A treatise on the patriarchal system of society


Material Information

A treatise on the patriarchal system of society as it exists in some governments and colonies in America, and in the United States, under the name of slavery, with its necessity and advantages
Physical Description:
16 pages ; 23 cm
Kingsley, Z
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:
2nd ed.


Subjects / Keywords:
Slavery -- Controversial literature -- United States -- 1834   ( lcsh )
Slavery -- Justification   ( lcsh )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
By an inhabitant of Florida.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 25979865
oclc - 18240127
notis - AJH2987
lccn - 11012626
System ID:

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Back Matter
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
Full Text



















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It will be allowed by every one, that agriculture is the
great foundation of the wealth and prosperity of our
Southern States. This important science has already at-
tracted some share of attention from men of the first tal-
ents, by whose improvements in cultivation several valu-
able productions promise, from their superiority, to main-
tain a preference in foreign markets ; and the recent intro-
duction of new articles of tropical produce into the south-
ern districts, where they bid fair to succeed, offers still
greater incitements to agricultural enterprise, and opens
a new and extensive range for future speculation.
While this great field of wealth and independence pro-
mises now to be well understood and duly appreciated, the
'primary cause and means by which alone it can be real-
ized, has either escaped attention, or been designedly over-
looked : I mean the perpetuation of that kind of labor
which now produces it, and which seems best adapted,
under all circumstances, to render it profitable to the
Southern capitalist.
The idea of slavery, when associated with cruelty and
injustice, is revolting to every philanthropic mind; but
when that idea is associated with justice, and benevolence,
slavery, commonly so called, easily amalgamates with the
ordinary conditions of life.
To counteract the existing prejudice against slavery,
by making it evident that the condition of slaves may be
equally happy and more independent of the ordinary
evils of life, than that of the common class of whites de-
nominated free-that they are now equally virtuous, mo-
ral arid less corrupted than the ordinary class of laboring
whites:-that their labor is far more productive-that
they yield more support and benefit to the State; which,
under a well regulated system of management, is better
fitted to endure a state of war than it would be with an

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equal number of free white people of ordinary means and
condition; and, finally, that the slave or Patriarchal
System of Society [so often commiserated as a subject of
deep regret] which constitutes the bond of social compact
of the Southern seaboard of the United States, is better
adapted for strength, durability and independence, than
any other state of society hitherto adopted. To endeav-
or to prpve all this, and to destroy the prejudice existing
againt slavery, .id4r the circumstances with which it is
now associated in the South, is the object of the present
essay ; 4dicated to the people of Florida, and to politi-
cal economists throughout the Southern States, by a vot-
ary of rational policy, and
most respectfaUy
their humble servant,
Z. KeaOSSee

*% See notes at the end.







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That there is, large portion of territory, in the Southern states un-
favorable to rtie health and production of white people, is evident from the
siekl appearance of nearly the whole seaboard laboring wjite population,
ex~4ding from the Chesapeake Bay to the Misssippi. This sickly ap-
pParance most observed among the lower orders, who are exposed to
the weather and it can only be accounted for by supposing that nature
has not fitted white complexion for hard work in the sun, as it is evident
that the dark l sfcomplexion' here is a measure of capacity for endur-
ance of labor, under hat influence.
Mas'.from a.supe ial view of things, suppose that the aversion to
labor observable in the STi, among the w\ork;fg classes of whites,' pro-
ceeds from atlaral indlspi n. Brt'a ueae view, and better arquain-
tance with fate wilflhoiv, th t the radical' crtbse- is thtF taHt of health,
which produces an apathy or aversion'to worft and frequently a relhr tion;
or want ofnatural excitement in tht-epowers of lif, which e.ek artificial
stiiulants :as we see frequent instances of the strongest; soberest; and
Mo ni inldutrious merlihani.s coming fromtathe-Norti, becoming, after'a few
years hard lhaor, vweak and idle, and fihallV. falling a'sacrifce to the abuse
of ar4ent spirits. Ijome are ofopinioni, that th' want of health in these
classeS, is owing to their being unacc.-utoimoI to a hot climate. But asr
many years haie elapsed since tho fiir-t white people settled among the
Southern swamps, and theiird~scendantt have not implored eitherin lboot
or lon evity, it ihr.nes evideti that people of white complexions are un-
ri- d hy nnanre fir that situalini.('J)
Some ofo1ur Northern nei.hb.orr, living ir 'a stateof health atnAiaflhteee
antdfnetbeitg aware' thattthis prosperous' trtp, i i mu nyi instances; prO
recpA indirectly fribm mSutheri .slave labor, nid without duly investigat-
iy". and comparing the hanlrhir-, and-huniillation ofthe lto coreltion
oftheirvwhite p.oputation'with ihe nrite enmfbrtatle tatie l'Sbhdtlitt rt
rngro)q. hare denounced the pntriarenlI stale of'-ulurrh ni ri'o'f Lhe aItt
ter, called blarery; as the nist abject and misernrble of all po Miht grtale4
of~i.Uttan'eriswtnce. iowit'appear, to TPe, that no oine erte cani he per-
retlyt ree from theP ep ilsrbittiHat aliritnMi ifpiftteesrlienttitifluattlit
ordr'ttee oene..) The negro urler tlie mnanngemerl of a just. cohtietlla t
tiert, and'bbmane master; (ot"r which descriprion it will certainly be alttlWI
ed&'hat tiher are-some) who grtVrilwd for the physvlal Wratsr tf his 'ser-
vawntf his wife and children; in h-nlth, sirkness urOt nld'tige, "Fr' nl other
rcon idPrarion than thieeuitaMe onofodnipettin ialte % whewnin hPalth,
wi~v nre*ly-r-iioy a happiie andmnriore rnrviahl stat' .eui tt-ht thoatth

