A SKETCH OF
enlightened, philanthropic governor; but unhappily, the slave-trade of Madagascar was not to die without a struggle, and as is not unfrequently the case, its adherents found a powerful ally in one whose duty it was to suppress it, and who occupied a position powerful for good or evil. That we may give a clearer idea of how this event happened, we must make a somewhat detailed statement.
As the first payment of the articles agreed upon in the treaty was to become due in May, 1818, Mr. Hastie repaired to Tamatavé, on his way to Mauritius, to get them. But what was his disappointment to learn, by a vessel which arrived with several slave-dealers on board, that the acting Governor of Mauritius, Governor Hall, had relinquished farther intercourse with the chieftains of Madagascar, that he refused to pay the equivalent stipulated by Governor Farquhar, and intended to recall the agent stationed at the capital. A letter from the Governor at Mauritius was at the same time presented, with which formality, to Mr. Hastie, by a deputation of the slave-dealers, recalling him from Madagascar. The deputation, having delivered the letter, put the taunting question—“Who, did Mr. Hastie think, possessed the purer sense of honor—the enlightened English, or the savage Radama?”
Governor Hall seems to have done his work radically. He prohibited Missionaries, who had been sent out by the London Missionary Society at the request of Governor Farquhar, from proceeding to Madagascar, and he sent back to the island six youths who had been under instruction in the Mauritius since 1817. At a later period, when efforts were resumed to mend the serious mischief which Governor Hall had done, Radama asked, “Why would not your government at Mauritius permit these boys to be instructed, whom I had sent for that purpose? Although your government violated the treaty, and discontinued intercourse with me, I would gladly have paid for the education of the boys!”
Under the auspices of Governor Hall, Radama permitted the slave-trade to recommence; and that it was again carried on extensively, is obvious from General Hall's letter to the Right Honorable Lord Bathurst, in 1818, wherein he states that, “three cargoes had been imported during the preceding fortnight, notwithstanding all his efforts to forbid such illegal importation of slaves into the colony.” The conduct of Governor Hall brought lasting disgrace on the British name, and added another to the melancholy catalogue of events