Imágenes de páginas
PDF

think them a very dull race of men, to say the least. I was struck when I first came to Africa with the different manner in which a Krooman and a Mandingo man (; Moltaumedan) viewed an English clock. It was a new thing to both ot them. The Krooman eyed it attentively for about a minute, but with an uninoved countenance, and then walked away to look at souething else, without saying a word. The Mandingo man could not sufficiently admire the equal and constant motion of the pendulum; his attention was repeatedly drawn to it; he made all possible inquiries as to the cause of its motion; he renewed the subject next morning, and could hardly be persuaded that the Pendulum had continued to “walk,” as lie called it, all night. In general, I think, the case is nearly the same. They have little or no curiosity about things which are of no use in their own country; they are careless about our comforts and luxuries; none of them have been rendered necessary by habit, and they would often be inconsistent with the principal objects of their pursuit. But

Kroomen are sufficiently acute and observ

ant where the occasion calls their minds into action; but it is rather from a general view of their character and conduct that I say this, than from particular specimens of ingenuity. They have not the use of letters, and will not permit their children to learn; they talk miserably bad English: living by daily labour, which is paid for in

ropean goods, they have no occasion for manufactures of their own. They have but few opportunities, therefore, of displaying Peculiar talents. They make their own canoes, several of their implements of agrioulture, and some trifling musical instruments: I know not of any thing else worthy of notice. I ought not to omit, however, that they sometimes plead in their own defence with nuch art. The evidence against one of the very last I examined on a charge of thest was so strong, that few men would have had the boldness to deny the charge. The culprit, however, began a long speech with expressing his sorrow that I was not born *Krooman, and proceeded to enlarge on the superior ability I should in that case have possessed to distinguish between truth and falsehood, in all cases wherein Kroonen were concerned; not forgetting the security against deception which I might possibly have obtained by means of those setishes of which white men knew not the value nar the use. Had I possessed but these advantages, I should have known, he argued, how much more safely I might rely on his

veracity than on all the evidence produced against him; although it was backed by the unfortunate circumstance of the stolen goods being found in his possession. The substance of his defence was, that he had fairly purchased the goods, not knowing them to be stolen; and that Kroomen, whom he named, were witnesses of the transaction, though for private reasons they would not speak. His guilt was clear: but, had he possessed a tolerable character, he would have had some chance of escaping with a timid jury. He had been tried once or twice before, and acquited.” pp. 99–101.

A considerable portion of the Appendix is occupied by the Correspondence of a Mr. John Kizell with the Governor of Sierra Leone, detailing his negotiations with the chiefs in the river Sherbro, to whom the Governor had sent him, in the hope of inducing them to concur in measures for effectually abolishin the Slave Trade in that district. Kizell is one of the negro colonists of Sierra Leone. He was originally the son of a chief in this very river Sherbro. He was carried, when about twelve years of age, as a slave, to North America; but obtained his freedom by joining the British standard during the American war. At Nova Scotia he acquired so much knowledge of letters as to be able to read and write ; and since he has resided at Sierra Leone he is stated to have uniformly maintained an excellent character. We give the following extract from the communications of this i.frican envoy, as a rare specimen of diplomatic simplicity.

“I took this opportunity of talking to the chiefs on the Slave Trade. I told them that the blood of their people cried against them, and that God had heard it. They had killed the poor of the land; the people that should work the land; and had sold them to fill their bellies. All their people were gone or going to other countries. They allowed the Slave Trade to stop their ears, and blind their eyes: for a little ruin and tobacco they allowed their people to be carried off, and said nothing. I then told them of their bad ways towards their wives, whom they had when they were young, by whom also they had children: but whom, when they get a little old, they will accuse of being

5 B 2

must also be instructed not to interfere with the navigation of the ship, except at your request; and he must be put entirely under your orders. As you shall have to grant a bill of sale for the brig, when she is apparently sold, you must be very cautious to take a counter bill of sale ; and again, as collateral security, a bottomry bond on the vessel for 10,000 dollars, with a power of attorney from the sham owner to you, to sell and dispose of her in any manner you shall think proper. I would wish you, besides, to take a very strong declaration in writing, witnessed by Sealy, Roach, and Toole, that the sale made by you is merely fictitious; that the cargo and her earnings are bona fide your property; which declaration must be couched so as to be a perfect quit claim from him and his heirs for ever.” “It is very essential that none of your people, except those who are to stay with you, should have the least suspicion of your future plan: , I would recommend, therefore, that before you enter on any of your transactions, you would see these people out of the country, that they cannot come and talk here of what you have done. I would rather Jose some little time, nor would I mind some little expense, to get rid of them cleverly. The ship's log-hook should afterwards be Kept in Portuguese : no English writing, touching the voyage, should be on board: the fewer entries in the log-book the better, to be done under your eyes. She should have no colours but Portuguese on board; your present flag thrown away when the brig is sold, and all the papers sent back (under cover) to me: your register, however, you had better bring back yourself." pp. 36,37.

