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weak to conquer their independence like very small and flat island, every part America, or to present that formidable of it cultivated ground, the population array of national preparation, which es

concentrated, and no possibility of established the claims of Ireland.

cape after defeat. Had the thing been “ Such is the spirit manifested by those attempted then in Jamaica, how difconstitutional guardians of the rights of ferent must have been the result ! But the people, the Edinburgh Reviewers, the revolt, such as it was, and, above who, in this case, forgetting all their all, the Wilberforcian war-cries and wonted principles, and substituting might emblems, of which the negroes were for right, affect to despise the impotence proved to have made use, effectually of what they term West India clamour damped for the time the ardour, or at and swagger ;

* who ridicule the idea of least the resolution, of the agitators in the West Indies following the example of England, and all the world knows how America, by saying, that what was boldness in the one case would be impudence

the Registry Question was at length in the other;' and that · England must

settled by a sort of compromise, wherebe reduced very low indeed, before she

in the Parliament at home, and the can feel greatly alarmed at a Caribbee

Colonial Parliaments, met each other Island, like Lord Grizzle in Tom Thumb, exclaiming, “ 'Sdeath, I'll be a rebel.' + The recent agitations, however, This is just the language that was held by have shewn abundantly, that the Cosome equally sapient politicians, and redoubt

lonial Assemblies are still of the same ed generals, on the first breaking out of the mind they expressed in 1816. In Jadisturbances between Great Britain and her maica, in Barbadoes, in Grenada, and colonies in North America ; when a general indeed everywhere, Resolutions have officer declared in the House of Commons, again been resorted to, and the repubthat he would march through America, from lication of some of these documents one end to the other, with a thousand men. has already begun to attract not a lite Every considerate mind must deprecate tle notice on this side of the water. this contemptuous manner of treating the We have before us a mass of these Cocolonists; for if any thing can drive men lonial papers. They all breathe the to desperation, and decide them to hazard same spirit: but, as might be expected, every extremity, it is thus adding insult they do not all express this, either to injury. This is indeed at once throw- with the same temper, or with the same ing the sword into the scale, and putting talent. In several particulars, we give an end to that dispassionate discussion, the decided preference to the manifeswhich alone reconcile the rights of the

to of the Bahamas, which has just been colonies, with the dignity of the mother reprinted in London, (we know not country, and the interests of humanity.” whether for general publication or

The feelings of the Colonial Assem- not,) under the title of “ An Official blies themselves, as to these matters, Letter to George Chalmers, Esq. (Cowere embodied in Resolutions, Pro- lonial Agent for the Bahamas,) contests, Reports of all sorts, during the cerning the proposed abolition of slaperiod of ferment excited by the ques- very in the West Indies.” This letțion of the Registry Bills—that is in ter is written with a degree of calm1816 and 1817. Thai the negro revolt of ness which, under all the circumstan1816 had been excited by the agitation ces, we really regard as astonishing. of this question, the flags, and inscrip- The writers go over the different actions, and devices of the insurgents, cusations on which the Wilberforces manifested from the beginning; and if have so long harped, and most effecany doubt could have existed, that was tually vindicate their own character in annihilated by the subsequent confes- the teeth of all those venomous comsion of those who were tried and con- mon-places. But their defence has victed, after the Government had suc- already been anticipated by ourselves, ceeded in putting the revoltdown. That as to the most important of these parit was put down without a far more ter- ticulars : we shall therefore quote only rible cost of life, was entirely owing to the following passages, in which the the local circumstances under which second and more general class of topics it had occurred-Barbadoes being a is handled.

* Edinburgh Review, No. 50, p. 341.
† Edinburgh Review, No. 50, p. 314.

