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In the year 1807, Great Britain prohibited all her 
subjects from engaging in the Slave Trade, and the 
Legislature of this country, in accordance with the 
voice of the people, repudiated a commerce which 
had produced more crime and misery, than perhaps 
any other single course of guilt and iniquity ; but 
neither the Government nor the Legislature, nor the 
subjects of this realm, were satisfied with a mere 
cessation from crime. 

Remembering how deeply, in times of compa- 
rative ignorance, we had sustained and augmented 
this trade, so repugnant to every Christian principle 
and feeling, the nation determined to use its utmost 
influence, and expend its resources, in the noble 
attempt to extinguish it for ever. 

The compass of this address will not allow even of 
the most compendious statement of the measures 
resorted to, of the treaties concluded with foreign 
powers, of the monies expended, and the various 


other efforts made to effect this object ; suffice it to 
say, that since the year 1807, all the great powers of 
Europe have been induced by Great Britain to unite 
in expressing their abhorrence of this traffic ; and 
with all, treaties more or less stringent have been 
made for its extinction. 

The United States of America, though from political 
reasons they have declined any actual co-operation, 
have not the less denounced and prohibited all traffic 
in Slaves from Africa. Great Britain has expended, 
in bounties alone, upwards of £940,000, and in the 
maintenance of the courts established for the adjudi- 
cation of captured slaves, above £330,000 : besides a 
very large sum annually in supporting a considerable 
force of cruizers in various parts of the globe, to 
intercept and destroy the traffic* An infinitely 
more important sacrifice has been made in the loss 
of British life, which has been necessarily incurred in 
pursuing this object. The result, the melancholy 
result, remains to be stated. The traffic has not been 
extinguished, has ot been diminished, but, by the 
latest accounts from which any estimate can be cor- 
rectly formed, the numbers exported have increased 
—the destruction of human life, and all the guilt and 
misery consequent thereon, have been fearfully aug- 

* This Expenditure, together with that caused by the payments 
to foreign powers on account of the Slave Trade, for the support 
of liberated Africans, and for other incidental expenses, may be 
shown, from official documents, to have' amounted to upwards of 
fifteen millions sterling. 

mented ; and at the same time it may be stated, that 
the numbers exported from Africa, are, as compared 
with the year 1807, as two to one, and that the annual 
loss of life has risen from seventeen to twenty-five 
per cent. 

Let no man, however, say that these efforts have 
been thrown away. Who can tell how fearful might 
not have been the amount of enormity, if those exer- 
tions had not been made ? Who would presume to 
say that the very assertion of the great principles of 
justice and truth has not accelerated the final extir- 
pation of those detested practices? Who would 
venture to assert that a criminal inaction on the part 
of Great Britain might not have caused an indefinite 
continuance of the guilt on the part of other nations ? 

But the people of England have not succeeded to 
the extent of their wishes : — Assuming it to be so, 
what remains to be done ? — but led on by the same 
Christian principles, the same devotion to truth, 
justice, and humanity, to continue our efforts, and to 
apply, if possible, other and more efficient remedies 
in accordance with these great principles. 

Animated by these feelings, a number of noblemen 
and gentlemen of all political opinions, and of 
Christian persuasions of divers kinds, have formed 
themselves into a Society for the purpose of effecting 
the extinction of the Slave Trade ; and they now call 
on the public to unite their exertions for the accom- 
plishment of this great end. 

That the British public, apprized of the extent of 

the enormity, and deeply feeling- the guilt and 
misery now prevailing, will receive with favour the 
announcement of the formation of this Society, no 
doubt is entertained; but various opinions do and 
will exist as to the most fitting means to be adopted 
for the establishment of peace and tranquillity in 

It is expedient, therefore, to state the leading 
principles on which this Society is formed, and the 
measures intended to be pursued. 

It is the unanimous opinion of this Society, that 
the only complete cure of all these evils, is the intro- 
duction of Christianity into Africa. They do not 
believe that any less powerful remedy will entirely 
extinguish the present inducements to trade in 
human beings, or will afford to the inhabitants of 
those extensive regions a sure foundation for repose 
and happiness. 

But they are aware that a great variety of views 
may exist as to the manner in which religious 
instruction sliould be introduced. Distinctly avowing, 
therefore, that the substitution of our pure and holy 
faith for the false religion, idolatry and superstitions 
of Africa, is', in their firm conviction, the true ulti- 
mate remedy for the calamities that afflict her, they 
are most anxious to adopt every measure which may 
eventually lead to the establishment of Christianity 
throughout that Continent ; and hoping to secure 
the cordial co-operation of all, they proceed to declare 
that the grand object of their association is — the 
extinction of the Slave Trade. 

The primary object of this Society will be con- 
stantly kept in view under all circumstances of dif- 
ficulty or discouragement, as the grand end to which 
their efforts, of whatever character, should be reso- 
lutely and unchangeably directed. 

As one of the principal means, they have cordially 
co-operated with Mr. Buxton in inducing Her 
Majesty's Government to undertake an expedition 
to the river Niger, with the view of obtaining the 
most accurate information as to the state of the 
countries bordering on its mighty waters. 

The immense importance of this object alone, as 
opening a highway into the interior of Africa, and 
bringing the efforts of British philanthropy into 
immediate contact with the numerous and populous 
nations it contains, will be at once perceived and 

It will be one of the first duties then of this 
Society to watch over the proceedings of this expe- 
dition, to record its progress, and to digest and 
circulate the valuable information which it may be 
confidently expected to communicate. 

When this leading step has been taken, it is anti- 
cipated that a large field for exertions of a different 
description will then be opened ; but desirable as such 
exertions may be, it must be clearly understood that 
this Society, associated solely for benevolent purposes, 
can bear no part whatever in them : still, in order 
that a comprehensive view may be taken of the whole, 
though each part must be accomplished by agencies 


entirely distinct, it may be expedient to state some of 
the expectations which are entertained. 

One most important department must entirely rest 
with Her Majesty's Government, — the formation 
of Treaties with the native rulers of Africa for the 
suppression of the Slave Trade. Such Treaties, 
however, will not be carried into execution, unless 
those wants which have hitherto been supplied from 
the profits arising from the sale of the natives, should 
be satisfied through the means of legitimate com- 
merce. It may appear expedient to the Government 
to obtain from the Chiefs the possession of some con- 
venient districts which may be best adapted to car- 
rying on trade with safety and success, and when this 
is effected, another and wholly distinct Society may 
perhaps be formed, for the purpose of aiding in the 
cultivation of those districts, and of promoting the 
growth of those valuable products for which the soil 
of those Countries is peculiarly fitted. 

The present Society can take part in no plan of 
Colonization or of Trade. Its objects are, and must 
be, exclusively pacific and benevolent ; but it may by 
encouragement, and by the diffusion of information, 
most materially aid in the civilization of Africa, and 
so pave the way for the successful exertions of others, 
whether they be directed to colonization and the cul- 
tivation of the soil or to commercial intercourse, or 
to that which is immeasurably superior to them all, 
the establishment of the Christian faith on the Con- 
tinent of Africa. 

At home this Society will direct its vigilant atten- 
tion to all which may arise with respect to the traffic 
in Slaves, and give publicity to whatever may be 
deemed most essential to produce its suppression. 

In Africa there are various means whereby it may 
effectually work to the same end. One of the great 
impediments at present existing to the advancement 
of knowledge, is the state of the native languages 
of Western and Central Africa. 

Amongst the many nations which inhabit those re- 
gions, there are certainly many different dialects, and 
not improbably several leading languages. A few 
only of those languages have yet been reduced into 
writing, and consequently the difficulty of holding 
intercourse with the natives and imparting knowledge 
to them is greatly increased. By the adoption of 
effectual measures for reducing the principal lan- 
guages of Western and Central Africa into writing, 
a great obstacle to the diffusion of information will be 
removed, and facility afforded for the introduction of 
the truths of Christianity. 

There is another subject of no light importance 
which would legitimately fall within the views of this 
Institution. In Africa, medical science can scarcely 
be said to exist, yet in no part of the world is it more 
profoundly respected. As at present understood by 
the natives, it is intimately connected with the most 
inveterate and barbarous superstitions ; and its artful 
practitioners, owing their superiority to this popular 
ignorance, may be expected to interpose the most 


powerful obstacles to the diffusion of Christianity and 
of science. 

To encourage therefore the introduction of more 
enlightened views on this subject; — to prevent or 
mitigate the prevalence of disease and suffering 
among the people of Africa, — and to secure the aid 
of medical science generally to the beneficent 
objects of African civilization, must be considered 
of immense importance ; nor would its benefits be 
confined to the native population. It is equally ap- 
plicable to the investigation of the climate and loca- 
lities of that Country. To render Africa a salu- 
brious residence for European constitutions may be a 
boneless task ; but to diminish the danger, to point 
out the means whereby persons proceeding thither 
may most effectually guard against its perils, may 
perhaps be effected ; nor must it be forgotten that in 
however humble a degree this advantage can be at- 
tained, its value cannot be too highly appreciated. 

Various other measures may come within the legi- 
timate scope of this Institution. It maybe sufficient 
to recapitulate a few ;-— the encouragement of prac- 
tical science in all its various branches, — the system 
of drainage best calculated to success in a climate so 
humid and so hot, would be an invaluable boon to all 
who frequent that great Continent, whatever might 
be their purpose. Though this Society would not 
embark in agriculture, it might afford essential as- 
sistance to the natives, by furnishing them with useful 
information as to the best mode of cultivation ; as to 


the productions which command a steady market, 
and by introducing the most approved agricultural 
implements and seeds. The time may come when 
the knowledge and practice of the mighty powers of 
steam might contribute rapidly to promote the im- 
provement and prosperity of that Country. 

Even matters of comparatively less moment may 
engage the attention of the Society. It may assist 
in promoting the formation of Roads and Canals. 
The manufacture of Paper, and the use of the Print- 
ing Press, if once established in Africa, will be 
amongst the most powerful auxiliaries in the disper- 
sion of ignorance, and the destruction of barbarism. 

It is hoped that enough has now been stated to 
justify the Society in calling for the aid and co-ope- 
ration of all who hold in just abhorrence the iniqui- 
tous traffic in human beings — of all who deeply 
deplore the awful crimes which have so long afflicted, 
and still continue to devastate Africa — of all who 
remember with deep sorrow and contrition that share 
which Great Britain so long continued to have, in 
producing those scenes of bloodshed and of guilt. A 
variety of collateral means has thus been suggested 
sufficiently important and interesting to demonstrate 
the necessity of a distinct Society, and to entitle it 
to the best wishes and firmest support of every sincere 
friend of Africa. 

To its success, cordial and united co-operation is 
indispensable. It proposes to act by means in which 
the whole community, without regard to religious or 
political opinions, may concur ; and though it does 


not embrace the establishment by its own agency of 
schools for the spread of Religious Instruction, it 
abstains from such an undertaking, not because it 
does not value the introduction of Christian know- 
ledge as the greatest blessing which can be bestowed 
on that idolatrous land, but because a diversity of 
opinion as to the mode of proceeding, must of neces- 
sity interfere with the unity of action so essential for 
the common prosecution of such an important object, 
and thus impede instead of facilitate the objects of 
this Institution. 

It is impossible, however, to close this address 
without again expressing, in the most emphatic 
terms, the conviction and earnest hope of all who 
have already attached themselves as members of this 
Institution, that the measures to be adopted by them 
for the suppression of the traffic in Slaves — for 
securing the peace and tranquillity of Africa — for the 
encouragement of agriculture and commerce, will 
facilitate the propagation and triumph of that faith 
which one and all feel to be indispensable for the 
happiness of the inhabitants of that Continent. How- 
soever the extension of the Christian religion may be 
attempted, it is far more likely to take root and flou- 
rish where peace prevails, and crime is diminished, 
than where murder and bloodshed, and the violation of 
every righteous principle, continue to pollute the land. 

Office of the Society, 

15, Parliament Street, 

\ February, 1840. 


Thomas Fowell Buxton, Esq. 

Ueput» Cf) airmen. 

The Right. Hon. Stephen Lushington, D.C.L. M. P. 
Sir Robert Harry Inglis, Bart., M. P. 

The Earl of Euston, M. P. 

The Earl of Chichester 

The Lord Charles Fitz Roy, M. P. 

The Lord Nugent. 

The Lord Viscount Sandon, M.P. 

The Lord Ashley, M. P. 

The Lord Eliot, M.P. 

The Lord Worsley, M. P. 

The Lord Bishop of London. 

The Lord Calthorpe. 

The Lord Seaford. 

The Lord Whamcliffe. 

The Lord Teignmouth, M. P. 

The Hon. C. P. Villiers, M. P. 

The Hon. F. G. Calthorpe. 

The Right Hon. T. B. Macaulay, M. P. 


Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, Bart., M.P. 

Sir George Stephen. 

Thomas Dyke Acland, Esq , M. P. 

William Allen, Esq. 

Captain W. Allen, R. N. 

Captain Bird Allen, R. N. 

George Babington, Esq. 

Edward Baines, Esq., M. P. 

John J. Briscoe, Esq., M. P. 

E. N. Buxton, Esq. 

Edmund Buxton, Esq. 

Robert Barclay, Jun., Esq. 

Jos. Gurney Barclay, Esq. 

Arthur Kett Barclay, Esq. 

Jos. Beldam, Esq. 

John Bandinel, Esq. 

The Rev. Dr. Bunting. 

The Rev. John Beecham. 

Frederick Bell, Esq. 

James Bell, Esq. 

Captain Bosanquet, R. N. 

William Brackenbury, Esq. 

James Cook, Esq. 

Captain Cook. 

Emanuel Cooper, Esq. 

Dandeson Coates, Esq. 

William Ewart, Esq,. M. P. 

William Evans, Esq., M. P. 

William Storrs Fry, Esq. 

J. Gurney Fry, Esq. 

W. E. Forster, Esq. 

H. Goulburn, Jun., Esq. 


Charles Grant, Esq. 

Dr. Gregory. 

Samuel Gurney, Esq. 

Samuel Gurney, Jun., Esq. 

John Henry Gurney, Esq. 

Samuel Hoare, Esq. 

John Gurney Hoare, Esq. 

William Hamilton, Esq. 

The Rev. R. E. Hankinson, Jun. 

Benjamin Hawes, Jun., Esq., M. P. 

Dr. Hodgkin. 

John Irving, Esq., M. P. 

Andrew Johnston, Esq. 

Captain Kelly, R. N. 

J. J. Lister, Esq. 

L. C. Lecesne, Esq. 

Charles Lushington, Esq., M. P. 

James M f Queen, Esq. 

Richard Matthews, Esq. 

The Hon. Captain Maude, R. N. 

Colonel Nicholls. 

Robert Pryor, Esq. 

C. L. Phillips, Esq. 

G. R. Porter, Esq. 

W. Foster Reynolds, Esq. 

William Rothery, Esq. 

Thomas Sturge, Esq. 

W. C. Stretfield; Esq. 

Benjamin Smith, Esq., M. P. 

William Taylor, Esq. 

Colonel Torrens. 

Captain Trotter, R. N. 

H. R. Upcher, Esq. 


Captain Washington, R. N. 
Henry Waymouth, Esq. 



The Rev. J. M. Trew. 

Receiving Bankers : — Messrs. Barnetts, Hoare, and Co., 
62, Lombard-street ; Messrs. Barclay, Bevan, and Co., 54, 
Lombard-street; Messrs. Coutts and Co., 59, Strand; Messrs. 
Drummonds, Charing-cross ; Messrs. Haneury, Tayj.or, and 
Co., 60, Lombard-street; Messrs. Hankeys, 7, Fenchurch- 
street; Messrs. Hoares, 37, Fleet-street; Messrs. Williams, 
Dbacon, and Co., 20, Birchin-lane. 




" This is a people robbed and spoiled ; they are all of them snared in 
holes, and they are hid in prison houses ; th ey are for a prey, and none 
deliveretli; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore." — Isaiah, xiii. 21. 

" The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." — Isaiah, xxxv. 1 . 



Sb~»^, JS~ 



Printed by William Clowes and Sons, 

Stamford Street. 



The first part of this work, delineating the extent 
and the horrors of the African Slave Trade, was 
published early in 1839 ; it was then my intention 
to add the other part, containing " The Remedy" 
in the form of a second volume, but for reasons not 
necessary to detail, I found myself obliged to defer 
its publication for a longer period than I had at first 
proposed. Meanwhile, fresh sources of information 
opened themselves to me, and I have thus been fur- 
nished with so much new matter, that I have found 
it necessary (another edition being also required) to 
republish the first volume in its present shape. 

Those even who have fully possessed themselves 
of the case as it then stood will not I hope refuse it 
some further examination now ; I have added to 
every part the results of the most recent informa- 
tion ; have, in some respects, revised and perfected 
the calculations, and have subjoined a chapter on a 



topic which strictly belongs to the State of Africa, 
and is in every sense closely allied to the Slave 
Trade, — the Superstitions and Cruelties existing 
in that country. A " Remedy" is almost as urgently 
demanded for these as for the Traffic itself. This 
Remedy, as it presents itself to my mind, is unfolded 
in Part II. of this volume. 

I have judged it expedient, in order to condense 
into one view all the facts appertaining to this part 
of my subject, to incorporate the substance of the 
chapter, entitled " Commercial Intercourse with 
Africa," into this latter portion of the work, and I 
submit my views to the consideration and correction 
of all who are interested in the cause, with the trust 
that, if accepted in Theory, they will obtain a cordial 
and persevering co-operation in Practice. 




Introduction ..... i 

Chap. 1. Extent . . . . . 15 

Brazil — Cuba — Porto Rico — Buenos Ayres, &c. — The 
United States — Texas — Summary — Corroborative 
Proofs of the Extent of the Slave Trade — Mohamme- 
dan Slave Trade— Summary. 

Chap. 2. Mortality ... 73 

Seizure — March — Detention — Middle Passage — Loss 
after Capture — Loss after Landing, and in Season- 
ing — Summary. 

Chap. 3. Failure of Efforts already made for the 
Suppression of the Slaa^e Trade . . 203 

Increase of Slave Trading — Portuguese flag — Spanish 
Treaty unavailing — Case of the Vencedora — Piracy — 
Profits of Slave Trading will overcome force. 

Chap. 4. Superstitions and Cruelties of the Africans 226 
Early Authorities — Dahomey — Ashantee " Customs" — 
Dupuis — Mr. Fox and the King of the Foulahs — 
Laird — Red water — Drowning — Fetish Tree — Sir 
Charles Macarthy — Mr. Freeman's Journal. 

General Review ..... 267 




Introduction ..... 277 

Chap. 1. Preparatory Measures . . . 283 

Increased Efficiency of Naval Force — Concentration on 
Coast of Africa — Increase of Force — Employment of 
Steamers — Treaties with Native Powers — Facilities 
for such Treaties — Major Denham and the Sheikh of 
Bornou — Lander — Clapperton and Bello — Governor 
Grant's Embassy to the Foulahs — Policy hitherto 
adopted by the Government — New line of Policy 
recommended — These measures not the Remedy. 

Chap. 2. Commerce and Cultivation . . 301 

The true Remedy — Our former System — Reasons of 
our Failure — Insignificance of present legitimate 
Trade — Comparisons with other Countries — Impulse 
to Commerce — Productions — Animals — Fowls — 
Fish — Minerals — Gold — Iron — Copper, &c. — Soil 
— Fertility — Timber — Dye-woods — Gums — Nuts — 
Palm Oil — Roots — Fruits — Grain — Drugs — Miscel- 
laneous Products — Various Testimonies — Hemp — 
Coffee — Sugar — Cotton — Cultivation of Cotton — 
Factories — Agriculture — Benefit to England— Bene- 
fit to Africa. 

Chap. 3. Facilities for Commercial Intercourse . 344 

The Niger — Park — Lander — Laird and Oldfield — Posi- 
tions commanding the Niger — Fernando Po — Con- 
fluence of Niger and Tchadda — Mr. M'Queen — Other 
Rivers — The Senegal — Faleme — Gambia — Geogra- 


phical position — Contiguity to Europe — Effects to be 
hoped for. 

Chap. 4. Results of Experience . . , 362 

Sierra Leone — Disadvantages — Success — Mr. Fergu- 
son's Letter — St. Mary's on the Gambia — Missiona- 
ries- — Gold Coast — Wyd ah— Opinion of Governor 
M'Carthy — General Turner — His Dispatches — His 
Death — Colonel Nichols — Mr. Rendall — Opinions 
of Travellers— Goldberry — Robertson — Park — Lan- 
der — Gray — Captain W. Allen — M'Queen — Clark- 
son — Society of Friends — Pasha of Egypt — Process 
of Conviction — Coincidence of Opinions. 

Chap. 5. Principles ..... 441 

Free Trade — No Custom House — No Distinction be- 
tween English and Foreigners — Neutral Ground — 
Singapore — Free Labour — Warning against Slavery 
— Captain Beaver — Mr. Fox — British Dominion — 
Dangers — Answers to Objections — Encouragement of 
African Produce. 

Chap. 6. Elevation of Native Mind . . 457 

Opinion of Mr. Pitt — Allowance to be made for the 
Negro — Effect of Slavery on Whites — Adams — Cap- 
tain Paddock — Favourable Symptoms — Indications 
of Capability — Turkey — Ashmun — African Mer- 
chants — Eastern Coast — Kroomen — Ingenuity — 
Clarkson and the Emperor Alexander — Hannah 
Kilham — Facilities for giving Instruction— Liberia 
— The Plantains — Bondou — Mr. Freeman — Agents 
to be obtained — Letters from the West Indies — 
Advances already made — Translations prepared — 
Church Missionary Society — Wesleyan Missionary 


Society — London Missionary Society — Debt to Africa 
— Present time opportune — Plan of proceedings. 

Chap. 7. Specific Steps . ~. . . 51 

Objects to be attained — Means to be employed — Duty 
of Government — Duty of Individuals — Benevolent 
Society — Agricultural Company. 

Conclusion . ... 523 

Appendix A. Facilities for Treaties. . . . 532 

B. Fernando Po. . . . . 537 

C. Governor's Despatches. . . . 541 

D. Letter from Mr. Clarkson. . . . 545 

E. Letter from Mr. Hyde Pearson . . 554 

F. Copy of a Letter from the Right Hon. Lord 
John Russell to the Lords Commissioners 
of Her Majesty's Treasury . . 555 



" This is a people robbed and spoiled ; they are all of them 
snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses ; they are for a 
prey, and none deliyereth ; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore." — 
Isaiah, xiii. 21. 



No one possessing any knowledge of, or anxiety on 
the subject of the Negro race can fail to deplore the 
present state of Africa. 

Desirous to ascertain why it is that all our gigantic 
efforts and costly sacrifices for the suppression of the 
Slave Trade have proved unavailing, I have em- 
ployed some leisure time in surveying this whole 
subject, and in tracing out, as far as I have been able, 
the true cause of our failure. My original impres- 
sion was, that, in increased efforts at sea, and in re- 
ducing Portugal to the necessity of executing her 
engagements with us, the effective remedy was to be 
found, and that little more than these would be 
required for the gratification of the ardent desire felt 
by the British nation for the abolition of the Slave 
Trade. But a closer scrutiny into the facts of the 
case has conducted me to a different conclusion. 


There are, I now think, reasonable grounds for be- 
lieving, that we should still be disappointed, although 
we were to double our naval force engaged in that 
branch of service, and although it were resolved to 
take the most peremptory measures with Portugal. 

I do not underrate the value of our maritime ex- 
ertions. I think it may be good policy, and, in the 
long run, true economy, to multiply the number of 
our vessels, to do at once and by a blow, all that can 
be done in this way ; to increase our expenses for a 
few years, in order to escape the necessity of incurring 
cost, not materially less, for an indefinite period. 
Neither do I wish that our government should ad- 
dress Portugal in any terms short of a declaration 
that our cruisers will have orders to seize, after a 
fixed and an early day, every vessel under Portuguese 
colours engaged in the slave traffic, to bring the crew 
to trial as pirates, and inflict upon them the severest 
secondary punishment which our law allows. Deci- 
sive measures of this kind would, there is no doubt, 
facilitate our success, by removing some of the great 
impediments which stand in the way of other reme- 
dial measures ; nevertheless, I am compelled, by the 
various evidence which it has been my province to 
examine, to place my main reliance, not on the em- 
ployment of force, but on the encouragement which 
we may be able to give to the legitimate commerce 
and the agricultural cultivation of Africa, 
. We attempt to put down the Slave Trade " by the 


strong hand" alone ; and this is, I apprehend, the 
cause of our failure. Our system, in many respects 
too feehle, is, in one sense, too bold. The African 
has acquired a taste for the productions of the civi- 
lized world. They have become essential to him. 
The parent — debased and brutalised as he is — bar- 
ters his child; the chief his subject ; each individual 
looks with an evil eye on his neighbour, and lays 
snares to catch him, — because the sale of children, 
subjects, and neighbours, is the only means as yet 
afforded, by European commerce, for the supply of 
those wants which that commerce has created. To 
say that the African, under present circumstances, 
shall not deal in man, is to say that he shall long in 
vain for his accustomed gratifications. The tide, thus 
pent up, will break its way over every barrier. In 
order effectually to divert the stream from the direc- 
tion which it has hitherto taken, we must open 
another, a safer, and a more convenient channel. 
When we shall have experimentally convinced the 
African, that it is in his power to obtain his sup- 
plies, in more than their usual abundance, by honest 
means, then, and not till then, we may expect that 
he will be reconciled to the Abolition of the Slave 

To a description of the extent and horrors of the 
Slave Trade, the failure of our efforts for its suppres- 
sion, and an account of African superstitions and 
cruelties, I have added some practical suggestions for 


calling forth the latent energies of that quarter of the 
globe, and for exhibiting to its inhabitants where 
their true interest lies. 

The principles of my suggestions are comprised in 
the following propositions : — 

1. That the present staple export of Africa renders 
to her inhabitants, at infinite cost, a miserable return 
of profit. 

2. That the cultivation of her soil, and the barter 
of its productions, would yield an abundant harvest, 
and a copious supply of those articles which Africa 

3. That it is practicable to convince the African, 
experimentally, of the truth of these propositions, 
and thus to make him our confederate in the suppres- 
sion of the Slave Trade. 

I despair of being able to put down a traffic, in 
which a vast continent is engaged, by the few ships 
we can afford to employ : as auxiliaries they are of 
great value, but alone they are insufficient. I do not 
dream of attempting to persuade the African, by ap- 
pealing merely to his reason or his conscience, to 
renounce gainful guilt, and to forego those inhuman 
pursuits which gratify his cupidity, and supply his 
wants. But when the appeal we make is to his in- 
terest, and when his passions are enlisted on our 
side, there is nothing chimerical in the hope that he 
may be brought to exchange slender profits, with 
danger, for abundant gain, with security and peace. 


If these views can be carried into effect, they have 
at least thus much to recommend them. 

They will not plunge this country into hostility 
with any portion of the civilized world ; for they 
involve no violation of international law. We 
may cultivate intercourse and innocent commerce 
with the natives of Africa, without abridging the 
rights or damaging the honest interests of any rival 

They require no monopoly of trade ; if other na- 
tions choose to send their merchantmen to carry on 
legitimate traffic in Africa, they will but advance our 
object, and lend their aid in extinguishing that which 
we are resolved to put clown. 

They involve no schemes of conquest ; our ambi- 
tion is of another order. Africa is now torn to pieces. 
She is the victim of the most iron despotism that the 
world ever saw : inveterate cruelty reigns over her 
broad territory. We desire to usurp nothing, — and 
to conquer nothing, — but the Slave Trade. 

Finally, we ask of the Government only that which 
subjects have a right to expect from their rulers, 
namely, protection to person and property in their 
lawful pursuits. 

Here I must pause ; for I feel bound to confess, 
much as it may tend to shake the whole fabric of my 
views, that there is a great danger to which Ave shall 
be exposed, unless it be most carefully guarded against 
at the outset : the discovery of the fact that man as a 


labourer on the soil, is superior in value to man as an 
article of merchandise, may induce the continuance, 
if not the increase, of that internal slavery which now 
exists in Africa. 

I hope we shall never be so deluded as to give the 
slightest toleration to anything like constrained la- 
bour. We must not put down one iniquity by abet- 
ting another. I believe implicitly that free labour 
will beat all other labour ; that slavery, besides being 
a great crime, is a gross blunder ; and that the most 
refined and sagacious policy we can pursue is, com- 
mon honesty and undeviating justice. Let it then 
be held as a most sacred principle, that, wherever our 
authority prevails, slavery shall cease ; and that 
whatever influence we may obtain shall be employed 
in the same direction. 

I have thus noticed several of the negative advant- 
ages which attach to these views, and I have frankly 
stated the danger which, as I conceive, attends them. 
I shall now briefly allude to one point, which, I own, 
weighs with me beyond all the other considerations, 
mighty as they are, which this great question in- 

Grievous, and this almost beyond expression, as 
are the physical evils endured by Africa, there is yet 
a more lamentable feature in her present condition. 
Bound in the chains of the grossest ignorance, she is 
a prey to the most savage superstition. Christianity 
has made but feeble inroads on this kingdom oi 


darkness, nor can she hope to gain an entrance 
where the traffic in man pre-occupies the ground. 
But, were this obstacle removed, Africa would pre- 
sent the finest field for the labours of Christian mis- 
sionaries which the world has yet seen opened to 
them. I have no hesitation in stating my belief, 
that there is in the negro race a capacity for receiving 
the truths of the Gospel beyond most other heathen 
nations ; while, on the other hand, there is this re- 
markable, if not unique, circumstance in their case — 
that a race of teachers of their own blood is already 
in course of rapid preparation for them ; that the 
providence of God has overruled even slavery and 
the Slave Trade for this end ; and that from among 
the settlers of Sierra Leone, the peasantry of the 
West Indies, and the thousands of their children 
now receiving Christian education., may be expected 
to arise a body of men who will return to the land of 
their fathers, carrying Divine truth and all its con- 
comitant blessings into the heart of Africa. 

One noble sacrifice in behalf of the negro race has 
already been made. In the words of the most elo- 
quent citizen of another nation — " Great Britain, 
loaded with an unprecedented debt, and with a grind- 
ing taxation, contracted a new debt of a hundred 
million dollars, to give freedom, not to Englishmen, 
but to the degraded African. I know not that his- 
tory records an act so disinterested, so sublime. In 
the progress of ages England's naval triumphs will 
shrink into a more and more narrow space in the 



records of our race. This moral triumph will fill a 
broader, brighter page."* 

Another, it may be a more inveterate evil, remains, 
— an evil which for magnitude and malignity stands 
without a parallel. One thousand human victims^ 
^if my facts will bear sifting) are daily required to 
feed this vast and devouring consumer of mankind. 
In vain has Nature given to Africa noble rivers ; 
man is the only merchandise they carry. In vain a 
fertile land, lavish in wild and spontaneous produc- 
tions, — no cultivating hand calls forth its riches. In 
vain has she placed it in the vicinity of civilisation 
and Christianity ; within a few weeks' voyage of the 
Thames there is a people who worship the shark and 
the snake, and a prince who imagines the agency of 
an evil spirit in the common properties of the load- 
stone.! Africa is, indeed, encircled by an effectual 
barrier against the entrance of commerce, cultivation, 
and Christianity. That barrier is the Slave Trade. 

It may be thought wild extravagance to indulge 
the hope that evils so rank are capable of cure. I do 
not deny that it is, of all tasks, the most arduous, or 
that it will require the whole energy of Great Bri- 
tain ; but if it shall be made a capital object of Bri- 
tish policy, for the accomplishment of which our 
Avhole strength, if necessary, shall be put forward, 
and if it shall be, as I am sure it is, a cause in which 
we may look for Divine countenance and help, I see 

* Dr. Charming. '}• See page 220. 

t Laird, vol. i. p. 219. 


no reason for despair. What has been done, may- 
be done again ; and it is matter of history, that from 
superstitions as bloody, from a state of intellect as 
rude, and from the Slave Trade itself, a nation has 
been reclaimed, and now enjoys, in comparison with 
Africa, a blaze of light, liberty, religion, and happi- 
ness. That nation is Great Britain. What we find 
the African, the Romans found us ;* and it is not un- 
reasonable to hope that, in the language of Mr. Pitt, 
" even Africa will enjoy, at length, in the evening of 

* By the concurrent testimony of the best ancient historians, 
our forefathers were nothing better than " painted savages," the 
votaries of a sanguinary superstition which consumed its heca- 
tombs of human victims : " Alii immani magnitudine simulacra 
habent; quorum contexta viminibus membra vivis hominibus 
complent ; quibus succensis, circumvent! flamma exanimantur 
homines." (Caesar, Bell. Gall., 1. vi. c. 16.) And, if we may 
credit the testimony of Diodorus Siculus, they were also addicted 
to cannibalism ; " for," says he, " the Gauls are such savages that 
they devour human flesh ; as do also those British nations which 
inhabit Ireland." (1. v. c. 32.) Cicero, in one of his letters, 
speaking of the success of an expedition against Britain, says, the 
only plunder to be found, consisted " ex mancipiis : ex quibus 
nullos puto te Uteris aut musicis eruditos expectare;" thus, in 
the same sentence, proving the existence of the Slave Trade, and 
intimating that it was impossible that any Briton should be intel- 
ligent enough to be worthy to serve the accomplished Atticus. 
Ad Att. 1. iv. 16. Henry, in his History of England, gives us 
also the authority of Strabo for the prevalence of the Slave Trade 
amongst us, and tells us that slaves were once an established ar- 
ticle of our exports. " Great numbers," says he, " were exported 
from Britain, and were to be seen exposed for sale, like cattle, in 
the Roman market."' — Henry, vol. ii. p. 225. 



her days, those blessings which have descended so 
plentifully upon us in a much earlier period of the 

To raise Africa from the dust is an object worthy 
of the efforts of the highest order of ambition. It is 
calculated that Napoleon, in the course of his career, 
occasioned the sacrifice of three millions of the 
human race. The suppression of the Slave Trade 
would, in a very few years, save as many lives as he 
was permitted to destroy. The most patriotic and 
loyal amongst us cannot frame a loftier wish for 
our country and its sovereign, than that her reign, 
which, in its dawn, witnessed the deliverance of our 
colonies from slavery, may be prolonged, till, through 
British agency, Africa shall also be released from a 
still greater curse : — not, however, for the honour's 
sake, though it would give imperishable renown ; 
nor for the profit's sake, though it promises to open 
boundless fields for capital, industry, and enterprise; 
but in pity to Africa, and for His favour who has 
said — " Undo the heavy burdens, let the oppressed 
go free, and break every yoke." " Then shall thy 
light break forth as the morning;" " and the glory 
of the Lord shall be thy reward."* 

* Isaiah lviii. 6, 8., 


" You will perceive that this horrid traffic has been carried on to an 
extent that almost staggers belief." 

Commodore Sir Robert Mends, Sierra Leone* 


In preparing this work, my chief purpose has been 
to offer some views which I entertain of the most 
effectual mode of suppressing the Slave Trade ; but 
before I enter upon these, I must state the extent to 
which that traffic is now carried on, and the sacrifice 
of human life which it occasions. 

My first proposition is, that upwards of 150,000 
human beings are annually conveyed from Africa, 
across the Atlantic, and sold as slaves. 

It is almost impossible to arrive at the exact 
extent to which any contraband trade, much more a 
trade so revolting, is carried on. It is the interest of 
those concerned in it to conceal all evidence of their 
guilt ; and the Governor of a Portuguese colony is 
not very likely, at once to connive at the crime, and 
to confess that it is extensively practised. By the 
mode of calculation I propose to adopt, it is very 
possible I may err ; but the error must be on the 
right side; I may underrate, it is almost impossible 



that I can exaggerate, the extent of the traffic. 
With every disposition on the part of those who are 
engaged in it to veil the truth, certain facts have, 
from time to time, transpired, sufficient to show, if 
not the full amount of the evil, at least that it is one 
of prodigious magnitude. 

I commence with what appears to be the most 
considerable slave market, viz. — that of 


In the papers on the subject of the Slave Trade 
annually presented to Parliament by royal authority, 
(and entitled " Class A" and " Class B"), the fol- 
lowing official information is given by the British 
Vice-Consul at Rio de Janeiro, as to the number of 
slaves imported there : — 

From 1 July to 31 Dec. 1827 
From 1 Jan. to 31 March, 1828 . 

From 1 April to 30 June, 1828, say 

From 1 July to 31 Dec. 1828 . 

From 1 Jan. to 30 June, 1829 . 

From 1 July to 31 Dec. 1829 . 

From 1 Jan. to 30 June, 1830 . 


24,488 § 
22,81 3f 


* Class B, 1828, p. 105. f Class B, 1828, p. 107. 

J No returns. These numbers are given on the average of the 
three months previous to, and three months subsequent to, the 
elates here mentioned. 
. § Class B, 1829, pp. 80, 81. || Class B, 1829, p. 89. 

•1 Ditto, 1830, p. 71. ** Ditto, 1830, p. 78. 


That is, in the twelve months 

preceding the 30th June, 1828 

. 42,496 

1829 . . 

. 49,667 

1830 . . 

. 56,777 



Thus it stands confessed, upon authority which 
cannot be disputed, that from the 1st of July, 1827, 
to the 30th of June, 1830 (three years), there were 
brought into the single port of Rio de Janeiro, 
148,940 negroes, or, an average of 49,643 annually. 
It appears also, that, in the last year, the number 
was swelled to 56,777 per annum * 

Caldcleugh, in his Travels in South America, 
speaking of the Slave Trade at Rio, (which, however, 
was not then so extensive as it now is,) states, " that 
there are three other ports in Brazil trading to the 
same extent! 'f If this be correct, the number of 
negroes annually imported vastly exceeds any estimate 
I have formed ; but it is more safe to rely on the 
authority of the British Commissioners,^ scanty as 

* I see in the Patriot newspaper of 25th June last (1838), 
the following statement: — "A Brazil mail has brought advices 
from Rio to the 22nd April. That fine country appears /to be 
making rapid strides in . civilization and improvement ; the only- 
drawback is the inveterate and continued encouragement of the 
slave-trade. The Rover corvette had just captured two slavers, 
having 494 negroes on board ; and the traffic is said to amount 
to 60,000 annually, into Rio alone, almost entirely carried on 
under Portuguese colours. 

t Caldcleugh's Travels, London, 1825, vol. ii. p. 56. 

I By the treaties with foreign powers for the suppression of the 


it necessarily is. They reside in the capital ; and 
their distance from the three outports of itself might 
render it difficult for them to obtain full information. 
But when to the distance is added the still greater 
difficulty arising from the anxiety on the part of 
almost all the Brazilian functionaries to suppress 
information on the subject, it is clearly to be in- 
ferred that the number stated by the Commissioners 
must fall materially below the truth. They tell us, 
however, that in a year and a half, from 1st of 
January, 1829, to 30th of June, 1830, the numbers 
imported were, into 

Bahia . . . . . . 22,202 

Pernambuco .... 8,079 

Maranham ..... 1,252 


To these we must also add those 

imported into the port of Para . 799 

Total in eighteen months . . 32,332* 

Or annually .... 21,554 

To which add Rio, as before statedf 56,777 

And we have for the annual number 

landed in Brazil . . . 78,331 

Slave Trade, Commissioners are appointed to act as Judges, in a 
Court of Mixed Commission, for the adjudication of captured 

* Class B, 1829, 1830. f P. 3. 


So many, at least, were landed. That number 
is undisputed. The amount, however, great as it is, 
probably falls short of the reality. If the question 
were put to me, what is the number which I believe to 
be annually landed in Brazil, I should rate it con- 
siderably higher. I conceive that the truth lies be- 
tween the maximum as taken from Caldcleugh, and 
the minimum as stated in the Official Returns ; and 
I should conjecture that the real amount would be 
moderately rated at 100,000, brought annually into 
these five Brazilian ports. But as the question is, 
not how many I suppose, but how many I can show 
to be landed, I must confine myself to what I can 
prove ; and I have proved that 78,331 were landed 
at five ports in Brazil, in the course of twelve months, 
ending at the 30th June, 1830. 

But is it easy to believe, while Brazil receives so 
vast a number into five of her principal ports, that 
the trade is confined to them, and that none are intro- 
duced along the remaining line of her coast, extend- 
ing over 38 degrees of latitude, or about 2,600 miles, 
and abounding in harbours, rivers, and creeks, where 
disembarkation can easily be effected 1 

It may safely be assumed, that the slave-trader 
would desire to avoid notoriety, and to escape the 
duty which is paid upon all imports ; either of these 
motives may induce him to smuggle his negroes 
ashore. That numbers are so smuggled is esta- 
blished by the fact, that most vessels from the coast 
of Africa report themselves " in ballast" on arriving 


at Baliia. In the last Parliamentary Papers,* more 
than half the vessels are found to have thus reported 
themselves, and the remainder to have come from 
Prince's Island, Ajuda (Wydah), and Angola, — the 
very places where the Slave Trade most prevails.! 
The Commissioners interpret these returns in ballast 
thus : — " In the six months ending 30th June, 1836, 
twenty vessels entered this port (Rio) from the coast 
of Africa ; they came in ballast, and, upon the usual 
declaration, that the master or pilot had died on the 
voyage, were stopped, with scarcely an exception, by 
the police, on suspicion of having landed slaves on the 
coast ; but as usual also, were, after a few days' 
detention, released. "J The Juiz de Direito, of Ilha 
Grande, (one of the few functionaries who appears to 
have done his duty with respect to the Slave Trade, 
and whose activity has been rewarded, on the part of 
the populace, by attempts on his life, and on the part 
of the Brazilian Government, as I have been informed, 
by dismission from his office,) confirms this view of 
the Commissioners in a Report, dated 12th November, 
1834, in which he says : — "I see that in the trade 
in Africans brought to this district, are committed 
almost the whole population of this place, and of the 
neighbouring district." "Here, since I have been 
in the district, there have been twenty-two disem- 
barkations, which I can remember ; and I can assure 
your Excellency, that an equal or even a greater 

* Class B, 1837, and Class B, Further Series, 1837. 
t Class B, 1837, p. 83. J Class A, 1836, p. 251. 


number have called off this port ; and it is certain 
that they did not return to Africa."* 

It is then clear that, over and above the number 
annually introduced into the five ports, negroes are 
landed along the line of the Brazilian coast; but, as 
we have no facts to guide us to the precise number, 
I will assume that the trading in slaves is confined 
to these five places, and that not a single negro was 
landed in Brazil beyond the 78,331 negroes in twelve 
months, ending in June, 1830. 

