A SHORT ACCOUNT Of that PART of AFRICA, Inhabited by the NEGROES; With Respect to the Fertility of the Coun­try; the good Disposition of many of the Na­tives, and the Manner by which the SLAVE TRADE is carried on. Extracted from several Authors, in order to shew the Iniquity of that TRADE, and the Falsity of the ARGUMENTS usually advanced in its Vindication. With a Quotation from GEORGE WALLIS'S System of the Laws, &c. and a large Extract from a Pamphlet, lately published in London, on the Subject of the SLAVE TRADE.

ACTS xvii. 24, 26.

GOD that made the World—hath made of one Blood all Nations of Men, for to dwell on all the Face of the Earth, and hath determined the Times before appointed, and the Bounds of their Habitation.

EZEKIEL xxii. 29.

The People of the Land have used Oppres­presion, and exercised Robbery, and have vexed the Poor and Needy; yea, they have oppressed the Stranger wrongfully.


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IT is a Truth, as sorrowful as obvious, that Mankind too generally are actuated by false Motives, and substitute an imaginary Interest in the Room of that which is real and per­manent: And it must be acknowledged by every Man, who is sincerely desirous of becoming ac­quainted with himself, and impartially inspects his own Heart, that Weakness and inbred Cor­ruption attends human Nature; which cannot be restored to its original Purity, but through the Efficacy of the Blood of JESUS CHRIST, our blessed Saviour. So that notwithstanding the imagined moral Rectitude pleaded for, and the boasted Pretences of the present Age to refined Conceptions of Things beyond our Forefathers, all this Divine Help is embraced, the bent of the Heart of Man will remain corrupt, and its Power of distinguishing between Good and Evil liable to be obscured by Prejudice, Passion and [Page 4]Interest. Covetousness and Pride have intro­duced many iniquitous Practices into Civil Socie­ty, some of which being established by Custom, and adapted to flatter our Favourite Passions, tho' odious in themselves, and most pernicious in their Consequences, yet, through the Influence of Ex­ample and Use, become familiar to us, and our depraved Reason has Recourse to plausible Ex­cuses, to cover and palliate the most atrocious Crimes; so that by Degrees we silence the Dic­tates of Conscience, and reconcile ourselves in the Perpetration of such Things which, when first proposed to our unprejudiced Minds, would strike us with Amazement and Horror.

A lamentable and shocking Instance of the Influence which the Love of Gain has upon the Minds of those who yield to its Allurements, even when contrary to the Dictates of Reason, and the common Feelings of Humanity, appears in the Prosecution of the Negroe Trade, in which the English Nation has long been deeply con­cerned, and some in this Province have also lately engaged. An Evil of so deep a Dye, and attended with such dreadful Consequences to all that are concerned in it, that no well-disposed Person, anxious for the Welfare of himself, his Country, or Posterity, who knows the Tyranny, Oppression and Cruelty with which this iniquitous Trade is carried on, can be a silent and inno­cent Spectator. How many Thousands of our harmless Fellow Creatures have, for a long Course of Years, fallen a Sacrifice to that selfish Avarice, which gives Life to this complicated Wickedness. [Page 5]The Iniquity of being so deeply engaged in a Trade, by which so great a Number of innocent People are yearly destroyed, in so untimely and miserable a Manner, is greatly aggravated from the Consideration that we, as a Nation, have been peculiarly favoured with the bright Beams of the Gospel; that Revelation of Divine Love, which the Angels introduced to the World, by a Declaration of Peace on Earth, and Good Will to Men—of every Nation, Kindred, Tongue and People. How miserable then must be our Condition, if, for filthy Lucre, we should con­tinue to act so contrary to the Nature of this Divine Call, the Purpose of which is to introduce an universal and affectionate Brotherhood in the whole human Species; by removing from the Heart of every Individual, who submits to its Operation, the Darkness and Corruption of Na­ture, and transforming the selfish, wrathful, proud Spirit, into Meekness, Purity and Love: For this End the Son of GOD became Man, suffered, and died; and the whole Tenor of the Gospel declares, that for those who refuse, or neglect, the Offers of this great Salvation, the Son of GOD has suffered in vain.

The End proposed by this Essay, is to lay be­fore the candid Reader the Depth of Evil which attends this iniquitous Practice, in the Prosecution of which, our Duty to GOD, the common Fa­ther of the Family of the whole Earth, and our Duty of Love to our Fellow Creatures, is totally disregarded; all social Connection and tender Ties of Nature being broken, and Desolation [Page 6]and Bloodshed continually fomented in those un­happy People's Country. It is also intended to invalidate some false Arguments, which are fre­quently advanced, for the Palliation thereof, in Hopes it may be some Inducement to those who are not defiled with this Trade, to keep them­selves clear; and to lay before such as have unwarily engaged in it, the Danger they are in of totally losing that tender Sensibility to the Suf­ferings of their Fellow Creatures, the Want whereof sets Men beneath the Brute Creation, which must unavoidably be the State of every one that continues to partake of the Profits arising from this wicked Traffick: A Trade by which so many Thousands of innocent People are brought under the greatest Anxiety and Suffering, being violently rent from their Native Country, in the most cruel Manner, and brought to our Colonies, to be employed in hard Labour, either in Northern Climates, unsuited to their Nature, or in a State of the most tyrannick and barbarous Slavery, subject to the Humours and inhuman Lash of some of the most hard hearted and inconsiderate of Mankind, without any Hopes of ever returning to their Native Land, or seeing an End to their Misery: Nor must we omit, in this dismal Account, the Weight of Blood which lies on the Promoters of this Trade, from the great Numbers that are yearly butchered in the Incursions and Battles which happen between the Negroes, in order to procure the Number deli­vered to the Europeans; and the many of these poor Creatures whose Hearts are broken, and [Page 7]who perish, through Misery and Grief, on the Passage. Heaven preserve the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania from being further defiled by a Trade, which is entered upon from such sensual Motives, and carried on by such devilish Means. And although these Scenes of Horror are acted in Places far remote, and out of the Sight of those who are the most enriched thereby; whose Senses being usually exercised only by present Objects, are little affected with the distant Suffer­ings of their Fellow Creatures; yet every Mind, which is not so hardened with the Love of Wealth as to be void of feeling, must, upon serious Consideration of this inhuman Practice, be impressed with Surprize and Terror, from a Sense that there is a righteous GOD, and a State of Retribution, which must last for ever. It is frequently alledged, in Excuse for this Trade, that the Negroes sold in our Plantations, are mostly Persons who have been taken Prisoners in those Wars which arise amongst themselves, from their mutual Animosities; and that these Prisoners would be sacrificed, to the Resentment of those who have taken them Captives. If they were not purchased and brought away by the Europeans. It is also represented, that the Ne­groes are generally a stupid savage People, whose Situation in their own Country is necessitous and unhappy, which has induced many to believe, that the bringing the Africans from their Native Land is to them rather a Kindness than an Injury.

To confute these false Representations, the following Extracts are proposed to the candid [Page 8]Reader's Consideration; they are taken from the Writings of the principal Officers, not only in the English, but also in the French and Dutch Factories or Settlements in Guiney, some of whom have lived many Years in those Countries, and have been Eye Witnesses to those Transac­tions, and whose Station in the Factories will not admit of any Doubt of the Truth of what they relate; by which it will appear, that the Negroes are generally sensible, humane and sociable, and that their Capacity is as good, and as capable of Improvement, as that of the White People: That their Country, though unfriendly to the Europeans, yet appears peculiarly agreeable, and well adapted to the Nature of the Blacks, and so fruitful, as to furnish its Inhabitants plentifully with the Necessaries of Life, with much less La­bour than is necessary in our more Northern Countries. And as to the common Argument, alledged in Defence of the Trade, viz. That the Slaves sold to the Europeans are Captives ta­ken in War, who would be destroyed by their Conquerors, if not thus purchased, it is without Foundation, it being made clearly to appear, from the forementioned Testimonies, that the Wars and Incursions made by the Negroes, one upon another, are mostly at the Solicitation of the Europeans, who instigate them by every Me­thod, even the most iniquitous and cruel, to pro­cure Slaves to load their Vessels, which they freely purchase, without any Regard to the Pre­cepts of the Gospel, the feelings of Humanity, or the common Dictates of Reason and Equity. [Page 9]For though it is scare to be doubted, but that there were Wars amongst some of the Negroes, before the Europeans began to trade with them, yet certain it is, that these Calamities are not only since that Time prodigiously encreased, and the Europeans, by encouraging them thereto, and gladly purchasing the Captives they take, are be­come come not only Parties with them therein, but the sole Cause of that Encrease. This is plainly in­ferred from the Account given by N. Brue, Director of the French Factory at Senegal, who lived Twenty-seven Years in that Country, who says, ‘That the Europeans are far from desiring to act as Peace Makers amongst the Negroes, which would be acting contrary to their In­terest, since the greater the Wars, the more Slaves are procured.’