« Even, should Parliament conceive colonies, in matters relating to their mathat it possessed a legitimate authority, ritime concerns. A political right, once to interfere with the domestic and other unconditionally conferred, never can be internal concerns of these colonies; let recalled ; or the liberties even of Eng- ! us ask, has Mr Wilberforce made out a land would be at this day enjoyed only ease, sufficient to justify so unprecedent- by sufferance of the reigning Monarch. ed an exercise of that authority? At a What was Magna Charta itself, but a time when few, if any, of the colonies royal boon ?-extorted indeed by intimihad passed laws for the protection of the dation, but perhaps, on that very account, slaves, or the amelioration of their con- only the less binding on the bestower. dition; before scarcely an attempt was The same might perhaps be said, with made to introduce Christianity among very little abatement of circumstance, as them, and crimes against them might to the Bill of Rights, as well as many have been openly committed with impu- other of those high securities for British nity ; even then, the right of property in freedom, which we have been so long in Slaves was reverenced as sacred, and in the habit of regarding with veneration. tangible even by Parliament itself. But And yet, has it ever been pretended, that now, after the most important changes Parliament could constitutionally revoke have taken place in almost every particu- those concessions ? lar; when the Slaves are everywhere un- “ Whatever principal therefore of supder the protection of wholesome laws, posed dependence, may be attached to which, let the Abolitionists assert what those colonial bodies that have been inthey please, are enforced with more or corporated only by charters, which, perless rigour in every colony; when Chris- haps, as such, may be liable to forfeiture; tianity is rapidly gaining ground among or to those colonies, as the Canadas, the them ; when, by the Abolition of the Slave Constitutions of which were originally Trade, the Slaves in the West Indies are ef- created, and afterwards altered by the fectually cut off from all further contagion British Parliament; we conceive that of barbarism and paganism from Africa, and the present Constitution of the Bahamas, already begin to evince considerable advances, as well as that of Jamaica, and several in point of habits and principles, to a better other West India colonies, stands in this condition ; when emancipations are daily be- respect upon the highest possible ground. coming more common, and the rights of both We purposely avoid details, because they free Negroes and Slaves, are placed under a are already well known to all who interest degree even of unnecessary protection by the themselves in West India affairs; and late Registry laws, so strenuously recom- to those who do not, they would be of mended by the Abolitionists themselves ; still little use. -Among the rash measures of that restless party appear to be even more the British Ministry, in the early part of dissatisfied than ever ; and, in the fretful- the revoit of the North American coloness of their impatience for our final ruin, nies, Parliament was induced to declare have at length discovered, that Parlia- by law, that it had the right to legislate ment not only has a constitutional right to for the colonies in all cases ; a declaradivest us of our property, or otherwise tion, by the by, which, from its being deal with it at discretion; but also that, deemed necessary at such a season, adunless Parliament does interfere, nothing mits the existence of some serious doubts can or will ever be done for the redress upon the subject. This high-toned preof those enormous but imaginary wrongs, tension accordingly was very shortly afterwith which, unfounded in fact, as they wards modified by the important excepare unsupported by proof, every colony tion of the right of taxation ; and at last in the West Indies is indiscriminately virtually abandoned, in toto, by the recog charged.

nition of the revolted Provinces, as Inde“What may be within the power of the pendent States. As, therefore, the GeneBritish Parliament, it would perhaps be ral Assembly of these islands was lawfulas difficult to define, as it might be peril- ly constituted by the Crown, without any ous to question. But power does not al- manner of Pariiamentary sanction, exWays constitute right. Our colonists, cept so far as the Assembly, with the being no longer represented in the Par- King at its head, is in itself a Parliament liament of the mother country, were for all local purposes, we sincerely hope placed by the Crown (and the right of that the question may never be seriously the Crown in this instance has never raised as a matter of contention with the been questioned) under the government mother country, whether the British of Parliaments of their own; the mother Parliament can constitutionally interfere country reserving to lierself, or her Par- with our internal concerns ; for on that liament, only a sort of homage from the point, thore can be but one opinion among

the independent part of all the free colo- ance with an infinite variety of particunies."

lars, which can only be known to those Take in connection with these ex

who reside upon the spot. To revise the

domestic codes of the colonies, would be pressions of the principal authorities

a task which no European government in one colony, what Mr Brougham, could undertake for want of information, yes, Mr Brougham himself, said, long and for want of time. Any Parliament, ago, about the general question of Par

Council, or Senate, which should begin liamentary interference.

such a work, would find it necessary to « After the Government of the mo

give up legislating for the mother counther country has abolished the African try, in order partly to mar, and partly to trade, the Colonial Legislatures are ful

neglect, the legislation of the colonies. ly competent to take all the steps that

Let this branch of the imperial adminimay be necessary for improving the sys

stration, then, be left to the care of those tem. They are precisely in the situa.

who are themselves most immediately intion which insures the adoption of wise

terested in the good order and governmeasures ; they are composed of men

ment of the distant provinces, and whose immediately interested in the pursuit of knowledge of local circumstancës, of those that very conduct which the good of things that cannot be written down in rethe system requires. All the indivi- ports, nor told by witnesses, is more full duals who form the Assemblies, are con

and practical. The question of Abolition cerned in the preservation and increase

is one and simple ; it is answered by a yea of the negro stock; in the improvement

or a nay; its solution requires no exerof the whole colonial society; in the gra

cise of invention; the questions of regudual reformation of the general system.

