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rium, and the other the Quaker constituency of a northern borough. We trust the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, recently established, will place all such offenders at the bar of public opinion, and will investigate the present extent of British connection with this horrible traffic. We fear the result will prove that the slavetrade is yet, to a great extent, carried on with British capital. Indeed, Mr. Buxton's “corroborative proofs of the extent of the slave-trade," does not leave a doubt of the fact. Capt. M‘Lean, the intelligent Governor of Cape Coast Castle, whose official station affords him extensive opportunities of becoming intimately conversant with the mode in which the traffic is conducted, states that one-third of the slaves are paid for in Manchester cotton goods of a description “ intended for the slave-trade, and adapted only for that trade.” Thus Manchester and Glasgow are the nurses of the slavetrade. There are men in those cities, probably of high standing in the commercial, and possibly of high pretension in the religious world, who deliberately abet the slave-trade, and are conscious accessaries to innumerable acts of piracy and murder !
Our attention is next claimed by the Mahommedan Slave Trade, which is carried on “ for the supply of the Malommedan markets of Morocco, Tunis, Tripoli, Egypt, Turkey, Persia, Arabia and the borders of Asia.” (p. 37.)
A vast geographical extent of country is drained of its population by this branch of the traffic, but we have no space for details. The negro Moslem tribes are the active agents in carrying it on, and the pagan
tribes are its victims. Mr. Buxton estimates the maritime trade on the east coast of Africa at 30,000, and the caravan trade by way of the desert at 20,000 annually, an average which is greatly less than he would be justified from his data in assuming. The Pacha of Egypt has lately rushed into this detestable trade with his characteristic avidity and want of principle. In reckless barbarity and cruelty he has distanced all competition, and is without a rival in infamy.
“ He employs regularly a considerable part of his army in marauding expeditions into the interior of Africa, and is at this moment by far the greatest stealer and seller of negroes in the world. The compunction of a French adventurer, who had spent several years in this horrible service, has produced an appalling revelation of the facts, which M. Leod de la Barde has made public in a most striking tract entitled Chasse aux Negres, Paris, 1838."- Quarterly Review, No. 126. Note, p. 372.
Of the negroes captured by the Egyptian troops the most able are incorporated into the army, a large proportion of the remainder distributed among the officers and soldiers in liquidation of arrears of pay, and the old and infirm given to the Bedouins, “who are the most merciless of masters.” Of the nltimate fate of the most favoured class of these unhappy victims, the following extract from the Quarterly Review is sufficiently descriptive!
“ The hopes of the Pacha, however, were greatly disappointed in these black troops (captured in Soudan.) They were strong able-bodied men, and not averse from being taught; but when attacked by disease, which soon broke out in the camp, they died like sheep infected with the rot. The medical men
X. S. VOL. II.
ascribed the mortality to moral rather than physical causes; it appeared in numerous instances, that having been snatched away from their homes and families, they were even anxious to get rid of life; and such was the dreadful mortality that ensued, that out of 20,000 of these unfortunate men, 3,000 did not remain alive at the end of two years."
The testimony of Dr. Bowring respecting the extent and character of the Egyptian slave-trade, fully corroborates the preceding statements. The towns and ports of Egypt are now crowded slave marts.
In summing up the evidence he has adduced of the number of slaves annually torn from Africa, Mr. Buxton states the Christian slave-trade at
150,000 The Mahommedan at
It is evident, however, that this statement is a minimum. There is little doubt that the true number exceeds a quarter of a million. “ Hitherto,” he proceeds, “ I have stated less than the half of this dreadful
I am now going to show, that besides the 200,000 annually carried into captivity, there are claims on our compassion for almost countless cruelties and murders growing out of the slave-trade. I am about to prove that this multitude of our enslaved fellow men is but the remnant of numbers vastly greater, the survivors of a still larger multitude, over whom the slave-trade spreads its devastating hand, and that for every ten who reach Cuba or Brazil, and become available as slaves,-fourteen, at least, are destroyed.
“ This mortality arises from the following causes :“1. The original seizure of the slaves. “ 2. The march to the coast and detention there. “ 3. The middle passage. “4. The sufferings after capture and after landing. “5. The initiation into slavery, or the seasoning,' as it is termed by the planters." (p. 49.)
We will consider first the seizure, march, and detention on the coast. The vast continent of Africa is the scene of continual rapine, murder, and intestine war. The strong prey upon the weak, and security and peace are unknown. Every African Traveller, Mungo Park, Bruce, Lyon, Gray, Denham, Clapperton, the Landers, Macgregor, Laird, and many others, all bear witness to the plunder, night burnings, and indiscriminate massacres which occur in the continual wars of the chiefs, wars which have but one object-to procure slaves.
