour, was at the time receiving. I accordingly went to
Mrs. Rymer's house, a small house of two rooms, facing the street. On my inquiring
for tile mistress of the apprentice, a white man by the name of Coulter (who it has
since appeared was living in a state of concubinage with Mrs. Rymer) opened the
chamber door, and exposed to my view the unfortunate apprentice, without any
covering whatever. Her hands were tied over her head to a cross beam of the
house, so as just to permit her to touch the floor with her feet. She bore on her
body marks of' the chastisement given her by a cat, made of twisted cord, which
Coulter held in his hand, and with which, he maid, he had given her about a dozen
lashes. The cause of this punishment, which Mrs. Rymer assigned, was, that the
apprentice had been sent out to sell some bread, and that there was a deficiency in
the returns ; but the poor creature, whose painftil situation would not permit much
explanation, stated that the deficiency in the returns had arisen from her having
sold some of the bread to persons whlo had not paid for it. I prevailed with them
to remove the cord which bound the apprentice to the roof, and I obtained a promise
that no further punishment should be inflicted upon her ; a degree of moderation
or which they took great credit to themselves, especially as the apprentice had been
CAPTURED NEGROES. 1i
guilty of the further fault of having complained of her mistress to the Commissioners,
and of having refused to go back with her to Spanish Town, where she then lived,
and of threatening to drown herself, and also of afterwards running away, for neither
of which crimes she had been punished. The unfeeling man who had been Ilogging
this naked female, pointed to the cat as a justifiable instrument of punishment, and
as one that showed his lenity. Beyond this, he seemed to have no sense of the
impropriety of his conduct, nor of the outrage on all decency which was involved in
extending this poor woman, in a state of perfect nakedness, to be punished ; and
indeed, the half blind of the window having fallen down, the wretched sufferer
stood exposed in this state to the gaze of the mob collected in the street.
After the many instances of harsh and improper treatment of' these persons, and
the many more of neglect, which I witnessed, it was to me a matter of much sur-
prise to find so many of them possessing useful acquirements, and so many of them
also enlightened by religious instruction, and greatly improved in morals and civili-
zation. The records of the court from the year i SoS do not furnish a single instance
of an African apprentice having been punished for a felony or any serious crime,
nor have any of them been transported from the island.
To obtain a correct account of the true state of these Africans was, however,
a matter of great difficulty. In a small community like Tortola it was not easy to
find persons who were perfectly disinterested. Nearly the whole of the small white
population of the island consisted of persons who either were connected with the
masters of these apprentices, or who held apprentices themselves ; and the conscious-
ness that the terms of the indentures had remained generally unfulfilled, and that
great abuses would be found to have existed, naturally led them to concur in attri-
buting the want of improvement of the apprentices to natural incapacity and to bad
dispositions and habits, and not to neglect or ill-treatment on their parts.
With a view to obtaining the most correct information as to the actual state of
moral and religious improvement among the liberated Africans, I applied to persons
who, having had opportunities of ascertaining their character, .were at the same time
totally unconnected with either masters or apprentices, and interested only in the
moral welfare of both. These were principally the Weslevan missionaries living at
Tortola, whose establishment was first formed there in 17S9. Some of the present
missionaries have been several years in this island, and one of them has been twenty
years in the colonies.
I ought to remark, that until the last seven years no established church was erected
in the island of Tortola, and since it has been built, I was informed that scarcely
ten slaves at a time have been seen in it ; I never observed half that number there
while I was at Tortola. Almost all the religious instruction therefore which the
negroes have received has been through the Wesleyan missionaries; indeed, from
a long previous residence in the island of Tortola, I am enabled to affirm that the
religious instruction of the slave population has been, I may say, wholly the work of
these missionaries, who have erected, at considerable expense, three chapels for their
use, one at the Road Town, or centre of the island, and one at each of its extremities.
The progress which these missionaries have made in the work of christianizing
the slaves has been very considerable. In February 1823 the total number of the
members of their society at Tortola, and the little islands near it, amounted to 2,077,
of1 which 42 only were whites. The whole slave population of the islands amounts
to somewhat below 6,500. Each of the missionaries furnished me with an account
of the state of the liberated Africans, from which I have given such extracts in the
Appendix as relate to their religious and moral improvement. See Appendix (F.)
It will appear from those extracts, that three Wesleyan missionaries, all of them
highly respectable men, had enjoyed a close and almost daily intercourse with these
African4, and therefore that they were enabled to give a more minute and just
account of them than could be obtained from either distant observers or interested
persons. Their report is certainly highly satisfactory. It shows that much good
has been eficted among these poor people, and that much more might have been
eftW ted had they been placed in less unfavorable circumstances.
It is peculiarly encouraging to find, that no less than about oo of' those liberated
Afiricans have gone through that state of probation required by the ?h.tthodlists
rules, and have been fmliv admitted as members of ihe .'Ieth;list ',oci.ty ; .-1nd it is
a very remarkable tfict, which appears from the eccord.s c'" the examiu:l. tion, taken
115. B 4 before
12 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N" 2. before the Commissioners, that, with very few exceptions, all those African appren-
MIAt. DOLIAN's tices who are members of the Methodist society have received favourable characters
R EPORI. from their masters and mistresses, although some of"them are represented previous
to their admission into that society to have been turbulent and unruly.
In reply to the favourable view here given of the capacity of the liberate:.' Afri-
cans, it may be alleged, that the Colonial Assembly of Tortola have made very
di rent representation on the subject, in a petition which has been lately addressed
to his Majesty.
On the petition it may be necessary to make a few remarks.
The petition and the remarks thereon will be seen in Appendix (F.)
By the Schedules, it will be seen that about twenty-two couple of Africans have
been married to each other ; that ten females have been married to slaves ; and that
sixty African females have had ninety-one children.
When it is taken into consideration that many of these African females were very
youiig when apprenticed, strangers to the English language, and often placed under
the care of the head slaves of the estates, it is not surprising that, in their state of
ignorance and dependence, and living under the same roof with their slaves, they
became their wives or mistresses. One instance only occurs of a female African
having.a child by a white person, and hlie was her master.
The idea generally entertained that persons living in towns are more addicted to
vice and dissolute habits% might with truth be reversed as it respects the Africans
residing in Toitoha. I am fully of opinion with Mr. Truscott, the missionary, that
those who reside in town, having frequent opportunities of receiving religious
instruction, a&e far more advanced in morals than the negroes who reside in the
country and are remote from places of worship. Indeed, my own frequent attendance
at a lecture on the Friday evening, which was instituted peculiarly for the instruc-
tion of the Africans, convinced me that they understood and felt what was addressed
to them by the missionaries ; for when forcible observations were made which had
respect to their own situation and circumstances, their duitties to God, to their mas-
ters, huisbands, wives or children, they would mark their approbation by a low
whisper,-" Very true;" That ii right," or some other mode of assent. When it
was recommended to them to send their children to learn to read, so that they might
be able to read to them at home that good book the Bible, there was a general burst
of exclamation,-" Ohil yes! Oh yes!"
At one of the anitthl restivats, hii4i the inissiottbries ivkited the Afrieoai appren-
tices, as well as the 'taves, to give a View of their feelings, and of the -progress they
had made ii religion; it was surpdiintg to hear several of then give a plain and
distinct acc6tifit 'of f6ir 4tate, anid of thtit religious knowledge. The relation was
evidently (heir &'nh, Utfd told in their own way, mnd not a formal repetition of words
which they night have learnt, or heard repeated before. Their mode of delivery
also showed so much of earnesttress, and deep interest in the subject, as -to affect
the feelings of several persons -who hard them, and who were not aware of the
degree of infdrniation'they possessed.
These, and other occurrences which-nfight be mentioned, were convincing proofs
of the great benefit which the Africans-had derived"from the Wesleyan missionaries;
and I may truly add also, that .great -nimibers of the slave population have bene-
fitted in an 'equal degree, and are strongly impressed with a sense, not only of their
duitty to God, but of their duty to their masters-and superiors; and indeed it may
be inferred that the preaching of these missionaries is generally approved of by the
planters of Tortola, from the circumstance that nearly thie whole of the members
of the council, 'the chief justice, and many members of the assembly, most, if not
all, proprietors of slaves, have regular pews at the Methodist chapel, which they,
'as well as the minister of the established church, frequently attend in the evening.
But if the case in this respect were-diffe'ent, the utility and respectability of these
missionaries would be abundantly proved by their good works, and zealous and
unwearied labours, among the liberated Africans and the slaves ; and surely they
are most fully entitled, therefore, to credit, in the representations they have made
relative to those Africans. For my own part, I am happy in the opportunity of
paying my humble tribute of approbation of their persevering and arduous exertions
in the religious instruction of the black and coloured population of our colonies.
REPORT ON CLASS No 3.
CI '\SS No 3. comprises Africans and other negroes, captured on board various No 2.
sma'" vessels, or who were seized on shore, from the 25th March 1807, to 25th AIR. DOUIGAN'
May 1823. Appendix (G.) REPORT.
By the best account the Commissioners could obtain, it appears that twenty-two
seizures of small vessels were made, having on board seventy-nine negroes, chiefly
mariners, and that two seizures were made on shore of six negroes, making altogether
eighty-five persons. In the cases of seventeen seizures of the said small vessels, having
forty-seven persons on board, there was either no appeal, or the sentences of con-
demnation were afterwards affirmed by the Lords of Appeal.
In the cases of five other seizures of these small vessels, having thirty-one negroes
on board, sentences of further proof or of restoration on appeal were passed, or
no decision was made.
For the seizures made on shore no appeals were made.
Very little information on the subject of these seizures could be obtained at the
Custom House. Of the adjudged negroes, four were delivered over to Seijeant
Turbitt, for His Majesty's service ; also three to Captain Westrop, of His Majesty's
ship Peruvian, and four to Lieutenant Hunter, of the Laura, for the naval service.
It does not appear that the collectors of the customs considered the negroes of this
third class as under their charge ; for. with exception of six seized in the year 1821,
and eleven above mentioned, no other account could be obtained. A belief was
expressed that they had left the island, or had gone with their former masters; and
yet, on referring to the records, in the registry of the court of Vice-Admiralty,
it was found, that when sentences of condemnation had passed on the slaves in
question, the judge directed that they should be delivered over to the care of the
collector of the customs. Except, however, a description, on detached scraps of
paper, of a very few of these people, no other record appears to have been kept of
them by the collectors.
It was only by a careful search at the registry of the court of Vice-Admiralty,
into the preparatory examinations of all vessels, having negroes on board, that the
list, such as it is, of slave captures, could be made out, the lists furnished by the
registrar and the collector being both defective.
In the lists furnished by the Commissioners will be found the case of the Favorite,
Tynes master, having seven Africans on board. Special further proof was, on the
4th March 1812, required to be produced in two months. It does not appear,
however, by the records of the court, that any further proof was produced, or that
any thing further was done in the cause.
On comparing the affidavit, as to the number of ship's papers brought in, with
the papers which now remain in the registry, the vessel's register and six of her papers
prove to be wanting.
There is reason to apprehend that in some of these cases of small vessels,
although in many instances proceeded against on the ground of illegal transporta-
tion of slaves, that the right of the slaves themselves to their freedom has not been
sufficiently attended to. In one case, that of the sloop Susan, having four slaves on
board, detained by His Majesty's brig Maria, in May 181 2, and proceeded against
in the court of Vice-Admiralty, her papers being lodged in registry, there is reason
to believe that a compromise took place, at the island of St. Thomas, between the
captors and claimants, the latter paying the sum of 500 dollars to the captors,
together with their expenses, and receiving back the sloop and the slaves. There is
no record in the registry how the vessel and slaves were disposed of by the court;
but no sentence having been passed, of course the negroes would still remain slaves.
This case was not inserted in the list furnished by the registrar to the Com-
It frequently has occurred that the captors, under doubtful and embarrassing
circumstances, have waived their claims, and accepted a less consideration than they
might eventually obtain ; yet, in cases where the freedom of individuals depends
115. C upon
14 II. PAPERS RELATING TO
N' 2. upon the final adjudication of the case, the sacrifice of their chance of freedom by
MR. DOUGAN's a private compromise, which benefits the captors alque, is, in my humble opinion,
REPORT. a very questionable proceeding.
It appeared, in the case of nineteen of these sminall vessels, captured previous to
1821, and having sixty-seven negroes on board, bounty was only paid in two
instances of capture-the Edward, Jones, four slaves; and Prevoyant, Ouzias, three
slaves ;-although it also appeared that sixteen of these small vessels, having forty-
seven negroes on board, had been condemned without any appeal.
There appears indeed to have been a general neglect even of the captor's interest,
in not applying for the bounty, as well as a neglect of what was of far greater import,
the freedom of the negroes, entitled to their liberty. Nearly the whole of these
people have quitted the island, but whether as slaves or as free men no satisfactory
information could be obtained. One person only remains at Tortola, named Jem,
who was apprenticed to Dr. Porter, then an officer in the customs. This man's
apprenticeship is expired, but hie is evidently unable to provide for himself, beina
addicted to drinking. A man of the name of John Charles Degagee, taken in the
Prevoyant, returned to Tortola, while the Commissioners were there.
It appears by the certificate of Richard Philips and Thomas Jeff Niles, that he
had lived two or three months in their neighbourhood, and conducted himself in
a sober industrious manner, attending principally to fishing ; but that he and his
wife complained they could get no work in the country : hlie had since quitted the
island. Previous to his departure he mentioned to one of the Commissioners, that
after his liberation he entered on board His Majesty's ship Peruvian, where lie
remained until that ship was ordered to England, when hlie was discharged at
St. Thomas. By hiring himself as a seaman he had obtained sufficient money to pay
225 dollars for the freedom of his wife, Marie Virginie.
This man was captured in the Prevoyant, and was one of the few for whom
bounty had been paid. In a letter of Major Moody to Mr. Wilmot, dated 11th
September 1822, this person was stated to be working in the chain' gang at
St. Thomas, but this statement appears very doubtful, as two free persons at Tortola
have since declared him to be living as their neighbour at Tortola.
In respect to live Creole negroes, seized on shore in the year 1821, the following
report was made rby Major MLoody, in his letter to Mr. Wilmot, dated i ith Septem-
ber 1822:-" The case of the woman Christiana ought to be noticed. On her
mere assertion of being able to take care of herself, the collector at that time, under
the usual construction of the Act, being a Creole, threw her with her three children
into the Colonial Society, as it appears to me without due consideration, whether
she was qualified to discharge her new duties of a free person, or whether the
country was likely to afford her the means of subsistence by the exercise of her
industry. From her declaration it appears, when fri-eed, she found herself utterly
unable to maintain herself and three children : one died-it is fjared, fJrom want;
and the two others she was obliged to apprentice out herself, which would have
been done more to their advantage had the collector been a party to thle -indeiture,
acting in the name of His Majesty. The poor creature herself now chiefly depends
fir subsistence on a slave of a plantation, with whom she lives in the character of
wej/fi, and exercising such industry as she is able to perforiu.
Of the other sixty-three Creoles I have been unable to find any trace whatever,
except what Governor Von Scholten of St. Thomas told me, that he believed the
greatest part of the mnien entered on board a class of vessels, called Colombian
Privateers, but whose conduct more resembled that of pirates. Some went to
St. Domingo, and it is probable the rest to Porto Rico; they have all left Tortola."
As the examination of these cases occurred during my absence from Tortola, and
the report made of them involved the conduct of the late collector of the customs,
Mr. Clement, now deceased, and represented the distressed state of some of the
liberated negroes, and the abandoned conduct of others, I was desirous of further
inquiry; but it was not until some time after my return to the island that I could
obtain from Christiana Wheatly the necessary explanations of the subject, as it
related to herself and children. By her statement (see Appendix H.) it will appear
that she and her three children were imported by her master from St. Croix to
Tortola, when they were seized and condemned. This was in November iS21.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 15
Mr. Clement, the collector of the customs, treated Christiana very kindly, and
employed her in his own service, allowing her 4s. a day, which was fully sufficient
to maintain herself and children. Unfortunately this kind master, as well as his wife
died, and then this poor woman finding herself under some difficulty from having
three children to support, she bound her daughter as an apprentice for five years
to Dr. Ross, now a member of the Council, and put her eldest son to learn a car-
penter's trade. Her third child, the youngest, was seized with a severe cold and
bad sore throat; it was attended by Dr. Ross, and wanted neither nourishment,
nor proper attendance : whilst it was ill, the clergyman of the established church
came and prayed with it, and when it died, it was decently buried with the funeral
rites of the church. She stated her having been married to one of the head slaves
of an estate, and that she now earned her living by rearing goats, poultry, &c. by
which she procures a decent subsistence for herself and husband ; she washes and
mends the linen of her son, and gives him occasional presents. In conclusion, she
stated that she speaks the truth when she says, that she can very well take care
of herself and assist her children, and is well satisfied with her present situation."
This statement made by Christiana herself before me, clearly shows that the
collector of the customs, having paid a liberal price for the services of this woman
and her children, deemed her fully capable of earning a livelihood for herself and
family. It further shows, that she acted most providently after the death of Mr.
Clement, in apprenticing her. daughter as a doinestic to Dr. Ross, a member of the
Council, for the period of five years only ; and in placing her son with a carpenter
to learn that trade. And it shows, lastly, that her child who died, did not perish
through want, but on the contrary received every medical care and proper nourish-
ment, and that a degree of religious attention was paid to it, which seldom occurs
even among the whites. The clergyman prayed with the child when ill, and per-
formed the funeral rites when it died.
There has, therefore, evidently been some mistake or misconception of the case
of this woman and her children, as reported by Major Moody ; for it appears that
the collector did not improvidently throw Christiana and her children upon the
Colonial Society, but took her into his own service, and gave her liberal wages ; and
that the apprehension that the child had died from want, was groundless.
I am not aware how Governor Von Scholten, the present Danish Governor of
St. Thomas, should have had it in his power to give an account of the other sixty-
three Creoles in the manner stated. These negroes were captured in the years 1811
and 1812, when the island of St. Thomas was in the British possession, and there
could have been no Danish Governor there. No Colombian privateers were ad-
mitted into the British islands, and consequently there could be no foundation
whatever for the surmise, that the greatest part of them entered on board Colombian
privateers, that some of them went to St. Domingo, and others to Porto Rico. By
far the most probable event is, that they have returned to the places with which
they were formerly connected, and to which the vessels belonged on board of
which they were captured, namely, Barbadoes, Antigua, St. Christopher, and Ber-
muda, and also Martinique and Guadaloupe, which were then in our possession ;
but whether they are living there in a state of freedom or slavery is doubtful.
The Report on this Class, N- 3, is very imperfect, and further inquiry is neces-
sary. There appears to have been no person on the spot at the period of their
condemnation, who deemed it his duty to see that the sentences of the court of
Vice-Admiralty were fulfilled, or to make known to the negroes the rights they
had received. Some of these people, therefore, may be now held in slavery though
entitled to their freedom.
Inforination on this subject might be obtained by a communication from His
Majesty's Government to the several Governors of our colonies, furnishing them
with a list of the names of these small captured vessels and their masters, the time
when, and the ship of war by which they were seized, together with such of the
names and descriptions of the negroes as can be obtained, with directions to give
publicity to these particulars, and instituting the requisite inquiries. For if two free
apprentices, Hull and Portsmouth, could have been detained in a state of slavery, as
stated by General Leith, at Tortola itself, where freedom had been given them, what
may we not fear with respect to such as were removed from Tortola, and who pro-
bably went thence with persons whose interest it might be to conceal from them the
115. c 2 decision
ii II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N* 2. decision of the court in their favour? As for the agents of the captors they evi..
MR. DOUGAN's dently neglected that essential part of their duty, the taking those steps which
_REPOt. would at the same time have entitled the captors to bounty, and have brought to
the knowledge of the negroes the freedom which the sentences of the court of Vice-
Admiralty had conferred upon them.
I deem it to be only an act of justice to Mr. Clement, the late acting collector at
Tortola, to state, that though lie was personally unknown to me, yet from all I could
hear from disinterested persons at Tortola, and from documents which I had an
opportunity of examining, I feel convinced but that gentleman exerted himself in
the most praiseworthy manner to obtain redress for such of the African appren-
tices as had been maltreated by their masters. In confirmation of this I need only
refer to his report to Lord Bathurst, in which the improper treatment of' the ap-
prentices, such as their being worked under a slave driver, digging cane holes, being
punished with a cart whip, &c.
In a letter from Major Moody to Mr. Wilmot, dated I ith September 1822,
there is this passage :-" And my exertions in inquiring after them have been so
far successful, that out of 130 persons returned unaccounted for by the last return
of the late collector here to Lord Bathurst, I have been able to account for 123 of
It is but common justice, however, to the deceased collector, Mr. Clement, to
explain why these persons were returned by him as unaccounted for." Their
masters actually refused to bring their apprentices before him, or to account for their
deaths. To Commissiouers specially appointed by His Majesty for this inquiry,
the masters who had refused to produce their apprentices to Mr. Clement the
collector, produced them before the Commissioners on their arrival, or furnished lists
of such as had died. And this is the true cause why the Commissioners have been
able to furnish that information, which the late collector could not obtain.
In many instances the reported circumstances of the death of apprentices is very
unsatisfactory. Two Africans are stated by their master to have died by eating
poisonous cassava. No inquiry by a coroner's inquest took place, but a minute was
made in a little book, that they had died by eating poisonous food (cassava). The
reported death of Tamuna, a female, and Onoque, a male, apprenticed to Mr.
G. Martin, and afterwards transferred to Mr. G. Patnelli, required further investiga-
tion. These persons are mentioned as having been returned to the collector in
October 1814, and having died in April 1S 15 at the barracks. 1\Ir. Patnelli,
who furnished the information of the death of one of them, (Onoque, did it on the
information of Henry Kirwan, a free man of colour, who acted under the collector
in superintending the Africans. Kirwan, on the back of the indentures of Onoque,
which remained in the Custom House, cancels the bond, by stating Onoque as
having been returned for His Majesty's service, and as having died at the barracks
April i3th, 1815. Mr. Patneli deposed, that this person died on the Sth April.
This difference in the dates, however, may have arisen from error. But words are
endorsed on the indentures which change the facts of the case, and which ought to
be explained. Onoque is first endorsed by Kirwan as returned jbr His .lajesf('s
service, AND SENT TO HEAD QUARTERS;" the last five words are erased, AND
DIED AT BA, ACKS" substituted in their place.
But what attaches more suspicion to this case is, that the Commissioners disco-
vered, whilst at Antigua, that Henry Kirwan had carried away from Tortola to
Antigua several of those apprentices who were bound to him, without producing
any permission of the collector so to do; and that the treatment they received
whilst there was so bad, as to cause Sir Benjamin D'Urban to have them taken from
him ; and also, that along with his own apprentices be had removed to Antigua.
another liberated African, on whom he had no claim whatever. It certainly also
seems extraordinary that this person, Kirwan, should assume the authority he did,
cancelling in the name of the collector, and as acting for him, the indentures of
Tamuna and Onoque ; and that those apprentices, said to be taken for His
Majesty's service, should have remained at Tortola from October 1 S 14 to April i S 15.
But what increased these suspicious circumstances was, that Francis Welsh, (see
* The place socalled, was a house provided by the collector for the reception o0 the Africans.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 17
Appendix I.) a free coloured man, employed by the collector to attend the Africans, No a.
from the first to the time when the barracks were given up by the collector, never MR. DOUGAN'S
knew of any apprentices returned for His Majesty's service having died. He had REPORT.
himself attended the funeral of' all who died. Besides this, the woman who was
nurse at the hospital, and who was a slave of Mr. Patnelli, never knew that any of
her master's apprentices who were given up had died in the hospital.
The manner in which the original indentures were drawn up was very defective,
and in many instances the duplicates which remained in the Custom House were
equally imperfect :-some were signed by the masters and not by the collector,-
others by the collector and not by the masters. Transfers were also made of the
apprentices to other masters on the back of the original indentures in the like im-
perfect manner. A representation was made on this point by the Commissioners to
Earl Bathurst, and it was suggested to his Lordship that a new form of indentures
might be prepared, and sent out to the several collectors in the West Indies, with
orders that it should be adopted, instead of the old indenture and the transfer by
endorsement. Directions were issued accordingly through the Commissioners of
the customs. But notwithstanding this, the Commissioners of Inquiry, on a late
examination, found that the greater part of even these new indentures were most
improperly filled up; the period of apprenticeships being extended beyond fourteen
Fanny, or Umbahou, was apprenticed on the 22d February 1815, and, being the
mother of children, her apprenticeship should have expired on the 22d February
1829 ; whereas the new indentures, dated 27th November 1822, extended the term
of her apprenticeship for ten years, or until the 27th November 1832, so that, on
the whole, her servitude was protracted for three years and nine months beyond the
term of fourteen years, making altogether seventeen years and nine months of
Anne, or Cumberland, was apprenticed by new indentures on the 1 Sth November
1822. In this case there was an additional extension of the period of her servitude
to Mr. Thomas Hill, her master, a prisoner in the common gaol for debt. A still
greater hardship occurred in this case : Her master, to obtain the services of the
apprentice in the prison, had her also committed to gaol with him on the 15th
January 1I23. She appears, however, to have been liberated from confinement on
the 17th of the same month.
I have now stated the substance of the information I collected respecting the
African apprentices at Tortola, and I have given the opinion of such disinterested
persons as had the means of judging of their progress in point of civilization and
moral improvement. That progress, however, it will appear fiom the fhcts produced,
must have been much obstructed by the ill-treatment they too frequently met with;
yet, notwithstanding all obstacles, I am well convinced that the great body of these
persons have been sufficiently improved, and have acquired sufficient information to
enable them to maintain themselves, and to render them useful members of society
as free persons. This is especially true of the females. These are, in general-, intel-
ligent, active, and industrious. I have witnessed the persevering assiduity of the
females with young children in their arms, attending the school at early dawn during
the hour which is allowed them for that purpose. I have seen many of the same
parties, at the intervals granted to them for their meals, bringing to town on their
heads very heavy loads of wood, which they had collected, for sale, with a view of
adding to their comforts and those of their children.
Of the females who have no children, there are very few, who, if liberated, could
not readily maintain themselves without aid. To their praise, it has been affirmed by
the missionaries, that there is not a prostitute among them. And even with respect to
the fImales who have children, if they were permitted to live with their husbands,
and allowed a few acres of ground to cultivate, and when not engaged in its cultiva-
tion to work for hire, they would all, in my opinion, be fully competent to provide
for themselves. This remark will equally apply to by far the- greatest part of the
men, particularly if certain measures proposed to be adopted by His Majesty's
Government should be carried into effect. Among them, indeed, are carpenters,
who, Mithout any superintendence, have constructed warehouses and other buildings,
and who could therefore have no difficulty in obtaining a livelihood in any part of
115i c 1 do.
r8 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N" 2, I do not deny that, among nearly 300 African apprentices at Tortola, individuals
MRX DotOAN' may be found who may still require the superintendence of His Majesty's Govern-
amor. meant ; but I am fully persuaded that the exceptions are few, and that, with these
s^ fewexceptious, the whole of them, at the expiration of their apprenticeships, would
he fully able, with the advantages proposed to be given them by Government, to
provide for their own livelihood, and that they would require no other restrictions
than those which the laws impose on the conduct of other individuals of the same
They may be considered, notwithstanding their many disadvantages, to have made
an advance in civilization. A desire to possess property of their own has been gene-
rally excited among them, and the operation of this motive, in their case as in all
others, cannot fail to quicken their industry. Some address will doubtless be neces-
sary, even in order to carry into effect the benevolent intentions of His Majesty
towards them. Any measure, however beneficial in itself, which wore the appearance
of compulsion and not of a real wish to promote their comfort and happiness, would
naturally excite their distrust and suspicion.
Many of them having undergone severe sufferings during their long apprentice-
ships, would entertain apprehensions respecting any new plans for their disposal,
unless conducted by persons well known to them as feeling for their situation and
being desirous of their welfare, and who had thus acquired their confidence ; and
even in this case, it would be essential to success to conciliate the favourable opinion
of the leading persons among them, whose views generally influence all the others.
With respect to the reluctance which Africans are said to feel to returning to
their own country, it is to be remarked that they think of Africa only as they have
known it, and are wholly unacquainted with the state of society existing at such
a place as Sierra Leone. They keep, indeed, in lively recollection former scenes of
rapine and warfare in their own country. The horrors of their passage from Africa
remain deeply engraven on their minds, and would make them shrink from encoun-
tering them afresh. Those also who have been so far enlightened as to appreciate
the advantages of religious instruction, and of a more settled state of society than that
which they recollect in Africa, are naturally fearful of the risks attending a change ;
at the same time, when they were told of the condition in which their fellow captives
liberated at Sierra Leone were placed, enjoying freedom, and having the fruits of
their labour fully secured to them, many of them expressed an ardent desire to go
thither, provided they could be assured of the truth of the statement. On the
whole, however, I have reason to believe, that, with the exception of those who have
formed connections in the island, the greatest number would prefer going to
It is highly important, however, that the question of their future disposal should
be decided without delay, as the apprenticeship of many of these persons will expire
in the course of a short time.
I will conclude this Report by transcribing some observations which I had the
honour to address to Earl Bathurst from Tortola on the 23d of March 1823,
respecting the future disposal and government of those liberated Africans whose
apprenticeships should have expired; and as these observations convey the senti-
ments which I continue, after much deliberation, to entertain on the subject, they
will supersede the necessity of any further remarks.
(L. s.) John Dougan, Commissioner.
ON the subject of the regulations which may be required for the future disposal
and government of the African apprentices, when their apprenticeships shall have
expired, and to the consideration of which subject Lord Bathurst has directed the
attention of the Commissioners, I beg leave to offer the following Observations.
The objects for which it appears necessary to provide seem to be, the com-
fortable sustenance and the improvement of the liberated Africans, the security of
their personal liberty, and the prevention of danger or of charge to the communities
of which they form a part.
Upwards of one third of the Africans in two of the ships having died.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 19
All these objects would, perhaps, be most effectually secured by their removal No 2.
to the colony of Sierra Leone. They would there enjoy adequate means of subsist- MR. DoUVAW.r
ence and religious instruction, and would be placed beyond the reach of any attempt RsyQr.
upon their liberty; the community of which they would then form a part could
apprehend no danger of any kind from their introduction, and would be most willing
to receive them, and to encounter all the risks of future charge with which their
introduction might be attended. The only objections which occur to this plan are,
the expense, and, in particular cases, the disruption of attachments and connections
which had been formed in the place of their apprenticeship. Such cases, however,
might be specially provided for. As for the expense, it would consist chiefly of the
cost of freighting a vessel, and of rations of provisions for them until settled at
Another mode by which these objects might be obtained, though not perhaps
with equal certainty, would be, by conveying them to Trinidad. Lands might
easily be provided for them in that island, by the cultivation of which their conm-
fortable subsistence might be secured, even if there did not exist in the island
abundant facilities of employing themselves for hire. The means of religious in-
struction, though now wanting, might also be easily provided for them. The laws
of that colony are peculiarly favourable to the protection of their personal freedom,
and though at one time the planters of Trinidad entertained the same fears of
danger and of charge from an increase of the free population, which are supposed to
pervade the other islands, yet I believe experience has satisfied them that their fears
were groundless. I understand that the- ordinary operation of the law is found
sufficient to prevent disorder; and the many advantages which the planters have
derived from an increase of the number of labourers, that are procurable when
wanted, and yet are no burthen to them at other times, have not been diminished,
as far as I have heard, by any fresh charge on the public. The free population
of Trinidad amounts to more than half the slave population, a proportion infinitely
beyond that of any other of our slave colonies ; yet so far has this circumstances
been from operating to the disquiet of the community, that when the other islands of
the West Indies have been agitated by alarms of insurrection, and martial law has
been proclaimed in them, Trinidad has been free from those alarms, and no such
measure of precaution has been thought necessary. I would only further remark,
that the expense of removing the Africans to Trinidad from the neighbowsing
islands, would be trilling.
The adoption of either of these modes of disposing of the liberated apprentices,
would seen to supersede the necessity of any re-apprenticeships.
"1 But even if it should be judged inexpedient to dispose of them in either of these
ways, I should still be of opinion that to re-apprentice them, except in exempt and
peculiar cases, would be highly objectionable. Indeed, if not required by a clear
and urgent necessity, it would, I conceive, be a measure of hardship and injustice.
The apprenticeships have already been extended far beyond the intention of the
Legislature, or the exigency of the case. A term, not exceeding fourteen years,
has been construed to mean not less than fourteen years, and the child of eight
years of age, and the adult of thirty, have been subjected to the same precise period
of servitude ; nor has any variation been admitted, whether they are to be taught
a trade of difficult acquirement, or are merely to be occupied as domestics, or in the
simplest and rudest operations of tillage.
The extreme harshness of this unvarying term of servitude, it appears unne-
cessary to dwell upon ; but to prolong that servitude beyond tile extreme point con-
templated by the Legislature, even in the case of infants, would be an aggravation
of hardship, which in my opinion, as I have already ventured to state, could only
find its excuse in a clear and urgent necessity.
The apprentices in this island appear to have been more neglected than those
in other colonies ; and yet, with every disadvantage attending this state of inatten-
tion, I know but of one case in which the Africans, whose apprenticeships have
expired, are not fully capable of earning their own subsistence, or in which there
is any such room to apprehend that they will become chargeable to the community,
as to require so severe an expedient for its prevention as that of binding them agaii
to labour, at tile will of another, for a further term of years. I conceive, indeed,
that the evil apprehended would be greatly aggravated by this expedient; for at the
1 15 c 4 end
20so II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
end of a second fourteen years, supposing the apprentice to live through it, how
is lie then to be supported in his old age ? He has been kept all his life in a state of
pupillage and helpless dependence; and now in old age, when his services are no
longer worth Ihaving, he will be turned adrift, and, if not left to starve, must fall
a charge on the public.
The true way to prevent such a result would be, to give at once to each of these
apprentices a small portion of good land, which hlie could call his own, and which
would be sufficient to raise provisions for himself and his family. The labour not
required for its cultivation, he would be at liberty to apply to the best advantage by
hire of his services.
He would thus have an opportunity of making some provision for old age, or
would find in the aid of his children growing up around him a relief fri-om want.
In point of fact, few cases have occurred in the West-India Islands, where free
blacks, or persons of colour, have become a charge on the public. I have known
this island twenty-eight years, and only within the last six months has there been
but one instance of a temporary relief from the vestry to a free woman of colour;
and this remark applies, not merely to those islands, where, from an idea of guard-
ing against this inconvenience, a heavy tax is laid on manumissions, but to those
islands where a more liberal policy prevails, and no such tax is laid.
With respect to those persons whose apprenticeships have actually expired, or
are now expiring, I have annexed to this Report an Estimate, marked (A.) of the
numbers and remarks on the two classes. With very few exceptions, I conceive
that they are capable, if placed in an eligible situation, of maintaining themselves,
even if no land were assigned them. If land were assigned them, the point would,
in my mind, be placed beyond all doubt.
I can see no danger to the community from setting them completely free, which
the laws cannot sufficiently obviate ; and if manumissions are to be at all permitted
in the West Indies, if any increase of the free population is to be'tolerated there,
it is scarcely possible to conceive a less injurious mode of increasing it, than by the
admission to the rights of freemen, of apprentices whose indentures have expired.
The total number dispersed over the whole of the islands would still be small, and
in any one of the islands too insignificant to cause the slightest alarm. Besides
which, the process would be gradual, as the apprenticeships would be terminating,
not all at once, but in successive years.
The Afr-ican apprentices in this island have, with few exceptions, kept them-
selves distinct from the slave population ; they have always considered themselves
a superior class, and have a perfect knowledge of their freedom ; any attempt to
countenance insurrection, they must know, would hazard their own rights and
privileges. In my opinion, the liberated African would always stand in aid of the
white population from any internal or external enemy; at least, I have always found
it to be the case with the free blacks and people of colour of the English West-
India Islands, and I see no reason why the liberated Africans should act differently;
but, on the contrary, knowing the great ransom that has been paid for 'them, they
must naturally feel a greater obligation than those who have purchased their own
But how may the freedom of these liberated Africans be best secured ? This is
a difficult part of the case. The best security would perhaps be found, in a record
of their freedom being inserted in some public register, to which access might be
had, accompanied by a minute description of their persons for the purpose of identi-
fication, and in a certified copy of the record, vouched by the governor, being put
into the possession of the liberated individual : a similar record would be necessary
in the case of the children of such persons, accompanied by regulations suited to the
case. They would then be protected, as far as the laws in their present state could
protect them, in the enjoyment of their liberty.
" Tertola, i4th March, 1823."
" John Dougan, Comunmissioner."
ACCOUNT of the original Disposal, and present Condition, as far as the same has been
ascertained, of the Africans, Class No taken on board two American Vessels, the
Nancy and the Amedie, amounting to 168 Persons.
MR. DOUGAN as
i.-The NANrc, condemned 27th November 1807. Appx. (A.)
Sent on board His Majesty's ship Belleisle, Admiral Sir Alex-
ander Cochrane, for the naval service - -
Sent to Trinidad by Sir Alexander Cochrane, to remain on
his estates there until orders were received from His
Majesty's government, as by receipt taken -
Taken by President Turnbull, of Tortola, on like conditions
Died at Tortola previous to disposal - -
Blen. Boys. Women. Girls.
Accounted for, in the Commissioners Return, as being alive at Tortola -
Sent to Trinidad, to be accounted for there -
Died according to affidavits -
Died previous to disposal -
Discharged from His Majesty's ships of war at the Barbadoes hospital and
dock yard, according to Returns from the Navy Office, to be inquired
after at Barbadoes -
On board of different ships of war in. i8o and 1809, by the same Returns,
further inquiry to be made of their discharge .
Died on board His Majesty's ship Centaur, by the same Returns
By a Return from the Navy Office, it appears that bounty was paid for 65 Africans taken on
board the Nancy; viz. 35 men, 8 women and -22 children.
.2.--The .- MEIDIE, condemned toth February 18o8.
Original Disposal Me'.
