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condition of the Cuban slaves, and the vigilance with which they are watched, render such a supposition unworthy of credit; the fact that two or three isolated gangs, exasperated by the intolerable cruelties of their administradors, rose and murdered their oppressors, having given rise to the panic which occasioned these bloody results.
Such was slavery in Cuba under a people proverbial for their humanity to their slaves, as described by a zealous advocate of the system. The high prices of last year, and the prospect of a speedy admission on equal terms to the English markets, are not, we imagine, likely to ameliorate it; neither is the ruined condition of our sugar-farmers calculated to further the cause of freedom in the eyes of slave-holding nations. The immediate influence of our free-trade measures on the African slave-trade is to be read in every packet from the coast. Prior to 1846 that traffic with the Spanish colonies had almost entirely died away--nay, the Cuban proprietors were even contemplating arrangements for the emancipation of their slaves, finding their prospects destroyed by the exclusion of their produce from our ports. Jacob Omnium graphically describes to us the reaction which occurred when the change in our policy was made known to them, and his account is, we conceive, fully corroborated by the testimony of the American Physician' (whose volume, we hope, will be reprinted here), and by the reports which arrive from time to time from our unfortunate cruisers, and from that disgrace to the Friends of the African and the colonial ministers of England-Sierra Leone. But there is other evidence too. We have at this moment before us a letter from a firm of no great magnitude in Glasgow to a planter in Trinidad, who, having ordered a sugar-mill and engine of the value of 20001., prior to 1846, saw the hopelessness of erecting it, and wrote to his correspondents to know at what reduction they would consent to take it back. They answer that if he will ship it direct to Cuba, they will allow him the cost price for it, inasmuch as they have more orders than they can fulfil for new machinery from that island. They further state, that since November, 1846, they have received similar orders from slave colonies to the amount of 20,0001. ; their exports to our own colonies having proportionately declined. Again, Messrs. Fawcett, of Liverpool, wrote thus on the 7th of December, 1847 :
“The demand for machinery from the British colonies, and more particularly from the Mauritius and the West India possessions, has almost entirely ceased. At one time there was every prospect of considerable extension of the manufacture of sugar in British India, but we consider this to have received a check since the admission of slave-grown sugar, whilst there is every appearance that the cultivation of the cane is greatly increasing in Brazil, as you will observe from our list of orders;
and we have every expectation of a large demand from Cuba for steamengines and cane-mills of large power in the course of the coming year. It should be borne in mind, too, that the Spanish slave colonies are extensively supplied with machinery from the United States of America.'
By a Return just made to the House of Commons (Morning Post, December 27), it appears that the value of the machinery exported from England to Cuba was, in 1845, 4,8071. ; in 1846, 16,2061. ; in 1847 (down to October 10), 17,6441. The corresponding figures as to Brazil are, in 1845, 17,1301. ; in 1846, 19,0911.; in 1847, 35,1231. The value for Cuba quadrupledfor Brazil doubled !
The following details with regard to the condition of the slaves in Brazil —a country which does not pretend to consider negroes as fellow-creatures, or to refrain from the slave-trade-have been furnished to the British Consul at Pernambuco, by M. A. de Mornay, a gentleman, who, from his occupation as a civil engineer, enjoyed excellent opportunities of observation; and will complete the information which we are desirous of laying before the English nation at this crisis in our Colonial (that is to say, in our Imperial) History:
The greater number of engenhos are very deficient in slaves, and the consequence is, that much work, not of immediate necessity for the production of a large quantity of sugar, is left undone, or very badly done, or else the slaves are very much overworked. There is a spirit of emulation amongst the Senhores d'Engenho to make a large quantity of sugar with a small number of blacks; but instead of accomplishing this by the economization of labour and by good management, it is generally done by driving the slaves at their work to the very extent of their strength, and even beyond it. This forced work they cannot resist many years: they become thin and languid, their skin dry and scurvy, and of a dark slate-colour, instead of the polished black of a healthy negro. During the season of the crop, which lasts from September till February or March, besides their usual day-labour from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M., they are divided into two gangs to work in the mill during the night; one gang working from six till midnight, and the other from midnight till six in the morning. Half an hour is allowed them for breakfast, and two hours in the middle of the day to take rest and food, except during the months of grinding, when they take their food when they best can. Their work at this season is very hard, and it is common to see them alternately sleeping and waking without interfering with their occupations. The boys in the “manjara” (a seat behind the horses of a caitle-mill) fearing to be observed, get into the habit of sleeping for a second of time only, and of rousing themselves sufficiently to whip the horses, when they have another nap no longer than the first. The black who carries away the cane-trash from the mill, may often be observed taking a similar
in the act of stooping to join the ends of the cane-leaves round his bundle; and it appears that they derive rest from these con
tinual momentary snatches of sleep during their night's labour. During the times of sugar-making very few allow them Sunday. They are most insufficiently clothed, and are feil upon such coarse salted meat and fish, that to this sameness of salt food, added to overwork, may be attributed many of the bad diseases of the skin to which they are subject. A slight scratch, particularly of the legs and feet, often turns into a most inveterate sore. If there were not a constant supply from the coast of Africa the slave-population would rapidly diminish, and many sugar engenhos, in a very few years, be unable to continue their operations.'
A few sentences will show that Brazil in the mean time has a fair supply. We copy part of a letter from a naval officer, dated West Coast of Africa, Oct. 9, 1817 :
'I have come to the conclusion that our trying to suppress the slavetrade is all nonsense. We have now five cruisers in the Bight of Benin, and within the last three months, to my certain knowledge, 4000 slaves have been taken over to Bahia safe and sound.
'Since the sugar-duty has been taken off, the demand for slaves in South America has been very extensive. We are keeping a large squadron for little or no purpose at all: the French cruisers are lukewarm in their exertions, and will be glad when the timc arrives for their separation from England.