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poor white man, burdened with a family, who has to contend with cold
and hunger, besides religious and moral tyranny,
Moreover, the free white man, with the greatest economy and industry,
usually consumes nearly the whole product of his labor; laying by but little,
even under the most favorable circumstances, but with a smaller stock of
prudence and exertion, which more commonly happens, he not only con-
sumes all his earnings, but is compelled by cold, hunger, and want of em-
ployment or ill health, to apply to the public for charity. Whereas the
negro by his labor, discreetly restrained under the co-operative, or Patriarch-
al system, not only furnishes clothing, implements of husbandry, and pro-
vision, but creates a large export surplus to meet contingencies; thus in-
creasing the comfort and capital of the establishment, of which he consid-
ers himself an integral part.(4)
In short, the greatest value of agricultural product for export, and nearly
all the springs of national and individual prosperity, flow from slave labor,
as is fairly demonstrated by our annual account of exports. It could not
reasonably be expected otherwise. The labor of the negro, under the
wholesome restraint of an intelligent direction, is like a constant stream;
that pf the white man is economically measured out by his urgent necessi-
ties, or dissipated by his expenses. Besides, climate enables the one to
furnish articles of greater value; while the white man's labor is usually
applied to raise cheap articles of food for the mere subsistence of himself
and family.
Such is the comparative usefulness of these twoclasses of society in our
present state of peace.--_But to rener a slave holding country! stronger and
equally advantageous in a state of war, against which it ought always to be
prepared; or, in other words to neutralize the spirit of disaffection which
necessarily results from every unequal4distribution of privileges ; it will be
requisite to alter a little our present policy.(5) Before. however, we begin,
and by way of getting rid of some slight prejudices, it might be well to
take a view of some other slave holding countries, which have already un-
dergone the test of experiment, and successful resisted all the disorganis-
ing temptations and insidious machinations of powerful, but, as yet, un-
successful enemies ;(6) and endeavor to obtain safe and conclusive evidence
from established precedents exactly applicable to our circumstances.
First, I will take a view ofBrazil,(7) which is by far the most powerful
and extensive slave holding country in America, or in the world; its popula- ,
tiou consists of something less than one million of whites, something
more than one million of free colored, and considerably over two mil-
lions of slaves. It passed through such a war of revolution as our own
from the colonial slate to that of an independent government, attended
n ith all the violence of conflicting interest, opinions, and consequent hos-
tility of royal and independent partizans, with their hostile armies, It
now ranks, as Empire ofBrazil, perhaps the most extensive government in
the world, and is carrying on war with the free Republic of Buenos Ayres;
with its white free colored population, it has fitted out, manned, and sent
to sea nearly forty ships of war, and has raised or sent to the iroptiers,
nearly fifty thousand regular troops. It now affords the grand imposing
spectacle of a slave holding government, whose population greatly p~rpon-
derates in favor of color, at war with a free republic, which constitution.
ally disavows slavery, and which not only endeavors to subdue it by force
ofarms, but to subvert it by inflammatory proclamations: offering freedom


and protection to the slaves as their reward for revolt. But all these disor-
ganizing temptations have herttfore failed; the slices maintain their obliga-
tion, and do their work peaceably as usual; furnishig 'produce and means,
nat only to support the national credit, but to carry on the war, and repel
the bearers of these insidious proclamations. This trait of virtue and fidel-
ity in the Brazilian tlaves, is to be attributed to humane and just treat-
The denr of liberty is open to every slave who.ecnfind the meansof pur-
chasing himself. It is true. fw have the means, but hope creates a spirit of
economy, industry and i mulation td obtain merit by good behavior, which
has a general and beneficial effect. Slaves are also allowed to hold some
kind of property, under limitation-such as stock. But the grand chain
of security by whAb thie slaves are held in subordination, is the free people
Sof color, whose perlafd proierties and rights are protected by law; which
enables them to acquire and hold property in their own name, and allows
the free children df qiiarteroons by a white man, to be white by law. By
this link, they become Identified with the whiteson one side, and with the
!i slaves by descent on the other; a connexion which perfectly cements the
i three casts or which the whole nation is composed; end each being per-
fectly contented with its permanent, lawful privileges, the jealousy, which
might otherwise arise from cast or difference of complexion or condition,
is totally extinguished, and no one feels an interest in disturbing thpt with
which eatery one is satisfied.
The Brtiah colonial policy is fast vergitg to the same point. Itoob-
jeet is to improve the educationn and nuental attainments of its free colored
i population, as well as to protect its slaves fro i unjust oppression.
SThe free colored people are thus gradually rendered it to take place
of the whites, whose lives have long* lfi Omeklet jaocrifilced to a hot
climate, which does not, nor ever ran agree with them. They have
so far progressed, as to fill up a great deal of agricultural as well a
mercantile room, and most of the militiatroops with free colored people,
who are good mechanics, well educated and of great respectability: so that
a very considerable share of landed property has already passed into,
theirhands. Their law also entitles the children offrse quarterroms. to all
i white privileges, if the father is white. By this pflty they unite the two
casts, who become equally interested in maintaining good order-and coti
tentment among the slaves.-
The Spanish, French, and Dutch Colonies have all adopted the same
The island of Saint Domingo is no~; independent under its aboriginal
5' name Hayti.(8) Its colonial tranquility was first disturbed by national edicts,
which the French people, while frantic with revolutionary zeal, madly
promulgated in their colonies. This dangerous fanaticism soon spread it-
selfamong the slaves'holders who being divided into rwo great political
t factions, nearly equal in strength, Armed their slaves to support their ow n
political opinions. This, together with their pride in denying the partiripa.
tion of equality to the free colored people, caused the destruction of that
flourishing and important colony. The fall, and final extinction of its colon-
ial power, and its subsequent re-establishment under a freea d independent
government of negroes in our vicinity, furnishes in a variety of incidents
which took place during its whole course, abundant examples of attuation.
q.ccurrences, and facts, fom which we may establish consequence taat