Sent to Trinidad by Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, to
remain on his estates until orders were received from His
Majesty's government 32
Taken by G. C. Forbes, of Tortola, on the same conditions -
By Thomas Dougan -
By Anthony Mackenrot 1
By Doctor G. 11. Porter 1
Accounted for in the Commissioners Return, as being alive at Tortola
Left Tortola with their masters or mistresses -
Unaccounted for -
init to 'I rinidad by Sir A. Cochrane, to be accounted for there
Diad at Tortola according to affidavits - -
19 11 20 82
-2 3 6
1 1 2
'28 12 24 98
By a Return from the Navy-Office, bounty was paid on go Africans taken in the Amnedie; viz.
3. menu, 11 %omen and .6 children. Bounty was not paid on the sick, amounting to 8 persons.
2 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
ACCOUNT of the present Condition, as far as the same has been ascertained, of tlhe
Africans, Class No 2, taken ion board Four Spanish Vessels, the Venus, Mlanuella,
Candelariaand Atriviedo, amnouintimi to 1,070 Perisons; as also of the number delivered
over to the Collector of the Customu.
3.-The EN Us, condemned 3d August 1814.
(Accounted for, in the Returns, as being alive: Males inti pp. from
120 to 140, No i to 6, and numbered i to 23; Females, p. 154
to 172, numbered from 226 to '257 -
Left Tortola with masters MaIles in p. 142, N 24 to 32 ; Females,
p. 174, No 258 to 263 -
Run away to other colonies, their present condition has not been
satisfactorily ascertained : Males, p. 142, No 33 Females, p. 176,
numbered from 269 to 270 -
Sold as slaves in foreign colonies: p. 144, N" 34 - -
Taken into the military service, after having been indented as ap-
prentices: Males, p. 146, No 35 to 37; Females, p. 174, No -264
to 268 -
Died according to affidavits, certificates and declarations: Males,
p. 146 to 148, No 38 to 6-2 ; Females, p. 178, No 271 to 291 -
Stated to have died, no satisfactory proof obtained: Males in p. 150,
LNo 63to64 --- -
Given up for the military service: Males, p. 151 to 152, No 65 to
178 - - - -
Died before they were indented: Males, p. 152 and 153, No 179 to
225; Females, p. 178, No from 2Q2 to 303 -
M. F. Total.
Increase of 17 Females 12 9 21
Remarks:-This vessel was captured by His MAlajesty's ship Barbadoes, John Fleming,
esq. commander, and was condemned at a court of Vice-Admiralty, in Tortola, on the 3d
August 1814. On the 13th and 15th of that month, 303 Africans were delivered over to
Francis Ingrain, esq. Collector of His Mlajesty's Customs, Road Town, Tortola.
By a Return from the Navy Office, it appears that bounty was paid for 303 Africans on
board the Venus ;-viz. 198 men, 49 women, and 56 children.
THE Collector's Statement, dated Tortola, i3th July 1815, of Africans landed from the
ship Venus, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed ioth February 1821, is,-
Males, 14 years
Females, 14 years
Boys under 14.
Girls under 14.
Males 14 years and above taken for service -
Males above and under 14 years apprenticed out -
Females above and under 14 years ditto -
Males and females dead -
o - 303
,CAPTURED NEGROES. a3
4.-MANUELLA, condemned oth August 1814. No 2.
MAIR. DOUG AN's
PRESENT STATE. Males. Females., Tutal. --'
-- --- --- App I AWY.
fAccounted for, in Lhe preceding Returns, as being alive: Males in Appa. )
pp, from 6o to 88, and numbered from i to 44; Females in
a pp. from 1oo to ino, and numbered '278 to 294 44 17 61
SLeft Tortola with their masters or mietresses : Males in p, 921
g and numbered 45 to 51i; Females in, p. 112, and numbered 295
10301 7 7 14
S Runaway from Tortola without being examined : Male in p. 92,
a and numbered 52 I t
Left Tortola with the consent of their masters or rmistresses Male
S in- p. 02, and numbered 52 1 -
S Taken into the military service a'frer having been indented as
apprentices: Males p. 94, and numbered 54, to 55; Female,
Sp. 112, and numbered302 2: 1 3
Dead according to affidavits, certificates, and declarations: Males
in p. 94, and No 56 to 69o; emales, p. 114 and 115, No 303 to10312 14 10 24
c Given over to the military service : Males, p. 96 and 97, and num-
bered from 70 to i65 g6 96
SDied before they were indented as apprentices: Males in p. a8
o and op, and numbered from 1d66 to 277; Females inll p. 114, and:
Z numbered from 313 to 315 - r12 3 115
277 38 315
Bin lis. Deaths.
M. F. M. F.
Increase of five Females 3 3 -
Reinariks:-This vessel was captured by His Majesty's ship Mosquito, Captain. Tombin-
son, and was condemned in the Vicc-ArldmiralLy Court, in Tortola, on the 9th August 18.14.
On the ioth of the same month, 314 Africans were delivered over t.o Francis Ingram, esqi
Collector of His Majesty'5, customs.
THE Collector's Statement ofAfricans landed from the Maanuella is,--
Males, 14 years Females, 14 years Boys under 14. Girlsunder 14. Total.
and above. and above.
23 34 41 3 314
Males, 14 years and above, taken for His Majesty's service 06
Ditto, above and under 14 years, apprenticed out 0p
Females, ditio and ditto 34
Males and females dead 115
By a Return from the Navy Ollffice, it appears that bounty was paid for 314 Africans on
board the Mianuella; viz. 236 mien, 34 women, and 44 children, making the total number
of 314 persons.
N. B. In the Return made by the Commissioners of the cargo of the Mlaniella, there is
one female more than in the account given by the Collector. There is great reason for
supposing that thle name of a female called Mecca or Eccomma," an apprentice of MAIr.
Forbes of Nc vis, is twice inserted, first among the deaths, on the affidavit of S. Keys, as
Mecca, or De Nubby, appientice to Mr. Forbes; and again, as left Tortola with
Mr. Forbes, Mecca Eccomma ;" this last-mentioned person i as alive at Nevis by the Col-
lector's Return in i8g19
II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
5.-CANDELARIA, condemned ist December 1814.
Given over to the military service: Males, p. 21o and -211, and num-
bered from 72 to 111 -
Died before they were indented as apprentices : Males, p. 211, and
numbered from 112 to 119 -
Males. Females. Total.
,Accounted for, in the Returns, as being alive: Males in pp. from
/ 184 to 202, and numbered from I to 27 ; Females in pp. from
212 to 230, and numbered from 120 to 158 -
5 Left Tortola with their masters or mistresses : Males, p. 204, num-
*. bered from 28 to 41; Females, p. 232, and numbered from 159
to 16o -
Sold as slaves in foreign colonies: Males, p. 206, and numbered 46
[ Taken into the military service, after having been indented as ap-
a prentices: Males, p. 204, and numbered from 42 to 45 -
13 Died according to affidavits, certificates or declarations: Males,
-' '. p. 20o8, and numbered from 47 to 151 ; Females in p. 232, and
numbered from 16o to 172 -
- - ~ h
Increase of 19 Females 12 13 25
Remarks:-This vessel was captured by His Majesty's ship Barrosa, William M'Culloch,
commander, and was condemned in the Vice-Admiralty Court, in Tortola, on the ist of
December 1814. On the 2d of that month, 172 Africans were delivered over to Francis
Ingram, esq. Collector of His Majesty's Customs.
THE Collector's Statement of Africans landed from the Candelaria is,-
Males, 14 years Females, 14 years
and above. and above.
Boys under 14.
Girls under 14.
Males 14 years and above taken for His Majesty's service
Ditto above and under 14, apprenticed out -
Females ditto and ditto ditto -
Males dead -
CAPTURED NEGROES. 25
6.-The ATRIVIEDO, condemned 2011h February 1815.
Indented as Apprenticeis:
Accounted for, in the Returns, as being alive: Males in pp. from
238 to 254, and numbered from I to 27; Females, pp. 264 to 312,
and numbered from 143 to 225 -
Left Tortola with masters or mistresses: Males, p. 256, and num-
bered from 28 to 33; Females, p. 314, and numbered from 226
to 234 -
Taken into the military service, after having been indented: Males,
p. 256, and numbered 34; Females, p. 314, and numbered 235 -
Died according to affidavits, certificates or declarations: Males in
p. 258, and numbered from 35 to 49; Females, p. 316, and
numbered from 236 to -272 -
Given over to the military service : Males in p. 260 to 263, and num-
bered from 50 to 129; Females, p. 318, numbered 273 to 282 -
Died before they were indented as apprentices: Males in p. 203,
and numbered from 130 to 142; Females, p. 318, and num-
bered 283 -
Increase of 19 Females
Remarks:-This vessel was captured by His Majesty's ship Ister, John Cramer, esq. com-
mander, and was condemned in the Vice-Admiralty Court, in Tortola,on the 2oth of February
1815. On the 2oth and 2ist of that month, 281 Africans were delivered over to Francis
Ingram, esq. Collector of His Majesty's Customs, who made the following Statement of the
Africans landed from the Atriviedo:
Males, 14 years
Females, 14 years
Boys under 14.
Girls under 14.
Males 14 years and above, taken for
Boys under 14 years, taken for -
Females above 14 years -
Ditto in hospital (crazy) -
Males apprenticed out -
Females ditto -
Males dead -
Ditto sick in hospital -
His Majesty's service -
- ditto -
Males. J Females.
N. B. The Commissioner's Return gives two more females in the Atriviedo than that of
the Collector. This difference has arisen from the examination of one female, Kitty
Egina, who came from St. Thomas, and did not appear to have been apprenticed out by the
Collector, but had been living at St. Thomas; one other female, twice returned as Mecca
or Tamer, apprentice of Henry Kirwan, and carried to Antigua; and Mecca, apprentice of
Georgiana Semper of Nevis.
M. F. M., F.
- 10 23 1 1
26 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
No2. GENERAL RECAPITULATION OF CLASS No 2.
REPORr. Males. I Females. Total.
Appx. (B.) Accounted for, as being alive in Tortola and the Virgin Islands ij2 170 291
Left those islands with their masters and mniistresses, or by their
permission n-37 24 6g
Run away to other colonies .2
Sold as slaves in foreign colonies - 2 -
Taken into the military service after being indented as apprentices to10 7 17
Died, according 10to affidavits, certificates, &c. - 81 Si 162
Given utip for military service 282 to 202
Died before they were indented as apprentices 28 10 244
763 310 1,073
Increase of do Females 40 4 01
N.B. Of the children, i male and 2 females have since died.
Appx.(C.) CORRESPONDENCE with Mr. Beare, the Collector of the Customs, on the subject of
the ill-treatruent of African Apprentices.
To the Conimissioners for inquiring into the State and Condition of captured Africans, &c.
Gentlemen, Custom House, Tortola, 28Sth April iS23.
AN African named Edgar, who is an apprentice to MAr. Francis R. Fisher of this town,
complains of ill-treatment from his master. MAl-r. Fisher is gone to Polto Rico, but on his
return from thence, 1 will desire his attendance before you, and you will then have the
goodness to determine between them. I beg to acquaint you, that with reference to my
letter of the 23d January last, I some time since called on 1Ar. Fisher to produce the
apprentice Orinoco, but he stated in answer, tint the said Orinoco was at Porto Rico, that
lie run away from his service,and that hlie does not therefore consider himself bound to take
any steps for producing him at Tortola. As Mir. Fisher admitted that hlie saw Orinoco at
Porto Rico, and believed lie was in s/averi, it may be proper to take legal steps against the
master to compel himn to use his endeavours to brimg back the apprentice.
I am convinced it is thle brutal conduct of some masters, (who treat their apprentices
like slaves, and never think of performing their own engagements to His Majesty,) that
occasions the running of the Africans from tihe island. To remedy which, if possible, for
the future, I request you will be pleased to inform me, whether you think it advisable, and
whether you would recommend me to try the effect of a law-suit against Fisher for the
recovery of thle penalty of the indemnture, for tile purpose of forcing him to take measures
for thle liberation and the return of the apprentice. .
I have thle honour to be, &c. &c. &c.
Gengte Bearen', Collector.
To George Beare, Esq. Collector of His Majesty's Cuitonms, Tortola.
Sir, Tortola, 3oth April, 1823.
MIR. DOUGAN being unwell, and intending to remove to the country for three or four
days, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter yesterday, which was
dated on the 281h instant,
As soon as. nimy colleague is ible to do business, I doubt not but he will agree with me in
acceding to your suggestions, and, in the meantime, I request youth will furhish this office
with names and numbers of the African apprentices who have riun away from the island oni
account of the brutal conduct of some masters who' treat their apprentices like slaves,
and never think of performing their own engagements to His Miajesty;" and also your
reasons for believing this general but indefinite charge, and which it is of the utmost
importance to have investigated, that the innocent may not beconfoiunded with thle guilty.
It. is miore particularly necessary that all chargesof this kind should be fully investigated,
for circumstances have occurred in our inquiries, in your presence, where some apprentices
have run away from the island whilst under your charge, with permission to look out for
their own masters and mistresses ; as, fqr instance, Tom Ocranquo:-anid spmehave advanced
the fee necessary for their indentures to females, who paid it to you, and these apprentices
iaimediately, or soon after, left this island for St. Thomas 4 as, for iniptance, Frederick. Oddo
and France Watchlecu, who certainly never complained of brutal treatment that 1. ever
I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient iumblt servant,
(signed) Thomasl MAoody, Commissioner.
CAPTURED NEGltOES. -
.To Major Mloody, Commissioner f6r inquiring iWio the State or captured Africans, &c. ga 2
Si Cutstbtin House, Tottola, 1st ithly 1823. MR. b'OUGAN's
I 1AV to acknowledge the receipt of ybit letter of yesterday, in answer to mine of tIhe REP
.28th ultimo, by which it would appear that you have given too general a construction tomy p. C.)
ineafing in respect to the words used therein, regarding the treatment of African appren- pp
tices. I did not, by such words, intend to convey ah itiputationi against masters generally,
but only against some individuals.
I do not pretend to furnish names and numbers of those who have run away from the
island wholly on account of ill-usage; but the opinion I expressed in imy letter with respect
to the conduct of some masters to their apprentices, is founded on circumstances that have
come under my own observation, or been commiiunicated to me in theL shape of complaint,
of which an instance or two may suffice to relate.
In October last, I apprenticed to Mr. Wheatly, (now in the Danish island ofSt. Croix,)
the African man named Henry, who complained soon after that his master had ordered him
to becartwhipped, and that he wascariwhipped in his yard in thle town, in consequence of
which he ran from the island.
Very soon after my arrival here, I observed a severe whipping given in the street, by
Mr. Fisher, to the African man named Edgar. The same man, some months since, com-
plained against thle same master, of which you are aware: and a few days ago the same
apprentice complained of ill-treatment experienced from the said master, in consequence of
which, and of tie situation of his other apprentice at Porto Rico, I deemed it proper to
forward the letter I addressed to you and Mt. Dougan on the 28th ultimo.
It would appear by the concluding paragraph of your letter, that you conceive a heavier
responsibility rests on the collector, in respect to captured negroes, than appears to me by
the King's Order in Council. It is the duties of parties to indentures, I apprehend, to pre-
vent their apprentices from going off the island, and,if they run therefrom, to produce them *n
again to the collector whlien requested.
I have endeavoured, when any of these people were thrown out of service by thle death of
their master, or any other cause, to provide for them again in the best way I could, by
rebinding them again to such masters or mistresses as offered. Some of those at Tortola,
(as I have said before,) are such characters that I cannot get any persons to take them as
apprentices ; and the facilities for going to St. Thomas are such, that if they will go thence,
1 am sorry to say, it is not in my power tp prevent it.
I have the honour to be, Sir, &c. &c.
(signed) Geoige Beare, Collector.
COPY of a Letter from George Beare, Esq. Collector of the Customs, to the Conmnis ioners
of Inquiry, on the subject of Lord Bathurst's Decision as to the Punishment of Two
To the Commissioners for inquiring into the State and Condition of Captured Africans.
Gentlemen, Customi House, Tortola, 8th November 1822.
I HAD the honour to receive your letter of the 6th instant, inclosing two papers from
R. Wilmot, esq. under Secret-iry of State for War and Colonies, to you, for my information
and guidance; and directing that, in conformity with Lord Bathurst's decision, I re-uppren-
tice the ttio Africans referred to, to any respectable person or persons who are willing and
competent to fulfil the regulations in thIe form of an indenture sent from the Comminsioners
of the Customs, dated London 2 ist March 1821 ; and requesting mIe to inform you of my
seasons for indenting the apprentices to Mr. Maclean, after the considerations submitted to
me by thle Commissioners.
I beg to observe, that it is usual, I believe, when a commission is appointed to proceed
to any part of the King's dominions to inquire into and report upon any public matter,
for the department in England to give notice thereof to the subordinate authorities abroad,
with directions for them to aford the Commissioners every assistance and information in
In your case no notice whatever has been transmitted to this office from any public
department at home, by w which I could acquire any knowledge of the legal extent of your
authority, and yet I have endeavoured to do all I could to facilitate the object of your
Consideiing the nature of the directions now given in your letter of the 6th instant, and
that it appears to me that I am legally responsible, as collector of the customs for the time
being, for the manner in which I exercise the authority vested in me by His Majesty'
Order in Council of the 8th March i8oS, issued in pursuance of the Act of Legilatuiie,
passed for abolishing the Slave Trade, it is with reluctance I express my doubt ot your
competency to give directions which may interfere with the rule of conduct laid down in tihe
said Order in Council, for the general observance of the collectors; at least, if I am respon-
115. D4 sible
28 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
sible in the eye of tile law for the exercise of the power so vested in me, I apprehend
I must not remove an apprentice from any master or mistress unless defaults are so clearly
established as to amount to a forfeiture of the indentures; or I may be liable, in obeying
your directions, to consequences against which, I presume, you are not authorized to
You are aware that the Africans, which Mr. Maclean had in his possession at the time of
the examination by you in May last, were, like many others, similarly circumstanced at the
time, originally apprenticed to another person, who had long given them up; and as you
know Mr. Maclean was not a party to tile indenture, it would not on that account have
been in my power to punish him, if defaults had been legally proved against him, which,
by the first regulation of hlie Order in Council relating to thie making of indentures, would
seem to be necessary to be done, before the collector could safely act upon the election
given him by the second regulation of the same order for removing the apprentice I must
own also, that it appears to me, before a matter which so seriousTy affected the reputation
of any respectable person, was submitted to Lord Bathurst, an opportunity ought to have
been given the accused of disproving by evidence, if he could, what was urged against
him by tile complainants; and I think it but justice to add my belief, that both Kitty and
Amelia were in a great measure excited to complain, by an expectation that it would cause
their removal to town from the Keys, where the Africans in general, to my knowledge, are
particularly averse to reside. .
Having taken time to consider of the case of the Africans in question, as referred by you
on the 34h11 May last, after perusing copies of Mr. Maclean's letter to you, and affidavits
of individuals on the subject, transmitted by Major Moody on the 27th June,-the
respectubilihy of Mr. Maclean's character in the colony, and the difficulty there is in these
small islands (where Africans are so numerous) of obtaining responsible persons to be their
masters and mistresses, I thought it best they should remain with Mr. Maclean; and
accordingly, on the 27th September last, after receiving his assurance of good treatment,
they were bound to him for the remainder of the term, by transfer of the indentures, to
%which of course he is regularly a party. These therefore, and the foregoing, were my
reasons for indenting them to him ; and you will consequently perceive, at least it appears
to me, that it is out of my power to re-apprentice them to any other person or persons,
unless Mr. Maclean should be guilty of any breach of the covenants of the indenture. It
i true, it was imprudent in him to have them whipped for the evidence they gave before
you, but allowance will no doubt be made for the warmth of his feelings, when it is con-
sidered that he did so, under the irritation of the moment, at discovering they had uttered
untruths ; and it does not appear that he inflicted upon them what in this country is called
flogging, btt only chastised them with switches as negroes do their children.
With respect to the indentures No 122 and 124, 1 shall, agreeably to your wish, take
legal advice, whether they are perfect legal instruments, operative on all parties who have
signed and transferred the same; and if such instruments be deemed perfect, whether the
collector, from his own consideration of the case, and by his own wil.I and act, without any
restraint from the other parties to the indentures, can remove the apprentices from the
services of their masters, should the collector be so disposed, or directed by proper autho-
rity to do so.
I have the honour to be, Gentleinen,
Your most obedient humble servant,
(signed) George Beare, Collector.
Appx. (E.) AFFIDAVIT of George, an African Apprentice, as to his having been cartwhipped by
direction of his Master.
In the Court of Grand Sessions, Virgin Islands, Tortola.
GEORGE, an African apprentice, apprenticed to Job Parker Doan, of the island of Tor-
tola, merchant, having shown himself acquainted with the nature of an oath, maketh oath
and saith, That he was taken down to Sea Cow.Bay (in a boat, together with another
African, named William, his fellow apprentice,) by the said Job Parker Doan; and shortly
after bis arrival at Sea Cow Bay, on Parson Braithwaite's estate, lie was laid down on the
grQund and cartwhipped by a black man unknown to this deponent; and immediately after,
the said William was also laid down on the ground and cartwhipped by the same man.
And this deponent further saith, That the said Job Parker Doan did (previously to the said
cartwhipping being inflicted) command four black men to seize and hold this deponent, and
also the said William, which was accordingly done, that is, four men to this deponent, and
three men and a boy to the said William. This deponent and the said WVilliam were then
taken out, their breeches stripped down, and cartwhipped. And this deponent further
saith, That he received six lashes, as did also the said William, which drew blood from them
both: that the said Job Parker Doan was present on the steps of the manager's house, near
which they were flogged.
Sworn to in open Court, being first read and The mark of George.
explained, this aoth day of %larch 183. JThe mark of George.
(signed) Richd King, jun. Clerk of- the Crown.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 29
fit e Hmissioners for inquiring into the State of captured Africans.
.':"' .Custom House, Tortola, 2 st March 1823.
to yu of the i1th instant, written at the Court-house, I informed you that,
could be formed on that day, a bill of indictment would be preferred against
to acquaint you, that no grand jury was formed on that day, nor at the last
tih-e court for the 2oth instant; but that, on the latter day, an affidavit was
court by George, one of the apprentices, who had been cartwhipped by order
M Doan, and that two indictments for the illegal treatment of William and the said
ge have been lodged in the secretary's office, and will be tried at the court of Grand
sions in September next, and that Mr. Doan was bound over to answer the charge, him-
in tool, and a surety in the like sum. I have the honour to be, &c. &c. &c.
(signed) George Beare, Collector.
PTM:: : "
j:;- . ., :. ,: *
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N 2k ,,.., F"
MrR. .DOUGf '
EXTRACTS from the Communications of the Methodist Missionaries at Tortola,
respecting the African Apprentices.
;. tMr. Gilgrass.-" From their ignorance of the English language, these liberated
.fricans must naturally labour under many disadvantages both incivil and religious life."-
:T.hey were placed, too, not in the most favourable circumstances to learn,"-" and yet
.t.y have done more than thousands of whites have done in the same space of time. How
nmany boys have spent six or seven years at a seminary, and are much less able, at the end
thereof, to converse in Latin or Greek, than these Africans were, in the same space of time,
to converse in the English, a language not the most easy to learn by a foreigner. Is not
this a .proof that they possess intellect in common with other nations ? To see how some
:authors have suffered prejudice to carry them beyond the truth, is astonishing; these men
*tell us, the Africans generally are sunk to a level with the brute, they are degraded, stupid
in the extreme,, deficient in intellect, destitute of all the free and noble feelings of the cul-
tivated human bosom ; that they are incapable of moral improvement, and of living a vir-
tuous life. I do enter my strongest and warmest protest against all that has thus been said;
and I can say, my protest is the result of close observance of the African nations, imported
to these islands, for almost twenty years. I have not only lived among them, but devoted
all my.time, talent, and labours to their present and eternal happiness.
Theliberated Africans were apprenticed to persons, who (some of them) knew little more
.haui the Africans. Some of their masters and mistresses came originally from the same shores,
were made slaves, but have been freed, and now they hale undertaken to instruct these la-te
comers. Ifa bad education be worse than none, I think the great disadvantage under which the
Africanslaboured, from the barbarous manner in which those persons speak the English tongue,
has not been duly considered, as language is the medium through which instruction of Chris-
tianity must be conveyed to their understanding. All these circumstances lead me to con-
clude that the Africans are not worse than others. Thousands of persons of both sexes in the
fuu.r quarters pf the. world,, w ith all the advantages of education, are daily, wantonly, and
notoriously violating the laws of nature and of God; but I hesitate not to say of these
liberated Africans, that a single instance cannot, I believe, be found, on the records of
Tortola, of one of them, in the lapse of fourteen years, having been executed or trans-
ported. I cannot say so much of the whites, the browns, and slaves. I ani aware, indeed,
that both sexes of the Africans have departed fi.om virtue, and that some have broken the
solemn bond of matrimony ; but I do not know of one that has turned public prostitute.".-
I shall now notice briefly their progress in the mechanic arts. Where a fair trial has been
given to the Africans, have they failed in any one instance ? I know of none ; but I could
name men among them who aie well able to build good liuise-,, from first to last, without
the interference of any other man ; and surely, if some Africans can with so much facility
acquire the'art of framing and putting up houses, others would, no doubt, ift' they had been
properly instructed, learn to make a shoe, a coat, or a saddle, &c. \Ve cannot justly deny
that they possess common sense; and when they found by painful experience ihat they
were not taught the art or trade mentioned in their indentures, but w erc commanded to do
any thing besides, they naturally felt disappointed,.and at times manifested wroiig tempers
and used wrong wolds. It is said they are idle :ind ungrateful. Remove from thle mind of
any man those objects by which he may be excited 'o iurk hard, day after day, to the end
of ten or fourteen years, and see how much lie, any muiile thani the African, will do, for the
sole interest of other men, who are, to him nothing more than the law makes them,
masters, if not wore. All men labour for self and relative interests, for food, raiment,
habitation, &c. Where no hope of obtaining the necessaries and comforts of life can be
.entertained by the laboring classes, is it any wond& that they should relax their arduout
When these people came first to our chapel, they had not so much as tilt thl]'oy of
Christianity, nr did they possess such a degree of knowledge of the Engli.-h langui:n.re as to
qualify them, though paying all proper attention, t,, understand fully N l ,t itif,.-id. But
by continuing to sit under our ministry, which is gtrc tly siupinplih:d, and br.,iugl clown to
115. L al1] mst
_ __ __ __
30 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N 2.. almost the lowest degree of hmuan intellect, they became gradually enlightened, so a; to
MR. DOIGAN'. apprehend the first principles of the doctrine of Chri-st. To bring them on in the knowledge
REPORT. of all the duties enjoined upon them as members of the Christian church, we have set apart-
----- I every Friday night for the express purpose uofcat-chliing them. This meeting is generally
Appx. (IF.) well attended by the Africans, and many others."
Some of the female Africans have attended our -chool, with a design to learn to read;
the proficiency which they have made i- not gieat ; but this cannot be turned against them,
as lacking capacity or natural ability. Tile time allowed them is very little, not more than
six hours in seven da Qs. Some of their children also attend the school, but I cannot discern
any difference between them and those children which have Creole parents. Generally
speaking, I have ever witniss.ed a greater aptness in black and coloured children to learn
to read, to spell, to repeat by heart, and to cipher, than in the whites born in these islands.
I hesitate not to say, let these Africans be allowed the free rights and privileges of British
subjects, they will conduct themselves in an orderly manner, employing their time and
talents in the necessary and useful departments of life.
The liberated Africans baptized by the Wesleyan missionaries are-Adults, 76 ; and
infants, 17 93
Married, (couple) 22
Learning to read-adults, 23 females, and .20 children 43
Attending catechetical instruction 50
Members of tile society, about 100
2. Mr. Truscott.-" According to your request, I proceed to lay before you, an impartial
view of the moral and religious state of those captured Africans who are members of the
Wesleyan Methodist society, or are otherwise under the religious inl tructions of the. Wes-
leyan missionaries on the Tortola mission.
*- A But here it must be necessary to observe, that when I state to you that I have only been
on the Tortola mission about fifteen months, you may be led to conclude that that period
is not sufficiently long to enable me to form a correct view of their condition. I grant the
justness of this observation. This would have been the case, if I had had, during that
time, an opportunity of forming my opinion from their external conduct and appearance
only. But when I inform you, that I and my brother missionaries are, almost daily, per-
soinally engaged in our official capacity among then and the slave population of this colony,
you will conclude that we ought to be able to form a tolerable judgment of their condition.
The means which are employed by us for their religious and moral improvement are the
On the Sabbath-day we preach twice ; the intermediate time is employed in the private
instruction of the slaves and Africans, by persons of the greatest piety and know ledge,
chosen from among the members of the society, who are styled Leaders ; each of these takes
the oversight and instruction of twelve to thirty per-ons, Africans and slaves.
From four to six o'clock of the afternoon of the Sabbath-days we keep a school, where
many of the free, coloured, and slave children, with some of the Africans, are taught to read,
spell, &c. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, from day light to sun rising,
we give a public lecture ; on the same mornings, from sun ri-ing to eight o'clock, we keep
a school, at which the children and Africans wtho attend are taught to read and spell, and
are also catechetically instructed in the first principles of our holy religion ; the school is con-
stantly superintended by one of the mi-sionaries. On Tuesday and Weduesday evenings
there are private instructions given by the leaders. On Thursday evening there is public
preaching by one of the missionaries. On Friday evening there is a public catechetical meet-
ing held, at which slaves and Africans attend ; at these meetings one of the missionaries is
a-lways present, and either instructs the people in a catechetical manner, or gives a short lecture
on some important Christian duty. On Saturday evening there is a band meeting held, at
which the more pious among our people receive instruction ; this meeting is composed of
free persons, slaves, and Africans.
Beside these opportunities of bringing myself acquainted with the state of the captured
Africans on the Tortola mission, I have had others. Before I came to Tortola I was sta-
tioned in the island of Dominica for the space of twenty months, where we had a few of the
African pensioned soldiers in our society, into whose state I was at some pains to inquire.
Hence, I conceive, I may venture, without the imputation of vanity, to offer an opinion, at
least, on their religious character and moral conduct, and on their improvement in
Taking the Africans collectively, I think they will not suffer any disparagement when
compared, on the subject of experimental religion, with an equal number of persons taken
promiscuously from the bulk of our society, who have not been of longer standing than
Their moral conduct has been, on the whole, all we could reasonably expect from persons
in their circumstances. Many of them are strictly regular and attentive to all the religious
services which have been established by the missionaries for their improvement. Of the
private conduct of many, their masters (some of whom are members of our society) speak in
Lhe most satisfactory manner ; indeed, few have been the instances in which we have been
obliged to exercise our punitive discipline for immoral conduct. By punitive discipline,
I mean either suspension or exclusion from our society, which they very much fear, and
when inflicted, they are exceedingly anxious to have removed, because they esteem it a mark
of tht lowest disgrace.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 31
1 believe it can be proved that, in an equal number of Creole negroes, taken promiscu-
ously from among the members of our sor.ety, we have been obliged to exercise our punitive
discipline more frequently on them thai on the captured Africans.
It may be inquired, how is this difference, in the moral conduct of the two parties, to
be accounted for, when it seems natural to expect that the preponderance would be in
favoum of the Creole negro ? I think it may be accounted for in this way. Creole negroes
are too generally trained up from their infancy in all the follies and corruptions of their
parents, and in addition to these they very sooth learn to imitate the sins and follies of the
w whites, and free people of colour. Hence they are for years carried down the stream of sin
and folly until they become the subjects of a better influence.
The African3 came here, it is true, with a polluted nature, but they were unable at once
to add West-Indian sins and follies to their African depravity; hence, before time and
opportunity could effect this evil, they were brouIht under the influence of the gospel,
which has so happily effected a change of character.
Another reason for this difference may be this, the Creole slaves live, for the most
part, far distant from town, and from the other places of public worship in the country,
hence, they have not those frequent opportunities for receiving religious instruction, &c. as
the Africans have, who for the most part reside in town.
There have, however, been some instances in which we have been obliged to exclude
the Africans from our society, principally in consequence of the sudden ebullition of bad
temper."-" In general, I have ever found them exceedingly grateful for the least mark of
attention shown to them, or the least favour conferred upon them, and willing at all times,
as far as they have it in their power, to assist those who need their help. They are very
attentive to all our instructions, and this is manifested by their improvement in know-
They appear to possess a general knowledge of the great doctrines anti precepts of the
religion of Christ Jesus. It is true they cannot yet express themselves on these subjects
in the most pleasing style and manner, but they do speak of these subjects in their own
way, by %which they afford to us a sufficient proof that they make religioti the subject of
their reflection in private, and that they aie not ignorant of the theory of it. Even in this,
they will bear a comparison with their Creole neighbours.
As it relates to the learning of the adults: they get on but slowly; not for want of
natural abilities or inclination, but for the want of time and opportunity."
The children of the Africans who are in our school, are all, I believe, under six years of
age; but these display as great an aptitude for Jearning as the other children of the school
of the same age."
"The above observations, I believe, will apply in a general way to the free African soldiers,
who were members of the Methodist Society in Dominica during my appointment there,
with as much truth and propriety as they apply to their countrymen, who are members of
the same society at Tortola.
The above is as impartial an account as I am capable of giving, from a view of all their
3. Mr. Felvus.-" I know that many of the Africans have learnt trades, where the neces-
sary pains have been taken to instruct them. I know that some who were once indolent
have become industrious, after having their minds impressed iIth their duty to God, their
duty to man, and the advantage that would result to them from a proper attention to these
things. 1 have also seen some of the most savage dispositions become civilized and chris-
tianized after attending to a regular course of rehgious instruction. I do not rely entirely
on my own opinion for what 1 say, for I have heard masters declare, that they had Africans
good ca, penters and sailors; and mistresses say many things inm favour of the women,. as
domestics"-" I cannot bear this te-timony of all: after using all the means in our power
with some, they have relapsed into their former habits.
As to the instruction of the Africans : I am sorry to say, it never was attended to,
before the Commissioners came out, whether the fault wa, in the servant or master, I know
not. The Commissioners will be best able to judge after hearing both parties make their
defence, hut for one application we had before, we have had ten si.nce.
Our modL of proceeding with them is this :-We receive them first as catechumens,
and iet apart one night in the week to communicate moral and religiuis instruction to them,
in the most familiar manner %we can, by moralizing on tbh.,e subjects with which they are
best acquainted, and showing them the nce-s-ity of paying strict attention to religious
dutic-,, in order to become happy and respectable W e rise thum their duty to man to their
duty to Goud, and enfl'rce thi: from the plainest passages in the Bible.
I can sav, as far as I have been able to judge, that they have both understood and
aptr,,IvLd ,f' hat they have heard, for, at the conclusion of any sentence of importance,
I hav fr,-qulicntly heard them ,ay, in a low tone of voice, All! dat true massa."
Th,,-e tat are attentive to what they have heard, and manifest the same by their con-
duct, w,: bUaptiz,:, and if they are desirous, we admit them on trial, as candidates for the
society ; it tie .y continue upright, we take them into whatt we call) full connection, but do
not adinit them to the Lord's Supper until they make a public confession of their faith, as
cou]nvei ted christiianus
II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
PETITION of the Council and Assembly of the Virgin Islands, in regard to the Removal
of the African Apprentices from Tortola ; and Remaiks thereon.
The copy of this Petition was taken from palt of the 1\linutes of one of the branches of
tile Legislature furnished me. The pt-tition %was mentioned as having been sent to Governor
Maxwell, and that a copy of it had alou been sent to the Colonial Agent in England.
To the KING's most. Excellent MAJESTY,
The humble Petition of the Council and Assembly of the Virgin Islands.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
WE, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Council and Assembly of Your
Majesty's Virgin Islands, beg leave, most humbly, to represent to Your Majesty, that in
pursuance of certain provisions of an Act of Parliament, passed the 47th year of his late
Majesty's reign, commonly called An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade," several
cargoes of Africans were brought into this port, and duly condemned in Your Majesty's
Court of Vice-Admiralty : That of the Africans emancipated by virtue of these sentences,five
hundred and thirty-four were distributed among the inhabitants of these islands, but princi-
pally in the Road Town of Tortola.
That your Petitioners view with anxiety and apprehension the period fast approaching
when their indentures will expire, and the community be inundated and oppressed by
a species of population already too numerous in the present state of the colony.
Could your Petitioners indulge a reasonable holpe tha-t these per.,ons, at thle expiration of
their indentures, would apply themselves to agricultural purposes, your petitioners would
perhaps have less cause to regret their introduction, but experience warrants an opposite
conclusion. Few would thus apply their labour, as they prefer a precarious subsistence,
'obtained by casual employment, than that regular industry which is requisite for the cultiva-
tidn of the soil.
In support of this statement, your petitioners might adduce many facts : they select the
1st. Of seventy-six adult slaves, manumitted since the first registry in 1818, not. one is
solely employed in agriculture, and but few are partial cultivatois.
2d. Of the distinct bodies of people, with their descendants, in number seventy-three,
manumitted at different periods, to whom more than hundred acres of good land were
given, only two or three subsist solely on the produce of thle soil, and two or threat more aie
partial cultivators ; and no instance has ever occurred of any persons, from either of the two
classes, having hired themselves ai field labourers: but granting that the people in question,
at the expiration of their indentures, would apply themselves to agricultural pursuits, halngug
no land, they would be obliged to hire it, which additional expense would make their situa-
tion worse than tile class of the free people referred to, and render it more probable that
they and their progeny would become a burthen to the country for a support, which it
cannot afford, from the present state of distiecs, to its own parochial poor, thus rendering
them chargeable upon the colony, contrary to the gracious provision of 47 G-3, c. 36, 1 6.
From the reduced number of white inhabitants, the liberated Africans would also have
a difficulty in disposing their surplus produce, as the supply is already equal to the demand,
at a remunerating price.
That these people have, with few exceptions, been indented as domestics or tradesmen,
and therefore would not be qualified at the expiration of their indentures to become
husbandmen, either on their own account, or as field labourers hired to others ; but were
they competent to the task, and disposed to employ themselves in the latter manner, your
Petitioners apprehend, that sufficient regular employment could not be obtained, from the
depressed prices of produce, and the high rate at which free persons value their labour, few
planters could avail themselves of their -ervices %with any prospect of advantage, conse-
quently a very scanty and precarious subsistence would flow from this source.