This vessel sailed from Cabenda on the 1st of January 1811, with 275 slaves on board; and had been at sea twenty days,when the slaves rose,and, after a severe struggle, in which 30 of them were killed, took possession of the vessel, forcing the captain and crew into a boat, into which, however, with an unexampled degree of forbearance and generosity, they put some provisions and water. What became of the boat has not transpired. It was four months before the vessel regained the coast of Africa, the course of the trade winds being adverse to her return thither; and the provisions on board falling short, the greater part of the Africans Perished from hunger. Only eightyfive remained alive when the vessel

was brought to Sterra Leone. What a mass of wretchedness has this one slave adventure produced In the Report of the Commissioners of African Inquiry, a great part of which is inserved in the Appendix, we meet with much important information. We were particularly struck with that part of it in which, speaking of the great number of Africans that had been brought to Sierra Leone for adjudication, and there released from slavery, they state as follows:

“A considerable number of thenearest and dearest kindred, liusbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, who had been kiduapped or stolen at various times, and put on board differeut vessels, have been thus unexpectedly restored to each other at Sierra Leone; and whenever any of them have desired to return to their own country, and such return has been deemed practicable, they have been allowed to do so; being first provided with a Pop" under the hand and seal of the goverto certifying that they are to be considered " his people and under his protection, whicho looked upon, according to the customs no law of Atrica, to be a sufficient security against further molestation.

“All the people thus returning home, must naturally be more than ever the “ mies of slavery, as they cannot sail int” last few eventsul months of suffering and liberation, to have acquired some new ideas of freedom, which will of course besidually diffused amongst their friends; and so that all white men are not their enemie." that one European nation considers the Slave Trade as unlawful, and is determined, " possible, to put au end to it, the nati" may by degrees feel some encour*

to liberate themselves from this bomb"

thraldom.” p. 69. Some valuable African memo" randa, by the late Governor Ludlam. a name justly dear to every friend of Africa, follow the Report of the Commissioners. The following to tract from an account given by tha' gentleman of a tribe of Afro" called Kroomen, residing near C** Palmas, will afford some idea of" entertainment which is provided” them in this part of the Appendo

“The indifference of Kroomen to to: arts and European comforts, made **

think them a very dull race of men, to say the least. I was struck when I first came to Africa with the different unanner in which a Kroonan and a Mandingo man (a Mohammedan) viewed an English clock. It was a new thing to both of them. The Krooman eyed it attentively for about a minute, but with an unmoved countenance, and then walked away to look at souething else, without saying a word. The Mandingo man could not sufficiently admire the equal and constant motion of the pendulum; his attention was repeatedly drawn to it; he made all possible inquiries as to the cause of its motion; he renewed the subject next morning, and could hardly be persuaded that the Pendulum had continued to “walk,” as he called it, all night. In general, I think, the case is nearly the same. I hey have little or uo curiosity about things which are of no use in their own country; they are careless about our comforts and luxuries; none of them have been rendered necessary by habit, and they would often be inconsistent with the principal objects of their pursuit. But

Kroomen are sufficiently acute and observ

ant where the occasion calls their minds into action; but it is rather from a general view of their character and conduct that I say this, than from particular specimens of ingenuity. They have not the use of letters, and will not permit their children to learn; they talk miserably bad English: living by daily labour, which is paid for in European goods, they have no occasion for manufactures of their own. They have but few opportunities, therefore, of displaying Peculiar talents. They make their own canoes, several of their implements of agriculture, and some trifling musical instrunents: I know not of any thing else worthy of notice. I ought not to omit, however, that they sometimes plead in their own defence with inuch art. The evidence against one of the very last I examined on a charge of theft was so strong, that few men would have had the boldness to deny the charge. The culprit, however, began a long speech with expressing his sorrow that I was not born a Krooman, and proceeded to enlarge on the superior ability I should in that case have possessed to distinguish between truth and falsehood, in all cases wherein Kroomen were concerned; not forgetting the security against deception which I night possibly have obtained by means of those fetishes of which white men knew not the value nar the use. Had I possessed but these advantages, I should have known, he argued, how uuch more safely I might rely on his

veracity than on all the evidence produced against him; although it was backed by the unfortunate circumstance of the stolen goods being found in his possession. The substance of his defence was, that he had fairly purchased the goods, not knowing them to be stolen ; and that Kroomen, whom he named, were witnesses of the transaction, though for private reasons they would not speak. His guilt was clear: but, had he possessed a tolerable character, he would have had some chance of escaping with a timid jury. He had been tried once or twice before, and acquitted.” pp. 99–101.

