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ment of the slave trade, the objects of it began ferent so rts of goods with which the traders deal to be considered as an inferior species, and their for slave s, in the inland country, may be dirided color as a mark of it: under this latter notion into thre e sorts, viz. East Indian, home-made or they continued to be transported for years, till colonial, and Venetian. The first consists of different persons, taking an interest in their suf- cowries, or small shells, which pass for money ferings, produced such a union of public senti- on some parts of the coast; blue and white baffs, ment in their favor, in England, that the parlia- romals, (Jandanoes, and other cloths and producment was obliged, as it were, to consider their tions of the East. The second consists of barcase, by hearing evidence upon it. From this iron, muskets, powder, swords, pans, and other evidence may be gleaned the best account of hardware; cottons, linen, spirits in great abunthe trade upon which we are writing.
dance, with other articles of less note. The The agreements to which we have referred, as third consists totally of beads. Almost every stipulating to supply Europeans with African ship carries the three sorts of articles now stated, captives and convicts, were not sufficient for but more or less of one than of the other, acthe demand. Wars were made, therefore, cording to the place of her destination ; every not as formerly, from motives of retaliation and different part of the coast requiring a different defence, but for the sake of obtaining prisoners assortment, and the Africans, like the Europeans, alone. When a European ship came in sight, repeatedly changing their taste. This is partiit was considered as å motive for war, and a cularly the case with respect to beads. The signal for hostilities : the despotic sovereigns, in same kind of beads which finds a market one fluenced by venal motives alone, first made war year in one part of the coast, will probably not upon the neighbouring tribes, in the violation of be saleable there the next. At one time the every principle of justice ; and, if they did not green are preferred to the yellow, at another the thus succeed in their main object, they turned opaque to the transparent, and at another the their arms against their own subjects. The first oval to the round. villages at which they arrived were surrounded The slave trade may be said to have begun at and set on fire; and the wretched inhabitants the great river Senegal, and to have extended to seized as they were escaping. These, consisting the farther limits of Angola, a distance of many of whole families, fathers, brothers, husbands, thousand miles. On the Senegal and Gambia, wives, and children, were instantly driven in Europeans proceeded in their ships till they chains to the merchants. Many other persons came to a proper station, and then sent out their were kidnapped, in order to glut the avarice of boats armed to different villages; on their aptheir own countrymen, who lay in wait for them; proach they fired a musket, or beat a drum, to and they were afterwards sold to the Europeans, apprise the inhabitants that they were in want of while the seamen of the ships, by every possible slaves, when country people supplied them in artifice, enticed others on board, and transported part, and they also procured them from the large them into slavery:
canoes above-mentioned. Collectors of slaves were at length distributed Captains Hills and Wilson, and Mr. Wadinto several classes. The first consisted of such strom, and lieutenant Dalrymple, inform us black traders as preserved a regular chain of that the kings in this part of the country do not traffic, and a regular communication with each hesitate to make war upon their own subjects, other, from the interior parts of the country to when in want of money. They send out their the sea-shore. Many of the slaves, thus driven soldiers in the night, who lying before, or attacking down, are reported to have travelled at least or burning a village, seize such as come out of 1200 miles from the place where they were first it, and return with them as slaves. On the river purchased. A pistol or a sword may have been Sierra Leona there were several private factories, the full value of one of these slaves, at the first belonging to the merchants of Europe, in which cost; but his price advances as he travels their agents, being white people, resided. These towards the sea-shore. The second class of agents kept a number of boats, which were sent slave traders is composed of such as travel inland, up the river for slaves; and thus they procured but have no chain of commerce or communica- for the factories a regular supply. tion with the shore. At a certain distance they On the Windward Coast, the natives, when strike off in a line parallel to the shore, and, vi- they have any slaves to sell, generally signify it siting the fairs and villages in their way, drop by fires. Practices similar to those already redown occasionally to the coast, as they have cited prevail from the river Gambia to the end of procured slaves. The third class consists of such the Windward Coast. Lieutenant Storey says as travel by water up the great rivers, in their that public robbery is here called war. Mr. canoes, which are very long, well-armed, and Bowman, another evidence, says that when parcarry from fifty to seventy hands. These often ties of robbers were setting fire to villages war proceed to the distance of 1000 miles, and bring was said to be carrying on. This account is down from sixty to 120 slaves ata time. The fourth confirmed by Mr. Town and Sir George Young, class includes those who, living near the banks and all of them concur in stating that these parof the rivers or the sea-shore, scarcely travel at ties go out at night, break up villages, and carry all, but coming by some means or other into the off the inhabitants as slaves. Messrs. Town, possession of slaves, either drive them, or send Bowman, and Story, have seen them set out ihem immediately to the ships and factories. upon such expeditions; and the latter, to satisfy Most of the traders now described traffic on himself, accompanied them on one occasion.