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would apply to almost every possible eituatioi in which we could imaging
laves of similar class to our own to be placed.
To inl'nuea general spirit of revqlt among the numerous plantations of
St'. Doniingo,, apert to have been a. niatter whichh required both lime
a labor to accmpy i especially as spnre departments were rire
prudent than others, aid tried to counteractit. Santhonax and Polvprel,
the commissioners sent out from France to enforce the national decrees of
liberty and fqniail.y ivy -ere iho t active a ntie surceestrul propagators of
liberty. Bul in many of th. quarters, th, slates till continued to work,
even wiilbout n ltpI orl rerrtrs; and turnlni-l h large quantities of coffee fur
xportation during the %% h.nl- g'ol rnment f 'Tounsaint. And, wh4t is orill
more remarkable, rhi- rich and Pxtensite deparmri.nt uo' Grande Aheq con-
tipaed -.d firhich nenrl) iit usnal quantir) or prdduei-, mid remained qq!et
"or'ihsevernil' ar- nrarr th cbnmmenceinent o(' the resolution, and until
Jererbie war evahuuted by the Br iiih, norwithltro ing that this department
was anuuavly hesieped by Gieneral' Tou;iainr and Rj'aud, commanding the
artie's of tre'Snult and orith- 1' est. aeciomnpanie.I Ly all lheir seditionus
priltaralib'ti TIh clar,-- w-rrf. armed by tIhin mast'.rs and protected
themselres nn famirilirs a hil': IthV ridi' aiiluuiant 'raps roicoilbe. 19 short,
S whBitih e' Boinre 1. rconi;lJr tli nl'ane;.rs .nd lhlood hed necessarily'attend-
i4g uch a horrid revohlrin, % litre a vast number ofOridi weia mTl~red mito
dM Mte of 1 "tfffirn'tsaah. by, A'ihd'lt n by Iartian, blinded by revoyu-
tionary fury, tilhi gih. iiu iijqrter onu *.i. r -ide, C i a'toii-lhing that the
sliveshnow liberated should have so soon returned to a peapic able and quiet
iste'of domestic order, and again admitted' Whites to re'ide p'-arreall
among therit azg#enjoy all the Ore-eminehee that cdndirion could give.(')
IBt.wi.gi wui( the filt; eanl nroriidering that they were still acting on tie
dmrrstiv-e again-t th. Brni, i. i ho, ibr many years dfter, and with all their
di.Jpo,-.abl' I; ..'. .. .-,i'-:a.)r,.-d to subdue them, it i a matter of astonishment
anr.I ondr.r hubow I much prodcae was atiH matdl as was expmted tifider
the rrtign ot' "Tu.saiRt, opi until the arrival of the grand French eVpedition
under H oihanhrnu ani 14 Leclrre. III I lEi.i-:lh when theoisland was again
throwgjW utg anruhby, and would h:ny. I'ei-n ultimately re-cOtquered but fbr
thebreatling tut ofdll'l rar atfrthli i h\.-en France and Britairi, which
siuippndeld the Irthrr progress of the conquest, and finally confirmed its
indepcndl..n'e'. "Its g'\v rnmrent has now settled under the form ofamilitary
Republic; but tl ..- qualityy i(rpr'dnuce raised bears but little preporttr to
thai it \ris ianl.- r il Parriarcha.i restraint of its Coloniial syerm ofgo-
-t rlnim'l, i-t th,- lre riit -tate of inldiidual emancipation implies tlet
,.nBesplftorbaAd rog, espeoiaUy in a hraltbv. enride. and mir climate
t.a., fi sn. 4 hrlp, ahore rhi clothes are reqpiired, 'and hountiful nature pro-
dai'c a pjontaneiiusly the n r,- sriurie .it Ili'. '
From all :hi sI. hietl it tllrn -t, that, under a just and prudent system of
matt tgenieut, npegpn i.,,- hWeifi; lperi.infilt, proditctive anid growing'pi6-
p3rntyinld c(-ily g"rriN rol; that they tre riot'itifurally desirnius ofe'hange
but ;ariesobet; discreet, honest and.obligin tre le-- Iriililil..nne, aifl 'fitf-
sess anint- betterimoral character tllan the orilhnary rlass of cqtrrpled
whites.ofrimnimtrcondltion.1(0.) '
'rTl ir ,,:rd ji t tirhrnrni tni rtliir hnin'-e: to trh-ir %ilves and children, ai4
In ddrnf-i'r li1. arm lik vi-p ar-mat Ler-nririi i br- th. iirgoi d bhia ri id fx
xtiit Hfir antl- reqittlblr- tallancriinp f ilothf'- and rrrivisioni. kind eiaur-
ipkwho i irtk, aud fair 'rrn t nhl.n i-eofl. vill. in mo-t ca.s k1e