A considerable portion of the Appendix is occupied by the Correspondence of a Mr. John Kizell with the Governor of Sierra Leone, detailing his negotiations with the chiefs in the river Sherbro, to whom the Governor had sent him, in the hope of inducing them to concur in measures for effectually abolishing the Slave Trade in that district. Kizell is one of the negro colonists of Sierra Leone. He was originally the son of a chief in this very river Sherbro. He was carried, when about twelve years of age, as a slave, to North America; but obtained his freedom by joining the British standard during the American war. At Nova Scotia he acquired so much knowledge of letters as to be able to read and write ; and since he has resided at Sierra Leone he is stated to have uniformly maintained an excellent character. We give the following extract from the communications of this African envoy, as a rare specimen of diplomatic simplicity.

“I took this opportunity of talking to the chiefs on the Slave Trade. I told them that the blood of their people cried against them, and that God had heard it. They had killed the poor of the land; the people that should work the land; and had sold them to fill their bellies. All their people were gone or going to other countries. They allowed the Slave Trade to stop their ears, and blind their eyes: for a little run and tobacco they allowed their people to be carried off, and said nothing. I then told them of their bad ways towards their wives, whom they had when they were young, by whom also they had children: but whom, when they get a little old, they will accuse of being must also be instructed not to interfere with the navigation of the ship, except at your request; and he must be put entirely under your orders. As you shall have to grant a bill of sale for the brig, when she is apparently sold, you must be very cautious to take a counter bill of sale ; and again, as collateral security, a bottomry bond on the vessel for 10,000 dollars, with a power of attorney from the sham owner to you, to sell and dispose of her in any manner you shall think proper. I would wish you, besides, to take a very strong declaration in writing, witnessed by Sealy, Roach, and Toole, that the sale made by you is merely fictitious; that the cargo and her earnings are bona fide your property; which declaration must be couched so as to be a perfect quit claim from him and his heirs for ever.” “It is very essential that none of your people, except those who are to stay with you, should have the least suspicion of your future plan: I would recommend, therefore, that before you enter on any of your transactions, you would see these people out of the country, that they cannot come and talk here of what you have done. I would rather lose some littie time, nor would I mind some little expense, to get rid of them cleverly. The ship's log-book should afterwards be Rept in Portuguese : no English writing, touching the voyage, should be on board: the fewer entries in the log-book the better, to be done under your eyes. She should have no colours but Portuguese on board; your present flag thrown away when the brig is sold, and all the papers sent back (under cover) to me: your register, however, you had better bring back yourself.” pp. 36,57.

This vessel sailed from Cabenda on the 1st of January 1811, with 275 slaves on board; and had been at sea twentydays,when the slaves rose,and, after a severe struggle, in which 30 of them were killed, took possession of the vessel, forcing the captain and crew into a boat, into which, however, with an unexampled degree of sorbearance and generosity, they put some provisions and water. What became of the boat has not transpired. It was four months before the vessel regained the coast of Africa, the course of the trade winds being adverse to her return thither; and the provisions on board falling short, the greater part of the Africans F. from hunger. Only eighty

we remained alive when the vessel

was brought to Sierra Leone. What a mass of wretchedness has this one slave adventure produced In the Report of the Commissioners of African Inquiry, a great part of which is inserted in the Appendix, we meet with much important information. We were particularly struck with that part of it in which, speaking of the great number of Africans that had been brought to Sierra Leone for adjudication, and there released from slavery, they state as follows:

“A considerable number of the nearest and dearest kindred, liusbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, who had been kiduapped or stolen at various times, and put on board different vessel, have been thus unexpectedly restored to each other at Sierra Leone; and whenrver any of them have desired to return to their own country, and such return has both deemed practicable, they have been allowed to do so; being first provided with a Popo under the hand and seal of the governo, certifying that they are to be considero his people and under his protection, whicho looked upon, according to the customs o law of Attica, to be a sufficient security against further molestation.