William Bosman, Factor for the Dutch, at Delmina, where he resided sixteen Years, relates, ‘That one of the former Commanders hired an Army of the Negroes, of Jafferia and Cabe­steria, for a large Sum of Money, to fight the Negroes of Commany, which occasioned a Bat­tle, which was more bloody than the Wars of the Negroes usually are: And that another Commander gave, at one time, Five Hundrea Pounds, and at another time Eight Hundred Pounds, to two other Negroe Nations, to in­duce them to take up Arms against their Coun­try People.’ This is confirmed by Barbot, A­gent General of the French African Company, who says; ‘The Hollanders, a People very zealous for their Commerce at the Coast, were very [Page 10]studious to have the War carried on amongst the Blacks, to distract, as long as possible, the Trade of the other Europeans; and to that Ef­fect were very ready to assist upon all Occasions the Blacks, their Allies, that they might beat their Enemies, and so the Commerce fall into their Hands.’ But nothing shews more plain­ly, that the Europeans are the chief Instruments in inciting the Negroes to the Perpetration of those unnatural Wars, by which they are kept in conti­nual Alarms, their Country laid waste, and such great Numbers carried into Captivity, than the Account given by William Smith, who was sent by the African Company to visit their Settle­ments in the Year 1726, from the Information he received of one of the Factors, who had re­sided ten Years in that Country, viz. ‘That the discerning Natives account it their greatest Unhappiness that they were ever visited by the Europeans:—That we Christians introduced the Traffick of Slaves, and that before our coming they lived in Peace; but, say they, it is observable, that wherever Christianity comes, there comes with it a Sword, a Gun, Powder and Ball.’

As to the Account of the natural Disposition of many of the Negroes, and of the Fruitfulness of their Country, the forementioned Authors, as well as many others, have wrote largely upon it. M. Adanson, in his Account of the Country and Natives of Goree, where he was so lately as the Year 1754, after giving an Account of the de­lightful Aspect of the Country, says; ‘The Sim­plicity [Page 11]of the Natives, their Dress and Man­ners, revived in my Mind the Idea of our first Parents; and I seemed to contemplate the World in its primitive State;—they (the Ne­groes) are generally speaking, very good na­tured, sociable and obliging. I was not a lit­tle pleased (says he) with this my first Recep­tion; —it convinced me, that there ought to be a considerable Abatement made in the Ac­counts I had read and heard every where of the savage Character of the Africans.—I observed, both in Negroes and Moors, great Humanity and Sociableness, which gave me strong Hopes that I should be very safe amongst them, and meet with the Success I desired in my Enquiries after the Curiosities of the Coun­try.’

Bosman, speaking of the Negroes of that Part Guiney where he then was, says; ‘They are ge­nerally a good Sort of People, honest in their Dealings; others he describes as being gene­rally friendly to Strangers, of a mild Conver­sation, courteous, affable, and easy to be over­come with Reason; in Conversation they dis­cover a great Quickness of Parts and Under­standing.’ He adds, ‘That some Negroes, who have had an agreeable Education, have manifested a Brightness of Understanding equal to any of us.’

William Smith's Account of the Natives is, ‘That he found them a civil good natured People, industrious to the last Degree, and their Country exceeding Fertile.—It is easy [Page 12](says he) to perceive what happy Memories they are blessed with, and how great Progress they would make in the Sciences, in case their Genius was cultivated with Study: They ex­plain themselves in choice Terms, their Ex­pressions noble, and Manners polite;—this (he adds) is to be understood of the People of Distinction, as Officers, Merchantmen, and the like; for Peasants, Workmen and Shep­herds, are as ignorant in these Parts as else­where.’

Barbot says, ‘The Inhabitants of Oedo are, for the Generality, very civil, good natured People, easy to be dealt with, condescending to what the Europeans require of them, in a civil Way; but if treated with Haughtiness and rudely, they are stiff and high, and will not yield on any Account.’

Some Writers have represented the Natives of Cape Mesurado as faithless and cruel; but it is very likely this Representation of their Disposi­tion was occasioned by the Resentment they had shewn for the ill Usage received from the Euro­peans; for Captain Philips declared them to be ci­vil and courteous. And Snoek says, ‘He found them a civil good-natur'd People; but that the late Injury they had received from the English, who had carried off some of their People, had so exasperated them, that it was to be feared some English People they had in their Power, would fall a Sacrifice to their Resentment.’

Although the extream Heat in many Parts of Guiney, is such as is neither agreeable nor healthy [Page 13]to the Europeans, yet it is well suited to the Con­stitution of the Negroes: And it is to these Heats that they are indebted for the fertility of their Land, which in most Places is so great, that with little Labour Grain and Fruit will grow in the greatest Plenty.

Brue, in his Account of the Fertility of the Country, and Industry of the Natives, says; ‘He was surprized to see the Land so well culti­vated, as he observed it to be, in one of his Journies; scarce a Spot lay unimproved; the low Grounds, divided by small Canals, were all sowed with Rice; the higher Grounds planted with Indian Corn and Millet, and Pease of different Sorts, Beef and Mutton very cheap, as well as all other Necessaries of Life.’

Bosman says, ‘The Indian and Guiney Corn is here sown and reaped twice every Year; the first Harvest is in August, and the other the latter End of the Year, though but small, Corn grows with little Trouble, very speedily taking Root, so that one or two Men can manure and plow as much Land as one Plow can turn up in Holland. Indian Corn grows in the upper Lands, in prodigious Quan­tities, and where Corn won't grow, there Rice encreases in Abundance, and Yamms and Po­tatoes are in the greatest Plenty.’

Speaking of the Kingdom of Fida, he says, ‘The Country was very populous, many large Villages, besides innumerable small Ones, through the whole Country, plentifully pro­vided with Corn, Potatoes and Fruit, which [Page 14]grew close to each other; in some Places a Foot Path is the only Ground that is not co­vered with them, the Negroes leaving no Place, which is thought fertile, uncultivated, even within the Hedges which inclose their Villages: And the very next Day after they have reaped they are sure to sow again. This sine Country is now very much depopulated, which it is likely, was owing to the Incur­sions made upon them by their Neighbours, in order to get Slaves to sell to the Europeans. For the same Bosman, speaking of the neigh­bouring Nation of Pope, says; ‘They depend on Plunder and the Slave Trade, in which they exceed some of their Neighbours.’

Other Parts of the Country he describes, as ‘being full of Towns and Villages; the Soil very rich, and so well cultivated, as to look like and entire Garden, abounding in Rice, Corn, Oxen, Goats and Poultry; and the Negroes to be laborious.’

W. Smith gives much the same Account of the Country of Delmina, and Cape Corse, &c. for Beauty and Goodness; and adds, ‘The more you come downward towards that Part called the Slave Coast (I suppose because the most Slaves are brought from thence) the more de­lightful and rich the Sol appears.’

Barbot says, ‘The Inland People employ themselves in Tillage and Trade, and supply the Markets with Corn, Fruit and Palm Wine; the Country producing such vast Plenty of In­dian Wheat, that Abundance is daily export­ed, [Page 15]as well by Europeans as Blacks, resorting thither from other Parts.’ He adds, ‘That the Country of Delmina, which was formerly very powerful and populous, though now so much drained of its Inhabitants, by the inte­stine Wars fomented amongst the Negroes by the Dutch, that there does not remain enough Inhabitants to till the Country; abounded with fine well-built and populous Towns, enriched with vast Fields of Corn, Cattle, Palm Wine and Oil. The Inhabitants all applying themselves, without Distinction, to Agriculture, sowing Corn, pressing Oil, and drawing Wine from Palm Trees, with both of which it is plentifully stored others to fishing, and boiling Salt, and other Trades, on their own Account, or as Brokers for the Inland Blacks.’