:+ --.



good behavior, obedience and attachment. Under these circumstances
they will, without grumbling, and with very little corporeal punishment,
perform a great deal of valuable labor in a year, and with profit and sa-
tisfaction to the owner, who, if prudent, will soon find himself in easy cir-
cumstances, and feel happy in experiencing the attachment, confidence,
and good will of a grateful and happy people.(11)
The policy generally pursued by our own slave holding state govern-
ments with regard rt. free colored people, and that pursued by foreign co-
lonial and otlier E a1i holding governments, is directly opposite. In the
latter. the free colored people have found it their interest universally and
decidedly to place themselves in the scale of the whites, or in opposition
to the slaves.(1l) In the former, necessity, from the unfavorable construc-
tion of the laws. has compelled them universally to throw themselves into
the scale oftheslaves in opposition to the whites. This difference ofpolicy
adopted by the-e different governments, who have precisely the same
vier4ya.au interests i) favor, and the same objects to guard against, is ob-
viou'iy owing t thie ditfeerine- o l'lu.al circumstances, growing out of the
different situations of thetwo countries % ith regard to population.
In our greatest slave holding states xnlic'h take the 1,-ad. the great ma-
jority of the inhabitants is white, who boast of enjoying every priviledge
of free men, but possessing a strong feeling of prejudice against every other
shade of color, and inhabiting a high, healthy country, suitable to the labor
of white people, to whom colored labor is nor alb-.lutly necesagsy. This
majority has theright oflnrmin., laws to govern the minority, or stave
holding part ol'these states, lying nearest the sea, to whom a colored popula-
tion ii absolutely necessary, and with the safety and good government of
which a smaller degree: of prejudice against color would. better comport.
But as thegreat quantity of hires in the up country is at all times read) to
put down or exterminate all the colored people in case ol' in-urrcrtion, fear
and force in governing these people are safely substituted for wisdom and
The operation of ph3 nical causes hat induced the f.ireign slave holding
colonies and governnrmnte to adopt a policy,-inmetrically opposite. Their
rlilbe., ha being uylorable to the increase of the whites, ha, thrown a great
m nfority i nrolhI cale of the free colored people, many ofwhombeing rick
and lilerilly edurate-d, njoN great respectability, and having the same
interest with the whites, and great influence with the slaves, fofm a barrier
to insurrection; which not only makes life and property safe in time of
peace, but renders the whole physical strength of the country completely
disposable in time of war.
North Carolina, by the liberal provisions of her constitution and en-
lightened policy to her free colored people, stands firmer with regard to
slave property than any state to the south, not even excepting Louisiana.
A general line of limitation might be drawn between white and colored,
such as exists in the British West India colonies. Taxes in all cases should
be equal; and the law both criminal and civil should be as impartial as the
sun. If it is otherwise, what kind of protection can be given either to
person or property; and what must be the final result where neither is
I believe no Yisadvantage has ever been perceived in North Carolina
from its free citizens of color being allowed to vote.
It appears from the above statement, that to raise the value of southern
plantation property to its just scale of purchase value, according to the rat

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of interest yielded by its neat average return of crops, to bear an equal pro-
portion with the value and returns of real property in the north, which is
the principal object of this treatise, it may be considered necessary-
1st. To put all fear ofdanger, either to person or property, from in-
surrection. of the slaves, at rest.
2d. To destroy all doubt of the permanent durability of such property
in case of war or invasion.
3d. To extinguish that general foreign or northern prejudice against
holding slave property, which commonly arises from their mistaken view of
our policy and laws to regulate slaves and free colored people.
To accomplish these objects will require a considerable sacrifice of local
prejudice to the shrine ofselfinterest, with some small mixture of discretion
which I flatter myself the present enlightened state of society, improved by
its advancement in the science of political economy, will, in consideration
of the proposed advantages, liberally bestow. Health and bodily perfection,
are certainly before all other objects the most important; and to attain
these, no sacrifice of any kind should be considered as too great. Improv-
ing'the breed of domestic animals, has occupied the attention of some of
the most eminent anduseful men in our country. How much more meritorious
and laudable would that philanthropist be to i hose energy and moral
courage mankind were indebted fir e\poiing and removing a prejudice that
not only continues to entail ill health and degeneracy on the people, but
completely neutralises the physical strength of the country, by placingone
portion of the inhabitants in hostile array against the other.
The red aborigines were in this low country a healthy people. The
negroes are not only a healthy people, but robust and durable even in the
The intermediate grades of color are not only healthy, but when condi-
tion is favorable, they are improved in shape, strength and beauty, and
susceptible of every amelioration. Daily experience shows that there is no
natural antipathy between the casts on account of color; and it only requires
to repeal laws as impolitic as they are unjust and unnatural; which con-
found beauty. merit and condition in one state of infamy and-,degradation
on account of complexion, and to leave nature to find out a safe and
wholesome remedy for evils which, of all others, are now o most deplora-
ble, because they are morally irreconcileable to the fundamental principles
.f happiness, and self preservation.



