Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

a possibility of misrepresentation. wrote to his successor, Mr. Holland) of the rise, progress, and termina- briefly observing that he had com. tion of this war, we shall give a pleted the purchase of the foris of sketch in our Volume for 1792, to Jacottah and Cranganore, with the which we refer our readers. We concurrence of the British governnotice it in this place, as it was ment. It might be fairly argued, the subject of some debates in the in defence of Tippoo's conduct, House of Commons; the substance that it was impossible for him, as of which, though of no great con- Sultan of Mysore, to behold with sequence, it may be proper briefly indifference the transfer of these to state :

forts to the Rajah of Travancore. Mr. Hipsley, on the 22nd of De- In the hands of the Dutch, a mere cember 1790, moved “that copies trading company, Cranganore was of the correspondence relative to of little importance, but it assuined the attack of Tippoo Sultan on the a very different aspect in the hands lines of Travancore, should be laid of an active ally to the British gobefore the House." He stated, vernment. As Mr. Hipsley questhat the Rajah of Travancore, who tioned the justice, so he also queswas our ally, had purchased the tioned the policy, of the war. The forts of Cranganore and Jacottah Malirattas and the Nizam were to from the Dutch. Tippoo Sultan be our allies. In his opinion, little objected to the legality of this pur- dependence could be placed on chase, asserting in his own right a either. Could we so easily forget feudal claim to the forts in question, the general confederacy of 1780 as sovereign of Mysore. The Ra. among the native powers ? A conjah having peremptorily refused to spiracy headed by the Nizam himrelinquish the forts, Tippoo marched self for exterminating the British towards the Travancore lines, the nation from India. Mr. Hipsley boundaries of the Rajah's territo. further remarked, that Tippoo had ries, and commenced hostilities. an army of 150,000 men, a large But before we espoused the cause corps of Europeans well officered, of the Rajah, we ought to have and an admirable train of artillery. considered whether Tippoo's claim He possessed a revenue of five milmight not be founded on law agree. lions, and could boast a treasury of ably to the established feudal system at least eight or nine millions. To of India ; and whether the Rajah all this what could we oppose, but bimself had acted in such a manner an exhausted treasury and a totter. as to be entitled to our support. ing credit? Mr. Hipsley's motion The Rajah of Travancore, he said, was seconded by had long wished to obtain these Mr. Francis, who asserted the forts, and had applied about two impolicy of extending our territoyears before to sir Archibald Camp- ries in India, and of forming allibell, then governor of Madras, for ances with the native princes of permission to negotiate a purchase. that country. But of the measure proposed, Sir Mr. Dundas stated, that CrangaArchibald Campbell expressed his nore, Jacottah, and Cochin, were direct disapprobation. After that places of considerable importance gentleman had left India, the Rajah in the hands of the Dutch. But

that

that wary and politic people being or Europe.--Mr. Hipsley's motion alarmed at the warlike preparations was agreed to without opposition. of Tippoo, which pointed towards On the 28th of February Mr. the quarter in which those posses- Hipsley moved, that the 35th clause sions were situated, became desirous of an act, made in the 24th year of making over the forts of Cran- of his present Majesty, which disganore and Jaccottah to the Rajah' avowed all schemes for the extenof Travancore, whom they knew to sion of our territories in India, be our ally, that they might thus might be read; and that the 1st, raise a barrier to Cochin, their most 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 23rd, and 44th valuablepossession on the continent resolutions of the House of Comof India, and thus, in effect, throw mons on the 15th of April 1782, themselves under the protection of might be likewise read. These the British government. After the being read accordingly, he quoted purchase was completed, Tippoo several extracts from the corresSultan set up a sort of claim to pondence of the government of the forts in question, by way of Fort St. George, in the years 1768, obtaining a pretext for his hostile 1769, and 1771, tending to prove, proceedings. But this was not that it would be always our best the first time that the ambitious policy to regard the Mahrattas with views of Tippoo had been mani- à distrustful dread, and to preserve fested :-he had, without the least the friendship of the Sultan of provocation, advanced with a for- Mysore. With regard to the midable army to the frontiers of grounds of the present war, the Travancore, in 1788 ; and could question of our interference was scarcely be induced to retire to his stated to be simply thus : Whether own dominions by the spirited re- by an act of guarantee, expressed monstrances of the British govern- or implied in the treaty of Mangament. He was considered in India lore, we were bound to defend the as a restless tyrant, ever bent on Rajah of Travancore in those doschemes of aggrandizement, and minions only which he possessed, of keeping at all times a jealous and the date of the engagement, or to hostile eye on the British govern- extend our protection to subsement. As to the resources of quent acquisitions made by him. Tippoo, however great they might without our consent or knowledge ? be supposed, we had little to fear As it was the first of these cases on that head, as our army in India only, according to all fair and reawas perhaps the finest that had sonable construction, that was proever appeared in that part of the vided for by the treaty of Manga

