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part of the coast where they did not mean to continue.— Hence it was, that, as several captains of the navy, and others, bad given in evidence, the natives, who kept cautioafly aloof from the slave ships, would never come i>ear theraen of war, till fully satisfied they were not of the former description; after which they laid aside their fears, and came and continued on board with unsuspecting chearfulness.

But, Mr. Wilberforce said, he would not detain theCom-r mittee any longer on this branch of the question, and added, let us withdraw from this disgraceful scene, and, in the words of an emphatic writer," turn our eyes for relief to some ordinary wickedness." But alas! no such relief was yet to be enjoyed by them: on the contrary, a still more dreadful' scene was opening to their view; but he had described this part of the subject so much at large on a former occasiou, that he would spare the Committee the pain of dwelling long on it now. Let them but represent to themselves a vessel, in a sultry climate, heaped to the very brim with these unhappy wretches, torn from their homes in the way he had described, and ignorant whither they were going. He scarcely knew how to express himself; he could only sav, he was persuaded that if the Committee could be transported where they might behold this dreadful spectacle, and after having taken ageneralsorvey of its multifarious wretchedness, if they were then to listen to each man's particular tale of sorrow, they would want no other argument for the abolition. It appeared from theevidence, that in the /ear 1788, at the very moment when they were agitating this subject within the walls of Parliament, all those dreadful occurrences which he was describing were actually going forward on board the slave ships; the fame dancing in fetters, the fame singing, the same eating by compulsion, the same despair, the same insanity, and all the other abominations with which this trade wascharacterized. New instances occurred, wherein these wretched men (eluding the vigilance of their persecutors, who knowing what they had to expect, had^rovided against it by the usual high netting, that standing precaution of an African ship) threw themselves into the sea, and more than one, when in the act of drowning, were observed to wave their hands in triumph, exulting, to use the words of an eye-witness, " that they had escaped." Yet these things, viewed through that African medium he had already named, took a different shape and colour. It was said by an adverse witness, Captain Knox, that he had no doubt "slaves lie, during the night, intolerable comfort:" now, considering that they were coupled in fetters, and were often suffering under a disorder, the effects °f which were too nauseous for description, in order to correspond with the Committee's ideas of tolerable comfort, it C c % might might seem requisite that they should at least have room to lie on their backs; but how, in fact were they sometimes accommodated? In one of Captajn Knox's own voyages, in a vessel of 120 tons, he had 290 slaves, and a space which, according to his account, would have held 43 more, being' otherwise occupied, the whole might be said to contain 333; and with this ptoportion of men and tonnage, Captain Knox frankly declared, that perhaps they had not all the breadth of their backs- Vet, in another voyage, in a vessel of 108 ton«, he carried 450; and in a third, of from 130 to 150 tons, he carried 6co Haves; neither should it be forgotten, that the number of seamen being always increased in proportion to the slaves, they also must have been more numerous in the two last voyages. What, in this situation, must have been the comfort of the slaves, he left to the consideration and feelings of the Committee- Another instance of this African felfdfception, was to be found on the record of the Committee, in the cafe of a Captain, of whom he had heard that he was one of the best ever engaged in that trade, and of whom Mr. Wilberforce did not doubt, that, in any other situation, he would have been alive to the feelings of humanity; it had been asserted, that he had held hot coals to the mouth of a stave, in order to compel him to eat; but being questioned on the circumstance, not admitting, in the spirit of African logic, that qui sack per alium fetch per se, he denied the charge with indignation. u I did not," said he, "and I defy *' any body to prove that I did." "Did you never order «' such a thing to be done?" " B&ing. sick in my cabin, the "chief mate and surgeon, at different times, informed me •{ that there was a man upon the main deck, that would nei<: ther eat, drink, nor speak: I desired them to use every "means in their power to persuade him to speak, and assign "reasons for his silence. 1 desired them to make some of "the other staves endeavour to make him speak : when 1 was "informed he still remained obstina^, and not knowing "whether it was sulkiness or insanity, I ordered the chief "mate, or surgeon, or both, to present him with a piece of "fire in one hand, and a piece of yam in the other, and to let ** me know what effect that had upon him; it was reported "tome, that he took the yam and eat it, and threw the fire "oveiboard." This, said Mr. Wilberforce, is eating by durejse, if any thing can be called so; the Captain, however, triumphs in the success of his expedient, and concludes his narrative by telling you that this very slave was afterwards fold for 40I. at Grenada. Mark here the moral «f the tale, and learn the nature and the cure of sulkiness.

Mr. Wilherforce next observed that if there could be any aggravation of the injuries inflicted by the Europeans, on the inhabitants of this devoted land, it was afforded by considering who they were that were so treated, and what was their situation in their own country. So long had he been conversant with the whole of this great subject, that on every part of it a crowd of ideas rufhtd into his mind; but he would endeavour fo to confine himself within particular points as to avoid trespassing teo long upon the patience of the Committee. One witness (poke of the acuteness of their capacities; another of the extent of their memory; a third of their genius for commerce; others of their good workmanship in gold, iron, and leather; the peculiarly excellent texture of their cloth, and the beautiful and indelible tincture of the dyes; and it was acknowledged by all, that they supplied the ships with many articles of provision, with wood and water, and other necessaries; several mentioned, in high terms, their peaceable and gentle dispositions; their chearfulnefs, and their hospitality; even those who w"ere nominally slaves, lived a comfortable, happy life, and were not liable to be punished but for crimes, nor to be fold without the form of a trial, nor in some parts without the verdict of a jury. When one of the opponents'witnesses is asked concerning their condition and treatment, he shews by his answer the impression made on his mind; he describes them as sitting and eating with their master in the true style of patriarchal simplicity and comfort.— Were these, then, a people incapable of complete civilization ? It had been maintained, he knew, by some, that they were an inferior species; that they were even doomed by the Almighty to the sufferings they underwent, and that we were merely the instruments of the divine vengeance. To those who urge this argument seriously, it were not difficult to make a reply; though he acknowledged that the compatibility of natural and moral evil with the existence of an allpowerful, all-wise, and all-merciful Governor of the world, was a mystery beyond the reach of the human intellect. But in the mouths of those, who, instead of submitting with reluctance to the painful talk of inflicting this punishment, courted and sued for the employment, and turned it to the purposes of their private interest, it seemed to him to deserve a very different treatment, and to be, indeed, nothing less than agross and impious blasphemy.