[I] It will reasonably be inquired, who is the writer? and how preuaes he to
advise in contradiction to common practice and the received opinion of ninetenths
of all the slave owners of the United States? He answers that he is a slave
owner, aind has a right to express his opinion, having lived by planting in Florida for
the last tigenty-five years. He disavows all other motives but that of increasing
the value of his property; moreover, he thinks that truth will support his arguments
as to a subject with which he has had great opportunities of becoming well ac-
quainted, having lived long in different slave holding countries.
L2] This observation will apply to many of our farmers whose youth, strength
and ambition seem for several years to set the climate at defiance, but they are
finally overcome by sickness, which brings on debility and premature old age.
[3] Northern migration to the south for the purpose of gain in winter, and
southern migration to the north, to spend money in the summer, finally concen-
trate in the north the whole productof southern slave labor.
Slavery is a necessary state of control from which no condition of society can be
perfectly free. The term is'applicable to, and fits all grades and conditions in
almost every point of view, whether moral, physical or political.
It certainly is a mistaken notion that the progress of labor, guided by the ac-
cidental impulse of single individuals, is greater than that of systematic co-bpera-
tion, 4drected and controlled by a skilful mechanic and economist, under the
patriarchal government; for itis evident that slaVes taught early, could produce
any kind of manufactured goods one-third cheaper than free people; the co-ope-
rative system oflabor bripg hrtlter 3aloultted aeilh-r to increase the quantity or to
attain, perfection in t.he im.miin.tcltre ; and whenever Ilbor, expended in manu-
factusing cotton into cloth, yields more than it does when employed in raising the
raw material, slaves will become manufacturers.
S4 As white people are only wanted to act as overseers, or to fill vacancies in
conformity tolaw, their number muFt always'be limited to these wants and easy
situations. But the number of colored people must eventually be bounded by the
quantity, and quality of soil from which they derive subsistence by manual labor,
r&] Pride and prejudice, our present stumbling blocks in the management of
our negroes, shoul.l give way to policy and tht necessity of self preservation, and
induce us to remove as far as possible whatever are the obvious causes of this dan-
gerous spirit of revolt.
Power may for a while triumph over weakness and misfortune. But as all na-
ture (from the eternal principle of self) takes part with weakness against power,
the re-action finally must be terrible and overwhelming.
[6j Whoever was so unlucky as to see, on Cumberland Island, last war, the
magical transformation of his own segroes, whom he left in the field but a few
hours before, into regular soldiers, of good discipline and appearance, and with
what despatch and celerity the recruiting service went on under the protection
ofa few hundred marines, notwithstanding all the care and vigilence that was
used to prevent desertion, could not help figuring to himself the consequences' had
there been a larger force, able to maintain a position on the main, with any ulterior
object of conquestin view and possessing the means of equipment. Where would
thay have stopped, or what could have stopped them ?
[7] The empire of Brazil embraces, from north to south, about one thousand
leaguesof sea'coust, and as many from cast to west. The whole of this immense
territory, in a wholesome, temperate anti warm climate, is watered by the
largest and most extensive rivers in the world, and possesses abundance of capa-
cious and deep harbors for shipping, with inexhaustible quantities of incorruptible
timber, of which it has already built some of the finest first-rate ship of war and