Many more Accounts could be given of the good Disposition of the Generality of the Ne­groes, and of the Plenty their Coutry affords, in which it, perhaps, exceeds most Countries in the World; but this is sufficient to shew that they might have lived happily, more especially if the Europeans had not only bore the Name, but had acted the Part of Christians, in using their Endeavour, by Example as well as Precept, to make the Negroes acquainted with the glad Ti­dings of the Gospel, and with that Change of Heart, and Redemption from Sin, which Chri­stianity prorposes; this, if attended to, would have necessarily been productive of the peaceable Fruits of Righteousness; Innocency and Love [Page 16]would have prevailed, and nothing would have been wanting to compleat these poor Africans Happiness. But the Reverse has happened; the Europeans, forgetful of their Profession and Duty as Men and Christians, have conducted in so ini­quitous a Manner, as must necessarily raise in the Minds of the thoughtful and well-disposed Ne­groes the utmost Scorn and Detestation of the very Name of Christians. They have made all other Considerations give Way to an insatiable De­sire of Gain, and are become the principal and moving Cause of the most iniquitous and dreadful Scene that was, perhaps, ever acted upon this Globe: Instead of making use of their superior Knowledge to stir up the Principle of Peace and Good-will in the Breasts of the simple unwary Negroes, they have acted as Agents for the great Enemy of the Happiness of Mankind, and have stirred up and strengthened the earthly Principle of Craft and Covetousness in the poor Africans, who have thereby been induced to captivate and sell their unhappy Countrymen; every Thing, even the Power of their Kings, has been made subservient to answer this wicked Purpose; in­stead of being Protectors of their Subjects, these Rulers, allured by the tempting Baits laid be­fore them by the Factors, &c. have invaded the Liberties of their unhappy Subjects, and are be­come their Oppressors; as is fully evidenced by the following Account, viz.

Francis Moore, Factor to the african Compa­ny in 1730, tells his Reader, ‘That when the King of Barsalli wants Goods or Brandy, he [Page 17]sends a Messenger to the English Governor at James's Fort, to desire he would send up a Sloop with a Cargoe of Goods, which, says the Au­thor, the Governor never fails to do: Against the Time the Vessel arrives, the King plunders some of his Enemies Towns, selling the Peo­ple for such Goods as he wants, which com­monly is Brandy or Rum, Gunpowder, Ball, Fire-arms, Pistols and Cutlasses for his Sol­diers, &c. and Coral and Silver for his Wives and Mistresses.—If he is at War with no neighbouring King, he falls upon one of his own Towns, and makes bold to sell his own miserable Subjects. He often goes with some of his Troops by a Town in the Day-time, and returns in the Night, and sets Fire to three Parts of it, placing Guards at the Fourth, to seize the People that run out of the Fire, then ties their Arms behind them, and marches them to Joar or Rohone, where he sells them.’

Brue, the French Factor befóre-mentioned, says, ‘That having received Goods, he wrote to the King, that if he had a sufficient Number of Slaves, he was ready to trade with him, this Prince, says that Author, as well as the other Negroe Monarchs, have always a sure Way of supplying his Deficiencies, by selling their own Subjects, for which they seldom want Pretensions of some Kind or other, to justify their Rapine.’ These Negroe Kings, thus seeking Pretences to cover their Crimes, shews they are not quite void of Shame, and in­sensible that Covetousness induces them to act a [Page 18]Part so inconsistent with their Duty; but here they may plead the Example and Solicitation of the more knowing Europeans. ‘The King had Recourse to this Method, by seizing Three Hundred of his own People, and sent Word to Brue, that he had the Slaves ready to deliver for the Goods.’ The same Author further adds, ‘That some of the Natives are, on all Occasions, endeavouring to surprize and carry off their Country People; they land (says he) without Noise, and if they find any lone Cottage, without Defence, they surround it, and carry off all the People and Effects to their Boat: The Slaves are sold to the Euro­peans, unless they be Persons of some Rank, whose Friends can redeem them, by paying two Slaves, or five or six Oxen.’

John Barbot says, ‘The Slaves sold by the Negroes are for the most Part Prisoners of War, or taken in the Incursions they make in­to their Enemies Territories; others are stolen away by their own Countrymen. Abundance of little Blacks, of both Sexes, are stolen away by their Neighbours, when found abroad, on the Roads, or in the Woods, or else in the Corn Fields, at the Time of the Year when their Parents keep them there all Day, to scare away the devouring small Birds.’

Francis Moore, the English Factor, says, ‘That captivating the People is, by Custom, become so familiar, that when the King of Kayor wants to make a Present to the Factor, for what he has received of him, he sends to have two or [Page 19]three Slaves taken up at the nearest Village. Unhappy (says that Author) are they, who at that Time fall into the Hands of his Guards, for they stay to make no Choice.’ And he further says, ‘That in Battle they spare the Enemies as much as possible, but it is only that they may have the more Slaves; from which even Persons of Quality, taken Prisoners, are not exempted: That the Merchants bring down some Years, to that Factory, to the Amount of Two Thousand Slaves; which, they say, are taken Prisoners in War: These they buy from the different Princes who take them; many of them come from a great Way In-land. Their Way of bringing them, is tying them by the Neck with Leather Thongs, at about a Yard Distance from each other, hav­ing generally a Bundle of Corn, or Elephants Teeth, on each of their Heads, Thirty or Forty in a String.’ The Author judges, ‘That the Number of Merchants who followed this Trade were about an Hundred.’ Some Authors say, ‘They go Six or Seven Hundred Miles up the Country, with Goods bought from the English, with which they purchase these Slaves, and Ivory: Besides those Slaves, there are many bought along the River; these are either taken in War, as the former, or Men condemned for Crimes, or Persons stolen, which is very frequently. Since the Slave Trade has been introduced, all Punishments are commuted in this; and they strain hard for Crimes, in order to have the Benefit of selling [Page 20]the Criminal; so that not only great Crimes but even trifling ones, are at present punished with Slavery.’