I admit that this proves little as to the Slave 
Trade at the present time. It is very possible that 
it raged at a former period, but that it has now ceased; 
and it may be argued that the facts stated were prior 
to the treaty with Great Britain, and that the opera- 
tion of that treaty has considerably reduced the 
number. If we are to believe the official reports 
made to our Government, it is just the reverse. The 
Slave Trade has increased since that time. The 
Brazilian Minister of Marine recommends to his 
government the formation of a " cordon sanitaire, 
which may prevent the access to our shores of those 
swarms of Africans that are continually poured forth 
from vessels engaged in so abominable a traffic. "f 
This, be it observed, was on the 17th of June, 1833, 
three years after the treaty had come into operation. 

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Justice, 
in their report to the Chamber of Deputies, in 1835, 
speak " of the continuance of the traffic, to an extent 
* Class B, 1834, p. 233. f Class A, 1833, p. 58. 


at once frightful to humanity, and alarming to the 
best interests of the country." " The fury of this 
barbarous traffic continues every day to increase with 
a constantly progressing force." " Sixteen hundred 
new blacks are openly maintained on an estate in 
the neighbourhood of Ilha Grande." " The conti- 
nued — we might almost say the uninterrupted — traffic 
in slaves is carrying on, on these coasts."' On the 
17th June, 1836, Mr. Gore Ouseley, British resi- 
dent at Rio Janeiro, states in his despatch, that "The 
Slave Trade is carried on in Brazil with more acti- 
vity than ever."f In the preceding May, in a de- 
spatch to Viscount Palmerston, he speaks of " an 
association of respectable persons who were going to 
use steam-boats for the importation of Africans. "J 
Mr. Ouseley, of date 15th Jan., 1839, states that in 
1838, 84 slave-vessels had entered Rio almost openly, 
going through the formality, become almost ridicu- 
lous, of being examined by " Juiz de Paz," and had 
imported 36,974 negroes with impunity. But the 
real number imported into this province is probably 
40,000 or upwards. 

In March, 1836, the President of Bahia observed, 
in a speech to the Assembly of that province, " That 
the contraband in slaves continues with the same 
scandal."§ In the following September the British 

* Class A, 1835, p. 265. f Class B, 1836, p. 68. 

i Class B, 1836, p. 67. § Class A, 1836, p. 231. 

.The British Consul reports from Bahia, that from 1st June to 
31st July, 1838, there arrived from Africa seven vessels, 1028 


Commissioners say, " At no period, perhaps, has the 
trade been ever carried on with more activity or 
daring."* And again, in November, 1836, " The 
traffic in slaves is every day becoming more active 
and notorious on this coast. "f And Mr. Ouseley, 
of date 10th August, 183S, reports that the number 
of vessels fitted out at Rio for the coast of Africa con- 
tinues to increase : and of date 1st Sept., 1838, he 
says, " The traders are more animated than formerly, 
being under the belief that, as no cruizers have ap- 
peared to enforce the instructions, Great Britain is 
unable to interrupt the traffic. Several Portuguese- 
built vessels lately arrived from Europe have been 
fitted out for slave voyages. These are of larger 
tonnage than those hitherto employed. Thus the 
trade is decidedly on the increase."^ 

Thus, then, not only by the reports of our Com- 
missioners and our Resident, but, by the admission of 
the Brazilians themselves, it appears, that the Slave 
Trade has increased since the treaty was formed. It 
seems hardly necessary to add, that I have received 
letters to the same effect from gentlemen on whom 
I have entire reliance. A naval officer, in a 
letter dated 16th September, 1835, says, " For 
the last six months the importation of new slaves is 
greater than ever remembered." A gentleman writes 

tons, and sailed for Africa 5 vessels, 876 tons, all reputed to be 
engaged in slave trading. Class B, 1838, p. 406-7. 

* Class A, 1S33, p. 250. t Class A, 1836, p. 260. 

J Class B, 1839, pp. 394—406. 


to me, of date 7th April, 1837, " It may be well to 
acquaint you, that the Slave Trade has now got to an 
unprecedented pitch." Lieut. Armitage, who is 
lately returned from that coast, where he has been 
actively engaged in the suppression of the traffic, 
states, in a letter dated March 5, 1839, " I have from 
good authority that 90,000 is about the number an- 
nually imported into Brazil." 

The Parliamentary Papers presented in 1838, re- 
markably confirm the two positions which I have laid 
down ; first, that the Slave Trade is enormous ; and, 
secondly, that so far from abating, it has increased 
since the period when the treaty was formed. 

By a private letter from a highly respectable 
quarter, I learn that in the month of December, 
1836, the importation of slaves into the province of 
Rio alone was not less than . . 4,831 

Our Minister at Rio states that there 

arrived in the following month of 

January, 1837 



April . 

May . 



Thus, within six months, in the province of Rio, or 
the vicinity, there were known to have been landed 

* Class B, 1837, p. 58. § Class B, 1837, p. 65. 

t Ibid. 60. || Ibid. 71. 

t Ibid. 64. 


this vast number.* This is hardly disputed by the 
Brazilian authorities. Our Minister at Rio, in a letter 
to Lord Palmerston, dated 18th April, 1837, speak- 
ing of 7,395 negroes landed in the preceding month, 
says : — " As a satisfactory proof of the general accu- 
racy of these reports, it may be observed here, that 
the Government has excepted to two only of the nu- 
merous items they comprehend. "t 

It would be an error to suppose that these reported 
numbers comprehend anything like the whole amount 
of the importations : conclusive evidence to the con- 
trary appears in a variety of passages of the same 
reports. I shall take but one as an instance. Mr. 
Hamilton, in his enclosure of 1st March, 1837, 
states as follows : — " Brig Johovah from Angola. 
This vessel, since she left this port, thirteen months 
ago, has made three voyages without entering any 
port. The first voyage she landed 700 slaves, very 
sickly, at Ponta Negra, about half way betwixt this 
port and Cape Frio ; on the second voyage, 600 

* Lord Howard de Walden, in a note to the Portuguese Mi- 
nister, of date 2d April, 1838, says that in 1837,92 vessels laden 
with slaves had landed their cargoes in or near Rio ; and that the 
numbers amounted to upwards of 41,600. Mr. Gordon writes, of 
date Jan. 27th, 1838, to the Brazilian Minister, that, from all the 
information he is able to collect, the trade appears to be rather on 
the increase than otherwise ; that during the year which had just 
elapsed, 92 vessels imported into this province, within a very 
limited extent of coast, 46,000 unhappy Africans destined to bear 
the degrading yoke of slavery. Class B, 1839, p. 141 and 358. 

t Class, B. 1837, p. 63. 


slaves at the island of St. Sebastian ; and on the pre- 
sent voyage, 520 slaves at Tapier, close to the en- 
trance of this port. The greater number of these last 
were put into boats and fishing canoes, and brought 
to town.'" The last number, namely 520, only, are 
reported in the return for the month of February 
preceding; but the remaining 1300 have not ap- 
peared in any returns. It is evident from this, as 
well as many other passages, that vessels land their 
negroes on the coast, and return direct to Africa, and 
all who do so, escape notice, and are not included in 
the account. If these 1300 are added to the returns 
for the first six months in the year 1837, the impor- 
tations into Rio alone for this year will exceed those 
of 1830. Mr. Ouseley says, of date 23d March, 
1839, " There are at this moment in Rio harbour be- 
tween 30 and 40 vessels, bought and equipped by a 
notorious slave trader, provided with Portuguese 
papers by H. M. F. M. Consul-general, f 

So much for the province of Rio. I would next 
observe as to Pernambuco.| In a letter from Mr. 

* Class B, 1837, p. 60. f Class B, 1839, F. S. p. 142. 

I It appears from the papers taken on board the Portuguese 
brig Veloz, captured 18th Sept. ,\ 831, by the " Fair Rosamond," 
that a joint stock company had been formed at Pernambuco for 
the importation of slaves. They had purchased the right of esta- 
blishing factories in the river Benin, and had stipulated that the 
King of Benin and Ocry should expel from the river those who 
did not favour the Slave Trade. 

The agent of the company, Joao Baptista Cezar, writes to his 
employers that, being in want of irons, the Queen of Benin gave 


Watts, the British Consul, to Lord Palmerston, of 
date 5th May, 1837, he says, " I have just received 
directions to furnish Mr. Hamilton with a monthly 
return of vessels arriving from the coast of Africa, 
at any port within my consulate," &c. ; and he adds, 
" the supineness, not to say connivance, of the Go- 
vernment of Brazil in general, on the subject in refer- 
ence, the gross venality of subordinate officers, the 
increasing demand of hands for the purposes of hus- 
bandry, the enormous profits derivable from this 
inhuman traffic, which is rapidly increasing at this 
port in the most undisguised manner, combined with 
the almost insuperable difficulty of procuring au- 
thentic information through private channels from 
the dread of the assassin s knife or bullet, even in 
the open day, and in the public gaze ; and the dark 
and artful combinations of the dealers in slaves, their 
agents, and the agriculturists, to mask and facilitate 
the disembarkation of imported slaves ; — all these 
glaring and obstructive facts combine to render the 

him 48 pairs ; that he had " bought a very pretty girl for two 
rolls of tobacco, two fathoms of flannel, and one piece of calico." 
He adds, <c There are plenty of slaves for goods ; had I more ar- 
ticles I should to-day have had 200 slaves, for there are many 
more here waiting." He writes to his wife Josephina : 

Dear Spouse of my Heart, 
I send you three fine mats and two parrots, one ram goat for 
my little son John to play with, and three sea-horse teeth for our 
little daughter Henrietta ; also a little girl, very pretty, and a little 
black boy for Johnny. They have the mark on the left arm, 
&c. &c. 



attainment of authentic data, on which to ground 
effective official representation on the subject of the 
unprecedented increase of the Slave Trade all along 
the coast of Brazil, an almost insurmountable ob- 

I am not sure that we have by any means reached 
the extent of the importation. The British Consul 
at Pernambuco, of date 29th March, 1838, repeats 
some of the arguments used by the Brazilians in fa- 
vour of the traffic. They say that the population of 
African slaves in Brazil is estimated at two millions, 
and that the yearly casualties of life being ascertained 
to be in the ratio of five per cent, beyond the annual 
births, the population would suffer a decrease in the 
short space of ten years, of half its numbers, unless 
supplied by a yearly importation without restraint. f 

This in itself, supposing the population to be sta- 
tionary, would require an importation of 100,000 an- 
nually ; but we have reason to believe that, although the 
deaths so much exceed the births, the slave population is 
rapidly increasing. According to Sir George Staun- 
ton, the number of slaves in the then territory of 
Brazil was in 1792 nearly 600,000. According to 
the official census of 1835, it was 2,100,000. It is 
impossible to account for this actual increase on a 
decreasing population, except through the Slave 
Trade carried on to a prodigious extent. 

The case, however, may be stated thus : prior to 
the treaty the annual importation of negroes into Jive 

* Class B, 1831, p. 84. t Class B, 1839, p. 428, 429. 


ports of Brazil was 78,331, to which might be added 
the indefinite but considerable number smuggled into 
other places in Brazil. Since that time the trade has, 
by general testimony, increased. Notwithstanding 
the difficulty thrown in the way of obtaining infor- 
mation, the facts which we have been enabled to 
glean demonstrate what the Marquis of Barbacena 
stated in the Senate of Brazil on the 30th of June, 
1837, namely, That it may be safely asserted, with- 
out fear of exaggeration, that, during the last three 
years, the importation has been much more consi- 
derable than it had ever before been when the com- 
merce was unfettered and legal.'"* On these 
grounds we might be entitled to make a considerable 
addition. It is enough for us to know, that, at the 
very least, 78,331 human beings are annually torn 
from Africa, and are imported into Braizl, 


It is scarcely practicable to ascertain the number 
of slaves imported into Cuba : it can only be a 
calculation on, at best, doubtful data. We are con- 
tinually told by the Commissioners, that difficulties 
are thrown in the way of obtaining correct infor- 
mation in regard to the Slave Trade in that island. 
Everything that artifice, violence, intimidation, popu- 
lar countenance, and official connivance can do, is 
done, to conceal the extent of the traffic. Our am- 
bassador at Madrid, Mr. Villiers, April, 1837, says, 
* Class B, 1837, p. 69. 



"That a privilege (that of entering the harbour after 
dark), denied to all other vessels, is granted to the 
slave-trader ; and, in short, that with the servants of 
the Government, the misconduct of the persons con- 
cerned in this trade finds favour and protection. The 
crews of captured vessels are permitted to purchase 
their liberation ; and it would seem that the persons 
concerned in this trade have resolved upon setting 
the Government of the mother country at defiance."* 
Almost the only specific fact which I can collect 
from the reports of the Commissioners, is the state- 
ment, "that 1835 presents a number of slave vessels 
(arriving at the Havana), by which there must have 
been landed, at the very least, 15,000 negroes. " j" But 
in an official letter, dated 28th May, 1836, there is 
the following remarkable passage : — " I wish I could 
add, that this list contains even one -fourth of the 
number of those which have entered after having 
landed cargoes, or sailed, after having refitted in this 
harbour."| This would give an amount of 60,000 for 
the Havana alone ; but is Havana the only port in 
Cuba in which negroes are landed ? The reverse is 
notoriously true. The Commissioner says, " I have 
every reason to believe that several of the other ports 
of Cuba,§ more particularly the distant city of St. 

* Class B, 1837, p. 2. t Class A, 1835, p. 206. 

\ Class A, 1836, p. 153. 

§ Mr. Hardy also reports that in the year 183S there were 

landed at Juragua 2803 slaves, being the cargoes of nine vessels. 

And Mr. Consul Tolme, of date March 20, 1839, writes to Lord 


Jago de Cuba, carry on the traffic to a considerable 
extent." Indeed, it is stated by Mr. Hardy, the 
consul at St. Jago, in a letter to Lord Palmerston, 
of the 18th February, 1837, " That the Portuguese 
brig Boca Negra landed on the 6th instant at 
Juragua, a little to windward of this port (St. Jago), 
400 Africans of all ages, and subsequently entered 
this port."* Further confirmation of this has re- 
cently arrived : — in a note given to the commander 
of Her Majesty's cruizer, on the coast of Cuba, by 
consul Tolme, it is stated that, though the owners 
dislike their vessels discharging on the south side of 
the island, which is much exposed, yet many cargoes 
are landed there, as will be seen by the following 
list of the places at which, during the last six months, 
vessels have put their negroes on shore. Of 25 
cargoes, nine were landed at Guanima, four near 
Trinidad, three at Manil, two at Camarisca, one at 
Puente de Guano, one at Cabanos, one at Banes, one 
at Cogimar, one at Santa Cruz, one at Canimar, one 
near St. Jago di Cuba. 

But in order that we may be assuredly within 
the mark, no claim shall be made on account of 

Palmerston, that " the trade of late years, in spite of the Spanish 
treaty, has materially increased;" and he adds, " I hesitate not to 
say that, so long as the increasing prosperity of this island creates 
a demand for slaves, the traffic will be carried on to the same and 
even a greater extent than at present, unless Great Britain adopt 
much more efficient measures than heretofore for putting a stop to 
it." Class B., F. S., 1839, pp. 32—35. 
* Class B., 1837, p. 29. 

D 3 



these distant ports. Confining ourselves to the 
Havana, it would seem probable, if it be not de- 
monstrated, that the number for that port, a for- 
tiori for the whole island, may fairly be estimated 
at 60,000.* I have many strong grounds for believ- 
ing that this is no exaggeration, some of which I will 
mention. In the first place, I observe that the great 
majority of slaves, captured by our cruisers on the 
coast of Africa, are bound to the island of Cuba ; out 
of 30 vessels which were adjudicated at Sierra 
Leone during the years 1834 and 1835, 21 are 
described as having that destination. Again, it is an 
acknowledged factf that there is in that island an 

* " The Slave Trade. — It has occurred to us, now that 
the Spaniards and Portuguese are pushing the inhuman traffic 
with so much zeal and energy, whether it would not be preferable 
to employ steamers than sailing-vessels in cruizing about that grand 
receptacle of stolen Africans, the island of Cuba. We have heard 
it stated that upwards of sixty vessels per month arrive in Cuba 
from the coast of Africa with slaves. Supposing that each vessel 
on an average carries two hundred of these, and that the number 
of arrivals continue the same for one year certain, we should have 
the incredible number of one hundred and forty-four thousand 
slaves imported into that 'colony in twelve months ! Although 
we cannot believe that the trade is carried on to this extent, still 
we think the Government is called upon to resort to prompt and 
vigorous measures to repress, if not put a stop to it. Whether 
steamers would be preferable to schooners, such as were previously 
employed, we are not seamen enough to decide ; certainly the 
slavers would have less chance of escape from the former than 
the latter." — Watchman, February 21, 1838. 

t This fact has been admitted to me by a gentleman resident at 
Havana, who at the same time suspects that I have considerably 


annual decrease of 10 per cent, among the slaves 
employed in the cultivation of sugar, the chief 
produce of Cuba, and of 5 per cent, in the coffee- 
plantations. The slave population, as I learn from 
statistical accounts,* amounted, in the year 1828, to 
301,000 ; therefore, with an average annual decrease 
of at least 8|- per cent., it ought, in the year 1830, to 
have amounted to 252,006, or nearly that, whereas, 
on the same authority, I find it increased to 479,000, 
leaving an excess, which nothing but the Slave Trade 
-can account for, of 226,994. Lastly, the produce of 
sugar, in 1829, amounted to 164,710,700 lbs. ; in 
1836 it was increased to 369,600,000 lbs. ; and I 
have learnt, on good authority, that there were 
exported in 1828, 40,000,000 lbs. more than in any 
preceding year. These undoubted facts would war- 
rant a much higher estimate than that which I have 
adopted ; but let the number deduced from the re- 
over-estimated the numbers imported into Cuba. This, however, 
is the only case in which an objection has been raised to my 
calculation on the ground of exaggeration. I have cancelled this 
sheet since the work went to press, that I might extend this note 
to say that Dr. Madden, the gentleman here referred to, has again 
written to me in very decided terms to express his dissent from the 
calculation I have here made of the annual decrease of the slaves, 
and consequently from the result, so far as it depends on that 
fact ; his estimate of the annual importation into Cuba is materi- 
ally short of mine, but the data on which it is founded are not 
sufficiently clear to induce me to alter the text, though I feel it 
right thus pointedly to mention the difference 'between us. 

* Statistical Account of Cuba, by Don Ramon de Sagra, Havana, 


ports of the Commissioners be taken, and the account 
will stand thus : — 

Cuba 60,000 

Brazil 78,331 


To this number of slaves actually landed 
must be added those who have been 
captured, which, on the average of 
the years 1836 and 1837, was at 
Sierra Leone .... 7,852 


And at Havana in 1837 . . . 442 

I cannot find that any have been ad- 
judicated at Rio. 

Further than this I cannot go by actual 
proof; but there can be no doubt that 
the Slave Trade has other victims than 
those included in this calculation. For ex- 
ample, we know that several slave vessels 
are annually wrecked or founder at sea ;* 
though it is impossible to arrive at anything 
like exact numbers. Many negroes also 
are thrown overboard, either during a chase, 
or from dearth of provisions and water.! 

For these, I will assume . . 3,375 

Total . . 150,000 

* See Wrecks, l%c, page 166, &c. 

t See p. 157, Captain Wauchope, R.N. See also the Paris 
petition at p. 118. 


I have no authority for this assumption of 3,375, 
it is merely a guess ; it may be excessive. I only 
take this number to make a round sum. And if in 
this trivial point I have gone beyond the mark, I 
shall give abundant compensation for it hereafter. 

I will next take the case of the Island of 

Porto Rico. 

In regard to Porto Rico, I learn from the valuable 
work of Colonel Flinter, entitled " Present State of 
the Island of Porto Rico," some important facts : 
the exports from that island amounted to — 

in 1814 . . . 500,840 dollars. 
1830 . . 3,411,845 

The amount of sugar produced has increased 
from 37,969 arrobas in 1810 
to 414,663 „ in 1830. 

Pie calculates that there are only 45,000 slaves 
in the island ; but he tells us that the landed pro- 
prietors conceal the real number of their slaves in 
order to escape a tax.'"" 

From the Parliamentary Papers of 1837, it ap- 
pears, as stated by Mr. Courtenay, the British Consul at 
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, "that a slaving schooner, under 
the Brazilian flag, called Paquete de Capo Verde, 

; * From statistical accounts as furnished by Mr. M'Queen It 

appears that the slave population 

in 1820 amounted to . . , 20,191 

1831 41,819 

1836 from the best accounts 60,000 


was wrecked on the Folle reefs near Aux Cayes on 
the 28th February, 1837, having previously landed his 
cargo at Ponces, in the Island of Porto Rico."* It 
appears also, that one-ninth part of all the vessels 
condemned at Sierra Leone in 1837 were bound for 
Porto Rico, and that one of them at least, the Descu- 
bierta, belonged to the island and was built there .t 

In a Report by the Commissioners at Sierra Leone, 
of date 20th March, 1837, it is stated that theTeme- 
rario had been captured with 352 slaves on board, 
bound for the island of Porto Rico ; J the Commis- 
sioners, on the 25th of April following, report the 
case of the Cinco Amigos, " belonging to the Spanish 
Island of Porto Rico, where slaving adventures have 
latterly been fitted out, with increased activity."^ 

A gentleman on whom I can rely, has informed 
me that in November, 1836, he saAvtwo slave-vessels 
fitting out in the harbour of Porto Rico, and on his 
return in March, 1837, he saw a slaver entering the 
harbour, and he learned on the spot, from good au- 
thority, that about 7,000 negroes had been landed in 
the space of the preceding year. 

From the above facts, especially from the increased 
production of sugar ; from the constant smuggling 
communication which is known to exist with the 
slave-mart of St. Thomas; from the circumstance 

* Class B., 1837, p. 140. 

t Class A., (Further Series,) 1837, pp. 5, 13. 

t Class A., 1S37, p. 50. 

§ Class A., 1837, p. 28. 


that apprentices have been kidnaj>ped by their masters 
in the British settlement of Anguilla,* for the purpose 
of being carried to Porto Rico, — and from the fact, 
that there is some Slave Trade with that island, it is 
not difficult to come to the conclusion, that there has 
been a traffic in slaves to a considerable amount. 
Upon the same principle, however, which has led me 
to waive all additions to which any shade of doubt may- 
attach, I will not claim any increase on the sum of 
slaves exported from Africa, in respect of Porto Rico. 

Buenos Ayres, etc. 

I am afraid that some addition might too justly be 
claimed with regard to the countries in the vicinity 
of the rivers Plata and Uruguay. 

In a letter from Mr. Hood "to Lord Palmerston, 
dated from Buenos Ayres, the capital of the pro- 
vinces of Rio de la Plata, 1833, it is stated, " that 
the dormant spirit of slave trading has been awak- 
ened ;" that the Aguila Primera, a schooner belong- 
ing to this place, and under this flag, was fitting, and 
in a forward state, to proceed to the coast of Congo 
for a cargo of slaves; and that other fast-sailing 
vessels were in request, for the same service." The 
Uruguese minister did not deny that the Government 
were cognizant of the proceedings, and confessed that 
" they had given their concurrence to import 2000 
colonists from the coast of Africa, which he consi- 
dered a fair and legitimate trade." Nor is it to be 

* Class B., 1837, p. 10. 


wondered at that lie had arrived at so extraordinary 
a conclusion ; for it appears by the same letter that 
the same " minister had received a bribe of 30,000 
dollars to permit a company of merchants to import 
2000 slaves, under the denomination of colonists."* 

In September, 1834, Lord Palmerston, in a letter 
to Mr. Hamilton, states that the Slave Trade is now 
increasing in the river Plata, supported by the capital 
of Monte Video f citizens, and covered by the flag of 
the United Provinces of the Uruguay," and that the 
Abolition Law is wholly without effect.* 

How unavailing were the remonstrances then made, 
appears by the fact of the seizure, on the 10th No- 
vember, 1834, of the Rio da Prata, a slave-brig of 
202 tons, under the flag of Monte Video, with licence 
from the authorities to import 650 colonists, with 521 
slaves on board, men, women, and children." § 

" We may form some idea," says Mr. M'Queen, 
" of the numbers imported into the Argentine Re- 
public, or provinces of Rio de la Plata, from the fact 
that, in 1835 (see Porter's Tables), twenty Portuguese 
vessels departed for Africa, and as many arrived from 
it in the port of Monte Video, after landing their car- 
goes of slaves from Africa on the adjacent coasts." || 

* Class B., 1833, pp. 55 and 56. 

t Monte Video is the capital of the United Provinces of the 
Uruguay, otherwise called the Oriental Republic, or Banda 

1 Class B., 1834, p. 81. § Class B., 1S35, p. 141. 

|| Mr. Mandeville, of date 24th January, 1839, writes from 


It is most disheartening to find, that, in spite of 
all our efforts, the Slave Trade, instead of ceasing 
where it has long prevailed, is spreading over these 
new and petty states ; and that the first use they 
make of their flag (which but for us they never would 
have possessed) is to thwart Great Britain, and to 
cover the Slave Trade : and, further, to learn that 
their slave-traffic is attended with even more than the 
usual horrors. It must not be forgotten that, as we 
have just seen, for a voyage from the southern coast 
of Africa to Monte Video, (a voyage of some thou- 
sands of miles,) the space allowed is less than one ton 
for three slaves. 

Lists are given in the Parliamentary Papers of 
many vessels employed in the Slave Trade, which are 

Buenos Ayres that the Consul at Monte Video had acquainted him 
with a new method of smuggling slaves into the republic of the 
Uruguay. A Brazilian becomes owner of a vessel under Monte 
Videan colours ; he sends a cargo to Rio, where the vessel receives 
Brazilian produce. With a regular clearance, she tben sails for 
Monte Video : having got outside the harbour, little sail is made, 
and at night a boat comes off from the shore with 20 or 40 ne- 
groes. These are landed at Maldonado, or in the neighbourhood, 
and then the vessel makes her entry to Monte Video in the usual 
manner ; and no questions are asked. By a systematic repetition 
of this fraud a great number of slaves are introduced, into the 
" Bauda Oriental." I do not quote this to prove that the Slave 
Trade from Africa is increased by this practice, for this is 
obviously not the case; but it shows an appetite for Slave 
Trading on the part of the Monte Videans, and the shifts to 
which they resort in order to satisfy it. Class D.,F. S., 1839, 
p. Id. 


continually arriving at, or sailing from, Monte Video ;* 
but it seems hardly necessary to pursue the subject 
further. We know there is a Slave Trade with these 
states ; but as we have no data to compute the extent 
of it, I cannot avail myself of the fact, however cer- 
tain it may be. I must, therefore, in regard to these 
countries, as I have done in the case of Porto Rico, 
wave extending my calculations. I will next advert 

The United States. 

In the Report "of the Commissioners at Havana, 
for 1836, dated 25th Oct., 1836, 1 find these words : — 
" During the months of August and September 
(1836) there arrived here for sale, from the United 
States, several new schooners, some of which were 
already expressly fitted for the Slave Trade. 

" The Emanuel and Dolores were purchased, and 
have since left the port (we believe with other names) 
on slaving expeditions, under the Spanish flag. 

" But, to our astonishment and regret, we have 
ascertained that the Anaconda and Viper, the one on 
the 6th, and the other on the 10th current, cleared 
out and sailed from hence for the Cape de Verde 
Islands, under the American flag.f 

* Class B, 1835, pp. 141—143. 

t Mr. Barker, the British Consul at the Cape de Verde Islands, 
of date 31st December, 1838, states that the American Consul at 
Havana, Mr. Trist, had granted more than ten false hills of sale 
of vessels, and passes to these islands. Class B, 1839, F. S., 
p. 110. 


" These two vessels arrived in the Havana, fitted 
in every particular for the Slave Trade ; and took 
on board a cargo which would at once have con- 
demned, as a slaver, any vessel belonging to the 
nations that are parties to the equipment article."* 

The Commissioners further observe, that the declara- 
tion of the American President " not to make the 
United States a party to any convention on the sub- 
ject of the Slave Trade, has been the means of induc- 
ing American citizens to build and fit, in their own 
ports, vessels, only calculated for piracy or the Slave 
Trade, to enter this harbour, and, in concert with the 
Havana slave-traders, to take on board a prohibited 
cargo, manacles, &c. ; and proceed openly to that 
notorious depot for this iniquitous traffic, the Cape 
de Verde Islands, under the shelter of their national 
flag :" and "we may add, that, while these American 
slavers were making their final arrangements for de- 
parture, the Havana was visited more than once by 
American ships of war, as well as British and 

The Commissioners also state, that " two American 
vessels, the Fanny Butler and Rosanna, have pro- 
ceeded to the Cape de Verde Islands and the coast 
of Africa, under the American flag, upon the same 
inhuman speculation."! A few months afterwards 
they report that — " We cannot conceal our deep re- 

* Class A, 1836, p. 191. 

t Class A, 1836, pp. 191, 192. 


gret at the new and dreadful impetus imparted to 
the Slave Trade of this island (Cuba), by the manner 
in which some American citizens impunably violate 
every law, by embarking openly for the coast of 
Africa under their national flag, with the avowed 
purpose of bringing slaves to this market* Consul 
Tolme, of date 1 1th April, ] 839, says, " In fact there 
appears, more than I ever knew it before, an eager- 
ness on the part of the Slave Traders to purchase 
fast-sailino- American built vessels, and to send them 
out to Africa under the flag of the United States, "f 
We are likewise assured that it is intended, by 
means of this flag, to supply slaves for the vast pro- 
vince of Texas ; agents from thence being in con- 
stant communication with the Havana slave mer- 

This u new and dreadful impetus" to the Slave 
Trade, predicted by our commissioners, has already 
come to pass. In the recent Parliamentary papers, 
the number of American vessels employed in the 

* Class A, 1836, p. 218, and Class B, 1836, pp. 123 and 129, 

t Class B.,F. S., 1839, p. 36. 

X While preparing this work for the press, I received a com- 
munication from Major M'Gregor, late Special Magistrate at the 
Bahamas, in which lie notices the wreck of the schooner Invin- 
cible, on the 28th October, 1837, on one of these islands ; and he 
adds, " the captain's name was Potts, a native of Florida. The 
vessel was fitted out at Baltimore in America, and three-fourths 
of the crew were natives of the United States, although they pre- 
tended to be only passengers." 


trade in 1837 is stated to be 11, and, in 1838, 19.* 
In a list of the departure of vessels for the coast of 
Africa from the Havana, up to a recent date, I find 
that, " in the last four months," no other flags than 
those of Portugal and the United States have been 
used to cover slavers, j" 

The list states that vessels, fitted for the Slave 
Trade, sailed from Havana for the coast of Africa, 
bearing the American flag, as follows : — 

* Class A, F. S., 1838-9, p. 104. 

t The Venus, said to be the sharpest clipper-built vessel ever 
constructed at Baltimore, left that place in July, 1838, and 
arrived at Havana on the 4th of August following. She sailed 
from thence, in September, for Mozambique ; there she took in a 
cargo of slaves, being all this time under the flag of the United 
States. On the 1th of January, 1839, she landed 860 negroes 
near Havana, under Portuguese colours ; and on the 9th these 
blacks, with 1200 more, were seen at one of the Barracoons, within 
two miles of that city, " exposed for sale, and presenting a most 
humiliating and melancholy spectacle." — Private Letters. 

Lieut. Reeve, of date 2d April, 1839, writes to the Secretary of 
the Admiralty, that unless immediate steps be taken to check the 
protection of the American flag to the slaver, it will be useless for 
Her Majesty's cruizers to be employed for the suppression of the 
traffic; and he adds, " No other flag will be seen on the coast in 
a short time, for it affords all the protection a slaver can require 
under the existing laws." 

Admiral Elliot, of date 6th Feb., 1839, says, " Several of the 
slave dealers have declared their intention to have an American 
sailing master and American colours in each vessel, and some 
have had the impudence to assert that the government of the 
United States would not discountenance such practices." Class 
D, F. S., 1839, p. 31. 




During the month of June, 1838, 2 

July 2 

„ August 5 

„ September 1 


The Commissioners at Havana, of date 1st January, 
1839, say, " It appears that the American flag will 
be at the command of whoever chooses to embark in 
such inhuman speculations."* 

No symptom in the case is so alarming as this. 
It remains to be seen, whether America will endure 
that her flag shall be the refuge of these dealers in 
human blood. 

I confidently hope better things for the peace of 
Africa and for the honour of the United States. -f 

This leads me to the province of 


I have been informed, upon high authority, that 
" within the last twelve months J 15,000 negroes 
were imported from Africa into Texas." I have the 

* Class A, F. S., 1838-9, p. 104. 

t I am glad to find that, in the course of 1838, an American 
sloop of war was stationed at Havana for the special purpose of 
putting down ahuses of the American flag; and that the com- 
mander of this vessel had seized a brig, pretending to be Ameri- 
can, from the coast of Africa, and delivered her up to the Spanish 
authorities. Class A, F. S., 1838-9, p. 102. 

I Referring to 1837 and 1838. 


greatest reliance on the veracity of the gentleman 
from whom this intelligence comes ; but I would 
fain hope that he is in error. I can conceive no 
calamity to Africa greater than that Texas should 
be added to the number of the slave-trading states. 
It is a gulf which will absorb millions of the human 
race. I have proof, quite independent of any state- 
ments in this work, that not less than four millions 
of negroes have in the last half century been torn 
from Africa for the supply of Brazil. Texas, once 
polluted with the Slave Trade, will require a number 
still more appalling. 

In the case of Texas, as I have not sufficient proof 
to adduce in support of the numbers which it is re- 
ported have been carried into that country, I shall, 
as I have already done in similar instances, wave my 
claim for increasing my general estimate. 


I have then brought the case to this point. There 
is Slave Trading, although to an unknown and in- 
definite amount, to Porto Rico; to Texas; and 
to some of the South American republics. 

There is the strongest presumptive evidence, that 
the Slave Trade into the five ports of Brazil which 
have been noticed, is " much more considerable " 
than my estimate makes it; and that I have also 
underrated the importation of negroes into Cuba. 
There are even grounds for suspicion that there are 
other places (besides Porto Rico, Texas, Cuba, 

e 2 


Monte Video, &c, and Brazil), where slaves are 
introduced. But for all these presumptions I reckon 
nothing — I take no account of them ; I limit myself 
to the facts which I have established ; viz., that 
there are, at the present time, imported annually into 

Brazil 78,331 

That the annual importations into Cuba 

amount to . . . . 60,000 

That there have been captured . . 8,294 
And I assume that the casualties'" 

amount to .... 3,375 

Making together . 150,000 

Corroborative Proofs of the Extent of the 
Slave Trade. 

I confess there is something startling in the asser- 
tion, that so vast a number are annually carried from 
Africa to various parts of the New World. 

Such a statement may well be received with some 
degree of doubt, and even suspicion. I have not 
been wholly free from these feelings myself; and 
I have again and again gone over the public docu- 
ments, on which I have alone relied, in order to 
detect any inaccuracy which might lurk in them, or 
in the inferences deduced from them. No such mis- 
take can I discover ; but my conviction that the 
calculation is not excessive, has been fortified by 
finding that other persons, who have had access to 
* See p, 34. 


other sources of information, and who rest their 
estimates on other data than those on which I have 
relied, make the number of human beings torn from 
Africa still greater than I do. 

For example: — Captain M'Lean, Governor of 
Cape Coast Castle for many years, who estimates the 
extent of the Slave Trade by the vessels which he 
has seen passing along the coast, rates the number of 
slaves annually taken from the Bights of Benin and 
Biafra alone, at 140,000. 

In a letter from that gentleman, dated June 11, 
1838, he says : — 


In compliance with your wishes, I beg leave to state to 
you, in this form, Avhat I have already mentioned to you verbally ; 
namely, that " in the year 1834, I have every reason to believe 
that the number of slaves carried off from the Bights of Benin 
and Biafra amounted to 140,000."* I have not beside me the 
particular data whereon I grounded this calculation; but I can 
state generally, that I founded it upon the number of slave-vessels 
which actually passed the forts on the Gold Coast during that 
year, and of those others, of whose presence on the coast I had 
certain information from Her Majesty's cruisers or otherwise. 
When I say that I have rather under than over-stated the number, 
I ought at the same time to state that, in the years 1834-5, more 
slavers appeared on the coast than in any previous year within 

* This fact, taken in connexion with an opinion expressed to 
me by Governor M'Lean, and confirmed by several merchants 
and captains trading to the coast of Africa, that three out of five of 
all the slave-vessels from the Bight of Benin are bound to Cuba, 
gives 84,000 as the extent of the Slave Trade of that island ; an 
amount far exceeding my estimate. 


my observation; and this was partially, at least, accounted for 
(by those engaged in the traffic) by the fact of the cholera having 
swept off a large number of the slaves in the island of Cuba. 
The ports of Bahia, also, were opened for the introduction of 
slaves, after having been shut for some time previous, on account 
of an insurrection among the negro population in that country. 

Governor M'Lean returned to Cape Coast Castle 
in 1838, and found, it appears, that the Slave Trade 
had by no means decreased during his absence. In 
a letter, dated 16th October of that year, he says, 
" Slavers have continued to pass the forts ; some of 
them, as usual, stopping here. From various in- 
quiries that I have made, and by collating my inform- 
ation, as received from several sources, I can state as 
a fact, that there are at this moment on the coast 
200 slave-vessels, all under Portuguese colours." 
He was assured, by the master of one of the slave- 
ships which stopped at the fort, that " the trade was 
on the increase, the prices given for slaves in Cuba 
being higher than ever." 

This does not include the slaves embarked from 
the many notorious slave-ports to the northward of 
Cape Coast, nor those carried from the eastern shores 
of Africa, nor those who are shipped at Loango and 
the rest of the south-western coast. I confess that 
I have not any very clear grounds for calculating or 
estimating the numbers shipped from these three 
quarters. Along the south-eastern coast, we know 
that there are a great many ports from whence slaves 
are taken. With respect to the majority of these, we 


are left in the dark as to the extent to which the 
Slave Trade is carried on ; but, in a few cases, we 
have specific information. For example : — in the 
letters found on board the Soleil, which was captured 
by Commodore Owen, H. M. S. Leven, we have the 
following* statement : — " From the port of Mozam- 
bique are exported every year upwards of 10,000 
blacks."* Commodore Owen, in the account of his 
voyage to the eastern coast, informs us that from 
eleven to fourteen slave-vessels come annually from 
Rio Janeiro to Quilimane, and return with from 400 
to 500 slaves each, on an average, which would 
amount to about 5,500. f 

Captain Cook^ has informed me that, during the 
year 1837, twenty-one slave- vessels sailed from Mo- 
zambique, with an average cargo of 400 slaves each, 
making 8,400. These, added to 7,200 exported from 
Quilimane in eighteen vessels, also in 1837, according 
to Captain Cook, give a total of 15,600 slaves con- 
veyed to Brazil and Cuba from these two ports alone. 
Of all the vessels, in number about thirty-eight, 
which sailed from the eastern coast in that year, Cap- 
tain Cook believes that only one was captured. He 
adds, — " Some slaves are shipped from Inhambane, 
and other places along the coast ;" but, having 

* Class B, 1828, p. 84. 

f Owen's Voyage, &c, London, 1833, vol. i., p. 293. 
X Captain Cook commanded a trading vessel, employed on the 
east roast of Africa, in 1836, 7, and 8. 


no accurate information, he lias altogether omitted 

Lieutenant Bosanquet, of H. M. S. Leveret, in 
a letter addressed to Admiral Sir P. Campbell, dated 
29th September, 1837, says: — " From my observa- 
tions last year, and from the information I have 
since been able to obtain, I conceive that upwards of 
12,000 slaves must have left the east coast of Africa 
in 1836 for the Brazils and Cuba ; and I think, from 
the number of vessels already arrived,* and there 
being many more expected, that that number will not 
be much decreased this year."f 

I will now turn to the south-western coast : — 

In 1826, the Governor of Benguela informed Com- 
modore Owen that, " Some years back, that place 
had enjoyed greater trade than St. Paul de Loanclo, 
having then an annual averaged export of 20,000 
slaves. "$ Owen also informs us that, " From St. 
Paul de Loando, 18,000 to 20,000 slaves are said to 
be annually exported, in great part to Brazil ; but 
that the supply had considerably decreased, on account 
of the dishonesty of the black agents in the country." 

Commodore Owen shortly afterwards (in 1827) 
visited Kassenda, near the river Congo, which place, 
he says, " is principally resorted to by slavers, of whom 

* The letter is dated at the close of the rainy season on the 
eastern coast. 

f Class B, Further Series, 1837, p. 25. 
X Owen's Voyage, &c, vol. ii., p. 272. 


five were at anchor in the harbour on our arrival, 
one French, and the rest under the Brazilian flag."* 

On looking over the Slave Trade papers presented 
to Parliament in 1838, f I find it stated, in monthly- 
lists, that, in the course of the year 1837, seventy 
vessels were reported by the British authorities to 
have imported into the vicinity of Rio Janeiro 
29,929 slaves, from Angola, Benguela, and Loando. 
All these vessels came in ballast to the port of Rio 
Janeiro, after having landed their slaves on the coast. 

The reader will see (vide p. 18, &c.) that there are 
other points in Brazil at which slaves are disem- 
barked. To say nothing of these, though the consul 
at one of them reports the arrival of the Portuguese 
brig Aleide, from Angola, on the 10th July, 1837, 
having previously landed 460 slaves in the neigh- 
bourhood ; though the consul at another states that 
" the frequent disembarkation of negroes imported 
from the coast of Africa in the vicinities of this port, 
is the common public talk of the day;" and though 
the vice-consul at a third notices the arrival of three 
vessels from Angola, in the months of November and 
December, 1836, I only claim from Angola 29,929 
negroes landed in Brazil in 1837. 

Then, as to the ports and rivers to the north of 
Cape Palmas, I find that General Turner, late 
Governor of Sierra Leone, in a despatch dated the 
20th December, 1825, states that the exports of 

* Owen's Voyage, &c, vol. ii. p. 292. 

t Class B, 1837, and Class B, Further Series, 1837. 


slaves from that part of the coast amount annually 
to 30,000.* 

From these extracts it appears that we have satis- 
factory evidence that the export of slaves from the 
south-eastern coast of Africa to America amounts 
annually to, say, ..... 15,000 
From Angola, &c. to America . . . 29,929 
From the ports to the northward of Cape 

Coast to America .... 30,000 

Amounting in all to . . . 74,929 

Thus then stands the case. We have information 
that the Slave Trade prevails in a variety of ports 
and rivers besides those in the Bights of Benin and 
Biafra. This information, though conclusive as to 
the fact that the Slave Trade prevails, is vague as to 
the extent to which it is carried on j but we have 
specific authority to this extent, that from a limited 
number of these ports there is an annual draft of 

about 75,000 

To these we must confine ourselves, and 

these, added to 140,000 

given by Mr. M'Lean for the exports 

* Extracted from the Records of the Colonial Office for 1825. 