lation are many and complex; they are They are separated from their brother

stated by a 'quomodo ;' they lead to the colonists only by that election which con

discovery of means, and the comparison fers upon them the power of watching

of measures proposed. Without pretendover the common good, and imposes on

ing to dispute the supremacy of the mothem the duty of investigating the means

ther country, we may be allowed to doubt whereby it may best be attained. For

her omniscience; and the colonial history the same reason that it would be in vain

of modern Europe may well change our to expect from such men the great mea

doubts into disbelief. Without standing sure of Abolition, it would be foolish to

out for the privileges of the colonies, we despair of obtaining from them every as

may suggest their more intimate acquaintsistance in promoting those subordinate

ance with the details of the question, and schemes which may conduce to the ame

maintain that the interest both of the molioration of the colonial policy. Of their

ther country and the colonies requires a superior ability to devise and execute such

subdivision of the labour of legislation ; a measures, we cannot entertain the small- delegation of certain duties and inquiries est doubt. They are men intimately ac

to those who are most nearly connected quainted with every minute branch of co

with the result, and situated within the lonial affairs, and accustomed from their

reach of the materials. When the Aboliearliest years to meditate upon no other

tion shall have rendered all the planters subjects. They reside in the heart of the

more careful of their stock, and more dissystem for which their plans are to be posed to encourage breeding, the only task laid, and on which the success of every regulate the relative rights of the two

for the colonial governments will be to experiment is to be tried. “ The general question of Abolition

classes, to prepare the civilization of the may easily be examined at a distance.

subordinate race, and to check those cruelAll the information that is necessary for

ties which may still appear in a few inthe discussion of it has already been

stances of individual inhumanity and po

procured by the mother countries of the dif- licy." ferent European colonies. Its connec- And last of all, hear what Mr Martion with various interests, not colonial, ryat said in 1816, just before the Barrenders the provincial governments in- badoes revolt broke out. competent to examine it, even if their “ An eminent political writer, speakinterests and prejudices left them at li- ing of the British colonists, says, berty to enter upon a fair investigation. « • Masters of slaves are by far the

« But the details of the Slave Laws re- most proud and jealous of their freedom. quire more minute and accurate acquaint- Freedom is to them, not only an enjoy


* Brougham's Colonial Policy, vol. II. p. 502.

ment, but a kind of rank and privilege. ment of this prediction is likely to be Not seeing there, that freedom, as in hastened, by the intemperate counsels countries where it is a common blessing of the African Institution. When the and as broad and general as the air, may constitutional rights of the colonies were be united with much abjeet toil, with invaded, the Stamp Act was burnt as great misery, with all the exterior of ser, publicly in the British West India Isvitude, liberty looks among them like lands, as in the American colonies, something that is more noble and liberal. though the contest between the mother Such were all the ancient common- country and the latter, afterwards turned wealths; such were our Gothic ances- upon points in which the former had no tors; such, in our days, were the Poles; concern; and nothing can be so likely to and such will ever be, all masters of bring about an union between the reslaves who are not slaves themselves. maining, and the revolted colonies of In them, haughtiness combines with the Great Britain, as a new dispute concernspirit of freedom, fortifies it, and renders ing legislative rights. The hostile spirit it invincible.'

of America towards this country, and her “It would be degrading to the memory ambition to become a great naval power, of that great man, who wrote and spoke would induce her to watch the first faon colonial subjects with a prophetic spi- vourable opportunity of supporting the rit, to compare his observations, founded West India colonies, in asserting that on a deep knowledge of human nature, independence wbich she herself establishwith the superficial and flippant remarks ed; and to fan the embers of rising disof the Edinburgh Reviewers. Whether content among them into a flame, in orthe haughty spirit of the White inhabi- der to sever those valuable possessions tants in the West Indies, may or may

from Great Britain, and unite them to not submit to superior force, one thing her own Government.” is certain, that Great Britain cannot We confess that the general aspect make the experiment, without forfeiting of the New World at this particular the confidence, and alienating the affec- time, has no tendency to make us view tions of that class of her subjects. The some of these matters more easily than British West India colonies labour under this highly intelligent person was able greater disadvantages than those of any to do seven years ago. On the conother European power; for although ex- trary, who can be blind to the fact, that empted from direct taxation, the double the whole of that immense region is, monopoly to which they are subjected, at this moment, in a state of most of receiving all their supplies from, and alarming confusion? who has not had shipping all their produce to the mother

some fears that England may be callcountry, comprehends within itself every

ed upon to arm herself in consequence possible species of taxation, and renders the whole of their industry contributory, fluences not yet capable of being ana

of events not yet developed, nay, of inin an unexampled degree, to the increase of her commercial greatness and naval lysed ?-And if she should be so call

ed upon, who but a fanatic can be fool power. Their only compensation for this disadvantage, is, that they enjoy the enough to doubt—who but a Whig can blessings of a free Government; that

be base enough to pretend to doubt they are admitted into a participation of that there are powers, ay, more than * the privileges and benefits of the British one, which, in seeking to derive ad