eir own account; but there are some of the These came to a town in the dead of the night, poorer sort who travel for the ships. The dif- set fire to it, and took away many of the inha
bitants. The above practice is so cummon that fleets, and perhaps the only white person who was both up the river Scassus, Sierra Leona, and ever permitted to go with them. In the day time, Junk, and at Cape Mount and Bassau, the re he says, when they approached a village, they mains of burnt and deserted villages are to be lay under the bushes; but at night flew up to it, seen, on which such attacks have been made, and and seized every one they could catch. İn this that the natives are found to be constantly armed. way they proceeded up the river, till they had In one of the towns two or three houses only gotten forty-five persons, which they brought are described to have been left standing, and back to New Town, and sold to the European two plantations of rice, which were ready for ships. About a fortnight afterwards he was alcutting down, but which the inhabitants, by lowed to accompany them on another expedition. being carried off, had been deprived of enjoying. Here, he says, they plundered other villages Lieutenant Simpson, of the royal marines, ano- higher up the river than before, taking men, ther evidence, understood that thė villages on women, and children, as they could catch them the Windward Coast were always at war; and in their huts. They seized on much the same the reason given was that the kings were in want number, and brought them to New Town, as beof slaves. Mr. Morley, another evidence, speaks fore. in the same language. Slaves, he says, are ge A vessel seeking slaves, on the Gold Coast, generally made by robbers going from village to nerally anchors at Annamaboe. A certain quanvillage in the night.
tity of gold must be included in the articles The Gold Coast, which is next to the Wind- designed for purchasing slaves, or else none can ward Coast, long presented the same melancholy be obtained. At Whidah, Bonny, Calabar, Bescene. The Rev. Mr. Quakoo, who had resided nin, and Angola, gold is not demanded in exas chaplain to one of the factories there for many change ; and boats are unnecessary, except for years, informed lieutenant Simpson that wars reaching the shore, wooding and watering, and were often made for the sole purpose of making services of a similar kind. This is particularly slaves. Dr. Trotter says, by prisoners of war, the case at Calabar and Bonny, which have been the traders mean such as are carried off by the greatest markets for slaves. The traders of robbers, who ravage the country for that pur- the first class, after an absence of about nine pose; the Bush-men making war to make trade, days, have returned frequently with 1500 or 2000 being a common way of speaking among them; slaves at a time. The number of slaves that and, in a large cargo of slaves, he could only re- have been annually transported from this part of collect three who had not been so obtained. Sur- Africa has fluctuated according to circumstances. geon Falconbridge defines the term war, when In the year 1768 104,000 natives of Africa are used by the slave-dealers on this part of the supposed to have been taken from their own concoast, to mean a piratical expedition for making tinent; and it continued much the same for the slaves. Mr. Morley says, what they call war is next five years. During the American war it putting the villages in confusion, and catching was diminished. In the year 1786 the numbers the inhabitants, whom they carry down to the may be stated at 100,000, and the ships that coast and sell, where, it is well known, no ques- conveyed them to the colonies at 350. The trade, tions are asked how they had been obtained. before the abolition, was confined to the English, Indeed a slave-captain, when examined by the Dutch, Danes, Portuguese, and French. Enghouse of commons, acknowledged that he be. land, in 1786, employed 130 ships, and carried lieved a captain would be reckoned a fool by off about 42,000 slaves. These were fitted out any trading man to whom he should put such a from the ports of London, Bristol, and Liver. question. And Mr. Marsh, the resident at Cape pool; the latter of which alone sent out ninety Coast castle, told Mr. How that he did not care vessels. how the slaves he purchased had been obtained ; When the number of slaves was completed, and showed him instruments which were put the ships weigbed anchor, and began what is into the slaves' mouths, to prevent their crying termed the Middle passage, to carry them to their out for assistance, while the robbers were con- respective colonies. The vessels in which the veying them through the country. From the were transported were of different dimensions, end of the Gold Coast to the extremity of An-, from 11 to 800 tons, and they carried from 30 to gola, which is the houndary of the slave trade, 1500 slaves. The height of the apartments was and which vast district comprehends many na- different, according to the size of the vessel, but vigable rivers, a repetition of the same atrocious may be stated to be from six feet to less than practices has been traced. Here, as before, going three; that it was impossible to stand erect in to towns in the night, setting them on