The Sierra Leone Commissioners, of date 8th March, 1838, 
notice " the increasing activity of the Slave Trade in this neigh- 
bourhood. In confirmation of this opinion, we may remark," 
they add, " that the two cargoes of slaves shipped by the Isabelita 
in the space of about five months, were drawn from the Sherbro' 
and Galenas." 


from the Bights of Benin and Biafra, 

make the total annual Slave Trade 

between Africa and America amount to 215,000 

If we deduct from this number the usual amount 
of mortality, it will leave a remainder not very dif- 
ferent from, though somewhat exceeding, the esti- 
mate of 150,000 landed annually in America. 

With another gentleman, Mr. M'Queen, whose 
authority I have already quoted, I did not become 
acquainted until after the time that I had completed 
my own estimate. His channels of information 
are totally distinct from mine. Besides being con- 
versant with all the information which is to be found 
in this country, he has recently returned from a visit 
to Cuba and Porto Rico, where he went on the busi- 
ness of the Colonial Bank, and where he availed him- 
self of opportunities of collecting information relative 
to the Slave Trade. 

He rates the Slave Trade of Brazil at 90,000 
Cuba and Porto Rico . . 100,000 

Captured in the year 1837 . . 6,146 


Besides Texas, Buenos Ayres, and the Argentine 
Republic, into which he believes there are large im- 
portations, though to what extent he has no means of 

I now resort to a mode of proof totally different 
from all the foregoing. I have had much communi- 
cation with African merchants, engaged in legitimate 


trade ; and it was suggested by one of them that a 
very fair estimate of numbers might be formed, from 
the amount of goods prepared for the Slave Trade, 
(and absolutely inapplicable to any other purpose 
except the Slave Trade,) manufactured in this coun- 
try.* At my request, they furnished me with the 
following very intelligent summary of the argument, 
prepared, as I understood, by Captain M'Lean : — 

It is necessarily impossible, from the very nature of the Slave 
Trade, to ascertain directly, or with any degree of precision, the 
number of slaves actually exported from the coast of Africa for 
the Transatlantic slave-markets, in any given year or space of 
time. But it is very possible, by instituting careful and minute 
inquiries into the several ramifications into which that traffic 
branches, to obtain results, by the combination of which we may 
arrive at an approximation to the truth, sufficiently accurate for 
all the purposes of the main inquiry. And if we find that the 
data thus obtained from the most opposite sources, and from 
parties upon whose judgment and veracity the most implicit 
reliance may be placed, bring us to the same general result, it 
may, we think, be fairly taken for granted that the result is sub- 
stantially correct. 

Among the various sources to which we have applied ourselves, 
in order to ascertain the present actual extent of the Slave Trade, 
not the least important or satisfactory in its results has been a 
careful inquiry as to the quantity and value of goods, manufactured 
expressly and exclusively for the purchase of slaves. The grounds 

* I have just heard from a highly respectable correspondent, 
who has long resided in Brazil, that " the manufacture of goods 
exclusively for Africa and the Slave Trade, and exported to Rio 
de Janeiro, for the support of that trade, is generally admitted by 
the English merchants in that city. They neither disguise nor 
deny that the traffic is chiefly upheld by means of English 


upon which we instituted and carried on this investigation were 
these : — 

1. We ascertained, by the concurrent testimony of competent 
and unimpeachable authority, that the merchandise chiefly, if not 
exclusively, given in exchange for slaves, consists of cowries, 
Brazilian tobacco in rolls, spirits, and Manchester piece-goods. 

2. That the proportions of the goods thus paid, might be taken 
generally to be, — one-third cowries, a third tobacco and spirits, 
and a third Manchester cotton goods. 

3. We ascertained that the average sum paid for each slave 
(taking the goods at cost prices) was about £4 sterling. 

Lastly, we ascertained that all, or nearly all, the cotton goods 
purchased for the Slave Trade, were manufactured in Lancashire ; 
and that the description of goods so manufactured were altogethe 
unsuitable for any other market save that traffic alone. 

Assuming these premises to be correct, and we verified them 
with much care, and by the most strict investigation, it of course 
followed that, if, by any means, we could ascertain, even proxi- 
mately, the value and quantity of the cotton goods manufactured 
in and exported from Lancashire, for the Slave Trade, during any 
one of the few last years, we should arrive at a proximate (but, 
in the main, correct) estimate of the number of slaves actually 
purchased on the coast of Africa.* 

To some this indirect modus probandi, as to an important fact, 
may appear far-fetched ; but we are assured by those who are most 
conversant with the African trade generally, as well as with the 
Slave Trade and its operations in particular, that it is much more 

* The commissioners at Rio Janeiro, of date 14th July, 1838, 
make the following remark : — " We have been assured that it is 
no uncommon practice (which, however, we do not undertake to 
vouch for as a fact) with some of the commission houses here of 
Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham, to sell their goods 
intended for the African market on conditional terms ; the debt to 
be acquitted in part or in whole, according as the adventure may 
ultimately prove successful or otherwise." — Class A, 1838 — 9, 
p. 171. 

Mr. Gordon, of date 21st April, 1838, speaking of the Slave 


conclusive than, to those unacquainted with that peculiar trade, it 
would appear. As corroborative of other proofs, at least, it must 
certainly be regarded as very valuable. 

From returns with which we have been furnished by parties 
whose names, were we at liberty to mention them, would be a 
sufficient guarantee for their correctness, we have ascertained that 
the entire quantity of cotton goods manufactured in Lancashire, 
for the African trade (including the legitimate as well as the Slave 
Trade), was, in the year 1836, as follows : — 
Value of Manchester goods manufactured exclu- 
sively for the African legitimate trade . . £150,000 
Value of goods manufactured in Lancashire, and 
shipped to Brazil, Cuba, United States, and 
elsewhere, intended for the Slave Trade, and 
adapted only for that trade . . . £250,000 

Trade at Rio de Janeiro, says: — " It appears probable that much 
British capital is engaged therein, even directly. Indirectly many 
British houses in this city have for some time past greatly assisted 
enterprises for the nefarious end." He adds, " That when there 
was a risk from the British cruizers, these merchants sold only 
for ready money, but now they give the slave-dealers credit." — 
Class B, 1839, p. 369. 

It is satisfactory to observe that this painful intimation has not 
been unnoticed by the Home Government. 

Viscount Palmer 'ston to Her Majesty's Commissioners at Rio 
de Janeiro. 
Gentlemen, Foreign Office, Feb. 20, 1839. 

With reference to that part of your despatch of the 14th 
July, 1838, in which you state that British merchants are con- 
cerned, and British capital is employed, in Brazil, in Slave Trade ; 
I have to desire that you will collect and transmit to me all the 
information you can obtain, with a view to facilitate the identifica- 
tion and prosecution of such persons as may be concerned in these 


I am, &c, 

(Signed) Palmerston. 
Class A, F. §., 1838—9, p. 131. 


Thus showing an excess in the quantity of goods manufactured 
for the Slave Trade, over that intended for legitimate trade, 
during the year 1836, of £100,000, or two-fifths of the whole 

Calculating by the data already "given, we shall find that the 
number of slaves to the purchase of which the above amount of 
goods (manufactured and exported in one 'year, 1836) was ade- 
quate, would amount to the large number of 187,500,*— a number 
which we have strong reason to believe, according to information 
derived from other sources, to be substantially correct. 

Assuming the data on which the merchants calcu- 
late to be correct, some considerable addition must be 
made to the number of 187,500, for 

1. Goods only suited for the Slave Trade are 
manufactured at Glasgow as well as in Lancashire. 

2. Specie to a very considerable extent finds its 
way through Cuba and Brazil to Africa, and is there 
employed in the purchase of Slaves. To the number 
then purchased by goods must be added the number 
purchased by money. 

3. Ammunition and fire-arms to a large amount, 
and, like the goods, of a quality only fit for the Slave 
Trade, are sent from this country to Africa. The 
annual amount of such exports is stated in the Official 
Tables,! No. 6, of 1836, to be 137,698/. This item 
alone would give an increase of 34,424. 

* Each slave averaging £4 for his cost price, £250,000 will 
purchase 62,500 slaves, and as only one-third of the whole number 
purchased are bought with manufactured goods, 62,500 multiplied 
by three will give 187,500 for the annual number imported. 

t Tables of Revenue, &c, published by authority of Parliament. 


4. The Americans also furnish Cuba and Brazil 
with arms, ammunition, and goods. 

5. East Indian goods also are employed in the 
Slave Trade. 

It is superfluous to quote authority for the facts 
just enumerated, as they are notorious to commercial 
men. Thus, by the aid of this circumstantial evi- 
dence, of scarcely inferior value to direct and imme- 
diate proof, we show that the Slave Trade between 
Africa and the West cannot be less than 200,000, 
and probably reaches 250,000, annually exported. 

There is also another mode of looking at the same 
cpiestion, though under an aspect quite distinct. 

From an examination of the number of slave-ships 
which left Brazil, Cuba, &c, in the year 1829,* as 
compared with the number captured in the same 
year, it appears that on the average one in thirty 
only is taken : now, on the average of the years 1836 
and 1837, we have 7,538 negroes as the number cap- 
tured, which, being multiplied by 30, gives a total, 

Thus, then, the estimate of 150,000, at which, on 
the authority, principally, of the British Commis- 
sioners, I have myself arrived, with the number 
which perish on the passage,! make together an 
amount, which corresponds with, and is confirmed, 
1st, by the actual observation of the — 

* Mr. M'Queen communicated this to me last year, 
t See Summary — Mortality, Middle Passage, p. 144. 


Governor of Cape Coast Castle, coupled 
with other authorities, by which the 
number must amount to . . . 200,000 

2ndly, by Mr. M'Queen's researches, 

by Avhich the number must amount to 196,000 

3rdly, by the estimates founded on the 
quantity of goods exported for the 
Slave Trade, by which it must amount 
to, from . . . 200,000 to 250,000 

4thly, by a comparison between the pro- 
portion captured with those who es- 
cape, by which it must amount to . 226,000 

I have now to consider the 

Mohammedan Slave Trade. 

Hitherto, I have confined my observations to the 
traffic across the Atlantic, from the east and west 
coasts of Africa ; there is yet another drain upon this 
unhappy country, in the immense trade which is car- 
ried on for the supply of the Mohammedan markets 
of Morocco, Tunis, Tripoli, Egypt, Turkey, Persia, 
Arabia, and the borders of Asia. 

This commerce comprises two distinct divisions, 
1st, the maritime, the victims of which are shipped 
from the north-east coast, in Arab vessels ; and 2nd, 
the Desert, which is carried on, by means of cara- 
vans, to Barbary, Egypt, &c. 

The maritime trade is principally conducted by 
the subjects of the Imaum of Muskat ; and as this is 
a branch of our subject, heretofore but little known, 



I will make a few remarks as to its extent, the coun- 
tries which it supplies, and the amount of its annual 

Captain Cogan, of the Indian Navy, who, from 
his frequent intercourse with the Imaum, and, from 
having been his accredited agent in England, had 
the best opportunities of becoming acquainted with 
this Prince and his subjects, has informed me that 
the Imaum's African dominions extend from Cape 
Delgado, about 10° S. lat., to the Rio dos Fuegos, 
under the line; and that formerly this coast was no- 
torious for its traffic in slaves with Christians as well 
as Mohammedans ; the River Lindy, and the Island 
of Zanzebar, being the principal marts for the supply 
of the Christian market. 

In 182*2, a treaty was concluded by Captain 
Moresby, R.N., on behalf of the British Government, 
with the Imaum, by which the trade with Christian 
countries was declared abolished for ever, throughout 
his dominions and dependencies ; but this arrange- 
ment, it must be remembered, does not in any way 
touch upon the Slave Trade carried on by the 
Imaum's subjects with those of their own faith. 

By means of this reserved trade, slaves are ex- 
ported to Zanzebar ; to the ports on both sides of 
the Arabian Gulf; to the markets of Egypt, Cairo, 
and Alexandria ; to the south part of Arabia ; to 
both sides of the Persian Gulf; to the north-west 
coasts of India ; to the island of Java, and to most 
of the Eastern islands. The vessels which convey 


these negroes are in general the property of Arabs, 
or other Mohammedan traders. 

Both Sir Alexander Johnston, who was long resident 
at Ceylon in a judicial situation, and Captain Cogan, 
have heard the number thus exported reckoned at 
50,000 per annum ; but Captain Cogan admits 20,000 
to be the number legally exported from Africa, upon 
which the Imaum derives a revenue of so much per 
head ; and he also admits that there is, besides, an 
illicit trade, by which 10,000 more may be smuggled 
every year.* 

All travellers who have recently visited the chief 
seats of this traffic agree in describing it as very 

"At Muskat," says Lieutenant Wellsted, j " about 
4000 slaves of both sexes, and all ages, are disposed 
of annually." 

Captain Cook, (to whom I have already referred,) 
who returned, in 1838, from a trading voyage to the 
eastern coast of Africa, informs me, that he was at 
Zanzebar at several different periods, and that he 
always " found the slave-market, held there daily, fully 
supplied. He could not ascertain the number annually 
sold, but slaves were constantly arriving in droves, of 

* In a despatch dated Zanzebar, May 6th, 1839, Captain Cogan 
writes, — " The trade in slaves on this island is much greater than 
I had previously understood, as there appears from good authority 
to be not less than 50,000 sold annually in the market of Zan- 

t Wellsted's Travels in Arabia, &c. vol. i. p. 388. 



from 50 to 100 each, and found a ready sale ; they 
were chiefly," he understood, " purchased by Arab mer- 
chants, for the supply of Egypt, Abyssinia, Arabia, 
and the ports along the Arabian Gulf, to the markets 
of which countries hundreds were carried off and sold 

Many, however, are kept in Zanzebar, where there 
are sugar and spice plantations, and where, accord- 
ing to Ruschenberger,* the population amounts to 
150,000, of which about two-thirds are slaves. 

I also find, from Lieutenant Wellsted,f that there 
is a Slave Trade carried on with the opposite coast of 
Arabia by the Somaulys, who inhabit the coast of 
Berbera, between Cape Guardafui and the Straits of 
Babel Mandel. 

I am therefore warranted in taking Captain 
Cogan's estimate, viz., 30,000 per annum, as the 
number of negroes annually drained off by the Mo- 
hammedan Slave Trade from the east coast of 
Africa. J 

* Ruschenberger's Voyage, 1835, 6, 7, vol. i. p. 40. 

t Wellsted's Travels in Arabia, &c. vol. ii. p. 363. 

\ There seems also to be an export of slaves from the Portu- 
guese settlements on the east coast of Africa to their possessions 
in Hindustan, which, as appeai-s from the accounts of travellers, 
commenced towards the close of the seventeenth century, and has 
continued to the present time. In a despatch to the Court of 
Directors from the Bombay Government, dated 12th May, 1838, 
Mr. Erskine, resident at Kattywar, (in the province of Guzerat,) 
states, that " a considerable importation of slaves takes place, 
at Diu, both directly from the Arabian Gulf, and from Goa, and 


I now come to the other division, that of the De- 
sert, or caravan Slave Trade ; and here I shall briefly 
notice the countries which furnish its victims, so that 
we may see how vast a region lies under its wither- 
ing influence. 

By the laws of the Koran,, no Mohammedan is 
allowed to enslave one of his own faith. The power- 
ful Negro Moslem kingdoms, south of the desert, 
are thus, in a great measure, freed from the evils of 
this commerce ; and the countries from which it is 
supplied are almost entirely Pagan, or only partially 
Mohammedan, and comprehend, in addition to the 
Pagan tribes (chiefly Tibboos), which are scattered 
over parts of the Desert, and lie intermixed among the 
Moslem kingdoms, all the northern part of Pagan 
Negroland, reaching, in a continuous line, from the 
banks of the Senegal to the mountains of Abyssinia 
and the sources of the Nile. The Negro Mohamme- 
dans, though not themselves sufferers from this Slave 
Trade, are active agents in carrying it on. 

The Mohammedan towns of Jenne, Timbuctoo ; 
Kano and Sackatoo, in Honssa; Kouka and An- 
gornou, in Bornou ; Wawa, or Ware, the capital of 
Waday ; and Cobbe, the capital of Darfour, — are so 
many large warehouses, where the stores of human 

Dumaun, from whence they are brought into the province. For 
this I may confidently say, I see no remedy whatever, as it rests 
entirely with the British Government to say how far they consider 
it politic to interfere with their allies, the Portuguese, on this im- 
portant question." 


merchandise are kept for the supply of the Arab car- 
riers or traders, who convey them in caravans across 
the Desert. The Soudan* negroes, so conveyed, and 
by many different routes,t are not only intended for 
the supply of Barbary and Egypt, and the banks of 
the Nile, from its mouth to the southern frontiers of 
Abyssinia, but, as I have learnt from a variety of 
authorities, are exported to Turkey, Arabia, Syria, 
Persia, and Bokhara.! 

With regard to the number thus annually exported, 
the absence of official documents, the imperfect evi- 
dence afforded by the statements of African travel- 
lers, and the immense extent of the subject itself, in 
its geographical relations, render it extremely dif- 
ficult to obtain anything approaching to a correct 

For these reasons, and as I have no wish to go 
beyond the bounds of producible proofs, I shall not 
estimate the Mohammedan Slave Trade at a greater 
extent than that which I am fairly entitled to assume, 
from the observations of African travellers. 

* The term " Soudan' '* is chiefly applied to the countries lying 
to the south of the Sahara, or Great Desert. 

t The great posts on the northern side of the Desert, where the 
traders collect, appear to be Wednoon, Tafilet, Fez, and Gha- 
danies ; Mourzouk, the capital of Fezzan ; and Siout and Shendy, 
on the Nile. 

X The Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, in his account of Caubul 
(London, 1839, vol. i. p. 318,) says, " There are slaves in Afgha- 
nistan: Abyssinians and Negroes are sometimes brought from 


Jackson, in his Travels in Africa,* speaks of a 
caravan from Timbuctoo to Tafilet, in 1805, con- 
sisting of " 2,000 persons, and 1,800 camels." 

Riley tells us,t that the Moor, Sidi Hamet, in- 
formed him, that in a caravan, with which he tra- 
velled in 1807, formed by the merchants who re- 
mained in Timbuctoo after the departure of the annual 
caravans to the north, there were 2,000 slaves. 

Captain Lyon J gives 5,000 or 5,500, as the annual 
import into Fezzan ; and Ritchie,§ who travelled 
with him, says, that, in 1819, 5,000 slaves arrived at 
Mourzouk from Soudan. 

RitterJI in his observations on the Slave Trade, 
tells us, that the Darfour caravans arrive yearly at 
Cairo, from the interior, varying in their numbers 
according to time and circumstances ; the smaller 
caravans, consisting of from 5,000 to 6,000 (accord- 
ing to Browne, ^[ only 1,000) ; the larger, which how- 
ever do not often arrive, of about 12,000.** Far 
fewer come down the Nile with the Sennaar caravan, 
and only a few, from Bornou through Fezzan, by 
the Maugraby caravan, although hunting-parties are 

* Jackson's Travels, 1809, p. 239. 

t Riley's Narrative, p. 382. 

I Lyon's Narrative, London, 1821, pp. 188, 189. 

§ Ritchie, quoted in the Quart. Review, 1820, No. xlv. p. 228. 

|| A German, who published a geographical work in 1820, 
p. 380. 

f Browne's Travels, 1793, p. 246. 

** Memoires sur L'Egypte, torn. iii. p. 303. Lapanouse, iv. 
p. 11. 


fitted out in Bornou, against the negroes, in the 
adjoining highlands. 

Browne, who resided in Darfour three years, about 
the end of the last century, says, that in the caravan 
with which he travelled through the Desert to 
Cairo, there were 5,000 slaves.* 

Burckhardt, who travelled in Nubia, &c, in 1814, 
informs us,f that 5,000 slaves are annually sold in 
the market of Shendy, " of whom 2,500 are carried 
off by the Souakin merchants, and 1,500 by those of 
Egypt ; the remainder go to Dongola and the Be- 
douins, who live to the east of Shendy, towards 
Akbara and the Red Sea ;" and he afterwards says,+ 
" Souakin, upon the whole, may be considered as one 
of the first Slave Trade markets in eastern Africa ; 
it imports annually, from Shendy and Sennaar, from 
2,000 to 3,000 slaves, equalling nearly, in this respect, 
Esne and Es Siout, in Egypt, and Massouah in 
Abyssinia, where, as I afterwards learnt at Djidda, 
there is an annual transit from the interior of about 
3,500 slaves. From these four points, from the 
southern harbours of Abyssinia, and from the So- 
mauly and Mozambique coast, it may be computed, 
that Egypt and Arabia draw an annual supply of 
15,000 or 20,000 slaves, brought from the interior of 
Africa." § 

* Pinkerton's Voyages, &c, vol. xv. p. 155. 
f Burckhardt's Travels, p. 324. J lb. p. 442. 

§ In the 'Times' newspaper of the 14th February, 1839, I 
find that on the evening of the 11th, at the meeting of the Royal 


Colonel Leake, who was in Egypt a few years 
ago, has informed me, that besides the supply from 
Shendy, noticed by Burckliardt, Cairo derives an ad- 
ditional number of 5,000 annually, who are brought 
to the market there, from Soudan, by other routes. 

Dr. Ruppell, in describing the expedition under- 
taken by the Pasha of Egypt against the provinces 
south of his dominions, in the years of 1820 and 
1821, states that "above 40,000 negroes were torn 
away from their country."* 

Dr. Holroyd, who has lately returned from travel- 
ling in Nubia and Kordofan, has stated that Me- 
hemet Ali's troops bring into Kordofan captives 
from his northern frontiers to the amount of 7,000 
or 8,000 annually ; that about one-half so introduced 
are retained for the use of the army and the inhabit- 
ants, while the other half are sold to the merchants 
of Shendy and Es Siout : that 5,000 negroes, annu- 
ally, reach Cairo by Es Souan, but that others also 
are brought there from Abyssinia by the Red Sea, 
and from Darfour, by the Desert; and that slaves 

Geographical Society, " the paper read was, an account of the 
survey of the south-east coast of Arabia by Captain Haines of the 
Indian navy." After describing Aden, he says, " The next town 
of importance is Mokhara, containing about 4,500 inhabitants, 
with a very considerable trade, particularly in slaves. The 
writer has seen exposed for sale in the market, at one time, no 
less than 700 Nubian girls, subject to all the brutality and insults 
of their masters ; the prices which they fetch varying from 
11. to 25/. 

* Ruppell's Travels in Abyssinia, vol. i. p. 25. 


are conveyed from Sennaar, by three separate routes, 
in daily caravans, varying in extent from 5 to 200. 
Dr. Holroyd visited the governor of Kordofan in 
1837 ; he had then just returned from a " gazzua " 
(slave-hunt) at Gebel Nooba, the product of which 
was 2,187 negroes. From these, "the physician to 
the forces was selecting able-bodied men for the 
army ; but so repeatedly has the Pasha waged war 
against this chain of mountains, that the population 
has been completely drained, and from the above 
number, only 250 men were deemed fit for military 

Dr. Bowring, who visited Egypt in 1837, has in- 
formed me, that he estimates the annual importation 
of slaves into Egypt at from 10,000 to 12,000; 
that the arrivals in Kordofan amount to about the 
same number : that in 1827, a single caravan 
brought 2,820 slaves to Es Siout; but that, in general, 
the annual arrivals there fluctuate between 500 and 
5,000 ; and that such is the facility of introducing 
slaves, that they " now filtrate into Egypt by almost 
daily arrivals." 

* Statement by Dr. Holroyd, yet unpublished. 

f The Allgemeine Zeiting, Oct. 19, 1838, states that " a few 
days ago a great caravan, the first for three years past, arrived 
from Darfour. It was 50 days in travelling in a straight line 
across the Desert from Darfour to Essiout. There it left the 
camels, and embarked with the slaves, that it brought, on the 
Nile for Cairo. This caravan consists of 18,000 camels, and, be- 
sides a vast quantity of the productions of the interior of Africa, 
brings nearly 8,000 slaves, who are sold in the slave-market at 


From the authorities which I have now given, I 
think I may fairly estimate the northern or Desert 
portion of the Mohammedan Slave Trade at 20,000 
per annum. 

I am aware that this amount is far below the 
numbers given by others who are well acquainted 
with the subject ; for example, the eminent eastern 
traveller , Count de Laborde, estimates the number 
that are annually carried into slavery from East 
Soudan, Abyssinia, &c, at 30,000. He also tells us 
that in the kingdom of Darfour an independent 
Slave Trade is carried on ;* and Burckhardt states, 
that Egypt and Arabia together draw an annual 
supply of from 15,000 to 20,000 from the same coun- 
tries ; but having no desire to depart from the rule I 
have laid down, of stating nothing upon conjecture, 
however reasonable that conjecture may be, I shall 
not take more than 

For the Desert trade 20,000f 

which, added to the annual export from 

the eastern coast, proved to be ... 30,000 

gives the number of 50,000 

* Chasse aux Negres. Leon cle Laborde. Paris, Dupont et 
C'% 1838, pp. 14 and 17. 

f The following are some of these authorities : — 
1st. For the number exported annually from Soudan to 

Morocco, &c, I take Jackson and Riley at . . 2000 
2nd. From Soudan to Mourzouk, Lyon and Ritter give . 5000 
3rd. From Abyssinia to Arabia, &c, Burckhardt, says about 3500 


as the annual amount of the Mohammedan Slave 

4th. From Abyssinia, Kordofan, and Darfour, to Egypt 
Arabia, &c, I take Browne, Burckhardt, Col. Leake, 
Count de Laborde, Dr. Holroyd, and Dr. Bowring, at 12,000 

Total for Desert trade 22,500 
* It ought to be borne in mind, that I have not taken into the 
account the number of slaves which are required for the home 
slavery of the Mohammedan provinces and kingdoms in Central 
Africa. These are very extensive and populous, and travellers 
inform us that the bulk of their population is composed of slaves. 
We have, therefore, the powerful nations of Houssa (including the 
Felatahs), Bornou, Begarmi, and Darfour, all draining off from 
Soudan annual supplies of negroes, for domestic and agricultural 
purposes, besides those procured for the foreign trade. On this 
head, Burckhardt says,f " I have reason to believe, however, that 
the numbers exported from Soudan to Egypt and Arabia bear 
only a small proportion to those kept by the Mussulmen of the 
southern countries themselves, or, in other words, to the whole 
number yearly derived by purchase or by force from the nations 
in the interior of Africa. At Berber and Shendy there is scarcely 
a house which does not possess one or two slaves, and five or six 
are frequently seen in the same family ; the great people and 
chiefs keep them by dozens. As high up the Nile as Sennaar, the 
same system prevails, as well as westwards to Kordofan, Darfour, 
and thence towards Bornou. All the Bedouin tribes, also, Avho 
surround those countries, are well stocked with slaves. If we may 
judge of their numbers by those kept on the borders of the Nile, 
(and I was assured by the traders that slaves were more numerous 
in those distant countries than even at Shendy,) it is evident that 
the number exported towards Egypt, Arabia, and Barbary, is very 
greatly below what remains within the limits of Soudan." He 
then states that, from his own observation, the slaves betwixt 

t Burckhardt, p. 340. 

summary of calculations. 71 


Such, then, is the arithmetic of the case ; and I 
earnestly solicit my reader, before he proceeds 
further, to come to a verdict in his own mind, upon 
the fairness and accuracy of these figures. I am 
aware that it requires far more than ordinary patience 
to wade through this mass of calculation ; I have, 
however, resolved to present this part of the subject 
in its dry and uninviting form, partly from utter 
despair of being able, by any language I could use, 
to give an adequate image of the extent, variety, and 
intensity of human suffering, which must exist if 
these figures be true ; and partly from the belief that 
a bare arithmetical detail, free from whatever could 
excite the imagination or distress the feelings, is best 
fitted to carry conviction along with it. I then ask, 
is the calculation a fair one ? Some may think that 
there is exaggeration in the result, and others may 
complain that I have been too rigorous in striking off 
every equivocal item, and have made my estimate as if 
it were my object and desire, as far as possible, to re- 
duce the sum total. It signifies little to the argument, 
whether the error be on the one side or the other ; but 

Berber and Shendy amount to not less than 12,000, and that, 
probably, there are 20,000 slaves in Darfour ; " and every account 
agrees in proving that, as we proceed further westward, into the 
populous countries of Dar Saley, Bornou, Bagarme, and the king- 
doms of Afnou and Houssa, the proportion of the slave population 
does not diminish." 


it is of material importance that the reader, for the 
purpose of following the argument, should now fix 
and ascertain the number which seems to him the 
reasonable and moderate result from the facts and 
figures which have been produced. To me, it seems 
just to take, annually, 

For the Christian Slave Trade . . 150,000 
For the Mohammedan . . . . 50,000 

Making a total of , . 200,000 




Hitherto, I have stated less than the half of this 
dreadful case. I am now going to show that, be- 
sides the 200,000 annually carried into captivity, 
there are claims on our compassion for almost count- 
less cruelties and murders growing out of the Slave 
Trade. I am about to prove that this multitude of 
our enslaved fellow men is but the remnant of num- 
bers vastly greater, the survivors of a still larger 
multitude, over whom the Slave Trade spreads its 
devastating hand, and that for every ten who reach 
Cuba or Brazil, and become available as slaves, four- 
teen, at least, are destroyed. 

This mortality arises from the following causes : — 

1 . The original seizure of the slaves. 

2. The march to the coast, and detention there. 

3. The middle passage. 

4. The sufferings after capture and after landing. 

5. The initiation into slavery, or the " seasoning," 
as it is termed by the planters. 

It will be necessary for me to make a few remarks 
on each of these heads; and 1st, As to the mortality 
incident to the period of 

the slave trade. 

« The whole, or the greater part, of that immense continent is a field of 
warfare and desolation ; a wilderness, in which the inhabitants are wolves 
to each other." — Speech of Bryan Edwards. 

On the authority of public documents, parlia- 
mentary evidence, and the works of African travel- 
lers, it appears that the principal and almost the 
only cause of war in the interior of Africa, is the 
desire to procure slaves for traffic ; and that every 
species of violence, from the invasion of an army to 
that of robbery by a single individual, is had re- 
course to, for the attainment of this object. 

Lord Muncaster, in his able historical sketches 
of the Slave Trade,* in which he gives us an 
analysis of the evidence taken before the Privy 
Council and the House of Commons about the year 
1790, clearly demonstrates the truth of my assertion, 
at the period when he published his work (1792); 
and the authorities from that time, down to the pre- 
sent day, as clearly show, that the most revolting 
features of the Slave Trade, in this respect, (at 
least, as regards the native chiefs and slave-traders 
of Africa,) have continued to exist, and do now exist. 
Bruce, who travelled in Abyssinia in 1770, in 
describing the slave-hunting expeditions there, says : 
" The grown-up men are all killed, and are then 
mutilated, parts of their bodies being always carried 
away as trophies ; several of the old mothers are 

i * Lord Muncaster's Historical Sketches. London, 1792. 


also killed, while others, frantic with fear and de- 
spair, kill themselves. The boys and girls of a 
more tender age are then carried off in brutal 

Mr. Wilberforce, in his letter to his constituents 
in 1807,f has described the mode in which slaves are 
usually obtained in Africa, and he quotes several 
passages from the work of the enterprising traveller, 
Mungo Park, bearing particularly on this subject. 
Park says, " The king of Bambarra having declared 
war against Kaarta, and dividing his army into small 
detachments, overran the country, and seized on the 
inhabitants before they had time to escape ', and in a 
few days the whole kingdom of Kaarta became a 
scene of desolation. This attack was soon retaliated ; 
Daisy, the king of Kaarta, took with him 800 of his 
best men, and surprised, in the night, three large 
villages near Kooniakary, in which many of his 
traitorous subjects had taken up their residence ; all 
these, and indeed all the able men who fell into 
Daisy's hands, were immediately put to death. "J 
Mr. Wilberforce afterwards says : "In another part 
of the country, we learn from the most respectable 
testimony, that a practice prevails, called ' village 
breaking.' It is precisely the ' tegria' of Mr. Park, 
with this difference, that, though often termed 

* Brucc's Travels in Abyssinia. 

f Wilberforce's Letter on the Abolition of the Slave Trade. 
London, 1807, p. 392. 

\ Parle's Travels, London, 1817, vol. i. p. 164.' 



making war, it is acknowledged to be practised for 
the express purpose of obtaining victims for the slave- 
market. The village is attacked in the night; if 
deemed needful, to increase the confusion, it is set 
on fire, and the wretched inhabitants, as they are 
flying naked from the flames, are seized and carried 
into slavery." " These depredations are far more 
commonly perpetrated by the natives on each other, 
and on a larger or smaller scale, according to the 
power and number of the assailants, and the resort 
of ships to the coast ; it prevails so generally, as 
throughout the whole extent of Africa, to render 
person and property utterly insecure."* And in 
another place, "Every man who has acquired any 
considerable property, or who has a large family, 
the sale of which will produce a considerable profit, 
excites in the chieftain near whom he resides the 
same longings which are called forth in the wild 
beast by the exhibition of his proper prey ; and he 
himself lives in a continual state of suspicion and 

The statements of Mr. Wilberforce have been 
corroborated by Mr. Bryan Edwards, (from whom 
I have already quoted,) himself a dealer in slaves, 
and an able and persevering advocate for the con- 
tinuance of the traffic* In a speech delivered in 
the Jamaica Assembly, he says, " I am persuaded 
that Mr. Wilberforce has been very rightly informed 
as to the manner in which slaves are very generally 
* Wilberforce's Letter, &c, p. 23. t Ibid. p. 28. 


procured. The intelligence I have collected from 
my own negroes abundantly confirms his account ; 
and I have not the smallest doubt that in Africa the 
effects of this trade are precisely such as he repre- 
sents them to be." 

But it may be said, admitting these statements to 
be true, they refer to a state of things in Africa which 
does not now exist. A considerable period of time 
has indeed elapsed since these statements were made ; 
but it clearly appears, that the same system has ob- 
tained, throughout the interior of Africa, down to the 
present time ; nor is it to be expected that any favour- 
able change will take place during the continuance of 
the slave-traffic. 

Professor Smith, who accompanied Captain Tuckey 
in the expedition to the Congo in 1816, says, " Every 
man I have conversed with acknowledges that, if 
white men did not come for slaves, the wars, which 
nine times out of ten result from the European Slave 
Trade, would be proportionally less frequent."* 

Captain Lyon states that, when he was at Fezzan 
in 1819, Mukni, the reigning Sultan, was continually 
engaged in these slave-hunts, in one of which 1,800 
were captured, all of whom, excepting a very few, 
either perished on their march before they reached 
Fezzan, or were killed by their captor.f 

Major Gray, who travelled in the vicinity of the 
River Gambia, and Dupuis, who was British Consul 

* Tuckey's Expedition, &c.,"p. 187. 
t Lyon's Travels, p. 129. 

G 2 


at Asliantee about the same period, 1820, both agree 
in attributing the wars, which they knew to be fre- 
quent in the countries where they travelled, to the 
desire of procuring slaves for traffic* Dupuis nar- 
rates a speech of the king of Ashantee. " Then my 
fetische made me strong, like my ancestors, and I 
killed Dinkera, and took his gold, and brought more 
than 20,000 slaves to Coomassie. Some of these 
people being bad men, I washed my stool in their 
blood for the fetische. But, then, some were good 
people, and these I sold or gave to my captains ; 
many, moreover, died, because this country does not 
grow too much corn, like Sarem, and what can I do ? 
Unless I kill or sell them, they will grow strong and 
kill my people. Now, you must tell my master (the 
King of England) that these slaves can work for him, 
and if he wants 10,000 he can have them."t 

Captain Moresby, a naval officer, who was stationed 
on the eastern coast in 1821, and who had peculiar 
opportunities of learning the mode in which slaves 
were obtained, informed me that "The Arab traders, 
from the coast of Zanzebar, go up the country, pro- 
vided with trinkets and beads, strung in various 
forms ; thus they arrive at a point where little 
intercourse has taken place, and where the inhabit- 
ants are in a state of barbarism ; here they display 
their beads and trinkets to the natives, according 
to the number of slaves they want. A certain 

* Gray's Travels in Western Africa. London, 1S25, p. 97. 
•j- Dupuis' Residence in Ashantee. London, 1824, p. 164. 


village is doomed to be surprised ; in a short time 
the Arabs have their choice of its inhabitants — 
the old and infirm are either left to perish, or be 

In 1822, our Minister at Paris thus addressed 
Count de Villele : " There seems to be scarcely a spot 
on that coast (from Sierra Leone to Cape Mount) 
which does not show traces of the Slave Trade, 
with all its attendant horrors ; for the arrival of a 
ship, in any of the rivers on the windward coast, 
being the signal for war between the natives, the 
hamlets of the weaker party are burnt, and the 
miserable survivors carried off and sold to the slave- 

We have obtained most valuable information as to 
the interior of Africa from the laborious exertions o 
Denham and Clapperton. They reached Soudan, or 
Nigritia, by the land-route through Fezzan and 
Bornou, in 1823, and the narrative of their journey 
furnishes many melancholy proofs of the miseries to 
which Africa is exposed through the demands for the 
Slave Trade. Major Denham says : " On attacking a 
place, it is the custom of the country instantly to fire 
it ; and, as they (the villages) are all composed of 
straw huts only, the whole is shortly devoured by the 
flames. The unfortunate inhabitants fly quickly 
from the devouring element, and fall immediately 
into the hands of their no less merciless enemies, 
who surround the place ; the men are quickly mas- 
sacred, and the women and children lashed together 


and made slaves."* Denham then tells us that the 
Begharmi nation had been discomfited by the Sheik of 
Bornou, " in five different expeditions, when at least 
20,000 poor creatures were slaughtered, and three- 
fourths of that number, at least, driven into slavery. "t 
And, in speaking of these wars, he uses this re- 
markable expression — " The season of the year had 
arrived (25th November) when the sovereigns of 
these countries go out to battle." He also narrates 
the terms of an alliance betwixt the Sheik of Bornou 
and the Sultan of Mandara. " This treaty of alli- 
ance was confirmed by the Sheik's receiving in mar- 
riage the daughter of the Sultan, and the marriage- 
portion was to be the produce of an immediate expe- 
dition into the Kerdy country, by the united forces of 
these allies. The results were as favourable as the 
most savage confederacy could have anticipated. 
Three thousand unfortunate wretches were dragged 
from their native wilds, and sold to perpetual slavery, 
while probably double that number were sacrificed 
to obtain them"% 

Denham, himself, accompanied an expedition 
against Mandara, one of the results of which was, 
that the town, " Darkalla, was quickly burnt, and 
another smaller town near it, and the few inhabitants 
who were found in them, chiefly infants and aged 
persons, were put to death without mercy, and thrown 
into the flames. "§ 

* Denham and Clapperton's Travels, &c. in Africa. London, 
1826, p. 164. t lb. p. 214. J lb. p. 116. § lb. p. 131. 


Commodore Owen, who was employed in the sur- 
vey of the eastern coast of Africa about the years 
1823 and 1824, says, " The riches of Quilimane con- 
sisted, in a trifling degree, of gold and silver, but 
principally of grain, which was produced in such 
quantities as to supply Mozambique. But the intro- 
duction of the Slave Trade stopped the pursuits of 
industry, and changed those places, where peace and 
agriculture had formerly reigned, into the seat of war 
and bloodshed. Contending tribes are now con- 
stantly striving to obtain, by mutual conflict, prisoners 
as slaves for sale to the Portuguese, who excite these 
wars, and fatten on the blood and wretchedness they 

In speaking of Inhambane, he says, " The slaves 
they do obtain are the spoils of war among the petty 
tribes, who, were it not for the market they thus find 
for their prisoners, would in all likelihood remain in 
peace with each other, and probably be connected by 
bonds of mutual interest." 

Mr. Ashmun, agent of the American Colonial 
Society, in writing to the Board of Directors, from 
Liberia, in 1823, says," The following incident I 
relate, not for its singularity, for similar events take 
place, perhaps, every month in the year, but it has 
fallen under my own observation, and I can vouch 
for its authenticity : — King Boatswain, our most 
powerful supporter, and steady friend among the 
natives, (so he has uniformly shown himself,) received 
* Owen's Voyage, &c, vol. i. p. 287. 


a quantity of goods on trust from a French slaver, 
for which he stipulated to pay young slaves — he 
makes it a point of honour to be punctual to his 
engagements. The time was at hand when he expected 
the return of the slaver, and he had not the slaves. 
Looking around on the peaceable tribes about him 
for his victims, he singled out the Queahs, a small 
agricultural and trading people of most inoffensive 
character. His warriors were skilfully distributed 
to the different hamlets, and making a simultaneous 
assault on the sleeping occupants in the dead of the 
night, accomplished, without difficulty or resistance, 
in one hour, the annihilation of the whole tribe ; — 
every adult, man and woman, was murdered — every 
hut fired ! Very young children, generally, shared 
the fate of their parents ; the boys and girls alone 
were reserved to pay the Frenchman."* 

The Colonization Herald of April 29, 1837, gives the 
following extract from a number of the Liberia Herald 
recently received : — " The wars among the natives 
contiguous to us continue to rage with increasing fury 
The whole line of coast from the Gallinas to Grand 
Sesters is in a state of fearful commotion." 

" Wars increase with the demand for slaves, and 
the demand is urgent in "proportion to the scarcity. 
And that slaves in these belligerent tribes are becoming 
scarce there can be no doubt. The requisite number 
being made up of the free, every method of kidnap- 
ping and violence is resorted to at the instigation of 
* Ashmun's Life. New York, 1835, p. 160. 


these fiends. They are always to be found near the 
scenes of warfare^ ready to purchase with merchandise 
the unhappy victims of wars that they themselves 
excite for the purpose. 

" Immediately on the breaking out of the war be- 
tween the Dey tribes and that of the Gorah, a slave 
factory was established in the capital town of each 
tribe. Both of these factories, we believe, belonged 
to one concern. Thus, while a powerful temptation 
was continually presented to the cupidity of both 
parties, a ready market was always at hand, in which 
they could dispose of the victims of their avarice. 
Both of these towns have been sacked, each tribe pre- 
vailing in its turn ; and it is with feelings far from 
painful, that we add, the slavers were also taken." 

The Commissioners at Sierra Leone, in a despatch 
of April 10, 1825, speaking of a great increase in the 
Slave Trade, which had then lately taken place on the 
coast between that colony and the Gallinas, state that 
the increased demand for slaves consequent thereon 
was "the cause of the destructive war which had 
raged in the Sherbro' for the last eighteen months, 
between the ' Cassoos,' a powerful nation living in 
the interior, and the Fi people, and Sherbro' Bulloms, 
who live near the water-side, andare completely under 
the influence of the slaving chiefs and factors settled 
in the neighbourhood."* The Cassoos are repre- 
sented as having carried fire, rapine, and murder, 
throughout the different villages through which they 
* Class A, 1826, p. 7. 


passed, most of the women and children of which, 
together with the prisoners, were immediately sold to 
the slave-factors, who were at hand to receive them. 

