Open main menu



A
DISSUASION
FROM THE
Slave Trade..




A
DISSUASION
TO
GREAT-BRITAIN
AND
THE COLONIES,
FROM THE
SLAVE TRADE TO AFRICA.
SHEWING,
The Contradiction this Trade bears, both to Laws divine and provincial; the Disadvantages arising from it, and Advantages from abolishing it, both to Europe and Africa, particularly to Britain and the Plantations.
ALSO SHEWING,
How to put this Trade to Africa on a just and lawful Footing.


By James Swan,
A Native of Great-Britain, and Friend to the Welfare of this Continent.



BOSTON: NE.
Printed by E. Russell, near the New Intelligence-Office and Auction-room, and next the Cornfield, Union-street.




THE DEDICATION.


To all Friends to LIBERTY.

Fellow Subjects,

It is to you I dedicate this Treatise, and beg your protection of the same, hoping it will meet with a kind reception.

The approbation men of character and sense have given the following Work, has made me venture it into your hands: And I hope in the perusal you will keep in view the Author, I am certain you cannot then fail of making great allowances. I am North-Briton! And when you know that, it alone may be judged by some, sufficient to brand me with the hateful name of Tory, and thereby condemn this Dissuasion. But let me inform you (for there is no general rule without an exception) that I am a most sincere well-wisher to the common cause of Liberty, both personal and constitutional; then you will, give me a place in the list of your staunch Friends, and accept of this Attempt, as intended to be a mean of abolishing one great part of Slavery here.

If there is any merit in endeavouring to set free from Bondage our fellow creatures, and in trying to promote the good and welfare of any nation, province, country, or individual, surely I may claim it; for my sincere endeavour is to these purposes: And if I should happen to miss my aim, I shall sit down satisfied with the merit of a good intent.

Readers, I have but one favour to ask of you, which is, to peruse this Performance with an open unbiassed mind; overlooking any defects you may observe in these sheets, knowing they are the hasty and undigested thoughts of the Author, put together with more good intent than ability; after this you may either reject or practise, according to your own consciences, and the light of this Treatise, if there is any to be found in it. Enslaving your fellow men, and using and massacring them as they do in the West-Indies and Southern Provinces, is a matter of too great importance to be only slightly thought of. And as I hope you have the humanity of Britons, and that love of Liberty, with which every true Englishman is, or ought to be possessed of, you will not countenance it, but declare yourselves as I do, well-wishers of the British Empire, and consequently enemies to Slavery.

Accept then, Friends and Brethren in one common cause, this small token of that love and veneration which I bear to freedom, (for no country can be called free where there is one Slave) and give me leave to subscribe myself,

Your Friend and humble Servant,
James Swan.





THE
PREFACE.



I had not well arrived in America, when casting my eyes on so many Black Slaves, I immediately found a warm inclination arise in my breast, to do my endeavours for relieving them by publishing to the world my sentiments upon their state.

Scarce had I time to draw a breath of this air, before I immediately applied myself to enquire into the state of this Slavery, and the constitution upon which it is founded, and having met with proper preliminaries by way of foundation for a small Treatise, I set myself to work in forming, and in short finished this Pamphlet.

From the consideration of the smallness of this production, and my inability to treat the subject properly, I was nigh resolving not to prefix my name hereto: But thinking again, some opposite party might take hold of that, I thought it most proper to shew my common signature, knowing the cause I defend is good and well founded.

Some will no doubt be surprised that I have wrote this Dissuasion after the form of a Sermon: It is easily accounted for. A Sermon being a discourse of instruction pronounced by a Divine for the edification of the people. I am no Divine nor ever expect to be; but I hope that is no reason why these sheets should not be of publick benefit, as my design was for that end; I chose to write it in this form, as being the truest way to display with perspicuity and plainness the unlawfulness, &c. of the Slave Trade, for which purpose I have attempted it in different heads and branches, in some of which are contained many pertinent remarks or observations on this inhuman Commerce; and I thought further, it was the easiest method for myself, and plainest for my Readers; it being intended for the weakest and highest capacities.

It may be objected by some, that the writings on this subject are too numerous already. I answer, that however many there may be extant, (although I could find but very few) yet there are none so full as not to admit of amendments or improvements: If so, and that these may not altogether be of inconsiderable use to mankind, why may not I make them? and why may they not be transmitted to mankind?

A treatise of this kind may not be unnecessary, notwithstanding many Books, Pamphlets, and Letters have been published on the subject.

But however ineffectual this Treatise may prove hereafter among men, this I comfort myself with, it is as full, considering the largeness, as any upon the subject which I have seen; and there are few arguments that possibly could be advanced, or citations drawn from Scripture concerning man-selling, &c. that have escaped, in trying to wean men from this base and inhuman trade. And in fine, if this Work meets with encouragement equal to the Author's care and endeavours to make it the most useful of the kind, by having the desired effect he shall esteem himself sufficiently rewarded.

With regard to the Dissuasion, I leave the Reader to judge, after having read it over cooly and impartially, whether it ought to be approved or disapproved; if the former, it will no doubt meet with his protection in publick. But I have something to ask, which I beg may not be refused, and that is, if you have not a fund of patience laid up in store, before you begin to peruse it, you are requested to lay it aside, until you have.

There is one small part of it taken from Postlethwayt's Dictionary of Commerce. Another part from A. Benezett's Caution to Great-Britain and her Colonies, both which Authors I am very glad were born before me, they having assisted me so far. And with regard to the remaining part, I can tell where it came from.

As it is necessary in order to bring about a change in any, particularly a publick affair, to touch the minds of the people with a just and true sense of the unlawfulness of the thing wanted to be removed, that to the end they may be unanimous in the abolishment thereof; this Dissuasion I am convinced you will find upon perusal, is calculated for that purpose, and am very sensible, that it alone never can strike the great blow without the legislative force added to it.

I will detain you no longer; indeed I have almost run into an Introduction amidst this Preface: But it could not well be otherwise, the connexion between them was so great, and had I separated them, I should have incurred your displeasure, by increasing the Prolegomenas to a degree larger than the Dissuasion itself.

J. S.




A
DISSUASION, &c.


The subject of which these few sheets treat, would have been one of the last I should have ventured upon, had not the delusion of the men who are concerned in enslaving the people called Negroes appeared so glaring, and the contradiction that the Slave Trade bears to Christianity, prompted me to it.

I shall be as cool and impartial in treating of this matter, as any British subject or Christian can: But why do I say cool? It is impossible I should speak cooly of such base, unchristian, and inhuman practices, in a land of Liberty and Christianity: However, in case any thing should be mentioned in the sequel that may give unintended offence to any person, I hope the tender feelings for these distressed Captives, with which I am possessed, and the warmth that is in my breast, to have this Trade abolished, will be sufficient excuse.

I propose dividing the following Treatise into these different heads.

