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Title: Notes on the two reports from the Committee of the honourable House of Assembly of Jamaica, appointed to examine into, and to report to the House, the allegations and charges contained in the several petitions which have been presented to the British House of Commons, on the subject of the slave trade, and the treatment of the Negroes,
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Title: Notes on the two reports from the Committee of the honourable House of Assembly of Jamaica, appointed to examine into, and to report to the House, the allegations and charges contained in the several petitions which have been presented to the British House of Commons, on the subject of the slave trade, and the treatment of the Negroes,
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Stephen Fuller; Jamaica. Assembly.
Publisher: James Philips
Publication Date: 1789
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: Caribbean
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Bibliographic ID: CA02100004
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Bibliotheque haitienne des Peres du Saint Esprit
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 65337671

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Full Text
HI '.


7 v.-

E S-:







Houfe of Ajemby of yamaica,


To examine into, and tr report to rhe House, the Allegations
ind Chargec coininod in ihe Ihverul Pcirlions which have been
prercteed to the g[IlrITsH I-[luvoB of COMMOrN,a on the Suibj,)
of (he SL.AVE iTRADD, anid the T'rcat-men of the NEao 9rOE
&c. &c, &c.



IrAji^^I.. -. .--.

H : 4




T HE following remarks are not published
with a view to excite odium against any
individuals, or bodies of men, but to elucidate truth,
and to illuffrate this general position, that the ha-
bitual exercise of that arbitrary dominion which
the matter joffeffes over the flave, communicates
an involuntary bias, even to well difpofed minds,
againfi the juft claims of humanity, and that it is
difficult, if not impoflible, to inrcrpofre ffetual
laws restraining fuch dominion. Notwithitand-
ing the favourable light in which the framers of
the Reports with the fate of the laws in Jamaica
previous to the A& of 1788 to be considered, it is
evident from the Report. themfulves, that a very
imperfect and limited pro~caion was fecured to the
flae. If the flave were killed it was indeed de-
clared to be felony by a law paffed fo lately as
1787, but, the benefit of clergy not being barred,
the punishment, of course, was flight, or more
properly none at all. As to mutilation, difmem-
berment, and numberlefs modes of cruelty under
which the dave might suffer, he appears to have
been left very much at the discretion of his master:
A For


[ ii ]
For though a penalty of zool. was laid on the
master for fuch mutilation or dilinemberment, yet
as the tcflimony of the flave was not admiffible
againfl him, it is not probable that it could
ever be recovered and the 8th claufe of the Act
of 1781 (Report, p. 6.) which ordains the punifh-
ment of fine and imprifonnncnt on anyperfjn wantonly
beating ajlave not his own property, plainly denotes
the insecurity of the lave from fuch wanton
affaults of his own after. The infrequency
too of public executions (p. 9.) feems to indi-
cate either that the conduCt of the flaves was not
fo vicious as has been reprcfnted, or that the
master was accuAomed to affume to himself the
office of judge, jury, and executioner. What in-
deed can be thought of the humanity of that code
of laws which permitted mutilation and maiming,
as judicial punif ments for crimes (fee Report,
p. r7). Every one who knows how deeply power
corrupts the human heart, will lament the humi-
Jiating condition of the flaves, when fo much li-
cence was allowed to bad tempers, and when the
very fyfem of slavery tends to create or inflame
fuch tempers.

The instance of suffering there lenient and falu-
tary laws, as they are called, to lie totally extinu
for three years, viz. from 1784 to j787, (Report,
p. 6.) is a firiking proof of their inefficacy, and
of the little regard paid to them.

The lall law, paffed in Jamaica in 1788 affords,
however, a profpca of meliorating the situation of
the slaves. A new law in Granada profeffes the
fame benevolent purpose. Laws of melioration

tnd improvement are a credit to thofe who pro-
mote them, but they certainly imply former de-
feAs, and nothing can more fully confirm the ac-
counts which are given of the tyranny of masters,
than this tacit acknowledgment of the little re-
flraint they were, till lately, under. This, in-
deed, is exprefely admitted in the preamble to the
Grenacla AMt, which is as follows:

Whereas the laws made for the protection of
" flaven have been found insufficient, and whereas
" humanity and the interlef of the colony re-
" quire that falutary and adequate regulations
" and provisions flould be adopted for rendering
" their Iervirude as limited and eafy as pofflble,
" and for promoting the increase of their popu-
" nation, as the moft likely means of removing in
" the course of time the neceffity of further im-
" portations of negroes from Africa: And where-
Sas there desirable ends cannot be fo effecually
" obtained, as by prcfcrihing reasonable bounds ta
' the vower of ma/les and others having the charge
" of'flavr. by compelling them sufficiently and
Properly to lodge, feed, clothe, and maintain
" them, by introducing them to the knowledge
" of the Chriftian religion, and affording them
' opportunity of improvement in morality, and by
inducing them to regular marriage, and when
" married,proteting them in their conjugal rights.",
Bc it threfore enaedd, &c.

After all, when it is considered that the distance
between a mailer and a flave is infinitely greater
than that between any other situations in human
life, it may well be doubted whether any laws can
A a bd

( 1v ]
be to framed as to afordt fl&uAl proteCion to the
Have. If it is diicult, even In this free country,
for a poor man to obtain legal redrefs for the op-
preffion of the rich, how much more difficult
muA it be tn Canutrian where the dominion of the
rich li (b abtblatOe that the murmurings of com-
phWs may be refentcd as an affront, and punished
sA a eirme? While local policy' ufurps the feat
equity, and requires a diltintion between the
otodce of trying black or white perfons,'-1- the ad-
tninitration of juflice muft be very defeCtiv and
If, however the planters by there Ads (incerely
Sau sgr~alul rovement in the fate of the faves,
lit m rolfc In ile hope that a melioration of the
Itkm of lvrwy will be accompanied by a melioration
of the tampers of the dlav-holders, and that, by de-
grees, fbch manners and principles will prevail, as
will render atsi of tyranny and cruelty disgraceful
in the eyes of the country. May the spirit of hu-
manity, and the love of freedom, Co congenial to the
Britii nation, extend their influence till the legif-
Intures, both national and provincial, may perceive
that no fubflantial and durable interest can be de-
rived from Co polluted a force as flavery I

t SM Report, p. 16 in the note.

( 5 )



R E P O R T S.

IN a former letter I mentioned the two Reports
published by our Houfe of Reprefentatives on
the applications of the people in Britain to the
Houfe of Commons, for the Abolition of the
African Slave Trade; and having charged the faid
Reports with wilful deception, and holding out
of falfe lights, I think it ncceffary to prove the
charge, which I apprehend will be done by tran-
fcribing the pencilled note I made in the margin
of the printed copies of the liid Reports, on the
firfl curfory perufal thereof. Hut frit 1I will pre-
mife, that the Committee, appointed to inquire
" into and report to the houce the Allegations and
" Charges, contained in the several petitions which
" have been presented to the Bricifh Houfe of
" Commons on the fubjed of the Slave Trade, and
" the Treatment of the Negroes, &c. &.'. &c." had
two objeds in view, nnd for the effeding of which
the Reports arc calculated, more than with any
real intention or hope of folidly refuting the allega-
tions and charges contained in the faid petitions,
A 3 any


many of which the Committee knew were too well
grounded in fats to be refuted.

The firdl objet the Committee had in view was
a very laudable one. There had been prepared, and
was then pending, a bill for fecuring more impar-
tial trial and better treatment to Ilivcs ; and tho
Committee were well ilnfuimed that every oppofi-
tion would be given to it in the Council. T'hof
who diflikcd the bill, that is, thofe who did not
like to have any penalties or reftridions laid on that
cruelty, and injullice, which they were conscious
they had been, and probably intended to be again,
guilty of, faid confidently, and people generally
apprehended, that it would be thrown out by the
Council. Some of til moire fcnlible and humane
Members of the Committee conceived that, by
quoting in their Report Icveral of the molf favour-
able clafes of the h ill, that in, thore which they
apprehended would meet with molf opposition in
the Council, and be more like to occasion the
miscarriage of the bill; by reasoning on, and tak-
ing credit for thofL clahues; by fending their report
to the Governor, for his tranfiniflion of it to the
Secretary of State, in order to its being laid before
the King in Council; by publifling it, by printing
it here, and by directing the Agent of the island in
London, to print it there, and -not only to present
copies thereof to the Members of each Houfe of
Parliament, and to each of the bodies which had
petitioned the lioufe of Commons, but alfo dif-
perling it generally through the kingdoms, the Le-
giflature would be pledged to pals the bill into a
law, and the Council feicag thedifreputation and ill
confequcnccs that would result from their refuting

'to give their affent, would alfo pars it, and it was
known that the Governor was with the bill: or on
the other hand, should the Council after all, deter-
mine to reject it, the odium would fall alone on
that board, and not on the people at large, or on
their representatives, who had fhewn their willing-
ncfs to have the law made, by.having originated and
paffTd it, whicli would tend to their exculpation in
the eyes of the public from the charges of cruelty
and tyranny, more than any thing that could be
offered in difproof of the allegations. I am
afraid that too many wifhed for this cheap and
plausible mode of exculpation, which would colt
them nothing; for if the bill did not pafs into a
law, they would have credit for all that was good
in it without being bound to the conceffions which
conflituted that good: How can the people of
" Britainblame, or the Legijlature go about to
" punfi, us for abufes which we wih to reform, hut
Share prevented jrom reforming by the Board of
Council appointed by tkn'mlelvvs-fay by the
Crown ?"-.Wilh fuchl as held up this dangerous
idea, I reafoned thus: The island lands pledged by
the Report, to pafa the bill into a law, and if it
Hall not be parked, what can the nation think but
thut there has been a hafo collulion between the two
branches of the Legitlaturc here ? Will not they
argue alter tiiB manner? Was there ever fo bafe,
fu vile a fubterfuge as this ? They flood charged
with cruelty, t)ranny, and injuflice, and howdo they
at under the charges ?-We confer, fay they, to
the publick of Great Britain, (who are their ac-
cullers) we confers, that the laws refpeAing our
flnves, arc not to good as they might be; you have
called our attention to them, and we fee that they
A 4 require