We have also, on this head, the more recent testi- 
mony of Lander and Laird. Lander accompanied 
Clapperton from Badagry to Sockatoo, and on the 
death of Clapperton he returned to Badagry, with 
little variation, by the same route. In 1830 he was 
sent out by the British Government to Africa, and 
succeeded in navigating the Niger from Boossa, where 
Park was drowned, to the sea, in the Bight of Benin. 
In his journal, he observes that slavery has " pro- 
duced the most baleful effects, causing anarchy, in- 
justice, and oppression to reign in Africa, and exciting 
nation to rise up against nation, and man against 
man ; it has covered the face of the country with 
desolation. All these evils, and many others, has 
slavery accomplished ; in return for which the Euro- 
peans, for whose benefit, and by whose connivance 
and encouragement it has flourished so extensively, 
have given to the artless natives ardent spirits, 
tawdry silk dresses, and paltry necklaces of beads."* 

Laird ascended the Niger, and its tributary the 
Tschadda, in 1832, and was an eye-witness of the 
cruelties consequent on the Slave Trade, while in the 
river near to the confluence of the two streams, He 
says, speaking of the incursions of the Felatahs, 
" Scarcely a night passed, but we heard the screams 
of some unfortunate beings that were carried off into 
* Lander's Records. London, 1830, vol. i. p. 38. 


slavery by these villanous depredators. The inha- 
bitants of the towns in the route of the Felatahs fled 
across the river on the approach of the enemy." " A 
few days after the arrival of the fugitives, a column 
of smoke rising in the air, about five miles above the 
confluence, marked the advance of the Felatahs; and 
in two days afterwards the whole of the towns, includ- 
ing Addah Cuddah, and five or six others, were in a 
blaze. The shrieks of the unfortunate wretches that 
had not escaped, answered by the loud wailings and 
lamentations of their friends and relations (encamped 
on the opposite bank of the river), at seeing them 
carried off into slavery, and their habitations de- 
stroyed, produced a scene, which, though common 
enough in the country, had seldom, if ever before, 
been witnessed by European eyes, and showed to me, 
in a more striking light than I had hitherto beheld it, 
the horrors attendant upon slavery."* 

Rankin, in the narrative of his visit to Sierra 
Leone in 1833, says, the warlike Sherbros had re- 
cently invaded the territories of the Timmanees, and 
had fallen on the unguarded Rokel, which became a 
prey to the flames. " The inhabitants who could not 
escape across the river to Magbelly perished, or were 
made slaves, and the town was reduced to ashes. "t 

Colonel Nicolls, late Governor at Fernando Po, 
has informed me, that when he visited the town of 

* Laird and Oldfield's Narrative. London, 1837, vol. i. pp. 149, 

f Rankin's Sierra Leone. London, 1836, vol. ii. p. 259. 


Old Calebar in 1834, he found the natives boasting 
of a predatory excursion, in which they had recently 
been engaged, in which they had surprised a village, 
killed those who resisted, and carried off the remainder 
as slaves. In alluding to this excursion, Colonel 
Nicolls heard an African boy, who had formed one of 
the party, declare that he had killed three himself! 

The Rev. Mr. Fox, a Wesleyan missionary at the 
Gambia, in a letter dated 13th March, 1837, addressed 
to the Secretary of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, 
says, — " I visited Jamalli a few weeks ago, and also 
Laming, another small Mandingo town, on the way : 
at the latter place I counted twelve huts that had 
been destroyed by fire, and at the former about forty. 
Proceeding to the Foulah town, about half a mile 
eastward, I found it was not in the least injured, but, 
like the other two, was without inhabitants ; not a 
soul was to be seen." 

" Foolokolong, a large Foulah town in Kimming- 
ton's dominions, has lately been attacked by Wooli, 
and, I believe, nearly the whole of it destroyed, 
the cattle driven away, many of the inhabitants 
killed, and many others taken prisoners. On Wed- 
nesday evening last I returned from a hasty visit to 
the upper river. I went as far as Fattatenda. At 
Bannatenda, not quite half the way, I found a poor 
aged Foulah woman in irons, who, upon inquiry, I 
found was from Foolokolong, one of the many who 
were captured in the recent war, and that she was 
sent on the south side of the river to be sold, for a 


horse. I immediately rescued the half-famished and 
three-parts-naked female from the horrors of slavery 
by giving a good horse, broke off her chains, and 
brought her to this settlement, where, by a singular 
but happy coincidence, she met with her own brother 
(who lives upon Hattaba's land), who, hearing that 
she, her daughter, and daughter's children, had been 
taken in the war, had been a considerable way up 
the river to inquire after them, but heard nothing of 
them, and had consequently returned. I, of course, 
gave the woman up to her brother, from whom, as 
well as herself, and several Foulahs who came to see 
her, I received a number of blessings." 

In another part of the same letter he writes, — - 
" From the king himself I learned that they brought 
350 Foulahs from Foolokolong (Kimmington's 
largest Foulah town), besides 100 whom they killed 
on the spot." 

In another letter, dated 5th January, 1838, Mr. 
Fox says, " The Bambarras have proceeded a con- 
siderable distance down the north bank of the river 
(Gambia), have pillaged and destroyed several small 
towns, taken some of the inhabitants into slavery, 
and a few people have been killed." 

" The neighbourhood of McCarthy's Island is 
again in a very disturbed state. Scarcely are the 
rains over, and the produce of a plentiful harvest 
gathered in, ere the noise of battle and the din of 
warfare is heard at a distance, with all its attendant 
horrors ; mothers, snatching up their children with a 


few necessary articles, flee for their lives ; towns, 
after being pillaged of as much cattle, &c. as the 
banditti require, are immediately set on fire ; columns 
of smoke ascend the heavens ; the cries of those who 
are being butchered may be more easily conceived 
than expressed ; and those who escape destruction 
are carried into the miseries of hopeless slavery. A 
number of Bambarras are again on the north bank of 
the river, not far from this place, and the poor Foil- 
lahs at Jamalli have consequently fled to this island 
for protection, bringing with them as many of their 
cattle, and other things, as they could." 

The Rev, Mr. M'Brair, another Wesleyan mis- 
sionary, who has seen much of the interior of Africa, 
in the vicinity of the Gambia, from which he has 
recently returned to this country, makes the follow- 
ing observations, in a letter also to the Secretary of 
the Wesleyan Missionary Society : 

" On other occasions a party of men-hunters 
associate together, and, falling suddenly upon a small 
town or village during the night, they massacre all 
the men that offer any resistance, and carry away the 
rest of the inhabitants as the best parts of their spoil. 
Or, when a chieftain thinks himself sufficiently pow- 
erful, he makes the most frivolous excuses for waging 
war upon his neighbour, so that he may spoil his 
country of its inhabitants. Having been in close 
connexion with many of the liberated Africans in 
"McCarthy's Island, 250 miles up the Gambia, and 
also in St, Mary's, at the mouth of that river, we 


had many opportunities of learning the various modes 
in which they had been captured ; from which it 
appeared that the wholesale method of seizure is by 
far the most frequent, and that, without this plan, a 
sufficient number of victims could not be procured 
for the market ; so that it may be called the prevail- 
ing way of obtaining slaves." 

" Whilst I was in M'Carthy's Island, a capture 
took place at the distance of half a day's journey 
from my abode. The king of Woolli, on a very 
slight pretence, fell upon a village during the night, 
slew six men, and carried off forty captives. The 
inhabitants also of a neighbouring place were destined 
to the same fate, but having had timely notice of his 
approach, they saved themselves by a precipitous 
flight, and McCarthy's Island was filled for a time 
with refugees from all the country round about." 

The Rev. Mr. Morgan, another Wesleyan mis- 
sionary, lately from the Gambia, writes to the Se- 
cretary as follows : — " I feel confident that the Slave 
Trade has established feuds among them (the African 
tribes around the Gambia), by which they will be 
embroiled in war for generations to come, unless the 
disposition be destroyed by the Christian religion, or 
their circumstances be changed by civilization." 

A private letter, dated Rio Nunez, 26th June, 
1839, states, "There are now at this present mo- 
ment five slavers in the Rio Pongas : the whole are 
under American colours, and it is likely, before two 
months are over, the natives of that river will be at 


War again, as they were but a few months ago ; all 
on account of these slavers, who are the instigators 
of all the disturbances and war on the coast." 

I must not leave this part of my subject without 
calling attention to the extraordinary facts which 
have recently been made public, regarding the prac- 
tices of the Pasha of Egypt, and the chiefs in Nubia 
and Darfour. There has been revealed to us a new 
feature in the mode of procuring negroes for slaves; 
and we find that troops regularly disciplined are, at 
stated seasons, led forth to hunt down and harry the 
defenceless inhabitants of Eastern Nigritia. 

In a despatch from Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, 
Her Majesty's Consul at Cairo, of date 1st December 
1837,* we are informed that the Consul waited on 
Mahommed Ali, and communicated to him " that 
statements had gone home to the Government and 
people of England, from eye-witnesses, that slave- 
hunts (gazzua) had been carried on by the officers 
and the troops of the Pasha ; that large numbers of 
negroes had been taken, and had been distributed 
among the soldiers, in liquidation of the arrears of 
their pay ; that on one occasion the gazzua had col- 
lected 2,700 slaves, of whom 250 had been forced 
among the ranks of his army, and the remainder had 
been divided among the officers and soldiers at fixed 
prices, according to the state of their arrears." 

The Pasha professed not to know that his army 
had been employed in slave-hunts for the purpose of 
* Class B, Further Series, 1837, p. 69. 


discharging arrears of pay ; but he admitted that he 
was aware that his officers had carried on the Slave 
Trade for their own account, " a conduct of which he 
by no means approved." We have no further parti- 
culars in this important despatch : but the enterprise 
of a traveller, Count de Laborde, who has lately re- 
turned from Nubia and Egypt, will enable me to 
introduce those of my readers who have not seen his 
work,* to the scenes of cruelty and devastation per- 
petrated by the pasha's troops, which he has graphically 

The narrative, of which I can only give a brie 
outline, was communicated to him by a French 
officer, who went to Cairo in 1828, and resided ten 
years in Egypt. 

M. there learnt that four expeditions, called 

gaswahs, annually set out from Obeid, the capital of 
Kordofan, towards the south, to the mountains 
inhabited by the Nubas negroes. The manner and 
object of their departure are thus described : " One 
day he heard a great noise ; the whole village ap- 
peared in confusion ; the cavalry were mounted, and 
the infantry discharging their guns in the air, and 
increasing the uproar with their still more noisy 

hurras. M. , on inquiring the cause of the 

rejoicing, was exultingly told by a follower of the 
troop, " It is the gasAvah." " The gaswah ! for 
what — gazelles ?" " Yes, gazelles ; here are the 
nets, ropes, and chains ; they are to be brought home 
* Chasse aux Negres, Leon de Laborde, Paris, I83S. 



alive." On the return of the expedition, all the 
people went out, singing and dancing, to meet the 

hunters. M. went out also, wishing to join in 

the rejoicing. He told Count Laborde he never could 
forget the scene presented to his eyes. What did he 
see ? What spoil did these intrepid hunters, after 
twenty days of toil, drag after them ? Men in chains ; 
old men carried on litters, because unable to walk ; 
the wounded dragging their weakened limbs with 
pain, and a multitude of children following their 
mothers, who carried the younger ones in their 
arms. Fifteen hundred negroes, corded, naked, and 
wretched, escorted by 400 soldiers in full array. This 
Avas the gaswah. These the poor gazelles taken 
in the Desert. He himself afterwards accompanied 
one of these gaswahs. The expedition consisted of 
400 Egyptian soldiers, 100 Bedouin cavalry, and 
twelve village chiefs, with peasants carrying pro- 
visions. On arriving at their destination, which 
they generally contrive to do before dawn, the cavalry 
wheel round the mountain, and by a skilful move- 
ment form themselves into a semicircle on one side, 
whilst the infantry enclose it on the other. The ne- 
groes, whose sleep is so profound that they seldom 
have time to provide for their safety, are thus com- 
pletely entrapped. At sunrise the troops commence 
operations by opening a fire on the mountain with 
musketry and cannon ; immediately the heads of the 
wretched mountaineers may be seen in all directions, 
among the rocks and trees, as they gradually retreat, 


dragging after them the young and infirm. Four 
detachments armed with bayonets are then de- 
spatched up the mountain in pursuit of the fugitives, 
whilst a continual fire is kept up from the musketry 
and cannon below, which are loaded only with 
powder, as their object is rather to dismay than to 
murder the inhabitants. The more courageous natives, 
however, make a stand by the mouths of the caves, 
dug for security against their enemies. They throw 
their long poisoned javelins, covering themselves 
with their shields, while their wives and children 
stand by them and encourage them with their voices ; 
but when the head of the family is killed, they sur- 
render without a murmur. When struck by a ball, 
the negro, ignorant of the nature of the wound, may 
generally be seen rubbing it with earth till he falls 
through loss of blood. The less courageous fly with 
their families to the caves, whence the hunters expel 
them by firing pepper into the hole. The negroes, 
almost blinded and suffocated, run into the snares 
previously prepared, and are put in irons. If after 
the firing no one makes his appearance, the hunters 
conclude that the mothers have killed their children, 
and the husbands their wives and themselves. When 
the negroes are taken, their strong attachment to 
their families and lands is apparent. They refuse 
to stir, some clinging to the trees with all their 
strength, while others embrace their wives and 
children so closely, that it is necessary to separate 
them with the sword ; or they are bound to a horse, 



and are dragged over brambles and rocks until they 
reach the foot of the mountain, bruised, bloody, and 
disfigured. If they still continue obstinate, they 
are put to death. 

Each detachment, having captured its share of the 
spoil, returns to the main body, and is succeeded by 
others, until the mountain, " de battue en battue," is 
depopulated. If from the strength of the position, or 
the obstinacy of the resistance, the first assault is un- 
successful, the General adopts the inhuman expedient 
of reducing them by thirst ; this is easily effected by 
encamping above the springs at the foot of the moun- 
tain, and thus cutting off their only supply of water. 
The miserable negroes often endure this siege for a 
week ; and may be seen gnawing the bark of trees 
to extract a little moisture, till at length they are 
compelled to exchange their country, liberty, and 
families, for a drop of water. They every day 
approach nearer, and retreat on seeing the soldiers, 
until the temptation of the water shown them be- 
comes too strong to be resisted. At length they 
submit to liave the manacles fastened on their hands, 
and a heavy fork suspended to their necks, which they 
are obliged to lift at every step. 

The march from the Nuba mountains to Obeid is 
short. From thence they are sent to Cairo. There 
the pasha distributes them as he thinks proper ; the 
aged, infirm, and wounded, are given to the Be- 
douins, who are the most merciless of masters, and 
exact their due of hard labour with a severity pro- 


portioned to the probable short duration of the lives 
of their unhappy victims. 

At Obeid alone 6000 human beings are annually 
dragged into slavery, and that at the cost of 2000 
more, who are killed in the capture. The king of 
.Darfour also imports for sale yearly 8000 or 9000 
slaves, a fourth of whom usually die during the 
fatigues of a forced inarch : they are compelled, by 
the scarcity of provisions, to hurry forward with all 
speed. In vain the exhausted wretches supplicate 
for one day's rest ; they have no alternative but to 
push on, or be left behind a prey to the hungry 
jackals and hysenas. "On one occasion," says the 
narrator, " when, a few days after the march of a cara- 
van, I rapidly crossed the same desert, mounted on 
a fleet dromedary, I found my way by the newly- 
mangled human carcases, and by them I was guided 
to the nightly halt." 

Dr. Holroyd, whom I have already mentioned, in 
a letter to me of date 14th January, 1839, says, in re- 
ference to these " gazouas/' of the Egyptian troops, 
" I should think, if my information be correct, that, in 
addition to 7000 or 8000 taken captive, at least 1500 
were killed in defence or by suffocation at the time of 
being taken ; for I learnt that, when the blacks saw 
the troops advancing, they took refuge in caves ; the 
soldiers then fired into the caverns, and, if this did 
not induce them to quit their places of concealment, 
they made fires at the entrances, and either stifled 
the negroes, or compelled them to surrender. Where 


this latter method of taking them was adopted, it was 
not an uncommon circumstance to see a female with 
a child at her breast, who had been wounded by a 
musket-ball, staggering from her hiding-place, and 
dying immediately after her exit."* 

* In the same letter, dated January 14, 1839, Dr. Holroyd 
having mentioned that he had " brought from Kordofan, at his 
own request, a negro (an intelligent boy) about twelve years 
of age, who had been seized by Mahomed Ali's troops from 
Gebel Noobah, and from whom all particulars can be ob- 
tained in reference to that inhuman method of taking the blacks," 
I asked that the boy might be questioned as to what he had 
seen of the slave-hunts. Dr. Holroyd has favoured me with 
the following " Statement of Almas, a negro boy taken in the 
gazoua of Gebel Noobah, three years ago, by the troops of Maho- 
med Ali Pasha. Almas is a native of Korgo, a very considerable 
district on the south side of Gebel Noobah; it is governed by a 
sheik, who is under the command of a local sultan. He was 
living at Korgo at the time of his capture, and says, that the 
pasha's troops made the attack during the night, whilst the ne- 
groes were sleeping ; that they fired repeatedly upon the district 
with cannon and muskets, both loaded with shot ; and that they 
burnt the straw huts of the negroes. As they escaped from their 
burning huts they were seized by the troops : many, especially 
the children, were burnt to death, and many were killed. Those 
who ran away, and were pursued by the soldiers, defended them- 
selves with stones, spears, and trombashes ; the latter, an iron 
weapon in common use among the natives of these mountains. 

" The negroes retreated to the caves in the sides of the moun- 
tains, from whence they were eventually obliged to come forth, 
from fear of suffocation from the fires made at the entrances, or 
from want of food and water. He never heard of pepper, men- 
tioned by Laborde, as having been used in loading the guns, or 
of firing it into the caves to blind or stifle the negroes. Pronged 
stakes were fastened round the throats of the men, and their 
hands were fixed in blocks of wood nailed together. Boys, of 
twelve or fourteen years, had their hands only manacled, and the 


I could add, were it necessary, a thousand other 
instances of the scenes of cruelty and bloodshed 
which are exhibited in Africa, having their origin in 
the Slave Trade ; but enough has been said to prove 
the assertion with which I set out, that the principal 
and almost the only cause of war in the interior of 
Africa is the desire to procure slaves for traffic ; and 
that the only difference betwixt the former times and 
the present day is this — that the mortality consequent 
on the cruelties of the system has increased in pro- 
portion to the increase of the traffic, which, it ap m 
pears, has doubled in amount, as compared with the 
period antecedent to 1790. 

I shall now estimate, as nearly as I can, the 
probable extent of mortality peculiarly incident to 
the period of seizure; but the difficulty of this is 
great, because our authorities on this point are 
not numerous. Lord Muncaster notices a state- 
ment of an African Governor to the Committee of 

young children and women were without any incumbrance. Two 
or three times Almas saw a stubborn slave drawn (to use his 
expression) like a carriage, by a horse across the rocks, until he 
was dead. He cannot say how many were killed in the attack ; 
be thinks 500 were taken along with him from Korgo, but many 
of these died of thirst, hunger, and fatigue, on their march to Kor- 
dofan. Almas's father and brother were captured along with him, 
and the former was compelled to wear the pronged stick from 
Gebel Noobah to Kordofan. They are both soldiers at Sobeyet. 
His mother was seized by the sultan of Baggarah, who makes ex- 
peditions continually against the inhabitants of Gebel Noobah." 


1790: — " Mr. Miles said, he will not admit it to be 
war, only skirmish-fighting ; and yet," Lord Mun- 
caster adds, " Villault, who was on the Gold Coast 
in 1663, tells ns, that in one of these ' skirmishes' 
above 60,000 men were destroyed ; and Bosnian says 
that in two of these ' skirmishes ' the outrage was so 
great, that above 100,000 men were killed upon the 
spot. Mr. Devaynes also informs us that, while he 
was in the country, one of these ' skirmishes ' hap- 
pened between the kings of Dahorney and Eyo, in 
which 60,000 lost their lives."* ' 

The Rev. John Newton, rector of St. Mary's 
Woolnooth (who at one period of his life was en- 
gaged in slave-traffic on the coast of Africa), observes, 
" I verily believe that the far greater part of the 
wars in Africa would cease, if the Europeans would 
cease to tempt them by offering goods for slaves ; 
and, though they do not bring legions into the field, 
their Avars are bloody. I believe the captives reserved 
for sale are fewer than the slain. I have not suffi- 
cient data to warrant calculation, but I suppose that 
not less than 100,000 slaves are exported annually 
from all parts of Africa. If but an equal number are 
killed in war, and if many of these wars are kindled 
by the incentive of selling their prisoners, what an 
annual accumulation of blood must there be crying 
against the nations of Europe concerned in this 
trade !"t 

* Lord Muncaster on the Slave Trade, p. 42. 
t Newton on the Slave Trade. London, 1788, p. 30. 


I have no modern authority to support the spe- 
cific statements of Newton and Lord Muncaster, 
excepting that of Denham, who says, " That in one 
instance twenty thousand were hilled, for sixteen 
thousand carried away into slavery ;"* and in another 
case, that " probably more than double" the number 
of those captured for slaves fell a sacrifice in the 
onset of the captors. \ 

The second head of mortality, arising from the 
March, and Detention before being embarked, must 
now be considered ; and first as to the 


<l The Begarmese," says Browne, in his journey 
to Darfour in 1793, " attack on horseback the 
Kardee, Serrowa, Showa, Battah, and Mulgui tribes, 
and seizing as many captives as possible, drive them 
like cattle to Begarmi."J Mungo Park informs us 
that '' by far the greater number of slaves purchased 
by Europeans on the coast, are brought down in 
large caravans from the inland countries, of which 
many are unknown even by name to the Europeans. 

" I was met," he says, "by a coifle (caravan) of 
slaves, about seventy in number, coming from Sego. 
They w T ere tied together by their necks, with thongs 
of bullocks' hide twisted like a rope, seven slaves 
upon a thong, and a man with a musket between 

* Denliam's Narrative, p. 214. f Ibid., p. 11G. 

\ See Leyden's Discoveries, vol. i. p. 413. 


every seven. Many of the slaves were ill-condi- 
tioned, and a great number of them women ; they 
were going to Morocco by the way of Ludamar and 
the Great Desert."* 

In another part of his journal, Park says that, 
on his route to Pisania, (a distance of 500 miles,) 
he joined a coffle, under a slattee (slave-merchant), 
Kaarfa, who was particularly kind to him, and whom 
he describes as " a worthy negro, with a mind above 
his condition — a good creature," and therefore not 
likely to be among the most cruel, in the treatment 
of his slaves. While this slattee was collecting the 
coffle, Park arrived at his house. Kaarfa liberally 
offered to keep him there till the country should be 
fit for travelling. On the third day after his arrival 
Park fell ill with the fever, and he bestows great 
praise on his " benevolent landlord," for his kind- 
ness and attention. j" We are afterwards informed 
of the treatment of the slaves during the journey, 
which, be it remembered, was performed under the 
direction of this " worthy, good, and benevolent 
negro." It appears that " The slaves are commonly 
secured by putting the right leg of one and the left 
of another into the same pair of fetters. By sup- 
porting the fetters with a string, they can walk, though 
very slowly. Every four slaves are likewise fastened 
together by the neck, with a strong pair of twisted 
thongs ; and in the night an additional pair of fetters 

* Park's Travels, vol. i. pp. 438, 290. 
t Ibid., vol. i. p. 383, &c. 


is put on their hands, and sometimes a light iron 
chain passed around their necks." 

CJ Such of them as evince marks of discontent are 
secured in a different manner ; a thick billet of wood 
is cut about three feet long, and, a smooth notch 
being made upon one side of it, the ancle of the slave 
is bolted to the smooth part by means of a strong iron 
staple, one prong of which passes on each side of the 
ancle. All these fetters and bolts are made from 
native iron. In the present case they were put on by 
the blacksmith, as soon as the slaves arrived from 
Kancaba, and were not taken off until the morning 
when the coflie departed for Gambia." 

He goes on to say, " Even to those who accompa- 
nied the caravan as a matter of choice, the toil was 
immense ; and they travelled sometimes from morning 
till night without tasting a morsel of food." And 
afterwards, " During this day's travel, two slaves, a 
woman and a girl, were so much fatigued that they 
could not keep up with the coflie. They were severely 
whipped and dragged along, until about three o'clock 
in the afternoon, when they were both affected with 
vomiting, by which it was discovered that they had 
eaten clay." He then narrates a case of great 
cruelty : one of the female slaves had become quite ex- 
hausted, and every exertion was made with the whip 
to cause her to keep up with the coffle. When every 
effort failed, " the general cry of the coflie was kang- 
tegi" (cut her throat). I had not walked forward a 
mile, when one of Kaarfa's domestic slaves came up 
to me with poor Nealee's garment upon the end of 


his bow, and exclaimed, ' Nealee is lost ;' he after- 
wards said, he had left her on the road."* A few 
days after this took place, a party of Serawoole traders 
joined the conie, and one of their male slaves became 
also completely exhausted ; he was whipped and 
tortured to no purpose, and then left in charge of 
another slave, who, it was generally believed, put 
him to death. 

It appears that there is also great suffering when 
these poor victims are conveyed to the coast, by the 
rivers. Falconbridge says, " While I was on the 
coast, during one of the voyages I made, the black 
traders brought down in different canoes from 1'200 
to 1500 negroes, which had been purchased at one 
fair." They consisted of all ages. Women some- 
times form a part of them, who happen to be so far 
advanced in their pregnancy, as to be delivered 
during their journey from the fairs to the coast. 
And there is not the least room to doubt, but that, 
even before they can reach the fairs, great numbers 
perish from cruel usage, want of food, travelling 
through inhospitable deserts, &c. They are brought 
in canoes, at the bottom of which they lie, having 
their hands tied, and a strict watch being kept over 
them. Their usage, in other respects, during the 
passage, is equally cruel. Their allowance of food 
is so scanty as barely to support nature. They are, 
besides, much exposed to the violent rains which fre- 
quently fall here, being covered only with mats that 
afford but a slight defence; and, as there is usually 
* Park's Travels, vol. i. p. 507, &c. 

water at the bottom of the canoes from leaking, they 
are scarcely ever dry."* 

Here, again, it may be rejoined, " But these were 
the practices of the last century." Riley informs us 
that Sidi Hamet, the Moor, narrated to him, as an 
instance of the sufferings consequent on the route by 
the Desert, that the caravan which he accompanied 
from Wednoon to Timbuctoo, in 1807, consisted, on 
its setting out, of 1000 men and 4000 camels ; but 
only twelve camels and twenty-one men escaped alive 
from the Desert. f Let us examine whether these 
cruel sufferings have been mitigated in our own 
times ; and whether we may flatter ourselves that 
Africa is no longer the scene of such atrocities. 
Burckhardt, in 1814, accompanied a caravan from 
Shendy in Nubia, across the Desert, to Suakin on the 
Red Sea. There were slaves with the caravan on 
their way to Arabia. In the middle of the journey 
the caravan was alarmed by a threatened attack of 
robbers ; they " moved on," we are told, " in silence ; 
nothing; was heard but the groans of a few infirm 
female slaves, and the whips of their cruel masters. ";j: 
He also says that the females are almost universally 
the victims of the brutal lusts of their drivers. 

Major Gray, while travelling in the country of 
Galam in 18*21, fell in with a part of the Kaartan 

* Falconbridge on the Slave Trade, London, 1188, pp. 12, 13, 
19, &c. 

t Riley's Narrative, p. 36 i. 

J Burckhardt's Travels, pp. 381, 336. 


force, which he said had taken 107 prisoners, chiefly 
women and children. " The men were tied in pairs 
by the necks, their hands secured behind their backs ; 
the women by their necks only, but their hands were 
not left free from any sense of feeling for them, but 
in order to enable them to balance the immense loads 
of pang, corn, or rice, which they were forced to 
carry on their heads, and the children (who were 
unable to walk, or sit on horseback) behind their 
backs. They were hurried along at a pace little 
short of running, to enable them to keep up with the 
horsemen, who drove them on as Smithfield drovers 
do fatigued bullocks. Many of the women were old, 
and by no means able to endure such treatment." 
On a subsequent day he says, " The sufferings of the 
poor slaves during a march of nearly eight hours, 
partly under an excessively hot sun and east wind, 
heavily laden with water, of which they were allowed 
to drink but very sparingly, and travelling barefoot 
on a hard and broken soil, covered with long dried 
reeds, and thorny underwood, may be more easily 
conceived than described." 

In the course of his journey Major Gray fell in 
with another detachment of slaves, and he says, 
" The women and children (all nearly naked, and 
carrying heavy loads) were tied together by the neck, 
and hurried along over a rough stony path, that cut 
their feet in a dreadful manner. There were a 
great number of children, who, from their tender 
years, were unable to walk ; and were carried, some 


on the prisoners' backs, and others on horseback be- 
hind the captors, who, to prevent their falling off, 
tied them to the back part of the saddle with a rope 
made from the bark of the baoball, which was so 
hard and rough that it cut the back and sides of the 
poor little innocent babes, so as to draw the blood. 
This, however, was only a secondary state of the suf- 
ferings endured by those children, when compared 
to the dreadfully blistered and chafed state of their 
seats, from constant jolting on the bare back of the 
horse, seldom going slower than a trot, or smart 
amble, and not un frequently driven at full speed for 
a few yards, and pulled up short."* 

In speaking of the route by the Desert, Lyon 
says :j — " Children are thrown with the baggage on 
the camels,. if unable to walk ; but, if five or six years 
of age, the poor little creatures are obliged to trot on 
all day, even should no stop be made for fourteen or 
fifteen hours, as I have sometimes witnessed." " The 
daily allowance of food is a quart of dates in the 
morning, and half a pint of flour, made into bazeen, 
at night. Some masters never allow their slaves to 
drink after a meal, except at a watering-place." 
" None of the owners ever moved without their 
whips, which were in constant use. Drinking too 
much water, bringing too little wood, or falling 
asleep before the cooking was finished, were con- 
sidered nearly capital crimes ; and it was in vain for 

* Gray's Travels in Africa, pp. 290, 295, and 323. 
t Lyon, p. 297. 


these poor creatures to plead the excuse of being 
tired, — nothing could avert the application of the 
whip." " No slave dares to be ill or unable to walk ; 
but, when the poor sufferer dies, the master suspects 
there must have been something ' wrong inside,' and 
regrets not having liberally applied the usual remedy 
of burning the belly with a red-hot iron ; thus re- 
conciling themselves to their cruel treatment of these 
unfortunate wretches." 

' This description is confirmed by Caillie, who, in 
his account of his journey from Timbuctoo through 
the Desert, gives the following case of barbarity, 
which he says he had the misfortune to see too often 
repeated : — " A poor Bambara slave, of twenty-five 
years, was cruelly treated by some Moors, who com- 
pelled him to walk, without allowing him to halt for 
a moment, or to quench his burning thirst. The 
complaints of this unfortunate creature might have 
moved the hardest heart. Sometimes lie would beg 
to rest himself against the crupper of a camel, and at 
others he threw himself down on the sand in despair. 
In vain did he implore, with uplifted hands, a drop of 
water : his cruel masters answered his prayers and 
his tears only with stripes." * 

In another part of his work Caillie says : — 

" Our situation was still the same ; the east wind 

blew with violence ; and, far from affording us any 

refreshment, it only threatened to bury us under the 

mountains of sand which it raised ; and, what was still 

* Caillie's Travels, vol. ii. p. 89. 


more alarming, our water diminished rapidly from 
the extreme drought which it occasioned. Nobody 
suffered more intensely from thirst than the poor 
little slaves, who were crying for water. Exhausted 
by their sufferings and their lamentations, these un- 
happy creatures fell on the ground, and seemed to 
have no power to rise ; hut the Moors did not suffer 
them to continue there lono- when travelling. In- 
sensible to the sufferings which childhood is so little 
fitted to support, these barbarians dragged them 
along with violence, beating them incessantly till 
they had overtaken the camels, which were already 
at a distance."* 

In 1824 Denham and Clapperton penetrated to 
Nigritia, by the Desert from Fezzan, the route usually 
taken by slave-caravans going to the north of Africa. 
In narrating his excursion to Munga, Major Denham 
speaks of a caravan which he met at Kouka, consist- 
ing of ten merchants from Soudan, with nearly 100 
slaves; and he observes, "If the hundreds, nay thou- 
sands, of skeletons that whiten in the blast between 
this place and Mourzouk, did not of themselves tell 
a tale replete with woe^ the difference of appearance 
in all slaves here, where they are fed tolerably, and 
the state in which they usually arrive in Fezzan, 
would but too clearly prove the acuteness of the 
sufferings which commence on their leaving the 
negro country. Going, as they do, poor creatures, 
nearly naked, the cold of Fezzan, in the winter sea- 

* Caillie's Travels, vol. ii. p. 1 14. 



son, kills them by hundreds."* This fact, as to the 
change of climate, is also noticed by Captain Lyon, 
who, speaking of the passage across the mountains 
of Fezzan, says, " Feb. 12th. Ther. 30° below 0°.— 
Water freezes, and the poor negroes in great distress 
from the cold."f 

When the travellers arrived at the well of Meshroo, 
Denham says : — " Round this spot were lying more 
than 100 skeletons. Our camels did not come up 
till dark, and we bivouacked in the midst of those 
unearthed remains of the victims of persecution and 
avarice, after a long day's journey of twenty-six miles, 
in the course of which one of our party counted 107 
of these skeletons." Shortly afterwards, he adds : — 
" During the last two days we had passed on an 
average from sixty to eighty or ninety skeletons each 
day ; but the numbers that lay about the wells at El 
Haramar were countless. "| Jackson informs us§ 
that, in 1805, "a caravan from Timbuctoo to Tafilet 
was disappointed at not finding water at the usual 
watering-place, and entirely perished : 2,000 persons 
and 1,800 camels." 

Dr. Holroyd, in the letter to me which I have 
already quoted, in speaking of the "gazoua" in 
Kordofan, says : — "These slave-hunts have produced 
a great depopulation in the districts where they are 
practised : there is not only a terrible waste of life 

*. Denham, pp. 172, 280. t fy' 011 * P- 2es - 

I Denham, p. 12. 

§ Jackson's Travels in Africa, 1809, p. 239, 


in the attempts to capture the negroes, but after they 
are seized there is so much of ill-usage and brutality, 
that I have been assured that no less than thirty per 
cent, perish in the first ten days after their seizure." 

This account is confirmed by Dr. Ruppell, who 
says that " in Mehemet Ali's expedition, in 1820 and 
1821, above 40,000 were torn from their country, 
not a third of whom reached Egypt; and even of 
those who did, a great part soon died off." He goes 
on to state that, as they were apt to desert on their 
passage from Kordofan or Shencly, through the 
Desert, and return to Dongola, each of them was 
branded by a hot iron on the arm, and a pole, nine 
feet long, fastened to their necks. The escort was 
obliged to deliver as many slaves as they had received, 
or the ears of those who might die on the road. 
" Many of the unhappy victims, who could be no 
longer urged, by the whips of their drivers, to further 
exertions on the inarch, had their ears cut off while 
yet alive, and were then left to await the agonies of 
the last moment in the Desert. I myself, in my 
journey to Ambukol, in the year 1824, passed many 
of the bodies of these miserable creatures, on whose 
necks the dreadful poles were still fastened : the bar- 
barous drivers had not relieved the wretches from 
their fetters, even in the hour of death."* 

Dr. Bowring says, — " In conversations which I 
have had with the domestic slaves in the towns of 
Egypt, they talk with the greatest horror of the suf- 
* Ruppell's/Travels in^Abyssinia, vol. ii. pp. 25, 27. 



ferings connected with their first experience of the 
bitterness of slavery. And these are but the begin- 
ning of sorrows. In the progress across the Desert, 
many perish from thirst and from fatigue. I have 
often heard their miseries described on their way, 
from the poverty of the fellahs and insufficiency of 
the caravans, which are often charged with an ex- 
cessive number of slaves. An estimate being made 
of the greatest number which it is possible to preserve 
with the supply of water that remains, all the rest 
are abandoned, and die of starvation in the sandy 

" I will give you, from the mouth, and nearly in 
the words, of a female slave at Cairo, her account of 
the journey across the Desert to Siout. ' We had a 
long, long journey, and we suffered very much. We 
had not food enough to eat ; and sometimes we had 
no drink at all, and our thirst was terrible. When 
we stopped, almost dying for want of water, they 
killed a camel s and gave us his blood to drink. But 
the camels themselves could not o- e t on, and then 
they were killed, and we had their flesh for meat and 
their blood for water. Some of the people were too 
weak to get on, and so they were left in the Desert 
to die. The fellahs were some of them good people, 
and when we were tired allowed us to ride upon the 
camels ; but there ^\ T eL'e many who would never let the 
negroes ride, but forced them always to walk, always 
over the sand. But when we had been days without 
water, many dropped down, and were left upon the 


sand ; so that, when we got to the end of our journey, 
numbers of those that had been with us were with us 
no longer.' " 

Dr. Holroyd also states that u These unfortunate 
individuals (those selected for the army) were marched 
down to Kartoom, fourteen days' journey, completely 
naked ; and, to add to their misery, a wooden stake 
six or seven feet long, and forked at one extremity, 
Avas attached to the neck of one, by means of a cross 
bar retained in its position by stripes of bull's hide ; 
to the other end of the stake an iron ring was 
fastened, which encircled the throat of another of 
these poor harmless creatures. They were then un- 
mercifully driven to Kartoom, with scarcely anything 
to eat on the way, and compelled to traverse a burn- 
ing desert with a very sparing and scanty supply of 
water. They were despatched in companies of fifties ; 
and so great were their privations and fatigue on the 
journey, that a letter arrived at Kordofan, addressed 
to Mustapha Bey, from Khourshid Pasha, of Kartoom, 
Governor General of Soudan, and which was read 
during a visit I made to the divan of the former, in 
which the latter stated, that of fifty slaves Avho left 
Kordofan some days before, only thirty-five were 
living on the arrival of the caravan at Kartoom. 

Richard Lander, in his account of Captain Clap- 
perton's last journey in 1826, in which he attended 
that traveller, speaking of the state of the slaves whom 
he saw on their journeys, observes : " In their toil- 
some journeyings from one part of the country to 


another, it must be admitted that the captured slaves 
undergo incredible hardships." He left Socatoo, with 
a party of traders, and the " king of Jacoba," who 
had fifty slaves, whom he was conducting (with heavy 
loads on their heads) to his own country. Two days 
afterwards Lander was informed that the whole of 
these slaves were missing ; and, on search being made, 
it was ascertained that they had all perished from 
excessive fatigue and want of water"* 

Mr. Oldfield, who accompanied Laird in the expe- 
dition up the Niger in 1833, in giving a description 
of Bocqua market, says : " Under the tmas and in the 
enclosures are to be seen male and female slaves 
from the age of five up to thirty. Some of these 
children of misfortune, more intelligent than others, 
are to be seen sitting pensive and melancholy, appa- 
rently in deep thought, while their poor legs are 
swelled from confinement in irons, or being closely 
stowed at the bottom of a canoe ; and he adds, " It is 
painful to contemplate the number of slaves annually 
sold at this market, most of whom are forwarded to 
the sea-side, "f 

Many more extracts might have been taken from 
the remarks of modern travellers on this branch of 
the subject ; but enough has been adduced to prove 
that the cruelties and consequent mortality arising 
from the march after seizure have not decreased since 
the time of Falconbridge and Park. 

* Lander's Records, vol. i. p. 301 ; and vol. ii. p. 95. 
t Laird and Oldfield, vol. i. p. 409. 


I shall only further add, on the authority of Dr. 
Meyen, (a German who, a few years ago, published 
an account of a Voyage round the World,) that 
" M. Mendez, the author of a very learned treatise 
on the causes of the great mortality of the Negro 
Slaves, estimates the number of those who die, 
merely on the journey from the interior to the coast, 
at five-twelfths of the whole."* 


The next cause of mortality arises from the deten- 
tion of the slaves on the coast before they are em- 
barked, and this occurs, for the most part, when the 
vessel for which they may be destined has not arrived, 
or is not ready to sail, or may be in dread of capture 
after sailing. 