I. Shew, that this custom of making Slaves of our fellow-men, is expressly against the revealed laws of God.

II. That it is likewise against the law of nature, and the Charter of this Province.

III. The disadvantages arising from this base Trade.

IV. The advantages arising from abolishing it. And,

V. Conclude with a short admonition to those concerned, and a method to put the Trade to Africa on a just and lawful footing.

The first-head was, That the custom of making Slaves of our fellow creatures, is expressly against the revealed laws of GOD. And in treating of this part, I shall divide it into the following branches. 1st. By the laws of GOD, He that stealeth and selleth a man, shall be put to death. 2d. He in whose hands he shall be found, shall be put to death, by the same laws. 3d. He that buyeth a Servant and serveth him six years, shall set him free the seventh, and furnish him liberally with what he hath. And 4th. If thy Brother, that is, your fellow-creature, be sold unto thee, thou shall not compel him to serve as a Bond-man; but as an hired Servant.

The first branch under this head is, He that stealeth and selleth a man, shall be put to death. This is one of the most express laws of Moses, as you may see in Exod. xxi. 16, two first, and last clauses of the verse, there mentioned in the most peremptory words; And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, shall surely be put to death. It certainly can be looked upon in no other light in the Merchants and Ship-masters who are in this Trade to Africa, than stealing of men, being accessary to, and aiding in inciting them to war one with another, and for this purpose, supplying them with prodigious quantities of arms and ammunition, whereby they are hurried into confusion, bloodshed, and all the extremities of temporal misery, which must consequently beget in their minds such a general detestation and scorn of the Christian name, as may deeply affect, if not wholly preclude, their belief of the great truths of our holy religion. Thus an insatiable desire of gain prevails with their Kings, who, instead of being protectors of their people, for this alluring bait laid before them, by the European and American Factors, or Ship-masters, invade the Liberties of these unhappy people, and occasion their opression. These Kings, whenever they want goods send to the Ship-masters, acquainting them they have Negroes, and sometimes the Factors and Ship-masters send to acquaint them, that they have a quantity of goods, and want Slaves for the same. These Chiefs, whether they have Slaves then or not, agree, and immediately go to war with their neighbours, and in procuring three or four hundred prisoners, burn five or six towns, as appears by the following extract from a Surgeon's Journal in a Liverpool vessel.

Sestro, December 29, 1724.

No trade to-day, though many Traders came on board; they inform us, that the people are gone to war within land, and will bring prisoners enough in two or three days; in hopes of which we stay.

30th. No trade yet; but our Traders came on board to-day and informed us the people had burnt four towns, so that to-morrow we expect Slaves off.

31st. Fair weather, but no trade yet; we see each night towns burning; but we hear the Sestro men are many of them killed by the inland Negroes, so that we fear this war will be unsuccessful.

The 2d of January. Last night we saw a prodigious fire break out about eleven o'clock, and this morning saw the town of Sestro burnt down to the ground, (it contained some hundred houses) so that we find their enemies are too hard for them at present; consequently our trade spoiled here, so that about seven o'clock we weighed anchor, as did also the three other vessels, to proceed lower down.

Here follows another relation taken from an original Journal of a Surgeon who sailed out of New-York, 'Being on the Coast of Guinea at a place called Basalia, the Commander of the vessel, according to custom, sent a person on shore, with a present to the King, acquainting him with his arrival, and informing him they wanted a cargo of Slaves. The King promised to furnish them, and in order to do it, set out to war against his enemies; designing also to surprise some town, and take all the people prisoners: Some time after, the King sent them word, he had not yet met with the desired success, having been twice repulsed in attempting to break up two towns; but that he still hoped to procure a number of Slaves for them, and in this design persisted, until he met his enemies in the field, where a battle was fought, which lasted three days, during which time, the engagement was so bloody that four thousand five hundred men were slain on the spot. Think (says he) what a pitiful sight it was to see the Widows weeping over their lost Husbands, Orphans deploring the loss of their Fathers, &c.' Oh! shocking spectacles! to see four or five towns burnt, and four thousand five hundred people killed, for the sake of taking three or four hundred, and you! you! Merchants, Ship-masters and Factors the cause of it all! Think you ever to get the crime of spilling so much blood repented of?

It is a known custom among the Factors who reside in Africa, and the Ship-masters who trade there, to corrupt many Negroes on the sea coast, who stop at no act of cruelty for gain. They make it a practice, to steal abundance of little Blacks of both sexes, when found on the roads, or in the fields, where their Parents keep them all day to watch the corn, &c. Can it be denied that the Africans are stolen after so many proofs of it, and if it is not direct stealth in the Ship-masters, &c. yet it is the same in effect; for if they did not go there and entice the Chiefs with money or goods, there would be no wars, as is the case at present; and there would be none stolen if the stealers were not bribed by the Factors or Ship-masters; and not only those that are made Slaves of, there would still be ten thousand others who are killed in the broils, that would be saved, were they to discontinue this base Trade.

Thus far I have shewn that they are stolen. They may say they pay for them. I answer, they give money or goods by way of price to some of the Princes and Negroes, who, for the sake of lucre, take them prisoners by war or stealth, so that what money they give these scoundrels, (forgive me the expression; for, what name can a man expect who would take his Father or Brother and sell them for gain?) who take them in these ways cannot be looked upon as a price paid in lieu, for the Negroes themselves never condescend to be mancipated, as they get none of the money that is pretendedly given for them. They at length arrive at the port, the Ship-master sell them at a most exorbitant profit, and in a few voyages he makes what he calls his fortune; this is all he aimed at and wished for; and what follows, secures his eternal destruction, unless timely repented of: For the truth of this, I could mention very striking instances of men, who I see almost every day; but do not chuse mentioning names, for fear of seeing them contemned and despised by every well thinking person.

I need add no more on this branch, it being clear that they are stolen in every sense it can be taken; they, the Ship-masters, &c. being the sole cause of the many wars and broils that are amongst the Negro Princes and Chiefs, consequently the cause of these poor creatures being taken and made Slaves of, and of the many thousands that are killed in the wars: Besides, it is not, nor can be denied, that they sell them, so that they who practise this branch of Man-stealing and selling can expect nothing but the penalties of GOD's laws, which he, in his own time, will inflict, since man! indolent man! will not punish them with death, as warranted sufficiently by the above cited passage in holy writ.

Before I leave this branch it may not he improper to give my Readers a short sketch of the barbarous usage these unhappy people meet with from the Ship-masters in their passage from Africa. After they have got them on board shackled two and two together, they keep them confined below all the passage, never permitting more than two on deck at a time to take one breath of fresh air, the most common blessing we enjoy, conscious that they are doing wrong to these people, and not certain but GOD might raise them against the Ship-master and his crew, if they had the least opportunity to stir up an insurrection in the ship, to retrieve their Liberty which they had in their own country, and which then ought to enjoy by the laws of GOD, of Britain, and the Plantations.