“ Major Denham says; . On attacking a place it is the custom of the country instantly to fire it: and as the villages are composed of straw huts only, the whole is shortly devoured by the fames. The unfortunate inhabitants fly quickly from the devouring element, and fall immediately into the hands of their no less merciless enemies, who surround the place; the men are quickly massacred, and the women and children lashed together and made slaves.'” (pp. 55, 56.)
All legitimate commerce and peaceful industry are stifled by this accursed traffic.
“ Commodore Owen, who was employed in the survey of the Eastern Coast of Africa about the years 1823 and 1824, says: “The riches of Quilimane consisted, in a trifling degree, of gold and silver, but principally of grain, which was produced in such quantities as to supply Mozambique. But the introduction of
the slave-trade stopped the pursuits of industry, and changed those places, where peace and agriculture had formerly reigned, into the seat of war and bloodshed. Contending tribes are now constantly striving to obtain, by mutual conflict, prisoners as slaves for sale to the Portuguese, who excite these wars, and fatten on the blood and wretchedness they produce.” (p. 57.)
There are, of course, no means of estimating the proportion who perish in the seizure. The adults of both sexes and the little children, are often indiscriminately slaughtered, and the youths only are reserved for slaves. The fate of those who are put to death by their cruel captors is incomparably the happier destiny. The misery and loss of life sustained on the march, whether to the coast or through the desert, are indescribable and almost incredible. Of the latter, Major Denham observes,
“ Round the spot, (the well of Meshroo) were lying more than one hundred skeletons; our camels did not come up till dark, and we bivouacked in the midst of those unearthed remains of the victims of persecution and avarice, after a long day's journey of twenty-six miles, in the course of which one of our party counted one hundred and seven of these skeletons."
Shortly afterwards he adds:
“ During the last two days we had passed on an average from sixty to eighty or ninety skeletons each day; but the numbers that lay about the wells at El Hammar were countless.” (p. 83.)
“ The next cause of mortality arises from the detention of the slaves on the coast before they are embarked, and this occurs for the most part, when the vessel for which they may be destined, has not arrived or is not ready to sail, or may be in dread of capture after sailing.” (p. 87.)
As the maintenance of slaves would occasion expense, they are often left to die of starvation. Lander says, at Badagry, one of the principal marts, the old, infirm, and sickly are pinioned and thrown into the river; while slaves, “ who for other reasons are rejected by the merchants, undergo the same punishment, or are left to endure more lively torture at the sacrifices, by which means hundreds of human beings are annually destroyed. (p. 90.)
Mr. Buxton gives us an instance of a Portuguese brig with four hundred slaves detained up one of the rivers in the Bight of Biafra, in consequence of information that a British vessel was lying in wait; and during a delay of several weeks all her slaves perished, “ with the exception of about a score,” chiefly from starvation.
The following heart-rending narrative is detailed by Captain Cook, an eye-witness, in a letter to the editor of the Standard, dated 16th of July, 1838.
“ Slaves to the number of two hundred and fifty, or thereabouts, male and female, adults and children, were brought in canoes from Senna, a Portuguese settlement at some distance in the interior of Africa, to be sold at Quilimane, there being at that time several slavers lying in the river. These unfortunate beings were consigned to a person holding a high civil appointment under the Portuguese government, (the collector of customs :) these poor creatures were from a part of the country where it is said the natives make bad slaves ; consequently, and as there was abundance of human flesh in the market, they did not meet with a ready sale. The wretch to whom they were consigned, actually refused them sustenance of any kind. Often have I been compelled to witness the melancholy spectacle of from twelve to twenty of my fellow creatures, without
distinction of age or sex, chained together with a heavy iron chain round the neck, wandering about the town in quest of food to satisfy the cravings of nature, picking up bones and garbage of every description from the dung heaps, snails from the fields, and frogs from the ditches, and, when the tide receded, collecting the shell-fish that were left on the bank of the river, or sitting round a fire roasting and eagerly devouring the sea-weed. Again and again have I seen one or more of these poor creatures, when unable from sickness to walk, crawling on their hands and knees, accompanying the gang to which they were chained, when they went in search of their daily food,- for one could not move without the whole. In consequence of this treatment, they soon became so emaciated, that the slave-dealers would not purchase them on any terms; in this state, horrid as it must appear, the greater part were left to perish, without food, medicine, or clothing,—their bones protruding through the skin, they presented the appearance of living skeletons, lingering amidst hunger and disease, till death, their best friend, released most of them at once, from suffering and bondage." (pp. 94, 95.)