A gentleman resident at Senegal in 1818 stated 
to his correspondent at Paris, that, " No one in the 
town is ignorant that there are here 600 wretched 
creatures shut up in the slave-yards, waiting for 
embarkation. The delay which has occurred causing 
a serious expense, they receive only what is sufficient 
to keep them alive, and they are made to go out for 
a short space of time, morning and evening, loaded 
with irons."t 

When Commodore Owen visited Benguela in 
1825, he says, " We had here an opportunity of see- 
ing bond-slaves of both sexes chained together in 

* Dr. Meyen, German edition, vol. i. p. 77. 
t 13th Report of the African Institution, Ap. G. p. 99. 


pairs. About 100 of these unhappy beings had just 
arrived from a great distance in the interior. Many- 
were mere skeletons labouring under every misery 
that want and fatigue could produce. In some, the 
fetters had, by their constant action, worn through 
the lacerated flesh to the bare bone, the ulcerated 
wound having become the resort of myriads of flies, 
which had deposited their eggs in the gangrenous 

Oiseau, commanding the brig Le Louis, on com- 
pleting his cargo of slaves at the Old Calebar, thrust 
the whole of the unfortunate beings between decks, 
a height of nearly three feet, and closed the hatches 
for the night. When morning made its appearance, 
fifty of the poor sufferers had paid the debt of nature. 
The wretch coolly ordered the bodies of his victims 
to be thrown into the river, and immediately pro- 
ceeded on shore to complete his execrable cargo. t 

Richard Lander tells us that the Brazen, in which 
he went to Africa in 1825, captured a Spanish bri- 
gantine which was waiting off Accra, for a cargo of 
slaves. A few days after this capture, the com- 
mander of the Brazen landed at Papoe, and de- 
manded the slaves which were to have been embarked 
in the brigantine. They were ultimately given up, 
and Lander says, " The slaves at length made their 
appearance, and exhibited a long line of melancholy 
faces and emaciated frames, wasted by disease and 
close confinement, and by their having suffered dread- 
k * Owen, vol, ii. p. 234. f Class B, 1825, p. 123. 


fully from scantiness of food, and the impure air of 
their prison-house. They were in a complete state 
of nudity, and heavily manacled ; several of them 
were lamed by the weight of their irons, and their 
skin sadly excoriated from the same cause."* 

At the close of this journey, Lander says : — " I 
saw 400 slaves at Badagry in the Bight of Benin, 
crammed into a small schooner of eighty tons. The 
appearance of these unhappy human beings was 
squalid and miserable in the extreme ; they were 
fastened by the neck in pairs, only one- fourth of a 
yard of chain being allowed for each, and driven to 
the beach by a parcel of hired scoundrels, whilst their 
associates in cruelty were in front of the party pulling 
them along by a narrow band, their only apparel, 
which encircled the waist." " Badagry being a ge- 
neral mart for the sale of slaves to European mer- 
chants, it not nnfrequently happens that the market 
is either overstocked with human beings, or no buyers 
are to be found ; in which case the maintenance of 
the unhappy slaves devolves solely on the Govern- 
ment. The king then causes an examination to be 
made, when the sickly, as well as the old and infirm, 
are carefully selected and chained by themselves in 
one of the factories (five of which, containing up- 
wards of one thousand slaves of both sexes, were at 
Badagry during my residence there) ; and next day 
the majority of these poor wretches are pinioned 
* Lander's Records, vol. i. p. 31. 


and conveyed to the banks of the river, where 
having arrived, a weight of some sort is appended 
to their necks, and, being rowed in canoes to the 
middle of the stream, they are flung into the water, 
and left to perish by the pitiless Badagrians. Slaves 
who for other reasons are rejected by the merchants 
undergo the same punishment, or are left to endure 
more lively torture at the sacrifices, by which means 
hundreds of human beings are annually destroyed."* 

Mr. Leonard informs us, " that about 1830 the 
king of Loango told the officers of the Primrose that 
he could load eight slave-vessels in one week, and 
give each 400 or 500 ; but that, having now no means 
of disposing of the greater part of his prisoners, he 
was obliged to kill them. And, shortly before the 
Primrose arrived, a great number of unfortunate 
wretches, who had been taken in a predatory incur- 
sion, after having been made use of to carry loads 
of the plundered ivory, &c, to the coast, on their 
arrival there, as there was no market for them, and 
as the trouble and expense of their support would 
be considerable, were taken to the side of a hill, 
a little beyond the town, and coolly knocked on the 

In 1833 Mr. Oldfield found several dozen human 
skulls lining the bank of the river Nunn, (one of the 
mouths of the Niger,) at a barracoon or slave-house, 

* Lander's Records, vol. ii. pp. 241, 250. 
t Leonard's Voyage to Western Africa, p. 147. 


which he discovered were the remains of slaves who 
had died there* 

An intelligent master of a merchant-vessel, who, 
for many years past, has been engaged in the African 
trade, informs me that, after the slave- dealing cap- 
tains have made their selection of the slaves brought 
on board for sale, the unfortunate creatures who may 
be rejected "are sent immediately on shore, and 
marched down to the barracoon, chained together, a 
distance of five miles. I have seen the most piteous 
entreaties made by the poor rejected creatures to the 
captain to take them, for they knew that to be re- 
turned on shore was only to encounter a worse fate 
by starvation." He is speaking of the River Bonny, 
and he goes on to say, " Ju Ju town contains about 
twelve hiftiTacooris : they are built to contain from 300 
to 700 slaves each. I have seen from 1500 to 2000 
slaves at a time, belonging to the several vessels then 
in the river." 

" I have known disease to make dreadful havoc 
in these places, more especially in the year 1831, 
when the small-pox carried off 200 in one barracoon. 
Great numbers are carried off annually by diarrhoea 
and other diseases." 

Colonel Nicolls has stated to me, that during his 
residence at Fernando Po he visited the River Came- 
roons, where he saw a number of slaves in a barracoon ; 
" they were confined in irons two and two, and many 

* Laird and Oldfield's Journal, vol. i. p. 339. 


of them bad the irons literally grating against their 
hones through the raw flesh." 

It is stated by a naval officer serving in the 
Preventive Squadron, in a letter to a relative, dated 
about a year ago, and communicated to me, that in 
1837, having been employed in blockading a Portu- 
guese brig up one of the rivers in the Bight of Biafra, 
" On arriving at my station, I had positive informa- 
tion that the Portuguese had bought upwards of 400 
slaves, and was about to sail. By some means or 
other she got information that a British boat was 
blockading her, consequently she postponed her 
sailing for several weeks. Shortly afterwards, on 
my inquiring into her state, I found 300 of her 
slaves had died, chiefly of starvation, and a few were 
shot by the Portuguese whilst attempting to^escape. 
A few days afterwards the brig sailed without any 
slaves, all, with the exception of about a score, having 
fallen victims to the system pursued." 

Captain Cook has informed me that he saw many 
blind negroes in Quilimane (1837), who subsisted 
by begging ; they were the remains, he was informed, 
of a cargo landed from a Monte Videan vessel, which 
had been attacked by ophthalmia. If they lived, they 
were left to starve. 

He also says that, in September, 1837, a number 
of slaves were suffocated on board the brig Generous 
at Quilimane. " The boatswain had, it appeared, 
shut the hatches close down after the slaves had been 
put below in the evening ; it was his duty to have 


kept the hatch uncovered, and to have placed guards 
over them ; but this would have required his own 
vigilance, and he considered a sound sleep was to him 
worth all the slaves on board, especially as they cost 
him nothing." This case came to Captain Cook's 
knowledge in consequence of a quarrel between the 
captain and the boatswain. " The pecuniary loss 
was all that was regretted by the captain." 

Captain Cook adds, that slaves who " die on board, 
in port, are never interred on shore, but are inva- 
riably thrown overboard, when they sometimes float 
backward and forward with the tide for a week, 
should the sharks and alligators not devour them. 
Should a corpse chance to be washed on shore at 
the top of high-water, it is permitted to remain until 
the vultures dispose of it." " I have known one to 
be near the Custom-house upwards of a week, during 
which time the stench was intolerable." 

In a letter addressed by Captain Cook to the 
editor of the Standard, dated 16th July, 1838, he 
says that instances have been known of slaves having 
been buried alive in Quilimane for some trifling 
offence, and that the consequent punishment (if there 
was any at all) was a mere trifle, as imprisonment for 
a month ; and he adds, — 

" The fact, however, which I am now about to 
state occurred in August, 1837, and came under my 
own observation, and to all of which I am ready to 
bear testimony on oath, if required. Slaves to the 
number of 250, or thereabouts, male and female, 


adults and children, were brought in canoes from 
Senna, a Portuguese settlement at some distance in 
the interior of Africa, to be sold at Quilimane, there 
being at that time several slavers lying in the river. 
These unfortunate beings were consigned to a 
person holding a high civil appointment under the 
Portuguese Government (the collector of customs) : 
these poor creatures were from a part of the country 
where it is said that the natives make bad slaves ; 
consequently, and as there was abundance of human 
flesh in the market, they did not meet with a ready 
sale. The wretch to whom they were consigned 
actually refused them sustenance of any kind. Often 
have I been compelled to witness the melancholy 
spectacle of from twelve to twenty of my fellow- 
creatures, without distinction of age or sex, chained 
together, with a heavy iron chain round the neck, 
wandering about the town in quest of food to satisfy 
the cravings of nature, picking up bones and garbage 
of every description from the dung-heaps, snails from 
the fields, and frogs from the ditches, and, when the 
tide receded, collecting the shell-fish that were left 
on the bank of the river, or sitting round a fire roast- 
ing and eagerly devouring the sea-weed. 

" Again and again have I seen one or more of 
these poor creatures, when unable from sickness to 
walk, crawling on their hands and knees, accom- 
panying the gang to which they were chained when 
they went in search of their daily food .... for one 
could not move without the whole. In consequence 


of this treatment, they soon became so emaciated 
that the slave-dealers would not purchase them on 
any terms ; in this state, horrid as it must appear, 
the greater part were left to perish, without food, 
medicine, or clothing, for the little piece of coarse 
cotton cloth, worn by a few of the females, did not 
deserve the name, and could answer no other purpose 
than to lodge the vermin with which they were 
covered ; their bones protruding through the skin, 
they presented the appearance of living skeletons, 
lingering amidst hunger and disease, till death, their 
best friend, released most of them at once from suf- 
fering and bondage."* 

From these extracts it is evident that this branch 
of the case furnishes an item of no small magnitude 
in the black catalogue of negro destruction. 

I now proceed to the 


* Through the haste with which the embarkation is usually 
conducted, some of the boats are, it is said, frequently swamped 
amidst the breakers, and many slaves are thus lost. — Col. Herald, 
1st July, 1837. 



"' The stings of a wounded conscience, man cannot inflict ; but 
nearly all which man can do to make his fellow- creatures miserable, 
without defeating his purpose by putting a speedy end to their 
existence, will still be here effected ; and it will still continue true, 
that never can so much misery be found condensed into so small a 
space as in a slave-ship during the middle passage.'' — I) ~i lb er -force, 
Letter, ISO". 

It was well observed by Mr. Fox, in a debate on 
the Slave Trade, that " True humanity consists not 
in a squeamish ear; it consists not in starting or 
shrinking at such tales as these, but in a disposition 
of heart to relieve miser}-. True humanity apper- 
tains rather to the mind than to the nerves, and 
prompts men to use real and active endeavours to 
execute the actions which it suggests." 

In the spirit of this observation, I now go on to 
remark, that the first feature of this deadly passage, 
which attracts our attention, is the evident insuih- 
ciency, in point of tonnage, of the vessels employed, 
for the cargoes of human beings which they are made 
to contain. 

In 17S8 a law passed the British legislature, by 
which it was provided that vessels under 150 tons 
should not carry more than rive men to every three 
tons; that vessels above 150 tons should not carry 
more than three men to every two tons ; and that the 
height of slave-vessels between decks should not be 
less than five feet. In 1813 it was decreed by the 


government of Portugal and Brazil that two tons 
should be allowed for every five men ; and the 
Spanish fl Cedula," of 1817, adopted the same scale. 
It is understood that the Spanish and Portuguese 
ton bears the proportion of one and a half to the 
British ton. The allowance in British transports is 
three men to every two tons. 

Men. Tons. 
The lowest rate, then, allowed by the British 

was . . . . . . 5 to 3 

And by Spain, Portugal, and Brazil, it 

should he . . . . 5 to 3 

But for British soldiers the regulation is .3 to 2 

and, although this allowance in the transport of troops 
seems to be liberal, when compared with the space 
afforded for slaves, even here complaints have often 
been made of the insufficiency. 

Let us, then, keep in view these rates of tonnage, 
as we proceed to ascertain the accommodation which 
has been, and is now, afforded to the negroes on the 
middle passage ;* and here, at least, one reason will 
be apparent for the increase of suffering and mor- 
tality which has recently occurred, viz. that the 
extent of accommodation, limited as it w r as, has been 
greatly curtailed. 

* I am informed that the slavers which have been brought to 
this country and remeasured have been found to be of much less 
tonnage than that stated in their papers : for instance, the 
" Napoleon," said to be 71 tons, was found to be only 31. The 
" William Allen," said to be 350 tons, was found to be only 
1 34 tons. 



We have a faithful description of the miseries of 
the middle passage, from the pen of an eye-witness, 
Mr. Falconbridge. His account refers to a period 
antecedent to 1790. He tells us that " The men ne- 
groes, on being brought aboard ship, are immediately 
fastened together two and two, by handcuffs on their 
wrists, and by irons riveted on their legs .... They 
are frequently stowed so close as to admit of no 
other posture than lying on their sides. Neither will 
the height between decks, unless directly under the 
grating, permit them the indulgence of an erect pos- 
ture, especially where there are platforms, which is 
generally the case. These platforms are a kind of 
shelf, about eight or nine feet in breadth, extending 
from the side of the ship towards the centre. They 
are placed nearly midway between the decks, at the 
distance of two or three feet from each deck. Upon 
these the negroes are stowed in the same manner as 
they are on the deck underneath." After mention- 
ing some other arrangements, he goes on to say, u It 
often happens that those who are placed at a distance 
from the buckets, in endeavouring to get to them, 
tumble over their companions, in consequence of their 
being shackled. These accidents, although unavoid- 
able, are productive of continual quarrels, in which 
some of them are always bruised. In this distressed 

situation they desist from the attempt, and 

this becomes a fresh source of broils and disturbances, 
and tends to render the situation of- the poor captive 
wretches still more uncomfortable. 


" 111 favourable weather they are fed upon deck, 
but in bad weather their food is given to them below. 
Numberless quarrels take place among them during 
their meals ; more especially when they are put upon 
short allowance, which frequently happens. In that 
case, the weak are obliged to be content with a very 
scanty portion. Their allowance of water is about 
half a pint each, at every meal. 

il Upon the negroes refusing to take sustenance, I 
have seen coals of fire, glowing hot, put on a shovel, 
and placed so near their lips as to scorch and burn 
them, and this has been accompanied with threats of 
forcing them to swallow the coals, if they any longer 
persisted in refusing to eat. These means have ge- 
nerally the desired effect. I have also been credibly 
informed that a certain captain in the Slave Trade 
poured melted lead on such of the negroes as obsti- 
nately refused their food." Falconbridge then tells 
us that the negroes are sometimes compelled to 
dance and to sing, and that, if any reluctance is ex- 
hibited, the cat-o'-nine-tails is employed to enforce 
obedience. He goes on to mention the unbounded li- 
cence given to the officers and crew of the slavers, as 
regards the women ; and, speaking of the officers, he 
says, they '■ are sometimes guilty of such brutal ex- 
cesses as disgrace human nature .... But, ' he con- 
tinues, " the hardships and inconveniences suffered by 
the negroes during the passage are scarcely to be enu- 
merated or conceived. They are far more violently 



affected by the sea-sickness than the Europeans. It 
frequently terminates in death, especially among the 
women. The exclusion of the fresh air is among the 
most intolerable. Most ships have air-ports ; but, 
whenever the sea is rough and the rain heavy, it be- 
comes necessary to shut these and every other con- 
veyance by which air is admitted. The fresh air 
being thus excluded, the negroes' rooms very soon 
grow intolerably hot. The confined air, rendered 
noxious by the effluvia exhaled from their bodies, 
and by being repeatedly breathed, soon produces 
fevers and fluxes, which generally carry off great 
numbers of them. During the voyages I made, I 
was frequently a witness to the fatal effects of this 
exclusion of the fresh air. I will give one instance, 
as it serves to convey some idea, though a very faint 
one,* of the state of these unhappy beings. Some 
wet and blowing weather having occasioned the port- 
holes to be shut, and the gratings to be covered, fluxes 

* One circumstance has struck me very forcibly. I have re- 
ceived communications, both by letter and in conversation, from 
many naval officers who have boarded slave-ships, and I have 
observed that, without an exception, they all make this observation : 
— " No words can describe the horrors of the scene, or the suf- 
ferings of the negroes." I have recently shown these pages to a 
naval officer, now a captain in the service, who had long been 
employed in the preventive squadron, requesting him to point out 
any error into which I might have fallen. He replied, Ci Your 
statement is true, as far as it goes ; but it is, after all, only a faint 
picture of the reality." 


and fevers among the negroes ensued. My profes- 
sion requiring it, I frequently went down among them, 
till at length their apartments became so extremely 
hot as to be only sufFerable for a very short time. 
But the excessive heat was not the only thing that 
rendered their situation intolerable. The deck, that 
is, the floor of their rooms, was so covered with the 
blood and mucus which had proceeded from them in 
consequence of the flux, that it resembled a slaughter- 
house. It is not in the power of human imagination 
to picture to itself a situation more dreadful or more 

" Numbers of the slaves having fainted, they 
were carried on deck, where several of them died ; 
and the rest were with great difficulty restored. It 
had nearly proved fatal to me also : the climate was 
too warm to admit the wearing of any clothing but a 
shirt, and that I had pulled off before I Avent down : 
notwithstanding which, by only continuing among 
them for about a quarter of an hour, I was so over- 
come by the heat, stench, and foul air, that I had 
nearly fainted ; and it was not without assistance 
that I could get upon deck. The consequence was, 
that I soon after fell sick of the same disorder, frorr 
which I did not recover for several months. A 
circumstance of this kind sometimes repeatedly 
happens in the course of a voyage, and often to a 
greater degree than what has just been described : 
particularly when the slaves are much crowded, 
which was not the case at that time, the ship having 


more than 100 short of the number she was to 
have taken in : yet, out of 380, 105 died on the pas- 
sage, — a proportion seemingly very great, but by no 
means uncommon." 

He proceeds to notice the case of a Liverpool 
vessel which took on board at the Bonny River 
nearly 700 slaves (more than three to each ton !) ; 
and Falconbridge says, — " By purchasing so great 
a number, the slaves were so crowded, that they 
were even obliged to lie one upon another. This 
occasioned such a mortality among them, that, with- 
out meeting with unusual bad weather, or having a 
longer voyage than common, nearly one-half of them 
died before the ship arrived in the West Indies." 
He then describes the treatment of the sick as 
follows : — " The place allotted for the sick negroes 
is under the half-deck, where they lie on the bare 
plank. By this means, those who are emaciated 
frequently have their skin, and even their flesh, en- 
tirely rubbed off, by the motion of the ship, from the 
prominent parts of the shoulders, elbows, and hips, 
so as to render the bones in those parts quite bare. 
The excruciating pain which the poor sufferers feel 
from being obliged to continue in so dreadful a situ- 
ation, frequently for several weeks, in case they 
happen to live so long, is not to be conceived or 
described. Few indeed are ever able to withstand 
the fatal effects of it. The surgeon, upon going 
between decks in the morning, frequently finds se- 
veral of the slaves dead, and, among the men, some- 


times a dead and a living negro fastened by their 
irons together." 

He then states that surgeons are driven to engage 
in the " Guinea Trade" by the confined state of their 
finances ; and that, at most, the only way in which a 
surgeon can render himself useful, is by seeing that 
the food is properly cooked and distributed to the 
slaves : " When once the fever and dysentery get to 
any height at sea, a cure is scarcely ever effected." 
" One-half, sometimes two-thirds, and even beyond 
that, have been known to perish. Before we left 
Bonny River no less than fifteen died of fevers, and 
dysenteries, occasioned by their confinement."* Fal- 
conbridge also told the Committee of 1790, that, " in 
stowing the slaves, they wedge them in, so that they 
had not as much room as a man in his coffin : that, 
when going from one side of their rooms to the other, 
he always took off his shoes, but could not avoid pinch- 
ing them ; and that he had the marks on his feet 
where they bit and scratched him. Their confinement 
in this situation was so injurious, that he has known 
them to go down apparently in good health at night, 
and be found dead in the morning." 

Any comment on the statement of Falconbridge 
must be superfluous : he had been a surgeon in 
slave-ships, he was a respectable witness before the 
Committee of Inquiry in 1790, and gave the sub- 
stance of this statement in evidence. And it ought 
to be borne in mind that he was an eye-witness of 
the scenes which he has described. His evidence 
* Falconbridge, p. 19, &c. 


is the more valuable, when it is considered that we 
have long been debarred from testimony equally cre- 
dible and direct: as, since 1807, Britain has taken 
no part in the slave-traffic ; and it has been the 
policy of the foreign nations who have continued the 
trade to conceal, as far as they could, the horrors and 
miseries which are its attendants. 

Mr. Granville Sharpe (the zealous advocate of 
the negro) brought forward a case which aroused 
public attention to the horrors of this passage. In 
his Memoirs we have the following account taken 
from his private memoranda : — 

"■ March 19, 1783. Gustavus Vasa called on 
me with an account of 132 negroes being thrown 
alive into the sea, from on board an English slave- 

" The circumstances of this case could not fail to 
excite a deep interest. The master of a slave-ship 
trading from Africa to Jamaica, and having 440 slaves 
on board, had thought fit, on a pretext that he might 
be distressed on his voyage for want of water, to 
lessen the consumption of it in the vessel, by throw- 
ing overboard 132 of the most sickly among the 
slaves. On his return to England, the owners of the 
ship claimed from the insurers the full value of those 
drowned slaves, on the ground that there was an 
absolute necessity for throwing them into the sea, in 
order to save the remaining crew, and the ship itself. 
The underwriters contested the existence of the al- 
leged necessity; or, if it had existed, attributed it to the 
ignorance and improper conduct of the master of the 


vessel. This contest of pecuniary interest brought to 
light a scene of horrid brutality which had been acted 
during the execution of a detestable plot. From the 
trial it appeared that the ship Zong, Luke Colling- 
wood master, sailed from the island of St. Thomas, 
on the coast of Africa, September 6, 1781, with 440 
slaves and fourteen whites on board, for Jamaica, 
and that in the November following she fell in with 
that island ; but, instead of proceeding to some port, 
the master, mistaking, as he alleges, Jamaica for 
Hispaniola, ran her to leeward. Sickness and mor- 
tality had by this time taken place on board the 
crowded vessel : so that, between the time of leaving 
the coast of Africa and the 29th of November, sixty 
slaves and seven white people had died ; and a great 
number of the surviving slaves were then sick and 
not likely to live. On that clay the master of the 
ship called together a few of the officers, and stated 
to them that, if the sick slaves died a natural death, 
the loss would fall on the owners of the ship ; but, if 
they were thrown alive into the sea, on any sufficient 
pretext of necessity for the safety of the ship, it 
would be the loss of the underwriters, alleging, at 
the same time, that it would be less cruel to throw 
sick wretches into the sea, than to suffer them to 
linger out a few days under the disorder with which 
they were afflicted. 

" To this inhuman proposal the mate, James Kel- 
sal, at first objected ; but Collingwood at length pre- 
vailed on the crew to listen to it. He then chose out 
from the cargo 132 slaves, and brought them on deck, 


all or most of whom were sickly, and not likely to 
recover, and lie ordered the crew by turns to throw 
them into the sea. ' A parcel ' of them were accord- 
ingly thrown overboard, and, on counting over the 
remainder the next morning, it appeared that the 
number so drowned had been fifty-four. He then 
ordered another parcel to be thrown over, which, on a 
second counting on the succeeding day, was proved to 
have amounted to forty-two. 

" On the third day the remaining thirty-six were 
brought on deck, and, as these now resisted the cruel 
purpose of their masters, the arms of twenty-six were 
fettered with irons, and the savage crew proceeded 
with the diabolical work, casting them down to join 
their comrades of the former days. Outraged misery 
could endure no longer ; the ten last victims sprang 
disdainfully from the grasp of their tyrants, defied 
their power, and, leaping into the sea, felt a moment- 
ary triumph in the embrace of death." * 

The evidence taken before the Parliamentary Com- 
mittees of 1790 and 1791 abounds with similar cases 
of enormity. I should be entitled, if it were neces- 
sary, to quote every one of them, because the middle 
passage, at that time, when the traffic was legal, was 
less horrible than now, when it is contraband. But 
I have limited myself to two extracts : the one, 
because it is the narrative of a surgeon,!" a class of 

* " Memoirs of Granville Sharpe," edited by Prince Hoare. 
London, 1820, pp. 236—238. 

t Captain Cook, from whose communication to me I have already 
given extracts, narrating some of the cruelties of the middle pas- 


officers now scarcely to be met with in a slave-ship, 
and because it gives, in a brief and continuous narra- 
tive, the chief features of the voyage across the 
Atlantic : the other, because every fact was proved 
in a court of justice. 

Such Avere some of the cruelties'of the middle pas- 
sage towards the end of the last century ; and it might 
have been expected that, since that time, some im- 
provement should have taken place ; but it is not so . 
the treatment of slaves by the British, subsequent to 
the Slave Regulation Act, and down to 1808, was 
mildness itself, when compared with the miseries con- 
sequent on the trade, and the system which has been 
pursued in the vain attempt to put it down, since that 
period to the present time. 

Mr. Wilberforce, in his letter to his constituents 
in 1807, observes, " Many of the sufferings of these 
wretched beings are of a sort for which no legislative 
regulations can provide a remedy. Several of them, 
indeed, arise necessarily out of their peculiar circum- 
stances, as connected with their condition on ship- 
board. It is necessary to the safety of the vessel to 
secure the men by chains and fetters. It is necessary 
to confine them below during the night, and in very 
stormy weather during the day also. Often it hap- 
pens, that with the numbers still allowed to be taken, 
especially when some of those epidemic diseases pre- 
sage, says, " With all this probability, or rather certainty, of dis- 
ease, I never knew but one slaver that carried a surgeon." 


vail, which, though less frequent than formerly, will 
yet occasionally happen ; and when men of different 
countries and languages, or of opposite tempers, are 
linked together, that such scenes take place as are 
too nauseous for description. Still in rough weather 
their limbs must be excoriated by lying on the 
boards ; still they will often be wounded by the 
fetters ; still food and exercise will be deemed neces- 
sary to present the animal in good condition at the 
place of sale ; still some of them will loathe their 
food, and be averse to exercise, from the joint effect 
perhaps of sea-sickness and mental uneasiness ; and 
still, while in this state, they will probably be charged 
with sulkiness ; and eating and dancing in their fetters 
will be enforced by stripes ; still the high netting 
will be necessary, that standing precaution of an 
African ship against acts of suicide ; but more than 
all, still must the diseases of the mind remain entire, 
nay, they may perhaps increase in force, from the 
attention being less called off by the urgency of 
bodily suffering ; the anguish of husbands torn from 
their wives, — wives from their husbands, and parents 
from their children ; the pangs arising from the con- 
sideration that they are separated for ever from their 
country, their friends, their relations, and connexions, 
remain the same."* 

Such is the statement of Wilberforce as to the 
middle passage in its mildest form. This truly great 

* Wilherforce's Letter, p. 99, &c. 


man had the satisfaction shortly afterwards to witness 
the abolition of the traffic on the part of Britain, — a 
triumph on the side of humanity which his unceasing 
and strenuous efforts were mainly instrumental in 

Since 1808 the English Government has, with 
various success, been indefatigably engaged in en- 
deavouring to procure the co-operation of foreign 
powers for the suppression of the Slave Trade. In 
virtue of the treaties which have been entered into, 
many vessels engaged in the traffic have been cap- 
tured ; and much information has been obtained, 
which has been regularly laid before Parliament. A 
few of the cases which have been detailed will now 
be noticed, for the purpose of ascertaining whether 
the miseries which have been narrated have ceased to 
exist ; or whether they do not now exist in a more 
intense degree than at any former period. 

The first case I notice is that of the Spanish brig 
Carlos, captured in 1814. In this vessel of 200 
tons, 512 negroes had been put on board (nearly 
180 more than the complement allowed on the pro- 
portion of five slaves to three tons). The captor 
reported that " they were so miserably fed, clothed, 
&c, that any idea of the horrors of the Slave Trade 
would fall short of what I saw. Eighty were thrown 
overboard before we captured her. In many in- 
stances I saw the bones coming through the skin 
from starvation."* 

In the same year (1814) the schooner Aglae, of 
* African Institution Report, 1815, p. 17. 


40 tons, was captured with a cargo of 152 negroes 
(nearly four to each ton). "The only care seemed 
to have been to pack them as close as possible, and 
tarpaulin was placed over tarpaulin, in order to give 
the vessel the appearance of being laden with a well- 
stowed cargo of cotton and rice."* 

In 1815 a lieutenant of the navy thus describes 
the state of a Portuguese slaver, the St. Joaquim: he 
says, "That within twenty- two days after the vessel 
had left Mozambique thirteen of the slaves had died : 
that between the capture and their arrival at Simon's 
Bay, the survivors of them were all sickly and weak, 
and ninety- two of them afflicted with the flux ; that 
the slaves were all stowed together, perfectly naked, 
and nothing but rough, unplaned planks to crouch 
down upon, in a hold situated over their water and 
provisions, the place being little more than two feet 
in height, and the space allowed for each slave so 
small, that it was impossible for them to avoid touch- 
ing and pressing upon those immediately surround- 
ing. The greater part of them were fastened, some 
three together, by one leg, each in heavy iron shackles, 
a very large proportion of them having the flux. 
Thus they were compelled/" &c. (here a scene of 
disgusting wretchedness is described.) " The pilot 
being asked by Captain Baker how many he sup- 
posed would have reached their destination, replied, 
1 About half the number that were embarked.' " f 

We have next the case of the Rodeur, as stated in 

* African Inst. Report, Appendix, p. 86. 
t Afr. Inst. Report, 1818, p. 27. 


a periodical work, devoted to medical subjects, and 
published at Paris. This vessel, it appears, was of 
200 tons burden. She took on board a cargo of 
160 negroes, and after having been fifteen days on 
her voyage, it was remarked that the slaves had con- 
tracted a considerable redness of the eyes, which 
spread with singular rapidity. At this time they 
were limited to eight ounces of water a-day for each 
person, which quantity was afterwards reduced to 
the half of a wine-glass. By the advice of the sur- 
geon, the slaves who were in the hold were brought 
upon deck for the advantage of fresh air ; but it 
became necessary to abandon this expedient, as many 
of them who were affected with nostalgia threw them- 
selves into the sea, locked in each other's arms. The 
ophthalmia, which had spread so rapidly and fright- 
fully among the Africans, soon began to infect all 
on board, and to create alarm for the crew. The 
danger of infection, and perhaps the cause which 
produced the disease, were increased by a violent 
dysentery, attributed to the use of rain-water. The 
number of the blind augmented every day. The 
vessel reached Guadaloupe on June 21, 1819, her 
crew being in a most deplorable condition. Three 
days after her arrival, the only man who during the 
voyage had withstood the influence of the contagion, 
and whom Providence appeared to have preserved 
as a guide to his unfortunate companions, was seized 
with the same malady. Of the negroes, thirty-nine 
had become perfectly blind, twelve had lost one 


eye, and fourteen were affected with blemishes more 
or less considerable. 

This case excited great interest, and several addi- 
tional circumstances connected with it were given 
to the public. It was stated that the captain caused 
several of the negroes who were prevented in the 
attempt to throw themselves overboard, to be shot 
and hung, in the hope that the example might deter 
the rest from a similar conduct. It is further stated, 
that upwards of thirty of the slaves who became blind 
were thrown into the sea and drowned ; upon the 
principle that had they been landed at Guadaloupe, 
no one would have bought them, while by throwing 
them overboard the expense of maintaining them 
was avoided, and a ground was laid for a claim on 
the underwriters by whom the cargo had been in- 
sured, who are said to have allowed the claim, and 
made good the value of the slaves thus destroyed. 

What more need be said in illustration of the ex- 
tremity of suffering induced by the middle passage, 
as demonstrated by the case of the Rocleur ? But 
the supplement must not be omitted. At the time 
when only one man could see to steer that vessel, 
a large ship approached, " which appeared to be 
totally at the mercy of the wind and the waves. 
The crew of this vessel, hearing the voices of the 
crew of the Rodeur, cried out most vehemently for 
help. They told the melancholy tale as they passed 
along, — that their ship was a Spanish slave-ship, the 
St. Leon ; and that a contagion had seized the eyes 


of all on board, so that there was not one indi- 
vidual sailor or slave who could see. But alas ! this 
pitiable narrative was in vain ; for no help could be 
given. The St. Leon passed on, and was never 
more heard of!"* 

In the African Institution Report for 1820, I find 
the following case stated. Captain Kelly, of H.M.S. 
Pheasant, captured on July 30, 1819, a Portu- 
guese schooner, called the Nova Felicidade, belong- 
ing to Prince's Island, having on board seventy-one 
slaves, and a crew, consisting of one master and ten 
sailors. This vessel measured only eleven tons. She 
was carried by Captain Kelly to Sierra Leone for 
adjudication, and his judicial declaration contains the 
following statement : — 

" I do further declare, that the state in which 
these unfortunate creatures were found is shocking 
to every principle of humanity ; — seventeen men 
shackled together in pairs by the legs, and twenty 
boys, one on the other, in the main hold, — a space 
measuring eighteen feet in length, seven feet eight 
inches main breadth, and one foot eight inches in 
height ; and under them the yams for their sup- 

The appearance of the slaves, when released from 
their irons, was most distressing ; scarcely any of 
them could stand on their legs, from cramp and 
evident starvation. The space allowed for the 
females, thirty- four in number, was even more con- 

* Afr. Inst. Report, 1820, p. 7. 



tracted than that for the men, measuring only nine 
feet four inches in length, four feet eight inches 
main breadth, and two feet seven inches in height, 
but not being confined in irons, and perhaps al- 
lowed during the day to come on deck, they did 
not present so distressing an appearance as the 

We have next another instance of the varied 
cruelties of this part of the subject — La Jeune 
Estelle, captured by Admiral Collier in 1820, after 
a chase of some hours, during which several casks 
were observed to be floating in the sea ; but no 
person could be spared at the time to examine them. 
On boarding the Estelle, the captain denied that he 
had any slaves on board ; but from the very sus- 
picious appearances around, the officer ordered a 
strict search to be made. An English sailor, on 
striking a cask, heard a faint voice issue from it, as 
if of some creature expiring. The cask was imme- 
diately opened, when two slave girls, about twelve 
or fourteen years of age, were found packed up in it ;t 

* Afr. Inst. Report, 1820, p. 11. 

t I have great satisfaction in being able to trace the sequel to 
this tale of horror. Mr. Kilham thus writes in 1824 : " The 
wives of the missionaries find no insurmountable difficulty in 
teaching the African girls to be clever cooks, housemaids, and 
laundresses. I had the gratification last week to see one of the 
poor girls who was rescued from the iron-hearted slave-dealer, 
who had confined his two remaining victims in a cask on board. 
One of the girls is now married:' the other is chief monitor in the 
Church Missionary School at Leopold." 


a prisoner on board the captor's ship recognized the 
girls as two out of fourteen, whom the slaver had 
carried off from a village on the coast. Admiral 
Collier, on this, ordered another search to be made, 
in hopes of discovering the other twelve ; but they 
were nowhere to be found. The painful suspicion 
then arose that the slaver had packed up the twelve 
girls in casks, and had thrown them overboard 
during the chase ; but it was too late to ascertain the 
truth of this conjecture, as the chase had led the 
English frigate many leagues to leeward of the 
place where they had observed casks floating in the 

Some of the following extracts are also taken from 
the Reports of the African Institution :— 

A Spanish schooner, the Vicua, when taken pos- 
session of, in 1822, had a lighted match hanging 
over the open magazine hatch. The match had been 
placed there by the crew before they escaped. It 
was seen by one of the British seamen, who boldly 
put his hat under the burning wick, and removed it. 
The magazine contained a large quantity of powder. 
One spark would have blown up 325 unfortunate 
victims, lying in irons in the hold. These monsters 
in iniquity expressed their deep regret, after the 
action, that their diabolical plan had failed. Thumb- 
screws were also found in this vessel. From con- 
finement and suffering the slaves often injured 
themselves by beating, and venting their grief upon 

* Afr. Inst. Report, 1821, p. 15. 



such as were next them, by biting and tearing their 

Les Deux Sceurs was a vessel of forty-one tons ; 
the Eleanor of about sixty ; the first had crammed 
132 negroes, the last 1 35, into a space capable of con- 
taining about thirty, at full length. | 

In the Report of 1823, we have an account of a 
gallant feat achieved by the boats of a man-of-war, 
commanded by Lieutenant Mildmay, on the 15th of 
April, 1822. The action took place in the river 
Bonny. On the one side were six sail of slavers, 
three of which opened a heavy fire upon " the English 
boats as they advanced. When the latter were near 
enough for their shots to take effect, the firing was 
returned. They advanced, and in a short time took 
possession of all the vessels. 

" Many of the slaves jumped overboard during the 
engagement, and were devoured by the sharks. On 
board the Yeanam the slaves suffered much ; four 
were killed, and ten wounded. Of the wounded, 
three were females ; one girl, of about ten years old, 
lost both her legs, another her right arm, and a third 
was shot in the side. Even after the vessel had been 
surrendered, a number of the Spanish sailors skulked 
below, and, arming the slaves with muskets, made 
them fire upwards on the British. On board this 
ship Lieutenant Mildmay observed a slave girl, about 
twelve or thirteen years of age, in irons, to which 

* Afr. Inst. Report, 1823, p. 29. 
I lb., 1826, p. 55. 


was fastened a thick iron chain, ten feet in length, 
that was dragged along as she moved."* 

Commodore Sullen writes, of date September 5, 
1825, that the Brazen, last October, overtook 
L'Eclair. " She belongs to Nantz. The master 
stated that he had lost a third of his cargo in embark- 
ing them. She measured three feet one inch between 
decks ; the men chained ; many of them unable to 
sit upright."-]" 

A resident at Freetown thus writes in the Sierra 
Leone Gazette of the 11th of December, 1823 : — 
" Having gone off to the slave-vessels lately sent into 
this harbour, I was struck by the appearance of some 
very fierce dogs, of the bloodhound species, natives 
of Brazil ; and, on inquiry, found that they had been 
taken on board for the purpose of assisting their in- 
human masters in coercing the unfortunate victims 
of their lawless cupidity. They had been trained, it 
appears, to sit watch over the hatches during the 
night, or whenever the wretched beings were con- 
fined below, and thus effectually precluded them from 
coming up. This abominable system is, I under- 
stand, pretty generally practised on board the slavers 
from Bahia and Cuba." 

In the Sierra Leone Advertiser of November 20, 
1824, we have some striking instances of the frauds 
practised by the Portuguese slavers in carrying on 
their trade. Of three vessels captured, it appeared 
that the Diana had a royal licence to carry 300 

* Afr. Inst. Report, 1823, p. 28. f lb., 1826, p. 60. 


slaves, as being a vessel of 120 tons ; and this in 
accordance with the law allowing five slaves to every 
two tons (equal to three tons British) ; but in fact 
she admeasured only sixty-six tons, which would give 
a rate of five slaves to one ton. She had shipped at 
Badagry, for Brazil, 156 slaves, besides her crew, 
eighteen in number. 

The Two Brazilian Friends, licensed to carry 365 
slaves, as being of 146 tons, proved to be of only 95 
tons ; and the platform for the men only two feet six 
inches in height : yet she had on board 260 slaves, 
besides a crew of eighteen persons. 

The Aviso, asserted to be 231, found to be only 
165 tons : 465 slaves were stowed in this vessel, 
with a crew thirty-three in number. 

A great many deaths had occurred in these vessels, 
and the survivors were in a very emaciated state* 

* " ' Of all the vessels I was on board of,' says Captain Wool- 
combe, * this (the Diana) was in the most deplorable condition ; 
the stench from the accumulation of dirt, joined to that of so many 
human beings packed together in a small space (the men all ironed 
in pairs) was intolerable. To add to the scene of misery, the 
small-pox had broken out among them.' 

" Commodore Bullen, who visited the Two Brazilian Friends, 
says, ' Its filthy and horrid state beggars all description. Many 
females were far advanced in pregnancy, and several had infants 
from four to twelve ^months of age ; all were crowded together in 
one mass of living corruption ; and yet this vessel had not her 
prescribed complement by near 100.' 

" Commodore Bullen found the Aviso in a most crowded and 
wretched condition, although she had on board 120 less than 
directed in her passport. Such were the filth and crowd, that not 


The Paris petition of — February, 1825, states, 
" That it is established, by authentic documents, that 
the slave captains throw into the sea, every year, 
about 3000 negroes, men, women, and children ; of 
whom more than half are thus sacrificed, whilst yet 
alive, either to escape from the visits of cruisers, or 
because, worn down by their sufferings, they could 
not be sold to advantage."* 

In the Appendix (G.) to the Report of the African 
Institution for 1827, we have the case of the schooner 
L'Espoir, as narrated by General Milius, governor of 
Bourbon. "In the month of September, 1826, the 
schooner left the Mauritius under English colours, 
shaping its course towards the coasts of Madagascar. 
The Sieur Lemoine was the master ; he fell in with 
a Portuguese vessel laden with negroes and gold- 
dust. An eagerness and thirst of gain seized upon 
his soul ; he ran alongside of the Portuguese vessel, 
and immediately killed the mate by a musket-shot ; 
having boarded her, he soon obtained possession of 
the vessel attacked, and his first questions were ad- 
dressed to a Portuguese colonel, aged fifty, of whom 
he inquired where the money and gold-dust were 

one-half could have reached the Brazils alive. At the date of her 
capture she had scarcely 20 days' provisions for the slaves, and less 
water. c How they intended to subsist them till their arrival at 
Bahia,' says the Captain, ' is to me a problem, unless they could 
have calculated on a great decrease from death.'" — Afr. Inst. 
Report for 1825, pp. 27, 28. 

* Afr. Inst. Report for 1826, pp. 62, 63. 


deposited. After this short interrogatory, Lemoine 
purposely stepped aside, and a man named Reineur, 
who was behind him, with a pistol blew out the un- 
fortunate colonel's brains. The master of the cap- 
tured vessel, alarmed by the rapid succession of these 
massacres, threw himself overboard, in order to escape 
a more immediate death. Vain hope ! the fury of 
Lemoine and his accomplices was not yet allayed. 
They pursued him in a boat, and having soon over- 
taken him, they cut him on the head with a sabre. 
The unfortunate man, feeling himself wounded, 
caught hold, in order to support himself, of the boat 
in which his murderers were, who, profiting by this 
last effort of despair, had the dastard cruelty to run a 
sword into his throat, the point of which came out at 
his side : the body disappeared, and they returned on 
board, fatigued but not satiated with murder. They 
shut up in the hold the remaining Portuguese sailors, 
and, after taking off the rich cargo, they scuttled 
the ship, and sunk her with the crew they had thus 
shut up. 

" This is one of many proofs of the piratical habits 
and cruelty produced by the Slave Trade."* 

In the evidence before the committee on Sierra 
Leone, &c, in 1830, we find it stated by Lieutenant 
Tringham, that, about 1825, the vessel in which he 
sailed captured a slave- schooner of seventy or eighty 
tons, bound for Brazil, with 280 slaves on board. 
There were about 100 on deck and 180 below. They 
* Afr. Inst. Report, 1627. App. G., p. 144. 


were so crowded on deck, that (as the witness says) 
" We were not able to work the vessel without tread- 
ing on them." As to their provisions, he remarked 
that the " jerked beef" was very salt, and that there 
was always a scarcity of water ; " the allowance was 
about a pint a- day ; they had two meals in the day, 
and about half a pint at each meal was their full 

In the despatches of Sir Charles M'Carthy, dated 
the 3rd of August, 1822, I find the case of the San 
Jose Hallaxa, a schooner under seven tons burden, 
which was captured by H.M.B. Thistle, in the river 
Calabar ; and it appears, by the acknowledgment of 
the master, that he shipped at Duke Ephraim's Town, 
on that river, thirty slaves ; that he had gone to sea 
with that number on board, intending to proceed to 
Princes Island, but, not having been able to make 
that port, he had returned to Calabar, having his 
provisions and water nearly expended, after having 
been at sea five or six weeks. 