Your Majesty's Petitioners most humbly represent that the African apprentices, at the
expiration 6t" their indentures, will form a distinct class of persons ; for it does not appear
that they will amalgamate either with the free persons of colour, or with the slave popula-
tion ;with the former no permanent connections have been formed, and in verve few instances
with the latter.
That the feelings of jealousy and hatred, engendered in the minds of the slaves towards
the African apprentices, have become reciprocal ; and when the latter are freed from their
present restraints as apprentices, it is to be expected that the occasional acts of mutual
violence between them and the slaves, and other free coloured people, will become more
frequent and serious in a colony without troops, a militia, or the funds to support a proper
system of police ; and in such case, the safety of the colony, and the lives of Your
Majesty's subjects, would be endangered.
gr'e, Your Majesty's Petitioners, therefore, most humbly pray, that Your Majesty will
graciously be pleased to take into your royal consideration these difficulties incident to the
introduction of a class of people, for which our laws and local situation are unprepared, and
adopt such measures for their removal from this colony, at the termination of their
apprenticeships, as to your Majesty's wisdom may seem meet and proper.
There appears to be some discrepancy between the foregoing petition, and the proof
afforded of the industry and considerable productive nature of the services of some of these
CAPTURED NEGROES. 33
Africans. Mr. Dix, who practically experienced the value of these persons labour, the
steady pursuit of Boatswain or Portsmouth, to agricultural labour for 1,279 days, could not
have acquiesced in this petition.
The attachment of Hull to the house he has erected on Government land, and the culti-
vation of the ground around his house, give evident proofs that Africans will apply them-
selves to agricultural purposes ; for Hull has refused the benefits offered by Government,
;uid remains in a poor country, attached to the small spot which he cultivates, availing him-
self also of the advantages of his own trade and knowledge in fishing.
To support the opinion formed in the petition, that liberated Africans would not apply"
themselves to agricultural pursuits, a statement is made, that of seventy-six adult slaves
manumitted since the registry in 1818, not one is solely employed in agriculture, and but
few partial cultivators.
I have been furnished with a list of ninety-nine slaves manumitted at Tortola from the
year 188 to 182.2, annexed to this Appendix, marked F. Thib list gives information of the
names of the parties, their ages, occupation or trade, whether manumitted by will or gift, or
by purchase. By this it appears, I
That the total number consisted of -
These ninety-nine persons may be thus classed: Persons amply
provided tor by the will of Mr. G. Martin, possessing interests in
large landed property -
Children unable to cultivate the soil, bur supported by their mothers
Aged females, from sixty-three to eighty-nine years, incapable of
agricultural labour, two of them since dead -
Aged males, from sixty-nine to seventy-three, two of whom are since
Personi, living at the small islands of Jost Van Dykes, Anegada, and
Peter Island, of whom no particular information has been ob-
tained ; but it may be observed, that nearly the whole of the free
persons in these islands are fishermen, and cultivate the ground
lMen. Women. Children.
20 51 28
These sixty-five persons may therefore with propriety be withdrawn from the original
number manumitted, as either incapable of agricultural pursuits, or actually engaged in it.
Of the residue of twelve men and twenty-two women,
There are, owners of small vessels, ruarineis, ship and house-carpenters, and
Females, that are housekeepers, midwives, pastry-cooks, seamstresses, who
support themselves and their children -
Employed in agricultural labour -
The freedom of twenty-four of the manumitted per;ons has been obtained by purchase.
In one instance the slave paid '. 330 for his liberation; other large prices have been paid by
many of them for their freedom. This affords evident proof of industry previous and sub-
stfIluent to their becoming free.
Aged and infirm persons, from sixty-three to eighty-nine years, cannot be expected among
the number of cultivators of the land ; it is enough, poor creatures, that they have never been
a burthen to the community, but are supported most probably by their children, who are
slaves, for they were manuinitted by their masters at a very advanced age, and incapable of
hard labour. in like manner are young children and their mothers, who are profitably
engaged in other industiirious pursuits which they have learnt. The introduction to the list of
seventeen persons, amply provided for by the cultivation of a large landed property in the
will of Mr. George Martin, was perfectly unnecessary.
The following are facts which relate to the industry and the property of the free people
of colour at Torila :- -The parih tax of f. 1,770 is raised by an assessment of six and a half
pr cent on 5.00ooo, tlie value of the rent of houses in Road Town, and 6s. on each slave;
1.501. j8. 6d. thereof is paid by the frice black and persons of colour, aq proprietors of
slaves and house in town. More than two thirds of tie persons who supply the town with
butchers meat and fish are free black and coloured persons. The principal butcher, Stephens,
is a black mnin, and in a thriving way. He work in his ground. two days in the week, and
applies himself to Iis tnade as a butchlir. This man declared that he could not provide for
his family solely byI agricultural pursuits.
Pero Elms, a tlie black man, who purchased his freedom, now owns six slaves ; is occu-
pied certain days in thi< wee-k cultivating cotton ; but this he says would not answer alone,
if he did not employ himself and his people in fishing and in collecting salt. Many instances
of a similar nature could be enumerated. It is necessity which compels the inhabitants
%whose land, ae greatly exhausted, to apply to other pursuits, as well as the cultivation of
the soil. Theie are very few po-sessois of landed property in the island oft'uitola who are
not involved in dtbt, al, the fntilure in the cultivation of tile soil iha- considerably diminished
their property. An i n-tUrce Vill exeIplify thie lo,.s of piropcity and abandonment in culti-
vation in a veiy extcntsiie latntld p[ropelnP and s1 .ive. ot lthe estates of Bezaliel Hodge. In
I 1. L 3 the
34 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
the year 1788, it consisted of twelve sugar estates, having on them 1,114 slaves ; at i.re-
sent it consists of four sugar estates, with 641 slaves. Except a few mannumitted, no slaves
appear to have been parted with.
The generality .of the tree black and coloured population of Tortola, and the adjacent
islands, I know to be an industrious, thriving, and loyal set of people. It should not be
made a matter of reproach tu them that they blend other occupations with that of the
cultivation of the soil, and that they will not apply themselves so/eltj to agricultural pursuits;
a measure which, if adopted in that impoverished country, would eventually reduce them
to.a sMtte of pauperism.
The-best proofs which can be adduced of the state of these free persons are, that not
a single beggar of that class of people is seen in the streets ; and that, although large con-
tributions of taxation for the maintenance of the poor have been paid by the free people,
no instance (until May last) has been known to me of parish relief, or allowance in any
other public way, being afforded to a free black or coloured person : and here too I may
add, no instance is known of any free person having been tried, for the last twenty years,
for a felonious act in these islands. I have dwelt longer on this subject of the free people,
as a deduction is made therefrom, that the Africans, after serving apprenticeships of four-
teen years, when liberated, in like manner as those black and coloured people already free,
would not be disposed to apply themselves solely to thie cultivation of the ground.
The se eral instances which I have seen at Dominica and Tortola, of liberated Africans
taking. possession of unoccupied Government lands, and cultivating them to advantage,
gives every indication of a very different conclusion; I have heard of similar occurrences at
Antigua of the liberated black soldiers there.
The instance at Dominica was near iMorne Bruce. Many of the disbanded Africans of
a West-India regithnt took possession of some unoccupied land, which they supposed the
properly uof the Croin, and planted it. Without assuming to myself that knowledge of
West-India culture which persons of practical experience possess, yet on viewing the
lands cultivated by these free blacks, there appeared evident ploof of attentive cultivation,
At the same time, it is but fair to observe, that my opinion did not coincide with that of
a gentleman who saw it at the same time; to him it appeared in a different light, and the
cultivation was improper and negligent. I did not contest with an avowed knowledge of
plantership, yet the proofs of industry were too evident for me to be mistaken, although
a superior minde of cultivation might have been adopted. Fortunately, however, a very satis-
factory proof convinced me that some productive benefit had arisen from this cultivation,
and that of other pursuit'. Lieutenant Clarke, the officer appointed to pay these persons
monthly their pension of od. currency per day, mentioned to me, that latterly several of
these men, not having called at the regular monthly period of payment, but after a lapse of
several months, he asked the cause; they replied, that their labour was sufficient to support
themin, and that this money the y left to increase.
The prevalent opinion in the colonies is, that a black tian, if left to his own government,
will not labour steadily at one pursuit, but will prefer a precarious subsistence, obtained by
casual employment, and that they must be kept to regular industry by the means of a con-
trolling pox er. To establish this opinion, instances are produced; but most frequently
I found that all the facts of the case were not disclosed. I was told by a gentleman, also of
Dominica, that having employment in the country for some of the liberated Africans,
several came out to his estate to work for him ; that they remained only a week, and
returned to the town of Roseau, where they could only get work occasionally. On inquiry
from another gentleman of the island, I found that tile case was such as had been represented,
as to their refusal to work any longer for this person, but that one important matter had
been omitted in the representation made to me, namely, that the sum tendered by the
planter for their hire was half the amount of the customary hire, and the Africans were
obliged to feed themselves at a more expensive rate than in the town.
.The following instance of steady industry in the cultivation of tifty acres of land, by a
parcel of manumitted negroes in Tortola, and of their good conduct, came within my per-
sonal knowledge. In the east end of that island, at some distance from the public road, is
a little village entirely composed of free persons, all of the name of Nottingham ; this family
as I may term them, had been living there from the year 1776. It appears that their master,
Samuel Nottingham, a quaker, residing in Long Island in America, manumitted twenty-five
slaves, six men, ten women, four boys and five girls, in the year 1776, and gave them also
fifty acres of-land im Tortola, which he directed theai to cultivate for their conmmou good.
So quiet and retired had these persons lived thtlue, that although I had been for manv years
residing in the island, yet I derived no knowledge of the situation and circumstances regard-
ing these people, until three of them called on me at Tortola, requesting my assistance, in
making inquiry of a legacy left to them in England ; this occurred in December 1822.
Jefirey Nottingham, Belinda, and Molly Nottingham, lthen gave mtie the following account
of themselves; nine of the original number manumiited are now alive, they have twenty-
five children, and nine grand-children, making ite whole number forty-three persons.
That a few of then are occasionally absent from the property for a short time, but the
whole generally reside on the plantation called Long Look, which they have always culti-
vated since it was given to them ; half of it is chiefly in provisions, and the rest is used as
pasturage for their stock, which then consisted of tweuty-eiglit cows, thirteen goats and
thirteen hogs, besides. poultry. That they formerly cultivated cotton, but the price falling
low, and the failure of their crops occasioned them to discontinue the planting it. That
Jeffrey Nottingham, exclusive of his share in the stock, and in the plantation, possessed five
acres of land, and a house in Spanish Town, and a vessel of twenty-three feet keel, and
that Diana and Eve have each a small vessel, Some years the seasons were bad, they
CAPTURED NEGROES. 35
found a difficuhy in getting later for their stock, and got little return for their labour ;
but still they had been able to support themselves, and had increased their numbers from
twenty-five to forty-three. Not one of them is in debt, and their property is free from all
encumbrance. That twelve of the grown-up persons are admitted members of the Wesleyan
Methodist Society, and with their children attend regularly the methodist chapel at the east
end of the island, except when any of them are sick. That since their emancipation, to the
pre-ent day, none of them have been sued in court, or brought before a magistrate to answer
any complaint made against them. One of them once obtained a warrant against a person
who had assaulted him, who begging his pardon, he forgave him. The same person, on
coming from sea, wa; arrested the ,day lie landed, for a capitation tax on free persons, of
which he had not been apprized, and was put into prison, but the next day he paid the
money, about eighteen dollars, and %was released.
1 % visited their plantation Long Look twice, and spent an entire day in walking over their
grounds; as well as I could estimate, abont thirty acres of it was in a state of cultivation,
chiefly in provi-ions, and I found that they possessed the property in stock which they
had represented; I alo saw their three small vessels lying in a small bay. The whole of
their houses had been entirely destroyed by the hurricane in 1819, they had been rebuilt,
and now amounted to eleven, two of which were shingled, and the rest very good houses,
built of wood, and thatched.
They are a very tine healthy race of people, all of theru black, they had chiefly inter-
marnied with each other, and seemed to dwell very happily together. None of them had
been vaccinated, or had had the signal! pux.
Grace, the wife of Jefiley, acted a.s schlol-mistress ; some of the children read very well,
and knew% their ctechli.mn ; they were in great want of proper school-books.
NAMES of free black and coloured persons, and the amount paid by them for a parish
capitation tax on their slaves, of 6-.. each, and on the assessed value of their houses in the
Road Town of Tortola.
Names and Sum paid.
Sarah Roach -
Isaac Amey -
Jane Fleming -
Peter B. Buniin -
Charles Daly -
A. E. Daly -
Isaac B. WVestcott -
C. Fleming -
Joan Stephens -
John Dyer -
James La% son -
Heirs of t'James Crooke -
Lydia Pagans -
AVilliam and Ann Lewis -
Heirs of R.Johnston
Mary Walters -
Frances .Slaney -
Nimrod Harragin -
Thomas J. Niles -
Heir. of A. C. Ilill -
Richard Mladuro -
E. Johnston -
Mary Norman -
Maly Johnston -
Frances Audain -
Margaret Montgomelie -
Sarah Key -N
A. Patnelli -
Juane Martin -
Mary Patnmtlli -
C'atihmiane e Fier -
George hNibj -
Ann II'l el Veitv -
C. Harper -
.\-illii:mn Ba'.._ II -
A. Stephen. -
Names and Sum paid.
Thomas VW. Audain
Jennette Heyligar -
Margaret New' ton -
Francis C. Gordon
Pero Elms -
Thomas Crooke, sen. -
Thomas Crooke, jun. -
Heirs of Margaret Bennett
William J. Higbie -
Catharine Martin -
William Smith -
Heirs of Benjamin Smith
Heirs of George IMartin -
Thomas Llewellen -
Heil-; of Ann D'Arcey -
Henry Rapso -
Hew Trlemaw -
Ann Ellison -
Daniel Jolhnton -
Sarah Amnn Wickham -
George J. S. G. Nornnan
Joseph Harra.tin -
Eliza Bedford -
Heirs of C. Turnbull -
Mary Van Prague
Peter Stephens -
John M. Fan ington
S-irah Hill -
Amndiew G(ime -
H-l,:i- 4' J. F. Lettsom -
Cyvr-ne Lake -
L 'i:, Hvndnan -
Penelope Hodge -
Heirs .,if W. C. Rawleigh
Mari'2l'et Bennett -
. s. d.
- 6 -
- 14 -
- I I -
- 10 -
- 9 8 -
- 3 6 -
- 4 -
- 13 -
- -18 -
1 2 -
- 4 8 -
- 197 4 -
- 1 6 -
12 10 -
- 10 -
- 10 -
- 15 -
- 1 -
- 1 -
- -to -
2 10 -
- io -
9 6 -
- -6 -
- -6 -
- 6 -
- 6 -
- o -
- o -
4 S -
- 501 I8 6
36 I1.-PAPERS RELATING TO
Appendix (F.) -
LIST of 99 Slaves manumitted at TORTOLA from 1818 to IS-22, taken
NA M E
James Brady -
Bethiah Barry -
Bez'. Chalwill -
Bez. Donavon -
MAlartha Frett -
M. D. French -
Edward George -
W. Ml. Glover -
Mlary Gardner -
John Heyligar -
Jane Harragin -
Joshua Harragin -
Femniales.I Males. I Females.
I I I I - I
- I Anne
- Ben -
Richard Hetherington Hetty
Alice Isham -
Richard King -
Wilson Lawson -
Estate-of Ruth Lettsomn -
CAPTURED NEGROES. 37
from the Registry, and additional information relative to them.
and rishb-irman -J
Cotton planter -
Ship carpenter &
owner of a \es.
maker - -j
A negada -
Spanish Town -
Island of Jost Van
Dyke- .: -
S] Jo.,t Van D Nke -
SI I I
- - No particulars obtained of this woman, or how
she obtained her freedom.
- - Ditto; Bice is the mother of Betbiah Barry.
- - No information of this person.
- Freed by Mr. Chatwill; by her industry Sally
provides for two natural children of her pastor.
- Since dead.
- This man was purchased of Mr. Martin by
Mrs. Frett; by his industry Jim has nearly re-
paid the purchase money.
- This woman, by an exchange of a negro slave
to her master, was manumitted by Mr. French.
- No particulars of this woman and her two
- PuIchased his own freedom.
- 'illiam Johnston, a mariner, a white man, pur-
chased this woman, also his two children by her;
they like with him, and keep his house.
- No particular information of these persons;
the free people of this Island. Jost Van Dykes, get
their living by fishing and planting cotton.
- The same remarks as above.
- No information.
- No information.
-- Mr. Hetherington by his "will, gave freedom
to this woman, and annually a barrel of sugar;
she supports herself by ler industry, and has
oifrred to purchase the freedom of hei daughter a
-- This man owns half of a small vessel, and
support. himself by trading among the islands.
- Ileldied lately ; Mr. King advanced the amount
of the purchali.e money, 300 /. of which Markoe
had iepaid; at the time of his death he left a
vessel and other property.
- Jeffrey Pickering a free black man, bought
this woman and child ; she is since dead.
- John Dracot the former master having. only
a right to this man's services during; his lilfe, :ti
hts death the man became frLe ; he o v.11s half ot
a vessel, wi.'rth 60o I. currency
38 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N A M E
George Martin -
G. R. Porter
G. Patnelli -
Estate of John It) mEi -
N A M E
- Margaret -
Joe Plmcehus -
Phibia Gordon -
Sain Beel -
CAPTURED NEGROES. 39
Cultivators of the 1
Mar int r
St. Thomas -
Cooper's Island -
- Mr. Lookey bought this wottman f tir h fbfrmii-
master and manumitted het; she is his housekeeper.
- Feeble and infitrti.
- Since dead.
- Since dead.
- Mr. George Martin left, by his wil!, this child
heir to large estates at Tortola, having 639 slaves
thereon, subject to t6ethid bequests and anhuities
to eightwomen and eight other children of his:-
to Kitty a legacy of 5,000o. sterling; to Shadrach,
Maria, Hannah, Penelopej Amelia, Robert, Sana,
Bazey, Thomas, and Jde Phcebus, legacies of
i,oool. sterling each, and maintenance to the age
of 21 years; to Boice, Jenny, Sally, Nancy and
Betsy, annuities from saool. to 132 /. and from six
to four slaves.
- By Mr. Martin's directions, these three lads
were taught the carpenters trade, by which they
now support themselves.
- The freedom of these three children was re-
covered by a suit at law, after the &dath of
Mr. Martin; no provision was made for them by
his will ; they are supported by their mothers.
- Employed in cultivation of the earth ; they
reside in the coufitry.
- This man owns a small vessel ; supports him-
self by trading in her, and in lishing.
- Mr. W\ilham Smith, a free man of colour,
directed his executors to purchase the freedom of
this woman, and his three children, which they did
for 3911.: by the industry of the mother the chil-
dren are now %well supported.
- No information.
- This woman lives at St. Thoma., a Danish
- This man work., in the ground, and is oveseer
to Mr. PaInelli.
- William Nibbs, a carpenter andi frf- man of
colour, through the medium of Mr. Rouberts pur-
chased this woman and thr-te children from
Mrs. Macnamaia; he nmanumitted them,and now
-upiports them by his industry, aided by that of
- These two females were natural daughters of
Mi'. John Rlvmer, sen. ; they were- .old by the
son of Mr. iynlr t,, Mr. lohn Arink lI; these
lem s sup'p.oit t hl mst I'. ,
40 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
Estate of John Rymer -
MAlartha Sewer -
John Sewer -
Ann E. Sewer -
Estate of Henry Smith
Rachael Smith -
Al. L. Sheen -
Estate of Edward Turner
Henry Varlack, sen. -
Vigo White -
Mlary Walters -
Pero Elmes -
Lydia: Pagens -
I I I ~
CAPTURED NEGROES. 41
Spanish Town -
Jost Van Dyke's -
Peter's Island -
Spanish Town -
RE M AR KS.
- These four aged persons were manumitted. It
does not appear that any provision was made for
their support. The remainder of the slaves of
Mr. Rymer. a numerous and choice parcel, were
sold to Mr. G. Martin.
- No information of these persons; they are,
most probably, employed in planting pro% isions,
and in fishing.
- Same remark as aboxe.
- Of this woman and her children no information
has been obtained;, most of the inhabitants of
Peter's Island are cultivators of the soil.
- Supports herself.
- She earns iool a year by this employment as
-- The former proprietors of these persons are
kind and attentive to them.
- These children are supported by their grand
- No information.
- This man works his ground at Spanish Town.
- I - Since dead.
- Supports herself.
- Manumitted by hi mistrEss, a tree woman of
colour, and placed with a carpenter as an ap-
-- ---- -- ------- -; ----- -- -- --- ---------
42 II.--PAPERS RELATING TO
ACCOUNT of the Negroes in Class No. 3, captured on board 22 small Vessels, and of
2 Seizures of Slaves made on Shore, amounting in the whole to 85 persons, and proceeded
against in the Prize Court of Vice-Admiralty, or in the Instance Court, in the Island of
Tortola, from the 25th March 1807 to the 25th May 1823.
No. i.-Seventeen small Vessels of the above Class, No. 3, having on board 48 negroes, and .2 seizures on shore, of
6 negroes, making 54 persons, condemned in the Prize and Instance Court; from which Sentences no appeal has
been made, or if made, the Sentences have been affirmed by the Lords of Appeal.
Name of Slate Vessel,
Date of Condemnation.
Schooner Edward, Jones,
13 April iSil.
Schr Regent, S. H. Gilbert,
11 Nov. 1811.
Sloop Porpoise, Lafitte,
13 Nov. iSii.
13 Nov. 1811.
Sloop Chance, Latretit,
17 Dec. isit.
Brig Gibraltar, Collinette,
15 January i1~12.
Schooner Adela, DeAcver.
20o February 181-2.
of King's Ship,
H. M. Ship Arachne,
John Charles -
Henry Walton -
George Walton -
Reinarks.-From a memorandum produced at the. Custom-house, it appeals that
these four negroes were delivered to Serjeant Turbitt, for His Majesty's service.
H. Ml. Ship Lauta, 4 Josh. Lyburn 33 I -
Charles N. Hunter. Names of others not
By the Judge's sentence the. Captor's Agent was directed to deliver the four slacs
to the Collector.-No information could be obtained at the Custom-house; there is
reason for believing that some of these blacks were from Bermuda.
His AM. Ship, Laura, 1 9 No names 5 Africans -
Charles N. Hunter. j I 4 Creoles.
By the records of the Court it appears that five of the negroes were Africans, and
belonged to N'r. Penard of Guadaloupe; that one negro was a native of Martinique,
and three others were natives of Guadaloupe.-No information to be obtained from the
Custom-house, although the negroes were directed to be delivered over to the Collector
in like manner as already mentioned.
H. Ml. Ship, Laura,
Charle, N. Hunter.
- No names
The Vessel and 3 slaves were condemned,
nation from the Custom-house.
- I 2 Africans -
one of them of Guadaloupe.-No infor-
H. 1M. Ship, Laura, 4 Etienne 28
Charles N. Hunter. Pierre 24 not known.
By a document at the Custom-house, dated 9th January 181-2, it appears that these
four negroes were delivered by the Collector to Lieutenant Hunter, of -is lMajesty's
ship Laura, for the naval service.
H. MI. ship Amaranthe, -2 not known uncertain -
Capt. Pringle. I
By documents in the Court, it appears that the two negroes condemned were directed
to be delivered up to the collector: one of them had been a slave of Jo'eph Marciad!
& Co. of St. Bartholemew's : the other was owned by Mr. Prince, a merchant of that
island. At Lhe Custom-house ro information to be had.
H. AM. ship Laura Richard Cremony 25 Creole.
Castillio A fican.
Vincent 22 Creole.
Abi ah m 8 Ditto.
The names and descriptions of four negroes from this vessel were given by the
Custom-house, but it appeared from the sentence of the Judge that only three slaves
in this vessel were condemned: they were the property of Mr. Cremony, of St. Bar-
tholemew's. The officers at the Custom-house could give no information what became
of these negroe-, or i ly the name and description of a fourth negro was added.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 43
Appendix i.G.) -conttinud,
Name of Slav, V'estel, Name proceeded BaMty
and of King's Ship, N A M ES. Age. Country. paid
Date of Condemnation. or Seizcr. t.
.29 March ISl'2.
Sloop Mary, Jumes Todd,
24 April 181-2.
Sloop St. Joseph, Curette,
o20 May i812.
Schooner Anthony, Davis,
20 May 1812.
Sloop Penelope, Pike,
2o May 1812.
Sloop Jonah, SEqutiar,
30 May 181-2.
sb.l:op Auiiu-tus, Hinsun,
.' June 1812.
Ship Pre\oyante, Auniac,
iS November 181-2.
H. M. ship Maria, 2 not known. -
Lieut. G. Kippen.
Rrnarks:-By information from the registry in England, a vessel of this name was
proceeded against, and the ship, cargo, and two slaves were condemned. No further
account to be had. This ship and slaves may prove to be the same as the Jonah,
Sequar, mentioned in this list.
H. M. ship Maria, i Hannibal Creole.
Lieut. G. Kippen, Joe African.
No information from the Custom hou-e. By the court proceedings it appeared that
the vessel belonged to William Brookes, of Antigua, and that Hannibal was born there.
H. M. ship Laura I Louisa Creole.
On searching the records of the Court, it appeared that Louisa was a Creole slave,
and a passenger on board the St. Joseph. No sentence of condemnation appeared,
although there was on Jem, a slate on board the Anthony, Davis master, included in
the same monition with the St. Joseph ; Lewisa. was apprenticed to Dr. Porter, of
Turtola; she went afterwards to reside at &St. Thomas, andl earns her living there as
H. M. ship Laura Jem African. -
W\as apprenticed to Dr. Porter, of Tortola ; his Lime of servitude has expired ; a very
indilferent character. See his examination.
H. M. ship Amaranthe, 2 \William Heyligar Creole.
Capt. Priugle. Georee Verchild ditto.
By the proceedings of the Court, these men appear to have been born in the island
of St. Christopher. The Custom-bouse officers knew not where they went; it is pro-
bable that they returned to that island.
2 rai 27 Creole.
I Thmas 20 ditto.
From'l the examinations taken in the Prizg Cou t, these person appear to have been
owned by Mr. Johnti, of St. Pierre's, Martinique, aid burn in that island. Qirrt, can
this \-Vcsel be the "' barab, Scquar ?"
I. M. ship Laura
The'e mcn weie boin at \Antiguta. No account where they went, i.r what became
H. M. ship Peruvian,
Capt. A. F. \Vestropp.
Jean Charles Degaiee
La Cayere -
Jean Charles Degpcee called on one of the Commissioners, and produced a ceiti-
ficate from the Revgiutry at Tortola of his being the person liberated : he mentioned
having paid twelve dollars for it ; and stated that he, together with Charles and La
Ca\ere, had served on board Hi, Majesty's ship Peru;ian, until that ship was ordered
to England, when he was discharged at St. Thomas, then an English island ; since
that time he had been navigating in different vessels. He had acquired some money,
of which he had paid 225 dollars for the freedom of his wife, Maxie Virginie : that La
Cavere, who had been discharged from the Peruvian at the same time with himraelf and
C('hailes, had also met with some success, by which means he had purchased the
freedom of his wife and two children, and that they had gone down t,.. St. Dumingo,
where the), settled. By a receipt at the Custom-house. Novemn.er i' 1-2, these three
men were delivered on board the Peruvian for the naval sert ic~e. '1 he name of Jacque
(a boy) also v.as mentioned; but %who this boy was, did not arn.tal.
44 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
Appendix (G.) -continued.
Name of Slave Vessel,
Date of Condemnation.
Coque Maire, Valentine,
28 November 181.2.
26 October 182 1.
Seizure on Shore,
26 November 18.21.
Seizure on Shore,
0o May 18.22.
of King's Ship,
N A 1 E S.
Age. Country. paid
W. F. Maclean, esq.
i Cottorine Zemba.
See particulars in page 332 Schedules.
Total - 50 4 -
H. M. ship Maria, 3 not known not known,. -
Remark.s:-No information from the Custom-house: by the proceedings it appeared
that this vessel, her cargo, and three slaves, were condemned.
WV. F. Maclean, esq. I John African.
Acting Collector. I I
John was smuggled ashore at Spanish Town. He was apprenticed to Mr. Maclean.
See his examination, page 326 of Schedules.
Henry Clement, esq. 3 '2 George Hugh-s Creole.
Acting Collector. Peter W heatly boy ditto.
William H. Wheatly do ditto.
Christopher Wheatly dirto.
Bella Wheatly girl ditto.
George Hughes a carpenter, Christiana Wheatly, the mother of Peter, a boy, of
William Henry, a younger boy, since dead, and of Bella, a girl of 12 years of age.
These persons were brought from the Danish Island of St. Croix,and landed at Toitila,
they were seized and condemned. The acting collector, Mr. Clement, deeming them
competent to their own maintenance, set them at liberty. By the statement of
Christiana Wheatly, made :26th March 1823 (Appendix H.), it appears that the
collector hired this woman and her children at the rate of four shillings currency petr
day, for the whole of them with food, with which she was sufficiently maintained,
unfortunately the collector died, and ahe experienced some difficulty, having three
children to support, and being a stranger in the Island, and little to begin the world
with ; however she was soon able to apprentice out her girl to a very respectable
gentleman in the Island, and the eldest boy was placed with a carpenter to learn the
trade. Her youngest boy died. It appears from her statement, that every attention
was paid to the child, when ill, he received proper medical attendance, and necessary
bodily comforts, and that he even received religious consolation from a clergyman of
the establishment; the body was decently buried.
The Mother appears to have done her duty to all her children; in the statement she
gives particulars of her situation, and that of her children, who are well placed as
apprentices and she says she can very well take care of herself, and assist her
children;" is married, and is well satisfied with her present condition.-See examination
of Christiana Wheatly, page 330 Schedules.-also Appendix H.
CAPTURED NEGROES. .45
N* c.-Account of Twenty Negroes, Class N' 3, captured in three small Vessels, condemned in the Court of Vice-
Admiralty, or in the Instance Court, in the Island of Tortola; which Sentences have been since reversed by
the Lord-s of Appeal, for whom no Bounty was paid.
Name of Slave Vessel,
Date of Condemnation.
Sloop Scourge, Dufourg,
13 November 18i 1.
Schooner Industry, Brown,
13 November 1811.
Schooner Sally, A. Durocho,
13 November 1811.
N A ME S.
H. M. ship Maria, 6 Noel. -
Lieut. Kippen. Edward. -
Jeau Baptiste. -
Jean Charles. -
Remarks:-By the proceedings of the Court it appeared that the ship, cargo, and
six slaves, were condemned on an appeal; an appraisement of the ship and cargo was
made at St. Thomas, then a British Island, into which port the ship was brought. No
account could be obtained what became of the slaves. The Lords of appeal reversed the
sentence on the 15th December 1813.
H. M. ship Maria, i1 not known Africans.
This vessel anti cargo were also carried to St. Thomas, and after condemnation they
were taken by the claimants on bail for 1o,9-27 dollars. No bail was given in for the
slaves ; the J.ludge directed the 11 slaves to be delivered to the collector at Tortola; no
account could be had wvhat l.became of thcm ; most probably they proceeded in the vessel.
By the examination., taken, it appeared that all the slaves were Africans, mariners of
the vessel, and owned in Martinique. The Lords of appeal reversed the sentence of the
Court below on the 15th December 1813.
H. M. ship Mai a, 3 Charles Africa.
Lieut. Kippen. Louis ditto.
The ship, cnigo, and three slaves, were condemned on an appeal ; the ship and cargo
were appraised, and both weie .old by Mr. Thomason, the collector of the customs
at Tott'la. Although ibthis transaction was immediately under the direction of that
cuistin- lihoue, no account could be had from it what became of the slaves, who were
the liroptrtvy t Mr.-Robe t Leach, of St. Christopher. to whom the vessel belonged.
T'ih Luords of appeal reversed this sentence on the igth of February 1814.
No 3.-Account of Eleven Negroes, captured in two small Vessels, Class N' 3, proceeded
Instance Court in Tortola, in which Court no definitive Sentence has been passed
N..me of the Slavi 'e-acl,
and Kipr', Ship.
Time of Capture.
Sloop Favourite, ThomasTynes,
H. M. Anaranthe,
Capt. G. Pringle.
N .A M ES.
against in the Prize or
by the Judge.
Rnt,,ui i,.-It ,Pl. aie.l i hy the ilcjordsof the Court, that the ship papes were lod.ed
prepaiattor exainmation.of I the master and crew taken ; and that on tli. 4th of 1 clich
.18 t-.tthe judge Uldred lifurther proof, whether any and what cei tificate or description was
given if the slaves employed ii navigating the said sloop at the commriiincemelit of tle
v.)age. If yea, to whom was it given, by whom certified, and bow has it happened
that such certiiecat,. waa not on board at the capture: and the production of the said
palmer, or an account of what has become thertol. Two nuonths were gi'en for the
p.rudu.tiuin of the s iid fuitber pri',uf. It did nii.ot a.ppar that any further pirioft had been
produced, nor c.,ild it be ace iainii] th.;t ail thin; l'nuther hail been done. The
v i.-:i'; register, and six ithli.:it h'l* i l.,' Vi i- n t 111 the Iegistry.
46 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO "
Name of the Slave Vessel, N' of
and King'% Ship. Male Slaves NA A. E S. Age. Country.
Time of Capture' stized.
Sloop Susan, William Davis, H. IM. ship Maria, 4 Bute Crele.
to June i812. Lieut. G. Kippen. Dennis African.
Hercules Richardson 25 Creole.
Remarks:-n ibthis case it appears that the ship's papers were lodged on the i6th o6f
June 181i-,on thesame day the master, William Dadis, was examined.-Hf-e stated the
vessel to be the pr.iperty of MrjThomson,of Antigua ; that she was of 15 tons l,urthen, and
that there was no cargo on board ; that she Il'ft Antigua for St. Bartholomew, without any
clearance or purmis-.ion from the cuLItom-houAe. Lieut. Kippen, in his affidavit on the
production of the ship's papers, states he seized the said sloop Susan on or about the
day of June, off the Island of St. Bartholomews about a mile and a half from the
harbour, for and on account of the said sloop having come from Antigua without any
clearance, bound to the said port of St. Bartholomew, and hat ing at the same time lour
slaves on board, not indorsed on the papers of the said sloop, according to law. No ship's
papers were to be found in the court, nor did it appear that any sentence had been
passed by the judge, or that the vessel's name hadl been inserted in a book containing
a list of ships on which sentences had been passed.
On a reference to the entry and clearance of vessels at the Custom-house, Tortola, the
Entry," sloop Susan of Antigua, Britijshbuilt, 15 tons with. four men besides
William Davis, master from Antigua, detained, by His Majesty's Brig Maria, Captain-
KIippen, in Ballast, i8th Yune 181i.
'* Clearance" 23rd June 181-2, sloop Susan of Antigua, William Davis for St. Thomas,
Strong proof was given to one of the Commissioner-, that Mr. Thomson, the owner
of the vessel (sloop Susan) had agreed to pay for her 50. dollars, and the cuurt expenses;
and the sloQp's papers were directed to be had from the registrar for Mr. Thomson.
It appeared also in like manner that four negroes belonging to the sloop Susan were
carried up to Mr. Thomson from St. Thomas to Tortola. There being no sentence pi
condemnation pronounced, these four negroes still remain slave's.
GENERAL RECAPITULATION of Negroes, Class 3, Appendix.
Account of Negroes captured. ap. condemned in seventeen small Vestels,8
without Appeal, or the Sentences have been affirmed .J 47 1 48
Two Seizpres on Shore - ditto 6
Negroes condemned in three small Vessels, but the Sentences have been
since reversed by the Lords of. appeal 2o
Negroes captured in two small Vessels, on whom no definitive Sentencel
has heen pronounced by the Court t
81 4 85
CAPTURED NEGROES. 47
Tortola, 26th Mhrch 1843.
Tn E declaration of C('h istiana Wheatly, a liberated negro~ made before tie the day above
mentioned :-That she was born in thlie Danish island of St. Croix ; whilst there she had three
children: Bella, a girl; and two boys, Peter and William Henry. The father of these
children is Pettice Williams, a free black man, a shoemaker at St. Croix4 -her master
Mr. Wheatly, having brought her and the three children oter to Tortola, they were seized
on, and condemned "oane time in November 1821. Mr. Clement, the late collector, was very
kind to het, aind took her into his ser ice, allowing her 4 s. for herself and children per day:
she lived with him to the period of his death ; after which, being a stranger in the teouatry,
she found herself under some difficulty, having three children to support, and buit tittle to
begin the world with; she therefore bound her daughter Bella, as an apprentice for five
years, to Doctor Ross, now a member of the council, who has been very good to her.
Her eldest son Peter, she deemed it would be most to his advantage to plawce.with Richard
Philips, a free man of colour, a ship-carpen-ter, who promised to teach him the i-ade,
although no instrument of writing was drawn up ; she has understood that Richard Philips
has since signed an engage-ment to do so, bv desire of Major Moody.
WVilhiau Henry, her youngest son, took a very severe cold, and had a bad sore throat;
in the first instance she applied what she thought would relieve the child, but finding lie
grew woise, she called on Dr. Ross, who attended the boy, and allowed her to bring the child
to a room in his yard, \ here she attended and nursed the child. Whilst lie was ill, the
parson of the church came and prayed with him. Dr. Ross gave a coffin, and the child was
decently buried by the parson.
That on her first coning to Tortola she was connected or lived with Lewis, one of the
he; I slaves of Purcell's estate, and went to the chapel to be married to him, but on finding
that Lewis had been formerly married, although separated from his wife, no marriage was
allowed ; she broke off all connection with Lewis. About six months ago she was carried
to James Hodge, a mason, one of the head slaves oflthe estate of Mr. Ronan Hodge.