'iktatk you, and we will
*M th mip WIgUftew tamndments c our
L I biy i rwad In the falutary work;
i le .. Wbill, which when pafled into
i t ~Clr wa from cruel treatment,
wit whillt they in effect fay this,
reports of their Affembly, no-
oi their intentions, than that fuch
e paffed into a law. They knew that by
ag Cement it was to be rejeaed by their
S Council --they knew that Parliament
meet Ialy, and that the Houle of Commons
..d to take conixance of the petitions on
iTrfde taoljft the firft objcas of their
SConcelived that the two Reports
sad the copy of the bill alluded
lEy'"t the Houfe, but alfa ap-
St WMp. and the bufincfs would
h b ad they flattered them-
Sthe bl, by concert, would not
be related till tle clofe of their Seflion,
sID mlIa.nt of its rejcelion could reach to
llt would be too late in the feiffon here to
Sbalfnetm of Loch importance, as the Abo-
f the African Slave Trade. Surely thofe
Vr hardened in iniquity, and loft to all
Of Ita," May not the people in Britain, I
this manner, and in rclentment pf
.ileduCt, may not their indignation
leIis of yvarly, which they would
not sh eligible ? And what but
the d e lle n bo expected from
fuch vile wa thought guilty of
Do you fI P o Ipe of Britain will
cafly lo1a gl aational bufinefs, in
S. .which

( 9 )

which they are now involved ? For after the matter
hath been brought into open light, and agitated fo,
that no man can plead ignorance on the fubjet, it
now concerns them as a nation; if they wink at
our crimes, they will be partakers of our guilt, and
muft expect to partake of our punishment. I am
persuaded, that there are myriads of men of fober
minds, and cultivated undcrlzandings, as well as
tender confciences, who think th'i., for all who
believe that there is a God that Judgeth the
" earth," mrlt think fo, and therefore they will
not, they cannot wirh peace, lofe fight of it. But
fome may Lay, Do you cftccm it no injury to lofe a
whole day's labour of our flaves out of every twelve?
And is it nothing that negroes and flaves fall be
tried like white men, like free Britifh men, by
grand and petit juries ?-What poffible injury can
that do to ,white men, if thole juries, who are
themselves white men, do juflice on fuch trials?
-But they are not by the bill to be tried like
Britifh men--they are nrot to be tried by their Peers.-
But, are the eternal rules of jullice to bend to the
pride and caprice of one ict of men, who happen,
by fume means, to be poflcfed with a little brief
Authorityy, to the prejudice and mifery of others ?
Do you really fuppolc, that there are two forts of
juftiic with that Being who made all men of one
feth, though not all of one colour, and who is no
rerpettr of pcrlbn, but anongft all nations and
people, accept of them who do juflly, love mercy,
and fear to offend him ? As to this day in two
wccks, I am convinced, on good grounds, that it
would not be lol it would be a benefit to all who
chcarfully granted it. Does not the experience of
all ages anid nations flew, that in every climate, and

I go I

moft in hot and debiliaing onet, fuch as this, ieft
after labour is necaffary ? The Being, who created
man, who know hil frame, and what his nature
-requires, has declared, that one day's reft after fix
of labour Is requlfe. Juftice and obedience to the
moral Jaw out of the question, and considering
negroo merely as labouring animals, will not their
IArngth be renewed and invigorated by returns of
rft, and will not they be thereby enabled to do
more work in five days, Co recruited, than in fix,
exhausted and dispirited by continual toil ?-But
that they would is not a matter of conjecture, or of
argument: F have the irrefragable tefiimony of ex-
perience for it that they will. I give, I beg pardon,
reason ant humanity gve, and 1 allow, them one
day in each week to labour for themselves; God
has given them another of reft from their labours;
and I finld that in the other five they do more work
without whipping, or fear of whipping, than ma-
ny other peoples do in fix, though urged by cruel
feverity.-Count what is loft by unwillingness and
defection, by advertising runaways, and fending out
parties to fearch for and bring them in, and fee
to what it amounts ? I have no dedudions of that
kind to make, for I have not, for years pflt, had
one negroc abfcnt for a day, without leave, though
I take not the cruel, though common precautions
to prevent their running away, by branding their
flcfl with the letters of my name, or the marks of
my plantations.-It is to be hoped I brought over
fome to my way of thinking.-But to come back
to the other objcQ aimed at by the Committee in
their Reports: It was simply to exculpate the ifand
from the charges of cruelty, injustice, and tyranny
at any rate, right or wrong, to exculpate us.

[ is ]

This is a heavy charge, but I will prove'it, and
challenge any man of honour to deny it. Two of
the mofl a&ive Members in the Committee, both
men of great humanity, whofe negroes are treated
with uncommon lenity, were earneft to purge the
island from the charges of cruelty and injustice,
which they thought did not exit, and they fet
about colliding Ifch proofs and vouchers as they
conceived would teclify to the world how much the
people of thin island were mirreprecentcd, and how
irjurioufly calumniated j but what was their
anfonifhment, when the inquiry which they had
inltitutd, mnd from which they expected to refute
the allegations and charges contained in the peti-
tions to the Houile of Commons, furnished the moit
indilputabic teftimonies that the charges of cruelty,
tyranny, and injuflice were well founded ? Cruelty
and tyranny in the treatment of negroes by indi-
viduals, and public partiality and injufticein trials,
both of white people for fuch cruelty, and of
negrocs for crimes of which they flood charged.-
What was to be done then ? If we report gene-
rally that Iome of the allegations and charges may
be true, there will be great danger ; but if we
report particularly the result of our inquiries,
there ill/ be an failure certainty of the S/ave Trade
beng abo/qrjcd. Let us then throw a veil over the
patl, fince we can icither recall nor jullify it; but
let us exert ourfilvcs, by all means, to prevent the
like enormities in future."

I come now to my notes on the two Reports of
the Houfe, which were written as I read them':
they will tend to give a jutler idea of the fubje6,
perhaps, than a more elaborate treatife.

I is I
P. a. The Committe are of opinion, that the
Principle of the iAid At of the Britiih Parliament*
i founded In Juice, humanity, and neceflity;
" and thUt the provifoni adopted therein, when
* further matured by the wisdom of parliament,
" mut ultimately prove highly beneficial to the
." LijMr colonies, inasmuch as it is notorious, that
" velFels have been frequently crowded with a
Greater number of negrocs than they ought in
* prudence to have contained. And it is the opi-
" nion of the Committee, that the wifdom and
' authority of parliament might be beneficially
" exirtd, in further regulations of the African
" commerce particularly, in preventing the de-
" tnlont of lbpa on the coaft j in prohibiting the
" purchab of flaves who ilhal appear to have been
" kidnapped, or deprived of liberty contrary to
" the ufage and cu tam of Africa; and in cornm-
,. spelling the faid lhips to tranfport an equal num-
" ber of both fexes, and to provide ventilators,
" and a fufficient quantity of provisions, especially
" water.- It feums not to be underifood in
" Great Britain, that the inhabitants of the Welt
" India islands have no concern in the hips trad.
" ing to Africa :-The African trade is purely a
a riti(h trade, carried on by Britifh fubjeds re-
" hiding in Great Britain, on capitals of their own;
" -the connexion and intercourfo between the
" planters of this ifand, and the merchants of
" Great Britain trading to Africa, extend no fur-
" other than the mere purcharc of what Britilh afts
" have declared to be legal objetts of purchase."

* The A6t paffd aItl ~tflon.


I 13 3

With respect to the crowding of velTels, fee
notes in the fcquel, on the examination of Meffrs.
Chifolme, Anderfon, and Quier.

The tender care profeffed here by a Jamaica
Houfe afAffembly, for the rights and liberties of the
natives ofA frica, is too extraordinary a circumstance
not to firike the obfervation of the reader,. Thofe
who have given any attention to the publica-
tions on the ufc, propriety, and justice, of the
fave trade, will have observed that of thofe who
defend the benefit, right and juflice. the moll able,
that is, the motel artful, perceiving the impoffibility
of juffifying our making flaves, or the encouraging
others in the making flaves, of thofe who are born
in a ftare of natural and political freedom, either
deny that the natives of Africa have fuch rights, or
allege that ibey have forfeited them to the laws
of their country by crimes, the punishment of
which is slavery. Some describe the governments
in Africa to be universally pure defpotifm, or they
argje as if they fuppofed they were fuch, and con-
clude that the fate of flavery in the BritiSh colo-
nies is to much preferable to the condition our
flaves were removed from, that the change is a
real blefling. Long, on this fubjed, (fee chap-
ters, I. II. Il. Book 3. of the 2d vol. of his
Hiflory of Jamaica, intitled Negroes) determined
to lay a folid foundation for the wicked con-
clufions he intended to draw, fuppofes them fearce-
ly, if at all, superior to brute beafes; the conclu-
fion from which is, that they were meant for the
flaves of men, white men to be fure, or Indians j
for, according to Mr. Long, negroes are hardly


[ 1:6
offlaves in this illnd, it it neceffary, and eaCf
" to disprove the rame, by demonftrating, %it, that
" negroes in thil Ihld are under the prote&ion
of lenient and (fautary laws, fuited to their fitu-
Satiun and circalmt tlbom -adly, that the lave.
a" Jws mu uuotd with humanity, mildnefs, and
" merry f st the laws have ml de pro-
"* ViA W Itv days of reft, and to prevent
@' tilh"'" S t of he neceffaries of life;-
* andi el!' W decre fe of our flaves does
4" sb1 dtM.l alledged in the peti-
T 1t6 Britih Houfe of Com-
..* .t..llb.s-.W l other causes not im-
SeY atui which the people in Oreat
.i..t i. . a tcomprehend.'
' parl bl l the ltnity of there laws, and of
thefr imcnl ton vwide Notes on the Second Re.


1 17 i


For Obfervations on the renewal of the aft of
784., fee note farther on.
On this fubjedt we have to obferve, that it
appears by the letters of our Agent, that cer-
tain heads of inquiry were transmitted to him
a few months ago, from a Committee of the
Lords of His Majefly's Moft Honourable
Privy Council, many of which related to
" the condition and government of our leaves;
" and, in answer thereto, an abftrad of moft of
" our ancient flave-laws were laid before their
t Lordfhips; to which, if neceflary, reference may
" be hadj but it feems not to have been under-
" flood by bur Agent, that in 78 i, many of thofe
, laws were repealed, and all the fubfiting laws
" and clauses of laws refpecing the order and go-
" vcrnnmnt of flaves were consolidated and brought
" into one a6:-This ad is known by the name
" of the Conlblidarcd Slave At; and, having ex-
" pired on the 31f1 day of December 1784, has
" fince been renewed, with amendments. By
" the Caid a6t of 1781, Claufts ad and 3d, all pof-
" efefrs of plantations are obliged, under the pe-
" nalty of col. to allot provision grounds for each
" of their haves, to allow them fufficient time to
" work the fame, and alfo to keep in proper cul-
" tivation one acre of land, at leall, for every four
" negroes in plantain-walk and ground-provilions,
" exclufive of the negroes grounds; and in cafe
" the owners or poffeffors have not lands proper
" for that purpose, they are required to make
B fome

ik among bothers, that our laws consider slaves is
" capable of holding property, and will protect
" them therein."