fire, and most of the vessels, and in so!ne scarcely to sit seizing the people, or putting the villages in con- down in the same posture. fusion, and catching the inhabitants, are called When the vessel was full, their situation was war. These piratical expeditions are frequently truly pitiable. A grown-up person was allowed, made by water in these parts. Mr. Douglas in the best regulated ships, but sixteen English says, when a slave ship arrives, the king sends inches each in widih, two (English) feet eight his war-canoes up the river, where they surprise inches in height, and five feet eleven inches in and seize all they can. Surgeon Falconbridge, length; or, as surgeon Falconbridge expresses Mr. Morley, and Mr. Isaac Parker, confirm the himseif, not so much room as a man has in his account. Up the great rivers Bonny and Cala- coffin. Surgeon Wilson describes the slaves as bar the king sends fleets of canoes, with armed much crowded below. He generally took off men, which return with slaves. Mr. I. Parker bis shoes before he went down among them, and was twice up the river Calabar in one of these was obliged to be very cautious how he walked,
lest he should tread upon them. Captain Knox unless immediately under the hatchway. He has admits that they had not room to lie on their seen the slaves drawing their breath with all that backs. It also appears that, if they are the laborious and anxious effort for life which is obleast dilatory or reluctant in packing themselves, served in expiring animals, subjected by experithey were quickened by the application of the ment to foul air, or in the exhausted receiver of whip. Dr. Trotter says they were so crowded an air-pump. He has also seen them, when the below that it was impossible to walk through tarpaulings have been thrown over the gratings, them without treading on them; and also that attempting to heave them up, crying out, in their it was the first mate's duty to see them stowed or own language, kickeraboo, kickeraboo, that is, packed together. Those who did not get quickly We are dying. Most of them have been reinto their places were compelled by a cal-o'- covered by being brought upon deck; but some nine-tails. But now their situation became too have perished, and this entirely by suffocation, wretched to be described. No language has as they had no previous signs of indisposition. words to explain it properly. Captain Hall has The slaves, after having been stowed, soon began often heard them cry out from below for want of to experience the effects that might be naturally air. The space between decks was so hot that expected from their situation. The pestilential often, after he has been there but a few minutes breath of many in so confined a state rendered among them, he found his shirt so wetted by them sickly, and the vicissitude of heat and cold perspiration that he could have wrung it. Mr. generated a flux. Several would die, and others Ellison says that the steam from their confined were induced to destroy themselves, or to revenge bodies below came up through the gratings like themselves on their oppressors. a furnace. Surgeon Wilson has often heard them The ships, having completed the middle pascomplain of heat. The bad effects, which re- sage, anchored in their destined ports ; and the sulted from this and their confinement, were unhappy Africans, now on board, were prepared weakness and fainting. He has seen some die a for sale. Some were consigned to brokers; with few minutes after being brought up, which pro- this view they were examined by laborers, who ceeded from corrupted air and heat jointly. He wanted them for their farms; and, in the selection has seen others go down apparently well at of them, friends and relations were parted without night, and found them dead in the morning. any consideration; when they parted with mutua. He had a hospital on board; but the sick slaves embraces, they were often severed by a lash. were obliged to lie on the bare boards, so that Another mode of sale was by vendue; in which the motion of the vessel often occasioned excoria case they were carried to a tavern, or other pubtions from the prominent parts of their bodies. lic place, where, being put up to sale, they beSurgeon Falconbridge declares that he has known came the property of the highest bidder. Such slaves go down apparently in health, and brought as were in a sick and emaciated state were geneup dead in the morning. He once opened one rally sold for a few dollars. The third mode of of them surgically, to discover with certainty selling them was by the scramble. In this case what was the cause of his death; and found, the main and quarter-decks of the ship were from the appearance of the thorax and abdomen, darkened by sails: the slaves were brought out that it was suffocation. He says that once, on of the hold and made to stand in the darkened going below, be found that twenty of the slaves area : when the purchasers, furnished with long had fainted. He got them instantly hauled up ropes, rushed, as soon as the signal was given, on deck; but, notwithstanding the quickness of within the awning, and endeavoured to encircle his movements on this occasion, two or three of as many of them as they could. These scrambles them died. And once, though he was only fifteen were also