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265 Memoirs of Mrs. Siddons, by James
275 Boaden, Esq. ...
301 Ahab, a Poem, by S. R. Jackson 342
309 History of the Peninsular War, by R.
398 Darley's System of Popular Geometry 359
416 Head Pieces and Tail Pieces
423 Field Flowers...
430 Reminiscences of Charles Butler, Esq. 444
436 Vagaries in quest of the Wild and
484 Tales of Chivalry and Romance 537
492 Schiller's Wallenstein.....
500 Living and the Dead, by the Country
515 King's Survey of the Coast of Australia 547
523 Carpenter's Reply to Accusations of
461 Self-transportation, called Emigrating.. 501
23 Section on Tea-parties
LORD BATHURST AND THE COLONIAL LEGISLATURES.
The misapprehension which generally prevails as to the real state of society in the West Indies, and the point at which the West India question is now arrived, is as gross as it is injurious to the characters and interests of a numerous and important part of the community. Nine-tenths of the people who sign petitions in favor of Negro Emancipation, as it is called, have no ideas on the subject, except that to pray that the negroes may be made free, must be to perform a notable service to the cause of liberty. The notions commonly entertained of a West India Planter are, that he is a man who wears a straw hat, with an immensely large brim, sits on a rum barrel under the shade of a cocoa tree, and with a large whip amuses himself in touching up a row of black slaves at work in the scorching sun. He has been described as a " white savage,” to whom the exhalations of the slave ship are “ fragrance," and the groans of tortured and bleeding negroes " delicious music,” ready to rebel from an abstract love of the use of the cartwhip, and convulsed with horror at the bare mention of any proposal for raising the moral and civil condition of the negro, not merely from motives of personal interest, but from an innate love of tyranny, and an instinctive adhorrence of the happiness of his fellow-creatures.
Ideas so ludicrous would be only laughable, were not a belief in them assiduously encouraged by the exertions of an organized body of implacable and persevering enemies, and devoutly entertained by the greater part of the Tomkinses and Joneses, who form the bulk of the English nation. Many thousands of well-meaning and respectable people are induced to imagine that there can be no hopes of improvement for the slave, without the master having been previously ruined, or, to use a phrase of the Abolitionists, starved into submission. A crusade has been carried on against the West India Proprietors at home, for the sake of preventing them from defending themselves in Parliament; and although this absurd attempt has failed so utterly, as to cover the modern Hermit who preached it with scorn and ridicule, yet the struggles it occasioned were violent enough to prove the existence of prejudices mischievous and wide spreading. Evil sufficient, indeed, and scarcely reparable, had already resulted from them. The Members of both branches of the Legislature had been swayed by the clamours of the people to contemplate the idea of a summary invasion of the constitutional privileges of the Colonial Assemblies; Ministers had been shaken from their propriety, and the respectable Nobleman at the head of the Colonial Department had been led into the commission of acts of impolicy, injustice, and arbitrary power, which he never would have committed, without the security that the British Nation would support him in any attack upon the rights, properties, and privileges of the Colonists.
“Respect," says Junius, “is due to the station of Ministers." In this instance respect is also due to the private personal character of the Minister, whose conduct is arraigned. Before entering, therefore, into an investigation which might in its result affect Earl Bathurst's reputation as a statesman, we are willing to advert to those
circumstances which may have blinded his judgment, and perverted his natural sense of equity; but we cannot think that the dislike of the public to the West Indians, was in any degree founded on evidence so accurate and legitimate, as to be an excuse for the dis public and private rights, with which
he has proceeded in his management of the West India question. That dislike may, indeed, serve to screen him from the consequences which in England usually fall on Ministers, who use their power unjustly or unwisely; but it will not save him from the censure of reasonable men of all parties, and the curses both loud and deep of those whose interests and privileges he has unnecessarily invaded and impaired. Hitherto it has enabled him to escape not only reproof, but even enquiry.
The Colonists have been charged with resistance by the wishes of Parliament, because they have not complied with the instructions of a Colonial Secretary-with disrespect and contumacy, because they have remonstrated with the warmth natural to men, where privileges have been attacked. They have been made defendants, where they ought to have been plaintiffs ; few have yet seemed to think it worth enquiry, whether those instructions were indeed in the spirit of the resolutions of the British Legislatures, or whether if the Colonial Assemblies have refused to adopt certain measures alleged to be intended for the improvement of the slave system, and some share of their obstinacy is not imputable to the manner in which those measures have been brought before them.
This silence has at last been broken. Earl Bathurst bas threatened the West India Governments with an appeal to the British Parliament,--but when he has roused the storm, he may find some part of its violence fall upon himself. The attention of both Houses of Parliament is already called to his conduct, in the able and spirited pamphlet now before us ; * and although our minds were already made up on this subject, we have found additional reasons from perusing this work to fortify our opinion that Earl Bathurst has much to answer for to this country, for the indiscretion and precipitancy which he has been guilty of in endeavouring to further its wishes for the emancipation of the negro,
In viewing the question between him and the Colonial Legislatures, it is of the highest importance that the latter should be contemplated both individually, and as corporate bodies, disencumbered from the obloquy with which they have been covered. Whatever may have been the case without, justice has always been done within, the walls of Parliament, to the West India Proprietors in England; but the resident Colonists, until lately, have scarcely ever been mentioned in any other terms than those of unqualified abuse, vituperation, and contempt. How few are there among the public who seem to recollect that the Planters abroad also are men-many of whom have been born, more have been educated, in this country, and all of whom
* An Address to the Members of the New Parliament, on the Proceedings of the Colonial Department, in furtherance of the Resolutions of the Honse of Commons of the 15th May, 1823, " For ameliorating the Condition of the Slave Population in His Majesty's Colonies ;” and on the only course that ought now to be pursued by His Majesty's Government.