Why did not the Committee when they were
expressly employed in quoting laws and claufes of
the humane, mild, and falutary laws, why, I fayj
did not they quote the law, or clauses of laws, by
which negroes are proteled in the poffeflion of
property? Is it the law that orders them to be
whipped for having more than five pound of meat
in their poffelion ?

By Claufe 6th, the penalty of /. oo0. is laid
Son any matter or owner who hall mutilate or
"* difmember any flave or flares."

To people in Britain it muft appear firange, firlt,
that there should be a necefity for a law tb punifl-
mafters for mutilating and difmembering their fer-
vants; and fill ftranger, that a law should be ex-
tnnt for inflicting fuch punishment from the year
1717, and that great numbers of inflances should
be notoriously known to magiftrates and judges, as
well as others, of people having mutilated their
negroes without any perfbn whatever recolleding,
at the times when liich inflances made it neceffary to
put the law in force, that there was fuch a law;
strange fill, that the Committee Ihould gravely
affect alloniflhment at the people of England,
alleging fuch things, when a little inquiry
would have convinced them- of what? that
the allegations were totally groundlefs? -no, by
ho means. But fuch inquiry would have convinced
them that the minds of men become indurated by
B a the

[ 20o
the habitual p.Lofpet of oppreftion and mifcry.
Hundreds of inftances, aye doubtlcfs thousands, of
difmemberments, mutilations, and abfolute murders
have occurred, which, by reason of the evidence of
negroes not being compolent against white men,
cannot be cognizable by magitrates. I know two
pmen, now living, whofa neighbours ray positively,
and every body believes, that each of them has
murdered core of their own. negroes. One of
thoae monflers has been hoard to lay, that fince he
became a planter on I4a own account, which was
rather late in life, he had burled, as he termed it,
357negroes: and yet thii execrable being, affected
to be aflonifhed at a perCon'f being fo unpolice as to
tell him, that if what his neighbours ibid of him
was true, the wonder was not that he had buried fo
many, but that Iw had any above ground.

I mull not, however, onit to give the caufe of
amendment in the law of 1787 the praifc it jultly
merits; it is a good claufe, and not at all to be
blamed for its not having been put in force oftner
than it has been. I have for many years been con-
verfant with Jamaica, and know but of one infiance
of the law against mutilation being informed, and
that inflance occurred fince the people in Britain have
interested themselves in favour of ite poor negroes:
I have been speaking of the Af of 1717, but there
is an amendment in the At of 1787, which will
have a good cffid.

By Claufe 7th it is enacted, that in cafe any per-
" fan hall mutilate any flave the property of ano-
o their, fuch further punishment would he in-
SfliAdd, exclusive of the aforefaid fine, as the

[" 21 ]

" Court shouldd think proper; and at the fame time
" the owner of the injured flave is allowed to pur-
" fue his remedy for damages at common law."

The owner of the injured lave is allowed to
purfue, ,&c. And in the name of justice and
mercy, why not tile injured flave allb allowed ? Is
this dillllowjnce amungl the other proofs that the
law will prote him in the poffeflon of property,
when it provides no remuneration for the lofs of
his limbs or members ? Why, if the criminal is
poffeled of property, ought not he to be compelled
to make relifution to the injured flawe by par-
chaling his Iiberty, and providing for his support?

By Claule 8th, any person wantonly beating
" a flave, pot his own property, is liable to be
" indiCted for the fame, and punifled by fine and
it imprisonment."

The preceding note applies equally to this claure,
why should the iminediately injured be precluded
all redreis-in this world ?

When we reflect that many of thefe clauses were
provisions of our ancient laws; and, in parti-
cular, that the penalty on the mailer who should
mutilate or di member his flave, was enaded fo
long ago as the year 17i'7i and when we consider
further, that the faid adt of 1781 was in full
force until-.3t December 1784; we cannot
futiciently cxprefs our aflonilhment and con-
cern, that refpcdable bodies of men should have
fubfcribed their names to allegations, which a
B3 9" little

r' 2 r

;' little inquiry muft have convinced them were
,1 totally groundlefa."

Enaed f long ago a s 71717," inc then there
have been inumberlcde difincmbcrrmcnts, publicly
known, which paffed unnoticed by authority. I
know one extraordinary inflance of a man, I be-
lieve fill alive, who diinembered his only ne-
groe, and now is or lately was led about by that
very negroe; the inhuman matter having, foon after
his barbarity to the poor flave, loft his fight. This
is a notable nnfwcr to the argument made ufe of by
famewho are averfe to roeraininig laws, viz. that a
man's faves being his properly, a regard to his own,
intercft will prevent his injuring their life, health,
or frcngth. I anked one of thofe advocates for un-
controlled power, if he ever knew a man hurt his
hurfe by over-riding him ? Oh yes. Had he ever
known a man injure his lIealth by drinking or other
excefs ? Oh yes, many. H.id lhe ever known any
who had by gaming, or other extravagance, ruined
their fortune, and brought their wives and children
to difrefs and want? By this time he discovered
hat I aimed at, an4 was filent.

We fee by the next paragraph, that the protec-
tion of the limbs and lives of the negroes was of
fo little weight with the legislature here, that they
fuffcred the law of 1784, fo much vaunted for
affording that. protection, to expire, and the
wretched flaves to remain at thq mercy (that is, the
cruelty) of whoever chafe to abufe them for three

[ 23 1

By Claufe 4th, regulations are made toprevent
flavcs being deferred in future by their owners,
on account of age and infirmity; and, by a tub-
frequent claufe, the justices and veftry of each
town and parish are empowered to lay a tax upon
the inhabitants, for providing food, medical
care, and attendance, on flaves already deferred
by their owners, and who are disabled from
labour by lickncs, old age, or utherwife. And,
in order more effl tually to enforce the regula-
tions of former laws, rclpeting the Cubliftence
and cloathing of laves, it is cniictcd, by Claufe
6th, That every master, owner, or attorney,
( fall, under a penalty of fifty pounds, give in
to the veflry, on oath, an account of the quan-
"* tity of land in ground provisions (over and
above the negro grounds), for the ufe of their
flaves i or, in cafe there are not lands proper for
l" the purpose, an account on oath of the means
" adopted for the maintenance and support of their
" Ilaves ; and alib, under the like pen.iry, give in
* an aLccount of Ihr clu:alhiig aLually lfrved to
" each flave."

The whole of the clauses mentioned here are ex-
cellent. This is not only making laws, but pro-
viding for their being executed; but as for the
regulations of former laws," as they are here
termed, they were not when made, .nor till thefe
chafes were created, ever meant to be enforced.
The giving into the veilry an account on oath of
the quantity of land in provision, and of clothing
furnished to the negroes, will I think have the bell
effects; and the providing for deferred negroes, was
listening at length to an evil of cuormous nmg-
B 4 nitudc,

[ 24 1
nitude, which had long cried to heaven for ven-
geance. Horrible cruelties had been exercifed in
regard to negroce, who were rendered incapable of
labouring by age or ficknefs, whofe execrable
riafers, after having had the labour of all the
healthy and vigorous yc;irs of their lives, deferred
them in age, ficknefs, and imbecility; deferred them
to all the horrors of nakcdnefs, hunger, and help-
Jefs old age. But the guilt ended not there; fame
of thofe poor wretchlc in this fituation would feal
provisions, or fomeithing wherewith to procure pro-
vilions; and if dctclted, the maltcr of the flave fo
detected, the very maftcr who had deferred him,
became his profccuIor; bccaulb being conviacd and
executed, he, the nmaler, became entitled to and
received from the public forty pounds.

On this head let me mention a tingle circum-
Rance. A planter once on a journey to Kingfton,
put up for the night at an inn kept by one Bailey,
a firange fellow, hut who was not deditute of hu-
manity. In the dead of the night the houfe was
alarmed with a cry of thieves. It was then the
fashion to travel armed. On the alarm, the planter
hatched up his word, and ran out of the door,
where he presently feized on a man who was break-
ing into the proviflon flore. He had juft fecured
him, with his back to the wall, and the point of
his word to his breast, when the people brought
lights, and discovered this dreadful houfc-breaker to
be a tall emaciated old man, whole woolly head was
as white as fnow, and who formed hardly able to
ftand. The negroes immediately mentioned his
name to the inn-keeper, who ordered them to bring
him in, and gave direction to bring visuals and

[ 2a ]

drink with as much glee, as if the old man had ar-
rived in a coach and fix. The planter was pleaded
at his humanity, as he thought it, but was furprized
at his frequently thanking the poor creature for com-
ing to break into his flore, and charged him always
to come when he wanted viftuals, and if the people
were a fleep to break the pantry or the ftore.-
"* You feem filrprized, Sir, ihys he to the planter,
but I will diinppoint the Icoundrcl."-" What
fcoundrcl ?"-" This poor fellow's mafler, Sir. I
have kiown this negrac fixteen years, when he was
worth any fix negroes his mailer hadj faithful, dill-
gent, and Ikilful; but now he is worn down by age,
and is grown filly, -the scoundrel drives him away,
in hopes that he will break into fome houfc to fleal,
and be apprehended, when he will become the pro-
fecutor, and claim by the law of the ifland forty
pounds. Bur I will circumvent the rafcal." And then
e laid the firiaeft injundion on his houfe-keeper,
and fcrvants, always to encourage the old man to
coine there ftr food. Now I am fptaking of cruelty
cxercifed uni fn old man, what will he thought of
a chief jullice of the island, whom I knew well ?
This man having heard hait a favuuritc negroe man,
in the vigour of his life, belonging to himfelf, was
conviacd and condemned to be hanged, lent off the
fellow, under pretence of having him executed on
the property he butlngcd to, in cerrorcn, to the
other negroes, to a dillant citatc, and had a fuper-
annuated old watchman, pall labour, hanged up in
the lead of the criminal. It feems that the old
man's name was Mingo; and the only puniflment
the mailer underwent was that of being denomi-
nated in the party writings of that time, which
were violent, Old Mingo.