* The way the slave-merchants manage now as regards paying for the slaves is of course in goods, and those goods are principally English cottons, tobacco, and an inferior sort of spirit. These goods are brought over by chartered vessels, mostly under Sardinian colours, papers all right, backed by their consuls at Bahia—some French-and a few Americans, who are worse than all. Fast-sailing vessels come over, and in two hours ship their slaves and are off the coast. We have been rather lucky in taking four vessels (one with five hundred in): being a steamer, it has given us the advantage; sailing vessels stand
little chance; the slavers laugh at them.' Such are already the effects of Lord John's measures of 1846.
Art. VIII.1. Reports of the Commissioners for Pentonville
Prison. 1843-1847. 2. Reports from the Committee of the Lords appointed to inquire
into the Execution of the Criminal Law, especially respecting
Juvenile Offenders and Transportation. 1847. 3. Prison Discipline. By Rev. John Field, M.A. 1846. 4. Traité des diverses Institutions Complémentaires du Régime
Pénitentiaire. Par M. Bonneville, Procureur du Roi. 1847. OUR UR treatment of criminals is at this moment influenced by
two theories, which are in their tendencies almost diametrically opposed to each other. The principal object of punishment,' says Mr. Baron Parke, “I take to be the protection of
society by deterring the offender from the repetition of his crime, and others. from following his example, by the pain and inconvenience he sustains;' and the same opinion is maintained by almost all, if not by all, this eminent judge's brethren not only of the English but also of the Scotch and Irish Benches at this time. By these authorities-weighty and grave ones it will be ownedamendment is considered as secondary, and to be looked to only as it may aid in the further diminution of crime. On the other hand, the reformation of the culprit is the primary object in the view of Lord Brougham, of Mr. Hill (the Recorder of Birmingham), and numerous reasoners—some of whom have come to this conclusion on à priori grounds, others on the alleged failure of the system of “repression.'
It is of great importance that the public should have definite notions on these antagonised principles, so as to ascertain whither, if fairly carried into practice, each will lead us. The deterrent' acts on the passion of fear in its various aspects of disgrace, shame, and corporal pain—a passion supplying some of the strongest motives to the will. The opposed principle is simply and strictly educational—willing to inflict no more pain than is absolutely necessary to further the conversion of the individual, and postponing even this modicum to such other means as may effect that end without its aid. Under this system our gaols are to become so many schools, where the only punishment, using the term in its ordinary acceptation, is about as much bodily restraint as is enforced in many of our own scholastic institutions—and much less than that submitted to in the monasteries and con. vents of other countries.
The contrast of the theories is brought out strikingly in the answers to the Committee on Criminal Law
'I hold,' says Lord Denman, 'the only legitimate end of punishment to be to deter from crime. But I think I perceive in some of the theories of benevolent men such a mode of administering the criminal law as to encourage instead of deterring.'
By a reformatory system,' says Mr. Hill, we understand one in which all the pain endured strictly arises from the means necessary to effect a moral cure. A prison becomes an hospital for moral diseases. The prisoner may be called a patient, while the various officers of the prison will gradually attain the position in his mind of persons exercising the healing art, and be no longer regarded as the agents of vindictive power.'
While we entertain some doubts as to the existence of any mental process which shall gradually confound a warder in the prisoner's estimation with a doctor, we can have none as to the rashness of expressions which invest the statutes at large with
the caprice and the malice of unchastised passion. Legalized punishments may or may not be too severe; but in what sense is criminal law vindictive of what vindictive power is the turnkey the agent ? Surely a vindictive Criminal Statute is as much a figure of speech as a hard-hearted treadmill. Burke did not fear to brand with stern censure the loose comparisons' and 'gross discriminations' of his day in the use of such terms as the labourer,' or the poor soldier '-as if the very foundations of the social structure did not demand this condition in both classes of men. In our own times as much notice is demanded by the currency of phrases which tend to weaken the hands of justice and fling into its scale a bias of false philanthropy. Such cant might at least be left to the melodramatist and the novelist of congenial fibre.
We have just seen it broadly stated that to punish for the purpose of deterring is not admissible save only as accessary and incidental. The general question therefore is mooted—whether or no punishment be just? We know how complete a form the argument has assumed as relates to the pain of death, and it cannot be doubted that the effect of it has reached the category of secondary punishments also. But, in spite of these new theories, is it the fact that the mind and conscience of our nature have been changed; is it no longer true there is that in every
heart which proclaims or whispers that every dereliction of duty is worthy of chastisement ? Are men now able to entertain the same opinion of the thief as of the honest citizen? Hitherto, under every phasis of society it has been deemed just that crime should be punished. So strictly natural and necessary has this seemed, that, in a thousand acts of which no law can take cognizance, society inflicts a chastisement ten times severer than that of the statute-book. The loss of character, for example, entails the loss of livelihood, and hence often of life, under circumstances of great mental and bodily suffering. Has all this been a mistake? * Are we all' (as Carlyle says) •effeminated in this very dreary, very portentous babble of abolishing capital punishment, &c. &c. -all for sending Judas Iscariot, Courvoisier, Praslin, Tawell, and Nature's own Scoundrels teachable by no hellebore, to the schoolmaster instead of the hangman or the cesspool ?' for carrying this new philanthropy out? Ought society to consider the liar, the slanderer, the extortioner, the tyrant, the robber, the ravisher, the assassin-as merely labouring under moral malady, fit therefore for the tender care which humanity bestows on the fatalities of disease ? Is it and has it all along been a mere blunder to distinguish practically badness from mudness ? If so, we cannot stop where Mr. Hill contemplates. “Oh! that VOL. LXXXII. NO, CLXIII.