~-s2=s;-;r=;~,-=~s~=;===s~T=--~~------- -- ---------

merchantmen that any country can boast of. Its export agricultural produce is
fast approaching in value to that of the United States, and it is incontestably the
most extensive, valuable, rich, healthy and best situated body of land under any
one government in America; and bids fair, from its policy and form of government,
which is a limited monarchy, to be one of the most durable. Its present popula-
tion, being more than three-fourths colored, will rapidly predominate on that side,
on account of its convenient situation to Africa its immense annual importation
ofslaves, its rich soil, its temperate and healthy climate, and more especially from
its great distance, and the expense of passages from Europe. With Chinese
economy it may, at some period not very remote, coinpete in population with that
most ancient Empire, which it greatly exceeds in extent. Of all other countries,
in fact,it most resembles China in its climate, fertility of soil and complexion
of inhabitants.
[8] I heard of no instance of abuse or treachery on the part of the negroes of
Grand Anse, during my residence in Jeremie, while it was held by the British;
nor did I experience either insult or interruption in the south or west of St. Do-
mingo, under the government of Touissant, or Rigaud. I resided there nearly a
year, atone period, besides making frequent voyages, during which I often tra-
velled alone, and on horseback, from Leogane to the Cayes, and from Petit-Goave
to Jacquemel, through woods and over mountains, with my saddle bag loaded
with specie to buy coffee; and though I f'r'.-entily met larce group. ofarmed
negroes in the woods, I neither received iniult or hinlcrance, but was alnwwa treat-
ed with kindness and civility. Many Americans, (I may say hundreds) at that
time on the Island, can testify to the same treatment and circumstances.
[9] This observation applies only to neutral nations. The French, who were
at war and enemies, were several times not only plundered but killed within the
government of Rigaud: but under Touissant, I knew of ho instance of treachery,
and all nations, classe'sand conditions were equally protected.
[10] For the truth of this observation, I appeal to every slave holder in the south,
who has had anopportunity of witnessing the conduct of white laborers who come
annually to seek work from the north; whether the common plantation negroes
do not conduct themselves much better and are of a more respectable moral
[.11 Our laws to regulate slaves are entirely founded on terror. It wild
be worth while to try the experiment ofa small mixture of reward with the pun-
ishment-such as allowing them the free use of Sunday as a market day and jubilee,
which I have observed had a goodeffect in all foreign countries, also in Louis,
iana. The laws of the southern states are exclusively constructed for the prqtect
tion ofwhites, and vexations tyranny over the persons and properties of every
colored person, whose oath can in no case he admitted as evidence agaiisl a
white person. Policy and self-preservation require, to render the co-opernli.-
system beneficial, that slaves must be kept under wholesome and just restraili,
which must always create some degree of resistance more or less to PhtrI:irth II
authority; to counterbalance which the interest and co-operation of the free
colored people is absolutely necessary when the white population is scanty.
[12] A slave who saves my life by rescuing it from assassins at the risk nf his
own; or who saves the lives and properties of a whole community by informing
against conspirators, must still remain a slave! and what a dreadful feeling of er-
neral resentment must originate from such a source of injustice! No won ller
(with such laws) at the universal antipathy and detestation against slavery,,,thu
identified with tyranny and the most oppressive cruelty.
[13] What greater insult can be offered to common sense, than to arrogate the
condition of freedom to ourselves, who have not the power, under any circum,
stances, of disposing of our property in the way we please. Is there any thin;
worthy of acr.r ptane that can be offered to a slave but freedom? Apd that e
hive not within r..r iftt in many four States.
If oar low com!niri is destroyed, and I lose my life and property by an inmurrpe-
tion, what sa It ,l'.rito is it to me to know that our back country militia vill


_ __

promptly and bravely revenge my death; and destroy my negroes? A state of
war might soon produce such an event.
A very common argument against free colored people's testimony being ad-
mitted as evidence in all cases is, that their moral character is not generally so
respectable. The force of all testimony must be measured by its respectability;
therefore of unequal value. But that the moral character of free colored people
generally is inferior to that of the same condition of whites, I think cannot be
proved. On the contrary, all unprejudiced people who have had an opportunity
of knowing, and have paid attention to the subject, will say that the very opposite
is the cabe. Even ifit were not so, what a reflection on our polity and justice, to
outlaw them for complexion, which they cannot help, and deprive them of the
means of acquiring moral improvement, by driving them to seek shelter among
theslaves! Few, Ithink will deny that color and condition, if properly consi-
dered,are two yery separate qualities. But the fact is, that in almost every ins-
tance, ourlegislators, for want of due consideration, havemistaken the shadow
for the substance, and confounded together two very different things; thereby
stlsaaiating bylaw a dangerous and inconvenient antipathy, which can have
no better foundation than prejudice. Itis much to be regretted that those who
enact laws to regulate slaves, and free people of color, are often obliged to con-
suit popularity rather than policy and their own good sense. If such alterations
were practicable as would render slave property safe, without adopting the pre-
sent system of terror, all such laws as tended to regulate plantation management,
and interfere with the province of individual owners, could be repealed, property
would increase in value; and the owner, no longer a kind of state prisoner, hover-
ing over the movemenits of his negroes and overseers, could liberalise and improve
his mind by travelling, and satisfy his thirst for knowledge wherever the advance
of science offered the greatest field for its acquirement.
The patrol laws are demoralising to the whites who compose the patrol; ty.-
rannical and unjust to the negroes; and unnoedesarily supercede, in most cases,
the owners preragatise and rights over his property.
Some of our state laivi, in defiance of our national treaties, condemn toindis-
criminate imprisonment in the common jail, every class of free colored persons,
who may arrive within their limits, without reference to sex, cause or condition;
and to be sold as slaves where they have not the means of paying the penalties
annexed to the crime of arriving within the jurisdiction of the law. What must
be the final consequence of such infatuation? an infatuation arraying itself in open
and avowed hostility against twelve millions of people, now composing the co-
lored population of this quarter of the world. Hayti, alone, in the full career of
wealth, freedom and juvenile independence, with equal, if not superior, advan-
tages of lipate, soil and situation, to any equal portion of territory in the world,
and evidently destined by nature, at no very distant period, if not to command,
at least to share the commerce of the surrounding ocean; and, without being over
peopled, comfortably to accommodate twelve millions of inhabitants.
A war of color would, in our situation, of all wars be the most dangerous;
therefore the least advisable, because we naturally and unavoidable (under our
pretet policy) contain within us the materials of our own dissolution; and nine-
tenths ofall our present white friends would at least faugh at our absurd indis.
Allthe late insurrections of slaves are to be traced to influential preachers of
the gospel, (as, for instance, at Barbadoes and Demarara,), to white preachers,
(missionarieI from England. Vesey, who instigated the Charleston plot, was an
edp.rting brother. Gualla Jack or Jack the Conjurer was a priest in his Mwn
countZyVI'Choolay Moreema, where a dialect of the Angola tongue spoken
clear aoros Africa from sea to sea, a distance perhaps of Ibree thousand miles: I
purchased him a prisoner of war at Zinguebar. He had this conjuringgimplements
with him in a bag which be brought on board the ship and always retained them.
I know two instances, to the southward, where gangs of negroes were prevented from
eserting to the enemy by drivers, or influential negroes, whose integrity to, their