are deeply impregnated with English feelings and attachments, who are continually being supplied and renewed by fresh draughts from the English shores, and must at all times be greatly influenced by constant collision with those whom interest, or duty, or pleasure, draw in thousands among them from the highest classes of English society. The traveller—the merchant-the official residents—the naval and military officer, almost invariably, speak well of their general humanity and kindness, and their disposition to do all which they can do, consistently with their own safety, for the happiness of their dependants. Of their ability to do this of their capacities for legislating for themselves and their slaves—a most favorable testimony may be obtained from the reports of their proceedings with regard to Lord Bathurst's measures, and from the various able official documents which have been printed and laid before Parliament. The debate on the Slave Evidence Bill in the Assembly of Jamaica, has received the unsolicited applause of Mr. Brougham himself--and in the various memorials and representations transmitted from Trinidad and Demerara, the reader will find a vigor of language and closeness of reasoning-a knowledge of the principles of justice and policy, and an ability in the application of those principles to the questions at issue, which render them worthy of attention, no less for their intrinsic merits, than for the subject to which they relate. We have yet to learn why those in favor of whom this mass of testimony is given, should be treated by Lord Bathurst as men who cannot act wisely, and who will not act humanely.
However wise and excellent might have been in themselves the measures which Lord Bathurst thought proper to recommend, with a view to forward the object of negro improvement, we should still have thought it more statesman-like to have tried to procure their adoption by conciliation, rather than by authority. But how much stronger must be the indignation of the aggrieved, when they find that these measures were not only harshly and intemperately urged, but are calculated to produce the reverse of the effects intended. The Order in Council for Trinidad, contains provisions that are not “compatible with the well being of the slaves themselves, nor with the safety of the Colonies, nor with a fair and equitable consideration of the interests of private property."
The complaints which on both these grounds the Colonists have to make against Earl Bathurst, will be found briefly and forcibly stated in the pamphlet to which we have before alluded, and are summed up in the following extract from its pages. This we recommend to the attention of our readers, pledging ourselves that the siatements contained in it are not overcharged, and fully prepared to enter at a future time into a more detailed examination of that important subject. It is to be remembered the author is addressing the Members of the New Parliament.
“ Having laid before you the proceedings of the Colonial Department, and pointed out some of the bearings of these proceedings, I now request your attention, on constitutional considerations, to the danger that will ensue if you confer on them the
authority of parliamentary sanction. The rights of property, which are vested in the planters, have been placed by a nobleman. more distinguished for his rank and private virtues, than for biş legal knowledge, on a footing with those of receivers of stolen goods; but an author has been found to deny to the planters even the respectą. ble rights so liberally conceded by the noble duke, and to assert that, as by Gospel Dispensation, there can be po such state as West India slavery, there can be no titles, yet I belieye I may venture to rely on the national faith, pledged with all the solemnity prescribed by the British constitution, and assume that the planters' rights are undoubted. No charge has been brought against them of having violated any of the conditions on which the rights were granted; on the contrary, it is allowed that they have greatly apeliorated the condition of the slavęs since this country ceased to force supplies on the Colonies-indeed, it is not pretended that the national guaranty was granted to ensure a state of comfort superior to that now enjoyed by the slaves. If, in these circumstances, a secretary of state be authorized to persevere in a course that inay have the effect of lessening in value, or of rendering insecure, the property of the planters; if he is to be the sole judge of what may produce these effects, is it not evident that the rights, under the most solemn national pledge, dwindle into rights dependent on the will of a secretary of state? It would startle you to hear a secretary of state avow that property held under acts of parliament was at his mercy; yet Lord Bathurst's proceedings towards the colonists have not stopt short of such a declaration. He requires the colonists to adopt certain measures—they say that the value and security of their property would be thereby affected, and therefore demand a pledge of indemnification against loss I. His lordship thinks the measure will increase both the value and security of property, and therefore will not entertain a proposal respecting indemnity. His lordship tells the planters that they must sell such parts of their property as may be demanded of them, and that certain persons shall be the judges of what they are to receive in compensation. The planters say that they will not sell such parts as may be demanded, that they will only sell such parts as they please, and that they will not leave it to the persons whom his lordship names, to estimate the value of their
Duke of Devonshire, at the Derby county meeting,
* ""Let us recollect wbat prodigious ruin one unguarded expression, dropt in the heat of debate, may occasion to those whom we would not willingly injure; while it is at the same time clear that the most ardent and enthusiastic eloquence cannot hasten the enjoyment of freedom by those who are not yet in a fit state to receive the boon.' Mr.
« • My fixed opinion is, that those great and desirable objects have been more retarded by the intemperate zeal of those who have been the advocates of such measures, than they had been, or could be, by any direct opposition on the part of those who have opposed them.'”- Lord Chancellor's Speech, House of Lords.
1“Your Committee have also learnt from the agent, that in his conference with Ministers, it has been refused to acknowledge our claims to compensation for the injuries the colonies must sustain in the mere endeavour to carry the scheme of emancipation into effect; by which refusal the Ministers have shewn an inclination not only to dispose of our property, without our consent, but even to violate those common rules of honesty which ought to govern nations as well as private persons.'".-- Report of a Committee to the House of Assembly, Jamaica, 11 Dec. 1823.