She earns her living by rearing goats and poultry; these and other articles she sends to
St. Croix, to, her grandmother there, for sale, and receives in return certain articles which are
wanted in Tortola, w which she vends; by which, and the cultivation of vegetables, she earns
a decent subsistence for herself and husband. She washes and mends the linen of her son,
gives himn, occa.-ionally, little presents.
From the experience she now has, and the settlement she has made in the country,
heing sixteen months, she is upon the truth when she says she can very well take care of
herself and assist her children, and is well satisfied with her present condition.
The mark + of Chrisliana Wl'heathq.
The above was carefully read to Chrisriana Wheatly, and
explained before the .sigvinture.
(.,igncd) John DIougan, Coimn'.
THE statement made by Fiancis Welch, a free person of colour, before John Dougan, AppX. (I.)
one of the commissioners :-That he was employed by the collector of the customs of
Tortola to attend on the Africans landed from the four spanish ships, the Venus, Manuella,
Candelaria, and Atnviedo, from the time they were first landed to the latest period when the
whole were disposed of, and the houses hired for their use were given up, and no longer
used ; one of these houses was called the Barracks," and another the Hospital:"
That he well recollects all the Afiicant delivered up by Mr. George Patuelli for His Majesty's
service, and received in the house called the Barracks ; p-irt of them had originally been
indented to Mr. George Martin, a planter: That the whole of the Africans were delivered
up in one day; he does not recollect the precise day, but it was in the same month and year
that Major Moody was at Toitola with General Lethli: That lie does not know, nor can he
collect any of these African- delivered up 'by Mir. Patnelli having died in barracks, or
at the hospital ; indeed he is altnost sure that none died of that parcel: one of them was a
woman, the finest female in the caigo of the Venus, chosen out by Mr. George Martin,
who had the fir.;t pick or choice of the cargo, and had been transferred over by him, as an
apprentice, to Mr. Patnelli: she was much reduced indeed, her feet eat up by chegoes, s-o
as to be quite dis,,.reeabl' to the smell ; but this woman he (Welch) knew went up in a
transport front Tortla for Barbuloes.
There we-re ,*th,-f Al'ri.-in dchve-i .,d up fI.r His Majt-sty's service to the collector by
p*r ,in to wlhiu i mlh y lhal I,.,ier appre.ntitic-d That thore no- Iit an, iIn,t.ali'e, to hiS
kLnow ledge, of any apprenticed African .Iei --'o ,l delivered up or taken for set vice, ever
11.3. G having
48 It.-PAPERS RELATING TO
having died at the barracks, or the hospital : That lie is confident if such death happened
it must have been known to him, as all Africans so delivered up for service were put under
his care, and he attended the burial of every African that died: That the Barbadoes man
of war to,)k up the first parcel of Africans for service, and a transport a second parcel:
That after the last embarkation of Africans for service there it mainuiled in the house, called
the Barracks, three men and a crazy girl ; the ,iiwn are now all alive at Tortola ; they are
called Harry, Dick, and Tim, and now apprentices to Mr. Bellisario ; the crazy girl died:
That two days after the ships sailed for Bat badoes with the apprentices wiven up for service,
the three men above mentioned were removed from the barracks, and placed in the hands
of Mr. Bellissario: That he (Welch) then collected the mess tubs, some frocks, and small
articles that were remaining in the house called the Barracks, -ind delivered the whole over,
together with the keys of the house, to Mr. William Smith, the clerk of Mr. Dix: That
this house never afterwards was used by the collector, nor was any African admitted in it,
there being uo use for it.
That Mr. Ingram, the collector, reserved for himself two men and three women; a boy
called Dick; another boy, Sam, who was afterwards drowned. One of the women was
called Venus. He does not recollect the names of the other two; but one of them died and
left a child, and the third is now an apprentice to Mr. Joseph Deinington.
Mr. Ingrain also took one male African for the use of the Custom-house; but this mani
was afterwards given up for service, and went in the Barbadoes ship of war.
SEPARATE REPORT of Major Thomas Moody, Royal. Engineers, late
Commissioner, stating his Reasons, why le could not sign, or approve of the
Report of his Colleague.
My Lord, London, 2d March 1825.
I HAVE the honour to transmit the first part of my Report on the apprenticed No 3.
Africans, and other negroes, condemned to the Crown in the Court of Vice-Admi- MAJOR MOODY's
ralty, at Tortola, since the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. it n.
I hope that the reasons given, at the end of the enclosed Report, for my declin-
ing to sign, or approve .of my colleague's report on the same subject, will- be.
deemed satisfactory, although they have led me into detailed statements, which
might otherwise appear unnecessary and irrelevant.
It is possible that I may have erred in drawing wrong inferences from the facts
which I have stated ; but as I pledge myself to have only stated what I have con-
scientiously considered to be the mostjid/lhfhl exposition factst, I trust that I may
hope, in such cases, for your Lordship's indulgence.
I beg to be understood that I unequivocally exculpate my colleague from any
improper motive, when a statement of fact on his part differs fi-om my report of the
same occurrence. It is possible that men with the best intentions may differ, where
there may exist in their respective minds impressions of an opposite character.
I have the honour to be, my Lord,
Your most obedient and humble servant,
B. Major, Royal Engineers.
Earl Bathurst, K. G. His Majesty's Principal
Secretary of State for War and Colonies.
REPORT on the Negroes condemned to the Crown, in the Court of Vice-
Admiralty, at Tortola, since the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
IN the Act 47 Geo. 3, c. 6G, passed on the 25th March 1807, intituled,
" An Act for the Abolition of' the Slave Trade," the seventh section regulates
the mode of treatment and disposal of all negroes, taken as prize of war, or seized,
as forfeited, under that, or any other Act of Parliament. They are declared tobe
" subject to such regulations as to His Majesty shall seem meet, or as shall, by any
general or special order of His Majesty in Council, be in that behalf directed or
By the il th section of the same Act, to prevent such iies:'oe.sfrnom becoming,
at a t/ time, chargeable upon /the island in ,hinch /they shall have been bound
aqpprentices," it is enacted, that it shall and may be law fil for His Majesty in
Council, from time to time, to make such orders and regulations for the future
disposal and support of such negroes, as shall have been bound apprentices under
this Act, alter the term of their apprenticeship shall have expired, as to His
Majesty shall seem meet."
In consequence of the power thus vestel in His Majesty, three Orders of Coun-
cil wele issued, dated the i6th March iSoS ; one of which appoints the collector,
or chief officer of the customs for the time being, in any of His Majesty's colonies,
havin..; a court of Vice-Admiralty, to receive, protect, and provide for all such
ne'gr'oe, native. s of Africa, as have been or shall be condemned either as prize of
war, or forfeiture to the Croiwn ; delivering over to persons authorized to receive, all
S.uchli negIocL :, m.uy be deemed fit for His Maje-ty's naval or military .:rvice ; and
the rest are direct::i to be indetted a s apprentices under certain condition;.
115. 3 To
50 II.- PAPERS RELATING TO
To inquire into all those circumstances which might inftl.-,:.' the state and
condition of those different classes of negroes in the West Indie,:. Commiission was
sent there in the beginning of 1 822, and I had the honour to be a member of it,
upon the recommendation of your Lordship. In that capacity I acted to the best
of my ability, solely intent in the investigation of the truth, until circumstances
occurred which indaood ae to resign, from a conscientious regard to what I con-
sidered my duty as a servant of the crown. The same sense of duty, and grateful
respect towards your Lordship, induced me to act as a Commissioner until I was
relieved by the two gentlemen, who were afterwards appointed to carry on the duties
of the Commission.
The state of the health of my colleague obliged him to leave the West Indies
before the arrival of our successors ; but as long as his health permitted him, he
diligently -nd zealously performed his duties, according to the ideas which, in the
exercise of his judgment, he had formed thereof.
It is much to be regretted that we respectively viewed our duties in such
different lights, because my colleague having given in a separate report, our
respective assertions on matters wherein we may disagree, cannot now be so well
couaiiroed or confiited, by the joint examination of evidence on the spoW, as your
Lordship in such cases had directed to be done.
In points, therefore, wherein the statements of my colleague may appear to me to
be inaccurate, I hope your Lordship will pardon 'my occasionally referring to
sources of information where the truth may be obtained. Thcse I should have
obtained myself, if I had been aware of many of the assertions made by my
colleague, which I have only now seen for the first time, as they were not recorded
ib the official books of the Commission, prior to his departure frim Tortola. In
some cases, indeed, it appears he had privately taken declarations from persons in
the-colowy, when we were both there ; but of which I was kept entirely ignorant,
until the present moment, consequently, to a certain degree, I am less enabled to
confirm or confitte the inferences, which my colleague may have drawn from state-
ments procured in this maimer, and now submitted to your Lordship in his Report,
which has been moved for, to be laid before Parliament.
For -mxnute details I must refer to the Schedules, subject to the defective mode
in which information was sometimes taken, and recorded, in a first attempt to per-
form a duty not free from difficulties.
ABSTRACT showing the Number and Class of Vessels connected with the Importation of Slaves
into the Island of Tortola, or which have been brought before the Court of Vice-Admiralty
there, with Slaves on board, since the Abolition of the Slave Trade, on 25th March 1807.
No. 1 .-VESSERLS'having on board Slaves, as Mlariners, Servants, &c. condemned in the Court of Vice-Admi-
ralty, since the srth March 1807 ; but the Negroes not being in Torwttla no satisfactory account of their
present State and Ctodition could be obtained.
NAME NAAI[, Date
of the Capturing Ve-scl, of tie Captured Vesel, uf
and and '
that of the Cuitniander. that of the Ma-ter. Condemnation-
H.M.S. Arachne, (apt. Chambers schooner Edward, J. G. Jones 13th April
Laura, Lieur. C. N. Hunter do Regent, S. Gilbert i th Nov.
Do- d" sloop Porpoise, J. Lafitle 13th Nov.
D'- d schooner Espiegle, F. Vivient d*
Amaranthe, Capt. Pringle brig Gibralter, Colrmnette -
Laura, Lieut. C. N. Hunter schooner Adela, C. de Weever
Maria, Lieut. G. Kippen sloop Mary, J. Todd -
Amaranthe, Capt..Pringle d0 Penelope, F. Pike -
Maria, Lieut. G. Kippen do Jonah, J. Sequau -
Laura, Lieut. C. N. Hutiter d" Augustus, 11. Hinson -
1'eruvian,- 0pt. Westropp d" Privoyante, J.B. Auzia.
covering aeemy's j
breach of revenue
- do -
false register -
breach of revenue
- d0 -
- d( -_
of Negroes, and
or Afric n.
L African J
4 Creoles 1
5 Africansf 9
i African) 3
i Creole ).
not stated ;3
No. 2.-VESSELS having on board Slaves, as Mariners. Servants, &c. condemned in the Court of Vice-Admiralty
since 25th March 1807; but which Condemnation was afterwards reversed.
of the Capturing Vessel,
that of the Commander.
of the Captured Ves.4el,
itat of ttie AsLatcr.
H.M.S. Marin, Lieut. G. Kippen schooner Industry, P. Brown
D' - do - do -Scourge, L. Dufourg 13th Nov.
Laura, Lieut. C. N. Hunter do Sally, A. Durocq 13th Nov.
Beversal of Sentence.
15th Dec. 1813 -
- d d* -
- do 19th Feb. 1814 -
of Negroes, and
No. 3.-VESSEL having on board Negro Slaves, prosecuted in the Coetr of Vice-Admiralty since sth March ti)o7 ;
but in which the Sentence remained incomplete on the 6th August 1823.
H.M.S. Amarantle, Capt. Pringle loop Favourite, T. Tynes -
of t he lait Order of the Court.
4th March 1812 -
to be 7
No. 4.- VESS LS alleged to have been condemned, having Slaves on board; but on searching the Records of the
Court of Vice-Admiralty at Tortola, it did not appear to Major Moody that the Slaves had been condemned to
His Majesty for the purposes of the Act 47 Geo. 3, c. 36.
H.M.S. Laura, Lieut. C. N. Hunter
Maria, Lieut. G. Kippeu -
D - d -
Alleged Date of Cona
sloop Chance, C. Laurent 17th December 1811
Sarah, Sequar 2gth March 1811
Coque Maire, Valentine 2zoth November 181t
- do 2
No. 5.-VESSEL6 having Slaves on board, stated to have been prosecuted in the Court of V'ice-Admiralty siince
the 25th March 1807 ; but it did not appear from the Jecords, that the Slaves had beer. condemned to His Majesty
for the purposes of the Act of 47 Geo. 3, c. 36.
lH.M.S. Alexandria, Capt. King -
Safety, Lieut. E. Dwyer -
Haughty, Lieut. J. Mitchell
Latona, Capt. T. A. Wood
Liberty, Lieut. Guise -
Maria, Lieut. Kippen -
brig Busy, William Bennett
ship Ainsley, J. Brown
ship Africa, J. Connolly
brig America, T. Windsor
brig Falcon, J. Garcia -
sloop Joseph, P. Chapin
Fly, Capt. Tompkinson La Mouche, L. Warrington
Cunden tion or Resioraioun.
condemned 6 July 1807
restqred&1 Nov. i8oS -
restored. 16 March 1808
restored 29 Jan. 1808 -
restored A6 A ug. 1811 -
vessel condemned, cn f
May 1812 [
vessel condemned, 16i
Aug. 1819 I
Supposed preset State
Negroes, ad their Number.
sold as slaves 207
- do 184
- d" Cj6
S- d" 209
- d unknown.
slave not condemned,
now free i
slaves sold prior to cap-
ture of the vessel 4
--C- -.~L-r7 Il--C~.~-
II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
No. 6.-VESSEL having Slaves on board, wrecked within the jurisdiction of the Court of Vice-Admiralty of
Tortola since the 2ath March 1807 ; but which do not appear to have been proceeded against in that Court.
of the Vessel wrecked,
that of the Mister.
Dofna Paula, .1. A. Viann
Date and Pl:ice
II I C
- 3d Sept. 1819, on the
Number of Negroes iat.id,
b..." diqu,.e'l ,,.
- '24o vere saved. Theslaves were
cleared nt the Custom-house for
Bahia; but evidence was pru-
duced to AMi:jor MIoody, which
proved they were landed in Porto
Rico, and sold as Slave-s there.
Ii ol Ncroes, and
! vi thIr Cre.-les
or Afri' ns.
No. 7.-VESSELS having Slaves on board, condemned in the Court of Vice-Admirahy at Tortola since tihe
25th March ISo7; of those Negroes some have been examined by the Commission, and the Distribuiion of the rcst
is given in the Schedules. according to the best information which could at that time be obtained.
NAME NAME Date NUMBER
of the Capturin.- Vescl, and that of of the Captured Vte';s, aiid that of the Master; of Ne-rnoes, and
the Comnum nder,or tlat of the or circumsntances under which St izure oi f hlithtli. 'rCr ,lc-
Scizing Officer. A as made. Cond,: mnat;Gui. ..r African,,
H.M.S. Cerberus, Capt. Selby -
Swinger, Lt. Bennett -
Laura, Lt. C. N. Hunter -
Musquito, Cat- Tompkin-
sun - - - -
Barbados, Lt. FlEming -
schooner Nancy, Vial
brig Ainedie, Johnson
schooner Anthony, Davis
- 27th Nov. 1807
- loth Feb. 1808
- 20oth May 181"2
ship Venus .-
Barrosa, Capt. IM'Culloch schooner Candelaria, Garcia
Ister, Capt. Cramer -
Henry Cl-nment, esq. Acting Comp-
troller '- -
H. C. M'Lean, esq.
troller - -
H. C. M'Lean, esq.
ship Atrbvido, Castellanos -
(On shore, being the servants of Mr. Wheatley,
a carpenter, from Santa Cruz, who had not
- - - I entered them, or reported at the Custom-
I house -
Acting Comp- 'sloop Hevenge, Sprouse, landed from a South
- -- - -- American privateer -
On shore, having been sent to the neighbouring
Acting Comp- Danish island of St. John, to be sold as a
Sslave, by her master, named Sharpe, f. c. m.
9th Aug. 1814
13th Aug. 1814
ist Dec. 1814
-20oth Feb. x815
i7th Aug. 182i1
c-2d Oct. 18-21
S-oth May 18-22
TOTAL - - -
Of whom, it appears, '248 persons died before any distribution took place, therefore - deduct
And there remains to be accounted for -
Of ihom the following Return will give a general idea of the mode how they were disposed of, viz.-
ist.-Taken into His Majesty's military and naval service -
2d.-Do not appear to have been permanently attached to the service, or indented to masters or
mistresses, but appear to have been allowed to take care of themselves, under the construction
of the ACt 47 Geo. 3, c. 36, 7, as given in the abstract thereof, published by the .African Insti-
tution in tSio, p. e26 ; but of whose present state, no satisfactory account could be obtained.
The Act Geo. IV. c. 113. 22, does not make the same distinction as to Creoles and Africans
which was noticed in the former Act, 47 Geo. 3. c. j3. - -
3d.-Persons, respecting ti hom Mr. Dougan and Major Mfoody appear to have received contradic-
tory information, in consulting the official documents relative to the vessels Chance, Sarah, and
Coque Maire; vide Schedules, pp. co andi -
4tb.-Indented as apprentices, or otherwise placed with masters or mistresses - -
- d 93
- d" 1
- d" 314
- 0l' 30;3
- d' 17-3
- di .281
Y __ __ __ I_
CAPTURED NEGROES. 53
Of the first class, who entered the naval and military service, some entered into N* 3.
regiments, which were afterwards disbanded in the West Indies and Sierra Leone. MA.JOR MOODY's
Of these no account could be procured in Tortola, where there are no troops in ,
garrison, or disbanded black soldiers. Of those that entered the naval service, none
were in Tortola. The greater number appear to have been placed at the naval
hospital in Barbadoes, and some were paid off in England : those placed in the
naval hospital in Barbadoes, were afterwards removed to the dock-yard at Antigua,
and have lately been again removed to Bermuda. As the Commission does not
extend to Bermuda, or to Sierra Leone, it will be impossible for this Commission to
obtain satisfitctory accounts of the state and condition of the persons in these
colonies, unless its duties be extended.
Of the second and third classes, which consisted of persons captured in small
vessels, or seized on shore by officers of the customs, the informnnation which
I received was very unsatisfactory to me, and in some cases appears to have been at
variance with that of my colleague ; as, for instance, relative to the Chance, Sarah,
and Coque AMaire: vide Schedules, pp. 20 and 21. But as his zeal and diligence
were very great, when his health unfortunately obliged him to leave the West
Indies, I thought it right to quote his own words, when he had left in the office any
remarks on the schedules, as at that time I was ignorant of his intention to make
a separate report, or that I should be called upon for this.
Of the fourth class, amounting to 647, who were indented to masters and
mistresses, or placed with them without indentures, the following Statement will
give a general view, whilst the details will be found in the Schedules.
Apprentices examined before this Commission 292
Persons who have served their apprenticeship, and whose present state and
condition have been ascertained 5
Persons who appear to have accompanied their masters or mistresses, or were
allowed to go to other colonies, with consent of such masters - 173
Run away to other colonies, and consequently could not be examined in
Sold as slaves in foreign colonies, and consequently could not be produced
for examination 2
Died after having been apprenticed or placed as servants, according to the
evidence given in the Schedules 171
Said to have died, but of which satisfactory proof could not be obtained 2
By which it appears that there are three more persons accounted for than are
stated to have been indented. One female captured on board the Manuella, was
proved to have died at Tortola, by an affidavit of Sarah Keys, F. c. w. before me,
when my colleague was in England, and it is supposed the same individual was
returned as dead by the collector, without being indented, whereas the affidavit
stated her as being an apprentice to George Forbes, of Nevis. Another female of-
the persons captured on board the Atrevido, appeared before me during the same
absence of my colleague,'but it did not appear that the individual had been returned
by the collector as ian apprentice. In the third case, it appeared to the Commis-
sioners in Antigua, that Mr. Kirwan there had an apprentice named Tamer Mecca,
which fact was accordingly noted ; but the female not having been apprenticed to
him, she was returned also in another class. These observations account for the
apparent excess of three persons in a satisfactory manner.
Of the '29 apprentices examined before this Commission, about too seem still
to serve the same persons to whom they were originally indented. The rest have
been given up to the different collectors, and their indentures transferred to their
present masters and mistresses, in a manner which was often deemed to be very
imperfect. Such cases are noted in the Schedules, and will be commented upon
hereafter. Besides those five persons who had finished their period of apprenticeship,
there were four Creoles and one African, (forming part of the sixty-two persons
already mentioned,) who appeared before this Commission, so that altogether there
were 302 persons regularly examined by this Commission, and the result officially
recorded. Any private examinations taken by my colleague, without the klnouwled/ge
of'the secretary, or myself, or either of us being present to guaranctle the accuracy
I I i. H thereofj
54 II.--PAPERS RELATING TO
No 3. thereof, or even the examination belng recorded in t hg qffi.g4 bqqk, are coithered
MAJOR Nooiu'. aq not being officially taken ; 4nd, as. said before, I was entirely ignorant, that my
EPronR. colleague had submitted such documents to your Lordship, until I was called upon
^ for this Report, qud consequently nqver haid an opportunity to confirm or confute
them on the spot, a, your Jlordship directed o be done in cases of difrur.ene of
Of the 302 persons thus reported upon, 128 were males, and 174 females. It
appears. also that seventy-five females had ninety-eight children then alive. The
account of the number of children bor+a, is uot so accurate as I could have wished ;
nor is the legal relation in which the parents stood towards each other, given with
that accuracy which would have been desirable. I endeavored to supply the
d4efees. hy reling t#p th Registkrs of the Wesleyaq, minsip,Vip&s. From, all
that I. could collect, I qm led. to ibWieve that forty-six children o.ut. of tjhe nioW.ty-
eight, were the offspring of tnigimnoniaml unqi.s, Forty-Az. of the chjld':^ were
boys, and fifty-three girls.
The following Table will show the result of my inquiries as to the state of Marriage
amongst, the Apprenutices.
AU i i-ioHirIES MarrieJ to other Mariied .o larried to oLh free
AfHrican 1.pren ices. Slaves. black or clouCe4Pe P p
in the Island.
fur the, Stateiintsi here gjpepi. in the hbnd.
;U ..Le, Fem.ales. lllale, Fcn),es, ., ales. Fem.ajti.
From the parties themselves - 31 30 7 -
From a Retaun, dated egth Julvl :
1824, from the Wesle.man lIission J 2. 1 o -
These Returns certainly vary from each other, but not so much as to affect- the
credit of either, as showing the general state of marriage amongst them. The
variation is greatest among the females, and the circumstance must be considered'
with reference to female feeling, in giving to the Comm.ssioners a statement in
some degree affecting the character of the female herself. Both my colleague and
I sincerely joined in urging them to have their unions sanctioned by the marriage
ceremony, which I have ever regarded as a powerful means of civilization. The
difference between the returns showing the number of female apprentices, who have
married slaves, may have arisen from a knowledge that the Commissioners, or at
least' that I, always recommended them to marry free persons, or their fellow appren-
tices, as their marriage with slaves would limit the power of the government to
settle them. in a better country than Tortola. It is singular however that, no
appenticq. of either sex intermarried with any free person of colour, though., several
lived with black andl coloured. free men as mipstresses. Some of the mothers, of chil-
(4'e Ikeg de4.d, u,~aps, e..istqd of satisfactorily ascertaniig.ttheir state, but I have.
.included, theau4 in the number of females (seventy-five) who have ha4 children: tat,..
nuW ber, as, well as the number ninety-eight, for the children, of cowrsq is. suLe.t,
to dajJy variation, and. is not given as being perfectly accurate. The. staie of society,
aVd imperfect civilization, of the African apprentices, must also: be considered, in any,
iijference which may be drawn from the state of marriage an.ongst them : under
these circuPA aq.es,, the existing state, appeared tQ. me very mu.,ch to,t heir!r-totdk
alad that of thgir religious instructors, the Weslqyan.niionaie;.
The followingTnable will show the result of my inquiries as to the Number baptized.
"lB the. Rectur lBy the Westeriaj By.1Rormp-
AUT ORITL~S 1 of the Parish. Missiona!i.S. C.athlii Priets TOTAL,
fJr thq Steae s hire.ogive. u.
ia ies. Fe l Ailit. Fenales, 1Mal.S. Feipales. All ., E g
Froqi the. parties thein.e[ie,. - 16 15 43 86 2 6 6i 107-
--- -*- -- -- ;- ---- '-,-
From the Methodist Mission 67 68 ..
From the Rector 11 17 -. .
CAPTURED NEGROES. 55
It alsb appeared, that fbrty-eight of the children had been baptier li$r the Metho- N .
dist missionaries, and seven by the rector of the parish. MAJOR MOODY'3
Mr. Gilgrass, the senior Methodist missionary, in giving in his returii to this R.-
Commission, regretted that it was so imperfect as to those baptized by his predeces-
sors, who had not particularly distinguished those negroes who were baptized -by
them, as being African apprentices. His opinion was, that the number baptized
nearly amounted to 200. The discrepancies between the statements of the parties
themselves, and the return of the Methodist mission, I am unable to explain in a
satisfactory manner, except that there was some imperfection in our mode of
examination, affecting the discovery of truth.
The following Table will show the result of my inquiries as to the number of
Apprentices who attend places of Public Worship.
Atrend the ALtend Lhe Methodint Chapel. Artend Roman-
AUTHORITIEs Catholic Chapel TO .\A L.
P riih Church. ,
in St Ttihotnas.
for ItiLL In Societ). As Hearers.
Statejrentc here Civen. '
From the parties them-1
selves (. 3 3 34 52 44 4 2 83 19
From the Methodistl 36 51 6 -
M5is0ion - -.
From the Rector'sl
Return - -f
The difference between the statement of the parties themselves, and the return of
the Methodist missionary, can be satisfactorily explained. Mr. Gilgrass only
returned those apprentices whose conduct and progress in religious knowledge
induced the missionaries to receive them into the Methodist society, and he did not
include those persons whose conduct and progress in religious. knowledge were
dubious or imperfect, although such persons may have occasionally attended the
chapel. The six females returned by the missionary as hearers, were attendants at
the school, and learning to read. Five mai-es, and sixteen females, have been
expelled from the society for immorality .of conduct, the particulars of which were
not inquired after by me.
The rector stated, that he could not consider any of the African apprentices as
regular attendants on divine service at the parish church, although he considered
fifty free black and coloured pLr-:,ns (of whomn sixteen were communicants) as part
of his regular congregation. Indeed, the' exemplary propriety of conduct and regu-
larity of attendance at the parish church of th1ise fri-e black and coloured persons,
wai, a fachet that came weekly under my own obeervatiol, and at'lrded me so much
pleasure, that I cannot resist the desire to record it, although it i'ay not be much
connected with the object of the Report ; nor can I omit the present opportunity to
bear my testimony to the unwearied efforts of the rector of the parish, the reverend
Mr. Chadderton, and the three Wesleyan Methodist missionaries, Messrs. Gilgrass,
Felvus, and Truscott, to instruct the poorer classes of their respective congregations.
And I was perfectly convinced, from personal inquiries and observation, that the
African apprentices have been greatly improved in their moral conduct by the
instructions of the missionaries, and that, generally speaking, those domestics gave
the most satisfaction to their masters and mistresses who had been most diligent in
their attendance to gain religious instruction. The industry of apprentices, as
tradesmen, e-xercising laborious occupations, (lid not appear to me to be so much
influenced by religious instruction, as the honesty, sobriety, and obedience of per0onfal
attendants, and particularly females. Nelson, the mason, whos-: state and cndition
is given in the Schedule of the A.medie, p. 42, weCnt to the -.c.v;;i c!~ 'rchi ot'n y
twice a year, yet h:.e z.ppears to ha'e been the mot iil:Ui-.. ,.r .,ru whom thi4
1!, 5. H 2 Commision2
56 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
Commission examined. Harry Belisario, a carpenter, who was-able to direct those
under him, and whose state and condition is given in the Schedule of the Atrevido,
pp. 240 and 241, in this Report, pp. 84, 102 and 103, was expelled from the Methodist
society for immoralities, yet he appeared to me to be the most intelligent person who
came before this Commission. In the case of Harry, it is true, we had to investigate
a complaint against him for neglect of duty, and insoleiice of conduct towards his
superintendent, which last charge would perhaps never have been made had religious
instruction been as much attended to by him as by others. Many cases could be
produced to support the opinion I have thus given, but they may be deemed tedious,
and uhnecessary to prove, that the power of religion is great in exciting, or allaying
certain passions which influence the conduct of mankind in the lower ranks of society,
in a backward state of knowledge and civilization, where the passive virtues of
honesty, sobriety, and fidelity are of the utmost importance, as the foundation of
many other virtues ; and yet that the same power is not so immediately apparent
among the apprentices, in a climate within the torrid zone, when the effect is to be
seen in that steady and continued industry, or exertion in the service of a master,
which some occupations require more than others, and in a less agreeable form.
The following Table will show the result of my inquiries as to the Trades and
Occupations of the African Apprentices.
For the Statemens here given.
Abstract of Indentures in the Custom-house -
Abstract of Schedules, as nearly as could be1
ascertained from average returns by different
Abstract showing the result of personal inqui-
rie- made by myself, magistrates and others,
respecting the actual employment and occu-
patian of the apprentices in the month ot'
August 18-23. J
Although the above Abstracts may be useful in giving a general view of the
employment or occupations of the African apprentices, it is necessary to observe
that they are not here given as being perfectly accurate. Neither my time, nor the
nature of the inquiry, would permit me to obtain perfect accuracy in these abstracts,
where the original documents were themselves often imperfect. From the changes
of masters, and the general poverty of those with whom the apprentice was placed,
it was often found difficult to designate the actual occupation of the apprentice,
although some occupation was specified in the indenture. For example, sometimes
the same female cooked, washed, picked fuel wood, and huxtered goods for sale ; the
same male cooked, groomed a horse, or was a boatman, &c. and perhaps the trade,
to which lie was originally bound an apprentice, was none of these. The occupation
followed by the apprentices therefore varied, and what might have been tolerably
correct in 1822, would be found very erroneous in the course of a few mouths. So
far back as 21st November 181.5, the late Lieutenaut-General Sir James Leith
reported the abuses attendant on the systern of apprenticing the Africans condemned
in the Court of Vice-Admiralty, specifying a case where twenty-nine Africans had
been apprenticed from Tortola to Mr. Forbes, living in Nevis. It was obviously
impossible for the collector of Tortola to oblige a person residing in another island
to instruct his apprentices, and treat them according to the conditions of the inden-
tures ; and it was equally impossible for the collector, ip such cases, to afford the
Coinmmission very accurate information as to the acttral occupation of the apprentices
at the time of inquiry. Sometimes the African was indented as a domestic, but was
taught the trade of a carpenter, as in the case of those placed with Mr. Belisario.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 57
In such cases the apprentices were actually better provided for than was stipulated. No 3.
Such cases, however, were rare, from local circumstances ; and it happened more MAJOR MOODu..
frequently that the African was bound apprentice to a trade,-without reference to REPORT.
local circumstances, which prevented his being taught it. In the abstract, it appears ----
Africans were indented as apprentices to shipwrights, saddlers, &c. whilst, in- point
of fact, the persons never were instructed in those trades. The master saddler died,
and there was no other in the colony to take the apprentice. The master shipwright
was alive, and alleged, that having no employment as a shipwright, from local cir-
cumstances, which lie could not control, it became impossible for him to instruct the
apprentices as shipwrights.
On the other hand, as few of the more wealthy inhabitants of the town would
have the apprentices in their service, even without wages, the masters and mistresses
were generally poor; and provided the apprentice could raise, in any manner,
a small sum for them, the apprentices were allowed to do what they pleased, and
live where they liked. In such cases it was difficult to ascertain the actual occupa-
tion of the apprentices ; for when it was discovered that apprentices. were thus
allowed to go to the foreign free port of St. Thomas, they were removed from such
master or mistress, although such a mode of employment was agreeable both to master
and apprentice, and therefore both were interested in concealing the fact from the
Commissioners. The occupations followed by the apprentices in the Danish island
of St. Thomas, on these occasions, were generally the irregular and occasional
industry of porters, servants on board vessels, &c. in which they often got compa-
'ratively high wages, which enabled them to work for money at one time, in order to
live, without working, for a longer or shorter period ; such a mode of existence being
more agreeable to them, than steady, and regular industry, affording employment
during the whole year.
From this irregular application to certain kinds of labour, and dislike to that of
agriculture, it was my wish to turn the attention of the African apprentices, and
therefore I was anxious to prevent their running away to the Danish island of
St. Thomas, or being sent there. His excellence Governor Von Scholten afforded
me every facility in removing them ; but they soon returned again, as the proximity
of the islands, and the frequent intercourse, rendered it impossible to prevent those
Africans from going who might wish it, either from the severe treatment of their
employer, or their own wish to be masters of their time. It will also be seen that
in St. Thonlas they were liable to be taken up and sold as slaves, as was actually the
case with one apprentice. It is not undeserving of remark, that not one of the
apprentices who thus withdrew from Tortula, ever hired themselves to agricultural
labour for any fixed period.
The occasional high wages in irregular kinds of industry, however uncertain,
appear to have pleased them better than the permanent rewards procured by an
employment less exposed to uncertainty, but which required a steady exertion.
And in none of these cases, (except that of Nelson, who was a mason by trade, and
living upon a sugar estate in the house of his wife,) does it appear that their industry
extended beyond the attainment of those necessaries of life, which the generality of
the slaves in Tortola enjoyed. This remark is given as a general view of the
extent of industry ; a few individuals did better in those kinds of employment which
were most agreeable to them. The desire of the Danish government to get rid of
the African apprentices also affords matter for observation, in estimating the value
of their industry and labour; for if these persons had been employed in raising
those agricultural productions, which have an exchangeable value in Europe, it is
obvious that the Danish government would have encouraged the residence amongst
them of useful members of society as free persons, in bringing them to which state,
so much money had been expended, in rewarding the captors, &e. by the govern-
ment of Great Britain.
But as both the Danish government of St. Thomas, and the English local govern-
ment of Tortola, wished to get rid of this class of people, it is of importance to
inquire into the cause thereof.
Your Lordship, I believe, is aware that a most enlightened, benevolent, and disin-
terested general officer, who held one of the highest appointments under the C'rown
in the West Indies, was of opinion, that the scheme of apprenticing Afi'ican, in the
West Indies, with a view of preparing them to be useful suttbjects in the colonies, was
i ', .? IT I ,,-,
58 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N" 3. nt calculated to meet the wishes of the benevolent individuals who had formed it;
MAJOR MOODVY' and that they appeared not to be well informed respecting the action of those
R1EPOl'r. circumstances which influence productive industry in tropical climates among men
in a backward state of knowledge and civilization, and which render colonies, like
those in the West Indies, valuable to the parent N.tate.
Had I not the sanction of this great and illustrious person, I should not have
presumed to examine an important question wherein I can only oppose facts
observed by myself, and occasionally confirmed by others, to the authority of names,
whose virtues deserve every respect, but whose knowledge of the subject in question
may perhaps be less perfect, than that of a very inferior mind, who, solely intent on
the discovery of truth, obtained his information on the spot ; and who for years
had the experience of directing and controlling the labour of Europeans, and Creoles,
of white, black, and coloured persons, of free men, and of slaves, in the torrid zone,
when employed on military and civil services, in mechanical and agricultural indus-
try, where self-interest did not exist to bias the judgment, and where the sole con-
sideration was faithfully to discharge the duty of an officer of engineers, and the
administrator of the croWn estates in Guadeloupe. It is, I believe, known to your
Lotdtship, that for the last mentioned duty I never charged, nor received any com-
mission, or other pecnniary benefit ; a circumstance which I should not have men-
tioned, had it not been of importance in this case to show, that my experience in
West-India agriculture, and the control of the labour of men, in a backward state of
knowledge and civilization, was not affected by my receiving any pecuniary reward, or
commission, which depended dn the increased exertion of those working under ime.
In military works the labour employed had reference to a previous estimate, o"r was
contract work, performed by the job, and occasionally, whenever it could be done,
by task-work. Soliciting your Lordship's pardon for this egotism, I proceed with
The case of the African apprentices was not only new, but was peculiarly difficult.
His Majesty's government, on the abolition of the Slave Trade, was obliged to inter-
fere with the appropriation of the labour, and the persons of men, women and
children, placed under its control in a state of childish ignorance, but generally
with the physical strength of mature age. These persons were free, but incapable
of using their freedom, amidst a people from whom they were separated by difference
of language, colour, and certain physical qualifications, affecting the formation and
distribution of wealth amongst the European society in which they were now placed.
Under such circumstances I would wish to use the most moderate toine in speak-
ing of the system adopted to give those persons habits of industry, and to direct
their labour into those channels, where it would be most useful to the individual,
aid to the commonwealth ; nor ought it to excite much surprise, that regulations,
formed by those ignorant of local circumstances, should have failed in their practical
As the observations which I shall have to make will unavoidably bear on ques-
tion's which have been agitated by persons, who formed their opinions under different
circumstances, I beg to state, that my opinions have been formed as inferences from
facts observed by myself. My judgment may unintentionally err in the formatioit
of an opinion; but 'if I err in the statement of a fact, it must be from a deliberate
design to deceive your Lordship, in which case I should consider myself undeserv-
ing of tie honour to serve His Majesty for one moment afterwards, in any capacity
civil, or military.
One of the errors into which those benevolent persons have fallen, who have
interested themselves in the Act for the abolition of the Slave Trade, and Orders of
Council founded thereon, appears to me to have arisen from their over-rating the
value of labour performed by persons in a backward state of knowledge and civiliza.
tion in the torrid zone, unless that labour can be duly controlled by the master.
The Order in Council of 16th March i8o8, states,--" ist, In regard to such
n' male negroes as, from infirmity or age, aro not fit for military or naval service, or
6" such as shall not be required or taken for the same as aforesaid, and also in regard
to finale negroes, the collector or chief officer of the customs for the time being is
to use the earliest and utmost endeavours to bind them as apprentices, or indented
servtifits, to prudent aind humane masters or mistresses, either in the same or other
'colonies, to lkatt such trades, handicrafts or euplboyMent','as they'may se-m, firoim
CAPTURED NEGROES. 59
their bodily or other qualities most likely to be fit for, and to gain their livelibeed N3.
most comfortably by, after their terms of apprenticeship or servitude, sholl expire ma&J r M trs
S" R REPORT.