For the Reader's true satisfaction as to this inhuman and unchristian usage, which could be expected of no other than Barbarians, I shall here narrate some accounts which have been given by men concerned ni the Slave Trade.

First, the following case is mentioned in Astley's Collection of Voyages, by John Atkins, Surgeon on board Admiral Ogle's squadron, 'Of one Harding, Master of a vessel, in which several of the Men-slaves and a Woman-slave had attempted to rise in order to recover their Liberty; some of whom the Master of his own authority sentenced to cruel deaths, making them first eat the hearts and liver of one of those he killed. The woman he hoisted by the thumbs, whiped, and slashed with knives before other Slaves, until she died.' Oh unparralelled cruelty!

Next is an account given by a Ship-master who brought a Cargo of Slaves to Barbadoes, upon an enquiry what had been the success of the voyage, he answered, 'That he had found it a difficult matter to set the Negroes a fighting with each other in order to procure the number he wanted.' This shews, Reader, what methods they practise to obtain these Slaves, by setting them a fighting with each other. 'But when he had obtained his end, having filled his vessel with Slaves, a new difficulty arose from their refusal to take food: Those desperate creatures chusing rather to die with hunger than to be carried from their native country.'Upon a further enquiry how he got them to forego this desperate resolution, he answered, 'That he obliged all the Negroes to come on deck, where they persisting in their resolution of not taking food, he caused his sailors to lay hold on one of the most obstinate, who chopped the poor creature into small pieces, forcing some of the others to eat a part of the mangled body; swearing to the survivors, that he would use them all one after the other in the same manner if they did not consent to eat.' This horrid execution he applauded as a good act, it having had the desired effect in causing them to take food.

"As detestable and shocking as these usages to the poor Negroes may appear to such whose hearts are not yet hardened by the practise of that cruelty which the love of wealth by degrees introduceth into the human mind, it will not be strange to those who have been concerned or employed in the Trade."

The second branch was, If he be found in his hands, he surely shall be put to death. This is the third and fourth clause of the before cited verse in Exod. If he be found in his hands. This is to be understood in two senses, either found in the Ship-master's hands who stole him, or bought, as he say, or in the per­son's hands who purchases him. As to the first of these senses in which this passage may be taken, if the laws of GOD, yea, even of man, were to be put into execution, he, the stealer, or even the buyer, would be punished with death, for it is clear as to Man-stealing, that it deserves death, by the above passage of Scripture, and it is no less with regard to buying: But why do I say buying? For no money can be equal to the worth of a man: Buying, I admit that word because Ship-masters and others in this Trade, say, for their justification that they purchased the Negroes, but as there are no laws, either of GOD or man, for the buying and stealing of Africans, I am inclined to think it cannot be suppo­sed, but they justly deserve death. And in the second sense, the man who buys the Africans or Negroes is full as culpable as the stealer, and liable to the same punishment, for Scripture does not point out particularly either of them, but only just, If he be found in his hands, that is, in any man's hands, so that it can be proved he stole or bought him, he surely shall be put to death.

The third part was, He that buyeth a Servant and serveth him six years, shall set him free the seventh, and furnish him liberally with what he hath. The first part of this branch is proved in three different texts, viz. Exod. xxi. 2. Deut. xv. 12. and Jer. xxxiv. 14. In all which parts it is expressly mentioned, That if an Hebrew Servant be sold unto thee, or if you buy him he shall serve thee six years, and the seventh, thou shall let him go free from thee, that is, he shall pay nothing for his Liberty.

Some persons for argument sake may object to this, saying, these people are not Hebrews, as mentioned in these texts of Scripture, but Heathens. This may be difficult enough to determine. However, admit they are Heathens, (although it is well known they are not) it must be owned by those who know them, that the natives of Africa have exalted notions of a Deity. It is an odd method these Traders take to civilize and teach them the Christian religion, by importing one hundred thousand of them yearly into Virginia and other Southern Provinces, together with the West-Indi islands, where they are kept in greater darkness than before, as they are not allowed to worship GOD on the Sabbath; but are employed in worldly business on that day, which is a scandal to the Rulers of the British Colonies and Islands where such things are practised. It is subversive of the Christian religion not to allow those ignorant people the benefit of it, who make up more than two thirds of the inhabitants of the before mentioned places. It is expressly against the laws of GOD; for he gave Paul and other Apostles commission to go and preach the gospel to every nation, kindred, and tongue; but instead of that, where the gospel is preached throughout the British Colonies, and where these people might expect to receive the light of it; I say, instead of that, they are kept from divine worship on Sundays, and never once in their lifetime admitted to church, but obliged to cultivate their small piece of ground allowed them by their Masters.

The last part of the verse runs thus, And shall furnish him liberally with what he hath. That is, when the Servant hath served thee six years, as expressed in Exod. xxi. 2, and Deut. xv. 12. Then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you; and in ver. 13. Thou shall not let him go away empty. Ver. 14. Thou shall furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy wine press; of that wherewith the LORD thy GOD hath blessed thee, thou shalt, give him. This is in token that thou dost acknowledge the benefit that thou hast received by his labours. Marg. Bible.

It is still further required to set your Servants or Bond-men free at the above appointed time, by the 15th verse of the same chap. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a Bond-man in the land of Egygt, and the LORD thy GOD redeemed thee; therefore I command thee this thing to day. I command thee. You are ordered, yea, commanded to do this thing. What thing? To set free your Bond-servants after six years service. You are commanded to do it to day, viz. At the expiration of six years, for, says GOD, by the voice of his Servant, I command thee this thing to day.

{{sc|There} is a blessing promised to those who do this thing in ver. 18 of the above chap. After enjoining that it may not seem hard unto you in sending away this Servant, as he hath been worth a double hired one, in serving thee six years, he says, and the LORD thy GOD shall bless thee in all that thou doest. Sweet encouragement for poor sinful souls! To be blessed in every thing that they do. What man will forfeit this great blessing for the sake of the service of one, two, or more Servants for life? Will he allow himself to be cursed by GOD in every thing that he doeth for the small gain he can make by their services? This charming promise of a blessing in all that thou doest, and the dreadful events that may take place in contradicting the command of GOD, I hope will make such impressions upon the minds of men, that they will not bind Servant to serve above six years; but will set him at liberty in the seventh year, and give him liberally of what the LORD hath blessed them with, as required in the above cited text. If you think you have not enough of this, pass along to

The fourth and last section on this head, If thy Brother be sold unto thee, thou shall not compel him to serve as a Bond-man; but as an hired Servant. This is proved by Lev. xxv. 39, 40. where it is said, If thy This is expressly against making Slaves of any of our poor Brethren, or compeling them to serve as Bond-servants. If thy Brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, are the words of the verse; the poor Africans who fall into the hands of the Menwolves that prowl on their coasts, are obliged to serve their lifetime, and their children after them: This is being Bond-men with a witness, and as we have great reason to believe they are poor enough when they steal them, they are kept so forever after, not having means to make a penny themselves. The Africans will be understood, if not primarily intended, to be the people mentioned in this text! It is said, Thy Brother who dwelleth by thee: When they are in Africa it is certain they are at a great distance; but when they come to America or the West-Indies they then dwell by us; therefore I think, from the above citations, no person can buy these people, and oblige them and their children to serve as Slaves, without incuring the displeasure of GOD and his punishments for disobeying his just commands.