Bosman says, That being in the Kingdom of Pope, who depend on Plunder and the Slaves Trade, in which they exceed some of their Neighbours, because, being endued with a much larger Share of Courage, they rob more success­fully, they assured him, that if he would have Patience for three Days, they would be able to deliver him One or Two Hundred Slaves, and that their Incursions succeeded so well, they re­turned with about Two Hundred Slaves. That the Inhabitants of Arda were so diligent in the Slave Trade, that they were able to deliver a Thousand Slaves every Month; and that if there happened to be no Stock of Slaves when the Ves­sels arrived, they would sometimes send their Commodities Two Hundred Miles deep in the Country (a later Author says, they have now car­ried the Trade Five Hundred Miles farther, go­ing now Seven Hundred Miles back into the Country) where Markets of Men were kept in the same Manner as those of Beasts with us. Most of the Slaves are Prisoners of War, which are sold by the Victors as their Booty. When these Slaves come to Fida, they are put in Prison alto­gether; and when (says he) we treat concerning baying them, they are all brought out together in a large Plain, where, by our Surgeons, they are thoroughly examined, and that naked too, both Men and Women, without the least Distinction or Modesty. Those which are ap­proved [Page 21]as good, are set on one Side; in the mean while a burning Iron, with the Arms or Name of the Companies, lies in the Fire, with which ours are marked on the Breast. When we have agreed with the Owners of the Slaves, they are returned to their Prisons, where, from that Time forward, they are kept at our Charge, cost us Two-pence a Day a Slave, which serves to subsist them like our Criminals on Bread and Water; so that, to save Charges, we send them on board our Ships with the very first Opportunity; before which, their Masters strip the [...] of all they have on their Backs, so that they come on board stark naked, as well Women as Men: In which Con­dition they are obliged to continue, if the Master of the Ship is not so charitable (which he com­monly is) as to bestow something on them to co­ver their Nakedness.—Six or Seven Hundred are sometimes put on board a Vessel, where they lie as close together as possible for them to be crouded.—I doubt not, says the same Author, but this Trade seems very barbarous to you, but, since it is followed by meer Necessity, it must go on. What Necessity does the Author mean, no other Necessity appears but that arising from the Desire of amassing Riches; a Necessity laid on worldly Men by their hard Task-master the De­vil? Many more Examples might be given to shew the arbitrary and tyrannick Oppression with which this Trade is carried on, and the Devasta­tion and Bloodshed it occasions in those unhappy People's Country; but I trust this is sufficient to convince the candid, considerate Reader of the [Page 22]Unlawfulness and Iniquity of the Trade. And indeed what Distress can we conceive equal to the Alarms, the Anxiety and Wrath, which must succeed one another in the Breasts of the tender Parents, or affectionate Children, in continual Danger of being torn one from another, and dragged into a State of cruel Bondage; Reader, if the Impressions of Grace, or even the com­mon Feelings of Humanity, are not suppressed in thy Heart by the Love of Gain, compare what thou hast read with the Equity, the Sympa­thy, the Tenderness and affectionate Love which is the Life of Christianity, and then say, what Concord or Affinity can these Fruits have one with the other. May not this Trade be truly said to be the most iniquitous and cruelest Act of Vio­lence and Rapine, when considered in all its Cir­cumstances, that, to our Knowledge, is perpe­trated in any Part of the World, and that there­fore it behoves every one who is desirous to main­tain the Testimony of a good Conscience, and enjoy Rest and Peace in Time and Eternity, to avoid being, in any Respect, defiled by the Gain resulting therefrom. And Thanks be to the Great Father of the Family of the whole Earth, that it is not alone in America that some are raised to bear their Testimony against this mighty Evil, but that a noble Indignation is also raised in the Breasts of some in our Mother Country, zea­lously to declare against so unparalelled Invasion upon the Rights and Liberties of Mankind, par­ticularly George Wallis, a Gentleman of the Law, in a Book wrote by him, intituled, A Sy­stem [Page 23]of the Principles of the Law of Scotland; in which, speaking of the Slavery of the Negroes in our Colonies, he says; "We all know that they (the Negroes) are purchased from their Princes, who pretend to have a Right to dis­pose of them, and that they are, like other Commodities, transported by the Merchants, who have bought them, into America, in or­der to be exposed to Sale. If this Trade ad­mits of a moral or a rational Justification, every Crime, even the most atrocious, may be justified. Government was instituted for the Good of Mankind; Kings, Princes, Gover­nors, are not Proprietors of those who are sub­ject to their Authority; they have not a Right to make them miserable. On the contrary, their Authority is vested in them, that they may, by the just Exercise of it, promote the Happiness of their People. Of Course, they they have not a Right to dispose of their Li­berty, and to sell them for Slaves. Besides, no Man has a Right to acquire or to purchase them; Men and their Liberty are not (in Com­mercio) they are not either saleable or pur­chaseable. One, therefore, has no body but himself to blame, in case he shall find himself deprived of a Man, whom he thought he had, by buying for a Price, made his own; for he dealt in a Trade which was illicit, and was prohibited by the most obvious Dictates of Hu­manity. For these Reasons every one of those unfortunate Men, who are pretended to be Slaves, has a Right to be declared to be free, [Page 24]for he never lost his Liberty; he could not lose it; his Prince had no Power to dispose of him. Of Course the Sale was ipso Jure void. This Right he carries about with him, and is entitled every where to get it declared. As soon, therefore, as he comes into a Coun­try in which the Judges are not forgetful of their own Humanity, it is their Duty to re­member that he is a Man, and to declare him to be free. I know it has been said, that Que­stions concerning the State of Persons ought to be determined by the Law of the Country to which they belong; and that, therefore, one who would be declared to be a Slave in America, ought, in case he should happen to be imported into Britain, to be adjudged ac­cording to the Law of America to be a Slave; a Doctrine than which nothing can be more barbarous. Ought the Judges of any Coun­try, out of Respect to the Law of another, to shew no Respect to their Kind, and to Huma­nity. Out of Respect to a Law, which is in no Sort obligatory upon them, ought they to disregard the Law of Nature, which is obli­gatory on all Men at all Times, and in all Places: Are any Laws so binding as the eter­nal Laws of Justice? Is it doubtful, whether a Judge ought to pay greater Regard to them, than to those arbitrary and inhuman Usages which prevail in a distant Land? Aye, but our Colonies would be ruined, if Slavery was abolished. Be it so; would it not from thence follow, that the Bulk of Mankind ought to be [Page 25]abused, that our Pockets may be filled with Money, or our Mouths with Delicacies? The Purses of Highwaymen would be empty in case Robberies were totally abolished; but have Men a Right to acquire Money by going out to the Highway? Have Men a Right to acquire it by rendering their Fellow Creatures miserable? Is it lawful to abuse Mankind, that the Avarice, the Vanity, or the Passions of a few may be gratified? No! there is such a Thing as Justice, to which the most sacred Regard is due. It ought to be inviolably ob­served. Have not these unhappy Men a better Right to their Liberty, and to their Happiness, than our American Merchants have to the Pro­fits which they make by torturing their Kind? Let therefore our Colonies be ruined, but let us not render so many Men miserable. Would not any of us, who should—be snatched by Pyrates from his native Land, think himself cruelly abused, and at all Times intitled to be free. Have not these unfortunate Africans, who meet with the same cruel Fate, the same Right? Are not they Men as well as we, and have they not the same Sensibility? Let us not, therefore, defend or support a Usage which is contrary to all the Laws of Humanity.

But it is false, that either we or our Colonies would be ruined by the Abolition of Slavery. It might occasion a Stagnation of Business for a short Time. Every great Alteration pro­duces that Effect; because Mankind cannot, on a sudden, find Ways of disposing of them­selves, [Page 26]and of their Affairs: But it would pro­duce many happy Effects. It is the Slavery which is permitted in America that has hindered it from becoming so soon populous, as it would otherwise have done. Let the Negroes free, and, in a few Generations, this vast and fertile Continent would be crowded with Inhabitants; Learning, Arts, and every Thing would flou­rish amongst them; instead of being inhabited by wild Beasts, and by Savages, it would be peopled by Philosophers, and by Men."— Thus far this honest and noble spirited Briton.

And now Reader, if from the Example of others, and without a sufficient Knowledge of the deplorable Consequences attendant on this Trade, thou hast inadvertently engaged therein, let me beseech thee, by the Mercies of CHRIST JESUS our LORD (those Mercies which, perhaps, e'er long, thou and I shall desire to fly to as our only Refuge) that thou wouldst refrain a Prac­tice so inconsistent with thy Duty, both as a Chri­stian and a Man. Remember, the first and chief Commandment is, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy Heart. And that the Second like unto it is, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thyself. That our blessed Redeemer has enjoined us to do unto others as we would they should do unto us; and that it will be those who have been righteous and merciful to their Fellow Creatures, that will be intitled to the Mercy of the Great Judge of Heaven and Earth, before whom we must all appear, to give an Account of the Deeds done in the Body.

[Page 27] And as for those who confess themselves now, convinced of the Iniquity of this Trade, and the Injustice of buying and selling their Fellow Creatures, and yet continue to keep those Negroes they are possessed of in Bondage, for the Sake of the Profit arising from their Labour, it be­hoves them seriously to consider their Motives for such a Conduct; whether the Distinction they make between buying a Negroe, and keeping the same Negroe, or his Offspring, in perpetual Bon­dage, is not a Plea founded more in Words than supported by Truth; for it must be obvious to every Person, who is not blinded by the Desire of Gain, that the Right by which these Men hold the Negroes in Bondage, is no other than what is derived from those who stole them, or received them from the Thief, who having no other Title, but that which Robbers have over their Prey, could not convey any better to the Purchaser; and that therefore to continue to hold them in Bondage, for worldly Advantage, by no other Right than that which those guilty Men gave them, is consenting to, and partaking of their Guilt. Instances may fall out, where Men of Candour may be concerned in the Purchase of Negroes, purely from a Principle of Charity; and there are also many of the Blacks, amongst us, whose Dispostions, Infirmities or Age, render them unfit for Freedom; but in the Case before­mentioned, where Persons declare themselves convinced of the Injustice and Iniquity of this Trade, and are possessed of Negroes who are ca­pable of managing for themselves, and have suf­ficiently [Page 28]paid, by their Labour, for their Pur­chase or bringing up, besides the Profit some Families have reaped, during a long Course of Years, from the Labour of their Progenitors; it is the undoubted Duty of their Possessors to re­store to them that Liberty, of which they, or their Parents, have been unjustly deprived; and they ought also to use all reasonable Endeavours, to enable them to procure a comfortable Living, not only as an Act of Justice to the Individuals, but as a Debt due to them, on Account of the Oppression and Injustice perpetrated on them, or their Ancestors; and as the best Means in their Power, to avert the Judgments of GOD, which it is to be feared will fall on Families and Coun­tries, in Proportion as they have, more or less, defiled themselves with this iniquitous Traffick.

EXTRACTS from a Manuscript, intituled, Two Dialogues on the MAN-TRADE.
Printed in London, in the Year 1760.