masters, and influence over the slaves prevented it; and what is still more remark-
able, in both instances the influential negroes were Africans, and professors of the
Mahomedan religion. 1-,
A favorite maxim with some of our old southern politicians to increase the "se-
curityof slave property has been to prohibit the increase of free people, or, by
some means or other not yet divulged, to get rid of the evil altogether. If this
could be done without making the remedy worse than the disease, it would be
worth while to try it; but as the iniquity has its origin in a great inherent, uuiver-
sal and immutable law of nature, legislation, by the aged, against such an
alleged crime as propagation in youth, would be hopeless and like the story of
the King of Arabia, who, after destroying his appetite by excess and gluttony,
made a law forbidding, under a severe penalty, that any of his subjects should be
About twenty-five years ago, I settled a plantation on St. Johns rivtr, in Florida,
with about fifty new African negroes, many of whom 1 brought from the coast
myself. They were mostly fine young men and women, and nearly in equal
numbers. I never interfered with their connubial concerns, nor domestic affairs,
but let them regulate these after their own manner. I taught them nothing but
what was useful, and what I thought would add to their physical and moral hap-
piness. I encouraged as much as possible dancing, merriment and dress, for
which Saturday afternoon and night, and Sunday morning were dedicated;
and, after allowance, their time was usually employed in hoeing their corn, and
getting a supply of fish for the week. Both men and women were very indus-
trious. Many of them made twenty bushels of corn to sell, and they vied with
each other in dress and dancing, and as to whose woman was the finest and
prettiest. They were perfectly honest and obedient, and appeared quite happy,
havingno fear but that of offending me; and I hardly ever had occasion to apply
other correction than shaming them. If I exceeded this, the punishment was
quite light, for they hardly ever failed in doing their work well. My object
was to excite their ambition and attachment by kindness; not to depress their
spirits by fear and punishment. 'I never allowed them to visit, for fear of bad
example, but encouraged the decent neighboring people to participate in their
weekly festivity, for which they always provided an ample entertainment them-
selves,as they had an abundance of hogs, fowls, corn and all kinds of vegeta-
bles and fruit. They had nothing to conceal from me, and I had no suspicion of
any crime in them to guard against. Perfect confidence, friendship, and good
understanding reigned between us; they increased rapidly. After a few years,
this pleasant and profitable state of harmony was interrupted by the revolution of
1812. A war party of Seminole Indians attacked the plantation in my absence;
caught, bound and carried off, or killed forty of them, whose reluctance in go.
ing with the invaders may be imagined from the following circumstance. The
wife of a young man they had tied and were driving off, that her husband, who
was too strong tabs handled, and who had his young child in his arms, might fol-
follow; but this he absolutely refused, handing over the child to his wife, and say.
ingtbatshe knew best how to take care of it, but that his master should never
say that he was a runaway negro; upon which the Indian shot him, and he died
next day.
But my object in this long digression is to show the danger and hurtful en-
dency of superstition (by some called religion) among negroes, whose ignorance
and want of rationality render them fit subjects to work upon. I afterwards pur-
chased more new negroes. A man, calling himself a minister, got among them.
It was now sinful to dance, work their corn or catch fish, on a Sunday; or to
eat cat fish, because they had no scales; and if they did, they were to gto a
place where they would be tormented with fire and brimstone to all etenmilt
They became poor, ragged, hungry and disconsolate: to steal from me was only
to dbi4stice-to take what belonged to them because I kept them in unjust
bondage; that all pastime or pleasure in this iniquitous world was sinful; that
this was only a place of sorrow and repentance, and the sooner they were out of