It may be added, as in v. 42d of the same chap. For they are my servants, which I brought Eygpt; they shall not be sold as Bond-men. The last part of this verse is expressly against selling them as Bond-men. Should it be objected, that the Africans were not brought forth out of the land of Egypt, it would not affect the controversy. I would sincerely advise every man who is in this abominable Trade not to persist in it, seeing the many threats and commands against him in GOD's laws, and the blessings that are promised if he does not.

The IId General Head proposed, is, That this practise of making Slaves of our Brethren is likewise against the law of nature, and the Charter of this Province. The first part of this head, may be easily proved by the following texts of Scripture; Matt. vii. 12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. Luke vi. 31. And as you would that men should do to you, do ye so to them likewise. Who is that proud one that will not receive these instructions? And who is that man that will do unto any person, either white or black, Christian or Savage, contrary to what he would that he should do to him? This would be acting contrary to reason and common sense. Would any person consent to have himself torn from his friends and native country, and be made a Slave for life, and to have his dear, dear little children continue in the same condition from one generation to another? No; surely no person would agree to that. Well then, it certainly must be contrary to the laws of nature, christianity, and subversive of the texts just quoted, which were wrote for our direction and guidance in this world. It is likewise certain, that those who carry on this Trade, do not unto men as they would men should do to them; for if these poor people which they, the Ship-masters take from their own Country and then sell for Slaves, were doing to them as they are done to, they would (were it in their power, which seldom is the case, the owners being conscious of the wrong they are doing, and dreading what naturally would follow) revenge the injury they receive in being made Slaves, and resume that Liberty again, which was wrongful-taken from them; I say, they would often revenge the injury offered them by killing the Captain of the ship who had taken them to be mancipated for life, and would serve in the same manner the Owners of the vessel if they could get them, who are no better than the Masters, in putting them into such employ. Who could find fault with them? No person, They were only retrieving the most common blessing we enjoy, Liberty, and instead of being punished, the law would protect them in so noble an action. But,

Readers, before I leave this, let me beg you to "bring the matter home to yourselves, and think whether any condition in life can be more completely miserable than that of those distressed Captives. On reflecting, that each of them had some tender attachments which were broke by the cruel separation! Some Parent or Wife who had not an opportunity of mingling tears in a parting embrace! Perhaps some Infant or aged Parent whom his labour was to feed, and vigilance protect! and himself under the dreadful apprehensions of perpetual Slavery."

To inforce this part of the head, allow me, Reader, to intrude a little upon your time, by giving you a short account of the barbarous usage these poor Negroes meet with from their Masters in the West-Indies and Southern Provinces of North-America; on reading of which, you will not he long in concluding, that they do not in this case observe the golden rule.

The crimes attending the Slave Trade are greatly aggravated by the extreme cruel usage the Negroes meet with in the Plantations, as well with regard to food and cloathing as the hard and unreasonable labour that is exacted from them, and what cannot be forgot, the severe chastisements they frequently suffer, which is bounded by the wrath and pleasure of their hard task-masters. 1st. As to their food. In Barbadoes, &c. [1] "three quarts of corn and three herrings are a weeks allowance for a working Slave; and it is mentioned in the System of Geography, that in Jamaica the Owners of the Negro Slaves set aside for each, a piece of ground, and allow them Sundays to cultivate it, the produce of which with a few salt herrings or other salt fish is all that is allowed for their support. But need I go so far as Jamaica to prove this? No. In Virginia they do the same. 2d. As to their cloathing. In the Islands, the allowance for a Slave's cloathing is seldom more than six yards of oznabrigs a year, and in the Southern Colonies, where the piercing westerly winds are long and sensibly felt, these poor Africans suffer much for the want of sufficient cloathing; indeed, shocking to relate! some of them are obliged to work most of the night in boiling-houses, notwithstanding the hard days work they have performed. Their Owners make great gain by their Slave's labour. They lay heavy burdens on them, and yet feed and cloath them very sparingly, and some scarcely at all; so that it cannot be wondered that these poor creatures are obliged to shift for their living as they do, which occasions many of them being killed in stealing potatoes or other food to satisfy hunger. If they are detected in taking any thing from the plantation they belong to, which they have so hardly laboured for, they are cruely whiped." Lastly. With respect to the beating which these poor people meet with in the West-Indies. For the least fault they whip them most unmercifully, viz. for not being at work in half an hour after the usual notice; speaking a word which the Overseer may think saucy; not shewing respect enough to him; not doing with agility some hard piece of work ordered them; and any thing which the Overseer may take exception at. They beat them with thick clubs, and you may see their bodies all whaled in a terrible manner.

Mr. George Whitefield writes in a letter to the Planters in Virginia, Carolina, &c. 'The task-masters, by their inhuman usage and unrelenting scourges have ploughed their backs and made long furrows, and at length brought them even to death.' This is the fate which great numbers in the islands and Southern Provinces meet with. When speaking of their cloathing and food, he adds, 'When passing along, I have viewed your plantations cleared and cultivated, many spacious houses built, and the Owners of them faring sumptuously every day. My blood has frequently run cold within me to consider how many of your Slaves had neither convenient food to eat or proper raiment to put on, notwithstanding many of the comforts you enjoy were solely owing to their indefatigable labours.' In Virginia, &c. in case a Negro gives the slightest affront to a white person. He goes to the negroes Master and demands satisfaction, the Master delivers him to the white person to take what satisfaction he pleases; who whips him, strikes him with clubs, and, as is often done, cuts off his ears, and mark him by cuting his face, or other parts of his body. What more could be done to a brute beast, who was brought up and designed for the yoke? Oh! how long will you continue in this delusion and horrid abuse of the principal workmanship of GOD. It is astonishing how a people who so much value themselves upon their Freedom can continue in the practice of so much oppression. Will not the groans of this afflicted and miserable people reach Heaven! And when the cup of inequity is filled, the unavoidable tendency must be the pouring sorth of GOD's judgments upon their oppressors. But alas! is it not too plain that this cruelty has already been the object of divine anger? For what greater judgment can befal any person than to become a prey to that obduracy of heart, that neglectfulness of GOD, and a callousness to every religious impression?