[ 26 1

By Claufe 9th, the penalty on perfons mutilating
or difmembering their laves is increased, by ad-
ding to the fine of iool. inflated by former laws,
the puninhmnnt of imprisonment, not exceed.
.' ing twelve months; and, in certain cafes, mu-
" tilatcd Ilaves are to be declared free :-and in all
" (iuch cares the Court is authorized to direct, that
" the fineof iool. be paid over to the justices and
* veftry of the parish, who, in consideration there-
" of, are to allow to fuch flave declared free, ten
" pounds per annum for maintenance and support,
" during life. By the fame clause the juflices and
t veftry age appointed a council of protection, for
* the purpoics of making full inquiry into the
" mutilation of slaves, and forprofccuting to effe&
" fuch owner or owners as may have been guilty
"* thereof. And by Claufe zoth it is ena&ed, That
" in cafe any information is made before any juftice
" of the peace, that any flave or fl.ves is or are
" mutilated and confined, it Ilall and may be law-
"* ful for fuch juflice of the peace, and he is re-
" quired, to iffue his warrant to the marshal or
" conftable, to bring the flave or flames before him
4' for infpetion. By this regulation the power of
"4 concealment is endeavoured to be taken from the
*' owner; for, as it is not required that the in-
" formation flould be on oath, the magistrate is
" enabled to obtain a view of the fact, on evidence
" which, in other cafes, is, and ought to be, in.
r* admiflfblc."

The whole matter of thefe clauses, like that of
the preceding one, is moll excellent, and will be
attended with the molt falurary consequences; for
by the words any information, certainly the infor-

t !7 1

mention from a negroe should authorize the Mta-
giftrate to iflue his warrant, and the knowledge of
this will be the means of preventing cruelty, or
of deteCing it.-The application of the fine, li-
berating the negroe, and appointing the justices
and vectry a Council of protelion, are all fraught
with wisdom and juflice, and (hew that the Affem-
bly is in earnell to puc a ftop to cruelty. Indeed their
conduA, that is, of a majority of them, refpetting
tche bill, is highly prai re-worthy but one cannot help
regretcing, that this law, or Ibmething like it, had
not been pafld long fince. We became poffetfed of
the island of Jamaica, I think, in A. D. 1655, and
in 1781, nay, in 1788, that is 13 years after, we
are beginning to make laws, for the firl time effec-
tual laws, for the protection of the lives and limbs
of our negroes 1 What bloody entries have been
made in th6 indelible records of heaven in that
period ?

By Cluf r rth, it is enacted, That if any
perfon hall murder any flave, whether his own
property or not, he thaill furfr death for iuch

And, in order more cffedually to prevent the
deftruction of' negroes, by cxccllive labour and
unreasonable punilhincits, the furgcon of every
plantation, by a lubrcqiicnt claufe, is required to
Give in, on oath, to tic justices and velry, an
annual account of the decrcafe and increase of
s the flames of flch plantation, with the causes of
fach decrease, to the beft of his knowledge,
judgment, and belief.-On this head the Corn-
i' mittee cannot abu remark, how tender And cau-
"* tious

[ a8 ]
" tious every rational manager muft neceflarily be,
" in the punishments which he adminifters, who
' confidera that he has a resident infpeaor into his
" conduct t and that the punishment of death may
" follow an abufe of his authority."

Here again rifes the spirit of deception, and holds
up there two specious, but fallacious claures, to the
eyea of the people of England at large, who will
not, one in an hundred of them, know that by the
common law, benefic of clergy is allowed, in all
cafes where it is not exprefsly barred by ftature ; and
here we fee that the feature does not bar it, there-
fore the murder of negroes flood after there als, viz.
acts of 1781 and 1787, juft as it did before, that is
to fay, It was manslaughter, and the puniflment,
touching the hand with a warm iron. This being
the cafe, and the Committee knowing it to be the
cafe when they formed their report, how could they
hold up to the public to palpable a deception,
which they could not but know every man in the left
verfed in legal difquilitions, would fee through ?-
But the formal and seemingly grave remark that
concludes the laft cited clause, is intolerable. Be-
yond a doubt, whatever corrupts the heart, darkens
the underflanding; or how elfe could men of(trong
abilities fuppofe, that fo palpable a fraud would
pats undetected, and unexpofed ?

Neither does the law extend its proteffion to
the indufirious and faithful negroe only ; provi-
fion is made for the support of fuch fugitives and
"9 criminals as are apprehended and lodged in the
gaols and work-hMufes of this island; the daily
"allowance of good and wholefome food, required
14 by

[ 28 3

i tions every rational manager muil neceflarily be,
" in the punishments which he administers, who
' confiders that he has a resident infpedtor into his
" condud 1 and that the punishment of death may
" follow an abufe of his authority."

Here again rifes the fpirit of deception, and holds
up there two fpecious, but fallacious clauses, to the
eyes of the people of England at large, who will
not, one in an hundred of them, know that by the
common law, benefit of clergy is allowed, in all
cafes where it is not exprefily barred by flatute and
here we fee that the fRature does not bar it, there-
fore the murder of negrace flood after there ads, viz.
afta of 1781 and 1787, juft as it did before, that is
to fay. it was manslaughter, and the puniflment,
touching the lind with a warm iron. This being
the cafe, and the Committee knowing it to be the
cafe when thcv formed their report, how could they
hold up to the public Lb palpable a deception,
which they could not but know every man in the leaft
verfed in legal difquiiitions, would fee through ?-
But the formal and seemingly grave remark that
concludes the laft cited clause, is intolerable. Be-
yond a doubt, whatever corrupts the heart, darkens
the underfianding; or how elfe could men of firong
abilities fuppofe, that Co palpable a fraud would
pats undetected, and unexpofed ?

Neither does the law extend its protec6ion to
the induflrious and faithful negroe only; provi-
fion is made for the fupportof Ruch fugitives and
"' criminals as are apprehended and lodged in the
." gaols and work-htufes of this island; the daily
allowance of good and wholefome food, required

rome may fuppofe that no fuch cafes happen -
aver they do: I was present this feffion, when,
armongit other demands brought againfl the public
by thi gaoler of Kingfon, two were read and re-
ferred to a committee; one for the maintenance of
a negroe, who had died in gaol, after having laid
there fix years, without having been brought to
trial j the other, for the maintenance of another
negroe, now living, and in gaol, who has been
there even years, without any trial.-The new
law has provided for gaol deliveries, at leaft every
three months. Refpclting negroes committed, or
more properly Cent, to the work-hourc, it muft be
obrcrved, that whoever pleafes may fend his own
negroca to the work-houfe, without alligning any
realfon whatever, and order them to be punished;
and ii there then much humanity in not Itarving to
death thofc who are arbitrarily fent to the work-
houfes, which here are houses of correction, and
who are punished not only without trial, but often
without crime, and merely at the fuggeflion of
palfion or caprice ?

S" Having thus briefly tfated the protection which
a the laws of this iflind have provided for our flaves,
Sin the grand circumrfbnce of personal safety; we
" now proceed to thefcond head, namely, to prove,
" that the flav-laws in this iland are executed with
ha brmanity, mildnefs, and mercy." By the flave-laws
*a here alluded to, we underhand the laws, and
" clauces of laws, which afligi penalties and pu-
d nilhments on fuch offences and tranlgreflions of
o" our slaves as affect the public: and, in murder to
" obtain the fulleft information on this head, we
" have called on the several clerks of the peace of

L[ 31 1

the different precincts and parishes, for returns
of all trials of flaves, with the charges, convic-
tion, and punishment federally had thereon, for
several years laft pat, viz. From the Ift of Ja-
nuary 1784, to the 3oth of September 1788 :
From thefe returns we are enabled to fate the
following circumstances -

" In the parishes and precina of St. Catherine,
St. John, St. Dorothy, and St. Thomas in the
Vale; containing 21,772 flaves, the number of
capital convictions and executions were four
only, in the faid interval:

* In the parish of St. Andrew, containing 9,613
flaves, we find only one execution, in the faid

f In the parishes and precina of St. Thomas in
the Eaft, and St. David, containing 23,373 flames,
the number o capital convidions and executions
were ten, in ithe hid interval:

" In the parifies and precinct of St. Mary and
St. George, containing 22,194 flames, the num-
ber of capital convictions and executions were
four, in the faid interval:

" In the parifh of St. Ann, containing 13,324
slaves, the number of capital conviCtions and
executions were two, in the faid interval:

* In the parifli of Trelawny, containing 19,318
flaves, the number of capital convictions and
Executions were fuven, in the faid interval;
"g In

[ 32 3
In the parith of St. James, containing 18i,46
" slaves, thu nu Lmber of capital convidions and exe-
" cautions were three, in the laid interval:

In the parifl of Ilanover, containing 17,612
" flavec, the number of capital convictions and
" executions were two, in the .id interval:

In the parifh of Weftmoreland, containing
" 16,700o laves, the number of capital convictions
" and executions were four, in the faid interval:

In the parish of St. Elizabeth, containing
" 3,o80 flaftvs, the number of capital convictions
" and executions were eight, in the faid interval;

In the parifies and precin& of Clarendon and
" Vere, containing 2a,234 flavs, the number of
" capital convidions and oxecutions were even, in
" the faid interval:

In the several towns and parifhes of Kingfton,
" Port-Royal, and Portland, containing 12,928
" flames, there do not appear to be any capital can-
" viftions within the faid period but the records
* of trials in the town of Kingfton, previous .to
" 1787, are not to be found."

The total appears to be, 2 executions in four.
" years and nine months, which is not more than
i" i per annum for the lat five years, out of
S210o,894. flaves:-a proof of lenity in the exe-
" cution of our criminal laws, not to be furpalTed,
" as we conceive, by any nation in Europe. No-
" thing further, therefore, feems nece ary to he

[ 33 1

" added on this head, except the 4oth Claufe of
" the present Confolidated Slave-Bill, which dire&s,
" that in all cafes where the punishment of death.
is infliacd, the execution hall be performed in a
public part of the parish, and with due folcm-
" nity; and care hall be taken by the gaoler or
deputy-marthal, that the criminal is free from
" intoxication at the time of his trial, and from
" thence to, and at, the time of his execution,
" under the penalty of five pounds: and the mode
" of fuch execution is directed to be, hanging by
" the neck, and no other: It is likewise provided,
" that where Ifveral 11aves are capitally convinced
" for the fame offence, one only hall fuffer death,
Except in cafes of murder or rebellion."