2d. In respect to female negroes, for whom there is in general no employment
in the West 'ndies, but in domestic service or the labours of agriculture, the cel-
lector or chief officer of the customs for the time being, is to take especial, care
a" /l they be not employed in the latter upon any account ; and he is hereby furtbhr
directed, to bind them apprentices only to such masters and mistresses as are of
t good repute for humanity tot heir domestic slaves, and for such terms. or periods
only as may be sufficient for their acquiring the knowledge of their business as
servants, in whatever domestic capacity the master or mistress may assign them to,
with such addition thereto as may reasonably suffice to recompense him or her for
the care of their instruction, and the charge of their support, in the meantime,
relation being herein had to the age and strength of every such femaleapprentice."
In apprenticing women having children, or in a state of pregnancy, 8&. it was
permitted to prolong the tenu of service, in consideration of the master nmintaising
the child, or children, born, or to be born, during the apprenticeship.; but in such
uses, the portion of the. time graauted upon that consideration, was to be disni.-
guished from that portion of the term which was estimated to be equivalent to. the
mn.ohe01's insttIuction and support.
By.the seventh clause of 47 Geo. 3, c. 36, the term of years for which the male
or female negro should be indented as an apprentice, was not to exceed fourteen
years. In Tortola, some, as John Sano Belisario, were indented fbr seven years,
but almost all the males were indented for the full termu of fourteen, years, ad the
emalnudes for ten years, and' four more, in case they had children at the expiration of
the first period. The reason assigned for thus fixing on the longest, period. of time
allowed by the Act of Parliament, was the state of extreme sickness and debility
under which the Africans captured on board the Manuella, Venus, Candetlaio and
Atrev.ido were, when indented out.
I happened to be employed on military duty at Tortola, on the staff of the late
Lieutenant-General Sir James Leith, the Governor of the Leeward Islands, soon
after the negroes captured on board these vessels were indented as apprentices.
From my situation on the staff of the Governor, who was also commander of
the forces, I know that he was displeased with the collector for the arrangements
made as to the long period of 'apprenticeship ; and he considered that the board of
military officers, who had assembled to select such negroes as were fit for His
Majesty's service, had neglected their duity, in not finding a greater number fit for
the King's service. His Excellency Major General Ramsay, then in Tortola with
the troops, who had just been withdrawn from Santa Cruz, was orderedI by the com-
mander of the forces to assemble another board to examine the negroes rejected by
the first board. Of this last board the commander of the forces was pleased to
direct, that I should be a member, although I was the only military officer at that
moment with him on his staff. After sitting several days, and examining many of
the negroes, and other witnesses, the wretched state of the Afiiecais- ia the time
they were indented was lidly proved. A few of those rejected by' the first* Board
were found fit for service, and were readily given up by their masters. It appeared
that the enormous sum of about i,3,ooo/. sterling had been spent by the collector
on their account, without reckoning upwards of 33,000 /. sterling paid in bounties
to captors, or in compensation for illegal seizures to Spain. Doubts. were enter-
tained respecting the expenditure defrayed by the collector; but circunitances'con-
nected with the escape of Buonaparte from Elba, as, your Lordship was infbrmed' at
the time, obliged the commander of the forces to leave Tortola for the purpose of
assembJing troops in the Windward Islands, and lie was unable further personally
to investigate the matters brought under his notice, in some cases in.an imperfeve
manner, as subsequent inquiries have provide.
One circumstance however struck the enlightened mind of the commander of the
forces and Governor, respecting the low value placed upon the labour of- these
Africans in Tortola, as free persons and apprentices: Many who. had signed
indentured were desirous to cancel them, and no objections whatever were made to
give up those apprentices deemed fit for the service, by those officers who ifrined,
what may be considered a board of inquiry, on a preceding board. The Schedules
will show that the number of persons thus given up amounted to about seventeen
115. H 4 only,
do II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N' 3. only, out of 537, xho were indented as apprentices from these vessels prior to the
MAJOR MOODvY meeting of the last board. This circumstance shows that the miserable situation in
aRE.otir. which the Africans were at the time of condemnation, obliged the collector to
extend the period to fourteen years, and even then the Schedules show he was under
the necessity of indenting them to persons who were either unable or unwilling
occasionally to discharge their duty to the apprentices. In fact, many had appren-
tices, who, instead of being of good repute for humanity to their domestic slaves,"
as required by the Order in Council, never had either a slave or a servant, until these
unfortunate Africans were pilaceld under the name of domestics, &c. to masters and
mistresses as poor almost as themselves. In the conclusion of the Schedules, at
p. 344, your Lordship will perceive that I addressed certain queries, officially as
a Commissioner, to some of the most wealthy and respectable persons in the com-
munity, none of whom had an apprentice in their service at the time they gave their
opinions. The two masters who appeared to me to have taken most care of their
apprentices, were the honourable Dr. Donovan, and A. M. Belisario, esq. the
Marshal of the court of Vice-Admiralty, &c. I frequently entreated both these gen-
tlemen to receive more apprentices, and they both positively refused. Dr. Donovan
even objected to the signing of an indenture, in the new form, for Martin Udgino,
a male apprentice, who had married a feniale apprentice, Theresa, in his service;
and rather than do so, he wished to give up the services of those apprentices he had.
These circumstances appear to prove, that the labour of the African apprentices was
considered as of little value, generally, although it is certain there are a few indus-
trious individuals amongst them, as in all classes of men, are found persons more
enterprising, industrious and ambitious, than the rest of those around them. The
following letter from the Collector to the Commissioners, dated i th March 1823,
will prove that, for some of the African apprentices, lie said he was unable to obtain
any master or mistress."
Gentlemen,--Agreeably to the request contained in your letter of the 4th
instant, I annex you as correct a list as I can of the number of Africans that I have
reason to believe are living here and the neighboring islands, without being in the
service of any responsible person ; and fir zcwhom,Jtoni the bad characters cf most
of them, I cannot obtain anyf master or mistress.
(signed) George Beare, Collector."
The list of the names referred to are, Moses, Buonaparte, Tom Dougan, Billy,
Cork, Sam, Anthony, Daniel, Thomas, Richard, Otura, Betsey, Hannah, Celia,
Frederick, France, Pitt, Delphine, Rose, Louisa. It appeared in evidence, in
the minute dated igth November 1822, that upwards of forty African apprentices
had thus withdrawn themselves from their masters service, and were not looked
after. By one man a small coin, worth 2 d. or 3 d. sterling, was offered for the
delivery of his apprentice, who, it was proved to me afterwards, had been inveigled
by a free coloured Spanish woman, with other Africans, oi board a small sloop, and
carried to Porto Rico, and sold as slaves. Cruel treatment no doubt caused some to
run away from the island, but others did the same who had no master, and were
allowed to select any one who would take them. Almost the first act which the
Commission had to perform in Tortola was, to answer a letter wherein the executors
of a gentleman (president Hetherington) who had originally a great number of
apprentices, wished to give them up to the collector ; and which was done. Finally,
the Danish governor, Van Scholteu, in his letter of fth December 1821, from
St. Thomas, requests the President of Tortola not to permit them to go to that
island, "where," says the Danish Governor, "such people, without means to
maintain themselves, become a burthen and a nuisance to the community." And
the legislature of Tortola, following the example of that of the Bahamas, have
unanimously petitioned to have 4hese poor Africans removed from the colony.
I fear 1 have been very tedious in showing that the labour of the African appren-
tices, as free people, is not much valued.
I wish this to be considered as a fact only generally speaking, because I think that
a few exceptions may exist, sufficient to prove it not to be universally true.
Respecting the cause of this, I may form an erroneous opinion ; but it appears to
me, that the laws and institutions of Tortola were not prepared for the reception
and government of such a class of persons as the African apprentices: and that,
CAPTURED NEGROES. 61
with reference to these circumstances, the Act for the abolition of the Slave Trade,
and Orders in Council founded thereon, were not calculated for the purposes
intended, and among other defects, the regulations assume as a truth, what has not
yet been satisfactorily proved, viz. that it was possible by regulations, framed under
the sanction of an Act of Parliament, so to provide for the government and instruc-
tion of Africans, that their labour would be very valuable to agricultural capitalists
in the West Indies, without using any other means of constraint than those adopted
towards free persons in England, who may require instruction in agricultural,
mechanical or domestic industry.
The Orders in Council, provide for the protection of the apprentice, and
impose a penalty on the master for a breach of the indentures, as to excessive
punishment, &c. This is perfectly proper. But should an ignorant African not
consider .the labour expected from him by his master to be such as he would him-
self wish to give, or should he appropriate the property of others to his own use,
or be insolent, or disobedient, there is no method pointed out in the Order in
Council, or indenture, how his duties are to be enforced. The quantum of punish-
ment, and its mode of infliction, are therefore left to be determined by the laws of
the colony, and, if they are silent, by the discretion of the master. No rule is
determined as to the extent, or mode of punishment ; nor is any power or tribunal
pointed out, by which, in case of a dispute, the question is to be decided. In ;uch
a case the ordinary legal tribunals of the colony can alone be resorted to; for
instance, cases of indolence, insolence, or theft may have occurred, as indeed they
did ; for example, in the disputes of Mary with President Porter ; Pitt with Michael
Fraser, f. c. m.; and Thomas and William with Job Parker Doan, a merchant.
If application be made to a magistrate on the part of the master, the servant, to be
dealt with legally, must be committed to gaol, if a case be made out against him,
and the offence be not bailable, and (if otherwise) who is likely to bail a servant
against his master, in a community where the unfortunate African may not have any
relations or friends sufficiently responsible ? If sent to gaol the prisoner must remain
till the sessions, and be fed at the expense of the colony or the master, for the
apprentice can do nothing to subsist himself in prison. In the reduced prosperity,
and population of Tortola, one or two sessions may pass, as has been the case,
before a jury can libe formed ; and even if formed, as soon as the cause can be tried,
the master has lost the time of his servant, who on his part, if lie has been duly fed,
he has lived an easy, quiet life in a climate, where repose itself is great happiness, and
in a backward state of civilization, where his moral feelings are little affected by the
sense of shame. It appears not to.require any further reasoning to show, that such
a legal mode of proceeding, however proper towards persons -in England, would
throw a small colony like Turtola into utter confusion, from its inadequacy to
repress the evils incident to a state of society formed like that of the African
apprentices, where it is doubtful whether the fair greater majority would not prefer
the life of a prison occasionally, with nothing to do, than a life of labour, to which
their former habits, and the climate rendered them averse. By law, being free
men and women, they could not be fogged. They must. be acquitted, imprisoned,
fined, transported, or hanged. Of these, three of the modes of punishment, it is
feared would have lititlc ei fect on the Africans in their present state, and the
infliction of the Lt would close the scene of mortal existence : the colony is too
poor to have bridev'ls or treadmi!i.s.
I was very desirous- personally to trace one case through all the legal steps, that
the practical result might be seen, and the utter insuhl.civncy of the Lsystem to pre-
vent crime, or enforce habits of industry, be made more manifest.
Under the actual state of things a door was opened For all kinds of irregularities,
and the master exercising his own discretion in the punishment of crimes, or %what
might be considered such, the lot of the African apprentice became much worse
for the time, (speaking theoretically), than any slave in the island ; inasmuch as the
master of a slave had a greater interest in his welfare, being his property in per-
petuity, than lie had in that of the African apprentice, who was only placed with
him to labour for a limited period.
The apprentice also found himself doomed to labour for his master, like the
slave, in return for his subsistence merely, except his master was rich, and could
give him land to raise what would rather exceed his moderate wants ; but even in
that respect, the slave had greater encouragement and advantages. Of these last
instances, there were not many, as the labours of the generality of the a pprentices,
11.5. ii and
62 II.--PAPERS RELATING TO
N 3. and the poverty of the masters and mistresses, were of thut degree of exertiuin on
MtALOR MooD', one part, and penury on the other, as to afford little more than a bare subsistence,
REIPORf. in a climate where the wants of men for subsistence arc few, and easily sati:fied.
Two or three apprentices, however, had acquired some property.
I beg to refer to the annexed letters in the Appendix, pp. 133 to 1.5, marked (A )
(A. i.)(A. 2.)and (A. 3.) to prove, thit in Torrola, (where the Act of Parliament and
Orders of Council directed the captured ncgroes to be indented as apprentices,') the
Crown lawyers of England gave their opinion as follow : Supposing the English
statutes respecting apprentices to prevail in any of those colonies, it must be
recollected that those statutes apply only to apprentices in trades, and to those
bound out under the poor laws, and not o apprentices of every description ; and
in the particular case of Tortola, we think the reasons given by the magistrates
for their non-interference valid and sufficient."
(signed) R. Giflrd,
J. S. Cople./."
With such authority for the opinion expressed, the defects of the Act of Par-
liament and Orders of Council may now be shown by facts ; and I shall confine
myself -to the few referred to already. For example, that of Mary the apprentice
of Dr. Porter, president of the island. Her examination, as finally agreed upon,
is given in the Schedules for the Spanish ship Venus, N" 240, p. 16o, and is the
person mentioned in the letter to your Lordship, dated 2 1st 1 June 18-22, signed by
the collector of the customs and myself, and which led to the opinion of the crown
officeers already quoted. The apprentice Mary complained of ill-treatment; the
master complained of her indolence and neglect of du-ty. He having confined her
without effect, took- her before the magistrates, who declined to interfere, as not
having power so to do in the case of a free person, as Mary was, unless by sending
her to the sessions. What sentence could r jury award for the crime of laziness
in a female servant, in -a colony where there was no bridewell or treadmill, or
similar institutions, and from the poverty of the inhabitants none could be-erected ?
The master, under- these circumstances, punished the apprentice, by whipping her,
which he had not- any legal right to do. There remained, in his opinion, no other
alternative. It- will be seen, in the Schedule, p. 161, that the conduct of Mary
in the presence of my colleague and myself, was such as to merit the legal punish-
mentofan apprentice that had highly misbehaved;" but what that "legal punishment'"
was, it seemed to me no person could define. It might be supposed that the person
authorized to protect" and provide" for the apprentices, had the power also to
punish them ; but there did not appear to be any such power vested in any person,
and therefore recourse could be had to the ordinary process of the law alone, which,
as.already said, did not appear to have been intended for such a class of persons,
a circumstance which, perhaps, was overlooked by those who framed the Act and the
Orders in Council ; for it would have been obvious to any person acquainted with
colonial atlairs in the West Indies, that the laws suitable for a state of society like
that of England, were not calculated for the due government of servants, like the
African apprentices, under the circumstances in which they were placed.
In. this case the practical result was, that. Mary ceased to be of any value, as
a servant to her master.
The next case was that of Pitt, who had drawn his knife on one occasion upon
lii.naster,. and. farther misbehaved in the presence of the Commissioners. On this
occasion my colleague and I agreedto suhiit. to. the collector~. the, propriety. of
lbigigig.h1scae (that.of Pitt,) hek44eproper'-authority, coisptent to try his.conduqt."
The, result is given in.the Cornesp depee alimexed1,tpp, d 33.to 1 35. and .nwrked (A.)
(A. G ,) (A0 2a,)ud (A. 3), as.als in the Sfhedules .or ship Ves,,.N 14,pp. 139
to 133, ,a d it was on this occas.ion,thatI. brought under theuotive of my colleague the
defects of the. mode in which the -Aliicat ap.retticesv.wre examined, but to which
he was not.pleased to make any, answer, except that in two or three hours after, the
receipt of my observations lie retired from the duties of the- Commuissio.,without
ever a.signiug to me any reason for the measure. As it affected Pitt, the magis-
trates in his case would not interfere, except to.send.the parties before the sessions,
w1len. ie.must have lain in gaol, at the expense of the colony, contrary to the 16th
clause, of th, Act 47 Geo. 3, c. 36. The 21. S s. currency paid to the gaoler onl
account of Pitt's confinement in prison for a few days, till th.e.magistrate's decision
was given; was 'paid by the treasury of Great Britain.-
CAPTURED NEGROES. 63
The bther case, respecting the tci6mplaints of Ge'rge ,andt Wi1imrn '!gitst their N
master, Job Parker Doan, I shall not -now notice, as .it forces -a subject "pon-whidc WrAtW fSSQ
my colleague, in his report, has brought a charge, or complaint, .againstue, which RRP.RT.
will be easily answered in its proper place.
I observe, in the Act 5 Geo. 4, c. 113, intituled, An Act to amend abd con-
solidate the Laws relating to the Abolition of'the Slave Trade," that a'new cause is
added (.34), empowering the Judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court, nearest to -Mhih
the master shall be residing, to take cognizance of the tcoinplaint of an Africari
apprentice against his master, and that the Judge may examine into the same sum-
marily, and decide thereupon ; further empowering the Judge to'fine themrnaster, if
need be, in a sum not exceeding i ool. sterling, and to enforce paynientthereof by
distress and imprisonment, with the further power of cancelling the indenture. It
will be observed, however, that the power'here given to set aside the cblonidl'courts,
when thenmaster is to be punished, is entirely silent as to how'ehe eKpenses.-we.o be
defrayed when the apprentice is in error, or, as regards the-nmater, how-aay..aid is
to be given 'to him to enforce the obedience of the African apprentice. -And 'it is
this .last circumstance that I had presumed to bring -under your Lordship's .notice.
Another circumstance may be noticed, as arising from the circular of Lord
Castlereagh, dated n ith April iSoS, allowing one guinea ahead to the collector
on indenting the apprentices ; for example, during the year i 822, and part of 1823,
it appeared fi-om the collector's accounts that "he hiad rte-apptreticed 05 Afrcan
apprentices who had been given up to him, and for-whiehhe ciarged, und'erwietd
from the treasury, i o/. .5 s. sterling, a sitnilar tunn having'betiapaiflItb a fOifier
collector for the same duty of 'apprenticing the very same'African ppfi*,bes. 'In
addition to this, two dollars were charged for 'making out' tabliden'ttftre; bbut 'this
sum in Tortola was paid'by the master or itnstres, 'when thevY'wdrefile ; ih'so6me
cases they actually were unable to raise even that sum, and others wodid receive fhe
apprentice, but would not give even two dollars for the indenture, which entitled
them to the labour of the apprentice 'for several years, without'ilry wage:;.
There can be no doubt as to the collector-being entitled to the sum, in considera-
tion of the trouble he had ; but by paying him these sums'on re-apprenticing the
Africans, it made it the interest of a needy'person to remove the services of an:appren-
tice to another master for the pecuniary.reward, and so.far interfering with the duty
of encouraging a due subordination on the part of the apprentices ; a point deserving
the more consideration, as this .principle appears to have been. too'much overlooked
in the Orders of Council. When, therefore, the collector, in.his letter of 1st May
1823, assigned the cruelty of the masters as a-iuise:oC the apprentice runiing'away,
I felt it my duty to ascertain the facto of'the case, as some people had'rmtnatwdy from
the island who had no masters, the collector himself having permitted them to select
their own. To this inquiry, lie answered by specifying the cases to -which 'he had
alluded, and qualifying his charge against the masters in general.
The ease of the Portuguese ship Doiia Paula, wrecked on the.Anegada'reefon
the 3d of September i1 81-, with 253 slaves on board, of -whom F&40 -were- oawed,
appears to me as showing strongly what imperfect notions the framers of -the Aboli-
tion Act entertained as to the value of the labour of Africans in the West Indies,
without using any other means of constraint than those m;ied towards free'persons in
I shall first give the opinion of the crown lawyers as to the inte'rpftat-io n-of the
Acts for the abolition of the Slave Trade which bear on this question, as given to your
Lordship in their letter dated 27th August 181S : viz.-" 3d. That Africans cast
" on the shore of a British colony in consequence of the wreck of the vessel in which
" they were conveyed as slaves, are not to be considered as slaves illegally imported,
" but as free persons ; and in such case, we think the governor of the!eoiony-Iasno
" power to deliver up those Africans, without their consent, to0-thqeperson-elainiing
" ownership over them, either for the purpose of being dealt'with as -slaves in the
colony, or of being conveyed to a foreign country for the purposeof being so dealt
" with ; in this case, as in the ease of abandoned slaves, they-are to be dealt with by
" the governor as persons in such a situation, not.being Africans, would be."
Such being the law, it is necessary to state what the practice wa& in the case of
the Dohia Paula.
64 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
Na 3. It resulted from- evidence given to me oqf'icallq as Commissioner, that the ,laver.
MAJOR MOODY', cleared out from the Custom House of Tortola in vessels of such a tonnage, as
REPORY. could not possibly carry them, and the necessary provisions to Bahia in Brazil, their
ostensible port of destination. It was also proved to my entire conviction, that the
slaves, or rather, as they ought to have been cosAidered, free persons, were sent to
the neighboring Spanish Island of Porto Rico, and were there sold as slaves, in
contravention of the Acts of Parliament, and the express directions of your Lord-
ship, as conveyed in your circular despatch to the late Governor Probyn, dated 5th
September 1iSS. The vessel was wrecked on the 3d September 1819. The
gentleman in charge of the administration of the government of the Virgin Iblands
being dead, and the collector of the customs having been dismissed, I was unable
to ascertain what report had been made in justification of their disobedience of
the laws, and your Lordship's instructions.
I have now to show what would have been the result, had the law and your Lord-
ship's instructions been obeyed, as they ought to have been, and the details which I
shall have to produce, must be considered as merely tending to show, what has been
already stated in the case of the apprentices, that the framers of the Abolition Acts,
and the Orders in Council, were deficient in local and practical knowledge, arid
therefore had formed erroneous notions as to the value of the labour of the Africans
in the West Indies, as free persons.
The negroes saved from the wreck of the Donia Paula ought to have been treated,
according to law, "as persons in such a situation, not being Africans, would be.'
Now if 240 Englishmen had been saved from the wreck on the Anegada shoals,
every able-bodied person would have made himself useful in some way or other, and
from his national feelings, habits and education, he would have been able to see
from the poverty of his countrymen in Anega'da, that they were unable to support
him, without some industrious effort on his part to contribute to his maintenance ;
added to which, lie could leave the island, and seek employment elsewhere, so as no
longer to be a dependent on the bounty of the inhabitants of an impoverished
country. These circumstances could not occur with the unfortunate Africans,
'between whom and the Anegadians no sympathy existed of national origin, colour,
language, &c. In their case, 240 negroes, in a backward state of knowledge and
civilization, ignorant of the nature of the laws respecting property, finding them-
selves more powerful than the Anegadians, they would have seized on the means of
subsistence within their reach, to which indeed hunger would have compelled them;
and violence and bloodshed would most probably have been the consequences.
In a similar case, only in a fertile country, such was, in some degree, the result of a
Guineamai, being wrecked among the Charaibes of St. Vincent. These Africans on
board the Dofa Paula, however, having been confined ,on board, if the Anegadians
should have thought that a greater population of ignorant Africans than theirown num-
bers should become claimants on their hospitality, or competitors for their food, when
they had barely enough for themselves, it is almost certain, that they would not have
risked their own lives to save those of the unfortunate Africans, whose presence
would have been attended with loss and danger. The result would most probably
have been, that the Africans would not have been saved fi-om the wreck. Mr.
Gibbes, who was agent for the Doiia Paula, and paid all expenses incident to the
wreck of the vessel, stated that four thousand dollars were paid for saving the lives
of the negroes. they being considered as property, and being removed from the
island, no danger or expense was incurred by their residence.
.These observations are offered to show how hard the law bore on the colonists,
but they are not given to justify the breach of the law. It is observed by Air. Earn-
shaw- in his digest of the laws relating to shipping, navigation, commerce and revenue,
in the British colonies, in giving an opinion of the law officers of the crown in June
1767: How far the clauses of the Act of Anne, and of the other Acts altering
and amending the same, can be carried into execution in the British colonies and
plantations, will depend upon the nature of the public establishments at the colony
or plantation, where a ship or goods may be stranded, or near which a ship may
be in distress, or in danger of stranding, or where any offence may be committed."
Now -the nature of the public establishments in the circumstance of the Dofa Paula
were these : The vessel was wrecked in the vicinity of an island comparatively barren,
with few inhabitants, and those wretchedly poor, chiefly depending for subsistence
on fishing, and the reward for their exertions in saving the property of vessels
CAPTURED NEGROES. 65
Wrecked on their shoals. If, instead of a reward for their exertions in saving the
slaves on board the Doiia Pauila, the inhabitants of Anegada should have had to take
care of them, as distressed Africans, in an uncivilized state, it is to be feared, that
self-interet, and self-preservation, would have been more powerful motives than those
of humanity ; and to prevent the consequences to be apprehended, in similar cases,
I beg leave respectfully to suggest the propriety of His Majesty's government
making some legal provision, that, in the case of slaves being wrecked, salvage should
be allowed to the salvors as in other cases of property, and that the slaves should not
be chargeable to the inhabitant, in order that the interests of the inhabitants, and
their duty may not be opposed to each other, in a case of humanity, affecting the
lives of our fellow-creatures. To show that under the Act 47 Geo. 3. c. 36, the
claims of interest and of humanity were too much opposed to each other, it is only
necessary to state that the negroes on board the Manuella, Venus, Candelario and
Atrevido, cost the Treasury of Great Britain 13,595/. 15 s. S d. sterling, for
mere care and maintenance, before being apprenticed, without reckoning either
bounty money to captors, or head money to collectors. Now had these vessels expe-
rieinced the fate of the Dofia Paula, besides the claims for salvage, a poor country
like Tortola, oppressed with debt, would have had to provide for that great expense,
according to the Act for the abolition of the Slave Trade, already quoted, which
considered the Africans the same as Englishmen. The colony at this moment being
unable to pay itsj ust debts, it is obvious that the inhabitants could not have provided
for the Africans, and the latter must have perished, from the inability of the
colonists to support them. In the Act 5 Geo. 4. c. I3, 23, Africans situated
like those of the Doiam Paula are now to be provided for, as ift' they had been con-
demned prize of war, but there is no provision for salvage.
An anonymous letter was sent to my colleague and myself, saying that a bribe of
1,000 1. was paid to the collector to prevent his seizure of the Dofia Paula. This
letter was afterwards wvithdrawn from the office, or lost, or mislaid, as I could not
find it when I entered on the investigation. The agent, however, of the vessel,
wvho was not implicated in the charge, declared that to his knowledge the anony-
mous change against the former collector was not true, as lie paid all the expenses
of the ship. The person who was implicated by name, declared he knew nothing
about the charge. The King's advocate having given his opinion, that thie vessel
could not be seized, renders it not probable that a bribe would be offered to the
collector to prevent his seizing the vessel. From the statements proved, as to the
slaves being cleared for Bahia in vessels not calculated for the voyage, there is,
however, every reason to believe that the Customn-house officers must have known,
that the destination of the slaves was Porto Rico, and not Bahia. They were, as
already stated, sold as slaves in Porto Rico.
The next observation which I have to make respecting the Act of Parliament and
Orders in Council, relative to the African apprentices, being apparently at variance
with local institutions, and therefore affecting the applicability of the Orders in
Council to the objects intended to be obtained, arises from the direction given to
the industry of thle African apprentices.
By the Order of Council already quoted, it appears to have been expressly for-
bidden that women should be employed in agricultural labour. The men are not
specifically forbidden in the Order of Council to be so employed ; but in the blank
form of indenture sent out by government to thie West Indies, the following pas-
sage in the indenture for a male apprentice is inserted : and shall not, nor will,
Son any account, employ, or cause, permit, or suffer, the said apprentice, - ,
Sto be employed in aricu/ltiural labour in any wayi whatsoever." No facts hav-
ing ever been alleged, and examined, showing that this clause was necessary to clearly
understand the effect of thus directing the industry of the Africans into channels
distinct from agricultural industry, some detail as to the state of productive industry
in Tortola will be necessary.
Tortola is solely valuable to Great Britain as an agricultural colony. Its copper
mines have not been worked for near a hundred years. Neither its veins of
molybdenum, nor iron ore, have ever been explored, beyond the proofs of their
existence. Its salt ponds are under no regulations, and afford no revenue to tile
colonial treasury, or that of the empire. Cotton and sugar are the chief articles
cultivated, which have an exchangeable value in Europe, and give employment to
British shipping, indu try and capital.
66 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N, ,. A debt to British merchants, secured on mortgages chiefly, amounting to about,
MAJOR MOODY's 174,500 /. sterling, causes the comlilgmnent of sugar 1(nd cotton to British pori.s
'REPORB. annually, on an average, to the amount of about 21,tioo 1. sterling to the planter, and
about 29,700 1. sterling in duty to-the revenue.
The debt due by the colony to British merchants presses harder upon the
planter than formerly,' from 'the operation of those causes, which have now nearly
destroyed colonial d'tedit in the 'Wcst-lndia colonies of Great Britain. A hurricane
in 1819 tended ato greatly to increase this evil in Tortola, by diminishing its
tfleahs bf'piyiMent, whil.t the event itself 'required an increased credit.
There is no-inode of pAting the colonial debts but by the productive industry of
the inhaliternts emiiloyed in agriculture, by which 'articles are raised having an
exchargeable value in Europe. Corn, yanms, fesh fish, cdttle, and fire wood, could
not be sent to England, nor to any place else, to raise money for the payment of
their debts in Great Britain, although a very snimall *ifWtiering trade in such articles
and rum, is carried on with St. Thomas, a, Danuish free port, fromi whence is
retrrined American produce, such as salt pork, cod fltsh, flour, lumber, &ec.
'But whilst -the credit of the colony has thus been affected, there has been a dimi-
niltion of the value, and result in quantity of that kind of produce, which has an
exchangeable value in England ; so that whilst the creditors in Great Britain are
rendered more urgent for payment, the colonial debtors are daily less able to pay
the just demands against them, from the quantity of annual labour being diminished,
at the same time that the general profits of stock in slaves, lands, buildings and
machinery have been also diminished : indeed, plantations and slaves, forming that
stock, have been rendered almost untransferable.
Everything in 6i WIest-India colony, as connected with commercial credit, is sup-
'posed to depend on the labour of the negroes on the soil, as exhibited in the
value of their colonial productions sold in Europe, exceeding the value of'
'the articles consumed in the colony,. during the production of those shipped
to Great Britain. Now, although the total population may not have much
decreased of late years, yet that part of the population employed on agriculture,
producing articles having exchangeable value in Great Britain, has decreased ; and
-about one alf' per cent of the slave population has yearly been manumitted. The
machinery, and other fixed capital, connected with agriculture, have become less
'productive, by the diminution of the moving power, consisting-of slave labour,
*whilst the free negroes could not be iirduced to supply the loss for 'such wages, or
inducements as the capitaists could -give. For in the employment of mankind in
labour, it is well known there are circumstances which, from a real, or an imaginary
cause, have a positive effect in making a small gain in some pursuits, compensate for
'iie petulii-ary disa4vaintages httendiliit iin their occupation, with te'feence to ot hers
'Tioiae labboiahs and'disiTeehlile, Though l ithe end, perhaps, by beijg indre certain,
'tlifywvuld 'be more piilfitable than 'iingulif employment. Froin ihadtever cause
'it 'hiay 'arise, 'it is certain, tliAt 'Whilst the labour employed 'in agriculture has
decreased in Tortola, the competitors for employmxient in otherlinds of Idhour hate
ittereftsed, without a corrosponding-demand for those other'kinds f aIbour. The
qnatket, therefore, -for 'lbbir, when not connected with agricultural industry,'is
-ovY4istotked, and there is-no demand for it elsewhere that can relieve this pressure,
becatuse'in -the 'neighbduring joreig'n colonies -slave labour regulates the market
r*ages,r and fdr these wages the free negroes will not always work, so as to afford
a profit to the capitalist,
'fhe Oriter in Coniicil, -relative to the employment of the apprentices, further
iriWFiased this evil, as it 'affected that kind of labour'in which 'alonie'they i'ere per-
fiit ed t'o le eiilployed in Tdftfda 'by.'the indeit'ures; aRid ifthe circum.htainc was
Ulieiietcihl to'lihe Africans, it'Tiiist 'have 'iien at the expense of' ot'er petsons in the
community, whose industry had previously been exerted in those chliininels, and this
'expense in its progi-ess fell upon the community at large; for the favour supposed
to be shdvn to the African apprentice,-by providing against hlils eiployiMent nll
iagicultural labour, did not force the other -classes into the channel of' agricultural
ijkhstry, from circumstances connected -with climate, and the relation between
population, and capital invested in agriculture, in Tottofa.
In the torrid zone, the white or tEropeian -race of manklind are ridt equal to
pgiicultural labour but there are many other'kinds of liboir wihih they are capa-
CAPTURED NEGROES. 67
b9e of-enduring; but in none perhaps requiring great personal, and Stsldy exertion il N' 3.
the suu, or open air, are they equal to the African race, when the .latter canhe induced MAa. MOODY
to labour. As tailors, shoemakers, joijers, &c. &c. the European race areeftlIy equal REPORT.
to the African in the capacity to endure work in the Torrid Zone. By withdrawing '- -"
the apprentices from agricultural labour, and employing them in.situations which
the poor of the other classes,. or their slaves had previously filled, equal to.the demnatnd,
a particular kind of labour was over supplied, and: at the same time encouraged, .by
government affording it at a less price. The kind of labour so encouraged also was
the least beneficial to the colony, and the parent state, because.-it:.contribute(d leash
to the colonial taxes, or the production of objects having exchangeable value.in Great
The reduced circumstances of the landed and other proprietors rendered them less
aible to employ the poorer whites, and other free persons, who thus having, fewer
opportunities to get the employment they would have preferred, and being unwilling,
anll in some cases unable, to exert themselves in agricultural industry, the public
poor filnds, became the source of dependence for the poor whites ; and similar rea-
soning applies to the free coloured people of a certain class, as to their diminished
means of obtaining reward for their labour: and very few, if any, could be furnished
with parochial aid, as the poor finds of the colony were unequal to thie demand
upoAl them to support the poor white widows, and other fImales belonging to .the
In every climate where men can exist without much labour, the habits of steady
agricultural industry are less generally found, because the stimulus of necessity has
then very little power; but in the torrid zone, where physical causes render the
labours of agriculture more painful and disagreeable than in Europe, the effect
fhercof' on the habits of rural industry is more powerful ; and more injurious to the
capitalist, who cannot himself labour.
Whether these considerations led the legislative bodies of Tortola to pray your
Lordship for the removal of the African apprentices from that island, I know not
but I am convinced, under the circumstances of the colony, as to the mean of
rewarding labour, that the Orders of Council for directing that of the Africans into
certain kinds of industry, excluding that of agriculture, were injurious to other
classes.of the society, in which they were apprenticed, contrary to the spirit of the
i th clause of the Act 47 Geo. 3, c. 36.
If I have taken a wroag view of this systemiiatic discouragement of agricultural
industry, instead of permitting it under proper regulations, I beg to offer, as an
apology, the sentiments of an author, who was decidedly averse to slavery, aud.was
the friend to liberal institutions. Montesquieu, liv. x iv. c. vi. says :--" The culti-
vation of the soil is the most laborious occupation of man. The more therefore
the climate induces men to shun this labour, the more ought it to be encouraged
by the influence of religion and the laws."
How far it may be just, or necessary, to impose upon tlhe impoverished colonistp the
expense and inlcoIvtniieilcc, attendant upon giving a particular directipp, to the in
dustry of' the African apprentices, din-erent fi-om that of agriculture, it is perhaps not
expected of me to give an opinion. 1 threwert haIe continued my observation to the
clause of the Act just quoted, and merely referred to the petition ofthic ilnhabitdnts of
Tortola for the removal of the apprentices, as a proof that those colonists felt them-
selves under the pressure of an evil, awnl although I have adopted the same opinion,
I have come to that conclusion, from reasons stated somewhat differently from those
urged by the Legislature of Tortola.
The next observation I have to make on the Act for the abolition of. the Slave
Trade, and Orders in Council founded thereon, relates to the case of' orphan
children, whose parent or parents wire African apprentices. lau. y letter Qffthe
i th Septenmber IS22, I pointed out, that no provision hatd beeimoade for thed care
and maintenance of the orphan children of African apprentices consequently they
must become a burden to the criiummuity, or perish from. want, if individuals do liot
take care of them. Several persons who hadthese orphans. applied to mie for relitf,
but I could nor point any out, as the poverty of the colony way such, that til public
funds could not afford any assistance. The Produce Act for di.ch:arii61 thle Ipublic
debts of the Virgin Islands from 1817 to 1i-2, both incliiusi;e, iioudc taxes
pmountlting to i,NS301. 7.5.. 3 d. currency, of whi-h *-> I1.'. u /. wa; remitted
I 4 to
68 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
to persons utterly unable to pay. Executions were issued for the recovery ,of
4,421/. 2s. 11 i d. and indulgence as to time had been granted for 61S /. S.s. ;jd.
so that only two-thirds of the whole sum authorized to be levied could be at that
period made available. And the salary due to the late Lieutenant-General Sir James
Leith, as Governor in the year 1815, was not paid at the end of eight years ; nor
had the present Governor received the salary due tu him. Such was the state of
the general credit of the public chest. 'The poor were chiefly supported by a fund
raised from what was called the Liquor Act, although only a small part of the sum
raised, had any relation to the sale of liquor. For three years the sum thus directed
to be raised,* chiefly by taxes on slaves, houses and horses, was -2,,.!1. is.
currency, of which 5 1. 3s. o d. was remitted from utter incapacity of the per.liiS
charged to pay the tax. Executions were in the hands of the marshal to the
amount of 719/. 7s. 4 f d. and temporary indulgences as to the time of payment
were granted for the sum of 46 1. os. 6d. at the end of December IS'-"2 ; so that
another proof is thus afforded of the colony being unequal to provide for the poor
they had previous to the introduction of this new class of' inhabitants, supposing
them to be entitled to parochial relief, which in Tortola is doubtful. The doubt
however is of less consequence, as the colony is unable to give the allowances were
the claims even admitted.