Constitution. Deprive them of these, vantage from the agitated state of and the tie that attaches them to the feeling, that already has been excited mother country will at once be broken;

in our colonies, and that may, unless the charm that has secured their loyalty, a very different tone be taken in cerunder the most trying hardships, will at tain quarters, be pushed very easily once be dissolved. They will brood, in to a degree of excitement as yet hapsullen silence, over their lost rights; and pily unknown, would do nothing but meditate the means by which they may what abundant precedents have herehereafter be regained.

tofore shewn them quite capable of “ The

Abbé Raynal has predicted, doing, and that under circumstances that the West India Islands will one day by no means so favourable for their belong to America, on account of their views, as are, or may soon enough be, natural dependence upon her for the great exhibited ? Who has not dreamt, at necessaries of life; and the accomplish least, of the possibility of a North

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* Burke's Works, 8vo, vol. jii. p. 354.

American alliance against Britain, “ It is absolute trifling with the people purchased by the bribe of all others thé of Great Britain, and worse than trifling most likely to captivate the imagination with the colonies, to persist thus in holdof those sagacious, not less than ambi- ing out the absurd idea, that negroes, tious republicans ? And who, suppos- when emancipated, (the writer means if ing such a bargain to be really in posse,

emancipated in their present, or in anywould voluntarily court the risk of

thing like their present state,) would concontemplating it in esse and in opere?

tinue to employ themselves in the cultiSome of the publications which the

vation of West India produce upon wages. recent march of events has called forth Does the experience of any one island in

the West Indies justify it? Not one; let from among the British colonists themselves, deserve, however, to be referred

Mr Wilberforce say what he pleases about

his disbanded soldiers and American deto for many things, besides the in

serters; or, to come still closer to the formation they afford concerning the present state of feeling among our

point, do the present situation of St Do

mingo, and the dreadful aspect of affairs in own fellow-subjects in that quarter of

that abyss of anarchy, kept down only by the world. In one point of view, therefore-we must admit, to be sure it is a

arms, justify it? On the contrary, to raise

a twentieth part of what once was the very subordinate one-the agitators at

produce of that unfortunate island, the home have done some good by their

peasantry had to be reduced to a state of new outcries. They have compelled,

worse than military vassalage, infinitely so to speak, the production of the only

more degrading, unjust, odious, sanguinathing that was wanting for their own ry, and cruel, than Mr Wilberforce himdestruction-a mass of really genuine self, even under the malignant influence and authentic facts, illustrative both of one of his worst West India night. of the actual condition of our own ne- mares, could possibly dream of finding in groes now, and of the effects of which

any portion of the western world. The rash revolutionary experiments have cultivators of the soil in Hayti, we unactually been productive among the derstand, are not, like our slaves or our negro population, and upon the com- soldiers and sailors, exposed to the hormercial prosperity of the great Island rors of the cat-oʻ-nine-tails. No, they of St Domingo. It was only the are free--and therefore they are only saculpable state of ignorance (for we bred or shot when they fail to bring the must call it so) in which we had expected quantity of produce into the been suffered to remain by those who quondam royal, but now presidential, ought to have laboured in furnishing exchequer. Mr Wilberforce's allusion, us with knowledge,-it was this alone indeed, to the present state of St Dothat put in the power of the Clark- mingo, is most unfortunate for his cause; sons, Wilberforces, and other well particularly with respect to the religious meaning dupes of Brougham and the improvement likely to be the result of East Indian free-traders, to excite

suddenly manumitting any large body of

slaves. In that ill-fated island, our misthat measure of public feeling, of which we all witnessed the unhappy effects

sionaries, reasoning possibly with Mr

Wilberforce, calculated no doubt on a during the last session of Parliament.

rich harvest of grace among negroes, Happily, there is no need for la

now no longer restrained by the chains menting what is past and irrevocable

of bondage, from the means of religious -happily, no such excuse remains

instruction. Let the mission speak for now. The English planters have vin

itself. While, in nearly every other part dicated themselves with a modesty of the West Indies, the missionaries boast that adorns their firmness and they of increasing success and brightening have shewn us, in their genuine views prospects, the modern St Domingo stands of Hayti, something very different in- alone impregnable to the real truths of deed from the paradisaical creations of Christianity. On the 15th of January, Mr Clarkson's Muse.

1821, the Rev. Mr Evariste, the missionInto this wide field we cannot at ary sent thither, writes thus:- Every present enter. We shall merely make door is shut against us, and we are detwo short extracts from two distinct prived in every possible way of liberty to works that have just appeared, in refer- act either according to the Gospel or our ence to the vaunted Utopia of revo- own conscience, or the light of truth.' lutionized St Domingo, — And first, Again, ' This city is a burden to me, on what says

" the Official Letter from account of the fearful and horrible things the Bahamas ?”

which I see ; particularly the habitual

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