On this part of the Report I (hall be compelled
to renew the charges of fuppreffion of evidence.
To prove that the laws of the island afford protec-
tion to flaves on the grand article of personal fafety,
the Committee ought to have thewn not only that
the law had affigned adequate papalties and puniih-
ments on white people who abused, maimed, or
difmembereld 11.ivc, hut alfo that thofe provisions of
the law had been faithfully exerted fur the protec-
tion and personal safety of flavcs ; neither of which
they have done: for, in the firft cafe, the highest
punishment affigned by the laws, at the time the
Report was made, for the moft deliberate and bar-
barous murder of a flave, was applying an iron to
the palm of the murderer's hand, which might be
warm or cold, according to the bribe given to the
executioner and this being the extremielt puni(h-
ment for aggravated murder, the puniithmcnt for
inferior degrees of cruelty could not be much. I
C repeat,

C 3+ 1

repeat, that for dismemberment of flaves, I know
but of one man punished, and that fince the peo-
ple of Britain have interested themselves on behalf
of slaves j whereas I know many instances of dif-
memberments. I have already hinted at men now
living, who have not only dismembered but mur-
dered fcorea of negroes, and yet have never been
called to any account.-On this had, let one inflance
fuffice, which instance was known to the Commit-
tee: A Jew determined to whip one of his negroes
to death, and avowed that determination ; he began
the lingering murder with his own hands, and
whipped until his strength was exhaufled, and then
put the whip into other hands fucceflively, and
urged them on until the tragedy was completed in
his own presence, and by his own order: all which
was proved on is trial, of all which he was found
GUILTY, convifled, and sentenced; What?-Im-
prifonment for life ? No:-For even years? No:-
He was fined in all he had ? No:-In what ? FIVE
POUNDS 1-with this mockeryof God and justice,
to give it an air of*feverity, that he should be im-
prifoned until he paid the.fine, which he did in-
flantly, and went out laughing. All this, I fay,
was known to the Committee at the very time the
affertion of the proteaion afforded to the flaves in
the grand circumstance of personal safety was made.
I deny, that the flave laws have been executed with
humanity, mildncfs, and mercy; and I aver, that
the Committee, at the time they framed this de-
ceptive report, had before them the molt authen-
tick proofs of abominable cruelty in the execu-
tion of thofe very laws: they acknowledge that
' they had callen on the Jtveral clerks of the peace
" of the diffcreut pariihes, for returns of ALL

35 3

*" trials of flaves, with the charges, ConvrcTIows,
" and PUNISHMENTS feverally had thereon," &c.
Now, how comes it, that instead of ALL trials,
CoNVICTIrNS, and PUNISHMENTS had thereon,
the Committee have chofe to report the convidione
of capital offences only ? The reason was this, the
capital convictions were comparatively few in num-
ber (which, by the way, (hews the wickednefs of
thofe writers who endeavour to reprefent the ne-
groes as vindictive and irafcible in the extreme)
whereas the difmcimbermcnts and other violent
punifhments were fo numerous that they would
not bear infpedion, with any hope of imprefing
Britons with the idea which was intended to be
given, that the laws were administered with hu-
manity, mildnefs, and mercy. This was the real
reason of reporting on the capital fences only.

Parishes and PrecinC of St. Thomas and St.
David.-" The number of capital convictions and
" executions were ten." This parish, neverthec
lefs, was infamous for difrimnbcrment.

Parifl of St. Ann's.-Capital convictions and
" executions two." In this parifl, nevertheless,
there are two men alive at this hour, whole neigh-
hours fay positively, and every one believes, have
each of them murdered fcores of their own ne-
grocs, of which murders no inquisition or inquiry
of any Iind has been made.

Parifli of St. James.-Capital convictions and
executions three." In this parish one -
deftroyed in lefs than three yearA by cruelty and
ablblute murder 136 of his own negroes, of which
C a murders

[ 36 3

murders no inqueft hath been made or taken ; and
yet the Committee fay that ite flaves are under
the protc ion of the laws with regard to personal

In the parihens of Port-Royal, Portland, and
SKinglton, there do not appear to have been
any capital convictions." How should they
appear, when the records by which only they could
be thewn by the clerks of the peace, were not pro-
duced ? Had thofe records contained matter fa-
vourable to the object of the Committee, they
would probably have been found, or rather, they
would not have been loft.

The total appears to be 52 executions, in four
" years and nine months." Thcre are the execu-
tions by sentence of the law; had the numbers of
private murders been added, there would not have
been room to mention lenity.

On the third ground of inquiry, we are to
" demonstrate, s Thbat the laws have made pro-
" fion to grant flaver days oi r.f;, and to prevent
" their being in want of the necefaries of lie."-
* Although we conceive that this affection has
" been fuficiently eftablifhed, by the recital al-
* ready given of fuch claufes of our laws as relate
" to the fubfiflence of our flaves; yet, as ile
* words, sufficient time," in one of the claufes
* referred to, left a diflretionary power in the
" mailer, we fall take occaiun, in a fubfequent
" part of our report, to lhew that the legislature
** has provided a remedy againil any poffible abufe
" of fuch diJcretionary authority: But the fur-

1 37 1

" other difcuflion of this fubjec is deferred, until
" we treat of the new flave-bill, pafed the present
"' feflion."

This article has been observed on before, and
although it is there (hewn that the provision, as it
is termed, made by the law, had not had, nor could
be expected tu have any opcratinn, yet the com-
mittee will it to he fippoied, that the laws amply
provided for tie purpofcs here mentioned; yet by
referring to the new bill, the committee indirectly
acknowledge the inefficacy of the old laws.

On the fourth and lafl ground of our re-
Sfearches, namely, to demonltrare, That the
' decrease of our flaves does not are from the caufes
aligned in the petitions presented to the Britrif
Houfe of C6mmons, but from other causes not inm-
' putable to us, and which the people of Great Bri-
" rain do not f/ew to cfpr, end;" the Committee,
' after diligent ilnuiry and investigation, are of
Opinion, thlt the following are the principal
cafes to which the alleged ducreafc of our
" flames poght julily to be imputed : i/, The dif-
"proportion between the f/.Ce, in the annual im-
" portatians from A./rica : 2d, The lofi o new ne-
" groes, on or foon a/tr their arrival, from epidteric
" difeafis brought Jrom I/frica, or contraled in the
' voyage."
Does not arife from the caufes affigned," not
folely, but certainly in a very great degree.

*' Not imputable to us," this affection is to far
juft as it refers to the numbers whirh perified by
C 3 famine

1 38 ]

famine for want of the ports being open, and the
difproportion between the foxes which is very
great, and the difeafes contraCtcd in the voyage;
but certainly a great proportion of the decrease
arices from caufcs july imputable.

It appears from the Report that 31, 18 negroes
have perished between the report of the thips and
the days of tales; now, if we allow on an average,
fifteen days between the days of reports and the
days of the tales, and if we allow the paffages from
Guinea to the islands on an average to be four times
as long, that is fixty days, and count the mortality
on board during all the horrible circumstances of the
pdftrge, to be only in like proportion as to number of
deaths, and idd thore numbers to 31,181, the
number that perifled in port, we (hall have the
whole number of lives loft by crowding, I may fay,
cramming, thofe wretches by hundreds into hips
which are not sufficient to hold properly half the
numbers that have been put into them.
Died after their arrivals, 3r,8I
On the paffages, I,24,724

One hundred and fifty-five thousand nine hun-
dred and five negroes perished of thofe that have
been embarked for Jamaica, fiy in port and in
paffagcs. Farther, let us fuppolf, that for all the
windward and leeward iflands belonging to Great
Britain put together, a number of negroes have
been emb rkcd equal to thofe embarked for Jam-
aica, and that to the French, Spanilh, Dutch, and
Danifh lands and colonies altogether, as many

t 39 1

as to the Britih; and that the mortality ha
been proportionate to the number, then the ac-
count of the lofs of lives will ftand thus:-

Loll of thore embarked for Jamaica, 155905
Ditto, and leeward iflands, 155905
Ditto, foreign colonies, 31181o


Six hundred and twenty-three thoufand fix hun-
dred and twenty a number at which humanity is
petrified with horror. After mature conlidera.
tion I do solemnly believe the real number to be
much nearer the double of this.

The Maroon negroes should not be added to the
number of 'negroes now alive in the island, in cal-
culating the quantum of increase of faves; for
there people are not the progeny of negroes im.
ported by the Britifl, they are the defendants of
the Spaniards when the illand was conquered by
Penn and Venables, who fled to the mountains
and defended their liberty. It is true they have
many concubines in the plantations in the low-
aInds, from which connexions no doubt children
have fprung, but as the child Iullows the condition
of the mother, and becomes the flave of the owner
of the mother, it is evident thefl children rather in-
cline the balance the other way.

I think the number of free people of colour efli-
mated at ioooo, is taken much too high.


[ 4j 1

The time of four months allowed after the forms
of 17Bo and 1781, for the importation of provisions
in foreign bottoms, was in reality not more than
two months ; for, as it was from the States on the
continent only that we could expect any quantities
of fupplics, if we allow one month for the pro-
clamation to reach them, and one month for the
paffige of the thips, there was not to much as
two months for the American merchants to fpe-
culate in and collect cargoes of provisions : for un-
doubtedly towards the latter end of the thirdmonth
of the proclamation, that is, the second of its pro-
mulgation in the plates, they would begin to be
fearful of their Rteps in cafe of contrary winds, or
other detention ariing after the time limited by the
proclamation, and of their being ftizcd. For to add
to the calamities of the island, the revenue officers
that were about that time fent out from Britain,
seemed to be comipofcd of pettyfugging attornies,
or of fuch as had been initruited by them, how
to confirue the letter of the laws diametrically op-
pofite to the -pirit thereof; tb that foreigners were
terrified from coming into our ports. As to the
prolongation for one month, it could hardly anfwer
any good purpose, because by the time that fo-
reigners could receive notice of it, the term of the
prolongation would be expired, or expiring, and
no time left to bring in this afillance. No man
all the while blamed the Lieutenant Governor, be-
caufe they knew that his hands were tied down by
orders from hume.

The conflitutions of the negroes had been to
debilitated and broken dbwn by the former want
of wholefome provisions, that they had not flrcngth

[ 41 3

to support themselves under the return of famine,
and dropped off in numbers.