and as, instead of support- lore, we were not bound to take ing a war agairst the French, the part with the Rajah in the present Dutch, the Mahrattas, all the Euro- contest. Arguments were not only peans and all the native powers, we brought against the necessity of our should contend with only one of interference, but against its justice them.

as well as its political expediency. Mr. Fox trusted that a war for The Rajah was the aggressor, not conquest would never be under- Tippoo. Instead of attempting to taken by England, either in India animate the Mysorean power, it VOL. XXXIII.

R

would

world;

would be our greatest wisdom to negociation, it was asserted, was support and encourage it; and to impossible. Such a negociation had preserve it as a useful barrier against been attempted at the beginning the more formidable power of the of the dispute ; but Tippoo had Mahrattas. In this point of view, twice attacked the lines of Travanpresent success would prove future core, during the very period in calamity. But whatever our incli- which his messengers were on their nations, the expences of our Indian way to Madras with letters, breathwar, it was asserted, would be found ing pretended professions of peace. to exceed our resources.

On the whole, it was contended, It was stated, on the other side, that war was well founded both in by the supporters of government, policy and justice. that an attack had actually been Mr. Francis made a series of made by Tippoo Sultan on the motions tending to censure the prinlines of Travancore; which, by ciples of the war, and to prevent the treaty of Mangalore, we were its farther prosecution: all of which bound to resent. On that ground were negatived. alone we had entered on the war. On the 22nd of March, Mr. DunThe conduct of the Rajalı had not das read the following resolutions : been such as to justify our desertion -" That it appears to this House, of him. But even granting that that the attacks made by Tippoo he had been guilty of an error, our Sultan on the lines of Travancore, Indian governors would not have on the 29th December 1789, the acted prudently if they had him 6th of March, and 15th of April given up to the vengeance of Tip- 1790, were unwarranted and un. poo. The pretended claim of that provoked infractions of the treaty iyrant to the forts, was not the real entered into at Mangalore on the origin of the war. Had this been 10th of March 1784. the case, we would certainly have “ That the conduct of the Go. remonstrated previously to any hos- vernor General of Bengal, in detile preparations. Instead of this, termining to prosecute with vigour he marched with 150,000 men to the war against Tippoo Sultan, in the lines of Travancore, before he consequence of his attack on the had made the least complaint against territories of the Rajah of Travanthe Rajah's conduct. His plea of core, is highly meritorious. a prior claim was a mere pretext,

66 That the treaties entered into afterwards set up, in order to give a with the Nizam on the first of June, colour of justice to his ambitious and with the Mahrattas on the 7th designs on the Rajah's dominions. of July 1790, were wisely calcuBy obtaining possession of Cranga- lated to add vigour to the operations nore and Jaccottah, the keys of Tra- of war, and to promote the future vancore, he hoped to acquire the tranquillity of India : and that the ability of governing the whole faith of the British nation was kingdom. It must likewise be evi- pledged for the due performance of dent, that whenever Tippoo should the engagements contained in the be master of these forts, there said treaties.” would be an end of our own secu The arguments which had been rity in the Carnatic-a peaceful advanced in the preceding debate,

both

both for and against the war, were by the privy council; and a great urged a second time, with variati- body of evidence collected respectons and additions ; but the resolu- ing the nature and extent of the tions passed without a division. trade in negroes on the African In the House of Lords, on the coast,--their

passages thence to the 11th of April, Lord Porchester en- West India islands,-their treattered into a full discussion on the ment and condition in the plantasame subject. He severely cen- tions,--and the consequences that sured and condemned the whole might be expected to result from proceedings of our government in an abolition or regulation of the India, representing the war as un- trade in the different islands which just in its nature, and pregnant with it supplied with slaves. An act was the most disastrous consequences. passed in the last parliament, for Motions made by his Lordship, for regulating the transportation of censuring the war and procuring slaves from Africa to the West Inpeace on moderate terms, were ne- dies, in which various provisions gatived by a majority of 96 to 19. were made for their accommodation