During this voyage, ten unfortunate objects of his 
avarice, not being able to procure sufficient nourish- 
ment to satisfy the cravings of nature, had been re- 
leased from further sufferings by starvation ! One 
poor female, in the absence of food, had existed on 
salt water until her faculties were destroyed, and she 
became raving mad ; but even the deplorable and 
affecting state of insanity did not shield her from the 

* Pari. Report. Sierra Leone, &c., 1830,'p. 33. 


brutal outrage of her oppressors, who, with a view 
of stifling her cries by frequent repetitions of the lash, 
literally flogged her to death. The owner of this 
vessel, and the purchaser of these human beingSj is 
a woman ! — Dona Maria de Cruz, daughter of the 
notorious Gomez, formerly governor of Princes Island, 
and now holding the appointment of fiscal, and mem- 
ber of council. This woman is known to the Mixed 
Commission Court, having been under their cogni- 
zance some time since as proprietor of the ' Concei- 
cao,' condemned by the British and Portuguese 

Sir John Barrow, in his able observations on the 
Slave Trade in 1826, says: — "We have -also dis- 
covered among the papers before us (those laid be- 
fore Parliament), that the amiable Donna Maria de 
Cruz, daughter of the governor of Princes Island, of 
whom we had occasion once before to make honour- 
able mention, is still engaged in carrying on the 
traffic, though in a small way. The Victor sloop- 
of-war fell in with and captured a schooner-boat be- 
longing to this paragon of her sex, called the Maria 
Pequena. \ Her burden was five tons. She had taken 
on board in the river Gaboon, besides her crew, water, 
and provisions, twenty-three slaves, six of whom had 
already died : they were stowed in a space between 
the water-casks and the deck, of eighteen inches in 
height ; and Lieutenant Scott reports that, when he 

* Pari. Paper, 11th July, 1823, p. 9. 


seized her, the remaining' negroes were in a state of 
actual starvation."* 

Commodore Bullen, in his despatch of 26th No- 
vember, 1826, describing the capture of he Daniel, 
says, " in consequence of the heavy rain which com- 
menced shortly after I brought him to, the slaves 
quarrelled among themselves regarding the right of 
precedence of those below to get on deck for fresh 
air, and those who had already the possession of it, 
when, shocking to relate, 19 fell victims."! The Com- 
missioners at Havana, in their despatch of the 28th 
August, 1828, mention the case of the " Intrepido," 
which, out of a cargo of 343, lost 1 90 in her passage, 
and 18 after capture, making a total of 208. They 
attribute a certain portion of this mortality to two in- 
surrections of the negroes on board, but principally 
to the horrible confinement of so great a number on 
board so small a vessel.^ 

" The Invincible had on board a cargo of 440 ne- 
groes, a number, it seems, sixty-three short of her full 
complement ; hut these so crowded together, that it 
became absolutely impossible to separate the sick from 
the healthy ; and dysentery, ophthalmia, and scurvy 
breaking out among them, the provisions and water 
being of the worst kind, and the filth and stench be- 
yond all description, 186 of the number had perished 
in less than sixty days."§ 

* Edinburgh Review, No. 44, 1826. 

f Class A. 1829, p. 138. J Class A. 1829, p. 153. 

§ Afr. Inst. Report, 1827, pp. 4, 5. 


The Maria, 133 Spanish tons burden, captured by 
H.M.B. Plumper, 26th December, 1830, was found 
to contain 545 persons, including the crew, — thus 
allowing only the unprecedented small space of one 
ton for the accommodation of four persons ; the con- 
sequence was, that though she was out only eleven 
days, the small-pox, dysentery, and other diseases had 
broken out with great virulence.* 

Captain Wauchope, R.N., late of H.M.S. Thalia, 
has stated to me, that Commander Castle, R.N., 
while on service with the preventive squadron in 1828, 
in command of H.M.S. Medina, captured the Spanish 
brig El Juan, with 407 slaves on board. It appeared 
that, owing to a press of sail during the chase, the El 
Juan had heeled so much, as to alarm the negroes, 
who made a rush to the grating. The crew thought 
they were attempting to rise, and getting out their 
arms, they fired upon the wretched slaves through 
the grating, till all was quiet in the hold. When 
Captain Castle went on board, the negroes were 
brought up, one living and one dead shackled to- 
gether ; " it was an awful scene of carnage and blood ; 
one mass of human gore : Captain Castle said he never 
saw anything so horrible in his life." 

Dr. Walsh, in his " Notices of Brazil," gives a 
most animated picture of the state of a Spanish slaver, 
detained by the vessel of war in which he returned 
from Brazil, in May, 1829. He says, " When we 
mounted her decks we found her full of slaves : she 
* ClteslA. ii 1832/p. 13. 


had taken on board 562, and had been out seventeen 
days, during which she lost fifty-five. The slaves 
were all enclosed under grated hatchways between 
decks. The space was so low that they sat between 
each other's legs, and stowed so close together that 
there was no possibility of their lying down, or at all 
changing their position by night or day. As they 
belonged to, and were shipped on account of different 
individuals, they were all branded like sheep, with 
the owners' marks of different forms. These were 
impressed under their breasts, or on their arms ; and, 
as the mate informed me with perfect indifference, 
' burned with the red-hot iron.' " 

After many other particulars, the detail of which 
my limits will not admit, Dr. Walsh continues : 
— u The poor beings were all turned up together. 
They came swarming up like bees from the aper- 
ture of a hive, till the whole deck was crowded 
to suffocation from stem to stern. On looking into 
the places where they had been crammed, there were 
found some children next the sides of the ship. The 
little creatures seemed indifferent as to life or death, 
and when they were carried on deck many of them 
could not stand. Some water was brought : it was 
then that the extent of their sufferings was exposed 
in a fearful manner. They all rushed like maniacs 
towards it. No entreaties, or threats, or blows could 
restrain them ; they shrieked, and struggled, and 
fought with one another for a drop of the precious 
liquid, as if they grew rabid at the sight of it. There 


is nothing which slaves, during the middle passage, 
suffer from so much as want of water. It is some- 
times usual to take out casks filled with sea-water, as 
ballast ; and when the slaves are received on board, 
to start the casks, and refill them with fresh. On 
one occasion, a ship from Bahia neglected to change 
the contents of the casks, and, on the mid -passage, 
found to their horror that they were filled with 
nothing hut salt water. All the slaves on hoard 
perished ! We could judge of the extent of their 
sufferings from the sight we now saw. When the 
poor creatures were ordered down again, several of 
them came and pressed their heads against our knees, 
with looks of the greatest anguish at the prospect of 
returning to the horrid place of suffering below. It 
was not surprising that they had lost fifty-five in the 
space of seventeen days. Indeed, many of the sur- 
vivors were seen lying about the decks, in the last 
stage of emaciation, and in a state of filth and misery 
not to be looked at. 

" While expressing my horror at what I saw, and 
exclaiming against the state of this vessel, I was in- 
formed by my friends, who had passed so long a time 
on the coast of Africa, and visited so many ships, that 
this was one of the best they had seen. The height 
sometimes, between decks, was only eighteen inches ; 
so that the unfortunate beings could not turn round, 
or even on their sides, the elevation being less than 
the breadth of their shoulders ; and here they are 
usually chained to the decks by the neck and legs. 


After much deliberation, this wretched vessel was 
allowed to proceed on her voyage. 

" It was dark when we separated ; and the last 
parting sounds we heard from the unhallowed ship 
were the cries and shrieks of the slaves, suffering 
under some bodily infliction.* 

In the same year (1829), the Commissioners at 
Havana reported that " The Fama de Cadiz came 
into port, having previously landed 300 slaves at 
Santa Cruz. It is said that this notorious slave- 
trader and pirate had plundered other slave-vessels 
on the coast of Africa of about 980 slaves, and had 
scarcely sailed for Cuba, when the small-pox and 
other contagious diseases broke out, which reduced 
the crew of 157 to 66, and her slaves to about 300; 
of whom the greatest part are in so wretched a state 
that her owners have been selling them as low as 
100 dollars." 

They also report the arrival of the schooner Con- 
stantia, in ballast, after having landed 70 slaves 
on the coast. She is said to have left Africa with 
438 negroes, who have been reduced, by the small- 
pox, to the above small number. And they add, — 
" The mortality on board the slave-vessels, this year, 
has been truly shocking. "f 

In 1829 we have the case of the Midas. This 
vessel left the Bonny with a cargo of 560 slaves, 

* Walsh's Notices of Brazil. London/ 1830. Vol. ii. p. 475, 

t Class A. 1829, p, 156. 


and had only 400 on board at the time of detention. 
Of these, after the surrender, about thirty threw 
themselves into the sea. Before she arrived at Ha- 
vana, nine other negroes had thrown themselves 
overboard : sixty-nine had died of the small-pox and 
other diseases. After their arrival, ten more died. 
The remainder (282) were then in a most dreadful 
state ; so ill and so emaciated, that "it has hitherto 
been impossible," says the medical officer, " to make 
out the descriptions of their persons and marks that 
are inserted in their certificates of emancipation."* 

In 1831, Captain Hamilton thus writes to the 
Commissioners : — " On our getting into Bahia, in 
the afternoon of the same day, I sent two officers on 
board the Destimida, to search. They, after some 
time, and with much difficulty, discovered fifty male 
negro slaves concealed in the bottom of the vessel. "f 
" Five young men were extricated from one water- 
butt ; but the greater part had been stowed or 
forced into the small or close spaces between the 
water-casks under the false decks. "J 

Captain Hayes, R.N., mentions the case of a 
slaver having a large cargo of human beings chained 
together. " The master of the vessel, with more 
humanity than his fellows, permitted some of them 
to come on deck (but still chained together) for the 
benefit of the air, when they immediately com- 
menced jumping overboard, hand in hand, and 

* Class A. 1829, p. 14S. f Class A. 1831, p. 127. 

X Class B. 1831, p. 117. 


drowning in couples." He explains the cause of 
this circumstance by saying, " they were just 
brought from a situation between decks, and to 
which they knew they must return, where the 
scalding perspiration was running from one to the 
other, covered also with their own filth, and where 
it is no uncommon occurrence for women to be 
bringing forth children, and men dying by their 
side, with, full in their view, living and dead bodies 
chained together; and the living, in addition to all 
their other torments, labouring under the most 
famishing thirst, being in very few instances allowed 
more than a pint of water a-day. He goes on to 
say : — " I have now an officer on board the Dryad, 
who, on examining one of these slave-vessels, found, 
not only living men chained to dead bodies, but the 
latter in a putrid state ; and we have now a case 
which, if true, is too horrible and disgusting to be 

In the same year (1831), the Black Joke and 
Fair Rosamond fell in with the Rapido and Regulo, 
two slave-vessels, off the Bonny river. On per- 
ceiving the cruisers, they attempted to make their 
escape up the river; but, finding it impracticable, 
they ran into a creek, and commenced pitching the 
negroes overboard. The Fair Rosamond came up 
in time to save 212 slaves out of the Regulo ; but, 
before she could secure the other, she had discharged 
her whole human cargo into the sea. Captain 

* Class B. p. 70. 



Huntley, who was then in command of the Rosa- 
mond, in a letter to me, remarks, — " The scene 
occasioned by the horrid conduct of the Rapido 
I am unable to describe ; but the dreadful extent to 
which the human mind is capable of falling was 
never shown in a more painfully humiliating manner 
than on this occasion, when, for the mere chance of 
averting condemnation of property amounting to 
perhaps £3,000, not less than 250 human beings 
were hurled into eternity with utter remorselessness." 

The master of an English merchant-vessel, who 
happened to be in the Bonny at the time, witnessed 
the whole affair. He lately told me that " the chase 
was so vigorous, and the slavers so anxious to escape, 
that they came flying into the creek, and ran aground 
in the mud. They then threw overboard what re- 
mained of the negroes ; but very few, from their 
being shackled together, reached the shore ; and that 
he and his crew helped to get the vessels again afloat, 
which was accomplished with much difficulty. He 
afterwards met the captain of one of the slavers, who 
justified what he had done as an act which necessity 
compelled him to adopt for the preservation of his 

Captain Ramsay, who at the time commanded the 
Black Joke, has stated to me that, during the chase, 
he and his men distinctly saw the sharks tearing the 
bodies of the negroes who were thrown overboard 
by the slavers ; and that, had it not been for the for- 
tunate rescue of two of the slaves of the Rapido, who 


had been flung into the sea, shackled together, and 
who were brought up from under water by a boat- 
hook, that vessel would have escaped condemnation, 
as all her slaves had been thrown overboard, or 
landed in canoes before they came up with her.* 

In a letter which I received from Captain Wau- 
chope, of date 13th August, 1838, he says,—" In 
February, 1836, I was informed by Commander 
Puget, that the Spanish slaver, Argus, three months 
before this date, was chased by the Charybdis, Lieu- 
tenant Mercer ; that, during the chase, ninety-seven 
slaves had been thrown overboard, and that a Spanish 
captain he had captured declared he would never 
hesitate to throw the slaves overboard to prevent 
being taken." 

Were it not that the evidence on these cases is 
unexceptionable, we could not believe that there did 
exist human beings capable of uttering such senti- 
ments, or of performing such infamous deeds. 

Captain Wauchope, in the same letter, informs 
me, that on the 18th September, 1836, the Thalia 
captured the Portuguese brig Felix, 590 slaves on 
board. " After capture," he says, '* I went on board, 
and such a scene of horror it is not easy to describe : 
the long-boat on the booms, and the deck aft, were 
crowded with little children, sickly, poor little un- 
happy things, some of them rather pretty, and some 
much marked and tattooed : much pains must have 

* See an account of this case in the United Service Journal for 
1833, part i., p. 505, &c. 



been taken by their miserable parents to ornament 
and beautify them. 

"The women Jay between decks aft, much 
crowded, and perfectly naked : they were not barred 
down, the hatchway, a small one, being off; but 
the place for the men was too horrible : the wretches, 
chained two and two, gasping and striving to get at 
the bars of the hatchways, and such a steam and 
stench as to make it intolerable even to look down. 
It requires much caution at first, in allowing them 
to go on deck, as it is a common practice for them to 
jump overboard to get quit of their misery. 

" The slave-deck was not more than three feet six 
in height, and the human beings stowed, or rather 
crushed as close as possible ; many appeared very 
sickly. There was no way of getting into the slave- 
room but by the hatchway. I was told, when they 
were all on deck to be counted, that it was impossible 
for any of our people to go into the slave-room for a 
single minute, so intolerable was the stench. The 
colour of these poor creatures was of a dark squalid 
yellow, so different from the fine glossy black of our 
liberated Africans and Kroomen. I was shown a 
man much bit and bruised : it was done in a struggle 
at the gratings of their hatchways for a mouthful of 
fresh air." 

It is fearful to contemplate the increase of late 
years, in the mortality during the middle passage. 
The chief reason, as it appears, is well given by 
Laird in his journal of the recent expedition to the 


Niger. He says : — " Instead of the large and com- 
modious vessels which it would be to the interest of 
the slave-trader to employ, we have, by our inter- 
ference, forced him to use a class of vessels, (well 
known to naval men as American dippers,) of the 
very worst description that could have been imagined 
for the purpose, every quality being sacrificed for 
speed. In the holds of these vessels the unhappy 
victims of European cupidity are stowed literally 
in bulk."* 

It ought also to be kept in view, that there is this 
material difference betwixt these " clippers " and 
other merchant-vessels : that while the latter usually 
carry far more than their registered tonnage would 
seem to permit, the former invariably exhibit a 
capacity for a cargo greatly below the tonnage by 

As a proof of the increase in the mortality on the 
middle passage, I may adduce the evidence of Mr. 
Jackson (who had been a judge in the Mixed Com- 
mission Court at Sierra Leone) before the Committee 
on Sierra Leone, &c, in 1830. In answer to a 
question, he said, " I think the sufferings of those 
poor slaves are greatly aggravated by the course now 
adopted ; for the trade is now illegal, and therefore 
whatever is done, is done clandestinely : they are 
packed more like bales of goods on board than 
human beings, and the general calculation is, that if 

* Laird, vol. ii. p. 369. 


in three adventures one succeeds, the owners are 
well paid."* 

Were it not that I feel bound to substantiate my 
case up to the present time, I would gladly pass over 
the numberless instances of cruelty and mortality 
connected with this branch of the subject, which, are 
made known to us by the papers laid before Parlia- 
ment within the last few years. But I shall notice 
some of these instances, as briefly as can be done, 
without suppressing the main facts which are esta- 
blished by them. 

The Carolina, captured in 1834, off Wydah.f 
" This vessel w r as only seventy-five tons burden, yet 
she had 350 negroes crammed on board of her, 180 
of whom were literally so stowed as to have barely 
sufficient height to hold themselves up, when in a 
sitting posture. The poor creatures crowded round 
their deliverers, with their mouths open and their 
tongues parched for want of water, presenting a 
perfect spectacle of human misery." 

The Patacho, reported by the Commissioners at 
Rio de Janeiro in 1835 : — This " vessel was in the 
first instance detained only on suspicion, and the 
capturing party had had possession forty-eight hours, 
and had made every possible search, as they supposed, 
before it was discovered that there were any slaves 
concealed on board. What the state of these wretched 
beings, to the number of forty-seven, must have been, 

* Sierra Leone Report, 1830, pp. 55. 
t Class A. 1834, p. 17- 


deprived for so long a time of air and food, and 
packed in the smallest possible compass, like so 
many bales of goods, we need not pain your Lord- 
ship by describing."* 

In a letter from the Cape of Good Hope, of date 
20th January, 1837, we find it stated that Her 
Majesty's brig Dolphin had lately captured the cor- 
vette Incomprehensible ; and that, on taking posses- 
sion of her, " the scene presented on board was 
harrowing in the extreme. One hundred had died 
from sickness, out of the 800 embarked ; another 100 
were lying nearly lifeless on her decks, in wretch- 
edness and misery, and all the agony of despair ; 
the remaining 600 were so cramped from the close 
manner in which they were packed (like herrings 
in a barrel), and the length of time they had been 
on their voyage, and the cold they had endured in 
rounding the Cape, in a state of nudity, that it took 
the utmost exertions of the English sailors, favoured 
by a hot sun, to straighten them."f 

In the Shipping and Mercantile Gazette of 2d 
June, 1838, is the following paragraph : — " A letter 
from the f Snake ' sloop of war, dated 31st March, 
1838, says, ' We have captured a very fine schooner, 
called the Arogan, off Cape Antonio, having 350 
slaves of both sexes, under the age of 20, and have 
sent her into the Havana for adjudication. She 
cleared out from Gallinas, and lost 50 on her pas- 

* Class A. 1835, p. 286. 

f From a correspondent of the ' Times ' newspaper. 


sage by death, owing to the crowded manner in 
which they were packed, resembling goods in a dra- 
per's shop.' " 

I know of no more striking case of excessive 
crowding than that of the Spanish Felucca Si, of 
only 71 British tons, which was captured in May, 
1839, by Her Majesty's brig Waterwitch, with 360 
slaves on board, making an average of more than five 
to one ton, with which she was about to proceed 
across the Atlantic. 

In the parliamentary papers printed in 1838 by 
the House of Commons, I observe the following 
cases reported : — "The brig Don Manuel de Portugal, 
from Angola, embarked 600 slaves ; of these 73 died 
on the voyage." 

" Brig Adamastor, from Quilimane, embarked 800 
slaves ; of these 304 died on the voyage !" 

" Brig Lecio, from Quilimane, embarked 855 
slaves ; of these 283 died, or were thrown over- 
board alive, during the voyage. .The small-pox 
having appeared among the slaves, 30 of them were 
immediately thrown overboard alive ; afterwards the 
measles made its appearance, of which 253 died. 
The remaining slaves, 572 in number, were landed 
on the coast of Brazil at Mozambayo, near to Una 
Grande, but in so miserable a state that, the greater 
part could not walk, but were carried on shore."* 

" The brig Flor de Quilimane, from Quilimane, 
embarked 850 slaves; of these 163 died on the pas- 
* Class B. 1837, p. 58. 


sage, and 697 were landed at Campos in a very 
sickly state."* 

In a letter from a member of the Society of 
Friends, dated Havana, July 14th, 1836, and pub- 
lished in the Colonization Herald, Philadelphia, 
Aug. 15th, 1838, 1 find the following passage : — " In 
company with an English naval officer, I made a 
visit across the bay to several of these slave-vessels. 
We were permitted to walk over them, but no 
particular attention was paid to us ; on the con- 
trary, we were looked upon with suspicion, and 
received short and unsatisfactory answers to our 
questions in general ; all attempts to enter into 
conversation with those on board appeared useless. 
With one, however, we were more successful : an 
old weather-beaten Spaniard was walking the deck ; 

* Class B. 1837, p. 60. 

In the Commissioners' Report for 1838-9, I find the loss on 
the passage thus stated : — 

Shipped. Died on Voyage. 
Cintra * . . 970 214 

Brillante . . 621 214 

Commodore . . 685 300 

Esplorador . . 560 360 

2,836 1,088 

These vessels had sailed from the eastern coast of Africa, and 
arrived at Rio ; excepting the Esplorador, which arrived at 
Havana. The report contains the names of many other vessels, 
but of these four only the numbers are stated. It is impossible 
not to believe that the deaths in the remainder have been at least 
equal in proportion. Class A. 1838-9, passim. 


although an old pirate. Ins expression of countenance 
was line : taking a seat under the awning on the 

quarter-deck, offering him a bundle of eigaritas, and 
lighting one ourselves, by degrees induced him to 
enter into conversation, and, in the course of one 
hour or more, I learned from him some horrid truths. 
He told us that, in four voyages, he had brought in 
the vessel in which we were 1,600 human beings ; 
his was a fortunate vessel, and seldom lost more than 
half a dozen a voyage : once, however, he told us, he 
was not so lucky ; a malignant disease broke out on 
board soon after leaving the coast, and, of 300 taken 
in in Africa, but ninety-rive were landed, more dead 
than alive, on the island. 

" The materiel, such as handcuffs, chains, and even 
he lower-decks, are taken out and are fitted up on 
the coast of Africa. "We saw the apertures in the 
decks to admit the air, and, as we were leaving the 
brig in our boat alongside, the captain exultingly told 
us that he knew we were officers of the British sloop- 
of-war, pointing to the Champion, which was riding 
at anchor at a little distance from us ; ' but/ added he, 
' you are welcome. I yesterday showed your captain 
(meaning of the Champion) all over my trim vessel. 
I have nothing to conceal — you dare not touch me 
here ; and, once outside (with an expressive shrug of 
the shoulders), you may catch me if you can." ' 

We have little authentic information as to the 
transport of the slaves from one part of the coast to 
another in south-east Africa, or from that coast to 


Arabia, and the other countries northwards, to which 
they are conveyed. But Captain Moresby, to whom 
I have alread alluded, described to me the passage 
coastways, in the following terms : — " The Arab 
dows, or vessels, are large, unwieldy, open boats, 
without a deck. In these vessels temporary plat- 
forms of bamboos are erected, leaving a narrow pas- 
sage in the centre. The negroes are then stowed, in 
the literal sense of the word, in bulk ; the first along 
the floor of the vessel, two adults, side by side, with 
a boy or girl resting between or on them, until the 
tier is complete. Over them the first platform is 
laid, supported an inch or two clear of their bodies:, 
when a second tier is stowed, and so on until they 
reach the gunwale of the vessel. 

" The voyage, they expect, will not exceed twenty- 
four or forty-eight hours : it often happens that a 
calm, or unexpected land-breeze, delays their pro- 
gress : in this case a few hours are sufficient to decide 
the fate of the cargo ; those of the lower portion of 
the cargo, that die, cannot be removed. They remain 
until the upper part are dead, and thrown over, and, 
from a cargo of from 200 to 400 stowed in this way, 
it has been known that not a dozen, at the expira- 
tion of ten days, have reached Zanzebar. On the 
arrival of the vessels at Zanzebar the cargo are 
landed ; those that can walk up the beach are ar- 
ranged for the inspection of the Imaum's officer, 
and the payment of duties — those that are weak or 
maimed by the voyage are left for the coming tide to 
relieve their miseries. An examination then takes 


place, which for brutality has never been exceeded in 

In immediate connexion with the mortality in- 
cident to the middle passage, I come now to the 
subject of 

Wrecks, etc. 

In Appendix D, of the African Institution Report 
for 1820, we are told that a " Spanish brig, on arriv- 
ing at Point a Petre, experienced a severe squall, 
and, on the captain opening the hatches (which were 
let down during the squall), he found fifty of the 
poor Africans dead." 

In Appendix B. of the same report, we find, in a 
statement of Sir G. Collier, Dec. 27, 1821, that the 
schooner Carlotta embarked, off CapePalmas, " 269 
slaves ; and the very next clay, in a tornado off St. 
Ann's, for want of timely precaution, upset, and, 
dreadful to relate, the whole of these wretched people, 
confined in irons, sank with her." 

In the parliamentary papers for 1822 we find, 
" The schooner Yeanam was separated from the other 
vessels in a dreadful storm, as they were proceeding 
to Havana, and sank, with 380 slaves on board."'* 

The Accession, an English brig, brought into 
Bahia thirty-nine negroes, whom she rescued from a 
wreck abandoned by its crew. Thirty-one were 
found holding by the top of a mast. On cutting the 
side of the vessel open, they took out ten more from 
an almost pestilential atmosphere, and saw a number 

* Pari. Papers, 11th July, 1823, p. 1. 


lying dead. The crew, and 138 of the slaves, had 
been previously taken out by the Viajante ; but, as 
that vessel was herself carrying 622 negroes, she had 
left these others to perish in the waves.* 

I find, by an extract from the Sierra Leone Gazette 
of the 12th June, 1824, that, " on the appearance of 
H.M.S. Victor, a boat full of men was seen to leave 
the lugger (I'Henriette Aimee), after which she got 
under weigh, but, instead of attempting to escape, run 
on shore in a heavy surf, where she immediately went 
to pieces ; and, from the number of blacks observed 
on her decks, there can be no doubt she had her 
cargo of slaves on board, all of whom perished." 

By the despatch of the Commissioners at Havana, 
of 26th February, 1826, it appears that "the Magico 
was fallen in with and chased by H.M.S. Union, and, 
having been brought to action in the course of the 
21st January, she was finally run on shore on the 
morning of the 22nd_, and shortly after taken posses- 
sion of. The crew had previously escaped to land 
with (it is supposed) about 200 negroes ; many, how- 
ever, were left behind, severely wounded, some were 
hanging on at different parts of the vessel, and from 
twenty to thirty of their dead bodies were seen in 
the sea, evidently the consequence of the endeavours 
made to force them to jump overboard and swim 
to the shore. The crew even carried their barbarity 
so far as to leave a lighted match in the powder- 
* Afr. Inst. Report, 1826, pp. 37, 38. t Class A. 1827, p. 99. 


In the parliamentary papers of 1827 I find the 
case of the " Teresa," a Spanish schooner, which 
was suddenly laid on her beam- ends by a tornado, 
and almost immediately went down, with 186 slaves 
on board.* 

We have also the account of a wreck of a Portu- 
guese slave-schooner, the Piombeter, at the Bahamas, 
on the 20th of January, 1837, communicated to me 
by Major M'Gregor, a special justice. He states 
that the vessel was under fifty tons burden, and that 
180 slaves had been embarked in her : " they were 
chiefly fine young lads under fifteen years of age." 
About twenty had died before the wreck took place. 

In another letter, dated Nov. 1, 1837, he states 
that several wrecks of slavers had taken place 
in his vicinity. As to one of these he says, " Last 
Friday, the 27th uit, a schooner vessel, under 
the Portuguese flag, was totally wrecked on the 
shore of Harbour Island, where I now reside in 
my official capacity, having upwards of 200 African 
slaves on board at the time, only fifty-three of whom 
were saved ; the greater part of the ablest men, being 
chained together below at the time, were consequently 
drowned in the hold of the vessel. Sixty bodies have 
since been washed ashore, which I got interred ; up- 
wards of twenty were drifted yesterday to the mouth 
of the harbour, who seem to have been fettered upon 
the deck, and grouped together in one heap. It is 

* Class A. 1827, p. 30. 


supposed that from fifty to sixty bodies are still re- 
maining in the hold of the hull, now almost imbedded 
in the sand. Attempts have been made to dive for 
the bodies, but without success, they being found so 
fast chained and crowded together, it was found im- 
possible to remove them. 

" I shall not shock your feelings by entering into 
the details of the abominable conduct of the captain 
and crew of this vessel during the passage towards 
some of the most youthful and best-looking on board : 
this was brought to my knowledge by two of the 
Africans, who speak Portuguese, and one who speaks 
a little broken English, They appear to have con- 
ducted themselves more like demons than human 

"The slaver, named the Invincible, took in the 
Africans at Port Prague, Cape de Verde Islands, and 
was bound for Matanzas in the island of Cuba." 

In a letter from Colonel Nicolls, at the Bahamas, 
of date 1st August, 1837,* it is stated that " the Es- 
peranza, a Spanish slave- schooner, had been wrecked 
on one of these islands during the preceding month. 
It was ascertained that this vessel had embarked 
320 negroes on the coast of Africa ; of these only 
220 were landed at the time of the wreck. It 
appears that between sixty and seventy murders had 
been committed during the voyage on the helpless 
Africans ; and in this manner : — When any of the 

* Communicated to me by his brother, Col. Nicolls, R.M. 


slaves refused their food or became sick, the boat- 
swain's mate, with a weighty club, struck them on 
the back of the neck, when they fell, and were 
thrown overboard." 

I make the following extract from the Jamaica 
Watchman, of 29th May, 1S38 : — A report having 
reached Port Royal, that a Spanish schooner,* hav- 
ing on board upwards of 300 Africans, had been 
stranded off the Pedro shoals, H. M. ship Nimrod, 
and the Hornet schooner, sailed yesterday morning 
for the purpose of taking her cargo, and bringing 
them into port. The vessels of war, humanely sent 
to seek the unfortunate Africans on board the slaver 
lately wrecked on the Pedro reefs, have returned, 
bringing the melancholy information that no traces of 
them could be found. The vessel had gone to pieces, 
and 300 human beings consigned to a watery grave. 
The crew had taken to their boats and landed at Black 

* Since this was written, the official account of the wreck of 
this vessel, the Estella, has reached us, in which it is stated that 
" the crew escaped on shore, leaving the unfortunate Africans on 
the shoal, and had been landed some days before they made 
known the fatal circumstances of the wreck ; so that when the 
fact transpired and search was made, it was found their victims 
had all perished."— Class A. 1838-9, p. 111. 

t Her Majesty's judge at Havana writes to Lord Palmerston,of 
date 17th July, 1838: — " The vessel which came in here under 
the name of the Esplorador, sailed hence on 13th June, 1837, to 
Madagascar and Mozambique, and not finding any negroes on 
the coast to be bought, forcibly and piratically took from the other 


Lieut. Wilson, of H. M. S. Excellent, who was 
on the coast of Africa in 1824, in a letter dated 
9th January, 1839, says: — "I have overhauled 
many slave-ships, and freely confess that it is impos- 
sible to exaggerate the horrors they exhibit : they are 
all very much alike, the greater or less misery de- 
pending, usually, upon the size of the vessel, and the 
time they might have been embarked, as every day 
brings with it a fearful increase of disease, despera- 
tion, imbecility, and death." 

Passing over hundreds of cases of a description 
similar to those which I have noticed, I have now 
done with these heart-sickening details; and the 
melancholy truth is forced upon us, that, notwith- 
standing all that has been accomplished, the cruelties 
and horrors of the passage across the Atlantic have 
increased ; nay, more, they have been aggravated by 
the very efforts which we have made for the abolition 
of the traffic. 

" Facts, too, like these just mentioned, are not extra- 
ordinary incidents, selected and remembered as such. 
They are hourly occurrences of the trade ; and as they 

vessels there the cargoes they had collected. Having thus got 
together about 500 negroes, before they got out of the range of 
the monsoons they encountered very violent weather, which lasted 
two days, and compelled them to shut down the hatches, without 
being able to give the negroes, during that time, air or food. The 
consequence was that, when the storm abated, and they went to 
examine their condition, they found that about 300 negroes had 
perished ! With the ordinary mortality attending Euch voyages, 
they arrived here with only about 200 surviving." 



are found in every instance where detection affords 
an opportunity of inquiry, it is absurd to suppose 
that the undetected slave-vessel is exempted from 
scenes of similar cruelty. It may fairly be assumed 
that greater cruelty does not obtain in the one vessel 
which is captured, than in the one hundred which 
escape. Some of these have made eleven, some 
thirteen, successful voyages, and there is little doubt 
that similar acts of atrocity have been perpetrated in 
all — that all have been marked by the same accumu- 
lation of human agony, and the same waste of human 

I will endeavour to give a 


of the extent of the mortality incident to the middle 
passage. Newton states, that in his time it amounted 
to one-fourth, on the average, of the number em- 

From papers presented to the House of Lords, in 
1799, it appears that, in the year 1791, (three years 
after the passing of the Slave Carrying Regulation 
Act,) of 15,754 negroes embarked for the West 
Indies, &c, 1378 died during the passage, the ave- 
rage length of which was fifty-one days, showing a 
mortality of 8| per cent. 

The amount of the mortality in 1792 was still 
greater, Of 3 1,554 slaves carried from Africa, no 

* Afr. Inst. Report for 1825, p. 31. t Newton, p. 36. 


fewer than 5,413 died on the passage, making some- 
what more than 17 per cent, in fifty-one days.* 

Captain Owen, in a communication to the Admi- 
ralty, on the Slave Trade with the eastern coast of 
Africa, in 1823, states — " That the ships which use 
this traffic consider they make an excellent voyage 
if they save one-third of the number embarked :" 
" some vessels are so fortunate as to save one-half of 
their cargo alive."f 

Captain Cook says, in the communication to which 
I have before alluded, as to the East coast traffic, " If 
they meet with bad weather, in rounding the Cape, 
their sufferings are beyond description ; and in some 
instances one-half of the lives on board are sacrificed. 
In the case of the e Napoleon,' from Quilimane, the 
loss amounted to two-thirds. It was stated to me by 
Captains and Supercargoes of other slavers, that they 
made a profitable voyage if they lost fifty per cent. ; 
and that this was not uncommon." 

Caldcleugh says, " scarcely two-thirds live to be 

Governor Maclean, of Cape Coast, who has had 
many opportunities of acquiring information on the 
subject, has stated to me, that he considers the ave- 
rage of deaths on the passage to amount to one-third. 

Captain Ramsay, R. N., who was a long time on 
service with the Preventive Squadron, also stated to 
me, that the mortality on the passage across the 

* Debates in Parliament, 1806, Ap. p. 191. 
t Class B. 1825, p. 41. \ Vol. i. p. 56. 



Atlantic must be greater than the loss on the passage 
to Sierra Leone, from the greater liberty allowed after 
capture, and from the removal of the shackles. He 
believes the average loss to be one-third. 

Rear-Admiral Sir Graham Eden Hamond, Com- 
mander-in-Chief on the South American station, in 
1834, thus writes to the British Consul at Monte 
Video : — " A slave-brig of 202 tons was brought 
into this port with 521 slaves on board. The vessel 
is said to have cleared from Monte Video in August 
last, under a licence to import 650 African colonists. 

" The licence to proceed to the coast of Africa is 
accompanied by a curious document, purporting to be 
an application from two Spaniards at Monte Video, 
named Villaca and Barquez, for permission to import 
650 colonists, and 250 more — to cover the deaths on 
the vol/ age."* 

Here we have nearly one-third given apparently 
for the average loss on the passage, and this esti- 
mated by the slave-dealers themselves on the American 
side of the Atlantic. 

I come next to consider the loss after capture. 

* Class B. 1835, p. 141. 



I have just adverted to the painful reflection that the 
efforts which we have so long and so perseveringly 
made for the abolition of the Slave Trade should not 
only have been attended with complete failure, but 
with an increase of negro mortality. A striking ex- 
ample of the truth of this remark is afforded, when 
we consider the great loss of negro life which annually 
takes place subsequently to the capture of the slave- 
vessels, on their passage to South America and the 
West Indies. 

I do not intend, in this part of my subject, to dis- 
cuss the merits of the construction of the Mixed Com- 
mission Courts, or their forms of proceeding ; nor do 
I propose, here, to say anything as to the preference 
which, it appears to me, ought to be given to Fer- 
nando Po, over Sierra Leone, as a station for a Com- 
mission Court, and a depot for liberated Africans : my 
purpose for the present is, merely to state the facts 
which have come to my knowledge, with the requisite 
evidence, bearing on the mortality after capture. 

Admiral Hamond, in a despatch to the Admiralty 
on this subject, in the year 1834, puts the case of a 


slaver overloaded with negroes, many of them in a 
sickly or dying state, captured and brought into Rio 
Janeiro, (as in the case of the " Rio de la Plata,") 
where the miserable slaves, confined to the vessel, in 
a hot and close port, must await the tardy process of 
the Mixed Commission Court ; and he goes on to say, 
that, in such a case, " the stopping of the slave-vessel 
is only exposing the blacks to greater misery, and a 
much greater chance of speedy death, than if they 
were left to their original destination of slavery."* 

In the 21st Report of the African Institution, we 
have the case of the Pauleta, captured off Cape For- 
mosa, in Ferbuary, 1826, by " Lieutenant Tucker, 
H. M. Ship Maidstone, with 221 slaves on board. 
Her burden was only 69 tons, and into this space 
were thrust 82 men, 56 women, 39 boys, and 44 
girls. The only provision found on board for their 
subsistence was yams of the worst quality, and fetid 
water. When captured, both small-pox and dysen- 
tery had commenced their ravages ; 30 died on the 
passage to Sierra Leone, and the remainder were 
landed in an extreme state of wretchedness and ema- 
ciation." f 

In 1830, a Committee of the House of Commons 
was appointed to consider the relative merits of Sierra 
Leone and Fernando Po. Captain Bullen stated in 
evidence before the Committee, that the Aviso, cap- 
tured near L ernando Po, took five weeks to reach 
Sierra Leone, during which time forty-five of the 

* Class B. 1S35, p. 6G. t Afr. Inst. Report for 1S27, p. 9. 


slaves died ; and that in the case of the Segunda Ro- 
salia, the passage occupied eleven weeks, during 
which more than 120 of the slaves were lost.* 

Lieutenant Tringham informed the Committee that 
he carried a Spanish schooner up to Sierra Leone as 
prize-master. She had 480 slaves on board at the 
time of capture. The voyage to Sierra Leone occu- 
pied six weeks, and 110 slaves died on the passage. 
In answer to the question, " If you had had to have 
taken the vessel to Fernando Po for adjudication, 
instead of Sierra Leone, the lives of those persons 
would have been saved ? " he replied, " I think so." 
He afterwards said, that the average voyage of the 
vessels he had taken from the Bights of Benin and 
Biafra to Sierra Leone, was five weeks. j 

Mr. Jackson stated to the Committee, that the 
condition of the slaves, at the time of capture, was 
" most deplorable, as to disease, and as to the mor- 
tality which has ensued : in one instance, 179 out of 
448 slaves, on board of one vessel, died in their pas- 
sage up ; in another, 115 out of 271. In all, with 
only one exception, the numbers have been consi- 
derable. "J 

Mr. John M'Cormack, in his evidence, said, that 
on going aboard slave-vessels after capture and the 
passage to Sierra Leone, he generally found the 
"slaves who had been any length of time on the voyage 
" in a most miserable state of debility." And he 

* Sierra Leone Report, 1830, p. 8. f lb. p. 32. 

J lb. p. 52. 


adds, " They unavoidably must, from the description 
of the vessels, suffer very greatly : many of these ves- 
sels have not more than three feet between decks, and 
no air can "get to them except what comes down the 
hatchways. They are so low in the water, no air- 
ports can be cut in their sides."* 

In the Appendix to the Report of this Committee, 
a return is given for the period between 10th August, 
1819, and 11th October, 1829,— 

Of slaves captured .... 25,212 

Landed at Sierra Leone, orFernando Po 21,563 

Loss on the passage . 3,649 f 

Being nearly one-seventh, or about 14 per cent.; and 
this almost entirely on the passage to Sierra Leone. 

Mr. Rankin, in his visit to Sierra Leone, tells 
us of a Portuguese schooner, the Donna Maria 
da Gloria, which he saw there, with a cargo of 
slaves on board. She had embarked them at 
Loando, in August, 1833, and was captured by 
H. M. B. Snake. The captor took the vessel to Rio, 
but the Brazilian Mixed Commission Court would 
not entertain the case : he was therefore obliged to 
send her to Sierra Leone, where she arrived on Fe- 
bruary 4, 1834. On her arrival, it was ascertained that 
she had lost 95 out of 430 slaves. A long process en- 
sued before the Mixed Commission Court, the result 
of which was the liberation of the vessel ; and at this 
* Sierra Leone Report, p. 66. f lb. Ap. p. 122. 


period her state is thus described : " Notwithstand- 
ing the exertions of Mr. Thomas Frazer, assistant- 
surgeon of the capturing ship, who continued to ad- 
minister to them while himself in a state of extreme 
suffering and danger, before reaching Sierra Leone, 
104 had died, and 64 more (in a state that moved 
the heart even of the slave-crew) were voluntarily 
landed by the master, and taken charge of by the 
liberated African department. The miserable rem- 
nant, in a state impossible to describe, afflicted with 
ophthalmia, dysentery, and frightful ulcers, and show- 
ing, also, some symptoms of small-pox, left the har- 
bour of Sierra Leone, the slaves having been then 
on board 165 days, 137 having elapsed since her 
capture ; and of her original cargo of 430, 240 alone 

Dr. Cullen, of Edinburgh, who lately returned 
from Rio de Janeiro, after a five years' residence 
there, thus writes to Lord Glenelg, of date 28th 
February, 1838, in reference to the Donna Maria 
having been released at Sierra Leone : " Some 
months after this, they were met by a Brazilian ship 
of war, near Bahia, in distress ; and their numbers 
reduced to 170." f 

Mr. Rankin visited La Pantica, another vessel 
which had been brought into Sierra Leone. " The 
ship," he says, " was thronged with men, women, 
and children, all entirely naked, and disgusting with 

* Rankin's Visit, &c, vol. ii. p. 96. 
t Class A. (Further Series), 1837, p. 91. 


disease : 274 were at this moment in the little 
schooner. When captured, 315 had been found on 
board ; 40 had died during the voyage from Old 
Calebar. Of the remainder, 8 or 10 died in the first 
week after liberation. The majority of the survivors 
were miserably persecuted by ophthalmia and dysen- 
tery, and 50 were sent to the hospital, for fever, at 

In a report of the Sierra Leone Commissioners, 
dated 4th February, 1835,f it is stated that "the 
Sutil arrived in this harbour on the 23rd ult. with 228 
slaves on board, 79 having died on the passage to 
this port, whilst the vessel was in charge of the cap- 
tors ; in addition to a frightful loss of life which had 
previously occurred on the first night of the voyage, 
owing to a ferocious scramble for room, amongst the 
densely-crowded negroes, and by which many were 
suffocated and killed. The surgeon to the courts 
immediately visited the slaves, and reported that there 
were 21 men and boys, and 8 girls, sick with dysen- 
tery, many of them being in an advanced stage of 
the disease." 

