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the question with the feverish impatience of men whose conscience has been convinced against their will; and the hopes of its supporters, which had been sanguine and confident, assumed the character of calm and patient perseverance.
In the mean time, several events had taken place abroad, which in some degree checked the trade. In 1792 Denmark set a noble example to Europe, by absolutely prohibiting it among her subjects. In 1794 the example was followed by the United States. And, in 1793, there had been a general insurrection of the black population of the island of Hayti; and that struggle commenced which terminated eleven years afterwards in the recognition of their independence.
The ever memorable distinction of finally abolishing the slave trade among British subjects, was reserved for the administration of Mr Fox. In 1806 two bills were passed, partially restraining and limiting the practice; and its complete prohibition was the most anxious wish expressed by the dying Minister in his last moments. He died in October 1806, and on the 2d of January 1807, a bill for the abolition of the trade was introduced by Lord Grenville into the House of Peers. It passed both Houses successfully, and received the Royal assent on the 26th of March. Its provisions were explained and amended by several subsequent acts; and at length the whole law on the subject was consolidated in a bill introduced by Dr Lushington, which became an act of the Legislature on the 25th of June 1824.
It is admitted that the withdrawal of Great Britain from the Slave Trade had, in some measure, the effect of increasing the miseries inflicted by it. That commerce was formerly for the most part carried on by British merchants and captains, who, if not always men of humanity, were at least good seamen and frugal men of business, and provided for the health of their slaves as they would have provided for the safety of any other species of merchandise. It has since entirely fallen into the hands of Piratical outcasts, who wantonly throw away the lives of their victims by their slothful and ignorant neglect, more even than by their wilful cruelty. But it is strange that this necessary evil should have either caused triumph among the opponents of abolition, or disappointment among its supporters. Every criminal practice, as it becomes infamous and dangerous, is of course exercised by a more depraved and desperate class of men than the original offenders ; and therefore with circumstances of greater atrocity. But are we, on this account, to abide by such practices ? The crimes of Wild or Sheppard were far more execrable than those of Rob Roy; but we do not think that Sir Robert WalVOL. LXXIX. NO, CLX.
pole would have thought this an excuse for not attempting to civilize the Scottish Highlands.
• From 1807 to 1810,' says Mr Bandinel, the African slave • trade was carried on chiefly under the flags of America and • Portugal; and in 1810, the place of the American flag was supplied by that of Spain. From that time to 1815, the trade was carried on chiefly under the flags of Spain and Portugal, and mostly for the supply of the colonies of those two powers. The * importation into them was computed at about 60,000, of which • half was carried off under the Spanish, and half under the Por'tuguese flag.' We must refrain from any attempt to lay before our readers any thing like a connected sketch of the long, tedious, and complicated negotiations between Britain and these powers, upon the subject of the Slave Trade. Some portion of the obstinate perfidy by which the humane remonstrances of Mr Canning, Lord'Palmerston, and Lord Aberdeen, have been eluded, must in justice be ascribed to the precarious and imperfect nature of the authority exercised by the Governments of countries so miserably harassed by civil war. But, after the fullest allowances have been made, the facts related by Mr Bandinel must be pronounced painful examples of the indolence, the propensity to deceit, and the supine indifference to human suffering, with which the nations of southern Europe are too justly charged.
Among the other maritime powers, a better spirit has prevailed. The French Slave Trade was abolished by Napoleon upon his return from Elba, and its abolition was confirmed by Louis XVIII. in 1817. That of Holland was forbidden in 1814; and the treaties since concluded with Great Britain have been so effectual, that no trade in slaves is now carried on under the Dutch flag. • Every power in Europe, continues Mr Bandinel,' and every civilized power in America, has now
denounced the slave trade as criminal, and has formally inter• dicted the practice thereof within its dominions, by its sub*jects, and under its flag. There is no civilized state in Christendom, into whose dominions slaves can lawfully be imported; and the only Christian countries into which they are imported, even contrary to law, are the Spanish islands of Cuba and Porto Rico, the Portuguese islands on the coast of Africa, and the late Portuguese dominions in South America. Even in these last strongholds of oppression, there is every reason, as the facts stated by Mr Bandinel conclusively show, to believe that the contraband trade is yearly diminishing. And a still more unexpected encouragement is to be found in the just and rational conduct of the native African chiefs ; many of whom have shown
a sincere determination to prevent the exportation of slaves from their dominions.
In the mean time, preparations were making in Great Britain for the last remaining measure of redress—the universal Emancipation of all slaves throughout the British dominions, A society was formed for the mitigation and gradual abolition of Slavery; and in 1823 the subject was first brought before Parliament by Mr Fowell Buxton, who proposed a resolution condemning the practice. An amendment by Mr Canning, nearly to the same effect, was agreed to unanimously; and in 1824, an Order of Council was issued, drawing the attention of the Colonial Legislatures to several hardships in the condition of their slaves, and prescribing certain regulations for their relief. The conduct of the colonists was certainly rash and impolitic to infatuation. They received the conciliatory admonitions of the Crown, in all cases with contemptuous neglect, and in many
with open and clamorous defiance. They overwhelmed both the Government and the new Association with the bitterest invectives. They sanctioned, under various pretexts, acts of illegal violence against several persons who had attempted to instruct and improve the slaves. They had even the madness to threaten armed resistance to the interference of the mother country; and that at a moment when, if their own picture of the negro population was just, they owed their personal safety-we do not say to her forbearance—but to her active and vigilant protection.