“ It is evident,” adds Mr. Buxton “ that this branch of the case furnishes an item of no small magnitude in the black catalogue of negro destruction.” (p. 95.)
There yet remain to be considered the horrors of the “middle passage," a name which implies an inconceivable amount of crime and suffering, disease and death.
“ Never," said Mr. Wilberforce, “can so much misery be found condensed into so small a space as in a slave ship during the middle passage.” Mr. Buxton says, “ I have received communications, both by letter and in conversation from many naval officers who have boarded slave-ships, and I have observed, that without an exception they all make this observation, — No words can describe the horrors of the scene, or the sufferings of the negroes.""
We might crowd our pages with scenes of horror from the testimony of eye-witnesses, but we ntterly despair, even with such aids, of giving an adequate representation of the dreadful reality. It is necessary, however, to observe, that as the slave-trade is more than doubled in extent, so is it carried on, incredible as it may appear, with aggravated cruelty and suffering to its victims, in consequence chiefly of the well-meant and humane efforts of the British Government to suppress it.
“ The treatment of slaves by the British," observes Mr. Buxton,“ subsequent to the Slave Regulation Act, and down to 1808, was mildness itself, when compared with the miseries consequent on the trade; and the system which has been pursued in the vain attempt to put it down, since that treatment to the present time.” (p. 107.) Mr. Laird
“ Instead of the large and commodious vessels which it would be the interest of the slave-trader to employ, we have by our interference forced him to use a class of vessels, (well-known to naval men as American clippers,) of the very worst description that could have been imagined for the purpose, every quality being sacrificed for speed. In the holds of these vessels the unhappy victims of European cupidity are stowed literally in bulk.” (p. 132.)
Mr. Jackson, formerly Judge in Mixed Commission Court at Sierra Leone, says, “ I think the sufferings of these poor slaves are greatly aggravated by the course now adopted; for the trade is now illegal ; and therefore whatever is done is done clandestinely; they are packed more like bales of goods than human beings, and the general calculation is, that if in three adventures one succeeds, the owners are well paid.” (p. 133.)
To these considerations must be added the increased loss of life
occasioned by the detention of slaves on the coast when a British cruiser is in waiting, and the dreadful scenes which occur during the chase. There are numerous authenticated cases of whole cargoes of slaves being thrown overboard, a prey to the sharks, in order to destroy the evidence of occupation, and in one case a number of girls were packed in casks and thrown into the sea during a hot pursuit.
The loss from wreck and casualties, and the waste of life that occurs after landing, as the effect of previous sufferings, and of the “ seasoning,” remain still to be added to the account, but we have no space for further details, and will simply state that Mr. Buxton estimates the destruction of life from all these sources to bear the following proportion to the actual number who become slaves :
So that for every 1000 negroes alive at the end of a year after their deportation, and available to the planter, we have a sacrifice of 145.” (p. 168.)
The total annual loss to Africa, occasioned by the Christian and Mahommedan slave-trade, exceeds 475,000, according to the moderate estimate of Mr. Buxton.
“ Even this is but a part of the total evil. The great evil is, that the slavetrade exhibits itself in Africa as a barrier, excluding every thing which can soften, or enlighten, or civilize, or elevate the people of that vast continent. The slave-trade suppresses all other trade, creates endless insecurity, kindles perpetual war, banishes commerce, knowledge, social improvement, and, above all, Christianity, from one quarter of the globe, and from 100,000,000 of mankind.” (p. 171.)
It is unnecessary for us to add a single word to heighten the effect of these naked figures and simple statements, and we will therefore conclude this part of our case with the comment of a contemporary :
“ Let the fact be engraven on every memory, that the slave-trade, besides its living victims, requires the continual daily sacrifice of a thousand human lives--a sacrifice offered at the shrine of Mammon and Moloch, by the remorseless cupidity and cruelty of nations professedly Christian. If the entire globe were inhabited by barbarous tribes, Africa would enjoy a state of comparative happiness and tranquillity, but at present the nations of the civilized world are leagued in one vast conspiracy against her peace. It is to our minds one of the most affecting considerations growing out of the subject, that the expanded intellect and commercial enterprise, and the refined luxury of the most enlightened portion of the human family should be employed in rendering that unhappy continent 'one universal den of desolation, misery, and crime.' ”– Leeds Mercury, May 11, 1839.
(To be concluded in our nert.)