THE African Blacks are as properly and truly Men, as the European Whites; they are both of the same Species, and are originally descended from the same Parents;—they have the same rational Powers as we have; they have free moral Agents, as we are, and many of them have as good natural Genius, as good and as brave a Spirit, as any of those to whom they are made [Page 29]Slaves. To trade in Blacks, then, is to trade in Men; the black-skin'd and the white-skin'd be­ing all of the same Species, all of the human Race, are by Nature upon an Equality; one Man in a State of Nature, as we are with Respect to the Inhabitants of Guiney, and they with Respect to us, is not superior to another Man, nor has any Authority or Dominion over him, or any Right to lay his Commands upon him: He that made us, made them, and all of the same Clay: We are all the Workmanship of his Hands, and he hath assigned this Globe to the human Race, to dwell upon: He hath given this Earth, in com­mon, to the Children of Men.—GOD gave to Man Dominion over the Fish of the Sea, and over the Fowl of the Air, and over the Cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping Thing that creepeth upon the Earth, Gen. i. 26; but not to any one Man over another: Nor can one Man, on any Supposition whatever, become the Pro­perty, or Part of the Goods or Estate, of another Man; as his Horse or his Dog is.

The European Whites, and the African Blacks, are all under the same Moral Law, the eternal Law of Reason, which GOD hath written upon the Table of Man's Heart. We and they are Members of one and the same great Society, spread over the Face of the whole Earth, under one and the same Supreme Law-giver and Judge; and are joined together, by the close and strong Ties of human Nature, common to us all; and it is in this Bond of Humanity, that is the Found­ation of all other particular Ties and Connections [Page 30]between Men, and gives Strength to them all. —A Patriot, or a Lover of his Country, is a brave Character; but a Lover of Mankind is a braver Character.

Our being Christians does not give us any worldly Superiority, or any Authority whatever, over those who are not Christians. CHRIST'S Kingdom is not of this World; neither does Christianity dissolve or free us from the Obliga­tions of Justice, Equity, and Benevolence to­wards our Fellow Creatures of the same Species, be they Jews, Mahometans, or even black-skin'd Heathens, which the Law of Nature lays us un­der; but, on the contrary, greatly strengthens them. The Jews, in our Saviour's Time, un­derstood that Precept, Thou shalt love thy Neigh­bour as thyself, in a very confined Sense, as re­lating only to their own Countrymen. But this Precept, as adopted into the Christian Religion, takes in all Mankind. By our Neighbour we are to understand every Individual of the human Species. We are commanded in the Gospel; to render all their Dues, and to do unto others, as we would they should do unto us, to be kind, merci­ful and compassionate, to be ready to communicate, and to do Good. Which Precept, and many others to the same Purpose, are not to be under­stood, in such a narrow Sense, as if they related only to those who are of the same Religion with ourselves, or whose Skin is of the same Colour with ours, as is evident from other Precepts of the Gospel. We are commanded to do Good to all, especially to those who are of the Houshold of [Page 31]Faith, to imitate our Heavenly Father, who doeth Good to all, and whose tender Mercies are over all his Works, yea, and to love our Enemies. —These Propositions I believe no body would have refused to grant; but though they are so evident that few will expresly deny, or dispute the Truth of them, yet, it is reasonable to suppose, that those who are concerned in the Man-Trade, do not allow themselves to think on these Truths impartially, seriously to consider them, and lay them to Heart; but that on the contrary, they have, some how or other, a Kind of confused Imagination, or half formed Thought, in their Minds, that the Blacks are hardly of the same Species with the white Men, but are Creatures of a Kind some­what inferior: I say it is reasonable to suppose so; for I do not know how to think that any white Men could find in their Hearts, that the common Sentiments of Humanity would permit them to treat the black Men in that cruel, barbarous Manner in which they do treat them, did they think and consider that these have rational im­mortal Souls, that they are made after the Image of GOD, as well as themselves, and that, being in the same Body, they have the same Passions, Senses and Feelings, as they have, and are as sus­ceptible of Pain and Grief, and upon the same Occasions, as they.—Man-stealing is not only unlawful—I think it the most atrocious, de­testate Crime. To steal a Horse, or to rob a Man on the Road of his Money, is reckoned, among us, a capital Crime, deserving Death and is, by Law, punishable with Death. What then [Page 32]does he deserve, what Punishment can be great enough for him, who steals a Man, a Crime, in Comparison with which Horse-stealing or rob­bing on the Highway is but a little trifling Fault, quite excuseable and venial. Man-stealers were, by the Law of Moses, punished with Death. He that stealeth a Man, or if he be found in his Hand, he shall surely be put to Death, Exod. xxi. 16. And in the New Testament, 1 Tim. i. 10. Man­stealers are reckoned amongst the very worst of Men. Can any Thing be more cruel and bar­barous, than to seize upon human Creatures, and take them away by Force from their native Coun­try, from their Friends and Relations, for ever; Children from their tender Parents, Parents from their dear Children, Women from their beloved Husbands, and Husbands from their beloved Wives, and drive them, like Hogs, to Market, there to be sold for Slaves for Life? How great must be the Misery those poor Creatures are in, and the Agonies of Mind they fell, when they are thus carried off; so great, that, to relieve themselves, some of them have put an End to their Lives. And how grievous, how distressed, must be the Condition of their Friends and Rela­tions, who are deprived of them, and shall never see their Faces any more? It is horrid, it is shock­ing to think of such Cruelty and Barbarity. What Monsters in Nature then, destitute of all Humanity and Compassion, must they be, who are guilty of it. The black Men have the same natural Affection for their Kindred, and as strong, as we have.—To sell and buy human Crea­tures, [Page 33]without their Consent, yea and sore against, their Will, to trade in Men, as you would in brute Creatures, or any other Commodities, is really impious as well as cruel. Man is a noble Creature, made but a little lower than the An­gels, and crowned with Glory and Honour. He is the Offspring of GOD; therefore thus to de­base him, and to bring him down upon a Level with the Brutes, yea with Things inanimate, is great Impiety, it is an high Affront offered to him, who is the kind and merciful Father of us all, who hath made of one Blood all Nations of Men, to dwell on the Face of the Earth, and hath united them all in one Body by the Ties of Nature. It is likewise an Affront put upon Man­kind, upon the whole human Race, which should raise a generous Resentment and Indignation in the Breast of every one that partakes of the human Nature, and has any Notion of the Dignity of it, or any Sense of Humanity, which he should express and discover upon all proper Occasions, and in all proper Ways.—And I think the Re­ceiver, in this Case, will appear to be worse, to be more guilty, in some Respects, than the bare Thief, if we fairly consider the Matter.

It is evident, that the Europeans, in sending Ships yearly to the Coast of Africa, to buy Slaves, without enquiring how those they purchase them of came by them, do encourage those Thieves, and tempt them to make a Practice and Trade of stealing their own Countrymen; for this is the same Thing in Effect, as if they were to tell them in so many Words, You get Men ready for us, [Page 34]how you can, and we will take them off your Hands. Besides, those Men-merchants not only encourage others in this cruel flagitious Prac­tice of Man-stealing, but are really guilty of it themselves. You will observe, that what is done by their Command, and according to their Or­ders, I consider as done by themselves. As those poor miserable Creatures were stolen, those who did steal them, could not convey any Right in them to others, though these others should give ever so much in Purchase of them, any more than if they had them for nothing. For those Purchasers then to deprive them of their Liberty, and, by Force, keep them in their Possession, in whom they have no Right (supposing one Man could be the Property of another) and who never injured them in the least, nor forfeited their Li­berty; to keep them in Bonds, and carry them away Captives, is, properly speaking, Man-steal­ing. And what aggravates this Crime in the European Man-merchants, and renders it much more heinous in them than in the Africans, is, that the former enjoy the Light of the Gospel, and profess themselves to be Christians.

Man-stealing is a Kind, and indeed the worst Kind, of Sacrilege, which Consideration farther shews the Impiety of it. Man is sacred, and is, by Nature, devoted to the Service of GOD, to whose Authority alone he is obliged to yield an absolute, unlimited Obedience; for one Man therefore to assault another, and, by meer Force, to make a Captive of him, not for any Crime that he has been guilty of, but to make a Penny [Page 35]of him, considering him as Part of his Possessions or Goods, with which he can do what he pleases, is robbing of GOD, which is Sacrilege.

It is very common in the Countries, where the Europeans carry on this Trade, for the petty Kings and Princes, of which there are a great many, to go to War with their Neighbours, not in Defence of their Right, not to get Satisfaction for any Injuries done them, or to repair any Damages they have unjustly suffered by those Neighbours, but purely to get Prisoners against the Time the Ships from Europe arrive upon their Coast, that with them they may be able to purchase of the Captains of those Ships the Goods they have on board.

Now here the Injury and Crime is the same in Kind as in the former Case, and indeed greater in the Kind: In both Cases it is stealing Man, but in the latter it is attended with shedding of Blood, with Slaughter and Destruction; which Consideration doth aggravate the Crime of our Guiney Merchants, who purchase those Prisoners. CHRIST hath said, that blessed are the Peace­makers, for they shall be called the Children of GOD. But how contrary to what our Saviour recom­mends, the making of Peace among Men, is the Spirit and Practice of those, who, for Lucre Sake, provoke and encourage others to go to War with their Neighbours, and by unjust Force to kill and destroy some, and others of them to make Prisoners.