Immediately after this discussion, during the voyage, and premiums Lord Grenville made the same mo- granted for the encouragement of tions in approbation of the war, as captains and surgeons of slave-ships, had been previously passed in the to be attentive to the health and House of Commons; which were safety of those whom they transcarried by a majority of 64 to 12. ported. A set of resolutions were

The national councils of Great also carried in the House of ComBritain, as if they had adopted the mons declaratory of the manifold Roman maxim and motto of sparing abuses of the slave trade, and inthe humble as well as subduing the tended as preparatory to a bill for proud", at the same time that they its total abolition : and a variety were employed in considerations of of additional evidence was taken on the war with Tippoo Sultan in one both sides of the question during extremity of the empire, were oc- the remainder of that parliament, cupied with plans for the relief of a by a select committee. large portion of unhappy men and The House being in possession women in another. The idea of of these documents, Mr. Wilberabolishing the slave trade in Britain, force, member for Yorkshire, a suggested first by the society of man of talents and eloquence, as Quakers, was quickly communi. of religious impressions and habits cated to different societies of men, of virtue, and who had stood forth who united in the formation of so- from the beginning, the active and cieties for effecting that purpose. unwearied leader in this humane Petitions for the abolition of the cause, moved in a committee of slave trade were presented and agi. the whole House of Commons on tated in the House of Commons so the 18th of April, “ that the chairs early as the sessions of parliament man be instructed to move for 1788: a very full and elaborate in- leave to bring in a bill to prevent quiry into the subject was instituted the farther importation of slaves

into Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos. Virg. Æneid, lib. vi.

into the British colonies in the to the probable effects of the aboWest Indies,” This motion Mr. lition recommended, on the marine, Wilberforce prefaced by a very the Guinea trade, he said, instead animated and affecting account of of being a nursery of seamen, was, the slave trade. He set out with in his opinion, their grave. It apan accurate detail of the unfair peared, from the Liverpool and means by which slaves are obtained muster-rolls, that in 350 slave ships, on the coast of Africa. He speci- having on board 12,263 persons, fied many acts of the most flagrant there were lost 2,645 in twelve cruelly; and exposed all the mean months. All attempts to meliorate and inhuman devices of those un- the condition of the negroes, withfeeling men who were concerned out the total abolition of slavery, in this bloody traffic. Different he considered likely to prove not tribes of the natives of Africa he only inefficacious, but not safe. said, were encouraged to make war

As to the advantages of the trade on each other for the sake of making in a commercial view, he deemed prisoners, and of thus providing the it almost an unbecoming condes. market with slaves. The adminis- cension to discuss them. But, tration of justice in most parts of could its advocates prove, what he Africa was converted into an en- knew never could be proved, that gine of oppression; and every fraud it was of considerable importance and violence practised that low to this country, either in its immecunning and brutal ferocity could diate separation or remote effects, suggest. Having stated several still he should exclaim,“ still there shocking examples of these, he de- is a smell of blood, which all the scribed the unparalleled suffering perfumes of Arabia cannot reof the slaves under the horrors of move.” He concluded by moving, the middle passage, and after their that the chairman be instructed to arrival in the slave-market. He bring in a bill to prevent the furnext contended, that the abolition ther importation of slaves into the of the trade would not operate to British colonies in the West Indies. the detriment of our West India The propriety of continuing the islands: notwithstanding the barbar- slave trade, was, on the other hand, ous treatment which the negroes very ably supported on the grounds, have long experienced, their num. of justice, policy, and what may at bers had not on the whole decreas- first sight seem paradoxical, even ed, but in some islands had lately of humanity. A very great diver-, been on the increase : whence he sity of ranks of life, it was said, was argued, that when the planter established, by a beneficent provishould be deprived of all prospect dence, in civil society; and a great of a future market, he would be portion of the human race had, at induced to pay a proper attention all times, existed in the condition to the health, morals, and comfort of slaves. Captives taken in war of his slaves; and by thus consider- in all nations in former times, and ably augmenting not only their in many at present, have no alterhappiness, but their numbers, would native but slavery or death.

The render continual supplies from prayers of so many warriors in Africa unnecessary. With regard Homer, when overpowered by their

adversaries,

« AnteriorContinuar »