itthe better; that they would then go to a good country, where they would ex-
perience no want of any thing, and have no work nor cruel taskmaster, for that
God was merciful, and would pardon any sin they committed; only it was ne-
cessary to pray and ask forgiveness, and have prayer meetings, and contribute "
what they could to the church, &c.
They accordingly formed private societies under church regulations, where all
were brothers and sisters, and, under an oath of the most horrid penalty, never to
tell or divulge any crime that would bring any brother or sister into trouble, but to
lay all the blame on those who had not united with them, and who, of necessity,
were obliged to join the fraternity, as soon as possible, in their own defence.
They had private nightly meetings, once or twice a week, with abundance of
preaching and praying, (for they all exhorted, men as well as women) with an
ample entertainment from my hogs, as it was no sin to steal for the church, the
elders of which held it right to break open my corn house and provide amply for
themeeting; so that, finally, myself and the overseer became completely divested
of all authority over the negroes. The latter even went so far" as to consult
the head men of the church whether or not, according to religion, my orders
ought to be obeyed! Severity had no effect; it only made it worse; and I really
believe that, in several instances, sick children were allowed to die, because the
parents thought conscientiously that it was meritorious to transfer their offspriinj
from a miserable and wicked world to a happy country, where they were in
hopes of soon joining them!
I relate the above circumstance not from any disrespect or prejudice against any
particular religious profession; but when it renders men unhappy and discontent-
ed with their condition in life, by destroying local attachment and love of country,
it certainly should be rationally opposed: and I cannot help regretting that honest
well meaning men, with so much ability to do good, and render mankind, espe-
cially the lower orders, happy and contented, should so misapply their talents as
to subvert all natural and rational happiness, and endeavor to render our species
Iwas informed by a gentleman who lived near the Fishdam ford, on Broad Ri-
ver, South Carolina, that his employer had made an experiment on the manage-
ment of negroes, of whom he was overseer, which answered extremely well, and
offers to us a strong case in favor of exciting ambition by cultivating utility, lo-
cal attachment and moral improvement, among slaves. He established four or
five plantations, not far apart, and stocked each of them with a suitable proportion
of hands, and work cattle, under a driver, who had the entire management of every
thing under his (the overseer's) control. The overseer's duty merely extended
to direct the driver on what land he was to raise provisions, and where cotton
was to be planted; with this understanding, that all the cotton raised,after it was
cleaned and -packed, belong to the owner, and that all the hogs, corn and pro-
visions left after supplying the plantation, belonged to the negroes, who might-do
with it as they pleased.
The ahsequence of this arrangement was, that these plantations, regulated as
before stated, turned out better crops than any other plantations of equal force
in that neighborhood, and the owner had no farther trouble nor expence than
furnishing the ordinary clothing and paying the overseer's wages, so that he
could fairly be called free, seeing that he could realize his annual income wher- -
ever hechose to reside, without paying the customary homage to servitude of per-
sonal attendance on the operations of his slaves.
Good policy requires that all laws tending to demoralise the people by holding
out a premium for perjury, should be abolished. Motives of policy, self-preserva-
tioorjti on which laws should be fonde, w form little or no part in iauch
laws, as for as regards the free colored people of the South, (with some exceptions,
sueb as Nort arolina and Louisiana,) which aredictated in a spirt of intol-
erant prejudice and irresponsible autocracy, holding out to people they nick-
name free, no positive reward or premium whatever for being 'ripoun; nothing
to stirq late to industry or the acquisition of a good name, learning or refine.


iment; no kind of protection either for person or property; their destiny is al-
ready fixed by a mark of nature which has doomed to irrevocable disgrace its
degraded bearer, who is singled out as a victim for cruelty, avarice and revenge;
whose punishment must be corporeal, not even excepting the most delicate female,
whome industryhnd virtue alone would place at the head of society in any other
country. The fruits of their industry must be offered up as a temptation to the
avatice of some nobler color, which alone is privileged to hold and protect it.
In short, liberty is merely nominal, without any constitutional protection.
They may be sold for debt to pay partial, exorbitant and tyrannical taxes or
fines, all which are unconstitutional. Oppression is carried to its greatest extreme
when a mother of the most unexceptionable moral character, leaving her family
on account of ill health, and going out of her native state, is inexorably punished
by perpetual banishment from her husband, children, friends, country and all that
is dear to her.
Since these severe enactments against color, several of the most respectable and
enLerprising young men have withdrawn from their native country and entered
into the THylian navy, and more will undoubtedly follow. I should think it were
better toinduce such to remain at horne as friends, than oblige them to pass the
Rubicon as enemies.
It has been a favorite project of some of our least mathematical economists, to
transport all the colored people of the U. States to Africa, without considering
that the cost of the annual increase alone, if purchased, when added to the lowest
possible freight, would exceed the annual revenue of the U. Sates. Besides,
the difficulty and stern opposition that would encounter a prostration of all rights
of property and liberty of person, they would have to put on board in irons,
under a strong guard, and be conveyed and landed in the same military for-
mality, to oppose the resentment of the natives whom they must displace, as well
as the'vengeance of the convicts themselves, both of whose lives must be sacrificed
to famine or resentment at the despotic nod of cruelty and superstition.
A great opportunity was lost of colonising more rationally at the late evacua-
tion of the Spanish part of Saint Domingo, where there would have been ample
room for all the colored people of the U. States, within five days sail ofCharleston.
A patriarchal feeling of affection is due to every slave from his owner, who
should con'id r the slave as a member of his family, whose happiness and protec-
tion is identified with that of his own family, of which his slave constitutes a part,
according to his scale of condition. This affection creates confidence which be-
comes reciprocal, and is attended with the most beneficial consequences to both.
It certainly is humiliating to a proud master to reflect, that lie depends on his slave
even for bread to eat. But such is the fact.
In most foreign colonies where spring is perpetual, Saturday is allowed the
slaves as a compensation for their furniihing their own provision, which chiefly
consists of yams and plantains, produced almost spontaneously, or with little la-
bor, and abundance of sweet, nutritious, and farinacious fruits of exquisite fla-
vor, growing wild on the trees all the year round. This not only supplies them
with delicious and wholesome food, but furnishes the means of traffic in the towns
at night, or to carry to market on Sundays which is every where celebrated as a
day of freedom and rejoicing, similar to the practice at New-Orleans.
Let any slave owner reflect and say, how much advantage the country would
derive from preaching up industry, economy and a local attachment to the
slaves; and, by pointing out to them the happy coincidence and wise and bene-
ficent dispensation ,qf so much good which every where surrounds them, how
much he would be disers ing of universal respect and gratitude; instead of preach-
ing up terror and dismay, misery and discontent, as dispensations of the mu-
praee Author of all good. All local attachment and love of virtue must be chilled
or annihilated by such intemperate abuse of supreme wisdom. Any extreme
is said naturally to produce its opposite.-Will an excess of error ever produce

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