But let us now suppose,—that the Prisoners, which are bought, were even engaged in an un­just [Page 36]War, that they were the first Invaders or Aggressors—When one King or Prince goes to War with another, the common Men are not capable of judging of the Merits of the Cause, which Party has or has not Right of their Side; but, laying aside this Consideration, they are forced to go whithersoever their King or Captain leads them; they are obliged to obey his Com­mands, and to desert would be Death to them: Therefore I think it would be unjust and cruel, in him who comes off Conqueror, though he had Right of his Side, and was engaged in a just War, to deprive those common Men, who are taken Prisoners, of their Liberty, after the War is over, or at any Time to sell them for Slaves for Life, either by Way of Punishment or Re­tribution, unless they be supposed to be answera­ble for whatever Damage or Injury is done by their King, or that they are his Goods or Pro­perty; both which are absurd, and the latter a Supposition unworthy of human Nature, and shocking to the human Mind; consequently, the buying of them for such, must be altogether as criminal in the Europeans.

It is reckoned we have now in this Kingdom Thirty Thousand French Prisoners, or more; and we say, that in the War we are carrying on against France, we have Right on our Side; that we entered into it for the Recovery and Defence of our Territories, invaded by them; but though it be true (as I believe it is) that our Cause is good, yet would it not be cruel and inhuman in us, to sell these Prisoners into Slavery for Life, [Page 37]and in any other Nation, as the Spaniards, for Instance, to buy them of us, in order to send them to work in their Mines in Peru, as long as they live? And would not all the other Na­tions of Europe exclaim against us, and the Spa­niards, as inhuman, barbarous People, for so doing? If it be replied, that such a Thing would be contrary to Custom, and to the Law of Nations in Europe, whereas in Guiney and Negroeland it is a common Custom, to sell for Slaves the Prisoners they take in War; there they make a Trade of it. I own—that may be one Reason, among others, why such a Thing practised in those Countries is not looked upon, by us here, with so much Abhorrence and De­testation, as it would be if it were to be practised in Europe: But this makes no Difference, as to the Nature of the Thing in itself; for as I have shewn before, the Man-trade in this last men­tioned Case, wherein the Men who are sold, are supposed to be Prisoners, that were engaged in an unjust War, is in itself wicked and inhuman, contrary to the Law of Nature, the Obligations of which are eternal and unchangeable, not to be altered or disannulled by Use or Custom, be it ever so ancient or universal, they are the same all over the World, the same in Guiney, or Ja­maica, as in England.

The Captain of the Guiney Ship, when he has finished his Marketing, when he has bought as many reasonable Creatures as he wants, and is full freighted, having on board (we will say) Two Hundred of them, coupled in Irons, and [Page 38]closely crammed up in a Ship of about One Hundred Tons Burthen, he sets out for one of our Plantations,—and may be two or three Months on the Voyage; during which Time, from the Filth and Stench that must be among them, occasioned by their being put down under Deck, and penn'd together in so little Room,— Distempers break out among them, and carry off a great many, a Fifth, or Fourth, yea, sometimes a third Part of them; and it is reasonable to sup­pose, that some of them have their Hearts broke, and die with Grief and Anguish, to think that they shall never more set Foot on their Native Soil, and that the Eye that hath seen them, shall see them no more. I remember I read an Ac­count in one of the News-Papers last Year; a Ship, belonging to Liverpool, that had a Hundred and Ninety Slaves on board, Eighty of whom died on the Voyage, which is more than two Fifths—Taking all the Slaves together, that are brought on board our Ships yearly, from the Coast of Africa, where they are bought by our Guiney Merchants, I think one may venture to affirm, that, at least, a Tenth Part of them die on the Voyage;—the Merchants are certainly chargeable with taking away the Lives of as ma­ny of those poor Creatures, as come by their Death by being so confined and treated, and are guilty of Murder; for to take away a Man's Life, unjustly, is Murder; whether it be done in two or three Minutes, or two or three Months, that makes no Difference.—I do not think it ne­cessary, in order to convict a Man of Murder, [Page 39]to make it appear that he had an Intention to commit Murder: Whoever does, by unjust Force and Violence, deprive another of his Liberty, and, while he has him in his Power, reduces him to such a Condition, and gives him such Treatment, as evidently endangers his Life, and, in the Event, do actually deprive him of his Life, is guilty of Murder.—By the Account given in the second Volume of the Compleat Sy­stem of Geography, the Number of Negroes brought away by the English, in the Year 172.5, appeared to be about Fifty Thousand.—We will suppose that the Number of Negroes pur­chased by our Guiney Merchants, one Year with another, are no more than Thirty-five Thousand: Now, in the Account given by that Author of the Negroes in our Plantations, it is said, that, in the Island of Jamaica, almost Half of the new im­ported Negroes die in the Seasoning, and that, in Barbados, it is reckoned that a fourth Part die in Seasoning; and, according to the same Account there are twice as many imported into these two Islands, as into all our other Islands in the West-Indies, and all our Colonies in North-America. At a moderate Computation, therefore, it may be reckoned, that of all those who are purchased by our African Merchants in a Year, Twelve Thou­sand die upon the Voyage, and in the Seasoning.

What a sad dreadful Affair then is this Man-Trade, whereby so many Thousands of our Fel­low rational Creatures lose their Lives, are, truly and properly speaking, murdered every Year; I do not think there is an Instance of so great Bar­barity [Page 40]and Cruelty carried on in any Part of the World, as is this, Year after Year. It is enough to make one tremble, to think what a Load of Guilt lies upon this Nation, on this Account, and that the Blood of Thousands of poor innocent Creatures, murdered every Year, in carrying on this cursed Trade, cry aloud to Heaven for Ven­geance. Were we to hear or read of any other Nation in the World that did destroy every Year, in some other Way, or on some other Account, as many human Creatures as are destroyed by this Trade, we should look upon them as a very bloody, cruel, barbarous People. We, to this Day, ex­claim against the Cruelty of the Spaniards, in de­stroying so many of the Inhabitants of Mexico and Peru, when they unjustly invaded those Countries, though it is a Question, whether the English have not destroyed as many of the Inhabitants of Africa, since the Commencement of this vil­lainous Man-Trade among us, and of our Popish Queen Mary, whose Reign is looked upon as the most cruel and inhuman of any in all the English History, though there were not above Three Hundred burnt, for Heresy, in the five Years of her Reign, and you know that the Papists believe, or prosess to believe, that they ought to put He­reticks to Death, at least they did then: Where­as the English have, for many Years past, put to Death Ten or Twelve Thousand a Year, in car­rying on this Trade, which they still continue for the Sake of getting Money, and furnishing them­selves with the Superfluities of Life, which shews a greater Degree of Barbarity; and many of those [Page 41]poor Wretches have endured more Pain, before they died, than those Hereticks did in being burnt. There is nothing that shews the Degene­racy of Mankind more, that casts a greater Blemish on human Nature, or exposes it in a more disadvantageous Light, than this Considera­tion, that whole Nations, Christians as well as Heathens, profess to believe the greatest Absur­dities and Contradictions, and justify the most wicked and vilest Practices.—If it be said that I charge the Legislature—because they have encouraged, and still do encourage, this Trade, —what I have asserted, I think I can defend. —No Legislature on Earth, which is the Su­preme Power in every civil Society, can alter the Nature of Things, or make that to be lawful which is contrary to the Law of GOD, the Su­preme Legislator and Governor of the World. Mischief may be framed, and established by a Law, but if it be, it is Mischief still, as much so as it was before it was established, though its being so may make Men insensible of their Guilt, or bold and fearless in the Perpetration of it; for too many, among Christians, are, contrary to CHRIST's Exhortation, more influenced by the Fear of Man, than by the Fear of GOD.—It is really a serious Subject, and I own it raises a serious Concern in my Mind, that such Barbari­ty should be suffered in Christian Nations. It is enough to make a Man's Heart ach, unless he has lost all Love and Regard to his Kind, to think that so many Thousands of the human [Page 42]Race should be sacrificed every Year to that greedy voracious God Mammon.

Nor is it less shocking to hear or read the Ac­counts we have of the barbarous Treatment that those black Men, who stand and survive the Sea­soning, as it is called, meet with. According to the Accounts in the forementioned Author, it is inhuman and unmerciful.