The case of the Flor de Loando is one which de- 
serves considerable attention, as it affords an instance, 
and that a modern one, of dreadful suffering and 
mortality, and shows the disposition of the Brazilian 
authorities to thwart, as far as possible, the intentions 
of the British Government. 

* Rankin, vol. ii. p, 1. f Class A. 1835, p. 48. 


This slaver was captured on the 11th April, 1838, 
by H. M. corvette, Rover, with 289 negroes on 
board, and taken to Rio de Janeiro. The Mixed 
Commission Court at that port refused to condemn 
her, on the ground of her having been seized in Por- 
tuguese colours, although both the vessel and slaves 
were known to be Brazilian property. The Brazilian 
Government having afterwards received an applica- 
tion to condemn her as a smuggler, or a vessel with 
false papers, refused to take cognizance of her, or to 
render any assistance to the slaves, who were now in 
a dreadful state of disease, having been kept confined 
in the hold of the slave ship more than three months 
from the time of her capture. With considerable 
difficulty the authorities were induced to allow the 
worst cases to be transferred to the hospital, on being 
guaranteed their expenses ; but persisted in refusing 
any means for conveying the wretched negroes to a 
more wholesome situation, though such a change was 
pronounced absolutely necessary for the preservation 
of their lives. The deaths up to this period amounted 
to 80. On the 23rd August, Lieutenant Armitage, 
the officer in command, was ordered to proceed to 
Sierra Leone, with the slaver and her cargo, then 
reduced to 140; but on the 27th instant she sprung 
a leak, and was compelled to return to Rio in a 
sinking condition. On examination, her timbers 
were found to be rotten, and she was pronounced 
totally unfit for sea. The deaths at this time 
amounted to 119; notwithstanding, permission was 


still denied by the Brazilian Government to land the 
neoroes till the 15th September, jive months after 
their capture ; during which time expenses were in- 
curred by the British Government to the amount of 
£812. In order to form an idea of the sufferings of 
the miserable victims, Ave must conceive them lying 
for so many months in the state thus described by 
Lieutenant Armitage . — " They were stowed so close, 
till thinned by death, as necessarily to press one 
against another, and there was barely room for them 
to sit upright. He used to visit them of a morning, 
accompanied by a sailor, in a crouching position, and 
draw out those w T ho had died, by the legs, there not 
being room to go between them to take up their bo- 
dies." The stench he represents to have been most 

The following list of seventeen vessels, most of 
which were captured in the Bights of Benin and 
Biafra, and brought for adjudication to Sierra Leone, 
will serve to exhibit the loss after capture in a forcible 
manner : — 








Vessel's Name. 








Class A. 

<u /•Einelia 






o I Invincivel 




) J 


j 1 Clementina 






rt \ Ceres 






g 1 Arcinia 




j > 


"c/5 (.Mensageira 




i ) 


g f Midas 




> > 


S| < Constancia * 



36 8* 

) } 


J2 [Fama de Cadiz f 




) > 


a3 Christina 











} ! 






> > 


sj ) Formidable 






| Sutil 




s > 


55 I Minerva 




j > 



> \Diligencia 




> ) 





3 J 


* This vessel was not bi 

ought before the 


s are 





given on the authority of M 

r. Commissary Ji 

idge Mt 


f The same of the Fama c 

e Cadiz. 

Showing a loss on these selected cases of 44 per 
cent. ! 

In 1830, the Committee of the House of Commons 
came to the following resolution : that captured ves- 
sels are, " on an average, upwards of five weeks on 
their passage from the place of capture to Sierra 
Leone, occasioning a loss of the captured slaves 
amounting to from one-sixth to one-half of the whole 
number, while the survivors are generally landed in 
a miserable state of weakness and debility."* 

* Sierra Leone Report, 1830, p. 4. 


I have not adverted to Rio de Janeiro, or the Ha- 
vana, on this head, because there are very few cap- 
tures on the American side of the Atlantic, and when 
captures do occur, the time consumed in the passage 
to either of these ports is little, if at all, more than 
what would have been required for completing the 

But it appears to be demonstrated, by evidence 
which cannot be impugned, that the loss after cap- 
ture on the African side of the Atlantic varies from 
one-sixth to one-half of the whole number. 

Loss after Landing and in the Seasoning. 

The last head of mortality is that which occurs 
after landing from the slave-vessel, and in the sea- 

We are here again obliged to go back for infor- 
mation to the evidence at the end of the last century : 
but in this branch of the subject, so far as can be as- 
certained, there has been no improvement; on the 
contrary, the slaves are now subjected to greater 
hardships, in their being landed and concealed as 
smuggled goods, than they were in former times, 
when a slave-vessel entered the ports of Rio Janeiro 
and Havana as a fair trader, and openly disposed of 
her cargo. 

Mr. Falconbridge, whose evidence has already 
been largely quoted, tells us, that, on being landed, 
the negroes are sold, sometimes by what is termed a 


scramble; "but previous thereto," lie adds, "the 
sick or refuse slaves, of which there are frequently 
many, are usually conveyed on shore, and sold at a 
tavern by public auction. These, in general, are 
purchased by the Jews and surgeons, but chiefly upon 
speculation, at so low a price as five or six dollars 
a- head. 

" I was informed," he says, " by a Mulatto woman, 
that she purchased a sick slave at Grenada upon spe- 
culation^ for the small sum of one dollar, as the poor 
wretch was apparently dying of the flux. It seldom 
happens that any who are carried ashore in the ema- 
ciated state to which they are generally reduced by 
that disorder long survive their landing-. I once saw 
sixteen conveyed on shore, and sold in the foregoing 
manner, the whole of whom died before I left the 
island, which was within a short time after." Va- 
rious are the deceptions made use of in the disposal 
of the sick slaves, and many of these such as must 
excite in every humane mind the liveliest sensations 
of horror. I have been well informed that a Liver- 
pool captain boasted of his having cheated some Jews 
by the following stratagem : " A lot of slaves afflicted 
with the flux, being about to be landed for sale, he 
directed the surgeon to ..... 

Thus prepared, they were landed, and 
taken to the accustomed place of sale, where, being 
unable to stand, unless for a very short time, they are 
usually permitted to sit. The Jews, when they ex- 
amine them, oblige them to stand up 


and when they do not perceive 
this appearance, they consider it as a symptom of 
recovery. In the present instance, such an appear- 
ance being prevented, the bargain was struck, and 
they were accordingly sold. But it was not long 
before a discovery ensued. The excruciating pain, 
which the prevention occasioned, not being to be borne 
by the poor wretches, was removed, and the deluded 
purchasers were speedily convinced of the imposi- 

In the report of the African Institution for 1818, 
the case of the Joaquim, a Portuguese slave-vessel, 
is noticed ; and Lieutenant Eicke, after stating the 
wretched condition of the slaves at and subsequent 
to the time of capture, says, •' That between the nine- 
teenth and twenty-fourth day of their being landed, 
thirteen more died, notwithstanding good provisions, 
medical aid, and kind treatment, and thirty more 
died between the 24th of February and 16th instant ; 
all occasioned, as he in his conscience is firmly per- 
suaded, by the cruel and inhuman treatment of the 
Portuguese owners ; that more than 100 of them 
were at the time of their landing just like skeletons 
covered with skin, and moving by slow machinery, 
hardly maintaining the appearance of animated 
human beings. That the remainder of them were all 
enervated, and in a sickly state." * 

In a report from the Sierra Leone Commissioners, 

* Falconbridge, p. 33. 
t Afr. Inst. Report, 1818, p. 28. 


I find the following passage : — Unfortunately their 
sufferings do not terminate here, for the ill effects of 
their privations and hardships, during their detention 
on board the slave vessels, continue to be felt long 
after the cause that produced them has ceased. 

In proof of this, we beg to refer to the returns of 
the Mixed Courts, which show in the case of .the 
Portuguese vessel " Uniao," that besides 112 out of 
361 slaves having died prior to, 35 died after eman- 
cipation (but before it was possible to have them re- 
gistered), owing to the wretched state to which they 
had been reduced by dysentery and small-pox. 

In the General Return of Liberated Africans (Ap- 
pendix), it is stated of the same slaves, that the total 
number which died of small- pox after landing was 
55, of whom 40 were men, five women, eight boys, 
and two girls. That this is not an isolated fact is 
shown by the returns from the villages of Leopold 
and Waterloo (Appendix A. 6 and 7). By the first 
of these it appears, that of 73 children received at 
Leopold in 1822, 54 died during the year ; and that 
of 243 children received in 1825, 58 died in that 
year, which mortality is accounted for in the return 
as arising " from the debilitated state in which they 
were received from the slave vessels." 

By the return from the village of Waterloo, it ap- 
pears that of 221 of different ages, who were received 
in 1822, 72 died in the same year, of whom 26 were 
men, 6 women, and 40 children ; and the explana- 
tory remark is, " that the deaths are not to be ascribed 



to local circumstance, but to the deplorably emaciated 
state in which the men, women, and children were 
when sent to the village, having been afflicted with a 
dysentery which proved incurable." 

In addition to these facts, it is stated by Mr. 
Reffell, chief superintendent, in his reply to the 
queries which were addressed to him, as well as by 
Mr. Cole, assistant chief superintendent, in his evi- 
dence (Appendix B. 9 and 10), as their opinion, that 
even in vessels where there has been no infectious 
disease, full one-half, on an average, arrive " in a sick 
or debilitated and weak state." 

In an official medical report as to the health of 
the liberated Africans at the Gambia, of date 31st of 
December, 1833, and drawn up by Mr. Foulis, Assist- 
ant-Surgeon of the Royal African Corps, and Dr. 
James Donovan, Acting Colonial Surgeon, it is 
stated that the greater part of those who are weak 
and emaciated on arrival soon afterwards die ; many, 
after a longer or shorter residence, fall into the same 
state, linger, and also perish from causes not very 
dissimilar. For this mortality, the medical board 
assigned, as probable causes, the long confinement in 
slave-houses previous to embarkation, want of clean- 
liness and ventilation while on board the slave-ships, 
alterations in dress, food, and habits, and, not the 
least, change of climate. These act directly, simul- 
taneously, and banefully on the system in a very 
great number of instances. But when the sad re- 
collection of perpetual expatriation, the lacerated 


feelings of kindred and friendship, the rude vio- 
lation of all the sacred and social endearments of 
country and relationship, the degrading anticipation 
of endless unmitigated bondage are added to these, 
they act still more injuriously on the constitution, 
although exerted through the medium of mind. 
The moral and physical combination of such ex- 
traordinary circumstances, concentrated with such 
fearful intensity, conjointly creates disease in such 
a redoubtable shape, as to induce a belief that 
nothing similar has yet appeared in the annals of 

Mr. Rankin, in his work on Sierra Leone, says,f 
" To the King's Yards I paid frequent visits, and 
found an interest awakened on behalf of the people. 
Of the women, many were despatched to the hospi- 
tal at Kissey, victims to raging fevers. Others had 
become insane. I was informed that insanity is the 
frequent fate of the women captives, and that it 
chiefly comes upon such as at first exhibit most 
intellectual development, and greatest liveliness of 
disposition. Instances were pointed out to me. 
The women sustain their bodily sufferings with 
more silent fortitude than the men, and seldom 
destroy themselves ; but they brood more over 
their misfortunes, until the sense of them is lost in 

*„ Records of the Colonial Office for 1833. 
f Vol. ii. p. 124. t Ibid. 

o 2 


Dr. Cullen,* in his letter to Lord Glenelg, men- 
tions the following case : " About, the beginning of 
1834, a small schooner (I think the name was the 
Duqueza cle Braganza) was captured by one of Her 
British Majesty's cruisers, and brought into Rio de 
Janeiro, having on board between 300 and 400 Afri- 
cans, mostly children ; these poor creatures had suf- 
fered much from their lono- confinement in such a 
small vessel, and it is believed a great many had died 
on the passage. By the humanity of the late Admiral 
Sir Michael Seymour they were taken on shore, and 
properly cared for, otherwise the mortality amongst 
them after landing must have been greater than it 
was." He then says, that they were adjudged to be 
free. At the time of the sentence of the Court 
" they were reduced by deaths to 288, all of whom 
were sent to the house of correction, to work for the 
Brazilian government. I called at this house of 
correction eight days after their arrival there, when 
seven more had died, and there were then thirty-five 
sick, confined in a small room, lying on the floor, 

* Dr. Cullen also writes, that, about the same time, a British 
cruiser, the Raleigh, Captain Quin, brought in a slaver, the Rio 
da Plata, with about 400 Africans on board, who were landed, 
and a guard placed over them; and that, " a few nights after 
they were put ashore, the guard was surprised in the middle of 
the night by a band of fellows pretending to be justices of the 
peace, who carried off 200 of the negroes, and next day no traces 
of them could be found. Those that remained were taken to the 
house of correction, and disposed of in the Brazilian fashion. 1 " 

1 Class A (Further Series), 1837, p. 91. 


without bed or covering of any kind, with their 
heads to the wall and their feet towards the centre, 
leaving a narrow passage between the rows. The 
same day I saw about 100 of these children in an 
apartment on the ground-floor, sitting all round on 
their heels, after the fashion of the country, and 
looking most miserable. On the November follow- 
ing I again visited the house of correction, and 
learned that out of the 288, sent there in June, 107 
had died, and a great many more were sick."* 

In the letter from Havana, dated in 1838, from 
which I have already quoted, the following account 
is given : " In the cool of the evening Ave made a 
visit to the bazaar. A newly imported cargo of 220 
human beings was here exposed for sale. They 
were crouched down upon their forms around a large 
room : during a visit of more than an hour that w r e 
were there not a word was uttered by one of them. 
On entering the room the eyes of all were turned 
towards us, as if to read in our countenances their fate ; 
they were all nearly naked, being but slightly clad in 
a light check shirt, upon which was a mark upon 
the breast ; with a few exceptions they were but skin 
and bone, too weak to support their languid forms ; 
they were reclining on the floor, their backs resting 
against the wall. When a purchaser came they 
were motioned to stand, which they obeyed, though 
with apparent pain ; a few were old and g-rey ; but 
the greater proportion were mere children, of from 
_ * Class A (Further Series), 1837, p. 91. 


ten to thirteen or fifteen years of age ; when they 
stood their legs looked as thin as reeds, and hardly 
capable of supporting the skeletons of their wasted 
forms. The keeper informed us they were of several 
distinct tribes, and that they did not understand one 
another ; this was apparent from the formation of the 
head. While we were there, five little boys and 
girls were selected and bought to go into the interior: 
no regard is paid to relationship, and, once sepa- 
rated, they never meet again ! We left the tienda, 
and, turning through the gateway, we saw some who 
were lying under the shade of the plantain, whose 
appearance told that they, at least, would be libe- 
rated from bondage by death. They were those who 
had suffered most during the voyage, — their situation 
was most melancholy. I offered to one the un- 
tasted bowl of cocoa-nut milk I was about drinking, 
— she motioned it away with a look which, even 
from a negress, was expressive of thankfulness, and 
which seemed to say how unused she was to such 

The Quarterly Review (vol. xxx.) contains an 
article on Mengin's ' Histoire de l'Egypte,'* in 
which the reviewer, speaking of Ismael Pacha's 
expedition to the south, says, " The hopes of the 
Pacha, however, were greatly disappointed in these 
black troops (captured in Soudan.) They were 

* Histoire de l'Egypte par Felix Mengin, 1823. — Quarterly 
Review, vol. xxx. p. 491. 


strong, able-bodied men, and not averse from being 
taught ; but Avhen attacked by disease, which soon 
broke out in the camp, they died like sheep infected 
with the rot. The medical men ascribe the mor- 
tality to moral rather than physical causes ; it 
appeared in numerous instances, that having been 
snatched away from their homes and families they 
were even anxious to get rid of life, and such was 
the dreadful mortality that ensued, that, out of 20,000 
of these unfortunate men, 3,000 did not remain alive 
at the end of two years." 

Dr. Bowring has stated to me, that the negroes 
which have been conveyed into Egypt " suffer much 
from nostalgia, and, when they have been gathered 
together into regiments, the passionate desire to re- 
turn home frequently produced a languishing malady, 
of which they die in large numbers. The mortality 
among the slaves in Egypt is frightful, — when the 
epidemical plague visits the country, they are swept 
away in immense multitudes, and they are the 
earliest victims of almost every other domineering 
disease. I have heard it estimated that five or six 
years are sufficient to carry off a generation of 
slaves, at the end of which time the whole has to be 
replenished. This is one of the causes of their low 
market-value. When they marry, their descendants 
seldom live ; in fact, the laws of nature seem to repel 
the establishment of hereditary slavery." 

But it is needless to multiply instances on this 
head ; and I shall only further notice a few of the 


authorities for the amount of the mortality after 
landing, and in the seasoning. 

Mr. Pitt, in the debate on the Slave Trade, in 
1791, made the following observation — " The evi- 
dence before the House, as to this point (the mor- 
tality,) was perfectly clear; for it would be found in 
that dreadful catalogue of deaths in consequence of 
the seasoning and the middle passage, which the 
House had been condemned to look into, that onc- 
haif die." 

Mr. Wilberforce, in his letter of 1807, (page 98,) 
says; " The survivors were landed in such a diseased 
state, that 4^ per cent, of the whole number imported 
were estimated to die in the short interval between 
the arrival of the ship and the sale of the cargo, 
probably not more than a fortnight ; and, after the 
slaves had passed into the hands of the planters, the 
numbers which perished from the effects of the 
voyage were allowed to be very considerable." It 
ought not to be forgotten, that Pitt and Wilberforce 
are speaking of a period when the Slave Trade was 
legal, and the Slave Carrying Act in operation. 
What then may be the increase of this mortality, 
now that the trade is clandestine, and the slaves 
packed on board of the " clippers," like " bales of 
goods ?'.' 

The Due de Broglie, when addressing the Cham- 
ber of Peers on this subject, in March 1822, made 
the following remark — " And it is a well-known 
fact, that a fourth, or even a th ird, of the cargo gene- 


rally perishes either on ship -board, or soon after the 
landing, from the diseases incident to the voyage."* ; 

In the debate of 1791, Mr. Stanley (then agent 
for the islands, and advocating the continuance of the 
Slave Trade) said, speaking of the negroes — " As 
to their treatment in the West Indies, he was himself 
witness that it was in general highly indulgent and 
humane," and yet " lie confessed that one-half, 
very frequently, died in the seasoning." 

I have now, in the discharge of a most painful 
duty, brought under review a complication of human 
misery and suffering, which I may venture to say has 
no parallel ; but, before concluding this branclfof the 
case, it may be proper to exhibit, in a summary man- 
ner, the amount of negro mortality, consequent on 
the Slave Trade. 


1st. The loss incident to the seizure, march to the 
coast, and detention there. 

Newton (p. 98) is of opinion, that the captives 
reserved for sale, are fewer than the slain. 

Mr. Miles (p. 98) stated to the Committee in 
1790, that in one of the " Skirmishes" for slaves, 
" above 60,000 men" were destroyed. 

Bosnian narrates, that in two of these skirmishes 
" above 100,000 men were killed ;'' and Mr. De- 
vaynes has said, that in one of these skirmishes 

* Afr. Inst. Report, Ap. 2, No. 16, 1823. 


'< 60,000 lost their lives."* And Denham (p. 80) 
narrates, that in five marauding excursions, " 20,000, 
at least," were slaughtered, and 16,000 sent into 
slavery ; and he gives another instance, where " pro- 
bably 6,000" were slaughtered, in procuring 3,000 

On the route to the coast, we may cite the autho- 
rity of Park, Denham, &c. ; and M. Mendez (p. 113) 
estimates the loss on this head to amount to five- 
twelfths of the whole. 

For the mortality occasioned by detention before 
embarkation, we have the authority of Frazer, Park, 
Leonard, Landers, and Bailey. 

From these authorities, we are fairly entitled to 
assume that from the sources — seizure, march, and 
detention, for every slave embarked, one life is sa- 

2ndly. The loss from the middle passage ap- 
pears to be not less than 25 per cent., or one fourth 
of the number embarked. For this there is conclu- 
sive evidence. The witnesses have no assignable 
motive for exaggeration ; they are men holding 
public situations, of unimpeachable veracity, and 
with the best opportunities of forming a correct esti- 

The Rev. John Newton had, himself, been for 
many years a Slave Trader, and speaks of what he 

* It is obvious that these very large numbers must be received 
with considerable qualification. There can be no doubt, however, 
that the slaughter was great. 


saw. The Slave Trade was then legal, and the ves- 
sels employed were usually large and commodious, 
and very different from the American clippers now in 
use. He rates the loss during the middle passage at 
25 per cent. Captain Ramsay had commanded one 
of Pier Majesty's cruisers, employed in suppressing 
the Slave Trade, had taken many slavers, and could 
not be ignorant of the state of the captured cargoes. 
His estimate is 33 per cent. 

Slave-trading vessels are continually passing under 
the eye of the Governor of Cape Coast Castle. His 
attention has been constantly kept alive to the sub- 
ject, and feAv men have had such opportunities of 
arriving at the real truth. Mr. Maclean's estimate 
is 33 per cent. 

Commodore Owen reports that which came to his 
knowledge while he was employed by Government 
in surveying the eastern coast of Africa. His esti- 
mate is 50 per cent. This excess, as compared with 
the others, is accounted for by the additional length 
of the voyage round the Cape of Good Hope. 

If, after such testimony, there were room for hesi- 
tation, it must be removed by witnesses of a very 
different kind. The Spanish slave-merchants of 
Monte Video, it is fair to presume, are well ac- 
quainted with the usual rate of mortality in their 
slave-vessels ; and we may give them credit for not 
acting contrary to their own interests ; so confident 
are they that, at least, one-third will perish, that they 
providently incur the expense of sending out that 


amount of surplus, for the purpose (in their own 
words) " of covering the deaths on the voyage." 

I should be justified in taking the average of 
these authorities, which would he 34 per cent ; but, 
as it is my wish to be assuredly within the mark, I 
will state the mortality from the middle passage at 
twenty-five per cent. 

In the same spirit I will take no notice of the 
mortality after capture, which, says the report of the 
Parliamentary Committee, amounts to from one-sixth 
to one-half. 

3dly. As to the loss after landing, and in the 

Under this head, we have, among others, two au- 
thorities which require particular attention ; one of 
them referring to the time when the Slave Trade 
was legal, the other to a recent date, and both of 
them of unexceptionable character. Mr. Stanley, 
a West India Agent, arguing for the continuance of 
the Slave Trade, and lauding the treatment of the 
negroes, confesses that one-half frequently die in the 
seasoning. The other, the report of the Medical 
Officers appointed to investigate the state of the 
liberated Africans at the Gambia, describes a large 
proportion of them as labouring under disease, 
" nothing equal to which has been known hitherto in 
the annals of physic." If such be their state when they 
fall into the hands of the British, are treated by them 
with kindness, and are relieved from their most 
frightful apprehensions, may we not suppose that 


their state is still more miserable, and the mortality 
still greater, when they are landed clandestinely at 
Cuba, and know that they are doomed to interminable 
bondage ? 

Upon the strength and authority of these facts, I 
might fairly estimate the loss under this head at one- 
third ; but I think I cannot err, on the side of exag- 
geration, in setting it down at twenty per cent, or 
one-fifth of the number landed. 

Nor does the mortality stop here. In slave coun- 
tries, but more especially where the Slave Trade 
prevails, there is, invariably, a great diminution of 
human life ; the numbers annually born fall greatly 
below the numbers which perish. It would not be 
difficult to prove, that in the last fifty years there has 
been, in this way, a waste of millions of lives ; but 
as this view of the subject would involve the horrors 
of slavery, as well as of the Slave Trade, I shall ab- 
stain from adding anything on this head to the cata- 
logue of mortality which I have already given. 

Our calculation may thus be brought into a narrow 
compass : — 

Of 1000 victims to the Slave Trade, 
One-half perish in the seizure, march, 

and detention .... 500 

Of 500 consequently embarked, — 
One-fourth, or 25 per cent, perish in the 

Middle Passage .... 125 


Of the remaining 375 landed, one-fifth, 

or 20 per cent., perish in the seasoning 75 

Total loss .... 700 

So that 300 negroes only, or three-tenths of the 
whole number of victims, remain alive at the end of 
a year after their deportation ; and the number of 
lives sacrificed by the system, bears to the number of 
slaves available to the planter, the proportion of seven 
to three. 

Then applying this calculation to the number an- 
nually landed at Brazil, Cuba, &c, which I have 
rated at 150,000 

Of these one-fifth die in the seasoning 30,000 

Leaving available to the Planter . 120,000 
The number of lives annually sacrificed, 
being in the proportion of seven to 
three* 280,000 

* This amount may be verified in the following manner : — 
Taking the annual victims at ... 400,000 

One-half perish before embarkation . . . 200,000 

Embarked . \ . . . 200,000 

One-fourth in the Middle Passage . . . 50,000 

Landed 150,000 

One-fifth in the Seasoning .... 30,000 

Available . . . . . . 120,000 


Annual victims of Christian Slave 

Trade 400,000 

Proceeding in like manner with the Moham- 
medan Slave Trade, we find the numbers to be 
Exported by the Imaum of Muscat 30,000 

Carried across the Desert . . 20,000 

Loss by seizure, march, and detention* 50,000 

Annual victims of Mohammedan Slave 

Trade . . . . . 100,000 
Christian . 400,000 

Annual loss to Africa 500,000 
It is impossible for any one to reach this result, 
without suspecting, as well as hoping, that it must 
be an exaggeration ; and yet there are those who 
think that this is too low an estimate, f 

I have not, however, assumed any fact, without 

* It may be objected, tbat the loss arising from detention at 
the Mohammedan Slave markets is not so great as that which 
takes place in the barracoons in the Transatlantic trade, but, on 
the other hand, the march is much more destructive to human 
life ; we may therefore fairly calculate that in the three items of 
seizure, march, and detention, the average mortality is equal to 
that in the former case, which we estimated at " one life sacri- 
ficed for every slave embarked." 

f Mr. Rankin says : — 

" The old and new Calebar, the Bonney, Whydah, and the Gal- 
linas, contribute an inexhaustible supply for the French islands of 
the West Indies, Rio Janeiro, Havana, and the Brazils, where, 


giving 1 the data on wliicli it rests ; neither have I 
extracted from those data any immoderate inference. 
I think that the reader, on going over the calcula- 
tion, will perceive that I have, in almost every in- 
stance, abated the deduction which might with jus- 
tice have been made. If, then, we are to put confi- 
dence in the authorities which I have emoted, (most 
of them official,) we cannot avoid the conclusion, — ter- 
rible as it is, — that the Slave Trade annually dooms 
to the horrors of slavery (Christian) 120,000 
(Mohammedan) . . 50,000 

And murders (Christian) 280,000 

(Mohammedan) 50,000 



notwithstanding every opposition and hinderance from the British 
cruisers, one hundred thousand are supposed to arrive in safety 
annually ; five times that number having been lost by capture or 
death. Death thins the cargoes in various modes ; suicide de- 
stroys many ; and many are thrown overboard at the close of the 
voyage ; for, as a duty of ten dollars is set by the Brazilian Go- 
vernment upon each slave upon landing, such as seem unlikely to 
survive, or to bring a price sufficiently high to cover this custom- 
house tax, are purposely drowned before entering port. Those 
only escape these wholesale murders, who will probably recover 
health and flesh when removed to the fattening pens of the slave- 
farmer, a man who contracts to feed up the skeletons to a market- 
able appearance." Vol. ii. p. 71. 

* It may perhaps be observed that this result disagrees with 




It is then but too manifest that the efforts already 
made for the suppression of the Slave Trade have not 
accomplished their benevolent object. 

The people of England take a more lively and in- 
tense interest in this than perhaps in any other fo- 
reign subject. The Government, whether in the hands 
of the one party or the other, cannot be accused of 
having, for a long series of years, been wanting either 
in zeal or exertion for its suppression. Millions of 
money and multitudes of lives have been sacrificed ; 
and, in return for all, we have only the afflicting 
conviction, that the Slave Trade is as far as ever from 
being suppressed. Nay, I am afraid the fact is not 
to be disputed, that while we have thus been endea- 

that given in the former editions of this work. The fact is, on 
revising my calculation, I found I had adopted an erroneous 
method of computing the per-centage, which made my result fal 
considerably short of the reality: this estimate, enormous as 
it is, I might have still further augmented, for I find (as stated 
in note, page 61) that the annual Mohammedan export from 
the Eastern coast is now ascertained to amount to 50,000, being 
20,000 more than I had rated it ; and as we assume an equal 
number perish in the seizure, march, and detention, 40,000 might 
fairly be added to the amount above fixed. But enough, and 
more than enough, has been proved to establish my argu- 


vowing to extinguish the traffic, it has actually 
doubled in amount. 

In the debate of 2d April, 1792, Mr. Fox rated 
the Slave Trade at 80,000 annually : he says, " I 
think the least disreputable way of accounting for 
the supply of slaves, is to represent them as having 
been convicted of crimes by legal authority. What 
does the House think is the whole number of these 
convicts exported annually from Africa ? 80,000." 
In the same debate Mr. Pitt observed, " I know of 
no evil that ever has existed, nor can imagine any 
evil to exist, worse than the tearing of 80,000 per- 
sons annually from their native land, by a combina- 
tion of the most civilised nations in the most enlight- 
ened quarter of the globe." The late Zachary Ma- 
caulay, than whom the African has had no better 
friend, told me a few days before his death, that 
upon the most accurate investigation he was able to 
make as to the extent of the Slave Trade, he had 
come to the conclusion that it was 70,000 annually, 
fifty years ago. Twenty years ago the African Insti- 
tution reported to the Duke of Wellington that it 
was 70,000. We will assume, then, that the num- 
ber at the commencement of the discussion was 
70,000 negroes annually transported from Africa. 
There is evidence before the Parliamentary Com- 
mittees to show that about one-third was for the 
British islands, and one-third for St. Domingo : 
so that, strictly speaking, if the Slave Trade of other 
countries had been stationary, they ought only at the 
utmost to import 25,000 ; but I have already proved 


that the number annually landed in Cuba and Brazil, 
&c, is 150,000, being more than double the whole 
draught upon Africa, including the countries where 
it had ceased when the Slave Trade controversy 
began. Twice as many human beings are now its 
victims as when Wilberforce and Clarkson entered 
upon their noble task ; and each individual of this 
increased number, in addition to the horrors which 
were endured in former times, has to suffer from 
being cribbed up in a narrower space, and on board 
a vessel, where accommodation is sacrificed to speed. 
Painful as this is, it becomes still more distressing 
if it shall appear that our present system has not 
failed by mischance, from want of energy, or from 
want of expenditure, but that the system itself is er- 
roneous, and must necessarily be attended with dis- 

Hitherto we have effected no other change than a 
change in the flag under which the trade is carried 
on. It was stated by our ambassador at Paris, to the 
French minister, in 1824 (I speak from memory), 
that the French flag covered the villains of all nations. 
For some years afterwards the Spanish flag was gene- 
rally used. Now, Portugal sells her flag, and the 
greater part of the trade is carried on under it. Her 
governors openly sell, at a fixed price, the use of 
Portuguese papers and flags. 

So grave an accusation ought not to be made 
without stating some of the authorities on which it 
is grounded. In a Parliamentary paper on the 

p 2 


subject of the Slave Trade, presented in 1823, Sir 
Charles McCarthy states in his letter of the 19th 
June 1822,* that " the case of the ' Conde de Villa 
Flor,' seized near Bissao, fully establishes that 
Signor Andrade, the governor, had shipped a number 
of slaves on his own account." Sir Charles further 
states that " he received repeated reports of the 
governors of Bissao and Cacheo having full car- 
goes of slaves in irons ready for all purchasers ; and 
that the traffic is carried on openly at the Cape de 
Verd Islands, St. Thomas, and Prince's." This 
statement is confirmed by " Lieutenant Hagan, of 
Her Majesty's brig Thistle, who informed him that 
the traffic in slaves was carried on at Bissao and 
Cacheo in the most open manner, under the sanction 
of the governor, the latter of whom is the principal 
dealer in slaves." 

The practice of 1822 has continued to the present 
time. On the 3d March, 1838, Lord Palmerston, 
in a spirited note, states to the Portuguese Minister, 
" that the Portuguese flag is lent, with the conniv- 
ance of Portuguese authorities, to serve as a protec- 
tion for all the miscreants of every other nation in 
the world, who may choose to engage in such base 

The charge thus made extends only to the lending 
of the flag of Portugal : it might have gone farther. 
In an enclosure in a letter from Lord Palmerston to 

* Papers, Slave Trade, 11th July, 1823. 
t Class B. (Further Series), 1837, p. 29, presented 1838. 


our Ambassador at Lisbon, dated 30th April, 1838, 
it appears that " the Governor of Angola has esta- 
blished an impost or fee of 700,000 reis to be paid 
to him for every vessel which embarks slaves from 
thence, it being understood that upon payment of 
the above-mentioned sum, no impediment to the 
illicit trade shall be interposed by the governor, nor 
any further risk be incurred by the persons engaged 
in the trade."* Nor is this all. In the same docu- 
ment we find that the governor, not content with 
lending and letting out the flag of Portugal, has set 
up as a slave-trader himself ; " sending from Angola, 
for his own account, a shipment of slaves, sixty in 
number, which he has consigned to a notorious slave- 
dealer of the name of Vicente, at Rio de Janeiro."! 

It is very truly added, that these violations of the 
treaties " form but a small portion of the offences of 
this kind constantly committed by Portuguese sub- 
jects, both in and out of authority." £ 

When Portugal shall have been persuaded or 
compelled to desist from this insulting violation of 
treaty, it is but too probable that Brazil will step 
into her place. We find it stated in a despatch from 

* Class B. (Further Series), 183*7, p. 35. t Ibid. 

t It appears from the last Parliamentary papers, that " the 
Diligente was captured by the Brisk while under Portuguese co- 
lours, and furnished with Portuguese papers, from the Portuguese 
Consul-General at Cadiz, who, in this instance, seems to have 
been at no pains to conceal the disgraceful part which he took." — 
Class A. (Further Series), 1838-9, p. 11. 


Her Majesty's Commissioners at Rio de Janeiro to 
Lord Palmerston, of date the 17th November, 1837,* 
that " The change in the Brazilian Government 
which took place on the 19th September has had 
this important consequence in respect to the Slave 
Trade, that while the late Government appeared to 
wish to put down the traffic, as matter of principle, 
and of compact with Great Britain, the present Go- 
vernment, as far as it is represented by Senor Vas- 
concellos (Minister of Justice, and provisionally 
Minister for the empire) , has proclaimed the traffic 
to be indispensable to the country ; has released those 
concerned in it who were under prosecution ; and set at 
nought the engagement with Great Britain on this 
head." And the British Consul at Pernambuco 
writes to Lord Palmerston, of date 15th February, 
1838, " The editor of the Jornal do Commercio 
declares, that this important subject has already 
passed the Senate, and that there is every probability 
it will be made law in the next Session of the Legis- 
lature, to annul the enactment of 17th November, 
1831, which prohibits the Slave Trade in Brazil 
under severe penalties."! When p Brazil shall be 
induced to surrender the traffic, it is not improbable 
that it will be transferred to Buenos Ayres, or one 
of the many remaining flags of South America : then 
to Texas ; and when we shall have dealt with all 
these, and shall have wrung from them a reluctant 

* Class A. (Further Series), 1837, p. 80. 
t Class B. (Further Series), 1837, p. 54. 


engagement to renounce the iniquity, we shall still 
have to deal with the United States of North 

How long, it may he asked, will it take before we 
have succeeded in gaining from the whole world a 
concurrence in the provisions of the existing treaty 
with Spain ? We began our negotiations with Por- 
tugal about thirty years ago ; and in what state are 
they now ? By a despatch from Lord Howard de 
Walden, our ambassador at Lisbon, to Lord Palmer - 
stoii; of date 25th February, 1838, w T e are informed 
that Viscount de Sa da Bandeira, the Portuguese 
minister, having been urged to proceed with the ne- 
gotiations, replied, " That he would do so as soon as 
he had settled a treaty with Spain for the navigation 
of the Douro, the negotiation of which occupied his 
whole time."* 

To touch upon one only of the many difficulties 
which lie in the way of a universal confederacy for 
putting down the Slave Trade, I ask, how shall we 
get the consent of North America to the article 
yielding the right of search ? She has told us, in 
the most peremptory terms, that she will never assent 
to it ; and it should be remembered that this confe- 
deracy must either be universally binding or it is of 
no avail. It will avail us little that ninety-nine 
doors are closed, if one remains open. To that 
one outlet the whole Slave Trade of Africa will 

* Class B. (Further Series), 1837, p. 30. 


Does any one suppose that even in the space of 
half a century we shall have arrived at one universal 
combination of all countries for the suppression of 
the Slave Trade ? And a delay of fifty years, at 
the present rate- of the traffic, implies, at the very 
least, the slaughter of eleven millions of mankind. 

But let us suppose this combination to have been 
effected, and that all nations consent to the four 
leading articles of the Spanish Treaty. When that 
is done, it will be unavailing. 

In the first place, during the three years which 
have elapsed since the treaty with Spain, the Slave 
Trade has been carried on by the Spaniards, at least 
to as great an extent as formerly. On the 2d Ja- 
nuary, 1836, the Commissioners at Sierra Leone say, 
" There is nothing in the experience of the past year 
to show that the Slave Trade with Spain has, in any 
degree, diminished."* 

The Commissioners at the Havana say, " Never 
has the Slave Trade at the Havana reached such a 
disgraceful pitch as during the year 1835. "t I 

* Class A. 1835, p. 9. 

t Ibid. p. 206. On the 19th January, 1839, Her Majesty's 
Commissioners thus addressed the Captain-General of Cuba : " We 
regret to feel it a duty incumbent upon us to call your Excellency's 
attention to the alarmingly increasing importation of Bozal negroes 
into this island;" and on the 20th Feb. 1839, they reported to 
Lord Palmerston " that there continues every appearance of the 
trade being persevered in with the same vigour as during the past 
year." And on the 20th March following, they state that " there 
is every appearance of its being still further extended." — Class A. 
(Further Series), 1838-9, pp. 115, 119, 121. 


could corroborate this statement, that there is no 
diminution in the Spanish Slave Trade, by a variety 
of letters. One gentleman, upon whose sources of 
information and accuracy I can entirely rely, says, in 
a letter dated September, 1836, " The Slave Trade, 
which was thought to be dead here some years ago, 
has still a mighty being, and stalks over the island 
in all its pristine audacity." Another, of date 
November, 1836, says, " Article First of the late 
Treaty between England and Spain states, ' The 
Slave Trade is hereby declared, on the part of Spain, 
to be henceforward totally and finally abolished in 
all parts of the world.' In answer to this, we assert 
that the Slave Trade carried on by the Spaniards is 
more brisk than ever. In December, 1836, a gentle- 
man, detained a month at St. Jago de Cuba, wit- 
nessed the arrival of five slave cargoes from Africa." 
But it may be said that this arises from the facility 
with which the Portuguese flag is obtained, and that 
when Portugal, and all other powers, shall have con- 
sented to the Spanish Treaty, this mode of evasion 
will have ceased. It is perfectly true that the Por- 
tuguese flag is obtained with the greatest facility at 
a very moderate price. At the Cape de Verd Islands, 
at the River Cacheo, at St. Thomas's, at Prince's, and 
at Angola, the Portuguese flag may be easily and 
cheaply purchased. But notwithstanding, we find 
by the last parliamentary papers, that out of the 
twenty-seven vessels condemned at Sierra Leone, 
eight were under the Spanish flag ; and of the 


seventy-two vessels which left the port of Havana 
for the coast of Africa, in 1837, no fewer than nine- 
teen at least were Spanish* The slave-traders 
surely did not think that the Spanish Treaty was a 
death-blow to the trade, or they would not have neg- 
lected the precaution of purchasing, at a very easy 
price, the protection afforded by the flag of Portugal. 
They have their choice of the Spanish flag, attended 
by all the dangers supposed to arise from the Spanish 
Treaty, or the Portuguese flag, which is not liable 
to these dangers ; and, for the sake of saving a very 
trivial sum, they prefer the former. t 

* Class A. (Further Series), 1837, p. 68. 

t The Commissioners at Sierra Leone, of date 12th Nov., 1838, 
make the following observation : — " We have before alluded to 
the practice adopted by Cuba vessels, of carrying both Portuguese 
and Spanish papers, the former of which are made use of when 
they are boarded and searched by Her Majesty's cruizers— and 
with the latter they clear out from Havana," and again re-enter 
that port in ballast."— Class A. (Further Series), 1838-9, p. 68.— 
I observe in the same papers a curious description of the changes 
of names and flags which take place in the trade. In Feb., 1833, 
the French ship " Paqucbot Bordelais" became the Spanish 
" Europa;" under this name she made a number of voyages till Sept., 
1834, when she became the Spanish ship " Alerta," under which 
name she sailed for Africa. In Feb., 1836, she returned, ami, as 
the " Europa," again sailed for Africa, returning as the Portu- 
guese " Ducpicsa di Braganza" in January, 1837. She subse- 
quently became the Spanish ship " Provisional," after which, be- 
ing too old lor the African trade, the plan of building a new ves- 

.1 to navigate under her papers was formed, and with them the 
American ship Venus became the Portuguese " Duqucsa di Bra- 
gan/ii." Class B (Further Series), p. 32, L839. Sec note, p. 43- 

« The Venus." 


But there is another mode of measuring the im- 
portance which the slave-traders attach to the Spa- 
nish Treaty. The Commissioners, in their Report 
of 1836, after stating that the first effect of the 
treaty was to arrest the Slave Trade, add, that this 
alarm soon wore aw T ay, and " now the only visible 
effect of the reported new treaty is an increased rate 
of premium out and home, with an augmented price 
ol negroes. 

The Spanish Treaty has been for some time a 
topic of continual congratulation and complacency ; 
and there are many who think that if we could but 
induce Portugal and other countries to follow the 
example of Spain, there would be an end of the 
Slave Trade. A case occurs in the papers pre- 
sented to Parliament in 1838, which throws a 
strong light on the real efficacy of the Spanish 
Treaty ; and, though I can give but a scanty out- 
line of it here, it deserves particular attention. The 
Vencedora, a Spanish vessel, officered by Spaniards, 
having lately returned from a trading voyage to 
Africa, came into the port of Cadiz, bound for Porto 
Rico. At Cadiz she took in forty-nine passengers, 
and proceeded on her way. The passengers suffered 
considerable annoyance from the effluvia proceeding 
from the lower parts of the ship. By this, and by 
other circumstances, some vague suspicion seems to 
have been engendered. Leaving Porto Rico, the 
vessel proceeded towards Cuba ; on her way thither 
* Class A. 1835, p. 207. 


she fell in with the Ringdove, Captain Nixon." The 
captain of the Vencedora denied that he had negroes 
on board ; but the mate of the Ringdove insisted on 
pursuing his search, and in the forepeak of the ves- 
sel, closed up from light or air, were found twenty- 
six negroes :* " most of them were young, from ten 
years old upwards." 