frequently made on the shore: these minutes in their room below, he became so ill unhappy objects being shut up in an apartment, himself that he could not get up again to the or court-yard, the doors of which were thrown deck without help; and he never was below open, when the purchasers rushed in, with their many minutes together but his shirt was as wet ropes in their hands, as before described. as if it had been dipped in water. He says also, We come now to the far more agreeable part that as the slaves, whether well or ill, always lie of our subject, the history of the abolition of this on the bare planks, the motion of the ship rubs cruel traffic in this country and its dependencies. the flesh from the prominent parts of their body, Mr. Thomas Clarkson, a gentleman still living, and leaves the bones almost bare. And when has published an account of the different meathe slaves have the flux, which is frequently the sures pursued to promote this great object. These case, the whole place becomes covered with blood were registered at the time, either by himself, or and mucus, like a slaughter-house; and, as they the estimable committee which acted in concert are fettered and wedged close together, the ut- with him; and his history, in two volumes octavo most disorder arises from endeavours to get to has been several years before the public; we three or four tubs, which are placed among them cannot therefore, we conceive, hand down infora for necessary purposes : this disorder is still mation on this topic better than by a concise farther increased, by the healthy being not un- abridgment of his valuable testimony. frequently chained to the diseased, the dying, Froin the beginning of this infamous traffic, to and the dead. Dr. Trotter, speaking on the the time when our author became a public actor same subject, gives us an equally melancholy ac in the scene of its suppression, in the year 1787, count. When the scuttles, says he, in the ship's there had not been wanting good men to lift up. sides, are obliged to be shut in bad weather, their voices against it: and as the sentiments of the gratings are not sufficient for airing the rooms. these, who were most of them authors, had been He never himself could breathe freely below, given to the public for a long succession of years,
hundreds of persons had been taught in England hundred miles on foot, to converse with planters to condemn it. These, that is, the good men and others, on the iniquity of holding their feljust alluded to, Mr. Clarkson considers as so low creatures in bondage ; and the latter labored many necessary forerunners (indeed he gives for years in collecting information concerning them that title); and considers them al so, though Africa and the slave trade, and in handing it to most of them lived before his own time, as so the world. At this time other people, of other many coadjutors in the work.
religious denominations, came forward in North Having spoken first of the men in power, Mr. America, and contributed to increase the odium Clarkson divides the forerunners who walked in which the Quakers had been the first to excite humbler life into four classes. The first consists there against the traffic; when, in 1774, James of persons in England, poets and other:1, who bore Pemberton, a pious Quaker in Pennsylvania, their testimony against the trade in their succes- and Dr. Rush, an eminent physician, and a man sive writings up to the year 1787. Among the poets of weight among the Presbyterians in the same were Pope, Thomson, Shenstone, and Cowper; province, formed a committee, in which persons among the divines, bishop Warburton, Richard of different religious sects joined for the purpose Baxter, Beattie, Wesley, Whitfield, Wakefield, of abolishing both the slave trade and slavery on and Paley; among the others were Montesquieu, their own continent. This committee was obliged Hutchinson, Wallis, Burke, Postlethwaite, Day, to suspend its operations during the war with Hartley, Millar, and Granville Sharp. The lat- Great Britain, but afterwards resumed its functer, however, is to be particularly distinguished tions. In 1787 it added considerably to its from the rest; for, whereas the others had only numbers, and took in, among others, the celehanded down the traffic in question as infamous, brated Dr. Franklin, who was its first president by the mention made of it in their respective in its renovated state. works, this good man spent whole years in bring It will be proper here to stop and interrupt ing the cruelty and wickedness of it into public the thread of the history. It has appeared, from notice. He tried, at his own expense, the famous what has been said above, first, that Mr. Grancase of Somerset, and several others, in our courts ville Sharp, the most conspicuous member of the of law. He was, in fact, the first laborer in the first of the classes now mentioned, was alive in
He began to be the public advocate of 1787, and then waiting for an opportunity of exthe oppressed Africans in 1765, and was waiting erting himself farther in behalf of the injured for opportunities for farther exertion in 1787, Africans; secondly, that of the second class the particular epoch before mentioned. See our William Dillwyn was one of the committee for article Sharp, GRANVILLE.