I could say a great deal more concerning the unparralleled cruelty that these Negroes meet with: But I apprehend more has been said already than will be believed, although it is far from coming up to the real truth; for it is impossible my pen can represent in proper colours the hard usage they meet with. The sympathizing Reader must feel the rest, for I can assist him no farther. I believe there are but few that have not heard or read of the cruel treatment of those unhappy mortals. Indeed it is almost incredible that such cruelty should be practised in any of the British dominions.

I could have quoted a dozen Authors, setting forth the inhuman punishments inflicted upon the Africans; but that would have swelled my page. I hope this short, but true narrative, for great part of which I am much obliged to Mr. Benezet, will answer the same end of raising in every breast an utter detestation and abhorrence of the horrid customs and savage usage in the Islands and Colonies abovementioned, and I make no doubt but every one will clearly see, they do not to these Negroes as they would that they should do to them.

I think it is time to leave this part and go to the last, viz. That this base custom is likewise against the Charter of this Province; as is clearly and most simply demonstrated by a clause in said Charter, granted by King William and Queen Mary, dated at Westminster, the 7th of October, in the third year of their reign, wherein, inter alia, it is established and ordained, That all and every of the Subjects of Us, our Heirs, and Successors, which shall go to and inhabit within Our said Province and territory, and every of their Children which shall happen to be born there, or on the seas in going thither, or returning from thence, shall have and enjoy all Liberties and immunities of FREE and natural Subjects within the dominions of Us, Our Heirs, and Successors, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever, as if they and every of them were born within our realm of England. I need say but little as to this branch of the head further than to observe, that the clause of the Charter just cited, proves clearly, and which cannot be further disputed, that all and every of the Subjects, the Inhabitants of New-England, which shall come to and inhabit withn the Province and territory of the same, and every of their Children which shall happen to be born there, shall have and enjoy all the Liberties, &c. of FREE and natural Subjects of the realm of England. Indeed I am sorry to mention that this Charter should have been so long subverted and remained unobserved by the Publick in so interesting a point, when by timely observance it might have saved many thousands from Slavery that are now dead and mouldered into dust. I hope this easy found light will not be too late discovered to direct and save the present Slaves from their Bondage, which many! too many! groan under: So that I expect the inhabitants of the American Provinces will not give any person an opportunity of charging them with that infamous character of making or keeping any man or woman Slaves, when they are complaining daily that their Liberties are wrested from them, and little think how they deprive these poor Black People of their Freedom, when there is as little reason for it as there is for making Slaves of British Subjects. The above cited clause in the Charter, says, Those born in or shall come to and dwell within the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay are FREE; from which I am led to think, and which every person must see, will extend to Black as well as White. But, Reader, excuse me, whoever you are, that may take offence at my construing this clause of the Charter in the manner I have done, it is only my opinion, and every one is at liberty to enjoy his own sentiments upon it as will as I; therefore I flatter myself of hearing soon, that means will be taken by the Legislature of most, if not all the Provinces of North-America, and the West-India Islands, totally prohibiting the importation of Negroes into the British Plantations; and setting at Liberty with universal consent, every Negro throughout the whole, at least in North-America, which will be an honour to human nature, to say that this great and this only remaining hinderance to the absolute freedom as well as legality of the English trade is now happily and gloriously abolished; and then we may all cry with shouts of joy! which few more countries in the four quarters of the globe can, That complete FREEDOM both in people and trade is allowed throughout the British Islands and Plantations in America and the West-Indies!

The IIId General Head proposed was, To shew the disadvantages arising from this base Trade. This head I propose to consider seprately, and shall 1st. Shew the disadvantages to Africa in taking so many of its natives away yearly. 2d. Treat of the hurt and prejudice of this Trade with Europe. 3d. Shew the disadvantages to the British Plantations in America, particularly to the West-Indies, in carrying Black People thither.

The first part of this head in, To shew the disadvantages to Africa in taking so many of its natives yearly. Before I enter upon this branch it may not be improper to mention a few observations which Mr. Postlethwayt makes upon the great qualities which this country abound with. "Its situation for commerce is certainly beyond any of the other quarters of the world, for it stands in the center between the other three, and has thereby a much nearer communication with Europe, Asia, and America, than any other quarter has with the rest. It is wonderfully accommodated for commerce by the interposion of islands, and more particularly by the assistance of the trade winds, which render the navigation safe, easy, and constant. It is furnished with the greatest and most convenient navigable rivers, and perhaps with as many of them as any other of the chief parts of the world: Such are the Nile, Nubia, Niger, Natal, which are rivers of the first magnitude; besides these there are innumerable others, though not equal to the former, are yet very excellent streams, situated for navigation and commerce, and which by their noble courses penetrate far inland; if the Europeans, &c. would cultivate a human and Christian like commerce with the Africans, they might through these rivers become the medium of an endless beneficial commerce. The country is populous beyond credibility, the soil fruitful, the season for the greatest part mild and clement, and the air salubrious." I must stop in the midst of this agreeable description, being afraid of leading myself into an undue length in this narrative of the beautious perfection of that rich and fruitful part of the world.

I shall now consider the disadvantages to Africa in taking so many of its natives away yearly. But it needless to speak much on this head, as most of my Readers will perceive the prejudices to Africa in thus draining it of the inhabitants yearly in the manner Britain and the Plantations do. I shall mention a few of them. 1st. There can be no loss to any country (particularly to one like Africa that is yet mostly to cultivate) equal to that of depopulating it. 2d. It prevents the inland country, where the incessant broils are carried on, from defending themselves against the attacks and encroachments made on their properties by the Kings and Chiefs, whereby many thousands of their subjects being taken prisoners, are sold to the Coasters, they being nourished and caressed by the Europeans, particularly by Britain and the Colonies, in doing so, for the sake of the Slave Trade to America, and the West-Indies; and further, in consequence of this depriving them of defending themselves against these base assaults, it prevents them entirely from cultivating and manuring that fruitful and rich country, to the degree it is capable of. 3d. It ever obstructs the civilizing of those people, and consequently of propagating amongst them the Christian religion, and extending the Trade into the bowels of Africa, which by contrary means might be easily practicable. 4th. That whilst the slaving Trade of those people, continue to be the great object of the powers that trade there it is to be feared it will ever, as it does at present spirit up wars and hostilities amongst the Negro Princes and Chiefs, for the sake of making captives of each other for sale. And 5th. The greatest disadvantage to Africa, by thus draining it of the inhabitants is, that it prevents them from cultivating and peopling that great fertile country, of introducing European arts and sciences amongst them, and of carrying on a friendly, civil, and christian Commerce with them into the heart of their region.

The second branch alluding to the third head was, to treat of the prejudice to Africa, and its trade with Europe. It is an absolute fact, that these people are incessently at war with their neighbouring Princes so that they cannot get their business looked into or followed, and consequently a great hinderance to the manufacturing such quantities of their country's produce of every kind, to send to Europe and America, &c. as they might do, were this Slave Trade abolished, and the Rulers in amity, friendship, and concord, one with another.