The parochial poor are white females and their children in reduced circumstant'e<,
from the failure of their husbands or fathers, and generally get support from their
relations, otherwise they could not well exist, as there are ftew modes in which they
could exercise their industry, were they more able and inclined to work than they
really are. Land indeed is abundant, and would be readily given to them, but the
white race are unequal to the labours of agriculture in the torrid zone ; and this
makes a distinguishing feature between the European and African races. As no
provision is made for the orphan children of African apprentices, I submit that some
regulation should be adopted for their care and maintenance at the expense of
government, or by apprenticing them to proper masters or mistresses who may be
induced to receive them. For thie welfare of the individuals perhaps the former
plan would be the best. It is due to A. M. Belisario, esq. and to the free woman
Catharine Cruise, who lived near to my lodgings in Tortola, that I should state,
I was almost a daily witness for many months, that the orphans under their care
were treated with the greatest kindness and tenderness, from motives of benevolence
Respecting the situation of the other orphans I cannot speak from my own obser-
vation, but from what I heard I deemed it my duty to submit for consideration the
propriety of establishing some plan for their benefit, which will operate upon the
whole class, and that they should not be left to the care of accidental charity. And
the 16th sect. of 47 Geo. 3, c. -36, being solely confined to the prevention of such
negroes as shall. have been bound apprentices under this Act," becoming at any
time chargeable upon the island in which they shall have been so bound, it became'
necessary.to notice the case of their orphan children, which had not been provided
for in the first Act, or in the late consolidation of the Acts for the abolition of
the Slave Trade, 5 Geo. 4, c. i i3.
The former Act--al--o was interpreted to mean, that only Afi-icans are to be
indented as apprentices. In an abstract of, and commentary upon, the Act for the
abolition of the Slave Trade, and Orders of Council, printed for the African Insti-
tution, p. 26, it is said,-" The provisions as to enlisting and apprenticing extend
only to such slaves as are natives of'Afica. If Creoles they are presumably able
to gain their own livelihood, and are therefore to be set at liberty as free men."
It is upon this interpretation, that the collectors of thecustoirs appear to have acted.
It is probably a just and legal interpretation, but it does not seem to be in any way
desirable to release the Creoles who may be fit for His Majesty's service, (considering
how much money their liberty has cost the government), from the same obligation
to serve His Majesty which is imposed upon the Africans. That the provision atlto
apprenticing captured negroes should extend only to Africans, and not to Creoles,
appears in some cases not to be a wise regulation, as Creole females with young
children may thus become free, and yet the mother may not be able to take care of
herself and children. In such a case, the protection of government may advantageously
be extended to them, by apprenticing them, if that system should still be persevered
in, or by otherwise assisting them. The Act to amend and consolidate the Laws
CAPTURED NEGROES. fi
relating to the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 5 Geo. 4. c. 113. 22, seems to have
disapproved of the principle set forth by the African Institution, as there is no dis-
tinction now made between Africans and Creoles ; but the Order in Council of
1i6th AMarch iSoS still is in force, and retains the expression, Natives of Africa,"
on which the African Institution appeared to ground their interpretation when
speaking of Creoles.
In cases where the apprentices absented themselves or ran away from their master's
duty, it is not provided for by the Act of Parliament, or Order in Council, how
the evil is to be remedied.
By the letter of the collector, dated 1st May 1823, it appears he did not think it
his duty to remedy the evil. In England it is understood, if the apprentice should
absent himself, or neglect his duty, the master may support an action of covenant
against the parent, or other person who has by the deed covenanted for the due
service ; but I have understood there is no remedy /y action against the apprentice
himself, by common or statute law, except, I believe, by the custom of London.
In the case of the African apprentices there was no parent, and the former collec-
tor who had entered into the covenants had left thle country.
I shall now chiefly confine myselfto those points arising from the government har-
ing been induced to regulate, by Orders in Council, matters concerning the control
and direction of the labour of the African apprentices in the West Indies.
The idea of regulating such local subjects, at the distance of 4,000 miles, certainly
prepares the mind to expect disappointment, more especially as, on a similar occa-
sion, it has been remarked, that no person would be less capable to accomplish such
an object, than those who should fancy themselves able to execute it. I do not wish,
however, to judge thus cf the benevolent individuals who interested themselves in
framing the Act, and the Orders in Council, whose more prominent defects I have
thus slightly noticed. I cannot, however, in paying my unfeigned respect for their
virtues, forbear the expression of my regret, that experience has convinced me, that
those individuals were deficient in a practical and accurate knowledge of matters, on
which their zeal and benevolence have induced them to take infinite pains to influence
public opinion, by which much expense has been incurred by government for objects,
whose final result will appear to be most unsatisfactory, when honestly, and fairly
stated, by persons able to judge, and free from those prejudices, which are found to
be most powerful among amiable men, who conscientiously view political institutions
through their own peculiar medium of moral obligations, and who are ever the most
ready to charge with the defects of prejudice, those who may differ from them in
I do not underrate, my Lord, the attacks to which I shall expose myself by the
public promulgation of these opinions; but I should have considered myself
unworthy your Lordship's patronage, if I feared any thing, except the imisrejresenta-
tion of truth.
I shall now proceed to state the mode in which the information collected by this
commission was procured, as your Lordship will then be better able to appreciate the
correctness of the opinions given by my colleague and myself.
I would also respectfuilly express the hope that a liberal indulgence will be shown
to those errors, which we may have committed ; and that due allowance w ill be made
for the failure of a first attempt to execute a duty, not free from some difficulties,
which, perhaps, could neither be foreseen, nor provided against.
It is due to my colleague to state, that he had turned his attention to the forma-
tion of a plan for conducting, and recording, the examinations of the apprentices
before I had ; but as he showed me the schedules which lie had prepared, only on
the morning when we had to begin our examinations, I had not time to give them
the consideration which I afterwards did. I therefore yielded to his plan, although
I did not exactly understand the use of some of the columns; for instance, that
headed Admitted into Church," as there was already a column for those baptized.
This form of schedules is seen in p. 60o of the Schedules, and in that form tilhe
greatest number of examinations were taken. It is distinctly stated by my colleague,
in the Minutes of 6th November 1822, That he at first put the questions to the
" apprentices, anti took down their answers, in a schedule of a similar form to that
"' of the secretary, at the same time generally dictating to Mr. Br-row (in the pre-
sence of' MAjor Moody) the precise word.; of the apprenticee"
115. K Those
70 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N" 3. Those schedules so taken by my colleague he took away with him, as private
AJOH MOiODYv' papers belonging to himself, and the schedules. now submitted, are copied from those
of the secretary, filled up, as explained by muy colleague ; but 1 do not admit,
that the precise words of the parties were always given, inasmuch as matter was often
omitted which had been said by the parties.
I found it afterwards necessary to point out to my colleague, that, under his mode
of examination, evidence was occaioinally collected under an excitement, which
influenced the character of the evidence. On receipt of my observation, recorded in
the Schedules, pp. 131, 132 and i33, on the I 2th June 1822, my colleague, instead of
affording any explanation whatever to me, withdrew immediately from the duties of
the commission, and returned to England. After this retirement of my colleague.
I took between eighty and ninety examinations, in the form which will be seen in the
Schedules, beginning at p. 82, where it is said only one of the Commissioners pre-
sided. When my colleague returned to the commission, a new form was received
for our guidance, and, under it, the remaining few examinations were taken. This
form is seeu in the. Schiedules, p. SS and N" 44, among the Afriicans captured
on board the Manuella, The first apprentice examined under it was Anganobi
William, who appeared for the first time on 31st October 1822.
On the 24th January 1 823, my colleague had William again produced. It will
be seen in the schedules, that in answer to a question respecting clothing, the appren-
tice said, at the examination in January 1823, that he had only one pair of trousers,
and a checked shirt from his master during the year. Now, as the apprentice in
October I S22 had said, that he was very sorry his master was dead, for his master
was fond of him," &c. it appeared to me singular, that on this second examination, he
should give such an account of his master's conduct towards him, as regarded cloth-
ing. I therefore proceeded to put other questions, to satisfy myself that the appren-
tice was speaking the truth, when my colleague was pleased to interrupt me, in the
mannuier I have mentioned in the Schedules, by telling the apprentice "not to answer,"
afterwards alleging that my question was a leading one.
This circumstance will show your Lordship the tone of mind under which exami-
nations were made, even under the new form, which we were directed to adopt.
Another consideration, arising from the necessities of masters and mistresses,
ought to be stated. AMany persons had. the labour of these apprentices without
wages, or the payment of those colonial taxes, which would have been demanded of
them, if their servants lIA been slaves. Such indigent masters and mistresses felt
that the services of these apprentices not only diminished their domestic toil, but
afforded a small gain, by sometimes commuting the services of the apprentices for
a pecuniary reward, which, however small, was a great object for masters and mis-
tresses in poverty to receive from apprentices, whose instruction had generally
cost them nothing. In such cases, a character flattering to the apprentice was
calculated, to confirm the claim to the services of the servant; so that when an
apprentice is described as a good cook, good washerwoman, or good domestic, it is
requisite to consider the situation of the person who thus speaks of -the apprentice;
for a person may be considered as a good cook by a master or mistress, whose
poverty prevented their having a variety of fare, and yet such a cook would be
incompetent to the duties of one in the kitchen of a person whose circumstances
would enable him to hire a competent cook. An apprentice, therefore, with the
character of a good cook, or good domestic, or good washerwomuan, in the opinion
of the person giving the character, may be unable to find employment when wages
are to be given. Such a cousideratioin would deeply affect the subsistence of appren-
tices (particularly those who did not labour in agriculture) in a colony as poor as
The poverty of the master or mistress was injurious both to them, and to the servant.
The latter, as a domestic, could not learn to perform those duties which gave a value
to his labour when free ; and the indigent masters or mistresses were less inclined
to exert themselves, when they had so cheap a class of servants to labour for theri, in
ia-climate-which renders toil peculiarly irksome.
On, the- other hand, the richer persons in the community would not be troubled
with the apprentices, even without-wages ; so that in stating the evil, it is fair to show
that the collector, in many- cases, had little choice as to masters and mistresses.
A tse in detail, however, will perhaps best explain the nature of the incouvr- N" 3.
nienCe; ,rfnd I shall select the best master, in tolerably good circumstances, and an lAJOR MOODY's
excellent servant, whose examination is found in the Schedules, p. 28 and 29. REPORT.
John Sano was exanmned under the first form of the schedule by my colleague
and me. His master, Mr. Belisario, gave him the following character: A very
good house servant." He had served his apprenticeship, and was now altogether
free. He had been hired at eight dollars a month on board a small schooner. Such
an account certainly was most favourable; and it seemed to be a reasonable and just
inference, that in John Sano a valuable member had been added to the colonial
community of Tortola. Our residence in that island enabled us to see the result as
to John Sana, who never forfeited his good character.
John was not a seaman, and his hire at eight dollars a month was merely an acci-
dental occurrence. His master, who had valued. John's services at four dollars
a -month, with clothing and maintenance, can now only qaford to give him two
dollars a month, yet still has the same opinion of his character. Should any
thing deprive him of this good master,' it is not probable that John could get the
same wages, low as they are, from any other person in Tortola.
In this case, we see the erroneous idea which was given of tile value of John Sano's
labour in the first examination, when his services were represented as obtaining eight
dollars a month. As this case was the most favourable, it is needless to adduce others
in less favourable circumstances.
As a domestic, government cannot much promote the welfare of John Sano ; but
as an agriculturalist, he could be provided for immediately ; a consideration which
shows the propriety of keeping in view the employment of the apprentices in such
kind of industry as would enable government, under any circumstances, to provide
for them, in a manner useful to the apprentices themselves, and the colonies in which
they were placed. In forming an opinion as to the future fate of John Sano, it
would be difficult to say any thing more positive, than the probability of a person,
with so good a character, getting employment as long as he is able to work;. but
should an accident happen to him, as actually did, when he broke his arm, his
only resource must be to that charity, which he has already experienced, on the part
of his master, when he was unable to support himself.
Would beg to submit another case, where the party had never been indented, but
was deemed capable of taking care of herself at the period of condemnation. In
the Schedules, p, 332, is the examination of Cottrine, taken before me, when my
colleague was in England ; and therefore the defects therein ought not to be, in
any manner, imputed to his system, but to mine.
Cottrine, according to her own evidence, (for she having no master or mistress,
I had no other), appears to have formed a connection with a slave named Daniel
Bruce, whose ground she cultivated for subsistence, and occasionally worked in
cutting wood for fuel; and it appeared by working hard, according to her own idea,
she could earn two dollars a week to ty -clothes, &c. She had -a house to. live in,
free of rent, and without any taxes to -pay. Such f person may perhaps be con-
sidered a useful member of the colonial fhnily, although her productive industry
did not raise articles having an exchangeable value ini the parent state. At any
rate I had reason to think, she was well provided for, so far as her own welfare was
Before I left Tortola, Cottrine sent for me to see her : I found her in a state of
great distress, her collar bone having been broken by the free coloured man Sharpe,
with whom she ]lad formerly lived. All that I could do, as a magistrate, was to
issue a warrant for the apprehension of Sharpe, in which the president of the colony
joined me, and every thing in his power was done to apprehend Shlarpe, bhilt without
effect, when I left the colony, as it was too poor to support an efficient police. Had
it not been for the benevolent and professional assistance of Dr. Ross, with the aid
of other persons, poor Cottrine must have perished, as the colony was altogether
unable to provide for her in the state of destitution in which she then was, when,
to use her own words, She had not a black dog to bless herself with." A black
Sog is a small coin.
It is this general want of care for any thing beyond mere subsistence, (which is
easily obtained,) and very ordinary comforts, that keeps the free labouring classes
S115. K 2 in
72 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N 3- in Tortola; when they have not slaves of their own, in such a state of poverty, that
MAJOR O DY their scale oft comforts do not generally exceed those of'the better class of slaves.
The. labouring classes when free, after having secured a moderate subsistence, ap-
peared, in that climate, almost universally, to prefer the luxury of repose to any
other luxury, which required for its attainment steady personal exertion in agri-
When an unforeseen calamity therefore falls on such persons as Cottrine, they
must perish, unless private charity relieves them ; but tlli.s cannot always be depended
upon, in a country so poor as Tortola is.
That these cases are correctly stated, may be inferred from the particulars as to
John Sano being collected in the presence of my colleague when in the island, and
of Governor 1Maxwell afterwards. The circumstances relative to Cottrile were
collected in the presence of the secretary, and afterwards in that of President Porter;
and on the arrival of our successors, I pointed out the house where Cottrine was,
with her collar bone broken, but circumstances prevented my pressing her destitute
situation upon their consideration. If these circumstances be correctly stated, so
far as so few cases can add weight to all my other observations, perhaps it is not
unreasonable to infer, that these two last cases tend to show, that the information,
collected in the first instance would have led to erroneous inferences as to the
future prospects of the individuals in Tortola. It is not however fair to infer,
that similar casualties in broken limbs, are to attend all the other liberated A fricans,
but they show the probable fate of those when old age, or other infirmities, may
assail them, like the casualties referred to.
To show how differently my colleague and. I drew inferences from the results of
evidence concerning the same apprentices, I shall select two other cases, wherein
both the persons are now free. The first is that of Hull, an apprentice who was
examined before my colleague and myself, and the examination is given in the
Schedules, p. 40 and 41.
In the Report of my colleague respecting Hull, he has introduced some informa-
tio4 of which I was not informed by him, when he procured it in Tortola. This
circumstance will naturally call for some observations on my part, when I state the
opposite inferences drawn by my colleague, and myself, from the statement of Hull's
There was no person but Hull himself, from whom my colleague and Ijointly
received any information. The free coloured woman Janet Heyliger would not
attend the summons of the Commissioners. This woman it was thought could have
given us information, as she had been the kept mistress of Mr. 1M'Inrot, who had
been. the clerk of my colleague, when navy agent in Tortola, and when Hull and
others, being sickly, were placed by him with this Mr. M'Inrot. The next master
whom Hull had was Mr. Dix, but lie was dead.
Hull's statement as to his industry, and means of subsistence, was to this effect:
He had learned the trade of a cooper, was. two years employed in town, and seven
years on Big Carrot Bay estate. At the time of examination he stood with himself,
or was his own master: he works a little ground to maintain himself;-it is King's
ground at the Tower west end. He never put up a house upon it;-the size of
( the ground le cultivates is as big .as this whole house, seventeen yards by thirteen
yards," (nearly one twenty-second part of an English acre); he planted potatoes
and cassada, from that space of ground he got as much vegetables as supplied him
during the year, assisted by cutting wood for the people burning lime-kilns, for
which he was paid, when employed, a quarter dollar per day; when he has nothing
to do, he goes to the Seine with the people, who own it, and receives a share of
( the fish for his labour. Does not work as a cooper, there being no work." On
further investigation however it turned out, he never offered himself to any body
as a cooper; this time so poor you no get nothing to work,"-meaning the poverty
of the colony was then so great, that he could not get any employment or hire. Does
not know how many days in the year he gets hire for cutting wood, does not
." recollect how many quarter dollars he gets Ior the year, or month. Since the
gale (1819) two persons one him five dollars each for cutting wood for about
a month. Could give no account of the time devoted to his different services';
sometimes works two days in the week in the ground ; sometimes gets.two days
hire in the same week, and sometimes he walks about doing. nothing, in search
CAPTURED NEGROES. 73
".f hire. He has no house of' his own, but lives in an out-house of Father Mial, N* 3.
for which he pays 110 rent, but gives occasional assistance in labour. That when MAJOR MOopY's
he is sick, Father Mial's wife gives him a little hot water, and victualst a little REPOHT.
flour and potatoes. Sometimes he buys four suits of clothes in the year;" by
which lie meant four checked shirts and four Osnaburgh trousers. He said, he
fi could maintain himself, but has no money now at home ;" refused to go to Trini-
dad, on condition of having a house and three acres of land, for which lie would
have to pay ten dollars a year rent, and his labour wold be for. his own advantage;
and he stated he never heard of that proposal before. Has a wife to whom he is
married, and by whom he has two children; his wife is named Hannah, and she and
the childreia belong to Great Carrot Bay estate; has no other connections.
To this statement, my colleague adds further information from the correspondence
of the late Lieut.-General Sir James Leith, with which I had furnished him, as at
the time I was aid-de-camp, and secretary to that officer. That account I have
reason to believe is correctly given by my colleague ; but some parts of the state-
ment made by Sir James Leith were found afterwards to be very erroneous froim the
defective information given to him in Tortola. My colleague then states, That
" by the most undoubted proof produced to him, it appears the following charges
were made by Al r. Dix against Carrot Bay estate, belonging to the Rev. Mr.
Wynne, for the hire of the two apprentices, Hull and Portsmouth ; viz.
For hire of Hull, a cooper, from 1st July 1811 to
31st December 18 14, is 1,279 days, at 8 s. 3 d. 529. ."
per day J
which 1 presume is in Tortola currency, but I have no means of information, as
nmy colleague never brought this statement to my knowledge or consideration,
otherwise I should have made many iniportant inquiries, to ascertain, from comn-
petent judges, whether the services of Hull were worth such wages ; and if so, how
it happened that the same person could not, according to his own account, get any
employment as a cooper, when he was a free man, working for himself, and no one
to control him. I should have inquired into those circumstances, by which all
individual, now free, in good health, and only forty-five years of age, who during
three and a half years, under the coercion of a slave, could work for 529/. for
a inaster, whilst, when free to work for himself, he was in such a state of destitution
as to have no money, no hut even, his agricultural industry limited to the cultiva-
tion of about one twenty-second part of an English acre, and for which he neithei-
paid rent, nor tax; that even when sick, lie depended on the aid of benevolence
for a little hot water and victuals, a little tour and potatoes ;" nay even living
in the out-house of another poor person ; his wife and child1ien, being slaves, were
supported by their owner. It is to be regretted that my colleague did not enable
me to pursue those inquiries, that we might together have reported thereon for your
Lordship's information. Facts like these are of the utmost importance, when fairly
stated so that your Lordship could discern clearly the operation of cause and effect.
Such investigations, it was my desire to enter upon, and examine all the circum-
stances of the case, instead of giving only those partial statements, with which my
colleague contented himself, perhaps from his want of experience in the control of
My colleague goes on to state that Hull's case was the more hard, as "lie had
" a wife and three children to suLIpport." It does indeed appear hard, if his master
received upwards of 150 i. per annum for Hull's labour, and gave him no part of it;
but I am ignorant on what authority this statement is made. The fact of Hull
supporting a wife and three children at the time, seems to be an assertion which is
not confirmed by the information of Hull himself, when the secretary and I were
present at the examination, as well as my colleague. Hull then said he had a wife
and two children, who were slaves on Great Carrot Bay estate, as may be seen.in
the Schedules. There is no reason whatever to believe that the proprietor of that
estate does not feed, clothe, and support the wife and children of Hull.
ly colleague then proceeds to state respecting Hull, that Hlaring built himself
" a house and settled at Tortola, lie prefers remaining there, wbrking at his trade,
" when he can obtain employ/menl, and at other times cultivating a small portion of
" ground, and occasionally fishing, to going to Trinidad or elsewhere."
Your Lordship will perceive that it is impossible for me satisfactorily to prove a
negative, when unfortuiIttelvy my colleague and I differ on a matter of fact. I can
115. -K I merely
74 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
merely say that Hull did not express himself in the mnaner.asserted, when examined
before tihe Commissioners and the secretary. At that time Hull said, that he had
ic no house ofhis oci'n." He had a piece of land, about the twenty-second part of an
acre, and he said distinctly he never put up a house upon it." Again lie says,
" he lives in an out-house of Father .11i1i/, for which lie pays no rent, but gives
" occasional assistance in labour." On what evidence my colleague asserts Hull's
" having built himself a house," as a reason for his not going to Trinidad, I am
altogether ignorant. But of' this I am positive, the person never assigned such a
reason, when he was officially examined before both Commissioners and the secretary;
nor did lie assign as a reason, his preference to work at his trade in Tortola; for
he distinctly said, he did not work as a cooper, there being no work." Oin being
further examined, it appeared however that lie never oqfi'red himse(lfto any body
"& as a cooper." Here your Lordship may perhaps perceive the effect of' a bias
upon the mind of my colleague in stating facts even, when free labour was con-
cerned ; and perhaps also his want of experience in the control of labour, led him
into mistakes, into which, any Coniinissioner, so situated, may unintentionally fall.
In another part of the Report of my colleague, he again produces the two cases
on ivhichl I have to temark, and of which this of Hull is one, as the proof afforded
" of tlie industry and considerable productive nature of the services of some of these
" Africans." Of Hull then he again repeats, The attachment of Hull to the house
" he has erected on government ground, and the cultivation of the ground tiround
t his house, give evident proofs that Africans %will apply themselves to agricultural
" purposes, fur Hull remains in a poor colony, attached-to the small spot he cultivates,
" availing himself also of the advantages of his own trade, and knowledge in fishing."
By referring to the Schedules, p. 40, from the evidence of Hull himself, it
will be seen, when lie was free, that he had not erected any house on the land,
which he cultivated in potatoes and cassada ; that its extent was only about the
twenty-secoud part of an acre; that he did not avail himsncf' of the advantage of
his trade as a cooper ; and his knowledge in fishing consisted chiefly in assisting to
draw the Seine.
To give an idea of the agricultural industry of Hull, with reference to that of
an English labourer, I beg to state, that on the Schoose farm, belonging to J. C.
Curwen, esq. Member of Parliament for Cumberland, a main, in one day of ten
-louris work, will trench forty-nine square yards in strong clay, 'fifteen inches deep.
The ground cultivated by Hull was represented to be about equal to a space measur-
ing seventeen by thirteen yards, or 221 square yards, equal to about four days and
a half labour, even if it had been trenched as deep as fifteen inches. If the time
should be doubled for weeding, and gathering the crop, the agricultural industry
of Hull would be represented-y nine days in the year, with reference to an English
labourer. If this were doubled, tripled, or quadrupled, the result would still show
the extraordinary anomaly of a negro being industrious, or at least exercising a fair
share of exertion for his master under coercion, and when liberated from it, and
enabled to raise for himself increased comfort%, suitable to his state of society, yet
when these are to be obtained by increased -exertions, the advantages held out are
found, in practice, not to be sufficient to excite a greater degree of' exertion, than
is required to provide those necessaries of life, which, in that cliniate, appear to be
obtained with little labour. The conflict in this case of Hull, for example, seems
to be between the enjoyment of the pleasure of repose, or indolence, and the plea-
sure of increased comforts, or enjoyuments of any kiud, to be obtained by labour;
and that the pleasure of repose, in a warnim imate, appears to be greater than any
other stimulus, hitherto tried, that is not of the direct and positive nature of coer-
cion. Yet it is from the circumstances collected by my colleague, respecting the
industry of Hull, that he draws an argument in favour of the efficiency of free'
labour in the agriculture of the West Indies. I think a stronger proof could not
be afforded of the caution that ought to be observed, in receiving evidence on this
subject, from men whose minds are under a bias, and ignorant of thepractical effects
of human labour applied to particular services, unless the most minute details are
1T'do; my Lord, sincerely regret being obliged to expose the statements of my
colleague on the value of the agricultural labour of the free negroes in Tortola;
every wish of mny heart leads me to desire, that the facts were otherwise than they
are on this important sAjectv on which so such misrepresentation has been given
CAPTURED NEGROES. 75
to the world. I confess, my Lord, that until I had practical experience in the N" 3.
control of free and slave labour in the West Indies, and had examined the question MAJOR MOODY's
with more care, I also entertained opinions, as far from the truth, as those of my REPORT.
The other case is that of Boatswain, alias Portsmouth. Of this individual the
Schedules, p. 46, state that he was at first placed with Mr. I'Ilnrot, a clerk a that
time to my colleague, as appeared by a receipt given to him as agent, to the captors.
He was found, under peculiarly unfavourable circumstances with MIr. Dix, and
removed from him by the late Lieut.-General Sir James Leith, and sent in April
1815 as a pioneer to Antigua, according to a statement made by me, and the
affidavit of Jennet Heyliger, a free coloured woman, who had lived with Mr.
1M'Inrot. Of this person (Boatswain) my colleague also gives a further account, from
information communicated to him by me, obtained when I was aid-de-camp and pri-
vate secretary to Sir James Leith.
To that account my colleague adds, as in the case of Hull, that by the most
undoubted proof produced to him, it appeared that the following charges were made
against Carrot Bay estate, belonging to the Reverend Mr. Wynne, for the hire of
'* Portsmouth," which was another name by which Boatswain was known, or rather,
it is most probable, the man himself pronounced the word Portsmouth in that im-
perfect manner, which induced Sir James to believe that- the man meant Boat-
swain." The charge was-
For hire of Portsmouth, a field negro, from ist July 1 i
1811 to 3tst December 1814, at 3s. per day f .o. 175.
I presume the money to be in Tortola currency. I have only to refer to my
remarks on the case of a similar charge for the labour of Hull, and that my colleague
never communicated to me in Tortola the information lie had received, to enable
me also to be satisfied of' its accuracy, and to pursue other inquiries, which would
have immediately suggested themselves to a. person acquainted with labour, employed
in tropical agriculture, but which do not appear to have occurred to my colleague.
In another part of the Report of my colleague, where lie wishes to disprove the
assertions of the Council and Assembly of the Virgin Islands, as to their opinion
of the agricultural industry of the free Africans, he states,-" There appears to be
some discrepancy between the foregoing petition, and the proof afforded by the
industry and considerable productive nature of' the services of some of these
Africans. Mr. Dix, who practically experienced the value of these persons labour,
the steady pursuit of Boatswain or Portsmouth to agricultural labour for 1,279
days, could not have acquiesced in this petition."
The fact thus produced by my colleague to refute the allegations of the petition,
was, as I have already said, not submitted for my further. inquiries when in Tortola,
and therefore I can neither confirm nor confute it, being ignorant upon what autho-
rity the assertion is made; and, if true, under what circumstances the charge against
Mr. I 'Wynne's estate was justified by Mr. Dix; for it does not appear that Ports-
mouth's labour was thus rated by Mr. Dix in his own service, but in that of Mr.
Wynne, whose estate paid the money to 'Mr. Dix, the agent for Mr. Wynne, so
that the latter gentleman had no person to control the charge.
It is, however, no argument against the prevalent opinion noticed in the petition,
respecting the dislike of negroes, when free from control, to labour voluntarily and
steadily in West-India agriculture, beyond what the uecessaries of life require.
According to the evidence of Lieutenant-General Sir James Leith, as quoted by my
colleague, it appears that Boatswain, or Portsmouth. was employed as a slave in
" cultivating the ground with the rest of the gang." This poor creature's labour
therefore was as eflectually coerced as if he had been a slave ; and the value of his
industry, under such coercion, is no proof whatever that the same degree of industry
would be exerted by Portsmouth when free from coercion. To have served the
argument of my colleague, the value of his voluntary labour ought to have been
ascertained afterwards, and when Portsmouth worked solely for his own benefit.
This my colleague has not done. I was aid-de-camp and private secretary to the
commander of the forces when Boatswain, alias Portsmouth, was sent to Antigua,
and stationed at Shirley Heights, as a pioneer to the 4th West-India regiment, then
115. K 4 It
76 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N" 3- It is painful to repeat the history of the poor creature. He robbed the larder of
MAJUR oo00\- a the commandant, though Boatswain had the ration and pay of a pioneer. For this
b_ he was tried and punished. He afterwards broke into the commissariat store at
night, and robbed it ; being detected, lie was again tried and punished ;. and Sir
James was at length obliged to reduce him, and turn himii over to the lowest class of
military laborers. The cause of this conduct probably was, as Sir James Leith
supposed, the want of moral instruction ;" and therefore in his letter to your
Lordship he said, Boatswain was not likely to become a useful member of society,"
and which indeed was verified.
Yet this person is held out an example of agricultural industry, to refute the alle-
gations of the Council and Assembly of the Virgin Islands, stated tbus :-" Could
your petitioners indulge a reasonable hope that these persons at the expiration of
their indentures would apply themselves to agricultural purposes, your petitioners
would have less cause to regret their introduction ; but experience warrants an
opposite conclusion. Few would thus apply their labour, as they prefer a preca-
rious subsistence, obtained by casual employment, to that regular industry which
is requisite for the cultivation of the soil." I am truly sorry that the allegations
of the legislature should be such ; but,,however much to be regretted, I dare not
conceal the painful truth from your Lordship, that I believe there is reason for the
In observing such contrary inferences drawn by my colleague and myself from
statements relative to the same persons, your Lordship must perceive, that one, or
other of us, is under the influence of some powerful bias, and delusion, so as to warp
the judgment. For my own part, I am free to confess that my judgment may err
in drawing a correct inference; but, as I have already stated, if I err in the state-
nient of a fact to your Lordship, I should deserve the highest possible disgrace,
for it must be with an intention to deceive.
I do not, however, wish that the same principle should be applied to my colleague,
because I believe his judgment on the subject of the comparative value of free labour
in West-India agriculture to be under that bias, the power of which I know to be
very great, from having been at one time under its influence myself; and even now,
it is really my ardent wish, that those opinions which I have ascertained to be erro-
neous, were not so.
I believe my colleague to be under the strong influence of certain religious opi-
nions, which I respect. I believe him to be truly desirous to promote the happiness
and welffire of the African race of men, and my own wishes are not the less
lively or sincere, though I feel also for the happiness and welfare of our fellow-
countrymen, living in the same colonies with them, and possessing the chief part
of the wealth of the country, in land, buildings, and machinery, solely dependent
for their value on thie labour of slaves; because men as free as Englishmen, it is
greatly to be feared, would not, in that climate, cultivate the soil for wages that
would be profitable to both the proprietor and the labourer from causes altogether
of a physical nature, and therefore not likely to be effectually removed by mere
The.general opinion of the dislike of free negroes to agricultural labour, in tilhe
West Indies, seems a barrier against measures intended to benefit the African race,
and hence, as I believe, the strong wish of my colleague to destroy the impression of
the truth of the fact, and by frequently dwelling on the same subject, associated
perhaps with a sense of religious duty, he has attained that frame of mind, which
induced him to make such assertions, as I really believe him incapable of making in
In some religious men we often see the strong power of intellectual associations
opposing rational deductions,.ffrom the force of feelings, in engrossing and concen-
trating the attention on certain objects, and, by a necessary consequence, withdrawing
it, from other important considerations ; thus excluding sober and rational views,
whilst in the mind, facts, and the inferences from facts, become so blended together,
as to destroy all logical connection between cause and effect.
By some such process of reasoning, my colleague has drawn those extraordinary
inferences from the facts submitted, which I have felt it my painful duty to confute.
Another circumstance, affecting the character of the evidence collected by tihe
commission, arises from the imputations made against my colleague, of secretly and
CAPTURED NEGROES. 77
pr'irate/y examining some of the captured negroes previous to their public examina-
tion by the commission, in an official manner, in the presence of the secretary and N M
the other Commissioner. The charge is distinctly made in the case of Jem in the "ASopnOR1r
Schedules, pp. 57, 58 & 59, supported by affidavits, which I could not refuse to ----'
receive from a person who thought himself' aggrieved ; but as the health of my col-
league did not permit him to afford any explanation of the transaction, I shall not
press it further than this notice thereof.
To show how far inferences can safely be drawn from the facts thus collected,
I beg leave also to submit a few cases of Africans who are still apprentices. I have
indeed heard an apprentice (Ann Cumberland) speak of her mistress (Joan
Sheen, f. c. w.) in terms of the greatest gratitude, saying that the mistress had been
as a mother to the apprentice; and yet in a few days afterwards the same apprentice
complained of the same mistress, declaring it was impossible for her (the apprentice)
to remain longer with such a mistress.
I prefer however, in the cases which I shall select for details, to give those where
witnesses may be referred to, as to the correctness of the statements as far as they
know. The witnesses in the first case were the Wesleyan missionaries, Messrs.
Gilgrass and Felvus.
Daniel Onabou, recorded in the Schedules for the ship Atrevido, N' 13, p. 244,
was examined by my colleague and myself, according to the form and manner
adopted at first.
The account of Daniel, as given by his master, a free black man, was as follows :
-" He has had tilhe apprentice about fourteen months, and is teaching him the
trade of a carpenter; and that he can adze, saw, and jack a board; that the
apprentice is honest and industrious; that lie was married to Phoebe, apprentice
to Alexander Stephens, and that both attended the missionaries."
This account appears to be very satisfactory, and the fair inference to be drawn
might be, that Daniel, when free, would be a valuable addition.t8 the colonial com-
munity. Before I left Tortola, however, Phoebe, the wife of Daniel, came to me as
a magistrate, complaining of Daniel having broken her nose with a stick, and having
cut her head in several places. Her person and bloody garments proving that the
act of violence had been committed. She was a woman of good character, and her
master a respectable and industrious free black man, who was the chief butcher in
the town. It was further proved by evidence produced, that Daniel had thus
treated her because she did not give him money to buy clothes and victuals as the
wives of the other African apprentices did."
As Daniel and his wife attended on the instruction of the missionaries, I requested
their attendance, and Daniel admitted before them the charges preferred against
him. On afterwards asking the man, who had previously given so good a character of
Daniel to my colleague and myself, why lie had then done so, he could give no reason
for his conduct, except the amiable feeling of disliking to speak ill of the apprentice,
as we would not like it.
To have bound Daniel over to keep the peace would have been to consign him
to prison, at the expense of the Treasury, as lie was now without any master; and
as I had no power to order any punishment, the missionaries assisted me in pointing
out the enormity of his conduct, after which we effected a reconciliation, which I was
sorry to learn did not last so long, as I had hoped it would have done.
Your Lordship will perceive that the fair inference from the first account of
Daniel would have been incorrect, and that accident alone brought me to the know-
ledge of other acts, which destroyed the justice of the first inference. From such
considerations I would respectfully submit, that the mode adopted by my colleague
and myself in collecting individual characters, as in the Schedules, does not suf-
ficiently develop the principles on which the general character of a class of indivi-
duals is to be formed, preparatory to the formation of plans for their future govern-
ment, when free from the restraint of masters or mistresses, and in a community
composed like that of the West Indies.
In the vi.ilence of D)aniel to his wife, and the reasons assigned for it, we see a trait
of character entirely overlooked in the collection of individual characters in the
Schedules. but of which I was a frequent eye-witness in Tortola, and indeed in
many other county ie,. during my intercourse for many vr-ns with people in a back-
j13. L ward
-78 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N .3. ward state of knowledge and civilization; for I have generally found the males
MAJOR MOuDYsr exercising their power over the females in an unjust and arbitrary manner, whilst
SHEPOJiT, I have always found the industry of the females more steady, and constant than that
of the males, when free, and in an uncivilized state of society.
The next case is one in which my colleague was no way concerned, and for the
defects no person is answerable but miyeltf. The evidence corroborative of my state-
ment is the inquest of the coroner.
Penelope Whaii, recorded in the Schedules for the ship Candelario, No 156,
p. 230, wai examined by me, when my colleague was in England. The character of
her as given to me, and recorded, is, that she is a remarkably well-behaved and well-
conducted person ;" she was married, and in society as a Methodist. She did
nothing foi her master, Mr. D. Fraser, who had placed her with a 'woman to learn
Every thing really appeared to me to be very satisfactory, yet this person, before
I left Tortola, stood charged, on the affidavit of a free black woman, and on th e
coroner's inquest, with whipping a slave, afflicted with the yaws, for committing
a theft upon her, in consequence of which punishment the slave died.
Accidt ntally, therefore, we have another trait of character, which I have observed
to be general among persons in her state of society, exhibiting a greater disposition
to commit acts of violence, under sudden impulses, than can be easily conceived by
those who judge of human nature by what is observed in England. Yet this dis-
position requires to be carefully considered in any plan adopted for the government
of such persons, when released from the control of masters and mistresses, who
had exercised over them a kind of magisterial, but preventive superintendenice,
which I fear could never be accomplished by mere legal enactments in colonies too
poor to support an efficient police.
In the case of Penelope, we have a person, in society as a Methodist, and there-
fore well instrude'd in her religious duties, so far giving way to her passions, as to do
an act which places her as a criminal, charged with committing a serious crime,
whilst a few months before the same person appeared to me, and I had recorded my
impression for your Lordship's information, that she was a remarkably well-
behaved and well-conducted person."