“ All the people thus returning bone, must naturally be more than ever the * mies of slavery, as they cannot sail into last few eventful mouths of suffins to liberation, to have acquired some new ideas of freedom, which will of course be saduly diffused amongst their friends; and ** that all white men are not their enemies,” that one European nation considers the So Trade as unlawful, and is determined, is

possible, to put au end to it, the natio

may by degrees teel some encourager." to liberate themselves from this bomi" thraldom.” p. 69. Some valuable African memor randa, by the late Governor Ludlam, a name justly dear to every friend's Africa, follow the Report of the Commissioners. The following extract from an account given by that gentleman of a tribe of Afro" called Kroomen, residing near C*P* Palmas, will afford some idea of" entertainment which is provideo them in this part of the Appen"

“The indifference of Kroomen to Ears" arts and European countorts, made no

think them a very dull race of men, to say the least. I was struck when I first came to Africa with the different unanner in which a Krooman and a Mandingo man (a Moltaumedan) viewed an English clock. It was a new thing to both of them. The Krooman eyed it attentively for about a minute, but with an unmoved countenance, and then walked away to look at souething else, without saying a word. The Mandingo man could not sufficiently admire the equal and constant motion of the pendulum; his attention was repeatedly drawn to it; he made all possible inquiries as to the cause of its motion; he renewed the subject next morning, and could hardly be persuaded that the Pendulum had continued to “walk,” as lie called it, all night. In general, I think, the case is nearly the same. I hey have little or no curiosity about things which are of no use in their own country; they are careless about our comforts and luxuries; none of them have been rendered necessary by habit, uld they would often be inconsistent with the principal objects of their pursuit. But

Kroomen are sufficiently acute and observ

ant where the occasion calls their minds into action; but it is rather from a general view of their character and conduct that I say this, than from particular specimens of ingenuity. They have not the use of letters, and will not permit their children to learn; they talk miserably bad English: living by daily labour, which is paid for in

ropean goods, they have no occasion for manufactures of their own. They have but few opportunities, therefore, of displaying Peculiar talents. They make their own canoes, several of their implements of agriculture, and some trifling musical instrunents: I know not of any thing else worthy of notice. I ought not to omit, however, that they sometimes plead in their own defence with inuch art. The evidence against one of the very last I examined on a charge of thest was so strong, that few men would have had the boldness to deny the charge. The culprit, however, began a long speech with expressing his sorrow that I was not born a Krooman, and proceeded to enlarge on the superior ability I should in that case have possessed to distinguish between truth and falsehood, in all cases wherein Kroomen were concerned; not forgetting the security against deception which I might possibly have obtained by means of those fetishes of which white men knew not the value nar the use. Had I possessed but these advantages, I should have known, he argued, how much more safely I might rely on his

veracity than on all the evidence produced against him; although it was backed by the unfortunate circumstance of the stolen goods being found in his possession. The substance of his defence was, that he had fairly purchased the goods, not knowing them to be stolen; and that Kroomen, whom he named, were witnesses of the transaction, though for private reasons they would not speak. His guilt was clear: but, had he possessed a tolerable character, he would have had some cliance of escaping with a timid jury. He had been tried once or twice before, and acquitted.” pp. 99–101.

A considerable portion of the Appendix is occupied by the Correspondence of a Mr. John Kizell with the Governor of Sierra Leone, detailing his negotiations with the chiefs in the river Sherbro, to whom the Governor had sent him, in the hope of inducing them to concur in measures for effectually abolishin the Slave Trade in that district. Kizell is one of the negro colonists of Sierra Leone. He was originally the son of a chief in this very river Sherbro. He was carried, when about twelve years of age, as a slave, to North America; but obtained his freedom by joining the British standard during the American war. At Nova Scotia he acquired so much knowledge of letters as to be able to read and write ; and since he has resided at Sierra Leone he is stated to have uniformly maintained an excellent character. We give the following extract from the communications of this African envoy, as a rare specimen of diplomatic simplicity.

“I took this opportunity of talking to the chiefs on the Slave Trade. I told them that the blood of their people cried against them, and that God had heard it. They had killed the poor of the land; the people that should work the land; and had sold them to fill their bellies. All their people were gone or going to other countries. They allowed the Slave Trade to stop their ears, and blind their eyes: for a little rum and tobacco they allowed their people to be carried off, and said nothing. I then told them of their bad ways towards their wives, whom they had when they were young, by whom also they had children: but whom, when they get a little old, they will accuse of being

« AnteriorContinuar »