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might in this way be effected; and this is of the more importance to be attended to, as there is perhaps no greater stumbling-block to the minds of many of the contributors, than the idea that the whole of their money is not directly appropriated to the object for which they give it.
For the Christian Observer. In the course of the last year an ordinance was promulgated in this colony, similar in its principle and provisions to that which has been established in Trinidad, for regulating the future treatment of slaves. It has generally been supposed in this country, that at the Cape of Good Hope the condition of the slaves is so mild as to call for no such interference on the part of Government. But it might have been assumed with certainty, that the accounts which led to such a conclusion were founded either in gross ignorance or in wilful misrepresentation. Slavery is an institution which, wherever it exists, must produce misery and degradation to all concerned in it; to the master as well as to the slave. Of the state of slavery in the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, as it existed down to the month of January 1826, the Anti-Slavery Reporter gives, from the New Monthly Magazine, after due verification of their authenticity, some painfully interesting details; some of which we proceed to lay before our readers, with a view, if possible, to strengthen their abhorrence of the whole system wherever it is found, and their exertions to extinguish it from the face of the globe.
"Cape of Good Hope, Jan. 5, 1826. "The mildness of slavery at the Cape has been much dwelt upon by certain travellers, whose opinions on this subject, being re-echoed by the Quarterly Review and similar publications, seem to be generally admitted in England as perfectly
just and incontrovertible. I am now satisfied, however, that the term, except in a very restricted sense, is altogether inapplicable. Should the comparative mildness of Cape-slavery, however, be admitted, what a powerful argument does not this admission make for the speedy annihilation of human bondage throughout their colonies, by the powers of Christian Europe? If slaves are such wretched beings as I shall soon prove them to be, even at the Cape, what must be their condition in other colonies? What must be the condition of their masters?
"The slaves of this settlement can claim no respite from their masters' service, except on Sunday; and, as regards the household slaves, only partially on that day. They cannot legally marry, or legitimate their offspring, without the concurrence of their owner-a concurrence which his interests or his prejudices induce him, in almost every instance, to refuse. They cannot claim their freedom on presenting their purchase-money. They are frequently sold by public auction on the death or bankruptcy of their owners; and they are liable at all times, from casualty or from caprice, to be irretrievably separated from their wives, children, and dearest connexions. At public sales the distressing spectacle of the wife torn from the husband, and the children from the parents, is so familiar as scarcely to interest the feelings of the spectators. Coarse jocularity and indecent merriment seldom fail, on such occasions, to be rudely bandied between the auctioneers and the rival bidders. Moreover, the slave is liable to be flogged whenever his owner's arrogant caprice may require it; and should he suffer ill-treatment from his master or the magistrate, he possesses in the laws (at least as they are usually administered) no security for obtaining redress.
"Yet the slave-holders in this
colony continually exclaim- Our to the house, late at night, an old slaves are as well fed and clothed slave-woman, who had fled from as your English peasantry the ill usage of her mistress. She nitely better than your wretched bore on her body marks. of previous Irish in what respect, then, can ill-treatment, having had three of they be considered objects of com- her ribs broken at an earlier period miseration?' If such assertions of life, when she was in the pos were undeniable, the deduction session of a former master. She drawn from them is not, on that was then in the family of an Enaccount, the less fallacious. A few glish resident, who had married a facts will show the futility of such Dutch woman. Her dress was a arguments. filthy untanned sheep-skin petticoat, with a few old rags about her head, and a dirty sheep-skin thrown over her shoulders. She had ab, sconded from her master's house the preceding night; and after concealing herself in the day-time, had made her way, the night following, to the house where we resided. The next morning the son of the owner came to drive back the old woman before him. When I proposed to purchase from him the freedom of the slave, and stated her advanced age, he said that the work the old creature did was very considerable and instanced her bringing daily to the house as much fire-wood on her back as any man could carry ; adding, that, though he was willing to let the unhappy wretch have rest in her latter years, he could not part with her services under five hundred rix-dollars. Ultimately, however, he agreed to reduce her price to four hundred.'
"In August, 1825, I was walking with a friend in the streets of Graaff-Reinett (a country town about five hundred miles from the capital), when we were accosted, in pretty good English, by a man of the Malay complexion. He was a slave, and had a wife and several children also in slavery. Being an expert waggon-driver, his master was offered a high price for him by a person from Graaff-Reinett. The offer was accepted, but the agree ment was concealed from the object of it. He was ordered to proceed with the waggon of his new purchaser into the interior, but given to understand that it was on his old master's business, and that he should return in a few months. On arriving at Graaff-Reinett, however, he was made acquainted with the transaction, and then found that be was for ever separated from all he cherished on earth. Even some little property in money and clothes, which he had hoarded and left behind him, he had never been able to recover, although two or three years had elapsed, and he had made repeated applications for it. The poor man appeared extremely dejected, and his melancholy tale was afterwards fully confirmed to me by other authority.
"Another recent illustration I shall extract from the letter of a friend -a gentleman in the civil service of the East India Company, who recently spent some years at the Cape.
