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Article really be acceded to, and the island of Fernando Po be taken into our occupation, as we suggested, the human traffic which covers those sinks of iniquity, the Bights of Biafra and Benin, (into which two-thirds of the slaves are brought by the numerous rivers which fall into them,) would solely belong to France for Prince's island, the abode of Gomez, and the general receptacle for Portugueze traders, would in that case no longer afford protection to the illegal trade. We are glad to find that, in this suggestion, Sir George Collier fully agrees with us.
• In my apprehension, from the experience of three years' service in command on the coast of Africa, not any means would be so likely to check, in a most material degree, the slave-trade in the Bight of Biafra, as the establishment of a small post, either at Fernando Po or Goat Island; and therefore I take the liberty of entreating the attention of their lordships to the peculiar situation of these islands. By a reference to the chart, or to the survey I have forwarded to their lordships, it will be seen that by a very trifling establishment at either of these islands, and a small depôt for the supply of his Majesty's cruizers in the neighbouring Bights of Biafra and Benin, the blockade of the rivers in these Bights might be carried on without any intermission, because the river Old Calabar would require to be actually visited only once in three or four weeks, and there is anchorage for cruizers between these islands and the slave-rivers.
* The cruizers, by resorting to Fernando Po, would thereby have the ready means of effectually blockading the river Bonny, New and Old Calabar, Del Rey, the Camaroons, and, indeed, all that line of coast to the river Nazareth, which lies only two miles south of the line.' (Parliamentary Papers, No. IV. p. 29.)
Amidst the mass of human misery through which we have been wading, it may afford some consolation to the active friends of humanity to reflect, that the slave-trade is one of those evils which is not unlikely to work out its own extinction, by the conjoint effects to the true intent and meaning of the stipulations of the Treaty of the 22d day of January, 1815, and of the additional Convention of the 28th day of July, 1817, she is to be justly detained by cruizers, and finally condemned by the Commissioners, although such slave or slaves shall not be found actually on board at the time of capture.
• The present Additional Article shall have the same force and effect at if it were inserted, word for word, in the Additional Convention of the 28th day of July, 1817,4.
If this be nut an unauthorized fabrication, as we are rather inclined to consider it; the slave-trade of Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands, on the coast of Africa, must soon cease, or be diverted into other channels, or carried on under other flags. But if it be unauthorized, the Directors of the Africau Institution have been guilty of an indiscretion, (to say the least of it,) which merits the highest degree of censure; and trust that their publication of it inay not lead his Majesty's officers to make illegal captures, for which the public will have to pay. Such was the case in consequence of a former indiscretion on the part of certain individuals of their body, which cost the nation several hundred thousand pounds to indemnify the owners of ships illegally captured. Should it even be true that the powers in question are willing to accede to this * Additional Article, it is equally indiscreet in the Directors to give it publicity previous to its signature and ratification.
of the excesses committed in it, and the great extent in which it has been, and still is, carried on. It will happen with regard to it, as with many other calamities to which human nature is subject, that good sometimes arises out of evil. The multitude of slaves brought from distant parts of Africa, which have been released from a state of bondage and misery by the exertions of our cruizers, have found a comfortable home at Sierra Leone. The care that is taken in this flourishing settlement to instil into the rising generation, principles of morality and religion, has already been amply rewarded; and the worthy governor, Sir Charles Mac Carthy, on his return to the colony, bad the satisfactiou to find the people industrious and happy. In the course of a very few years the scene with regard to this colony. bas totally changed; new towns have been built, places of worship and public schools every where risen up; gloomy and unwholesome forests have disappeared, and luxuriant fields of grain occupy their place. Regent's town, the towns of Gloucester, Leopold, Charlotte, and Bathurst, are all in a tourishing condition, and their inhabitants making a rapid progress in religious and social improvement. Sunday is every where observed with the greatest decorum; the shops are all shut, and no such thing as buying and selling, drinking and rioting is known on that day.