I know that it was my sole and anxious study not to deceive your Lordship in any
respect; yet, hlad not accident prevented it, I should have unintentionally, but
effectually deceived your Lordship for practical purposes, had the individual cha-
racter of Penelope been the foundation of' regulations for her future government.
I have deemed it of importance to submit to your Lordship these considera-
tions, as to the mode in which information has been collected, on which perhaps
measures of great consequence may be founded ; and as I conceive it my bounden
duty neither to deceive your Lordship, nor to sanction the attempt in others, I hope
I shall be pardoned for what perhaps may be considered a digression, previous to
my-reporting on the character of the apprentices, and other captured negroes, with
reference to their moral conduct and attainments, as well as to their habits of steady
It will be seen, my Lord, that the collection of individual characters, obtained
in the manner that these were, does not afford the most satisfactory data on
which a plan for their future government could be founded. And I am obliged to
confess, that the plan which we were ordered to adopt, of separately examining
the parties concerned as to character, was not attended with any advantages for
the removal of the defects which I have stated ; whilst that plan of examination niore
particularly required perfect local knowledge, as well as freedom from bias, in those
appointed to conduct examinations taken so privately ; qualifications which few
persons can be found to possess together.
Whether my colleague felt as I did, I am unable to state; but it appears that
we both had recourse to extrinsic aid : the only difference was in the mode of
obtaining the information we required, and. the persons to whom we addressed
My colleague, it appears, had privately addressed himself to the Methodist mis-
sionaries for the information he wished to obtain, but no part of these communica-
CAPTURED NEGROES. 79
tons ever appeared at thie office of the cufialission in any manner, and their N 3.
existence was kept a profound secret both from the secretary and myself. MAJORn MooDf'
On the other hand, I addressed myself officially, and on His Majesty's service, .
to the chief missionary, who readily furnished me with the information I-required;
and the information so received was, considered by me, and the secretary as public
papers, and are given entire. My colleague has given extracts only from the private
information which lie received ; and I regret that, from neither my colleague nor
the missionaries, did I ever learn any thing whatever respecting these communica-
tions, when I was in Tortola. It will also be seen, that, in an official manner, I ad-
dressed myself to the most intelligent and enlightened part of the community, who
had no African apprentices in their services; as, whatever their private opinions
might be, I was able to form my own, after every allowance where prejudice was
apparent; and their answers, entire, are submitted in the Schedules from p. 344 to
351, for your Lordship's information, under the considerations which you may think
proper to use in examining them. My colleague it appears did not address him-
self to the latter class of' persons. If the reason assigned by him for this omission
has force, all the information collected in the Schedules must be considered as pro-
ceeding from personally interested individuals, because they had apprentices. These
few to whom I addressed myself, towards the end of the commission, had no appren-
tices; but even they, in his opinion, are not to be considered as perfectly disin-
If such reasoning be fair and just, the only information on which we can safely
rely for the character of the liberated Africans, is that given privately to my col-
league by the Methodist missionaries, of which extracts are by my colleague sub-
mitted for your Lordship's information. The testimony of no other person is given
by my colleague, although he says, I applied to persons, who, having had oppor-
tunities of ascertainining their character, were at the same time totally unconnected
with either masters or apprentices, and interested only in the moral welfare of both."
These were principally the Wesleyan missionaries." And it is deeply to be
regretted, that my colleague has omitted to lay before your Lordship the information
thus received from the other persons, besides the Wesleyan missionaries, as, per-
haps, that of the rector of the parish, a pious and excellent person, might have
been one to whom he refers.
Although the rector did not pretend to any practical knowledge of the indus-
trious habits of the liberated Africans, yet as a clergyman of the Church of England,
living in the same parish with them, he was free from that bias on the minds of the
missionaries, who partook of the feelings and opinions of the individuals in England,
on whom they depended 'or salary and protection; but who, without practical and
adequate means of judging, may have deemed themselves quLIalified to express their
opinions strongly upon those West-India questions, whose final decision almost
depended on the opinion, which should be believed in England, as to the compa,
rative merits of free and slave labour in the West Indies.
I am well aware that if the missionaries had produced any facts which could
admit of the tfilleest inves;iati on in support of their opinion, that the bias on their
minds, and that of the per.onis on whom they depended for support and protection,
would not have been of any consequence ;lhtfer ; but in the liit're expression of
opinions on matters aniectiug the industry of the liberated negrues, a clergyman of
the Church of England, who could not be removed at the will of the general body
of any missionary society in England, perhaps would be considered as an evidence
less objectionable than the missionaries.
I trust therefore that the evidence which I have collected, as to the character of
the liberated Africans for steady industry, hereafter to be given, however defective
in other respects, will be considered as disinterested, at least, as that privately
collected by my colleague.
I lctieni it proper however to add, that I earnestly hope not one word, which I
have written, can ever be wrested to showv that I thought unfavourably of the WVes-
Ieyan mis'.iiio'riiea whom I found at Tortola. I honestly believe them to be &Zailous,
sincere. .;::I iutdlli-ent teachers of' the doctrines they profess, ; and in priv.ite 1i6e
they appaarei tf : e to m b to be amiable and worthy persons. AlMreT1er, I c ile-.r that
tir most of the illi inmprovemelnt which the liberated Afris have i.ceivn, t hey
are indtbte'd to tihe' e\< ellent pe i.
SO II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
If I am asked, why these persons are not more capable than those objected to by
my colleague, to form a just opinion as to the mechanical and agricultural industry
of the liberated Africans? I would say, that the missionaries lhad no personal expe-
rience in directing, and controlling the mechanical labour of persons situated like the
liberated Africans, and still less their employment in agricultural industry; and evi-
dence on these points being evidence to mechanical facts, of which they were not well
informed, their evidence, to that L'stent, must need be deficient on the very point upon
which the question turns; and it will be seen, that they do not give specific and detailed
fact as evidence, so as to admit of being verified by a further examination, to sLow the
connection between cause and effect. They give mere opinions. On the other hand
their duties as teachers, and that frequently in the evening, would sometimes require
their urging the niore frequent attendance of the tardy or negligent African, in
whose moral welfare they felt a sincere interest, and the excuse, from the infirmity
of human nature, might often be imputed to labours imposed by masters and mis-
tresses, which impeded their attendance, and no doubt it was often true ; but the
practical effect must be, a feeling that the labour, imposed on the attendant was too
much, when it impeded the great work on which they were sent. Under such
every-day occurrences and excitements, they must have been more or less than men
if their minds received no bias, which would affect the statement of mere opinions,
although it might not affect the accurate statement of positive and detailed facts.
On points of detailed acts the missionaries would have my ready credence, if per-
mitted fully to examine them ; but on their mere opinions I should not rely so much,
as on other testimony, supported by facts. I have only to add, that I deeply regret
the necessity for my thus explaining. myself, and still more for submitting a circum-
stance, which seems to show A bias on the mind, even in forming an opinion as to
the moral conduct of the females, by the suppression of facts necessary to be known,
before a sound and decided opinion could be formed.
As affecting the moral character of the African apprentices, Mr. Gilgrass says, in
his private report to my colleague, I am aware indeed that both sexes of the Africans
" have departed from virtue, and that some have broken the solemn bond of matri-
" money, but do not kno&e of one that has turned public prostitute."
'The ignorance of the good missionary on the subject, on which lie has chosen to
give an opinion, will be readily excused by every one; but the idea of his disco-
vering an extenuation of the crime to which he alludes,' by declaring his ignorance
of any female yielding her chastity. to the temptation of riioney, as a public prosti-
tute in Tortola, shows so strongly the force of the bias on his nmiid, that only a
similar bias on the part of my colleague could have induced him to submit a state-
ment so extraordinary for your Lordship's information; for both these gentlemen
were sufficiently acquainted with human nature to know, that persons, having money,
only pay it, for such illicit gratifications, to objects having more charms than the
poor female African, apprentices possessed. As it will be seen, that Mr. Gilgrass
did not enter -into such details as the above, in the official information given to me,
I have no means whatever. of judging upon the correctness of .the authority an
which an assertion so extraordinary is made, more especially since the Schedules
prove, that even of those feniales who had children, not less than thirty-three were
born without the sanction of marriage between the parents. Even in the house
where my colleague lived iii Tortola, the mistress of the house, (the free coloured
woman Sally Keys), had an African apprentice, Mary Ann Uinguba, in the Schedules
for the Venus, N' 23:2, and p. 157, who had a child only eight months old, by
a slave belonging to the same person, and the father was living with another woman.
My colleague must have known.also, for on both occasions he took down the
communications, that in the house where the office of the commission was kept,
arid'whqre the secretary and I lodged, that Mr. Cunningham had an African np-
prentice 'named Maria Iniboge, in the Schedules for the Atrevido,- No 192, and
p. 2g2; who had a child oily nine months old, by Robin an apprentice, married to
another woman. Nor can he have forgotten the testimony given by a free black
woman, named Rachael or Hannah Collins, respecting the language and conduct of
the African apprentice Eliza Ocazzi, on the subject of being out at night, although'
the testimony is not recorded in the Schedules for the Atrevido, N" 181, and
p. 2a4,,wl he- iPy colleague himself took down ti1 other matters of evidence then
hIn s.9 ing en this -subject, inl a former part.of this Report, it will be seen that
I viewed the character of the female African apprentices: in this respect within
CAPTURED NEGROES. 81
reference to their previous state of society, and gave the missionaries, the praise to N* 3.
which they were well entitled, for the great improvement they had effected in the wAJonR MOOryr.
moral condition of the African apprentices. I trust, therefore, that these remarks, lEPOBt.
showing the bias on the minds of good men, affecting their evidence when merely -
giving opinions, will not be considered as lessening the weight of their testimony as
to facts, or theirmerits as nmistimonafiti
It is on the negative declaration of AIr. Gilgrass, that he did not know of any
one that had turned public prostitute," that my colleague in his Report makes
this qafirmative assertion : It has been affirmned by the missionaries that there
is not a prostitute among them," meaning the African females. Such, assertions,
with the evidence that niust have been remembered, sufficiently show the bias on
the mind which makes them ; and I do most sincerely wish they had been founded'
on facts, considering the ordinary meaning of the vice designated,
The abstract of the moral state of the Afiicans which appears to have been given
by IMr. Gilgrass, the senior missionary, to my colleague privately, being somewhat
different from that given to me officially, perhaps it will be most fair to submit them
together for your Lordship's information.
Number of liberated Africans in connection with the Wesleyan Methodists.
I Mi'3 d C
Baptized. Persons Learning to read. Members
________ ._______ ii
Adult'. Children.; Adults. Children. c
According to the statements given tol 16 -
Mr. Dougan -J '
According to the statements given to 1 48 6 6 87 50 Ia
Major Moody -Jf
It was very unfortunate, that neither my colleague, nor the missionaries, ever
mentioned to me the nature of the communications between them, extracts from
which are now submitted, by my colleague, as the authority for tile measures recom.
mended by him for the future government of the liberated Africans. It would,
for example, have been extremely desirable to have had in detail those facts on
which Mr. Gilgrass formed the opinion, which he gives in these words: I hesitate
not to say, let these Africans be allowed the free rights and privileges of British
subjects, they will conduct themselves in an orderly manner, employing their time
and talents in the necessary and useful departments of life."
I know of nothing, my Lord, that could have afforded me more interest, or more
pleasure, than the investigation'of the facts on which the missionary and my col-
league came to this conclusion. An opinion also, which nearly coincided, as your
Lordship may know, with what I bad at one period of my life entertained, until
a more profound and careful examination of facts led me to doubt.
As however I "was kept entirely ignorant of all these communications, I never
had the opportunity of even inquiring upon what facts these opinions ivere founded.
No facts whatever are stated to your Lordship as the foundation of the opinions
expressed, and therefore 1 cannot judge as to the correctness of the inferences,
which also would be influenced by the consideration, whether the facts frequently
recurred, or were only isolated cases.
In communicating the result of the evidence collected by me, as to the moral
character of the African apprentices, I shall begin with the evidence given to me
officially bv the same missionary, the Rev. Mr. Gilgrass, but who did not, at any time,
collinutinicate to nme the information which had been given to my colleague, so that
should aany differences appear. I had no means afforded nme of reconciling them,
I received the lette the letter on the :29th July 1823, when I was employed in preparing
to give over the comminission to our successors, at which period the ill state of my
colleague', ho-althl had obliged him to leave the island. Indeed some of the evidence
given in was to the new Connuissioners, for instance, that of Dr. Stobo ; which,
however, they took some pains to verify, (at least so far as to visit the settlement of
free negroes at Long Look) as I luil also done.
I I 5 L Isten
82 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N' 3. Instead of giving extracts from the report of Mr. Gilgrass on the moral condition
A"JOR MOODY's of the African apprentices, I prefer submitting the whole for your Lordship's
oitr. ^information, and it is as follows:-
Report of the moral and religious State of the liberated Africans inl Tortola."
From long and close observation made on the African character, I have not
perceived any natural deficiency in their intellectual and moral powers. But
I have always, and without a single exception discovered in them, an awful and total
Beglect of moral and religious cultivation. I have not met with one newly imported
African, in the course of nineteen years that I have been a missionary, and princi-
pally to them, that had even 'the form of godliness.' I hesitate not to say, never-
"' theless, that as God has not withheld from the Africans any one gift which is essen-
tial to the natural man,' though they may be viewed in the lowest degree in the
scale of human excellence, they will improve equally with others of the same cha-
racter, if' they may have allowed them sufficient time, a pious tutor that will instruct
them both by precept and example, firece access to the ordinances of the Christian
religion, and be kept under due discipline by our wise laws, and good government
We have about eighty Africans members of our society inl Tortola. Their
character is not a little diversified by shades of lighter and darker hue. A few are
really pious, and appear without mental reservation devoted to God. Some are
t ouly.moral in their outward deportment Others are no more (in religion) than
peaceable subjects; and lastly, a few others have been at intervals intemperate in
disposition, in temper, in word and in action.
(signed) William Gilgrass."
Road Town, Tortola, July 20th 1823."
P. S. The following points should not be lost sight of, that justice may be done
to the African character :
i. Their age at the time they were brought hither.
2. The almost inflexibility of long established habits, which they had formed
3. The many great disadvantages under which they laboured from ignorance of
(- the. English tongue, and the wretched manner they heard it spoken by a large
majority of: those to whom they were apprenticed.
4. The notorious deterioration of good morals.
5. The little or no daily stated attention paid to Bible religion.
Such was the official report made to me by the worthy missionary, accompanied
by a private letter of the same date, fill of kindness, and personal good wishes,
which-were entirely reciprocal on my part.
I also applied to the clergyman of the parish, who informed me lie had no per-
sonal knowledge of the African apprentices ; and as his account therefore could riot
be considered as formed from personal knowledge and observation I shall not refer
to it, because under these circumstances, influencing its character, and being unfa-
vourable, it does not appear to me fair to either party, that I should produce it in
a case affecting moral character .
I also drew uip a series of questions, which I addressed to the most intelligent
persons in the island, who had some experience in the control of similar labour to
that exercised by the Africans, but who had no apprentices at that time in their ser-
vice. The whole of these persons, except one gentleman, Mr. Mark Dyer French,
answered the questions with their signatures attached.
Mr. French assigned no reason for withholding his opinions, iii answer to my
inquiries; but being of a cautious timid character, I suppose that lie did not like to
give any evidence, which might give displeasure to some of his frietids, and of whom
my colleague was one.
Other persons however, for whom my colleague expressed great kindness, such as
Mr.-Carruthers, and Mr. King, answered the inquiries in the manner seen in the
Schedules, pp. 344 & 34S where the statements of bench person, with his signature,
are given ; and the originals of which were left with the inew Commissioners. The
persons also I believe retained a copy of their evidence 'given to me.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 83
The facts stated, being matters of public notoriety, may be easily confuted if in-
correctly given. When mere opinions are expressed, due allowance may be made
for any bias contrary to that which influenced the opinions of the missionaries.
None of these gentlemen owned plantations, and some had no slaves. I hope
therefore it will be seen, that I took reasonable precaution in collecting the evidence
of witnesses, as competent, and as disinterested, as I was able to procure.
On the subject of the moral character of the liberated Africans, I have no reason
to doubt the accuracy of the report, which I have submitted from Mr. Gilgrass, the
missionary, with reference to that portion of the apprentices, who came under his
observation. There were many others, however, of whose general character the
missionary could not know much ; and of the general moral character of these,
some opinion may be formed from the following evidence, collected under the
circumstances already stated.
Richard King, esq. senior, member of assembly, justice of the peace, and registrar
of slaves, has been twenty-five years resident in Tortola, does not answer the inter-
rogatory as to general character ; but speaks as to two individuals, who had been
indented to him, both of whom hie got rid of: his testimony is unfavourable as to
these two persons.
Richard King, esq. junior,. secretary to the island, &c. has resided from his youth
in Tortola, never had an African apprentice; has had opportunities of observing
their conduct, believes them to be an idle, ill-disposed set, iuWich ThclineT to
John Gibbes, esq. member of assembly, magistrate, 'and treasurer, has resided
eighteen years in Tortola; has never had an African apprentice; has had peculiar
opportunities of -observing the conduct of the African apprentices from his living
at that part of the town where they commonly muster to lounge, seek occasional
employment as porters, boatmen, &c. to talk, dance, and tight." Mr. Gibbes
however speaks favourably of the females as to industry; but as to moral character
he states, "both males and females are in general passionate, noisy, and quarrelsome
to excess, it requiring little provocation to make them cut and stab each other
*' with knives, or any thing else which may be at hand."
William George Crabb, esq. member of council, chief justice, magistrate, &c.
has been in Tortola chiefly from his infancy; has never had an African apprentice;
has had frequent opportunities to observe their general character and conduct; has
noticed them to be (with some few exceptions) idle and licentious, and has heard
many complaints of their dishonesty.
W. R. Isaacs, esq. member of council and magistrate, has been upwards of thirty
years resident in Tortola; had once one female apprentice, of whom he got rid; has
had but few opportunities to observe their general character and conduct. Some
conduct themselves as well as could be reasonably expected, but in general they
appear to be a disorderly set of people, possessing many evil propensities.
Mr. John Carrutheri, member of assembly, has been about thirty years resident
in Tortola ; never had an African apprentice ; has haid an opportunity of observing
the character andi conduct of' a great many African apprentices, both males and
females, speaks favourably of the industry of the females; but adds, Both males
" and females are passionate and quarrelsome, requiring very little provocation to
' make them so, and when in that state the first weapon they can lay hold of is
" taken up in their defence."
Dr. Stobo, member of council and a magistrate, has been about three years
a resident in Tortola; has not now any African apprentice ; had frequent opportu-
nities of' observing the general character of the African apprentices ; says, in
general, they were indolent, dirty, greedy, much given to thieving, quarrelsome
To these I shall add the evidence of Mfr. Belisario, although he had a great num-
ber of African apprentices, and to whom lie appears to have behaved as a kind and
good master. I w\as extremely anxious to have placed 'more apprentices with him,
but as he uniftormliy declined receiving them, it appears to me his evidence may be
considered as having a certain degree of disinterestedness.
IMr. Belisario, deputy provost-marshal, has been thirteen years resident in
Tortola ; has thirteen adult A frican apprentices and four children ; has no slaves;
L 4t has
84 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
has had opportunities to observe their character and conduct; does not consider them
as naturally disposed to industrious pursuits, but his own apprentices have done
their duty tolerably well; attributes his own apprentices being well disposed to his
having, at a very early period, placed them under the pastoral direction of the
" Methodist missionaries, in whose society they have all been admitted, and at the
" fit time baptized."
Mr. Belisario, having been provost-marshal since 1st July 1821, gave to this
commission a return up to July 1823, showing the names of apprentices who had
been committed, and discharged from gaol, during that period, with the expense
incident thereto, when paid. But I fear it will give a very imperfect idea of the
punishment inflicted, as many masters and mistresses saved themselves the expense,
and inflicted punishments in such manner as they thought proper, and contrary to
such laws as bore on the cases.
The list is also imperfect, for example, in not showing the amount of fees paid
on account of the first commitment of Pitt, &c. which were ultimately paid by
the Treasury of Great Britain.
EXTRACT from the Gaol Book of Tortola, commencing 1st July 1i82 ; and
showing, when Committed, when Discharged, and Amount of Fees paid, as
respects African Apprentices.
Name of the
, Aron -
-. John -
I July 1821 -
4 ditto -
to ditto -
o0 ditto -
15 ditto -
16 ditto -
4 Aug. ditto -
4 ditto -
4 Aug. i8ui
12 ditto -
15 ditto -
18 ditto -
26 Oct. ditto -
13 Nov. ditto -
21 Dec. ditto-
15 Jan. 1822 -
23 ditto -
5 March ditto
30 NMay ditio -
11 June ditto -
18 ditto -
20 July ditto -
23 Aug. ditto -
2 Sept. ditto -
20 ditto -
16 Nov. ditto-
15 Jan. 1823'-
16 ditto -
20o Feb. ditto -
24 ditto -
22 March ditto
25 .ditto -
.18 May ditto -
13 June ditto -
i i July ditto -
2 July 1821 -
3 Aug. ditto-
11 Sept. ditto -
11 ditto -
16 ditto -
17 ditto -
18 Aug. ditto -
26 Sept. ditto -
6 Aug. 1821
14 Aug. ditto-
16 ditto -
*2'- ditto -
27 Oct. ditto -
14 March 1822
2a Dec. 18.21 -
27 Feb. 1822 -
26 ditto -
9 March ditto
5 June ditto -
ii July ditto -
5 ditto -
22 ditto -
e6 Sept. ditto
3 ditto -
23 ditto -
17 Nov. ditto -
17 Jan. 1823 -
24 Feb. ditto -
24 March 1823
i April dinto -
19 May ditto -
18 June ditto -
12 July ditto -
paid in Tortola
. s. d.
2 1 3
4 13 9
1 15 3
S'l-- Tortola, 6th August 18-23.
(signed) .4. M. Belisario, Dep, Pro. Marshal.
With referencefto the moral character of the African apprentices and other jp-
tured-negroes, I now have the honour respectfully to submit my own-opinion, formed
fiber much careful inquiry, for the information of your Lordship. There does not
CAPTURED NEGROES. 85
appear to me any natural defect in the mind of the African race, which disqualifies N 3-
them from receiving moral, and religious instruction. MAJOR MOODY's
There are, however, physical causes which appear to affect the African and the REPORT.
European race in the West Indies, in producing a decided effect on certain moral
feelings and conduct, as connected with the effect of a hot climate, on the habits of
steady industry, in certain kinds of labour, which, in that climate, the Europealn
race cannot perform, and which the African race are rarely seen to perform volun-
tarily, although they, from physical causes, are alone equal to the necessary exertion.
Whilst, therefore, the missionaries have been decidedly successful in subduing
many vicious propensities, to be expected in savage life, and substituting in their
place, the more Christian virtues of sobriety, honesty, chastity, &c. a regard for
truth obliges me to add, that I did not observe the same superiority among the
African apprentices, in the active virtues of steady industry, and uniform exertion
in mechanical or agricultural labour, although, from so good a foundation, it is to
be hoped the other virtues will in time be observed.
Nelson certainly appeared to be one of the free class of Africans to whom praise
could be given for acltie mechanical indithtr/, according to his own statementls of
his exertions in aibrein colony. It appeared, however, that Nelson only attended
the Moravian missionaries t ice a year.
One of the apprentices in Tortola was Harry Belisario, to whose industry and
abilities Mr. Gilgrass alluded. Harry decidedly had the best character fbr indus-
trious exertion, and mechanical talent among thle apprentices ; and Mr. Belisario,
the master, fairly attributes the circumstance of' his apprentices generally being so
well disposed to the instructions of the Methodist missionai ies, yet Harry was turned
out of the Methodist society; and the Schedules, pp. 240 & 241, & 321, show that
his gratitude as a servant, and his conduct as a married man, were not under the
influence of Christianity or religious principles.
The person whose influence among the A frican apprentices most nearly approached
to that of Harry Ecanya, alia.s Belisario, was George Hivogo, alits Allen, of whom
his master spoke in these terms : Is a cook to his master, is an active servant, has
been to St. Thomas several times, but always on his master's business ; has quar-
relied with his wife, and left her ; is a very good cook, and useful about the house
very capable of supporting himself." Such a character for active industry, given
by a master to George, who is a head man, affords great pleasure ; yet it was with
pain I personally heard this apprentice, in the Methodist chapel, tell Mr. Truscott,
one of the missionaries, (who was admonishing George on account of a charge
brought against him,) that lie did not care a damn for any man in Tortola."
Thle influence of religion obviously was not great upon this man, yet his activity,
and the influence lie possessed, were undoubtedly great To multiply instances of
persons of inferior industry and influence, would be tedious and unnecessary. Added
to which, it is an ungrateful task even to express a doubt of the extent of a power
so benign as Christian instruction, i-i removing the evil influence of climate,
state of civilization, and habits of a people on the agricultural and mechanical
industry of any portion of the human race. I cannot, however, permit my ardent
desire to have discovered a greater extent of the influence of this sublime principle
of action, so far to mislead me, as to .ttre anything, as a fact, beyond what I really
and actually observed in person. Time, 1 hope will afford .stronger proofs. But to
prevent the injurious inferences which may be hereafter drawn from future failures
in this respect, by other missionaries, I have been induced to draw your Lordship's
attention to the very limited success in inspiring steady habits of agricultural and
mechanical industry by missionaries, whose successful efforts I have personally wit-
nessed in reforming the moral character of thle African. Indeed, at one time, from
observing the head men, as slaves on plantations, often Moravians, or Methodists,
I entertained the hope that the power of religious instruction, even in warm Qlimates,
might be most certainly and speedily used as a stimulus to the active virtue of
agricultural industry, with as much cfiect as I witnessed its operation in producing
the more passive virtues of honesty, sobriety and chastity, and which I regard as the
foundation fur the other virtues.
More extended and careful observation has led me to doubt the great immediate
effect of religious instruction alone, on the active virtues, when free from coercion,
in a climate and society like the West Indies. My conviction of its great effect in
forming the pa-ive virtues, under any circumstance, however, remains unchanged ;
and this consideration lead-; me ;till to hope, that, in due i n', combined with other
I s.. 3 circumstances,
S 6 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N 3. circumstances, the more active virtues may be raised upon a foundation so solid, so
MAJOR MOODY', pure, and so nece.esary, whatsoever may be the result.
That regard for truth, which I profess, obliges me reluctantly to acknowledge, that
I have not observed the consequence of stcidy atitcntion to agricultural or other
laborious industry, to follow uniformly like cause and effect from religious instruction
to the fi-ee negroes to any great extent, in the various countries of the torrid zone,
and the different missions of Roman Catholics, Moravians, Methodists, and others
which I have visited ; but I can also state, that I did observe an improved moral
conduct to follow, in the virtues of' honesty, sobriety and chastity, &c. among those
instructed ; and these may be considered as foundations on which other active virtues
may ultimately be formed.
Some of the persons whose opinions and evidence I have submitted to your Lord-
ship in the Schedules, speak of the moral character of the female African appren-
tices, as being better than that of the males. I also have observed amongst all the
missions visited by me in South America, in North America, and in the We:.t
Indies, that the females showed a greater desire for religious instruction than the
males, and that the same was the case in Tortola among the African apprentices.
I also am inclined to hope from the success of the Wesleyan missionaries in
converting and instructing such a considerable portion of these African apprentices,
under unfavourable circumstances, that, in due time, the whole may be prepared,
under proper regulations, for becoming more useful members of society than they
are at present under the defective system, which was fi'amed by persons who did not
appear to have been well informed as to the operation of local and physical causes
on the measures adopted to enable these Africans to provide wealth, comfort
and happiness, for themselves by their own labour, in such a colony as Tortola.
Respecting the measures to he adopted with these Africans when free, I shall
hereafter state my opinion, but in the first place it will be necessary to make some
further inquiries as to the character of the African apprentices and liberated negroes
with respect to habits of steady and continued industry ; because the success of all
future measures will be found to depend, in a great degree, upon the views and
opinions which may be now entertained on this subject; and these opinions it is
presumed will be influenced by such statements as may be submitted by either of
the Commissioners, as being real facts, duly ascertained on the spot, during our
official inquiries. And it cannot be concealed, that not only the future welfare of
the African. apprentices, but perhaps that of the slave population of the West Indies,
depends, in some measure, on the principles which on this occasion may be deemed
to be most consonant to nature, and truth.
Your Lordship will immediately perceive, that it involves the great question of
the comparative productive effect of voluntary, and coerced labour in West-India.
agriculture, under all the peculiarities, and circumstances, arising from climate, state
of civilization, and peculiar habits of a people.
It will be seen in the Report of my colleague, from the manner in which he
introduces the value of free labour to your Lordship's notice, that he, as well as my
myself, felt its importance on the great West-India question. I deem it more con-
sistent with that line of conduct, which your Lordship has a right to expect from me,
that I should thus openly state the bearing of the question, upon which I am about
to give the evidence, of other persons, and my own, leaving your Lordship to form
such inferences therefrom as your superior judgment may adopt.
If the captured negroes and African apprentices, when liberated, have exhibited
that degree of good conduct and persevering industry, working regularly and steadily
for adequate wages for the benefit of their masters and themselves, requiring no
regulations beyond the existing laws for their government, then, my Lord, it may be
fairly argued that there can be no difficulty in providing for these persons, and others
in their situation, since the mere act of emancipating them at once fi-om individual
restraint will promote their own happiness and prosperity, as well as that of the
proprietors of the soil, buildings, and machinery, in the West-India colonies.
On these points it is important for your Lordship to have detailed facts, rather
than mere opinions ; and I shall therefore proceed to submit certain evidence as to
the character, for steady and continued industry, of the captured negroes and
CAPTURED NEGROES. 87
Part of the captured negroes and apprenticed Africans, as said-before, are now MAJOR MOODYu
free from the control of any master; but the greater part are still under the control REPORT.
of masters or mistresses ; they therefore consist of two classes of persons.
I shall notice the evidence collected by my colleague and myself respecting each
Respecting the character for steady and continued industry of those captured
negroes or apprenticed Africans, who are nowfiree, and masters of their own time,
I shall speak first.
Of these men, Nelson, a mason, noticed in the Schedules, p. 42, appeared
to have exercised the greatest degree of industry ; and he stated that he was worth
four dollars in money, and had thirteen shirts and thirteen trousers, and gets
a dollar a day when lie works as a mason ; had a garden, containing about the
fortieth part of an acre, which he cultivated on Saturdays and Sundays ; and that
lie lived in the house of a female slave, within whom lie cohabited, in the Danish
island of St. John, upon a sugar estate. The mode of government, as respected him,
therefore, was the colonial law of Denmark. and the system of administering justice
there observed on a sugar estate. Respecting this man my colleague makes no
particular observation, except that lie was one of three young men, in good health,
had learned a trade, to which lie had served an apprenticeship, and was fully com-
petent to earn his livelihood. I entirely agree with my colleague; but it does not
appear that lie was ever apprenticed regularly to any trade, but merely that his
master in the Danish island placed him under a mason upon the estate. He declined
going to Trinidad on the conditions offered, and his living in a foreign colony showed
that he preferred a residence there to the island of Tortola, to the inhabitants of
which, therefore, he never can be either an advantage or a burden.
The next person is John Sano, whose case is fully stated in p. 70 of this
Report. John declined going either to Sierra Leone or Trinidad upon the specified
conditions, but I have since understood that lie has left Tortola, and therefore can-
not be considered as a person likely to become a burden to it. Being a domestic,
his duty in that situation, when in Tortola, merely displaced another domestic from
that employment : changes in such employment produce little or no effect on the
productive industry of the colony in agriculture. In his case, I also entirely agree
with my colleague. The good character of John, as a domestic, and the diminished
value of his labour, although a free man, is given in the Schedules, p. 29, and in
thi's Report, p. 71. John appears only to have served a regular apprenticeship of
seven years, and not fourteen years, as stated by my colleague.
The third person is William, the relation of John Sano. Of William also, my
colleague says, lie was a young man, in good health, had learned a trade, to which
he had served an apprenticeship of fourteen years, and was fully competent to earn
Respecting this person my colleague and I do not agree. I refer to the evidence
.of William himself in the Schedules for the Nancy, p. 30 and 31. In the first place lie
never wa.s ilindented to any trade, and therefore could not have served fourteen years
in learning one. He, however, underi.tood cooking a little, and how to catch fish,
as well as how to row a.boat, &c.; lie could worL in hi, ground, but ga.vc it up on
the goats injuring him, and.the people stealing his- crop. HIe had no permission
to cultivate: ground, but nobody prevented his cultivating the spot lihe had selected.
He had however given the ground up. He has no house of his own, but regards
Mr. Grigg as his master, on board of whose shallop he sleeps at night, and does
any thing he can for his old master. 1Ir. Gringg considered himself rather as the
protector than the master of William, and appears to have acted with great kind-
ness to him. Mr. Grigg, who gave such clothing as lie could afford to William,
says, ( hnad he been industrious lie could very well have clothed himself." William
himself, though a free man, says that Mr. Grigg, wlihoi he considers as his master,
" gives him," occasionally a shilling, or four dogs, to buy food, and that a shilling
" (or siX.;pence sterling) keeps him twvo days: That he had only the clothes he had
" on, anl a checked shirt, and hie has saved no money ; and that he cannot maintain
" himself in Tortola." William was re-examined in the' presence of Governor
Maxwell, the former evidence being read over to him, and he said lie would go to
Trinidad, on the conditions offered. Other statements unfavorable to William are
omitted ; but for the ca-.oin quoted, and William's own av.iertion, that he could not
I 1,i. N 2 maintain
88 I.-PAIPERS RELATING TO
N" 3. maintain himself in Tortola, I cannot agree with my colleague, who says, that he
MAJOR MOODYrs was fully competent to earn his livelihood. In such a case I consider William must
REPUORT. know best, what degree of voluntary exertion he was inclined to give;. and, from
experience, he must have known that -such degree of exertion produced, in Tortola,
a very poor maintenance.
If my colleague meant, that if William would exert himself like an English
agricultural labourer, he might support himself in Tortola, I perfectly agree with
him, not only in this case, but in almost every other.
This point, however, is exactly the matter in dispute. Will the African apprentices,
when free fi-om individual control, work like English agricultural labourers, or appren-
tices, who have served their time? My answer is, that judging from facts, I do not think
that the African apprentices in the West Indies will work like English apprentices in
England; but if they (lid work like English apprentices, I am perfectly convinced
their labour would be valuable to themselves, and their employers. If it be asked, why
do not the free Africans in the West Indies work like free men in England, with
the hope of bettering their condition, and that of their families; I am prepared, if
required, to give an answer to this question ; but I prefer, at present, to give a state-
ment of facts, from which your Lordship can form your own opinion. In this case
of William, the iuan himself says, "' he cannot maintain himself here," meaning
Tortola. My colleague, speaking of William and two others, distinctly says, they
are fully competent to earn their livelihood..' I agree with my colleague that
William could be made to earn his own livelihood, but in this case it will be neces-
sary to interfere with his civil liberty, as a free man. Then matters for dispute would
arise in ascertaining the degree of coercion, or stimulus of encouragement necessary
to use for the purpose of making William exert himself to improve his own condi-
tion. One fact is obvious, that William does not entertain the same ideas, as to the
best mode of increasing his own happiness, which my colleague, and I entertain;
and it is equally probable that we entertain different ideas, both as to the necessity
of making William exert himself, and as to the mode of making him do so. I cannot
hope for your Lordship's approbation of the mode, which I shall hereafter recom-
mend, but by thus showing, in tedious and minute detail, the nature of the difli-
culties to be overcome, by reference to established facts.
The fourth person in the list of firec Africans is Hull, respecting whose industry
my colleague has afforded some proofs, which were entirely concealed from me in
Tortola; but on examination of them, it appears these proofs of the value of
the industry of Hull took place when he was under the coercion of a master;
and it does not even appear that Hull's labour had actually produced a value equal to
the amount stated, but only that his master, Mr. Dix, had charged Mr. Wynile
for such a sum, 'as if Hull had worked for the value charged. Mr. Wynne did not
live in Tortola, but confided in- Mr. Dix, who did reside there. It also appears,
that my colleague in his Report, has made assertions directly at variance with
Hull's own statements, as to his industry at present, when lie is entire master of
his own time, as stated in p. 72, el seq. of this Report, and p. 40, of Schedules.
On this delicate point, I can say nothing more, except my real belief, that the bias
on the mind of my colleague has induced him to make statements to your Lord-
ship, on this occasion, which he is altogether incapable of doing, on other matters,
where his feelings are less interested.
The fifth free person is Boatswain, alias Portsmouth, respecting whom the same
observations may be made, as in the case of Hull. And as it would be'painful,
I hope it will not'be deemed necessary, to repeat what has been already said in this
Report on the subject.
The sixth free African is Jem, of whom my colleague says, he is evidently
unable to provide for himself, being-addicted to drinking." \ly colleague may
be right ; but the man's own opinion of the matter is very different, as he says in
p. 57 of the Schedules, he can live here in Tortola, so as to get clothes and
food enough ;"' and therefore declined going to Sierra Leone, or Trinidad. Here
again occurs the same difficulty, from the African entertaining very different ideas
of the best mode of promoting his own happiness, from those persons who are sin-
cerely desirous to promote his welfare, as I am sure my.colleague was, and is.
I certainly feel the same desire, and yet we also differ in our opinions. In such case
I see no satisfactory mode, but in our submitting facts for your Lordship's informa-
CAPTURED NEGROES. 89
tion, previous to the submitting our opinions on disputed points. Respecting this No 3*
person also, I do not wish to say much, as it was he who complained of having been MAJOR MOODY's
privately examined by my colleague, before he was officially examined by us both, REPURT.
and the affidavits on this unpleasant business are recorded in the Schedules, p. 58 "* -'
The next person is John Charles Degag6e, whom my colleague had also examined
by himself, and recorded the result; but when the man was required to come before
both Commissioners, it was found he had run away from the island.