the same object in the same year; and, thirdly, The second class consists of the Quakers in that James Pemberton was also alive in the England. This estimable society passed a pub- same year, and a very conspicuous member of lic censure upon
the traffic at their yearly meet the third. It happened that William Dillwyn, ing in London, in 1727. This they folowed up by who had been born and long resident in America, other resolutions as a body, in 1758, 1761, 1763, had been in habits of intimate friendship with and 1772, when they had become principalled Pemberton; and that in consequence of his acagainst it as against a crime of the deepest dye. quaintance also with the venerable Anthony In 1783 they petitioned parliament against its Benezet, he had been introduced, by means of continuance. In this year certain members of a letter from him, upon coming to England, to the society thought it their duty to make their Mr. Granville Sharp. Here then we find that a fellow countrymen at large acquainted with the member of the second class was accidentally horrible nature of it: these were Thomas known to a member of the first, and also to a Knowles, George Harrison, Samuel Hoare, John member of the third : and thus we see how Lloyd, Joseph Woods, and William Dillwyn. easily Dillwyn became a medium through They formed themselves into a committee in whom the members of all the classes might be London for this purpose; they wrote and circu- easily united. lated books; they conveyed also information on We come now to the fourth class of forerun. the subject through the London and country ners. The first in this class was Dr. Peckard, newspapers. It was not known, however, from master of Magdalen College, in the University of whom the information came, as their names were Cambridge. This gentleman had not only cenconcealed from the public. In this manner they sured the slave trade in the severest manner, in continued to work their way from 1783 to 1787. a sermon preached before the university itself;
The third class of Mr. Clarkson is formed of but when he became vice-chancellor of it, in the Quakers and others in North America. The 1785, he gave out the following subject for one Quakers there entertained the same opinion as of the bachelors' prizes, 'Anne liceat invitos in their brethren in England on this subject. In servitutem dare ?'' or, · Is it right to make slaves 1696 and in 1711 they condemned, as a religi- of others against their will ?' At this time Mr. ous body, this cruel traffic; and in 1754, 1755, Clarkson had obtained the bachelor's prize of 1774, 1776, and 1778, they not only passed re the former year, and determined to become a solutions against it, as far as their own members candidate for that of the present. He took prowere concerned, but also against slavery itself. digious pains to make hiinself inaster of the subIn process of time, however, individuals rose up ject, as far as the time would allow, both by out of this benevolent body, and became public procuring proper books, and by seeing as many laborers in the cause of the unhappy Africans. The persons as he could of those who had been in two principal of these were John Woolman and Africa, and who had become in any degree acAnthony Benezet. The former travelled many quainted with the nature of the slave trade.