The concurrent testimony of all Europeans who have visited this thriving colony is highly favourable to the docile and tractable disposition of the Negro population, which is rapidly on the increase. Regent's town, which was founded but the other day, has already two thousand inhabitants. It now,' says Captain Turner, • wears the aspect of a well-peopled village in our happy land; its inhabitants are civilized, industrious, horiest, and neatly clothed ; the ground allotted to each family is cultivated, each lot being distinctly marked out. I have frequently,' he adds, ' ascended an eminence near the town to behold the pleasing scene on the Sabbath-dayhundreds pressing on to the house of God, at the sound of the bell, hungering after the bread of life. Nothing but sickness prevents their attendance. “Never before,' say the Directors of the African Institution, did any new colony manifest, in any thing like an equal degree, the happy influence of Christian principle, in civilizing and improving the rude and uninstructed, and in imparting to them the multiplied enjoyments of civil and social life.'
Such a population as this, placed in a country of unbounded extent and fertility, will not long confine itself to the sea-coast. Civilization will necessarily extend itself in every direction into the interior; and as all history and experience have taught us that a savage people cannot long exist in contact with one that is more civilized, it is not too much to predict that the brutal rulers of Ashantee and Dahomey will not be able to maintain their mur
derous sway, in the same region with their civilized and intelligent countrymen.
If we turn our eyes to the other side of the Atlantic, a frightful prospect opens to our view—frightful, as far as it concerns the European establishments and the white inhabitants. While San Domingo was under a divided government, the two conflicting parties, engaged in their own struggles for power and superiority, left unmolested the rest of the Atlantic islands; but now that the whole island is under one consolidated authority, who can doubt that their attention has been drawn to the condition of their countrymen in the other islands, into which, in spite of every precaution, emissaries will find their way, with the intent of inspiring the Negroes with sentiments of liberty and an anxious desire of breaking their bonds ? Who can for a moment doubt that this great island, under the dominion of a free negro population, and situated in the very centre of the West Indies, and contiguous to the Jarge and populous islands of Cuba and Jamaica on the one side, and Porto Rico on the other on the last of which some revolutionary scenes have already been acted—who, we ask, can doubt that the government of that island will take every occasion to stir up the surrounding slaves to insurrection?
Nor is this the only quarter from whence attempts may be expected to rouse the negro population of the colonies to assert their freedom. The infant republics of South America have universally declared themselves in favour of the emancipation of slaves. That of Columbia has passed a law that all children, born since the revolution, shall be free at the age of eighteen; and when an amendment was proposed, to fix the emancipation at twenty-five instead of eighteen, it was negatived by a majority of ten to one. Funds are also established, arising out of a general tax on property, for the progressive redemption of those who may still be in bondage ; and Bolivar is said to have set the example of emancipating at once the whole of his slaves, amounting to seven or eight hundred. Brazil will be compelled to tread in the same steps, or a dreadful explosion may be expected to take place, as we understand that the slaves of the Portugueze settlements are by no means unmindful of what is passing around them; and they outnumber the white inhabitants by fifteen to one!
How imprudent and impolitic therefore is it in France, Spain, and the Netherlands, to encourage the further accumulation of slaves within their respective colonies! which, whenever an insurrection takes place, can only tend to aggravate its horrors. We have heard, from more than one respectable quarter, that Bolivar, exasperated by the conduct of Spain or the Spanish authorities of Cuba, in sending out their privateers to obstruct the trade of the
VOL. XXVIII. NO. LV.
infant republic, has threatened to declare the whole black popula; tion of that and the remaining colonies of Spain free, and to assist them with all the means in his power to shake off their fetters. In such an event, coupled with what is going on in San Domingo, it is fearful to think what may happen to the rest of the West India islands; to Guiana, Surinam, Demerara, and Louisiana, on the continent; into all of which, with the exception of the British colonies, thousands of Negroes continue yearly to be poured, as so many recruits to fill the ranks of the insurgents against the white population.