Horrible indeed was the tragedy after the fifth
hurricane in 1786 ; and fo far have the Committee
been from exaggerating the calamities of the island,
by ftating the lofs at 15ooo of lives, that I am
convinced from much inquiry, that they have
ifatcd tben too low by fcveral thoufands. I cannot
be fuppofed to he influenced by reftrlnmcnt from
my own loffes on this occasion, for thinks be to
the God of mercy, I forefaw and was enabled to
provide again!f the several droughts and confequent
famines, fo that I did not lofe the life of a single
negro, by the want of wholefame provisions: oA
the contrary, they were more healthy and vigorous
than at any other time, fo at left other people faid;
but I accounted for it from their comparing them
with the poor emaciated famine-worn creatures
they faw on other plantations, and the contract
was lb firiking, as could not but claim their at-
tention. This brought about inquiries into my
management of my negrocs in regard to feeding
them; and I have the comfort to be affured, that
befide prcfCrving my own negroes, I was the means
of fome ;houfuands more being preserved.

Befide the enormous numbers that perished out-
right during the famine, and which from much
inquiry and various rclaions, I am fully persuaded
exceeded 21,000, I do firmly believe that a far
greater number were ib debilitated and broken
down in their conflitutions, that they gradually
pined and lingered away; but as they died not
during the immediate scarcity, their death was at-
C tribute

[ 4.2 1

tribute to fluxes, dropfies, &c. without consider.
ing that thofe difeafes were consequences of the
debility induced by the preceding famine. Now,
were the whole number of lives loft during the
time of adual scarcity, added to the far greater
numbers who fell by its flow effects after the
fcarcity was over, though as really deflroyed by
the famine as thofe who fell during its rage, the
furn would be horrible. But when we consider that
had the later hurricane occurred a few days, ten
days sooner, an immenfe quasitity of the great
corn, the bulk of which was but juft got in
when the form commenced, and was the only
iepcies of provision of confequence then in the
Sand t 1 fay, that had that hurricane occurred ten
days or a fortnight looner, that would have, great
part of it, been dcfroyed: the certain consequences
of which would have been universal famine, for
every inferior species of provision had been before
exhausted. The island muft inevitably have been
depopulated. Unthinking minds fay, that the de-
firudion that did occur, and the general deftruc-
tion which by divine mercy we barely efcaped,
had it alfo come upon us, were the effecs of
thofe tempells and droughts and famines, and the
inevitable works of God: the tempelts, droughts,
and confequent famines were to no doubt, and
wrought for wife, good, and ultimately gracious
purposes; but if the deftrudion of To many poor
flavcs arc to be attributed to Providence, it muft
not be to its operations on the elements, fo much
as by the blindnefs which was suffered to come
over the underliandings of thofe in the charge of
government, to fuch a degree as to tie down the
Governor of a colony at the difance of 5000 miles,

1: 41

fo as that not only the property and happinefa of
that colony, but even its existence shouldd be haz-
arded, rather than that he Thould depart from the
regulations made in Britain. What will potferity
think of fach monftrous abufe of the powers en-
trufted in the hands of government for the benefit,
protection, and general good of thofe who gave
thofe powers into their hands? Nay, what will
they think of a people who would fubmit to fee
daily sacrifices to the spirit of obftinacy, which
a few men on the other fide of the globe called
wifdom ? There was an eary remedy for thole
terrible evils, and which, if it had been time-
oufly applied, would have faved the lives of (in my
opinion) more than 30,o00 people; but we muft
believe that the spirit of blindnefs .had Itricken the
minds of the people alfo, as well as thofe of their
princes and rulers.
The Committee fate two principal causes in ad-
dition to thofe mentioned before of the decreafe of
the negroes. l t, The great proportion of deaths
that happen among the negroes newly imported;
and, z2, the lofs amongfl the negro infants.

With refpcC to the firfi, great part of thofe
deaths are the cffcts of the fame caufes which oc-
cation fo many deaths during the paffage from
Africa, and in the orts of the iflands where they
arrive, and before they are landed; there are per-
turbation of mind, foul and putrid air, water, and
provisions, forrow for what they have left, and
dread of what they are going to.


[ 44 ]

For observations on the second, fee the notes on
the examinations of Meifrs. Chitholme, Anderfon,
and Quier, annexed to the Report.

I have no doubt, but that the regulations made
by the Britifh Ad of Parliament, in refraining
and proportioning the number of negroes to be
taken on board to the tonnage of the hips, especially
if farther regulations should be added, refpeding
the time beyond which (hips (hall not remain on
the coaft of Africa, quantity of water, &c. will be
the means not only of preserving the lives of thou-
fands on the paffage, hut of many more, by pre-
venting the infecious putrid dilordcrs, which con-
taminate the blood of thole who do not immedi-
ately link under it.

The offender will Inve the fccurity, both of
" a grand and petit jury."

This was Cruck out of the bill by the Council,
and as the law now lands, there is no grand jury,
and the petit jury confilts but of nine. The affem-
bly were obliged to concur; as they found after a
conference of the two H-oufes, which lafted two
days, the bill would be loft if they did not ac-
quiefce in the alteration ; nor indeed would it have
paffed at all, but for the alarm that was caught on
the arrival, I may fay the providential arrival, of a
packet from Britain, which brought no difpatches
but for the governor, and nav.l commanders in
chief, and the Governor's declarations that the faid
packet was fent out by government expressly on
the negroe bufincfs. This alarmed the Council,
and fuch of the Houfc of Affcmbly as had opposed

[ 45 1

the moft beneficial regulations in the bill. Which
bill, as now pafled into a law, after all the alter-
ations by the council, fill is an immense meliora-
tion of the situation of the negroes, if faithfully
executed, amongfl which this article is the firl j
that of providing gaol deliveries every three months
at leat, by PUBLICK TRIALS, not by dark and,
packed juntos in a corner; by the Juffices being
compelled to grant warrants on any information to
bring before then negroes dinmembered, mutilated,
or cruelly treated-this laft is, 1 believe, not in the
bill exprcfsly, but I hope Juitices will think it
implied;- by appointing councils of protecion for
the abused fave, without which an attempt to ob-
tain redrefs would have been deemed an unpardon-
able crime, and punished with fill greater cruelty;-
by the providing provision for, and in fome cafes
declaring them free ;-by obliging the proprietors
of flaves or other representatives to give in on oath,
accounts annually of the increase or decrcafe of
their flares, and the rlefpedive Doctors who attend
the plantations, to certify on oath the caufe of the
deaths, -by giving in like manner accounts of the
quantity uf clo.uhing Iuppliced the negroes, and the
quantity of ground Llulivated in provisions, and
the time allowed the ilavcs to cultivate their own
grounds: all thefe are capital regulations, and if
faithfully adhered to, will be attended with the
happiest effects. Good laws can do much, but it
is from the manners of a people that they mull
derive their beft effeCs.

Neither courts of quarter fefflion nor julfices,
hall have power to order any flave to be muti-
lated or naimcd for any offence whatever."

[ 46

What mufl have been the pradice that made it
requifite to refrain courts and magiftrates from
maiming and mutilating ?

The claufe refpetting the conversion and bap.
tifm of flaves is dut for the eyes of the people in
Britain. It puts me in mind of a circumstance
that occurred on board a coalfing veffel, which
was blown off the coaft, the master and mate of
which were totally ignorant of the methods of
keeping an account of the flip's way in the ocean,
and of afcertaining her place and situation to the land;
which the feamen obferving were greatly alarmed
at. I wih," laid the matter to the mate, oir
" poor wives knew where we are:"-" I wiih,"
faid one of the feamen, we knew ourselves where
" we are." I apprehend there is something re-
quifire previous to mriafrs, mjireJVs, and overfeers
endeavouring to inflrut their negroes in the prin-
ciples of the Chriiian religion.

Another very important objet of this bill is
*6 the corretian of two material errors which had
9" been accidentally made in the confolidac;d flave-
* bill of laft year: The words, without benefit
" of clrgy," in the chute which afligns the pu-
" nifhment of death to perfons wantonly killing
" a negro or other flave, having been undefign-
" edly omitted-thefe are now reflored:- And
" another claufe in the faid consolidated flave-bill,
" which infircd punishments on perfons wanton-
J ly and cruelly beating flaves, and imprisoning
" them without sufficient support, having been
Interpreted not to extend to fuch faves as were

[ 47 1
" the property of the offender, has been amended,
" and the prote&ion which it affords is now ex-
" tended to all faves, without diftinCrion."

How does this comport with the grave obfer-
vatians and cautions cited in pages, 6, 7 and 8.

Further, in the view of restraining arbi-
t* tary puniihmcnts, it is, by the raid bill, cnat-
" ed, That no flave on any plantation or fcttle-
" ment, or in any of the workhoufes or gaols in
" this island, (hall receive more than ten lathes at
* a time, and for one offence, unless the owner,
" attorney, guardian, executor, adminiflrator, or
" overfeer of fuch plantation or settlement, or fu-
* pervifor of fuch workhoufe, or keeper of fuch
" gaol, (hall be present ; and no fuch owner, at-
' torney, guardian, executor, adminifirator, or
" overfeer, fupervifor, or gaol-keeper, flfall, on
* any account, puniilh a flaiv with more than
" thirty-nine laihes, at one time, and fur one of-
Sferice, under the penalty of fve pounds for
" each offTnce, to be recovered against the person
" direcring or permitting fuch puniflnient.

I do not like the manner in which this claufr is
expreiTed, I fear it will be greatly abufid,- '. at one
" time AND fur onCe OutcTce, I think it should
have been, for one o'ne ce : as it now lands, I.ap-
prehend the number of lafhes limited by the law
will not prevent the repetition of the fame number
of lalhes, the day af'trr the irit whipping is in-
flited, and lb de die in diem, to the extent of the
rage and cruelty of the perfun who directs the pu-

1 48 ]

Another object of this bill (as hath been al-
" ready observed) is to fecure to our flaves days
" of reft, nd fufficent time to cultivate their
" grounds, in order to prevent their being in want
< of the ncceffiries of life: For which purpose,
After reciting, that although it hath been cut-
" tomary with the planters in this island to allow
" their slaves one day in every fortnight (exclu-
I five of Sundays); yet this indulgence not being
" compulfory, it is enaded by the faid bill,
"* that the flaves belonging to, or employed on,
" every plantation or fettlerment, (hall, over and
" above the ufual holidays allowed them at
" Chriffmas, Ealler, and Whitfuntide, be allow-
' cd one day in every fortnight, to cultivate their
" own provilion-grounds exclusivee of Sundays),
Except during the time of crop, under the pe.
" nalty of ten pounds, to be recovered against the
" overfccr, or other perfon having the care of fuch
i slaves."