Having thus gained a considerable stock of in- himself might be now permitted to have the hoformation, he wrote his Latin Essay, and, havi ng nor of becoming a humble instrument in prosent it in to the vice-chancellor, soon found moting it. himself honored with the first prize. After this,
Soon after this he was introduced to the venerbeing then in London, he went down to Cai n- able Mr. Sharp, the last and inost eminent of bridge at the time of the commencement, in cir the second class of coadjutors, and soon after der to read it publicly, as is usual, in the senal e- this his work came out under the title of An house. The next day he returned towards Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the HuLondon: he was then on horseback; but while man Species, particularly the African, which was upon the road the subject of the essay entire ly honored with the first prize in the University of engrossed his thoughts; he became at times se Cambridge, for the year 1785. The work hav. riously affected as he travelled on: He on ce ing been now ushered into the world (this was stopped his horse, and dismounted and sat dovin in June 1786), Mr. Clarkson resolved upon the on a bank by the road-side. Here he tried to distribution of it in the most select manner he persuade himself, that the contents of the essay could, in order that the case of the unhappy which he had read in the senate-house the day Africans might be known by those who had in before were not true. The more, however, lhe some degree the power of relieving them. Acreflected upon the authorities on which he knew cordingly, at his request, Dr. Baker, a clergythem to be founded, the more he gave them cre- : man in London, lord and lady Scarsdale, Sir dit; and the more he gave them credit, the more Charles and lady Middleton, and Mr. Bennet he was convinced that it was an imperious duty Langton, the intimate friend of Dr. Johnson, of in some one to endeavour to see the sufferings of Jonas Hanway, of Sir Joshua Reynolds, of Edthe unhappy Africans put to an end. Agitated in mund Burke, and of other celebrated persons, this manner, he reached London. This was in undertook to distribute copies of it personally the summer of 1785. In the autumn of the among their own friends, in the higher ranks of same year he found himself often similarly es:- life, and to use their interest in procuring a peercised; till at length he began to have serious rusal of them. Under their auspices the book thoughts of devoting his life to the cause of in was first introduced into the polite world. The jured Africa. Being then but twenty-four years mind, however, of the author became daily more of age, he considered his youth and his want of and more agitated on the subject of it. lle was knowledge of the world as a great obstacle. not satisfied that what he was then doing was all Many other circumstances occurred to discou. that was necessary to be done; or that it was rage him. He thought, however, that there was all that was required of him. To make the case one way, in which he might begin to be useful of the unhappy Africans known was desirable to the cause; namely, by translating his Latin as a first step; but would this of itself put a stop essay, and publishing it in English. Accord- to the horrors of the trade? He believed not: ingly he began the work, and, having finished it, he believed there would be no hope of success, he was looking out for a publisher, when he ac- unless some one would resolve to make it thé cidently met an old friend of his family, who business of his life. The question then was, was belonged to the religious society of the Quakers. he himself called upon to do it? His own peace This gentleman, of his own accord, asked him of mind required that he should give a final anwhy he had not published his prize essay in swer to this question. To do this he retired freEnglish. Many of his brethren (the Quakers), quently into solitude. The result was, after the he said, were anxiously expecting it. Upon most mature deliberation, and the most painful farther conversation, this genileman introduced struggle, that he determined to devote his whole Mr. Clarkson to Mr. Phillips, a bookseller in life, should it be necessary, to the cause. This George Yard, Lombard Street, and who was also determination was made about the latter end of of the religious society before mentioned ; at December, 1786; in the beginning of 1787 the which interview it was agreed that the latter distribution of the essay went on, but by addishould immediately publish the work. In a tional hands. Mr. Sheldon, Sir Herbert Mackshort time after this Mr. Phillips introduced worth, lord Balgonie (now lord Leven), each Mr. Clarkson to Mr. Dillwyn of Walthamstow, took a part on the occasion. The Quakers joined one of the second class of coadjutors before in the distribution also, among whom Mr. mentioned, with whom he spent the day. Here Richard Phillips (still also living we believe) is it was that he heard for the first time of the la- to be particularly noticed. This arrangement bors of Mr. Granville Sharp: and surprised he having been made, Mr. Clarkson was now able was to learn that Mr. Dillwyn had two years be- to devote all his time to qualify himself for the fore associated himself with five others (as has arduous situation to which he had devoted himbeen already mentioned), for the purpose of en self. He gained introductions to persons who lightening the public mind in England on this had been in Africa and the West Indies, and obgreat subject, as also that a society had been tained still farther information on the subject in formed in North America for the same purpose, its different branches. He visited slave ships with some of the principal of which Mr. Dill- lying in the Thames, either as they came in or wyn was himself acquainted. He was almost sailed out of port, that he might know their conoverwhelmed with the thoughts, he says, which struction and other particulars. He went fredarted upon him on this occasion. He could quently to the custom-house in London, where not but consider that he had been providentially he learnt the nature of the articles which constiled to Mr. Dillwyn's house ; that the day-star of tuted the traffic, the loss of seainen employed in Afriron liberty was rising; and that probably he it, and other matters which he found it essentiai