It is further a hurt to the African trade with Europe, for the Slave Trade has so gained upon the minds of those men that traffick to Africa, that they never once think of the other commodities, at least in such quantities as Europe might consume were the attention necessary paid to it by making this the only object of the traders notice, I believe it would turn out much more profitable to keep wholly to the produce of this country, viz. gums, ivory, gold and silver dust, &c. and to resign that base unchristian Trade of Man-selling.

Lastly, on this head, To shew the disadvantages to the British Plantations in America, &c. in bringing Black people into them. This will be made very easily appear when you consider, that these numerous Black People, which are yearly brought into the southern-most parts of North-America and the West-Indies were very poor at that time, not having a penny to command, and never so much as once in their lifetime had it in their power to make one half that sum for themselves, so that the different Provinces in the Continent, and the Islands in the West-Indies are filled with these necessitous Black People, and must be put upon the townships to which they belong, in case this enslaving them be ever abolished, which I flatter myself, and I hope not vainly, will be done in time, and that with effect. Further, why do they fill their Plantations with Black People, so unnatural to the Whites, the Proprietors of the different Colonies, when it seems no way difficult to obtain White People to serve free in their stead? Europe in general affords numbers of poor and distressed objects for that purpose, find if these were not overworked, as the Negroes generally are, they would make as good Servants for the American and West-India Plantations as the Blacks do. And if the Europeans were upon a level with regard to the price of labour, in their Colonies, I cannot but think they would reap great advantage in laying aside the Slave Trade, and cultivate a friendly and civilized Commerce with the Africans. Until this is done it does not seem possible that the inland trade of that country should ever be extended to the degree it is capable of; for while the spirit of Butchery and making Slaves of each other, is promoted by the Europeans, Americans, &c. amongst those people, they will never be able to travel with safety into the heart of the country, or to cement such commercial friendship and alliance with them, as will actually introduce our arts and manufactures.

The IVth General Head was, To shew the advantages arising from abolishing this base custom. This Head I propose dividing into two parts, 1st. The advantages to Africa, and 2d. The advantages to Europe particularly to Britain and the Plantations in America and the West-Indies.

First to Africa. The advantages that would arise to it, in abolishing this base and unchristian-like Commerce are numerous, some of which may be comprehended under the following. 1st. The abolishing this Trade may be a means of peopling this country, and of cultivating it in the same manner with any other country in Europe or Asia, so as to render it capable of bearing in as great abundance as the East-Indies, spices of equal quality to those of Banda, Ternate, and Amboyna; I say, the like spices might be produced on the rich and fruitful shores of Melinda on the east side, or of the slave coast on the west side of Africa, and that as easy and to as great advantage, as where they are now raised, the latitude being the same, and soil not unlike; and, in short, cinnamon and all others, the production of East and West-Indies, by proper management might be raised here as well as in those parts. 2d. It would introduce the Christian religion among them, which is a shame to these nations who pretend to hold fast the principles of Christianity, to keep so long hid, and of consequence, be a means of bringing among them the more civilized arts and sciences. 3d. It will recommend the European dress, and introduce their customs among the natives, and of course civilize them like other Christian nations. Lastly. It will be a means of bringing this country to as great perfection in trade, riches, and grandeur, as any in Europe, it being a much more fertile and plentious soil for many valuable productions.

Much more could I say upon the numerous advantages arising to this excellent country: But let what has been said suffice, I leave the rest to the Reader's own feeling, if he has any for this poor distressed Africa which groans under a heavy load of oppression.

The next thing in course is, the advantages that would arise to Europe in thus carrying on a Christian-like Commerce with Africa. This trade even in its present state, excluding that of the Slaves, is as advantageous as any that is now followed; and what will it be when a friendly traffick is carried on? It is as it were all profit, the first cost being some things of European, particularly of British manufactures, and others generally purchased with them; for which there is in return, gold, elephant's-teeth, wax, gums, cotton-wool, divers dying-woods, and Slaves: But this last piece of Commerce, viz. Man-slaving, I am far from making a part of the British trade, and I dare say every humane person will be likeminded. These are articles which the country abound in, and would be still cheaper to an immense degree, were the inland parts settled with their own people; but instead of that, a hundred thousand are yearly carried away. Britain pays but little for the commodities it exports to Africa, being mostly, as observed before, its own produce, such as worsted and conton cloths of all kinds, brass, iron, and copper work of every sort, particularly large quantities of all kinds of defensive arms, with powder and shot in proportion; East-India goods, every kind of British manufactures, and a good deal of American and West-India rum, &c. It is not easy to say what vast quantities of the above British and American productions would be exhausted yearly among so great a people, and in so very extensive a country, were the Slave Trade stopped. It is the interest of every Merchant in Britain and the Plantations who are now concerned in traffick to Africa, to cultivate the inland commerce in its utmost extent, as having no manner of concern with the Slave Trade, there being the greatest reason to believe, that where they now export twenty shillings worth of commodities thither, they would then export an hundred pound; and I am inclined to think when the trade comes to be extended to the degree it will admit of, notwithstanding those goods that are imported from Africa, there will still be discovered an infinite variety of trafficable articles, with which the present Traders are totally unacquainted, and this Trade become the most beneficial to Britain, America, and the West-Indies, of any that is at present on foot, as it is common to every individual, and of which the government has taken much notice, by granting an annual sum of ten thousand pounds sterling for the maintaining and upholding the forts and castles in the British Settlements in Africa, so that they are entirely defended against the attacks of any enemy, and their Trade and Colonies secured by irresistible strength of forts and castles.

A great deal more could be mentioned on the thousands of advantages that may arise to the interest of Britain and the Plantations in abolishing this wicked Trade: However, I shall detain my Readers no longer on this head, but as proposed,

Conclude the whole with some short admonitions to those concerned, and a method to put this Trade to Africa upon a just and lawful footing. I advise every Merchant and Shipmaster who is in this Trade of Man-slaving to renounce and give it up. What arguments or reason, pray, can be advanced for his justification, when he sees such threats and curses against him, particularly mentioned in the first head? Why should any person incur the penalties of GOD's Law so daringly for the sake of gain? Should they think themselves on a death-bed, what agonies and troubles of mind must they undergo in the thoughts of enslaving so many miserable creatures, of murdering so many thousands of innocent people in the wars they occasion, treacherously taking them out of their own country, using them barbarously, massacring numbers of them in all the cruel ways imaginable on the passage, selling them for life, and depriving them even of a comfortable living, notwithstanding they serve for nothing else; surely the judgment of GOD must come upon such men who will thus use their own Brethren who were born to inherit the same salvation with us, and if his judgment does not come upon them, it will pursue their children unto the third and fourth generation, until the riches that have been thus scandalously amassed be squandered away, and they become as poor as these Negroes themselves, by selling of whom such unjust gain was made. But this is only one way out of thousands that GOD chuses to afflict his enemies in this world. And,