Of this person, and a letter of mine, my colleague thus reports to your Lord-
ship:-" In a letter of Major Moody to IMr. Wilmot, dated i ith September I822,
this person t.John Charles Degag6e) was stated to be working in the chain gang
at St. Thomas; but this statement appears very doubtful, as two free persons at
Tortola have since declared him to be living as their neighbour in Tortola."
If I permitted myself to make any statement to Mr. Wilmot Horton, or to your
Lordship, to the injury of the character of any person unjustly, I should conceive
myself guilty of a great moral crime, whatever might be the colour or situation in
life of the person. This grave charge being preferred against me, respecting this
person, I presume to hope for your Lordship's indulgence in allowing me to give
my statement of the matter in explanation.
The words of my letter to Mr. Wilmot Horton were,-" Of the sixty-nine slaves
who oughlt to have been useful members of society in a British colony, as free
men, I have only been able to collect information as to six. Jem, who was con-
fined in the gaol of St. Thomas, as reported in the enclosures to our letter dated
2sth May 1822, and John Charles working in the chain gang at St. Thomas.
Neither of these persons, from their present situation, appear to have conducted
themselves properly as free men."
I pass over the singular circumstance of my colleague having fixed upon these
two men, Jem and John Charles, to examine privately, before they were officially
examined by us both, and one having informed against him, and the other having
run away fi-om the island, when he was to appear before me. The letter was written
by me on the i ith September 1822, when my colleague was in England; and on
the 6th November 1 82, he, (for the first time that such a proposal was deemed
necessary to require a formal minute,) stated in a minute, That Jean Charles
" Degag6e, a creole of Guadelonpe, a black man, &c. &c. was now in this island,'
(Tortola), where he had been resident several months, and that he should be pro-
" duced to-morrote, and a record made thereof." To which, on the same minute,
I replied, Major Mloody received information from 1Mr. Grigg, that he saw
" the individual Jean Charles in St. Thomas, and Major Moody will be ready to
" examine him to-morrow, if Mr. Dougan should think it a more important object
" than the many important subjects now requiring discussion." To this my
colleague replied, Mr. Dougan readily agrees to defer the examination of
" Degag&e, the person he has mentioned, until such time as may appear most
" convenient to Major Moody." To this, my reply was, As Mr. Grigg, who
saw him at St. Thomas, is not now in town, Major Moody proposes that the man
" be sent for, to ascertain how far his interests are likely to be affected, by any
" delay in his examination."
Five days after this, on the 1 ith November, in the minute of that day it appears,
" Major Mloody then stated Mr. Grigg had arrived in town yesterday, and as
" Mr. Dougan had been good enough, on the 6th November, to undertake sending
" for John Charles, ('who had never appeared before the Commissioners as Major
" Moody wished, to ascertain the point respecting the convenience of John Charles,)
" Major MIoody requested Mr. Dougan to state what steps had been taken,
" and why John Charles had not appeared ?"
To this my colleague replied as follows: On the 5th November he first
" knew there was such a person in Tortola as Jean Charles Degag6e, and from
" the man himself he learned, that he had been resident in Tortola several months ;
" of the circumstance of residence, he only knows it from Jean Charles Degangee's
" own account,-it may be otherwisee" The minute was closed by these observa-
tions from me, suggesting to Mr. Dougian the propriety of their inquiring into
" the fact whether John Charies was a resident of St. Thoimas, as Major Moody
" has been informed, accompanied by circllulsr;nces which made Major Moody
Ii,. 3 believe
90 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
NO 3. believe that John Charles had not conducted himself with propriety in the country
MAJOR lMOODY's *' where lie then was. If Major Moody has received, and conveyed wrong infot -
REPORT. n nation respecting John Charles, whose residence in Tortola for several l months
---- as been stated by AIr. Dougan, it is proper itht it Thould be corrected, for
which purpose some examination is nice-sai.ry in his opinion, but the time may
4" be that which may best suit Mr. Do.iugan's convenience."
As I have distinctly invoked the punishment of being di-graced, and dismissed
from His Alajesty's service, it' I should attempt to deceive your Lord.lhip in the
statement of a fact, I hope I may be pardoned, if I go on to prove that my colleague
-was not justified in the imputation preferred against me, in the case of John Charles.
My colleague never produced before me, either the man, or the certificate of' Richard
Phillips and Thomas Jeff Niles, to which he refers your Lordship, biut without
producing it, to prove an alibi in favour of John Charles. On the I Ith September,
from Tortola, I wrote that John Charles hlad been in the chain gang at St. Thomas.
The fact was told to me at St. Thomas, when I was there in August, and afterwards
in Tortola by Mr. J. Grigg, a person who had charge of the African apprentices,
nud was an officer in the Custom House ; and to whom John Charles, when actually
in the chain gang at St. Thionas, had spoken in the public streets of the town ; John
King, esq. formerly naval agent, having informed Mr. Grigg, that John Charles
was inl the chain gang *. There could therefore be no doubt about the fact, in my
mind, if I believed Mr. Grigg, who was a person deserving of credit, nor have
4I now the slightest doubt of the fact. My colleague in November said, John
Charles had been several months in Tortola ; but it appears from his Report,
-that even the certificate of Richard Phillips and Thomas Jeff Niles, which is not
'produced, only says that John Charles lived twfo o/ three months in the ncigh-
bourhood." No date is mentioned, although the question is one entirely relating
to time, in proving an alibi : indeed the question turns upon whether the exact
period was precisely two months, or exactly three months !
On the 12th November 1822, I had a letter from Mr. Cunningham, who had
had charge of the police, stating that he had been able to trace John Charles, as
having lived about eight days with Jenny Ronan, in a room she rented to him;
but lie proving a noisy and disagreeable tenant, she was glad to get rid of him,
without rent. He then remained about five or six weeks, as a tenant of Pero
Leonard ; but at the end of that time he ran away in the night, without paying his
rent. This letter was entered. in the official books of the office, and is in the
Schedules, p. 11 ; yet it will be seen, that my colleague did not apply to either
-of these persons who had rented rooms to John Charles, and who could have given
,him precise dates and facts. -Instead of which, he refers privately, and Without imi
knowledge, to two persons, who (do not appear to have had any transactions with
UJohn Charles, and even their certificate he does not give, and the precise dates
.upon which the question turns, are also suppressed !
The fact appears to have been, that as soon as John Charles learnt, that
Mr. Grigg, (who hlad spoken to him in the chain gang at St. Thomas,) had returned
to. town, and would be confronted with him, he ran away from Tortola. Yet the
evidence of this man, as to his own great industry, and that of others, is submitted,
by my colleague, as deserving the attention of your Lordship, because it appeared to
favour the ideas which he and many other good men are desirous themselves to
believe, and to get the nation to believe the same, notwithstanding the millions of
.British capital at stake, should they be in error, and yet succeed in their wishes. 'The
facts however in which mny colleague relies, your Lordship will observe, in this
case, and those of HI-ull, and Boatswain, were all obtained by him, without my
-having an opportunity to cross-question the witnesses.
Your Lordship will then perceive, it is not merely a question about the character of
John Charles, or my alleged misrepresentation thereof, for since November 1S22, my
colleague has been meditating on this circumstance, and to the last endeavours to
get laid before the Public the statement which your Lordship's fairness and candour,
:have enabled me to explain, in a manner which I hope will be satisfactory to all
.who are desirous to ascertain facts alone, and form their own judgment upon them.
Although my own character was concerned, I should not have deemed it neces-
sary to dwell so much on this case of the free man John Charles, were it not calcu-
Since this part of my Report was written, the produce his testimony to this facet, which is given
arrival of Mr. King 4i London enables me to in the Appendix, pp. 149 and 150.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 91
lated to show, what little reliance can be placed on the accuracy of a collection of N' 3.
individual characters, when the persons appointed to investigate them, proceed MAJOR MOODY's
therein with such a bias on the mind, as appears to have existed in the case of my REPORT.
colleague, but who certainly possessed many virtues to redeem this defect. It is v--' -
very natLural to suppose, he thought that my mind also w\as under a bias, and I hope
his object was merely to guard your Lordship against the effects of this presumed
bias on my mind. Under this view of the case, my colleague can only be considered
to have done his duty ; and as I am perfectly conscious, that I have no bias on my
mind, I trust I have not trespassed too long in defending myself from the imputa-
tions preferred. Whilst my distinct declaration, that I do not attach much value to.
mc-re opinions, but a great deal to the correct statement offJicts, shows, as 1 trust.
your Lordship will perceive, that I do not expect any attention to be paid to my
opinions, whatever they imay be, unless founded on facts, given in minutte detail.
I regret the length to which a clear explanation of' my conduct, with respect to
considerations submitted to your Lordship in my letter of itli September S22,
will lead me, but I fear it is unavoidable.
My colleague was in England when I wrote that letter, and lie did not rejoin.
the commission till the latter end of October i S23, when the letter in question
was on its w'ay to England. Immediately on my colleague rejoining the commis-
sion, I requested him to peruse all the correspondence, (including this letter), and
examinations which had taken place in his absence ; and to give me his opinion on
any point wherein me might not agree. This he very readily promised to do. Ou.
the 28th of October 1822, I submitted a minute, as your Lordship had prescribed
a form to be observed in the statement of differences of opinion, when the parties,
could not agree. The words of the minute were.:-" Major \toody then asked.
Mr. Dougan if he had now perused the different papers, and invited him to state
how f(r he agreed with the proceedings of the commission, and the opinion
which Major 'Moody had officially conveyed to Lord Bathurst, or Mr. Willot,
as recorded in the office during the absence of Mr. Dougan." To which my
colleague replied,-" Mr. Dougan has read with deep interest the many intelligent
remarks and opinions communicated by Major Moody to Lord Bathurst since
Mr. Dougan quitted Tortola, &c. &c. With every deference he submits, that
from the first view he has taken of the matter in that correspondence, where much
matter is introduced, and no doubt maturely considered by Major Moody,
Mr. Dougan is very desirous to give these matters also his serious and deliberate
Reflection ; this he will endeavour to do as soon aspossible." To which I replied,
-" M1jor Moody readily accedes to the propriety of Mr. Dougan's having full
time to prepare his objections to such parts of Major Mloody's correspondence
with Lord Bathuist, in which their opinions do not agree."
These extracts will show that I had no wish to conceal my opinions from my
colleague, and that I invited his objections, because if such objections were founded
in truth, 1 might have an opportunity to correct my errors; and if his objections
were founded in error, that I might point out to him, and to your Lordship,
wherein the error consisted, according to my knowledge of the subject.
However my opinions may appear to others, I know that the object of my inquiries
was solely the discovery of truth, and to act in an open, frank, and soldierly man-
ner. The result however disappointed me, for my colleague nev -r cinommunicaCted to
-me his objections, nor should I now have been acquainted with them, had not your
Lordship been graciously pleased to afford ime ant opportunity to defend myself.
It was also agreed, and that agreement expressed in the same minutes, that
vour Lordship's instructions as to the mode of examining captured negroes in our
future proceedings, should be interpreted as having reference only to captured
negroes who had not been examined, and consequently that the-examination of
those already recorded in the Schedules should stand as there recorded, although
I expressed my readiness to re-examine those who had been examined by me alone.
Notwithstanding this, I find, in the Appendix to the Report of my colleague,
with reference to my k-tter of the i ith Septembet 1822, an examination taken
prwiate/q by him, without my knowledge, or that of the secretary,-witlihout being
recorded in the office books,-and without ever being seen by me, or evn heardil o,
till called upon to >ian his Report, or give in one of my own. Yet was I, and also
the secretary, on tie; spot, when my co!ieague was plea-cdi clanidcstinely to take the
115 l, L 4 cxanuination,
92 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N" 3. examination in question, to disprove the statements made in my letter, on which it
MAJOR M.oDY'i had been agreed, that I was to receive a statement of hisobjections. I think it must
HREPORT. appear that I have not been fairly dealt with by my colleague in this case.
That I may, however, do strict justice to the objections of my colleague, in the
case of Christiana Wheatley and her family, I hope your Lordship will pardon my
quotation of his own words against me, wherein he says : As the examination of
these cases occurred during my absence from Tortola, and the report made of
then involved the conduct of the late collector of' the customs, Mr. Clement,
now deceased, and represented the distressed state of some of the liberated
negroes, and the abandoned conduct of others, I was desirous of further inquiry ;
but it was not until some time after my return to the island that I could obtain
from Cliristiana 1Wheatley the necessary explanations of the subject, as it related
to herself and children. By her statement (see Appendix H.)* it will appear that
she and her three children were imported by her master from St. Croix to
Tortola, when they were seized and condemned. This was in November 1821.
M" r. Clement, the collector of the customs, treated Christiana very kindly, and.
cmploied her in his o~w\n service, allowing her 4 s. a day to maintain herself and
children. Unfortunately this kind master, as well as his wife, died ; and then
I% this poor woman, finding herself under some difficulty fi-om having three
children to support, she bound her daughter as an apprentice for five years to
Dr. Ross, now a member of the council, and put her eldest son to learn a
carpenter's trade. Her third child, the youngest, was seized with a severe cold,
and bad sore throat. It was attended by Dr. Ross, and wanted neither nourishmnent
nor proper attendance. Whilst it was ill the clergyman of the Established Church
came, and prayed with it ; and, when it died, it was decently bul-ied with the
funeral rites of the church. She stated her having been married to one of the
head slaves of an estate, and that she now earned her living bI/ rearing goats,
poultry, S'c. by -which she procures a decent .subsistencef Jr herse!'f und husband.
She washes and mends the linen of her son, and gives him occasional presents.
In conclusion, she stated, that she speaks the truth when she says that she can
very well take care of herself, and assist her children, and is well satisfied with
her present situation.
This statement made by Christiana herself bfe/re me, clearly shows that the
collector of the customs, having paid a liberal price Jbr the services of this
woman and her children, deemed her fidly capable qf earning a livelihood for.
herself'and irmily. It further shows, that she acted most providently after the
death of Mr. Clement, in apprenticing her daughter as a domestic to Dr. Ross,
a member of the council, for the period ioffive years only ; and in placing her
son with a carpenter to learn that trade. And it shows, lastly, that her child
who died, did not perish through want ; but, on the contrary, received every
medical care and proper nourishment, and that a degree of religious attention
was paid to it, which seldom occurs even among the whites. The clergyman
prayed with the child when ill, and performed the funeral rites when it died.
There has, therefore, evidently be6n some mistake or misconception of the,
case of this woman and her children, as reported by Major Moody; for it
appears that the collector did not improvidently throw Christiana and her
children upon the Colonial Society, but took her into his orn service, and gave
her liberal wages, and that the apprehension that the child had died from want
This report of my colleague to your Lordship, upon a paragraph in an official
letter of mine to Mr. Wilmot, dated I ith September 1822, respecting five creole
negroes seized on shore at Tortola in the year 1821, I am now called upon to
The case of these five people came under the interpretation of the Act of Parlia-
ment, by the African Institution, in a tract printed in ISlo, in which, p. 26, it
was stated, respecting captured negroes, If creoles, they are presumably able to'
gain their own livelihood, and are therefore to be set at liberty." The five
creole negroes referred to were accordingly set at liberty. The Commissioners,
by an official letter dated 6th July 1822, were directed to submit, for your Lord-
ship's information and consideration, any communications or suggestions which
might better enable them to ascertain the wishes aud intentions of His Majesty's
lu Mr. Dougan's report, page 47.
CAPTURED NEGROES. 93
government, on subjects connected with the commission. When this letter was No 3*
received from your Lordship my colleague was in England, so that being deprived MAJOR MOODY'.
of his able assistance, I could only make a few suggestions and communications from REPORT.
myself on the i ith September 1 822, of which a copy is annexed in the Appendix, '
beginning at p. 1135, and marked (B.) And by the perusal of the entire letter it
will appear not to have been a specific report, but rather some suggestions, as were
required, for your Lordship's consideration ; and, I trust, it will appear, that in the
part where I noticed the opinion of the African Institution, it was done in a manner
perfectly consistent with that respect to which so many eminent individuals were
entitled, although it may also appear I did not approve of the practical result of their
opinions ; and, in justifying myself, it is not undeserving of remark, that subse-
quent to my letter noticing their interpretation of the clause referred to; in the
original Abolition Act, then in force, the objections then stated by me, have been
removed in the late coi.solidation of the Acts for the abolition of the Slave Trade.
To show that I was wrong in my opinion, as to the consequences following the
adoption of the interpretation of the Act of Parliament, recommended by the Afri-
can Institution, my colleague submits to your Lordship many particulars respecting
the state and condition of one of the captured negroes, named Christiana Wheatley,
and her children, to which I also had referred in my letter. Had my colleague,
hiv'en we were both iii Tortola, communicated to me what he has now done to your
Lordship, it would have been an easy matter for me to have shown him, and your
Lordship, the errors into which he had himself fallen, by his mode of proceeding
under the unfortunate bias of his mind, and his eager desire to defend the opinions
of the respectable members of the African Institution, who sanctioned the com-
mentary referred to.
As 1 wish to devote this part of my Report solely to matters involving the charac-
ter of the captured negroes, who are now free, I shall defer the matter of my
colleague which concerns Mr. Clement, the late collector, till the conclusion of
this part of my Report, when I shall answer it in a manner which, I trust, will be
In the first place, I have to observe, that my examination of Christiana Wheatley
was officially taken by the secretary and me, in the office of the Commissioners, and
it being deemed a particular case," her evidence was given, as nearly as possible, in
her own words, and read over to her when finished. It is given in the Schedules,
As George Hughes was a fellow-servant of Christiana Wheatley, it will be seen,
in the Schedules, p. 328, that I read over to him the previous examination of
his fellow-servant Christiana, and that he corrected part of it. This fact must
prove, that I had no wish to misrepresent the truth respecting Christiana and her
family in the examination, which iwas duly recorded by the secretary, and was part
of the business on which I invited the opinion of miy colleague ; and such opinion,
according to the minute made in Tortola, he gave me reason to hope for, but which,
for some reason unknown to me, he afterwards withheld, but has now given it to
your Lordship ; and I shall proceed to defend myself from the imputations therein
The first assertion is, that Mr. Clement, then collector of the customs, allowed
her 4s. a lday to maintain herself and children. This assertion is not contrary to
any statement of mine. Mr. Clement, as collector of the customs, was allowed to
give a certain sum daily to the persons in the situation of Christiana and her children
at the expense qofgovernmlent. It appears in this case, by my colleague's statement,
that i s. a day to each person was allowed, making 4s. to Christiana and her three
children. Mr. Clement died almost immediately after the condemnation ; inso-
much that the claim for the bounty money does not appear to have been made by
him on the Treasury, or for the money paid from the Custom-House funds, as an
allowance to Christiana and her children. The account of Mr. Clement in the
books of the Custom-House, however, as regards Christiana Wheatley, her three
children, and George Hughes, stands against government thus: Maintenance of
6C these live negroes twenty-one days, at l s. 6d. each per day, allowed by said cir-
" cular, 7 1. 17 s. id. ;" so that it appears that he charged government for 2s. a day
more than he allowed to Christiana for herself and children, such 2S. per diem being
probably for other comforts furnished by him, but which shet may have forgotten.
The period of her re:.idcnce with Mr. Clement is omitted by my colleague, and it is
115. N left
94 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N' 3 left doubtful whether 4 S. per diem was the hire for her services, or the allowance
SLrPOrT. given her by government. Your Lordship will perceive, that had I been present
------ at this private t-xamiuntion by my colleague, I could have immediately pointed out
how the iral truth was kept out qf sight by his )node qf proceeding. As long as
Christiann Wheatley and her children got 4s. or 6s. a dlay from government, cer-
tainly they ought to have been perfectly comfortable ; but my letter of 1 ith Sep-
tember had no reference whatever to that point. I distinctly referred to the state
of destitution in which Christiana with her children, although creoles, were, when
first $a wn into the colonial family, solely dependent on her own labour, and that of
the hildrvi ; and thence I wished to draw your Lordship's attention to the effects
of the interpretation of the law by the African Institution, as it regarded humanity.
In doing so, I disclaim all idea of impeaching the humanity of MIr. Clement,
deceased, or the African Institution. I merely meant to show, that under their
interpretation of the Act of Parliament misery may arise, which certainly was not
the intention of the Act, or the wishes of the members of the African Institution.
Indeed my colleague's own observation tends to prove the justice of my remarks
on the ease in question. For, speaking of the death of the collector, and his wife,
wheun tie allowance ceased, my colleague says of Christiana Wheatley as follows:
Tlie this poor wvomanfnding herself'under some difficultyfrom having three chil-
dren to support, she bound her daughter as an apprentice for five years to Dr.
Ross, now a member of council, and put her eldest son to learn a carpenter's
trade. Her third child, the youngest, was seized with a severe cold and bad sore
threat. It was attended by Dr. Ross, and awtted neither nourishment nor proper
attendance." On turning to the private examination of Christiana Wheatley by
my colleague, she does not say the child did not want nourishment. The words
implying that the child did not want nourishment, appear to be introduced by my
coHleagne Into his Report, without due authority ; and the question in a great measure
depends on that fact. In the official statement made by Christiana to me, she said
SMrs. Ross consented to receive Bella her daughter, as she was entire! unable to sup-
port her chuitiren; and one died, as she hhd no means to procure i proper nourish-
m" ent: indeed she was unable to get it buried, from being too poor to buy a coffin.
Thi& was done for her by Dr. Ross." Such was the account velantarily, and
afficialy given to ine by the woman herself. And it is difficult to conceive a reason
why she should have wished to deceive me. Yet my colleague takes upon hinielf
to say, that the apprehension that the child died from want was ground-
less." I do not notice the ignorance of the poor creature in receiving during
the few weeks. she. staid with the collector, 4 s. per diem as an allowance, because
she might very naturally have considered it as wages, but I have reason to think.
my colleague had the means of being better informed, had it suited him to make
the ihiquiry. To ascertain whether she did receive the allowance in money or
in articles of inaintenaiine, I wrote to Tortola, and the following extract from the
affidavit of Chrisriana shows the state of the case : Previous to her condemnation
the hate Mr. CTement allowed her 4 s. per day, but whether it was from his own
pocket or paid by government she does not know." And finally iln a letter from
Mr. Clement himself before the condemnation of these five slaves, he thus writes to
Mr. Wilberforce, dated loth August 1821: They sadly want to know if Ido get
them free, whether I will let them serve me;" which clearly shows he did not
consider them as servants on wages prior to condemnation, when they received the
ustia allouvnee, but which allowance is stated in such a manner, by my colleague,
as to laveo the iiuprsicain, that the domentie services of Christiana \W heatley wete so
hatuabke to the celdmsnr of the cnstoins, as to be worth 4 s. a day, whilst it is well
n;aown that i suck febmale domestic as Christiamn, in Tortota, at the time, received
such a'Caw for wagai, as may easily be assertaimed by your Lordship by writing to
I also wrote to Dr. Ross, nhose name is so frequently mentioned; and his letter
dated 5th August 1824, tends to prove that Christiana had given me'a true account
of herself, for it did appear that Dr. Ross had dismissed Christiana, and for the
reason assigned by her, from his service, where she had only food and clothing, on
hi collar bein being broken open by the slave with whom she then lived; a fact not
noticedby my college. Dr. 'Ross then states: Some time after this she quitted
(' her' then husband, and cohabited with a man named Louis, a worthless character,
belonging to Norton's Valley estate, to whom in fact she became a slave, and was
It reduced to great want and distress; and being unable to support herself and children,
CAPTURED NEGROES. 9S
" she applied to me to take her daughter to live with nwU for her Afod aMd clothing, N* g.
" to which I assented. A short time thereafter, her youngest child wai taken ill ; KJUOt woorn".
" she T'ras t his period totally destituic and in the tdmost wtsery. I gave Iser a swaT.
" room to reside in. during her son's illness, and medical attendance, and had it not
" been for the assistance she received from myself and others, herself and child
Smust have perished fjiom want of sustenance. The child did die. I furnisiead a
' board for the coffin, a slave made it gratis, and different persons contributed to the
" other expenses.'
I leave your Lordship to judge if such would have been tire result, if the value of
the poor creature's labour had really been equaj to 4s. per diew in that cqeley.
I trust I have said enough on this subject to defend myself I'roin the imputation
made against me by my colleague.
I have now to inquire into the character of Christiana Wheatley, and her means
of maintaining her family. My colleague is mistaken in thinking I apprenticed
the son of Clhristiana to a carpenter : Under the interpretation of the Act of Parlia-
ment by the African Institution, I did not fel myself authorized to act, or I would
have done so; for I have been very sorry to learn that the boy lias turned out
badly, although he appeared to we to be a line boy, and would probably have become
a useful tradesman had lie been under proper control at his age. Neither was
her daughter apprenticed to Dr. Ross for five years, as asserted by my colleague,
on the authority of the mother's private examination by him. She- wvs merely.
placed with him, during his pleasure, for food and clothing.
Respecting the industry of Christiana herself, my colleague says, That she new
" earned hler living by rearing goats, poultry, &e. by which she preewres a decvett
" subsistence for herself and husband. She washes and mends the linen of her
" son, and gives him occasional presents."
In the private examination of Christiana by my colleague, she also says,
" These (i. e, goats and poultry,) and other articles she sends to St. Croix, to
" her grandmother there, for sale, and receives in return certain articles, which are
" wanted in Tortola, which she vCiulds; by which, and the cultliation of egetaMbes,
" she earns a decent subsistence for herself and husbandd"
I confess I was amazed when I read the change that had taken place in the
strength of Christiana, as being able to cultivate vegetables," and providing sub-
sistence for herself and her hnwsbiand by her industry; at the same time earry'rg
on a kind of trade with a foreign island. I therefore wrote out to Tortola, and
I now submit the affidavit of Christiana herself on all these points:
Before George Richardson Porter, esq. President of His Majesty's Board
of Council for the Virgin Islands ; Chief Justice and Deputy Ordi-
nary of the same; personally appeared Christiana Wheatley of the Island
of Tortola, a slave, seized for a breach of the Revenue Laws, and
condemned to His Majesty, who, being sworn on the Holy Evangelists,
depo.seth and saith,-
i That Mhen she left Louis, of Norton's Valley, her former husband, she was
" in great distress; .he had no property but one hog, which Louis took from her.
" Since she has cohabited with Jem Hodge, her present husband, who is head
" mason on the estates of the deceased A. C. Hill, esq. she has beeu comnirtable
" and well otff,/br which she is bidebltd to him ; he is iin good circumstances, owns
" one cow, the milli of which she brings to tow'n and sells, several goals and hogs,
and a good stuck of poultr!1 ; he also has an excellent ground cultivated solely
'l hiMiser/'; she never 'worls in it, having been brought up in the house, and
" unaccustomed to field labour; independent of which, her weak constitution and
" indifferent state of health would render her unfit for such employment. She has
" no property of her own, but one ewe goat given to her by a slave of Mrs. Isaacs,
" to keep for joint account. She is married to James Hodge by the Methodists, is
1" in sociecv. and attends band and class meetings ; also takes the sacrament. She i"
" indebted to Jaiies for all the comfort she now enjoys, he is a good and kind
" hulsbanId, hai relieved her from the poverty and distress she was formerly in;
li he chietly maintains her; but she does what she can to assist him for their mu-
" tual support.
On no occa ,ion Oid she ever send either goats er poultry to St. Crois to her
1 grandmother. At ditherent time Shie did send her a few dried peat, fifteen plan-
115. N 2 tain,
96 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
N" 3. tains, two small pumpkins, and five corned bonitas: on the contrary, her grlld-
MAJOR MOODY's Iother has repeatedly sent her bags of limes and yams ; twice a bag of cornmeal,
REPORT. "( and once a hamper of earthen pots. The limes, yanms and pots she disposed
." of to advantage ; they were presents from her grandmother, mnd far exceeded in
value any return she made for them. No articles were ever sent to her for sale,
nor did she ever traffic. IHer grandmother was a slave to the hospital serjeant, in
l Basin, St. Croix, who, on retiring to Denmark some time since, manumitted
her in consideration of faithful services. Her son has turned out a great black-
guard, and is a source of much uneasiness to her.
Previous to her condemnation the late Mr. Clement allowed her 4 s. a day,
but whether this was from his own pocket, or paid by government she does not
Sworn to before me, the same having been previously read to the deponent,
this seventh day of October, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four,
Geo. R. Porter, President."
It is doubtless only a clerical error, when my colleague states that the condem-
nation of Christiana Wheatley took place in November 1821 ; in which case
she may have been longer with the collector than it appeared to me she was. In
the return from the registrar of the court of Vice-Admiralty to the Commis-
sioners, of which I inclosed a copy in my letter of i th September 1822, the
date of condemnation is given as the 17th-August 1821. Also in the letter ot
the late Mr. Clement to Mr. Wilberforce, dated ioth August 1821, he says,
I have seized this week one man, one woman, and three children, brought here
some time since from St. Croix (47 Geo. 3. c. 36. s. 4.) and the poor creatures
are anxiously waiting the event of their trial, which comes on on Saturday nejxt."
The accounts of Mr. Clement also show the period of twenty-one days only, dur-
ing which they had allowances at the rate of l s. 6 d. per day from the Custom-
House fund, prior to the condemnation ; soon after which Mr. Clement died.
That Christiana Wheatley is now better provided for, as the wife of an industrious
slave, named Jem Hodge, than she was as the mistress of Louis, a slave less indus-
trious, when she gave an account of herself to me, can he no reason whatever for
discrediting the statement she then made. I trust therefore that I have defended
myself against the imputation preferred against me by my colleague in this case.
Another case referred to in my letter of the i ith September 1822, as has been
already noticed, was that of John Charles, who was stated by me to have been
working in the chain gang at St. Thomas, on the evidence of a respectable gen-
In opposition to this statement there is not any evidence, but only an attempt to"
prove al alibi, without giving any dates. And John Charles himself ran away froin
Tortola, as soon as the person who could speak as to his being in the chain gang
Canme to town, which circumstance alone appears to be decisive evidence that the
fact had been correctly stated to me *.
The other case was that of Jem, who was examined by my colleague and myself,
and lie distinctly admitted before us both, in Schedules, p. 56, that he was found in the
fort of St. Thomas by his master. There could be no doubt therefore about his
having been in gaol, and in the chain gang. Indeed, previous to his examination, my
colleague and I had had official correspondence on the subject.
Having therefore explained such circumstances as to the character of the cap-
tured negroes who are now free, inwhich my colleague appears to have differed from
After I had written this part of my Report, Charles was taken, and who actually was resid-
I beard that the gentleman was in London who ing at St. Thomas at the time, favoured me with
had made the comlunnication to Mr. Grigg, of an answer to my inquiries, which settles the fact
John Charles being in the chain gang -at St. as to John Charles actually having been in the
Thomas. This gentleman, having been navy chain gang of St. Thomas, as I stated. Vide
agent towthe caplors'of the vessel in which John Appendix, p. 149, marked C.'), (C.) i,(C.) ..
CAPTURED NEGROES. 97
me in opinion, I proceed to notice the rest; and where it does not appear that my N' 3.
colleague had any objections to make, as he has not submitted them. MAJOR MOODY's
The next free negro is George Hughes, who, when a slave, had been taught the
trade of a carpenter, and worked at one time for wages amounting to five dollars
per week, two dollars of which he gave to his master, then living in St. Croix.
George, at the age of thirty-four years, is now a free man, and says lie can get no
employment in Tortola, either as a carpenter or a domestic. He has no house or
home, but that of the female slave with whom he lives as her husband.
At the first proposal of being removed to Trinadad he accepted it, but afterwards
declined it. This person was very intelligent and an excellent workman, but
appeared to be addicted to drinking rum.
The last free captured negro to whom I have to refer is an African female named
From the examination in the Schedules, p. 332, 333, it will appear that this per-
son was very industrious, according to her own statement; and that, by working
what she considered hard, in cutting wood for sale as fuel, she could earn two
dollars a week ; and that she also cultivated a piece of ground belonging to her hus-
band, who is a slave; and that another free coloured woman gives her a house to
Circumstances, however, stated in this Report, p. 71, occurred to prove to me,
that she had not accumulated or saved any thing ; and when unable to work, from
an injury received, she was reduced to that state of misery, that she must have
perished had not the same benevolent physician, who assisted Christiana Wheatlty,
also assisted Cottrine.
I believe I have now fairly noticed all the chief circumstances affecting the
character of the captured Africans, who are free, and entirely masters of their
own time in Tortola.
The only one who appears to have actually exerted steady industry, and accumu-
lated any wealth by his own exertion, is Nelson, residing in the Danish island of
St. John, upon a sugar plantation, where he had been taught the trade of a mason.
He lived in the house of the female slave with whom he cohabited, and had a small
portion of ground which he said he cultivated. The property he had accumulated
was four dollars in money, and thirteen shirts, and thirteen pair of trousers; none
of the rest were to be compared with this man for steady industry, as shown by
themselves. With the entire command of their own time, not one had a house of
their own, either as their own property, or as paying rent for it. Not one of them
by their labour contributed one farthing to the colonial revenue in direct taxes,
unless perhaps in the rum they might drink. Notwithstanding the great expense
which these captured negroes had cost the Treasury, the degree of exertion used by
them appears on the whole to have been barely equal to obtain those necessaries of
life consumed by the industrious slaves of the island, whose labour however for
their masters also contributed greatly to augment the value of the colony to the
parent .tate in proportion to their numbers.
The conduct of these people however appeared, upon the whole, to have been
inoffensive, and some were very intelligent. In short, their moral character is
deserving of more praise than their character for steady and continued industry,
although the results were for their own benefit. Yet it appears from information
collected by my colleague, that Hull and Boatswain had worked for considerable
sums when under the control of a master, and George Hugihes gives the same
account of his exertions ; but when free, under the circumstances of Tortola at the
time, they certainly had not used that degree of' exertion then necessarI/ to produce
the same effects. I think however the relative prosperity of the different periods
ought to be considered in measuring the different degrees of exertion used, as well
as the effect of the different states of freedom and that of constraint.
It perhaps will appear to your Lordship, that it was an object of the greatest
importance to ascertain the character of those captured negroes, who were now free,
for steady and continued industry, because on this point depended pr:Ctic;.i inter-
ences as to the future conduct and character of the other African apprentices when
free ; but who, in the mean time, were under the control of mikIter- ;.!d mistresses.
And it is not easyv ainwoii persons in their baclkward state of civili,:.tion to determine
115. N3 practically
98 II.-PAPERS RELATING TO
No 3. practically what the character for industry of the person will be when free, who lias
MAJOR MOODY'. been ob6iged to work as an African apprentice, or under coercion.
--My colleague also, with his penetration, perceived the importance of the subject,
but as the results appeared to be unfavourable to hi:i wishes, us they were also to
mine, lie has unfortunately permitted tile bias on his mind to resort to private and
unofficial comllmunications, concealed from ine at the time; and lie hawing submitted
these to try to influence the opinion of your Lordship, it has obliged me, in this
tedious manner, to examine statements, which it they had been brought before me
on the spot, I could have shown them to be erroneous in a few minutes, and in the
most conclusive manner, without subjecting your Lordship to the trouble of' read-
ing such dry investigations, as I have been obliged to undertake.
Your Lordship will also observe, that my colleague does not submit the testimony
of the missionaries, or any other person, as to the steady industry of Hull, but
gives mere opinions, and these in point of facE are directly contrary to I-lull's own
evidence given before my colleague and myself. In the case of Christiana Wheatley,
whom lie had examined privately, without my knowledge, she has, as to the points
of industry, solemnly contradicted, on oath before a magistrate, the account which
he has given to your Lordship, as her private statement to him.
I hope your Lordship will pardon my repetition here of my sincere conviction,
that my colleague would be incapable of such a mode of proceeding in any other
case than this, where his feelings misled his judgment. I dare not deceive your
Lordship, but ly feelings also prompt me to wish, that the truth were otherwise
than it is with. these poor free Africans, and their descendants, as to steady
I now proceed to the character of those African apprentices, who are still under
the control of masters and Cistirsses, for steady and continued industry, such as
is seen among similar persons in England, where they are under the stimulus of
obtaining maintenance by their labour, whereas African apprentices are under
indentures, and a certain degree of coercion.
In the collection of the evidence of other persons than masters and mistresses
on this subject, my colleague has adopted the opinion that the Wesleyan Ulission-
aries, (who had little or no practical experience in the control of mechanical or
agricultural labour in the \West Indies) were not only the best qualified, but the
most disinterested persons.
On the other hand, whilst I thought the Wesleyan missionaries eminently well
qualified to give evidence as to the moral character of the captured negroes when
under their pastoral care, whether free or indented, yet I must honestly contfes
from Iny own personal knowledge of the good missionaries themselves, who possessed
neither mechanical knowledge, nor experience in the actual control of the labour
of persons like these negroes iu West-India agriculture, I certainly never could
have even imagined that they deemed themselves qualified to give useful and intet-
ligent opinions as to the mechanical, agricultural or other habits of steady industry
of the captured negroes, because they did not appear to understand such matter.
The clergyman of the Church of England residing on tile spot candidly confessed
this, and I was quite certain lie was as well qualified to form a useful and intelligent
opinion as the missionaries. But indeed I did not consider the mere expression of
opinions on a practical question, as being of much importance to ydour Lordship,
unless when in connection with, and supported by facts, or circumstances alleged
to be facts. It was 'tle investigation of the truth of these alleged circumstances
that chiefly interested nme, because I considered that it 'was uponl the basis of truth
alone that any legislative measures could be safely taken, or political opinions satis-
factorily formed, on this important question. Now as the influential persons among
some of the missionary societies in England, far removed from the West Indies,
and of which they could only judge by the reports of' others, had distinctly connected
the abolition of slavery with their religious opinions, (with the truth or error of which
my duty as a Commissioner was no way concerned, i any matter connected with the
abolition of slavery in the West Indies, which might hasten or retard that event,
had a direct connection with the religious belief and opinions of the missionaries.
They saw, as-every body must see, that one political impediment to the speedy ac-
complishment of what was deemed by them to be conformable to the revealed will
uof God, arose from the fears and belief' in the West Indies,' whether well or ill
founded, that when the Africans, or their descendants, now in slavery, should be