Sir Hans Sloan, in his History of Jamaica, says; ‘That a rebellious Negroe, or he that twice strikes a white Man, is condemned to the Flames; being chained flat on his Belly, at the Place of Execution, and his Arms and Legs extended, Fire is then set to his Feet, and he is burnt gradually up to his Head. They starve others to Death, with a Loaf hanging before their Mouths, so that some gnaw the very Flesh off their own Shoulders, and expire with all the frightful Agonies, expressing the most horrid Tortures. For Crimes of a less Nature, they geld the Offender, and chop off Half of his Foot with an Ax; for Negligence only, they whip him till his Back is raw, and then scatter Pepper and Salt on his Wounds, to heighten the Smart; and some Planters will drop melted Wax on their Skins, which puts them to intolerable Pain.’ Now must not the human Nature, in those People, be changed into the Devilish, who can put these poor Creatures to such Torments?—It is ob­served by the same Author, that ‘Some excuse these Severities by telling us, that the Blacks, being so perverse, sullen, and mischievous a [Page 43]Generation, deserve such Treatment, and that milder Usage would not reclaim them.’— It is no Wonder they are sullen; would not white Men be so, were they in their Condition, and treated as they are? No Doubt but they would. But the Blacks, though they be unjustly deprived of their Liberty, banished from their native Coun­try, from all their Friends and Relations, and made Captives and Slaves for Life, though they are treated worse than Dogs, and made to wo [...]k harder than Horses, yet they ought to be plea­sant, good humoured, and obliging to them that do thus treat them; and, if they be not, they should be put to Pain and Torment. And they are, it seems, a mischievous Generation, apt to mutiny and rebel; that is, in Truth, they want to recover their Liberty, and would attempt to do it, if they were not kept in Awe by hard Usage, and severe Discipline. In the Account of Ja­maica, we are told that the Negroes, when first brought thither from Guin [...]y, are very simple, in­nocent Creatures, but soon turn roguish, and when they come to be whipp'd, urge the Exam­ple of the Whites for their Excuse. Whereas, in that of Barbados, the same Author says, ‘That the Masters of the Negroes are obliged to treat them very severly, not only because of the stubborn, treacherous Temper, which is so peculiar to all of their Complexion and Coun­try, but because they are three times the Num­ber of the Whites in this Island, and have made frequent Attempts to get the Mastery;’ that is, their Liberty, or to deliver themselves out [Page 44]of the miserable Slavery they are in.—But how come they to be three times the Number of the Whites in this Island? Is it not owing to the white Inhabitants, to their purchasing them, and keeping them in Bondage? How weak then is this Excuse? Where is the Sense of assigning this Majority, which is of their own procuring, as a Reason for their treating the Blacks with such Severity?—We have also an Account from that Author, of those Plots laid by the Blacks in Antigua, but which were discovered by the Whites, before they could be brought to bear, and of the horrid Executions which followed upon the Discovery. "The King, that is, he who was to have been King of the Blacks, had the Plot succeeded, and his two Generals, with two others, were all broke on a Wheel (that is, their Bones were broke with an Iron Bar whilst alive.) Four more of the principal Conspirators were burnt the same Day; as were Seven on the next Day. Six were hung alive in Chains on Gibbets, and starved to Death; after which their Heads were cut off, and their Bodies burnt; and Fifty-eight others were, at several Times, chained to Stakes, and burnt alive." Now, was not this a lamentable Affair (and there have been several Instances of such Cruelty in our Planta­tions) that so many poor Creatures should be put to the greatest Tortures, and be made to suffer the most painful Deaths. Some of the French. Pri­soners in England, whose Condition is far prefer­able to that of most of the Salves in our Colonies, have attempted to break out of Prison, but, being [Page 45]discovered in Time, failed in their Attempt. Now should not we have been reckoned, by all the World, a cruel barbarous People, if the Go­vernment had ordered some of them to be broke on the Wheel, some to be burnt alive, and others to be starved to Death, though the French are our Enemies, and are engaged in an unjust War against us; whereas those Slaves had never done any Hurt or Injury to those who torture them to Death.—We reckon ourselves to be a brave, generous, humane, civilized People;—but is this a true Character, while that barbarous, sa­vage Man-Trade, in the carrying on of which so many Thousand Lives are sacrificed every Year, is not only winked at, but countenanced and en­couraged amongst us.—There are other Na­tions in Europe, besides ours, concerned in this Trade, but that does not lessen the Guilt in our People, though it may keep them in Counte­nance; but the English are now more concerned, I believe, than all the other Nations in Europe, taken together, in this abominable Trade, which is the greatest Scandal and Reproach that lies upon this Nation; the removing of which, by proclaiming Liberty to those Captives now in our Plantations, making them Freemen, and prohi­biting for ever, upon the severest Penalties, the Man-Trade throughout all His Majesty's Domi­nions, and thereby leading the Way, and giving a good Example to the other Nations in Europe, concerned in the Man-Trade, would be much to the Honour of our Government, and I am sure would give great Pleasure to all who are Lovers [Page 46]of Mankind, and have a Regard for the Honour, Safety, and Prosperity of their Country.—It is objected, that if the English were to drop this Trade entirely, it would be immediately there­upon carried on by other Nations, to a much greater Degree than it now is.—Perhaps that might be the Consequence, and if it should, they must be answerable for that, the Guilt and Scandal would lie upon them. But if it were certain that this would be the Case, this Consideration cannot be a just Reason for our continuing to carry on such a wicked Trade. If we should not carry on this Trade others would, therefore we may, would be a strange Way of reasoning.

And as this Slave-Trade has been encouraged by the Government, for many Reigns back, it is queried, whether the present Government, in case they were to set those Negroes in our Colo­nies at Liberty, should not make good that Loss to their Masters; but I shall not take upon me to determine that Point; our Governors are best Judges of that, only I think they had better do so, though it should require some Millions to do it, than suffer those poor Creatures to continue in the miserable State of Slavery they are now in. There is one Consequence more which, some People fear, would follow upon prohibiting of the Negroe Trade, and that is, that such a Prohi­bition would greatly lessen, if not utterly ruin, some other considerable Branches of our Com­merce, especially the Sugar and the Tobacco Trades, because of the Difficulty of getting Hands enough, in the Room of the Blacks, to work [Page 47]and labour in those Plantations, where these Com­modities are produced; but this can be no real Objection against what I have asserted, or in Justification of the Man-Trade; for if this Trade be in itself one continued Scene of such Cruelty and Barbarity, as it hath been represented to be, it must be allowed, that it ought to be strictly prohibited, let the Consequences of such a Prohi­bition be what they will, that none should be suffered to go on, tormenting and murdering their Fellow-creatures, Year after Year, though we were never any more to see an Ounce of Tobacco or Sugar in Great-Britain. The Inconveniences, or worldly Disadvantage [...] [...] [...]ing from adhering to our Duty, and acting [...] [...]ding to the moral Obligations we are under, let them be ever so great, are of no Consideration at all in the Eye of Reason, nor can they have any Weight with, or Influence upon an honest, virtuous Mind, when set against these Obligations.

The Author of the Dialogues on the Man-Trade, concludes with the following Address to the Gui­ney Merchants in England.


AS the Business you are concerned in, and carry on openly and publickly before the World, has a bad Aspect, and you are sensible that most Men make Objections against it, and blame you for engaging in it, you are obliged to justify it to the World, upon the Principles of Reason, Equity and Humanity, to make it ap­pear, [Page 48]that it is no unjust Invasion of the Persons, or Incroachment on the Rights of Men; or for ever to lay it aside. And this is what every one, not only of your Fellow Subjects in England, but of your Fellow Men upon the Face of the Earth, who are no Way concerned in the same Business, have a Right to insist upon, and demand from you; and ought, in a proper Manner to resent it, if you will do neither the one nor the other.

