Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/276

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The galley, as sailors then used the term, was a small, square-rigged vessel not unlike a brig, although properly the name belonged to craft propelled by oars as well as sails; but seamen in all ages have had a confusing habit of mixing the various classifications of vessels. It was nothing against the character of Captain Snelgrave that he was bound out to the Gold Coast in the rum and nigger trade. The ship-chandlers of Liverpool made special displays in their windows of handcuffs, leg-shackles, iron collars, short and long chains, and furnaces and copper kettles designed for slave- ships. The English Missionary Society owned a plantation and worked it with slaves. In America the New England colonies took the lead in the slave-trade, and the enterprising lads of the coastwise ports sought berths in the forecastles of the African traders because of the chance of profit and promotion. It was not held to the discredit of John Paul Jones that he learned seamanship before the mast in the slaver King George before he hoisted the first naval ensign of the United States above the quarter-deck of an American man-of-war.

No sooner had the Bird galley dropped anchor in the river of Sierra Leone than three pirate ships came bowling in with a fair breeze. They had been operating together and had already captured ten