If, then, the danger be, as we think it is, imminent; if the lives and immense property of the colonists be thus exposed to destruction, some plan ought at least to be tried, which may avert, if possible, so tremendous a catastrophe. What that plan ought to be, the West India planters themselves, and they only, are best qualified to judge-provided they could once be prevailed upon to look at the question dispassionately, and to examine it with a wil. lingness to sacrifice some portion of their interests, as the only means of preserving the rest. We are aware that the question is one of extreme difficulty and delicacy; but it is one that ought, nevertheless, to be met. We are far from throwing blame on the • Imperial Legislature, or the Colonial Assemblies,' (after the example of the Directors of the African Institution, for neither taking any effective measures for ameliorating the condition of the slave, nor paving the way to his future emancipation;'--we are convinced, the contrary, that measures have been taken and are still in progress for improving the condition of the slave, and that the misfortunes which continue to hang over him, are such chiefly as are inseparable from his condition; many of them (enumerated by the directors) of little importance, and the removal of which would tend only, without benefit to himself, to hasten the catastrophe, which but too clearly appears to be menacing the West India colonies.
As to the question of future emancipation,' any measure tending to that object, in order to be beneficial either to the colonists, or the negroes, must be extremely gradual, and not in consequence of any legislative measures taken at home. The result of these would inevitably be to unsettle the minds of the negroes, and produce partial, if not general insurrections in all the islands. Let us be cautious then, that the full tide of our philanthropy for the blacks sweep not away the lives and fortunes of the whites. Whatever is done with a view to emancipation, must flow, as a boon, from the proprietors of the slaves, not be forced from them by any enactment of the British parliament. And, above all, we should bear in mind, that, as the freedom of the people of Europe has been the consequence of the gradual progress of civilization, has been
as yet but partially accomplished, and still remains to be extended to the peasantry of innumerable districts in Poland and Russia ; so, in the West Indies, the same great object cannot be instantaneously, or even rapidly attained; but must be accompanied, if not preceded, by the moral and religious improvement of the negro population, so as to prepare them for receiving the blessing without abusing it, or defeating its benevolent purpose. It is not for us to say what plan should be adopted with that view. It must, as we said before, originate and be carried into execution by the colonists themselves; who are not only the most interested, but the best qualified to judge what is most expedient, under all circumstances, for the good of each party, of which we confess our own incompetency to pronounce.
Art. X.-1. Nuptiæ Sacræ : or, an Inquiry into the Scriptu
ral Doctrine of Marriage and Divorce. Addressed to the two Houses of Parliament. First published in 1801, and now
reprinted by desire. London. 1821. 2. • Essay on the Scripture Doctrines of Adultery and Divorce;
and on the Criminal Character and Punishment of Adultery, by the Ancient Laws of England and other Countries:' being a Subject proposed for Investigation by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge in the Diocese of Duvid's, and to which that Society awarded its Premium of Fifty Pounds in December, 1821. By H. V. Tebbs, Proctor in Doctors'
Commons. London. 1822. WE
E apprehend that the proposing of a premium for the best
Essay upon Adultery is not the most judicious nor the most effectual mode of promoting Christian knowledge in any diocese, and perhaps least of all, in the diocese of St. David's. The operations of a Society, which has for its object the promotion of religious knowledge, must lie principally, if not entirely, amongst the lower orders; and the less they read concerning the seventh commandment, besides the prohibition itself, and a plain practical exposition of it, the better. We hope that the Menevensian purity of morals is not on the decline. Be that as it may, we doubt the utility of such a provincial association, and we are sure that its proceedings are injudicious. In the first place, we doubt the utility of the Society itself; because, when a small number of clergymen and friends of the church, in some remote part of the country, erect themselves into a distinct independent society, for the prosecution of those purposes which are a principal object of the church at large, they are very apt to let zeal get the better of discretion ; to proceed from a practical dissemination of religious truth, to speculations upon points of theology; and to