This injudicious and insulting pertinacity excited the strongest indignation in England. The reluctance of her legislature to interfere with the rights of private property was so strong, that a moderate show of liberality, and a few comparatively unimportant concessions, would probably have long deferred its authoritative interference. But some degree of improvement, the British nation were, as Mr Canning emphatically said in Parliament, determined to see effected, or to effect themselves. The slave owners could not be induced to assume the attitude of compliance, which would in all probability have pacified for a time the public scruples. Resolution after resolution was passed by the House of Commons, condemning the obstinacy of the colonial governments, and pledging themselves to take the subject into full and early consideration. At length the national resentment was completely roused; and a bill was introduced by Mr Stanley for the final abolition of slavery, which received the royal sanction on the 28th of August 1833.
We are glad to find that Mr Bandinel, an able, cautious, and dispassionate judge, is inclined to augur favourably of the result of this grand and bold experiment. We admit that the time is not yet
arrived for appreciating its entire consequences; but few persons, after reading Mr Bandinel's narrative, will refuse to admit that the abuses which prevailed were such as to justify the most hazardous remedy. We do not speak of the necessary evils of a state of slavery, though these are neither few nor slight. We do not even allude to the numerous acts of atrocity which were proved to have actually occurred in the British colonies. We rest entirely upon the implied admissions of the slave owners themselves. We find it recorded as an indisputable fact, that twenty years ago a West Indian slave was a mere chattel, incapable of holding property, of giving testimony in a court of justice, or of exercising any civil right-liable to corporal punishment at the discretion of his master, and exposed to be wantonly murdered by any white man who could afford to pay a fine of L.11, 4s. sterling for the atrocious gratification ! We also find that these cruel and malignant laws were highly popular among the colonists—that the remonstrances of the British Parliament upon the subject were met by entire neglect, and even by threats of rebellion—and that, in particular, the strongest indignation was excited by an attempt to make the wilful murder of a slave felony. Did not these transactions speak more strongly than any isolated instances of kindness could do? How could the British nation believe that the planter was, as his advocates represented him, the mild patriarchal ruler of a happy family, when they saw him in a transport of indignation at being forbidden by law to murder his slaves ? They said, and said truly, that a system under which such powers were thought necessary, was a disgrace to humanity, and must be abolished at any risk. And if they were mistaken, the blame of the error must be cast, not upon the supporters of emancipation, but upon the men who chose, by their infatuated pride and folly, to represent it as the only means of protecting the slave from daily torture and murder.
Here we must take leave of Mr Bandinel's work. We have, in what we have said above, rather aimed at such a notice of it as might recommend it to deserved attention, than at giving any thing like a full view of its contents. It is a history which, brief and unadorned as it is, is more impressive than many of far higher pretensions. The dry details of Treaties and Acts of Parliament assume an unwonted interest, when we remember that they record the unwearied efforts of the greatest commercial power in the world, to extinguish a traffic which her enterprise and skill were yearly placing more completely in her hands. This is a transaction which the bitterness of contemporary jealousy has not been ashamed to misrepresent; but which we confidently hope that posterity will not finally misconstrue.
Art. IV.-1. Memoirs of Admiral the Right Honourable the
Earl of St Vincent. By JedediAH STEPHENS TUCKER, Esq. Two volumes 8vo. London : 1844. 2. The Life and Correspondence, Naval and Military, of John Earl of si Vincent. By EDWARD Pelham BRENTON, Captain in Her Majesty's Navy. Two volumes 8vo. London:
rank of the many eminent characters, that have spread a lustre over the annals of the British Empire during the course of the last three hundred years. As a great Naval Commander, viewed under all the aspects of his professional career, even from his first entrance into the service until he arrived at the highest step, there is something remarkable in his whole conduct peculiarly his own. It was this conduct that made him Commanderin-chief of the Mediterranean, and twice Commander-in-chief of the Channel fleet; being ordered, on the second occasion, to carry the Union Alag at the main, having previously held the office of First Lord of the Admiralty, and been advanced to the prominent situation of Admiral of the Fleet; and by this conduct was the successful battle fought with the enemy's fleet, nearly double the force of his own, for which he received from his sovereign the high dignity of an Earldom of the United Kingdom; and, towards the close of his distinguished career, was honoured by George IV. with a Field-marshal's baton, in testimony of his eminent services.
Under the guidance, and by the example, of such a man, were the most distinguished officers of the time educated and promoted - Collingwood, Saumarez, Troubridge, Hallowell, and Nelson, with many others. • He was the master and instructor,' says Dr Parr, of Nelson, whom he formed and made a greater man than himself, and then did not envy him.' The Doctor was not far wrong. Lord St Vincent knew not what envy was : when he found himself so unwell as to be obliged to give up the Mediterranean command, Lord Nelson, on his own behalf and that of his gallant comrades above mentioned, thus writes to him * For the sake of the country, do not quit us at this ( moment. We look up to you, as we have always found . you, as to our father, under whose fostering care we have been • led to fame.' And, two days after, he again writes— We all • love you. Come, then, to your sincere friends ; let us get you