Mr. Wilberforce added, that having made these remarks, hecould scarcely entertain a doubt of there being but one wish pnerally prevalent in the House, concerning the abolition of the slave-trade. He was aware, however, that an op'nion n:|d gone forth, that the measure would be attended with iafellible ruin to the West-India Islands.' He tmled he should prove that the direct contrary was the truth; but this, he most fay, was more that) anyone, on any principles, had a 3 right right to require. For his own part, he confessed, that, considering the miseries this tradeentailed on Africa, hisliberty ot choice was taken from him; he must, at all events, determine for the abolition; but surely no man, however free he might deem himself to decide on grounds of expediency,— would require more at his hands than that he should shew the measure would not prove absolutely ruinous to the West Indies. No petty, no dubious interest would, by anyone, be stated as a sufficient plea to justify the extensive and certain evils he had enumerated. He Would not detain the Committee for a moment, in arguing against the bringing of new lands into cultivation, by frelb importations of African staves; for even apart from every consideration of justice and humanity, the impolicy of the measure was indisputably clear. Let the Committee consider the dreadful mortality that attended the opening of new lands; let them look to the evidence of Mr. Woolrich, and there fee a contrast drawn between the flow, perhaps, but sure, progress of cultivation, carried on in the natural way, and the attempt to force improvements, which, however flattering the prospect might appear at the outset, soon produced a load of debt and inexuicable embarrassments. He might even appeal to the enormous sum, said by the .West Indians themselves to amount to more than so,ooo,oool, owing to the people of this country; and challenge them, on any principles, to contend that any new system would involve them so deep as that on which they had hitherto proceeded. But he would leave this head, referring the Committee to the evidence of Mr» Irving, a gentleman, to whose abilities and merits the. House and tha country were no strangers; one of the few men Mr. Vv ilberforce had known, who united great and accurate knowledge of detail, with a deep and comprehensive view of the genei al principles of the commercial system. He called on the House at large, and particularly on any gentlemen of the West Indies, who might be present, to listen tahim calmly and dispassionately, and he was persuaded they would rejoice as much as he could do, if lie were able to make out his point. The grand basis on which were bottomed all the objections of those who maintained the contrary opinion, he apprehended to be this, that the stock of staves now in the islands, could not be kept up by propagation, but that it was necessary, from time to time, to recruit them with imported Africans. In direct refutation of this position, he should prove; first, that in the condition and treatment of the negroes, there were causes sufficient to afford us reason to expect a considerable decrease, particularly that their increase had not been'a serious object of attention ; secondly, that this decreaja was, in fact, notwithstanding, very trilling, or rather, he

believed, believed, he might declare it had now actually censed; and thirdly, be should urge many direct and collateral facts and arguments, Constituting, on the whole, nn irresistible proof that even a rapid increase might henceforth be expected.

/t was much to be lamented, lie said, chat on both fides, this great subject had been treated in'a manner by no means calculated to answer the purposes of a cool and deliberate enquiry; there had been too much warmth and acrimony. l or his own part, he hoped he had always both thought and fpok<* with candour and moderation. In judging and speaking of the condition and treatment of slaves in the Weft Indies, lie had never adopted those indiscriminate censures, into which some had incautiously fallen. It would be in the highest degree unjust to the gentlemen of the West Indies, not to observe this distinction, and a due regard to it would have tended to soften asperity, and perhaps to have prevented much of the opposition they have given. In stating, as he was about to do, the leading circumstances of the condition of the negroes, it would, however, be necessary to remark, that, whatever splendid instances there might be of good treatment, there were some evils of almost univer'al operation, such he meant as were necessarily connected with a system of slavery. Above all, the state of degradation to which the staves were reduced, deserved to be noticed in this regard, and from which the worst consequences iclulred in a thousand ways, both to their own comfort,and even to their masters' interests. Of this there could not be a more striking proof than the utter inattention to them as moral agents. It •as not merely that they were worked und?r the whip like cattle; but no attempts were ever made to instruct them in the principles of religion and morality. This, together "ith the acknowledged neglect of any attempt to introduceregular marriage among them, applied directly to the question concerning their increase, and tended to refute the notion of its having been seriously attended to. 1 he gentlemen who asserted this, and who said they could point out nothing defective in the treatment of staves, had frankly confessed that theirmorals were utterly neglected, and that the belt consequences might be expected to result from their being attended to; and how could it but be so, when, as was declared by these very same gentlemen, promiscuous intercourse, early prostitution, and excessive indulgence in spirituous liquors, *ere material causes of their decrease? Indeed, the happy effects of instructing the staves in the principles of religion, had htely been experimentally proved, particularly in the Island Antigua, were, under the teaching of the Moravians and Methodists, they had so far profited, that the planters themselves

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