"While I was residing in the vicinity of Algoa Bay, there came
"The poor creature, thus emancipated by the generosity of a stranger, now enjoys liberty and repose at the Missionary Institution of Bethelsdorp; but how seldom, among innumerable cases of equal hardship, can it happen that a solitary individual is thus relieved?
"Examples such as these, of the wretchedness of slavery at the Cape, might be adduced without end, for they are of familiar and every-day occurrence. But since the authority of distinguished writers is so often brought forward to prove that in South Africa slavery is little more than a name, let us now produce the evidence of a celebrated travel
ler on the subject. Dr. Sparrman, a man not less distinguished for his candour and integrity than for his eminence in science, and who, from the familiar footing on which his simple manners and mode of travel ling placed him with every class of the inhabitants, was well qualified to form a correct judgment on this point, has given a very different picture of South-African slavery from certain recent writers, who, in their slight and soothing descriptions of it, have either intentionally flattered the slave-holders, or their opportunities of observation had never extended beyond the well-dressed and pampered domestic slaves of Cape Town. Sparrman, on mentioning the murder of a planter in the interior by two of his slaves, makes the following just remarks:
"Yet whatever might be the real reason for committing this dreadful crime, I am convinced that it had its origin in the very essence and nature of the Slave Trade, in whatever manner and in whatever country it may be practised; a motive which I found had as much influence among the Christians, in many places, as among the Turks on the coast of Barbary, to induce the unhappy slaves, and still more their tyrannical masters, to behave very strangely; nay, sometimes to be guilty of the most horrid cruelties. I have known some colonists, not only in the heat of their passion, but even deliberately and in cold blood, undertake themselves the low office (fit only for the executioner), of not only flaying, for a trifling neglect, both the backs and limbs of their slaves by a peculiar slow lingering method, but likewise, outdoing the very tigers in cruelty, throw pepper and salt over the wounds. But what appeared to me more strange and horrid, was to hear a colonist, not only describe with great seeming satisfaction the whole process of this diabolical invention, but even pride himself on the practice of it; and rack his brains in order to find sophisms in
defence of it, as well as of the Slave Trade; in which occupation the important post he enjoyed in the colony, and his own interest, had engaged him. He was, however, a European by birth; of a free and civilized nation; and, indeed, gave evident proofs of possessing a kind and tender heart; so that, perhaps, it would be difficult to shew any where a greater contradiction in the disposition of man, though in a world composed almost entirely of contradictions.'
"Strange and horrid as this anomaly of character appeared to the worthy Sparrman, it is to this day as common as ever among slave-holders, who, though in other respects humane and good-natured, become, by long practice, altogether callous and cruel-hearted in punishing their slaves. I have myself witnessed many striking instances of this. I have even known ladies, born and educated in England, charitable and benevolent in their general character, yet capable of standing over their female slaves while they were flogged, and afterwards ordering salt and pepper to be rubbed into their lacerated flesh! It is slavery, corrupting, hardening, brutalizing slavery, that produces this deplorable change in human feelings; and while it degrades to the dust the wretched victim of oppression, vitiates, by a terrible reaction, the heart and character of the oppressor, Never be kind, nor speak kindly to a slave,' said an English lady at the Cape, to a female relative of mine; I have found,' added she, by experience in my own household, that nothing but hauteur and harshness will do with slaves.'
"How can it be wondered at, that hatred and revenge on the part of the slave, and suspicion and dislike on the part of the master, should be so generally the result of this unnatural relationship. And amidst the continual effervescence of such feelings, is it surprising that instances of masters flogging their
slaves to death, of shooting them in a passion, or cases of still more cool-blooded and revolting atrocity, should occasionally occur? Or is it surprising, on the other hand, that desperate risings of the slaves to murder their masters, and their far more frequent attempts to destroy them secretly by poison, should be equally familiar at the Cape as in other slave colonies? That such occurrences are sufficiently frequent and familiar at the Cape, no one who has lived a few years in the colony will deny. It will be sufficient to refer merely to a few recent examples. In 1822, Mr. Gebhardt, the son of a country clergyman, was executed for flogging to death one of his father's slaves. At that time there were five cases of slave murder before the deputy fiscal, all of a more aggravated character than that of this unfortunate young man, though he alone was punished capitally. A far more atrocious case occurred a few years previously (though from some cause or other not brought to capital conviction) of a monster, who actually roasted one of his slaves alive in an oven. In 1824, a young man of my own acquaintance shot one of his slaves in a passion, and was for this crime condemned by the court of circuit to one year's imprisonment.