With comparatively very few indeed was it cuf-
tomary, and what follows, yet not being com-
" pullbry," proves what I have afflrted in a former
Lafily, with intention to prevent, as far as
" poflible, the great mortality which has been
" flared to prevail among the new-born negro in-
" fants, it is alfo enacted, That, in cafe it hall
" appear to the fatisfaction of the justices and
" veltry of each parifh, from the returns re-
" quired to be made annually, there has been a
" natural increafc in the number of flaves on any
" fuch plantation, pen, or other fettlemcnt, the
" overseer hall be entitled to receive from the
I" owner

r 49 1
* owner ot proprietor of fuch plantation, pen, or
" other settlement, the fum of twenty shillings
" for every flave born on fuch plantation, pen, or
" other fettiement, and which hall be then living,
" at the time of giving in fuch annual returns j
" and the owner or proprietor of fuch plantation,
' pen, or other settlement, (hall have a deduction,
" from the firt of his or her public taxes that
" fall become due, of the furm fo paid to the
r* overseer, on producing a certificate of the jufti-
" cecs nnd vcflry of fuch increase, and a receipt
" of the overfeer for the fum to paid."

This is a wife regulation, and more good may
be expended from it than what would arife from the
pecuniary reward. It will, I hope, and believe, be
the means of introducing a laudable ambition
almongft the overfeers to take care of the negroes;
and indeed I think that from the infamy that will
in a little time fligmatize f'ch neglect, or at
left abufc, of them, much may be expected; but
fill more might be reafonably cxpeted were the
flave trade totally abolished now, or after the im-
portation of more females.

The Committee proceed to fay, that the mea-
" fure of abolishing the African lave trade muft
" ruin the fugar iilands."

I know a plantation in St. Ann's, which in 17
years hath by procreation, and without purchase,
doubled its number of negroes, and two over. I
know an inflance where a deed of gift was made
of eight negroes in the year 1744, of the pro-
geny of which eight negroes, there are now in
D 17s8,

[ so 1
1788, above fixty-four, that is juft oftuple, the
original flock in forty-four years. The negroes
on my own plantation, which within the laft
even years has had its labour nearly doubled,
by having many mafly buildings to cret, and
almoft the whole grounds to fence by ftone
walls, and many other extraordinary things to do,
keep up their numbers, and increase, notwithfland-
ing the peculiar disadvantages arifing from thore
circumstances, from the repeated hurricanes and
their consequences in that period, and above all,
notwithstanding that there is a great difproportion
of the females to the males, of which former we at
this time are deficient forty-three. Had I attended
to the circumifance of proportioning the fexes
when I firft came into pofieflion of the estate, I am
convinced that by this time it would have over-
flowed with negroea, as would every plantation
where the number of the fexes are duly propor-
tioned, and humanity is exercised. This being
my decided opinion, I am under no felfiih appre-
henfion from the abolition of the flave trade, nor
need any one elfc be fo, who will aft agreeably to
the dictates of conscience and common fenfe.

Yet it muft be acknowledged, and I acknow-
ledge it without reluctance, that the difpropor-
tion between the fexes is the force of infinite
misery. It is the grand caufe of the general profti-
tution of the negroe women, of difeafe, quarrel,
bloodlhcd, incontinence, and want of population.*
SIt were to be wiflied our Author had been more explicit on this
intereffing point, the difproportion of the Ifees. He feems to have
formed has opinion from the parucular fitution of his own effate,

r St ]

NO T 8 on the examination of JAMES
CHISIILME, Efq. annexed to the Report.

During fourteen years he has had the care
of four thousand negroes"-what fort of medical

rather than upon a general examination into the matter. The evils
he here mentuins arif not from the difproportion of the fxs, but
from their unrqual dflributidi. Other e e at this time 410,000
negro fnaves in all the Britith fugar coloniie. The A4frianm (who
are imported in the proportiun of three females to five males)
cannot exceed one-fifth of the whole, or 96,000; for theft all die
off in I years i and one-third in the firfl three years. But about
13 years ago, the war put a flop to their importation; to
that four-fifths of all purchnfed before that time iult be dead, and,
fince the peace in 183: only 85,o0o have been imported and kept
in the Bricilh islands, and even of there a great part is now dead.
Among the ejenles or native flaves, who form four-fifths of the
whole, or 384000, the proportion of the fexes follows the court
of nature.

Thus the negro flaves in all the Britifh fu~r IIStand divide them-
felvsr into meTmalel Males
384-0oo creoles 192'0ooo p?0oo
96-ooo imported Africani (3 to 5) 3t'ooo o6.ooo

48o0000 Females, 228-'oo-M.les 252z000
or exadly iinrtaern female to wtuntry.me males-a proportion not
very differeir from that oF the births of the fexes throughout the
world, viz. of 19 females to 20 males.t
But the able calculator juft referred to hath amply proved, that
though the fexes h bi br in this lalt proportion, yet the number of
fema:es a-a11ly living, at any one time, is greater than that of the
malk'i- Among many inflancem to prove this, he adduces the fol-
lowing remarkable ones. That temperate and healthy clais of men,
the church miniflcts, and prufeffors of the Univerfities in Scotland,
have a fund for the maintenance of their widows. The annual

I* malca Rtpor.
Pkiie on Rev. pay. P. 6.
4 Id. Tvol. p ,i 8 i,a,1 6, 3 3 Ind rl II-, 145, h la
D) 2, medium

F S. 3

care one man can give to four thoufand negroes,
every ttw hundred bf which on an average are on
medium ofthi;r wedilijing ; 3n, and the aLnnal medium of widows
who have canmc upon he fund, for 35 ye.uit, is r9 and x- ith.
Of the 30 annual marrango then 19 ajn I Juth are tllfolved by the
death hufbands, and inot I by the death of Vl'.-'., confcquntly
the Aumnber of widow actually living is to the nnlmbrr .t" widowers
as 19 and z-loth is to so;ind 9-ioths, or nearly double.-l, nine
years ending in 763, there were ivin in the whole kingdom of
wden o fermles to 9 males. At Edinburgh, in 174-3, theie
wir found 4 females to 3 males-
Bur, what is mnrc to our purpose, according to Montefquie't
more girls than boys are born in hrt climatei:s.' And the accu-
rate Kempfer t rcl:.rc, that at Mcato there were mmind, by athal
enumeration, 223.573 fenm;1c, and only IRzo;12 males. Thus
etery circumitiance conarircs to prove that there ;ire morl remales
han males living in tlie world (clj]cially ii hot climatc.); and there
i& not the OLadnw of arcafot n I i pa rfe that the cicole negroes are an
exception to what appears to be til igcr'ral order of procedure.
In all coulLries men live nimre irrcgLfulrly, adl are more liable
to accident than wonme, and every c.iulte infavourablc no human
lile operates with peculiar lorce on ncgrv minen. 'I'liy JLiliarte their
vigour on a plurality of wi es. It is well known tha;, to vifit
thcm (when their wives happen to be removed to a difance) the
hut bands mike ctry long noanumal excurfionis returning to their
drudgery the next morning, ftigued and dispirited. They
are more refra.lory than the women; they oftener run away,
and flay longer nut. On the whole they commit more fauls, and
coafequendy fuffcr more inhuman treatmern.-There are among
the caufes which contribute to reader the lives of men flavcs
shorter than thofe of women laves. The Guinci; traders acknow-
ILdge that the men mufi be confined in chains, and the Jamaica Rc.
port complain of the diforders arifing from it, which carry oFF great
numbers in frs-funing. The deaths in feafoning muft he therefore
principally among the men, and probably Iravc the fExcs of the fea-
foned Africans nearly in an equal proportion. In the island of Nevis,
female flaves are to the males as five to four. This is an old fettled
island, and conaifs chiely of creoles.
The inconveniences and evils thercforc, which our author conm-
plains ofdo not aric from the in:rr.juatt, buc front the :un:rqddiflribl-

* Efp. de WXI 1i. 1&. c6. cid4,

f ldI 'Ld.

plantations remote from each other, and this be.
fides his pranice amongst the white people, let the
impartial judge. ..

That a great proportion ofnegro infants perifh
between the fifth and fourteenth days after their
birth; lie believes nearly one-fourth part of all
that are born."

I believe on moft plantations this may be the
cafe, but I am confident it will not be to longs
for, formidable as thefe medical men may affet to
represent the disorder, the etfdes of which are fo
fatal, it is by no means impoflible to prevent itW
and I affert this on my own experience, for on my
plantations this disorder was as frequent as on
others, until 1 came to infped and refide on them
myfelf, fiance which it is become as rare as it was
common before.

The account Mr. Chifholme gives of the dif',
order, in my opinion, points out ile cure. If the
disorder ariiis from irritation of the nerves of the
umbilicus, how e6y to prevent it? Prevent the
caufe, and you prevent the cfc1.t.

lisx of the fexes. Wcefl [Inlda property ii ;I a (fae ofperpetual Ruluu-
atioa. VWhen eflats are broken up, ltluf who, like ur Author, have
the command of money buy the tmules whetherr creates or Africans)
Icaving the fem.als to br purchu~led by poorer men. Hence, on
Iome clbaes, the male prc-mluminUate, altd n others, the femal]es
The total disregard paid in Inch calfs, to the feeings and conncc-
: tior; u nagiroes as human creatuirs, and even as animal, gives
rife to ll the milcry our Author deplores; inlepnendet of the in-
equnaliy orf the fcxes, which we have proved has in reality no
'EDIT aha.
S* D 3 That


That if he is right in his theory, refpeclng
" the caufe of this complaint, it will be fuppofed
" that the remedy is obvious, as it will be only
" directing a greater attention to be paid to the
" dreffing and cleanliness of the infant during the
" period above alluded to: But, Jimple as this may
* appear in theory, ihofe who are much converfant
With negroes, will be aware of the difficulty, if
" not impoffibility, of putting it in practice, in
** a degree fuficient to answer the purpose: For,
** fuch is the ignorance, obflinacy, and inatten.,
" tion of the negroes fo little regard have they
" for each other, and fo averle are they to cxe-
" outing the direfions of white people, when re-
Spugnant to their own prejudices, that he believes
" the evil can never be wholly remedied, whilq
*' we are obliged to employ negroes as nurfes."