But, laying aside the Resentment of Man, which is but of little or no Moment, in Com­parison with that of the ALMIGHTY, of the Supreme Law-giver and Judge of Mankind, think of a future Reckoning. Consider how you shall come off in the great and awful Day of Account. You now heap up Riches, and live in Pleasure; but oh! what will you do in the End thereof? and that is not far off. What if Death should seize upon you, and hurry you out of this World, under all that Load of Blood-guiltiness, that now lies upon your Souls. The Gospel (I suppose I am now speaking to professed Christians) expresly declares, that Thieves and Murderers shall not in­herit the Kingdom of GOD. Consider that at the same Time, and by the same Means you now treasure up worldly Riches, you are treasuring up to yourselves Wrath, against the Day of Wrath, and Vengeance that shall come upon the Workers of Iniquity, unless prevented, by a timely Repent­ance. And what greater Iniquity, what Crime that is more heinous, that carries in it more com­plicated Guilt, can you name, than that in the habitual deliberate Practice of which you now [Page 49]live? Good GOD! How can you, as some of you do, go to the Sacrament of the LORD's Sup­per? How can you lift up your guilty Eyes to Heaven? How can you pray for Mercy to him that made you, or hope for any Favour from him that formed you, while you go on thus grosly and openly to dishonour him, in debasing and destroying the noblest Workmanship of his Hands, in this lower World? He is the Father of Men; and do you think he will not resent such Treatment of his Offspring, whom he hath so loved, as to give his only begotten Son, that who­soever believeth in him, might [...] p [...]ish, but have everlasting Life? This [...] GOD to Man, revealed in the Gospel, [...] [...]ggravation of your Guilt; for if God so [...] us, we ought also to love one another. You remember the Fate of the Servant, who took Hold of his Fellow Ser­vant, who was in his Debt, by the Throat, and cast him into Prison: Think then, and tremble to think, what will be your Fate, who take your Fellow Servants by the Throat, that owe you not a Penny, and make them Prisoners for Life.

Give yourselves Leave to reflect impartially up­on, and consider the Nature of, this Man-Trade, which, if you do, your Hearts must needs re­lent, if you have not lost all Sense of Humanity, all Pity and Compassion towards those of your own Kind, to think what Calamities, what Ha­vock and Destruction among them, you have been the Authors of, for filthy Lucre's Sake.

GOD grant you may be made sensible of your Guilt, and repent in Time. And as this is my [Page 50]hearty and earnest Prayer to GOD for you, I hope you will excuse the Plainness and Freedom of this Address in your sincere Friend, who would be glad to do you any Good that lies in his Power.

[Page 51]


AS Doubts may arise in the Minds of some, whether the foregoing Accounts, rela­ting to the [...] and good Disposition of many [...] of Guiney, and of the violent [...] they appear to be torn from their [...] sufficiently founded on Truth, [...] who are brought to us are seld [...] [...] complain, and do not manifest that Docility and Quickness of Parts which might be expected from this Ac­count; Persons who may make these Objec­tions, are desired impartially to consider whether the Reason of these Objections are not owing to the many Discouragements these poor Africans la­bour under, though in an enlightened Christian Country, and the little Opportunity they have of exerting and improving their natural Talents. They are constantly employed in servile Labour, and the abject Condition in which we see them, from our Childhood, has a natural Tendency to create in us an Idea of a Superiority over them, which induces most People to look upon them as an ignorant and contemptible Part of Mankind; add to this, that they have but little Opportunity [Page 52]of freely conversing with such of the Whites as might impart Instruction to them, the endeavour­ing of which would, indeed, by most, be ac­counted Presumption. A Fondness for Wealth, or for gaining Esteem and Honour, is what prompts most Men in the Desire of excelling others, but these Motives for the Exertion and Improvement of their Faculties can have but lit­tle or no Influence upon the Minds of the Ne­groes, sew of there having Hopes of attaining to any Con [...] [...] that of Slavery; so that tho' the [...] of many of them was ever so go [...] [...] have no Inducement or Opportunity [...] it to any Advantage, which na [...] [...] [...]press their Minds, and sink their [...] its of Idleness and Sloth, which they wo [...], in [...] Likelihood, have been free from, had they stood upon an equal Footing with the white People: Nevertheless it may, with Truth, be said, that amongst those who have ob­tained their Freedom, as well as those who re­main in Servitude, some have manifested as much Sagacity and Uprightness of Heart as could have been expected from the Whites, under the like Circumstances; and if all the free Negroes have not done the same, is it a Matter of Surprize? Have we not Reason to make the same Complaint with Respect to many of our white Servants, when from under our Care, tho' most of them have had much greater. Advantages than the Blacks; who, even when free, still labour under the Difficulties before-mentioned, having but lit­tle Access to, and Intercourse with, the white Peo­ple; [Page 53]whereby it happens, that, tho' free, they yet remained confined within the former Limits of Conversation with those of their own Colour, and consequently have but little more Opportu­nity of Knowledge and Improvement than when in Slavery.

And if they seldom complain of the unjust and cruel Usage they have received, in being forced from their native Country [...] is not to be wondered at; [...] Time after their Arrival amongre [...] can speak our Language, [...] are able to express the [...] [...] but observe, from the Behaviour [...] at little or no Notice would [...] plaints; yet let any Person [...] who had at­tained the Age of [...] were brought from their nati [...] [...] and the shall hear such Relations as, if not [...]st to the com­mon Feelings of Humanity, will sensibly affect his Heart. The Case of a poor Neg [...], not long since brought from Guiney, is a recent In­stance of this Kind. From his first Arrival he ap­peared thoughtful and dejected, the Cause of which was not known till he was able to speak English, when the Account he gave of himself was, that he had a Wife and Children in his own Country, that some of them being sick and thir­sty, he went, in the Night-time, to fetch Water for them at a Spring, where he was violently seized, and carried away by some Persons who lay in Wait to catch Men, whence he was trans­ported to America; the Remembrance of his [Page 54]Family, Friends, and other Connections left be­hind, which he never expected to see any more, were the principal Causes of his Dejection and Grief. Can any compassionate Heart hear this Relation without being affected with Sympathy and Sorrow? And doubtless the Case of many of these unhappy people would, upon Enquiry, appear attended with Circumstances equally tra­gical and [...] you that have studied [...] and those that are le [...] [...] you say to this dep [...] [...] has this Man forfei [...] [...] Justice loudly call [...] him? Has he not the sam [...] [...] us any of us should have [...] [...]tly natched by Py­rates from [...] Where Instances of this Kind from [...] occur, and are neither en­quired into norredressed by those whose Duty it is to seek Judgment, and relieve the Oppressed, what can be expected, but that the Groans and Cries of these Sufferers will reach Heaven; and what shall ye do when GOD riseth up, and when he visiteth, what shall ye answer him? Did not he that made them make us, and did not one fashion us in the Womb?

To conclude; I earnestly entreat that those who desire to maintain a Conscience void of Offence to­wards GOD and towards Man, do keep themselves clear from touching or handling this enor­mous Evil; which every serious Person, who candidly considers the Matter, must acknowledge is marked with the clearest Signature of the Di­vine [Page 55]Displeasure, as well from its own Nature, as from its woful Effects in every Country where it prevails: In its Nature, as it is a high Infringe­ment of both the Divine and moral Laws; and in its Effects, in several Respects, particularly from the destructive Consequences ensuing to Tradesmen and labonring People, whose Situa­tion calls for the particular Cate and Concern of every well-governed Country [...] Slave­keeping prevails, the [...] being supplied by the [...] themselves slighted and dis [...] [...] robbed of the nature [...] common in other Country [...] Fa­milies are often [...] and Want; besides the [...] given to many poor People, [...] Brend in our Mother Country; [...] prevented, on Account of the great Number of [...]egroes, would be likely to come over into the [...] Colonies, where they might, with Ea [...] proceed to themselves a more comfortable Living than at Home. And ther direful Effect arises from the fearful Appre­hensions and Terrors which often seize the Minds of the People; for the Suppression of which, the most cruel Methods are pursued, such as are indeed a Reproach to Christianity, and will necessarily harden the Hearts of those who are active therein into such an Obduracy, as must, by Degrees, deprive them of that Tenderness and sym­pathetick Love which make the Happiness, and is the Glory of intelligent Beings: And as for the Possessors of the Negroes themselves, though the [Page 56]Sumptuousness and Ease in which they live, and the Attendance and Obsequiousness of their Slaves, may raise in their Minds an imagined Apprehen­sion of their being Persons more happy, and of greate Importance than others, who do not live in the like Affluence and State; yet it would be Matter of Joy to such as wish well to Mankind, if these People could see how greatly they are mistaken, and [...] seriously consider the Case of poor La [...] [...] [...]igh Men, mentioned by our Sation [...] [...] plainly perceive, that they [...] [...]ouse of their Power and [...] they have father Oc­casion [...] Children, and their [...] Effect of their Situation [...] rapeatedly observed to fill Men with Hought [...]ess, Tyranny, Luxury and Barharity, co [...]upting the Minds; and de­basing the Mo [...] of their Children, to the un­speakable Pre [...] of Religion and Virtue, and the Exclusion of that holy Spirit of universal Love, Meekness and Charity, which is the un­changeable Nature and Glory of true Christianity.

The END.


Page 28, For EXTRACTS from a Manuscript, read, EXTRACTS from a Pamphlet.

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