"The following case occurred in 1822. The daughter of a wealthy burgher, residing in Graaff-Reinett, was suspected of having murdered her illegitimate child, in order to conceal her disgrace. The Landdrost, Captain Stockenstrom (an active and impartial magistrate), after due investigation of the facts, apprehended the girl, together with one of the female slaves of the colony, and an old Hottentot woman who assisted at the accouchement. The prisoners were finally transmitted to Cape Town to be prosecuted by the Fiscal before the Court of Justice. It appeared from the evidence elicited on the trial, that the mother had either strangled the infant her self, or forced the slave by threats to
do so; and that the slave had afterwards carried away and concealed the body. The court condemned the mother of the infant and the slave to capital punishment for the murder, and the Hottentot woman to twelve months' imprisonment. From this sentence, the friends of the White woman appealed; and the Governor, as judge of the Court of Appeals, reversed the sentence in her favour. She was consequently liberated; reappeared among her acquaintance as if nothing had occurred, and in a few months was married. But what became of the unhappy slave woman, who had been the accomplice of her young mistress in the crime? Who appealed in her behalf? Who implored mercy for her? Not her master: be endeavoured to impute to her all the guilt, and willingly surrendered her life as a ransom for that of his daughter. Not the members of the Court of Justice: they had, as they deemed, duly performed their functions, and would not interfere beyond them. Not the Court of Appeals: it had saved the free woman; it cared not for the slave. Not the public: there is no public voice heard at the Cape. The poor slave remained in jail; and was about to be sacrificed alone for a crime, in which (if she assisted at all) it was evident she was not the principal, but merely the blind accomplice of her mistress, whether from obsequious attachment or from servile fear. At this crisis, a friend of humanity, a casual visitor from India, heard of her pitiable case with interest and indignation. He visited her in prison, drew up a strong statement on the subject, and laid it before the Governor. The Governor, though he had previously passed it over unnoticed, was now moved; and the poor creature was saved.
"I have stated that mothers and children are often separated by being sold to different purchasers at the public sales. Examples of this are of daily occurrence; but one or two will sufficiently illustrate this part of the subject. The following is an
advertisement extracted from the Cape Gazette of Oct. 12, 1822:
To be sold by auction, to the highest bidder, on the 15th instant, by order of the Board of Orphan Masters, in such condition as will then be specified, the buildings on the Loan Place, Brood Kraal, at Berg River, district of Stellenbosch. There will also be sold a female slave, named Candasa, of Mozambique, fifty-four years old, with her five children; Saphira, aged thirteen years; Eva, ten; Candasa, nine; Jannetje, seven; and Carlo, five; each to be put up separately!'
"The following account of a scene of this kind, is extracted from the letter of a friend of the writer, while travelling in the interior of the colony :
"Having learned that there was to be a sale of cattle, farm stock, &c. by auction, at a Veld-Cornet's in the vicinity, we halted our waggon one day for the purpose of procuring a fresh spann of oxen. Among the stock of the farm sold, was a female slave and her three children. The two eldest children were girls; the one about thirteen years of age, and the other about eleven; the youngest was a boy. The whole family were exhibited together; but they were sold separately, and to different purchasers. The farmers examined them as if they had been so many head of cattle. While the sale was going on, the mother and her children were exhibited on a table, that they might be seen by the company, which was very large. The tears, the anxiety, the anguish of the mother, while she met the gaze of the mul titude, eyed the different countenances of the bidders, or cast a heartrending look upon her children; and the simplicity and touching sorrow of the poor young ones, while they clung to their distracted parent, wiping their eyes, and half concealing their faces,-contrasted with the marked insensibility and jocular countenances of the spectators and purchasers,-furnished a striking CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 304.
commentary on the miseries of slaveand its debasing effects upon the hearts of its abettors. While the woman was in this distressed situation she was asked, "Can you feed sheep?" Her reply was so indistinct that it escaped me; but it was probably in the negative, for her purchaser rejoined in a loud and harsh voice, "Then I will teach you with the sjamboc" (a whip made of the rhinoceros' hide). The mother and her three children were sold to three separate purchasers; and they were literally torn from each other.'
"The following notices of cases between masters and slaves, are extracted from the annual lists of trials before the Court of Justice and its commissioners, inserted in the Cape Gazette; and are only a small selection out of a multitude of such cases, in Cape Town and its vicinity, between the years 1817 and 1822. Brief as these notices are, they may suffice, without any comment, to exhibit, in a distinct light, the degraded condition of men in slavery, (even in its mildest state,) and the striking inequality of the colonial laws and Courts of Justice, as they practically affect them and their masters.
"Masters v. Slaves.
"Jacob of Mozambique, slave of W. Servyntyn, for threatening the life of his master, and making resistance against the Veld-Cornet: condemned to be exposed to public view, made fast by a rope under the gallows; thereupon to be flogged, branded, and confined on Robben Island (to work in irons) for life.
Laubscher, for an armed and violent attack "David of Mosambique, slave of A: upon his master: condemned to be hanged; which sentence received the sanction of the governor. Remitted, and returned to said master, with information to prison
er on his release, that it is to his master's kind interference he owes his life, as the law certainly demanded the forfeit of it.
"N. B. Had the slave been hanged, it would have been a loss to his master of about 2001.]
"Louis, slave of D. Hugo, for wilfully wounding his master: condemned to be hanged. Sentence remitted by the acting governor.
charge of murder: condemned to be hang"April, slave of A. de Villiers, on a ed at the village of Stellenbosch, and his 2 G