Still pursuing, that GOD will be revenged on those that punish wrongfully such poor Negroes, I shall insert what the above mentioned Mr. George Whitefield says in a letter to the inhabitants of Virginia, &c. 'We have, says he, a remarkable instance of GOD's taking cognizance of, and avenging the quarrel of poor Slaves, 2 Sam. xxi. 1. There was a famine in the days of David, three years, year after year, and David enquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered, it is for Saul, and his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. Two things are here very remarkable, 1st. These Gibeonites were only hewers of wood and drawers of water; or in other words, Slaves like yours. 2d. That this plague was sent by GOD many years after the injury (the cause of the plague) was committed. And for what end were this and such like examples recorded in holy Scripture? Without doubt for our learning. For GOD is the same to-day as he was yesterday, and will continue the same for ever. He does not reject the prayer of the poor and destitute, nor disregard the cry of the meanest Negro.' When speaking of the oppression and unchristian usage these poor Negroes meet with from the Shipmasters in their passage, and from the Masters they are sold to in the south parts of America and the West-Indies, he adds, 'The blood of the Negroes spilt for these many years in your respective Provinces will rise up to Heaven against you,' together with that lost in Africa, occasioned by the Traders that go thither. IT may not be improper to observe here, that this plague was sent by GOD on Saul and his bloody house many years after the slaughter of the Gibeonites; so may these men reasonably expect, that have occasioned and still continue to be the cause of spilling so much innocent blood in Africa and the different Provinces, to have a plague or curse come upon them, many years after the perpetrating these wicked deeds.

I will insert a few questions, for which I am indebted to Mr. Postlethwayt, by way of argument or persuasion to give up this enslaving of Men to those people who will be ready to defend this scandalous Trade to Africa, and of keeping these people in ignorance, who are brought into a country where the gospel is preached on all sides of them.

1st. "Whether the people of this country notwithstanding their colour, are not capable of being civilized and brought into the Christian religion, as well as great numbers of the Indians of America and Asia have been; and whether the primitive inhabitants of all countries so far as we have been able to trace them were not once as savage and inhuman as the people in Africa, and whether the ancient Britons themselves of our country were not once upon a level with the Africans?

2d. "Whether therefore, there is not a probability that those people might in time, by proper management in the Europeans, become as wise, as industrious, as humane, and as good Christians, as the people of any other country?

3d. "Whether their rational faculties are not in general equal to those of any other of the human species; and whether they are not, from experience, as capable for mechanical and manufactural arts and trades, as even the Bulk of the Europeans?

4th. "Whether it would not be more to the interest of all the European Nations concerned in the Trade to Africa, rather to endeavour to cultivate a friendly and humane Commerce with these people, into the very centure of their extended country, than to content themselves only with skimming a trifling portion of Trade upon the Coast of Africa?

5th. "Whether the greatest hinderance and obstruction to the European's cultivating a Christian-like and humane Commerce with those populous countries has not wholly proceeded from that unjust Traffick called the Slave Trade, which is carried on by the Europeans Americans, &c.

6th. "Whether this Trade and this only was not the primary cause, and still continues to be the chief cause of these eternal and incessant broils, quarrels, and animosities which subsist between the Negro Princes and Chiefs; and consequently of those endless wars which abide among them, and which they are induced to carry on in order to make prisoners of one another for the sake of the Slave Trade?

7th. "Whether, if trade was carried on with them for a series of years, as it has been with most other savage countries, and the Europeans gave no incouragement whatever to the Slave Trade, those cruel wars among the Blacks would not cease, and a fair and honourable Commerce in time take place throughout the whole country?

8th. "Whether the example of the Dutch in the East-Indies, who have civilized innumerable of the natives, and brought them to the European way of cloathing, &c. does not give reasonable hopes that these suggestions are not visionary, but founded on experience as well as on humane and Christian principles?

9th. "Whether Commerce in general has not proved the great means of civilizing all nations, even the most savage and brutal; and why not the Africans?

10th. "Whether the territory of the European nations who are interested in the Colonies and Plantations in America, are not populous enough, or may be rendered so, by proper encouragement given to matrimony and the breed of foundling infants, to supply their respective Colonies with labourers in the place of Negro Slaves? And

Lastly. "Whether the British dominions in general have not an extent of territory sufficient to increase and multiply their inhabitants; and whether it is not their own faults that they do not increase them sufficiently to supply their Colonies and Plantations, with Whites instead of Blacks?"

I make no doubt, but some persons who are concerned in the Slave Trade to Africa, will attempt making answer to some of these questions: But I presume there are others of them they will not venture upon, knowing they are founded upon reason and truth, and I hope will have great influence on those this Treatise concern.

I would add one necessary query more, to those who hold the sword of justice, and who must account to GOD for the use they make of it. Since the English Law is so truly valuable for its justice, how can they overlook the barbarous deaths and wrongful Slavery of the unhappy Africans, without trial or proof of being guilty of crimes adequate to their punishments? Why are those Masters of vessels (who are not the most considerate of men) suffered to be sovereign arbiters of the lives of these miserable Negroes in their passage, and allowed with impunity to destroy, may I not say murder their fellow creatures in a manner so cruel as can never be related but with shame and horror? Answer me this, ye pretended Judges and Governors in the different Colonies where such practices are used, and not be shocked at the negligence you have sleeped in. Since you are put in remembrance of it now, I hope and sincerely with, I, or any other person may not have occasion to remind you of the same again, but that you will punish with equity all those who import Negroes; there being hundreds of poor Europeans that would be glad to come and serve in any of the British Plantations, and those that could not pay a passage doubtless would sell part of their time for it; and this I make no doubt, considering they have not the charge of their funeral and death-bed expences and sundry other things to pay, will come nigh if not full as cheap as buying and keeping Negroes; and it will be attended with this advantage, that these White people when they have served some years in the lowest capacities turn out upon the waste land, marry, and in a few years we see a town well settled, and in less than fifty years there will be an increase of fourfold; by this means the country will fill up and we become respectable and secure from an enemy, and furnished with every conveniency of life. And YOU Governors, &c. who have the legislative power in your hands will still further make Laws and put them in execution, stopping any further importation of Slaves into the Provinces or Islands where you are the Representative head, so that in that time they may furnish themselves with sufficient numbers, and by proper usage keep up that quantity which so much decrease by improper management. Now give me leave to proceed

In a method to put this Trade to Africa on a just and lawful footing. First, in order to this, it is my humble opinion, if I may be allowed to give it, that there be a number of men who may chuse to venture in this Trade, both in Britain and the Colonies, that shall be incorporated into separate bodies by the name of English, or British; American, or New England African companies, or by the denomination of other Provinces in America, or Plantations in the West-Indies; and these companies shall equip and rig out as many vessels as they think proper, loading them with British America, East and West-India goods, and bring back in return, the rich and plentiful produce of Africa. But before I go any further into this point it must be observed, there is one real hinderance in the way which must be removed, or else no man or company need ever think of penetrating into the heart of this country, but just content themselves with taking the skim of this Trade, leting the body stand, and that is, the Slave Trade; this must be entirely renounced and given up by the Europeans, particularly by Britain and the Colonies; then we may with a good face and conscience travel into the heart of Africa, and meet with a friendly and hearty reception from the natives, who will trade with us, and give in exchange their valuable productions for our goods which are generally exported thither.