Here we fee that the gentleman was perfedfly
aware of what he conceives would prevent this
deftru&ive disorder, which he himself fays carries off
nearly one of every four of all the negro children
born in the island. Let the humane, let the flatef-
man consider and refied on the continual exiflence
of a caufe that annually diminishes one-fourth of
the people. We fee that Mr. ChiIholme attributes
the cafe of this disorder not being prevented to the
ignorance, obflinacy, and inattention of negroes.
Will not the fenfible reader of his anfwers conceive,
that before we admit the negligence and inatten-
tion of a mother to her infant to be the caufe of its
deAftudion, there would be more justice and pro.
ability in considering that fame part of the caufa
at leah arifes from medical men, who, by taking
charge of fucb number of jegroes, have lot time

[ ss 1
to intru&t them, and diffipate that ignorance (the
caue of obltinacy) which is attended with fuch
fatal effeats

That a very great number of newly-imported
negroes are loll by difeafes, the predifpofing
caufes of which they bring to this country along
with them : Moil new negroes, when firft land-
ed, are much fubjeE to putrid complaints, arifing
from a fcorbutic habit contra&ed during the
voyage, which frequently manifefls itfcrefoon
after they are landed, in putrid dyfenterics, or
by foul ulcers, tending rirongly to mortifica-
tion. Many negroes, while aboard, are affeded
" with the moft virulent venereal complaints;
" others have the yawsi fome, malignant ulcers;
* all of which, when the day of fale draws near,
" are, by. the management of the lhip's furgeon,
" dried up, and the morbid matter repelled into
" the fyftem, to that the surface of the ikin (hall
" appear clean and finooth for a time, but which
" afterwards creates the moll dreadful complaints,
" too frequently baffling all attempts to cure.

The putrid complaints arife from putrid air,
putrid water, and uncleanlinefs occationed almost
altogether by the too great numbers crammed into
comparatively (mall flups in a torrid climate-want
of good water and provisions, and ventilators, to
purify the air.


( S6 1

NOTES on the Examination of ADAM ANDERE,
SON, Praditioner in Phyfick and Surgery.

'! That with one partner he had the physical care
" of near 4oo0 flaves"-'by pbAical care is meant,
that he and his partner were the physicians, fur4
geons, apothecaries, and men midwives to 4000.

That one-fourth of negroe infants perifh of
" the tetanus, and but one-tenth of the white in-
*" fants,"-the caufe is obvious forty times the
care is taken of the whites, and the confequence
of that care is the difference in the proportion of

To the irritation of the umbilicus, affigned as
the caufe of the tetanus by Dotor Chitholme,
this gentleman adds that of the putrid matter
suffered to generate during (and he might have faid,
and after) the reparation of that cord, both which,
with the fatal conlcquences, I fall by and by
Ihew are moft eafily prevented.

That he does not believe the disorder, in
" general, is owing to any improper mode of
" treatment of the infant, as he has often known
" it occur, notwithstanding the greatest care; and
" that, from the rapidity of the diforder, and the
" tender age of the patient, he knows of no cer-
" tain remedy that fucceeded, either from the ap-
" plicarion of opiates, or any other medicine, once
" in twenty times: That it occurs in high and
" healthy situations as well as in low ones, in
'" mountainous diftrifts, as well as thofe near the
" fea fide."

In all tbhet rcum dances I differ totally fmm thft
fio or. :

That he is of opinion, that many negroe
children die of that disorder peculiar to the
Africans, called the yaws, particularly .if they
r arc infected during the firf( year; which the
mothers in general attempt to effe&, on purpose
to excufe themselves from labour."

Who fiall decide when doctors difagrow" Some
doctors are of the fame opinion rcCpeftiug the mall
pox.-And I, who am no door, but who in the
'courfe -of my peregrinations have frequently been
obliged to fupply, as well as, I could, the piiace of
door, furgeon, and apothecary, both to myself
and hundreds of others, and through mercy. with
no (mall fucoefs-I fay, I differ wholly from the
door in this point, and think that at no time can a
negroe have the yaws with fuch probability of get-
ing easily through begin as whcu nourifbed from
his mother's breath.

That he is of opinion, notwithflanding thofe
1' inconveniences already onumcrated, there is very
considerable increase of negroes on the properties
of this ifland, particularly in the parifh where he

Viz. the parish of Saint Ann's.-It is in this
parifl where -the instance, quoted in a former note
of the negroes on a plantation having doubled and
more in seventeen years, occurred. But it is alfo
in this parifl where the inflance is of one man
having buried in a few years 300 and odd cngroes.

I $I I

The fat is, that every *prifh in the ifand is gene.
rallyhealthy, and all of them unhealthy in fome
particular fituationsi but the great cafes of in-
creafe or decrease is not the parifh, but the parti-
cular regimen and management on particular plan-

That the loffies fulained in feafoning newly-
" imported negroes, are chiefly owing to the many
" disorders they bring with them, either from
"* Africa, or contraCted on board (hipj iuch as,
Svenereals, the yaws, and old habitual ulcers."

The number of obftinate cafea he has met
" with, induced him to inquire of furgeona that
" had been in that trade, refpeCting the mode of
" treatment during the voyage; and that he has
* been informed, it was cuftomary to fupprefs ve-
" nereals by aftringent injections ; to caufe the
" yaws and ulcers to difappear by ifchuretic wathesj
" and on the day of fale, or a few days before, to
" hide the cars with blacking and palm-oil: That
, the epidemic dysentery is frequent on board
" lhip; and though the surgeons have a method
" of concealing it on the day of fale, in fome mea-
* fare, by afringenta, yet it frequently breaks out
a after the negroes have landed, with double fury :
"i Of which he remembers the following re-
e" markable instance in Colin Campbell, of Saint
* Ann's, having bought thirty negroes in King-
l fton; an epidemic dyfentery broke out among
* them Coon after their arrival at the plantation, of
" which twenty-four of them died; the disorder
a' was communicated to the reft of the negroes on
4 the


i[ s9
* the plantation, and several of them likewise fell
" a sacrifice to it."

This gentleman agrees with the others in the un-
doubted fad, that negroes bring here with them
putrid difeafes, contracted on board the hips during
the voyage.-All which teftimonies it is to be
hoped will induce the Britilh legislature, whofe
right it is to regulate, dircA, and cuntroul the
general Commerce of the Empire, to attend to and
provide the necciary remedies againfl thefc very per-
nicious and ruinous'effeas of putridity.


SThis gentleman allo hath had for the greater
part of twenty-one years the care of 4000 to 500ooo
negroes. I fall here obfcrvc, that to a regiment
of five or fix hundred men there is one surgeon,
who hath one or more mates or afiitants that to
each Ihip of war, having on board from three to
five hundred men, there is alfo a Curgeon and far-
geon's mates. Now if a furgeon and furgeon's
mates are neccflary to five hundred men, all col-
leted in a mall pace, what care can one or two
men, naing as physicians, surgeons, apothecaries,
and occasionally men midwives-I fay, what care
can they take of 4000 or 5000 negroes, every
two hundred of whom, on an average, are on a
plantation dillant fome miles from the other, be-
fides his or their practice amongfl the white fami-
lies, each of which is alfo distant from the others
I ap-

r 60 1
Apprehend it will be thought much eafier, under
fuch circumstances, to find fault with the igno-
rance, obftinacy, and inattention of fuch negroes,
than to take care of them, inform, persuade, or
watch over them for good. Once, twice, or thrice
in a week, to gallop to a plantation, to take a
peep into the hospital, or hot-hoauf, as it is called,
write in a book, bleed this," purge that,"
blifter another," here give an opiate," there
the bark," is not, in my opinion, taking care of,
though it may be called taking charge of, the health
of 4000 or 5000 negroes.
But to proceed with Doctor Quier's ciamina-
tion. We hall fe that he attributes the disorders
to which the ncgroe children are incident, to the
want of cleanlincfs; the obflinate attachment of
negroe women to their own old customs ; and par-
ticularly to their not lifting the child's cloaths,
sometimes from want of linen, and other neceffa-
riei, proper for new-born infants. It is ecfy, and
perhaps convenient, to throw blame on negroe
women, but here the truth comes our at lat, and the
word fimetimres, muft be considered as a defen-,
five falvo, which each plantation under the doctor's
care will apply to the others, and none to them-
felves I and which if the door had not put in, it
is probable the 5000 or 5ooo negroes, of which
he tells us he has the care, would have presently
been reduced to 400 or 500.

That the negroe women, whether flaves or
" free, do not, in his opinion, breed fo fre,
' quently, as the women amongft the labouring
"poor in Great Britain: that he afcribes this
*" chiefly

I 61 1

*' thicfy to the promiscuous intercbu9tIma lWhI
" the greater number of negroc women indulge
* themcfelves- in with the other fex. That he bar
" lives the abortions, which he thinks to be reor
" other frequent amongft them, to be afcribable to
" the fame caufe: That he has not met with any
" cafes of abortion, which he could fairly impute
" to ill ufage or exceffive labour: That moderate
" hbour is beneficial to pregnant women, as being
d te beft means of prefcrving general health." .

I am afraid the reason here affigned, by the door,
for many of the abortions, is but too true; it is
the natural confequence of the difproportion in the
number of the fexes. But when the doLtor fays he
has not met with any cafes of abortion which he
could "fairly impute to ill ufage or excefive labour:"
pleafe to reolledt what I have faid above on the cx-
preffion sometimes, which, I apprehend, means
much the Flme; and I with the doctor could, with
fafcty to his pradice, have uCcd the fame word,
instead of not and any ; at leal, if this alteration of
words be nut an amendment, I will fay the doctor
is fingularly happy in his situation.

t That the culltom of carrying young children
" into the field, in the manner, and with the pre-
" cautions it is now pradifed, is by no means hurt-
" ful to the infants."

I am of opinion, generally fpcaking, that the
ignore both infants and adults are in the open air
the better; but the doctor mutl allow me to diffent
from his afnertion in fome particular cafes; and let
others judge. Suppofe an infant tied on its

[ 6h j
mother's back, and carried to the field, theh'hid
in a bowl or tray, exposed to the direct rays of the
fun; should a fudden and heavy rain fall, as is very
common in thefr climates, I fay, that can hardly be
beneficial to the infant, and fill lefs fo its remain-
ing in wet rags. I mention this for two reasons,
one is, to fhcw that thofe medical gentlemen have
fuppreffed whatever might tend to give an unfa-
vourable idea of our lenity to the negroes; and the
other is to fhew how neceffary it is to have fome
means of filter for the negroes, either by eret-
ing tents, or building fheds contiguous to the
fields, in heavy, though tranfient hiowers, and
to call them from the fields when it appears
that the rain will continue. I am led to this laft
obfervntion by having been an eye-witnels, when I
was lft at -.-: Upwards of forty negroes were
kept at work in the open field for more than four
hours, that is, till night (hut in, during 3 conlfant
and heavy rain.

I am obliged to conclude abruptly, but may
add something more on this fubjee by another

I am,

Yours, &c.

F I N I S.

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