When that great, that only chief obstacle, the Slave Trade is removed, then Britain and the Colonies will flourish by so great and profitable a Commerce. Think what a great addition it will make to their traffick, the furnishing a hundred thousand people annually, more than are at present with cloathing, powder, shot, and warlike arms, and many more things needless here to enumerate out of England; rum, and sundry other articles out of America and the West-Indies. It is supposed that the above extraordinary number of Blacks are taken out of Africa yearly, and either murdered or made Slaves of, by the ships that go there out of Boston, &c. and what advantages may arise to the inhabitants in peopling, and consequently of cultivating and manuring their ground, and of bringing their rich trade to the perfection it is capable of, with Britain, &c. is hard to say, when the innermost parts of that great and fruitful country is settled, and a free and happy trade carried into the heart of it: But thus far I will venture to say, as I have done already, that where twenty shillings worth of commodities is at present exported an hundred pound will be, when a friendly Commerce is carried on with the natives.

These companies may say, that if once this trade is set on foot, other European powers, who have Settlements in Africa will invade them whenever they begin to thrive by not having sufficient funds for the keeping in good defence the forts, &c. on the Settlements. As to this I answer, that those companies have a sum of ten thousand pounds sterling annually, from the Crown of Britain, for maintaining and upholding the forts and castles that are built upon the British Colonies, which with the duties arising from the Trade will be sufficient to maintain, uphold, and defend them with strength superior to the strongest enemy.

Thus far I hope I have removed your fears of inability in supporting and continuing this Trade, and likewise have moved ways and means to put the same on a just and lawful footing. Now let me, patient Reader, conclude with a short Exhortation to the Ship-masters and Merchants concerned in this Trade, in part of which I have had recourse again to my good old Friend Mr. Benezet.

I beg you all would fly from the oppression and Bondage to which the poor Africans are subjected, loose the bonds from off their necks, and thereby extricate yourselves from a custom which is pernicious to your welfare here and hereafter; and as you are sensible most men have objections to this base, unlawful Trade, you ought to vindicate yourselves to the world, upon principles of reason, honesty, and humanity, and then you will not attack the persons, or invade the rights of these people. I believe those who are concerned in this Trade will be at a loss to make this justification but upon motives so weak and unreasonable, that I do not think any of them which have been advanced for their defence worthy of notice; and if they are undeserving of that, they certainly are below regard; therefore I think you should forever lay it aside. This is the best and shortest way; for there should be no trade carried on, it being a national and provincial concern, but such as is justifiable both to GOD and man, and this is in direct opposition to both. But laying man's resentment aside, which is of little moment in comparison with that of the Almighty's, I counsel you once more to think of a future reckoning, consider what reasons you will be able to produce at the great and last day. You now accumulate riches and live in pleasure; but what will you do in the end, and that will be but short? What if you should be called hence and hurried out of this world under the vast load of blood guiltiness that is now lying on your souls? How many thousands have you been the istruments to, and primary cause of being killed in the wars and broils, with the African Chiefs, wanting to obtain your number to enslave; and how many have you killed in the passage, when these poor Creatures were trying to retrieve their Liberty which they had in their own country, and which you unjustly take from them, or rather chusing to die than take food to nourish and preserve themselves for being mancipated with their children after them?

It is declared in the most express terms in Scripture, that thieves and murderers shall not inherit the kingdom of GOD. You who are in this Trade take warning by that, and if you have any thoughts or Christian feeling you must certainly renounce it; for that you are thieves and murderers (I hope after what has been said) will not be disputed; and you should think that at the same time and by the same means you are treasuring up worldly riches, you are treasuring up fountains of wrath against the day of anger and vengeance that shall come upon the workers of iniquity, unless timely repented of.

What injustice is greater? What offence more heinous? Is there any carries in it more consumate guilt than that in which you now live? How can you lift your culpable eyes to Heaven? How can you pray for mercy, or hope for favour from him that made and formed you, while you go on thus boldly and publickly dishonouring him, in degrading and destroying the noblest workmanship of his hands in this sublunary world? Can you think that GOD will hear your prayers, receive your supplications, or grant your desires, while you act thus grossly and openly against his divine revealed will and pleasure? And do you suppose that he who is the Parent of all nations, the Protector of all people, and the Father of all men, will not revenge the male-treatment of his offspring whom he once so loved as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life? This love of GOD to man, which is disclosed in Scripture, adds double provocation to your crimes; for if GOD regards us with so much affection, we ought also to esteem one another.

Permit yourselves for a moment to reflect equitably and deliberately upon the nature of this horrid, detestable, vile, and abominable Man Trade, and your hearts must certainly relent, if you have not lost all sense of benevolence, all sympathy and compassion towards those of your Brethren who have the same capacities, understandings and souls, and who were born to inherit the same salvation with you; I say, if you are not callous to every Christian, humane, and manly sensibility, you certainly must feel compassion for those extremely oppressed people, when you think what miseries, what devastations and massacres among them you have been the author of, and all for filthy lucre's sake. The thoughts of this accursed Trade touches my very heart, and finding if I continue any longer I shall get out of the bounds of decency, must therefore conclude. And if all you have read should have no weight upon your hardned hearts, this remains for my consolation that I have done my duty; and I pray! Fervently pray! That GOD would have mercy on your sinful souls; and that he of his infinite goodness would grant that you may be made sensible of your guilt and repent of these your execrable and really detestable deeds.

FINIS.



The Author makes no doubt but the Publick, after reading this Pamphlet, will readily agree with him, that the words in the Dedication are verified, 'That it was put together with more good intent than ability,' which he is very sensible of: But at the same time thinks all criticism and scrutinizing should be laid aside, when they reflect, that the will to do good is next in order to the action itself.



  1. It is supposed eighty thousand Negroes, are upon the Island of Barbadoes, and yet through the hard labour they exact of these poor creatures, and what of them are killed through their barbarous chastisements, a decrease is made of five thousand slaves yearly; which they are resupplied with from Africa. One may form an idea from this, of what an additional supply most of the West India Islands and southern provinces need, for there is not one of them but what do import a considerable number of slaves annually, to keep up their common flock.


This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.