They could not speak one word of Spanish, unless 
it be true, which the Spanish witnesses labour hard 
to prove, that one of them was once heard to use the 
word " Seiior." From these circumstances, from the 
stench perceived by the passengers after leaving Ca- 
diz ; from the fact of three iron coppers being found, 
and large quantities of rice and Indian corn having 
daily been dressed in them ; from the care taken to 
debar the passengers from all access to those parts 
of the ship where they were found ; and from the 
testimony, through an interpreter, of the negroes 
themselves, " who all declared, most solemnly, that 
they had never been in another vessel, and swore to 
it, after the manner of their country ;" from all these 
circumstances it is clear (however incredible the atro- 
city) that these wretches had been shipped at Congo, 
in Africa, had been carried across the Atlantic to 
Cadiz, again across the Atlantic to Porto Rico, and 
were, when taken, in the progress of a third voyage. 

* They appeared to be of recent importation, had no other 
clothing than a piece of cloth tied round their loins, their heads 
were shaven, and some of them were in a sad state of emaciation. 
Class A. 1837, p. 40. 


No record exists of the number originally shipped, 
nor of those who were so happy as to perish by the 
way, nor of the extent of misery undergone by those 
who endured a voyage from Africa to Europe, and 
from Europe to America, of not less than 6000 miles, 
pining in their narrow, loathsome, and sultry prison, 
for want of air, and light, and water. These particu- 
lars will never be known in this world; but who will 
deny that the English captain is justified in calling- 
it a case of " utter barbarity ?" He might have 
added, of " utter perfidy." In a private letter, 
he says, — " The Vencedora took her wretched 
cargo round by Cadiz (can you conceive such bar- 
barity ?), and there got armed with government au- 
thority as a packet, wearing the royal colours and 
pendant : they (the slavers) will be liberated, and 
I may be prosecuted." The fact of her having 
slaves on board must have been known to the cus- 
tom-house authorities at Cadiz. 

However, thanks to the Spanish Treaty, the ship 
is captured at last, and the Spanish authorities will 
be, of course, as eager as ourselves to punish the 
villain who has thus defied her decrees. Captain 
Nixon took his prize to the Havana, and she was 
tried before the Mixed Commission Court. The 
captain of the slaver set up the impudent defence — 
First, that these naked, filthy, shaven, emaciated 
creatures were " passengers," and, next, that they 
were " parcels of goods from Porto Rico." 

The court, by the casting vote of the Spanish urn- 


pire, found this false and flimsy pretext valid, acquitted 
the slaver, restored the vessel, and condemned the 
innocent negroes to slavery, while Captain Nixon is 
exposed to heavy damages for doing his duty !* The 
captain of the Vencedora is triumphant, and, in a 
complaint which he made relating* to certain articles 
which, as he alleges, are missing, closes the scene by a 
high-flown address to the court, on " the faith of 
treaties," " the sacred rights of property and national 
decorum," and " the outraged honour of the respected 
flag of England !" 

Worse than all is the fact that this case has been 
taken as a precedent, and already another vessel, the 
Vigilante, has been liberated on the strength of this 

Had I fabricated a case to show the perfidy of the 
Spanish authorities, and the barefaced evasions which 
are sufficient, in Lord Palmerston's words, "to reduce 
the treaty to mere waste paper," I could scarcely have 
produced one so much to the purpose;! 

* It appears that Captain Nixon was sentenced to pay 600/. for 
detaining the Vencedora. Class A. 183S-9, p. 95. 

t Her Majesty's judge at Havana, of date 2nd July, 1S3S, 
thus addresses Lord Palmerston : — " I have reason to helieve that 
the system has heen carried on to a very great extent of making 
Porto Rico a depot for slaves, and thence smuggling them into 
the Havana, in smaller vessels ; and the Commissioners at Havana, 
of date 21st April, 1838, say that in this way " an extensive and 
increasing trade appears to be carried on, which, unless cheeked, 
may probably counteract all our efforts for the suppression of this 
unhappy traffic" Class A. 1838-9, pp. 113—95. 


I am compelled to go further. It may be pre- 
tended that it was only by accident that the slaver, 
while she remained at Cadiz, escaped the vigilance 
of the custom-house officers, and by a second fortu- 
nate accident that she obtained permission to bear 
the royal pendant ; but can it also be ascribed to acci- 
dent that the two persons selected by the Spanish 
Government as commissioner and arbitrator should 
have acted throughout as if their proper business was 
to defend the slave-trader, and defeat the treaty ? It 
would seem that, while hardly any evidence is strong 
enough to convict a slaver, no pretext is too miser- 
able for his defence. For example, the Vencedora 
is declared to be " wrongfully detained," while the 
General Laborde, " a well-known and fully-equipped 
slaver," is liberated "because the wife and children 
of the supercargo were on board."* 

I observe, in a despatch from Her Majesty's judge 
to Lord Palmerston, of date 17th August, 1838, that 
he says, in speaking of the conduct of the Captain- 
general, " It is impossible to come to any other con- 
clusion than that his Excellency is prepared to lend 
the shelter of his authority to the traffic as much as 
any of his predecessors ;" and he alludes to the ic fees 
and perquisites" received by the Spanish authorities 
as the real hindrance to the discontinuance of the 
trade, f 

Upon the whole, I can arrive at no other conclu- 

* Class A. 1837, p. 91. 
t Class A. 1838-9, p. 119= 


sion than that the Spanish Treaty, as interpreted by 
the Spanish judges, is an impudent fraud; and that 
those who shall be credulous enough to rely upon it 
for the full attainment of our object will be fatally 

Thus, then, stands the argument : we shall never 
obtain the concurrence of all the powers to the pro- 
visions of the Spanish Treaty ; and if we get it, we 
shall find it not worth having. But even assuming 
that those insurmountable obstacles have been over- 
come, and that the Spanish Treaty, improved and 
rendered more stringent, becomes the law of the 
civilised world : it will still appeal* that this treaty 
will not accomplish our object. Another step must 
be taken ; and the next step will be to make slave - 
trading Piracy, punishable with death. 

Once more, then, we shall have to tread the tedious 
round of negotiation. To say nothing of the difficulty 
we shall find in inducing Portugal to adopt the 
greater measure, when she has so long refused to 
take the minor step ; and nothing of the difficult y 
of persuading Brazil to advance, when she has 
exhibited unequivocal symptoms of a disposition 
to retreat ; nor of the reluctance of Spain (who 
thinks she has conceded too much) to make still 
further concessions — to say nothing of all these, 
France stands in our way. She has declared that, 
by her constitution, it cannot be made piracy. 

I am afraid that there is not the remotest probabi- 
lity of inducing all nations to concur in so strong a 


measure as that of stigmatising the Slave Trade as 

But we will suppose all these difficulties removed ; 
a victory, in imagination, has been obtained over the 
pride of North America, the cupidity of Portugal, the 
lawlessness of Texas, and the constitution of France. 
Let it be granted that the Spanish Treaty, with an 
article for piracy, has become universal. I maintain 
that the Slave Trade, even then, will not be put down. 
Three nations have already tried the experiment 
of declaring the Slave Trade to be piracy — Brazil, 
North America, and England. Brazilian subjects, 
from the time of passing the law, have been conti- 
nually engaged in the Slave Trade; indeed we are 
informed that the whole population of certain dis- 
tricts are concerned in it, and not one has suffered 
under the law of piracy. In 1820, a law was passed 
by the legislature of North America, declaring that 
if any citizen of that country shall be engaged in the 
Slave Trade, " such citizen or person shall be ad- 
judged a pirate, and on conviction thereof, before the 
Circuit Court of the United States, shall suffer 
death." It will not be denied that American citizens 
have been largely engaged in the traffic ; but I have 
yet to learn that even one capital conviction has taken 
place during the eighteen years that have elapsed 
since the law was passed* 

* Major M'Gregorhas stated, in the letter to which I have be- 
fore referred, that a vessel, with 160 Africans on board, had been 
wrecked at the Bahamas ; and he says, " This pretended Portu- 



Great Britain furnishes a still more striking illus- 
tration of the inefficacy of such a law. For ten years 
the Slave Trade prevailed at the Mauritius, to use 
the words of Captain Moresby before the Committee 
of the House of Commons, " as plain as the sun at 
noonday." Many were taken in the very act, and 
yet no conviction, I believe, took place. With these 
examples before me, I am not so sanguine as some 
other gentlemen appear to be, as to the efficacy of a 
law declaring the Slave Trade piracy, even if it were 
universally adopted. I fear that such a law would be 
a dead letter, unless, at all events, Ave had the bond 
fide and cordial co-operation of the colonists.* Were 
we able to obtain this in our own dominions ? Our 
naval officers acted 'with their usual energy, on the 
coast of the Mauritius. When General Hall was 
governor there, and when Mr. Edward Byam was the 
head of the police, everything possible was clone to 
suppress the traffic, and to bring the criminals to 
justice. No persons could act with more meritorious 
fidelity (and, I grieve to say, poorly have they been 

guese vessel was fitted out at Baltimore, United States, having 
been formerly a pilot-boat, called the Washington. The super- 
cargo was an American citizen from Baltimore." See also the 
Report of the Commissioners, Class B. 1837, p. J 25. 

* How far we are from having this co-operation, appears from 
the following :■ — Lord Palmerston, of date 13th June, 1838, says 
to Sir G. Villiers, that " No reliance can be placed upon any of 
the subordinate authorities of the Spanish Government, either in 
the colonies, or even in Spain itself, for the due execution of the 
laws of Spain and of the treaties for suppression of the Slave 
Trade." Class B. 1839, p. 22. 


rewarded by the Home Government) : it became, 
however, but too evident that the law was unavailing. 
The populace would not betray the slave-trader, the 
agent of the police would not seize him ; if captured 
by our officers, the prisons would not hold him, and 
the courts would not convict him. General Hall was 
obliged to resort to the strong expedient of sending 
offenders of this kind to England, for trial at the Old 
Bailey, on the ground that no conviction could be 
obtained on the island. It is clear, then, that the 
law making Slave Trade piracy will be unavailing, 
without you obtain the concurrence of the colonists 
in Cuba and Brazil ; and who is so extravagant as to 
indulge the hope that this will ever be attained ? 

But now I will make a supposition, still more 
Utopian than any of the preceding. All nations 
shall have acceded to the Spanish Treaty, and that 
treaty shall be rendered more effective. They shall 
have linked to it the article of piracy ; the whole 
shall have been clenched, by the cordial concurrence 
of the authorities at home, and the populace in the 
colonies. With all this, we shall be once more 
defeated and baffled by contraband trade. 

The power which will overcome our efforts is the 
extraordinary profit of the slave-trader. It is, I be- 
lieve, an axiom at the Custom-house, that no illicit 
trade can be suppressed, where the profits exceed 
30 per cent. 

I will prove that the profits of the slave-trader 
are nearly five times that amount. " Of the enor- 

q 2 


mous profits of the Slave Trade," says Commissioner 
Macleay, " the most correct idea will be formed by 
taking an example. The last vessel condemned by 
the Mixed Commission was the Firm." Pie gives 
the cost of — 


Her cargo . . 28,000 

Provisions, ammunition, 

wear and tear, &c. . 10,600 

Wages . . . 13,400 

Total expense . . 52,000 

Total product . . 145,000* 

There 'was a clear profit on the human cargo of 
this vessel of 18,600/., or just 180 per cent. A 
still more striking case is that of the Venus, whose 
departure from Havana is thus noticed by the Com- 
missioner, in his despatch of Aug. 22, 1838 : — " The 
Venus is destined for Mozambique, and is arranged 
to bring as many as 1,000 negroes, in which «ase, it 
is said, she would clear to the speculators from 
100,000 to 200,000 dollars, her cost price being 
estimated at 50,000, and the expenses of cargo and 
slaves at another 50,000 dollars." Her return is 
thus noticed in a private letter, dated Havana, Jan. 
24, 1839 : — " The Venus is at this moment in the 
port, having landed upwards of 850 slaves on the 
coasl a few miles south of Havana — she was intended 

* Pail.J'apcr, No. 381, p. 37. 


to carry 1,000, but the 'approach of some cruisers 
determined her captain to start without his comple- 
ment." My informant thus calculates the profits of 
the adventure : — " The price of slaves at Havana is 
stated to be 70/. per head for prime slaves; but sup- 
posing the cargo of the Venus did not entirely consist 
of prime slaves, and that the average value did not 
exceed 50/., 

850 slaves, at 50/. each £42,500 

Allowing for expenses 

of voyage . £2,500 

Cost of 850 slaves on 

the coast at 4/. per lid. 3,400 


Net profit £36,600" 

Will any one who knows the state of Cuba and 
Brazil pretend that this is not enough to shut the 
mouth of the informer, to arrest the arm of the police, 
to blind the eyes of the magistrates, and to open the 
doors of the prison ? 

Lord Howard de Walden, in a despatch to the 
Duke of Wellington, dated 26th February, 1835, 
speaks of a vessel just about to sail from that port 
(Lisbon), on a slave-trading voyage. It shows the 
kind of reliance which we are justified in placing on 
the professions of that country, pledged twenty years 
ago " to co-operate with His Britannic Majesty in 
the cause of humanity and justice," and "to extend 
the blessings of peaceful industry and innocent com- 


merce to Africa ;" when, in her own capital, under 
the guns of her own forts, in the face of day, 1 and 
before the eyes of our ambassador, a vessel is per- 
mitted, without molestation, to embark in the Slave 
Trade ; but it also exhibits the prodigious gains of 
the man-merchant. 

Lord Howard de Walden says, " The subject of 
her departure and destination have become quite no- 
torious, and the sum expected to be cleared by 
the parties concerned in the enterprise is put at 

Mr. Maclean (Governor at Cape Coast Castle), in 
a letter addressed to me, in May, 1838, says, " A 
prime slave on that part of the coast with which I 

* Class B. 1836, p. 27. The Havana, of date 
18th Sept., 1838, say to Lord Palmerston, — " The ' General Espar- 
tero ' has made, it is said, a remarkably successful voyage, so that 
the owner has cleared by the speculation upwards of 70,000 dol- 
lars ;" and of date Jan. 19, 1839, they say—" With regard to the 
ship " Venus,' otherwise ' Duquesa di Braganza,' we should state 
that the original cost, we understand, was 30,000 dollars; and 
that the fitting-out and expenses of every kind for the voyage, 
including the value of the return cargo, was estimated at 60,000 
more, say altogether 100,000 dollars. The number of negroes 
brought back, as has been before stated, was 860, and they are 
said to have been sold at 340 dollars per head, producing the 
sum of nearly 300,000 dollars, of which, therefore, two-thirds 
was net profit. So long as such returns can be effected, we fear 
that no efforts whatever will be effectual in suppressing the traffic, 
and certainly not while the dealers have only to meet such a Bystem 
of corruption as pervades every department of the government oi 
the island."— Class A. (Further Series,) 1838-9. p. 109. 


have most knowledge, costs about 50 dollars in goods, 
or about from 25 to 30 dollars in money, including 
prime cost and charges : the same slave will sell in 
Cuba for 350 dollars readily ; but from this large 
profit must be deducted freight, insurance, commis- 
sion, cost of feeding during the middle passage, and 
incidental charges, which will reduce the net profit 
to, I should say, 200 dollars on each prime slave ; 
and this must be still further reduced, to make up for 
casualties, to, perhaps, 150 dollars per head." 

It is remarkable that this calculation by Mr. Mac- 
lean almost exactly corresponds with that stated by 
the Sierra Leone Commissioners, giving for the out- 
lay of 100 dollars a return of 280 dollars. 

Once more, then, I must declare my conviction 
that the Trade will never be suppressed by the 
system hitherto pursued.* You will be defeated by 
its enormous gains. You may throw impediments in 
the way of these miscreants ; you may augment their 
peril ; you may reduce their profits ; but enough, 
and more than enough, will remain to baffle all your 

* Mr. Maclean, in a letter dated 16th October, 1838, says, 
" My neighbour (as 1 may call him), De Souza, at Whydah, still 
carries on an extensive Slave Trade; judging by the great num- 
ber of vessels consigned to him, he must ship a vast number of 
slaves annually. He declares, and with truth, that all the slave 
treaties signed during the last 25 years have never caused him to 
export one slave fewer than he would have done otherwise." 




The vast amount of human suffering, and the waste 
of human life, which I have described, form, after 
all, but a part of the evil ; and there remains a still 
more dreadful feature in the condition of Africa : — 
the Slave Trade stands as a barrier, excluding every- 
thing which can soften, or enlighten, or civilize, 
or elevate the people of that vast continent. It sup- 
presses all other trade, creates endless insecurity, 
kindles perpetual war, banishes commerce, know- 
ledge, social improvement, and, above all, Christi- 
anity, from one quarter of the globe, and from a 
hundred millions of mankind. 

The Slave Trade is the great cause of the depo- 
pulation and degradation of Africa, not merely from 
its keeping the people in a state of disorganization, 
but from its poisoning the whole policy of the coun- 
try. Direct discouragement is thrown upon agri- 
culture. A slave-dealing chief, who neglects his 
own plantation, will not suffer his subjects to acquire 
wealth from independent sources, and the quantity 
of land which any one is permitted to plant is 
therefore narrowly limited. It appears to them to 
lie their present interest to encourage the slave 
trader at the expense of the honest merchant, and 


the latter is kept waiting for weeks, while a slaver 
is getting her cargo. 

It is not very easy to make out an accurate account 
of the condition of Africa previously to the com- 
merce in slaves, hecause Europeans had then so 
little intercourse with that country. Some proofs, 
however, exist, that it was in a more flourishing 
state than we find it to be. It is remarkable that the 
geographers Nubiensis in the 12th century, and Leo 
Africanus in the 16th,* state that, in their time, the 
people between the Senegal and Gambia never made 
war on each other, but employed themselves in keep- 
ing their herds, or in tilling the ground. When 
Sir J. Hawkins visited Africa in 1562 — 7, with 
intent to seize the people (a practice which had been 
strongly reprobated by Queen Elizabeth), he found 
the land well cultivated, bearing plenty of grain and 
fruit, and the towns "prettily" laid out. 

Bosnian, about 1700, writes that it was the early 
European settlers who first sowed dissensions among 
the natives of Africa, for the sake of purchasing their 
prisoners of war. Benezet quotes Win. Smith, who 
was sent by the African Company, in 1726, to visit 
their settlements, and who stated, from the testimony 
of a factor who had YivM ten years in the country, 
that the discerning natives accounted it their great- 
est unhappiness ever to have been visited by Euro- 

Dupuis, in his journey up to Coomassie, in 1819, 
'* Quoted by Benezet, p. 43. 


gives the following description of the country then 
recently laid waste by the King of Ashantee :* — 
" From the Praa, southward, the progress of the 
sword down to the margin of the sea may be traced 
by mouldering ruins, desolated plantations, and. 
osseous relics; such are the traits of negro ferocity. 
The inhabitants, whether Assins or Fantees, whose 
youth and beauty exempted them from slaughter on 
the spot, were only reserved to grace a triumph 
in the metropolis of their conquerors, where they 
were again subject to a scrutiny, which finally 
awarded the destiny of sacrifice or bondage ; few or 
none being left behind to mourn over their slaugh- 
tered friends, or the catastrophe of their unhappy 

Traces are yet to be seen of cultivation which has 
once existed. Thus Ashmun, after a voyage which 
he made in 1822, for 200 miles to the south-east- 
ward from Cape Montserado, remarks,! — " One 
century ago a great part of this line of coast was 
populous, cleared of trees, and under cultivation : it 
is now covered with a dense and almost continuous 
forest. This is almost wholly a second growth, com- 
monly distinguished from the original by the pro- 
fusion of brambles and brushwood which abounds 
union g the larger trees, and renders the woods en- 
tirely impervious, even to the natives, until opened 
by the bill-hook." 

* Dupuis, " Journal of a Residence in Ashantee," p. 33. 
t " Life of Ashmun," p. 141. 


Speaking of the St. Paul's, he says,* " Along this 
beautiful river were formerly scattered, in Africa's 
better days, inumerable native hamlets ; and, until 
within the last 20 years, nearly the whole river-bord, 
for one or two miles back, was under that slight 
cultivation which obtains among the natives of this 
country. But the population has been wasted by the 
rage for trading in slaves, with which the constant 
presence of slaving vessels, and the introduction of 
foreign luxuries, has inspired them. The south bank 
of this river, and all the intervening country, and the 
Montserado, have been from this cause nearly deso- 
lated of inhabitants." 

In a letter which I have recently received from 
Mr. Clarkson, he observes that the country of Bif- 
feche on the Senegal, which was once well inhabited, 
was, in a few years, entirely depopulated by the 
Moorish slave-hunters ; and Mr. Rendall, in his 
papers, draws a strong contrast between the state 
of a district enjoying security of person and pro- 
perty, and when under the terrors of a slave trade. 
He states that he was at St. Louis on the Senegal 
from 1813 to 1817. At that time the place was in 
the possession of the English, and the surrounding 
population were led to believe that the Slave Trade 
was irrevocably abolished : they, in consequence, be- 
took themselves to cultivating the land, and every 
available piece of ground was under tillage. The 
people passed from one village to another without 
arms and without fear, and everything wore an air 
* " Life of Ashmun," p. 233. 


of contentment. Mr. Rendall was there again after 
the place had been made over to France, " and then," 
he says, " the Slave Trade had revived in all its hor- 
rors ; vessels were lying in the river to receive car- 
goes of human flesh ; the country was laid waste, 
not a vestige of cultivation was to be seen, and no 
one dared to leave the limits of his village without 
the most ample means of protection." 

One apology for the Slave Trade has been sug- 
gested : that if there were not a market for the sale 
of the victims they would be put to death. I am, 
however, about to show that the countries in which 
the Slave Trade chiefly prevails are precisely those 
in which human sacrifices are carried to the greatest 

It is possible, indeed, that, on the first check to 
the Slave Trade, the barbarous chiefs might be 
tempted to kill the captives who" were no longer 
saleable. The possibility should be viewed, in 
order that the evil may be guarded against by stipu- 
lations in our treaties ; but, in fact, it does not 
appear very likely that such a horrible consequence 
would ensue : it has not done so in some instances 
with which we are acquainted. Mr. Jiutcher, the 
missionary, speaks, in 1811, of the captives being 
immediately sent to till the ground, on the occasion 
of the check put to the Slave Trade in the l\io 
Nunez ;* and Mr. Macbrair says, that the chiefs 
along the Gambia are now regretting the slaves 
whom they have formerly sold, as they find that their 
v Sixth Rep. Mr. Inst., App., p. 1GJ. 


labour would be a source of greater wealth than the 
price received for their persons. But the most satis- 
factory proof that such murders are not inevitable, is 
the fact, that they did not ensue in the English set- 
tlements at the period of the abolition. The natives 
around Sierra Leone made up their quarrels, and 
suspended their wars without outrage or bloodshed.* 

There may be a danger of riveting the chains of 
domestic slavery, but there seems to be no great fear 
that, with reasonable precautions, any dreadful 
massacre should occur. 

In the present state of things, human life and 
human suffering are very lightly regarded ; and so 
great are the cruelties and abominations now perpe- 
trated that even injudicious interference could hardly 
render the condition of Africa worse than it now is : 
— any change must be an improvement. Laird tells us 
that the inhabitants of the delta of the Niger were so 
demoralized and degraded, that he could not have 
conceived such a people to exist, within a few miles 
of ports which British ships had frequented for a 
century. f At Calebar, skulls were seen " kicked 
about in every direction." Captain Fawckner, who 
was detained in Benin, in great distress in 1825, 
says, " near the palace of the King of Benin are 
several fetish places,! the depositories of the usual 

* Rep. of Cora, for Afr. Inst., p. 28. t Laird, p. 277. 

I The " fetish " is a word for any being or object supposed to 
possess supernatural power: It is applied therefore to the demons 
whom the Pagans worship, and to the charms with which they 
protect themselves against their power. 


objects of worship :" " many unfortunate slaves are 
sacrificed in front of these temples."* After reading 
this account of the sufferings of our countryman, 
whose vessel being stranded upon that coast was 
plundered, the crew made prisoners, and their lives 
only spared by a singular succession of favourable 
omens, it is curious to read in an author two cen- 
turies earlier that the people of Benin " will not 
do injury to any, especially to strangers ;"t and 
that they were " a gentle, loving people ;" and to 
hear from Reynolds, that they found more sincere 
proofs of love and good will from the natives than 
from the Spaniards and Portuguese,! even though 
they had relieved the latter from the greatest misery 
such has been the change of 200 years ! 

At Dahomey, Mr. Giraud says, he was at the 
King's fete in 1836, when " about 5 or 600 of his 
subjects were sacrificed for his recreation. Some 
were decapitated, and others were precipitated from 
a lofty fortress, and transfixed on bayonets prepared 
to receive them ; all this merely for amusement. "§ 

The Ashantees, at the same time that they were 
vigorous slave-traders, || were notorious for their 

* Fawckner, pp. 83, 84. t Purchas's Africa, 1601. 

\ Benezet's Account of Africa, p. 59. 

§ Colonization Herald, July, 1837. 

|| The Ashantcc slave-traders are so numerous and notorious, 
that the people of Moronho, a town 16 or 17 days' journey from 
CoomaBBie, have no doors to their houses, hut enter J>yu ladder 


human sacrifices and bloody rites. Messrs. Bowditch, 
Tedlie, and Hutchinson,* were employed on a mission 
to Coomassie, the capital of Ashantee, in 1817: on 
their very first entrance into the city, while waiting 
in the street for leave to attend the King, Mr. Bow- 
ditch says, iC Our attention was forced to a most 
inhuman spectacle, which they paraded before us for 
some minutes : it was a man whom they were tor- 
menting previous to sacrifice. His hands w T ere 
pinioned behind him, a knife was passed through 
his cheeks, to which his lips were noosed like the 
figure of 8 ; one ear was cut off and carried before 
him ; the other hung to his head by a small bit of 
skin ; there were several gashes in his back, and a 
knife was thrust under each shoulder-blade ; he was 
led with a cord passed through his nose, by men 
disfigured with immense caps of shaggy black skins, 
and drums beat before him."'f 

Many slaves are killed at their various "customs," 
(the rites practised on the death of individuals of any 
consideration:)! "the decease of a person is announced 
by a discharge of musketry proportioned to his rank, 

through the roof, as some security against their assaults. Bow- 
ditch, p. 171. 

* Whatever may have been the views of the few travellers who 
have visited Ashantee, and however our envoys may have differed 
with respect to the policy to be pursued towards it, they agree 
perfectly in describing it as the theatre of the most revolting 
horrors. Thus Mr. Dupuis entirely confirms the account of Mr. 
Bowditch as to the scenes continually occurring. 

t Bowditch, p. 33. % Bowditch, p. 282. 


or the wealth of his family. In an instant yon see 
a crowd of slaves burst from the house and run 
towards the bush, flattering themselves that the 
hindmost, or those surprised in the house, will 
furnish the human victims for sacrifice, if they 
can but secrete themselves till the custom is over." 
One or two slaves are then sacrificed at the door 
of the house. A scene of this kind took place 
at the death of the mother of one of the principal 
chiefs, August 2nd, 1817, of which Mr. Bowditcli 
was an eye-Avitness, though it was considered by no 
means a great custom.* " We walked," he says, " to 
Assafoo at twelve o'clock: the vultures were hovering 
round two headless trunks scarcely cold." Then 
came troops of women, uttering dismal lamentations. 
" The crowd was overbearing; horns, drums, and 
muskets, yells and screeches, invaded our hearing 
with as many horrors as were crowded on our sight. 
Now and then a victim was hurried by, generally at 
full speed ; the uncouth dress, and the exulting coun- 
tenances of those who surrounded them, likening 
them to as many fiends." He describes many other 
barbaric ceremonies ; finally, the drums announced 
the sacrifice of the victims. f " The executioners 
wrangled and struggled for the office; and the in- 
difference with which the first poor creature looked 
on, in the torture he was from the knife passed 
through his cheeks, was remarkable. The right 

* Bowditch,p.283. t Hutchinson, in BowditcVs Travels, p. 287. 


hand of the victim was then lopped off, he was thrown 
down, and his head was sawed rather than cut off; it 
was cruelly prolonged, I will not say wilfully. Twelve 
more were dragged forward, but we forced our way 
through the crowd and retired to our quarters. 
Other sacrifices, principally female, were made in the 
bush where the body was buried. It is usual to " wet 
the grave" with the blood of a freeman of respecta- 
bility. All the retainers of the family being present, 
a slave from behind stuns one of these freemen with 
a violent blow, followed by a deep gash in the back 
part of the neck, and he is roiled in on the top of 
the body of the deceased, and the grave instantly 
filled up. A sort of carnival, varied by firing, 
singing, drinking, and dancing, was kept up in 
Assafoo for several days, the chiefs generally visiting- 
it every evening. 

On the death of a king, all the customs which have 
been made for the subjects who have died during 
his reign, must be simultaneously repeated by the 
families, (the human sacrifices as well as the ca- 
rousals and pageantry,) to amplify that for the 
monarch : which is also solemnized, independently, at 
the same time, in every excess of extravagance and 
barbarity. The brothers, sons, and nephews of the 
king, affecting temporary insanity, burst forth with 
their muskets, and fire promiscuously amongst the 
crowd ; even a man of rank, if they meet him, is 
their victim : nor is their murder of him or any other, 
on such an occasion, visited or prevented ; the scene 



can hardly be imagined. The king's Ocras, who 
will be mentioned presently, are all murdered on his 
tomb, to the number of 100 or more ; and women in 
abundance. I was assured by several, that the 
custom for Sai Quamine was repeated weekly for 
three months, and that 200 slaves were sacrificed, 
and 25 barrels of powder fired each time. But the 
custom for the king's mother, the regent of the kingdom 
during the invasion of Fantee, is the most celebrated. 
The king himself devoted 3000 victims, (upAvards of 
2000 of whom were Fantee prisoners,) and 25 
barrels of powder. Five of the largest places fur- 
nished 100 victims, and 20 barrels of powder each ; 
and most of the smaller towns 10 victims, and two 
barrels of powder each. These human sacrifices are 
frequent and ordinary, to water the graves of the 

Mr. Dupuis, who was at Coomassie a year or two 
later, gives a similar account of the bloody customs 
of Ashantee ; he tells us that before the -king set 
forth on his campaign against Gam an, he began by 
sacrificing 32 male, and 18 female victims, as an 
expiatoiy offering to his Gods, but the answers from 
the priests being deemed by the council as still 
devoid of inspiration, the king was induced to make 
a custom at the sepulchres of his ancestors, where 
many hundreds bled. On the conclusion of the war 
2000 prisoners were slaughtered over the royal death 
stool, in honour of the shades of departed kings and 


The king's own account was not exaggerated, for 
two respectable Moslems at Coomassie, in describing 
to Mr. Dupuis the scenes of the Gaman war, de- 
clared, that they had witnessed the massacre of 
10,000 old men, women, and children, besides 
numbers of chieftains, who were put to death by 
tortures the most revolting to humanity. 

It appeared that the king rather concealed his 
human sacrifices while Dupuis was in Coomasie, for 
two reasons ; the one, that they concerned the mis- 
sion, as the king had been imploring his idols to 
incline the heart of the great king of England to- 
wards him ; the other, that it might not be reported 
that the sovereign of Ashantee delighted in spilling 
human blood ; which, it was known, gave as much 
offence to white men as it did to Moslems.* 

I subjoin another case of atrocity abridged like- 
wise from Dupuis : ct On the ] 3th the Adai cus- 
tom was ushered in by the discharge of fire-arms, 
and the sound of many barbarous instruments. 
Numbers of victims were offered up to the gods, 
although secretly, in the palace and the houses of the 
chieftains. The city itself exhibited the most de- 
plorable solitude, and the few who were courageous 
enough to appear in the streets, fled at the approach 
of a captain, and barricaded the doors of their huts, 
to avoid the danger of being shot or sacrificed." 
" The following day a similar train of horrors suc- 
ceeded, and still I was left in suspense, for my own 

* Dupuis, p. 140. 



linguists and messengers were not hardy enough to 
knock at the royal gate. They dreaded, as they 
said, the fetish men, who guarded the avenue, and 
who alone were suffered to enjoy free ingress." 
From the Moslems he learned further that seventy 
men and women had been put to death the day 
previous in the palace only, beside those who were 
sacrificed in private houses or in the forest. Most of 
these unhappy beings were Gaman prisoners, who 
had been purposely reserved as an offering to the 
gods ; the others were criminals or disobedient 

I find another instance, not the less touching be- 
cause more simple, and more easily conceived by the 
mind than these hecatombs, and not less clearly 
proving the actual co-existence of a keen pursuit of 
the " trade,'' with a remorseless waste of the lives of 
its objects. 

" March 2nd, 1837. — I learned from the king," says 
the Rev. Mr, Fox, " that they brought 350 Foulahs 
from Foolokolong, besides 100 they killed. I asked 
him how many of these Foulahs were at Madina, 
(having myself seen a few in the town,) when he 
answered only twelve, and immediately called an 
interesting little Foulah boy of about six years of 
age, who came trembling and weeping as he ap- 
proached. His father, I learned, was killed in the 
attack upon Foolokolong. I therefore ventured to 
ask his sable majesty to give the boy to me ; but no, 
he said he could not, and why ! Because, horrid to 


relate, he had dedicated this innocent and unoffend- 
ing child to a greegree, or rather to the devil; and 
who will doubtless try some cruel means be put to 
death, previous to the intended attackupon Kimming- 
ton, to ensure success ! Mantamba, I am told, is rather 
nervous in his language against Koi, because he 
does not sacrifice one of his own children ; and hesi- 
tated not to say that it was because he did not do this, 
that the attack upon Dunkaseen was not more suc- 
cessful. I would fain have rescued this poor little 
fatherless boy from the unmerciful grasp of these 
wild barbarians, by giving a handsome present for 
his redemption ; but even had I succeeded, another 
would doubtless have immediately been substituted in 
his stead." 

After the account of the home practice of the 
Ashantees, we cannot be surprised at the barbarities 
they exercised upon the British prisoners who fell 
into their hands during the war in which we were 
engaged with them. After the battle in which Sir 
Charles M'Carthy was unfortunately killed, Mr. 
Williams, an officer who was taken prisoner, said, 
that whenever the Ashantees beheaded a prisoner, 
they made him sit on one side of the large war 
drum, while they took off their victim's head on the 
other.* Mr. Jones, a merchant and captain of the 
militia, having received five wounds, was imme- 
diately sacrificed ; this, however, would have hap- 
pened to him, had he been an Ashantee ; for any 
* Major Rickett's Narrative of the Ashantee War, p. 84. 


one who has received five wounds in an action, 
whether friend or foe, is devoted to the fetish. It is 
said that the Ashantee chiefs ate Sir Charles 
McCarthy's heart,* that they might imbibe his valour ; 
and that his dried flesh and bones were divided 
amongst them as charms to inspire courage. 

In the Landers' narrative, instances of similar 
atrocity are to be met with. We are informed^ that 
at Jenna it is the custom for two of the governor's 
wives to quit the world on the same day with him- 
self; and that the governor of that place, himself of 
necessity goes down to the grave on the demise of his 
sovereign, the king of Yarriba. 

Mr. Laird;"; speaks of the decease of an aged chief 
while he was at Fundali, who left 15 wives; and he 
tells us that on the night this man was to be buried, 
the king w T ent to the women's apartment, and se- 
lected one, who Avas to be hung, in order to ac- 
company her husband to the next world. 

Of the other barbarous customs of Africa, the 
continual appeal to the ordeal of " red water," or 
poison, is one of the worst. This, too, also shows 
the very low rate at which human life is valued. 
At Iddah Mr. 01diield§ saw a procession of the 
wives of the king's son, just deceased, who were 
proceeding to establish their innocence of his death 

* Mnjor Rickett'* Narrative of the Ashantee War, p. 105. 
+ Lander, vol i., p. 92, 93. 
I Laird, vol. i., p. 225. 
§ Oldfield, vol. ii., p. 178. 


by drinking poison ; and lie says, that " out of sixty 
of these poor infatuated wretches, thirty-one died." 

I shall close this gloomy catalogue of barbarities 
with an account, extracted from Lander,* of some of 
the atrocities perpetrated in Badagry. He says, 
"The murder of a slave is not considered even in 
the light of a misdemeanour among them. Badagry 
being a general mart for the sale of slaves to the 
European merchants, it not unfrequently happens 
that the market is overstocked with human beings ; in 
which case their maintenance devolves on the govern- 
ment. Thieves and other offenders, together with the 
remnant of unpurchased slaves who are not drowned 
along with their companions in misfortune and 
misery, are reserved by them to be sacrificed to their 
gods ; which horrid ceremony takes place at least 
once a month. Prisoners taken in war are also 
immolated, to appease the manes of the soldiers of 
Adoilee slain in battle ; and of all atrocities, the man- 
ner in which these wretches are slain is the most 
barbarous. Each criminal being conducted to the 
fetish tree, a flask of rum is given him to drink ; 
whilst he is in the act of swallowing it, a fellow steals 
imperceptibly behind him with a heavy club, inflicts 
a violent blow on the back of the head, and, as it 
often happens, dashes out his brains. The senseless 
being is then taken to the fetish hut, and a calabash 
or gourd having been previously got ready, the head 
is severed from the trunk with an axe, and the 
* Lander, vol. ii,, p. 249. 


smoking blood gurgles into it. "While this is in 

hand, other wretches, furnished with knives, cut and 

mangle the body in order to extract the heart entire 

from the breast, which being done, although it be yet 

warm and quivering with blood, it is presented to 

the king first, and afterwards to his wives and 

generals, who always attend at the celebration of 

these sacrifices ; and his majesty and suite making 

an incision into it with their teeth, and partaking of 

the foamy blood, which is likewise offered, the heart 

is exhibited to the surrounding multitude. It is then 

affixed to the head of a tall spear, and with the 

calabash of blood, and headless body, paraded through 

the town, followed by hundreds of spearmen, and 

a dense crowd of people. Whoever may express 

an inclination to bite the heart or drink the blood, 

has it immediately presented to him for that purpose, 

the multitude dancing and singing. What remains 

of the heart is flung to the dogs, and the body, cut in 

pieces, is stuck on the fetish tree, where it is left till 

wholly devoured by birds of prey. Besides these 

butcheries, they make a grand sacrifice once a year, 

under their sacred fetish tree, growing in a wood, 

a few miles from the city. These are offered 

to their malevolent demon or spirit of evil, quartered, 

and hung on the gigantic branches of the venerable 

tree, and the skulls of the victims suffered to bleach 

in the sun around the trunk of it. By accident, I 

had an opportunity of seeing this much talked of tree, 

a day or two only after one of the yearly sacrifices — 


its enormous branches literally covered with frag- 
ments of human bodies, and its majestic trunk 
surrounded by irregular heaps of hideous skulls, 
which had been suffered to accumulate for many 
years previously. Thousands of vultures which had 
been scared away by our unwelcome intrusion, were 
yet hovering round and over their disgusting food, 
and now and then pouncing fearlessly down upon a 
half devoured armor leg. I stood as if fascinated to 
the spot by the influence of a torpedo, and stupidly 
gazed on the ghastly spectacle before me — the huge 
branches of the fetish tree groaning under their 
burden of human flesh and bones, and sluggishly 
waving in consequence of the hasty retreat of the 
birds of prey ; the intense and almost insufferable 
heat of a vertical sun ; the intolerable odour of the 
corrupt corpses ; the heaps of human heads, many 
of them apparently staring at me from hollows which 
had once sparkled with living eyes ; the awful still- 
ness and solitude of the place, disturbed only at inter- 
vals by the frightful screamings of voracious vultures, 
as they flapped their sable wings almost in my face — 
all tended to overpower me ; my heart sickened with- 
in my bosom, — a dimness came over my eyes, an in- 
expressible quivering agitated my whole frame — my 
legs refused to support me ; and turning my head, I 
fell senseless into the arms of Jowdie my faithful 

The perpetual witnessing of such revolting scenes 
* Lander, pp. 260—268, 


and the constant perpetration of such atrocious deeds, 
as have been detailed in the foregoing pages, keep 
the African population in a state of callous barbarity, 
which can only be effectually counteracted by Christian 
civilisation — to impart which to them, the recital of 
such horrors may well animate our desires, and 
quicken our endeavours. In the meantime, it appears 
our duty to protest against them in all our official 
transactions, and to make the Africans aware, that 
they can only obtain the advantages of a connexion 
with Europeans, by renouncing practices which out- 
rage the feelings of civilised men. And, as a more ex- 
tended intercourse is opening between us and them, 
now is the time to establish this principle. That 
many of the Africans have a regard for European 
opinions, and that they are already aware that their 
bloody rites are offensive to Christians, is, I think, 
fully demonstrated by several facts which have been 
stated in this chapter. For this reason it is that those 
of them who live on coasts frequented by our traders, 
have betaken to the practice of perpetrating their 
sanguinary orgies under the shades of night ; for this 
reason did the king of Ashantee endeavour to hide 
some of his butcheries from the British Envoy, that 
" he might not have to report that the sovereign of 
Ashantee delighted in spilling human blood." It was 
for the same cause that a friendly chief who visited 
Sir Charles M'Carthy in the Ashantee war,* had 
hung pieces of tartan round his war drums, to hide 
* Rickc'it's Ashantee War, p. 38. 


the jaw-bones and skulls with which they were orna- 
mented, " being fearful, from what he had heard of 
the character of his Excellency, that they should give 
offence ;" and that King Dinkera desisted from the 
murder he was about to commit on the occasion of 
his sister's death, on hearing that the British Govern- 
ment disapproved of such practices. 

As this portion of my work tends to exhibit the 
state of Africa under a new and most melancholy 
aspect, I did not feel justified in omitting it ; but it 
was my intention and desire to make it as brief as 
possible. I find myself, however, under the necessity 
of extending it. I have received from the secretaries of 
the Wesleyan Missionary Society the following nar- 
rative, which I have somewhat abbreviated. It gives 
a picture, the accuracy of w r hich no one will doubt, 
seeing the quarter from which it comes, of events 
which have occurred during the current year, in a 
town not more than 150 miles distant from the Bri- 
tish settlement of Cape Coast Castle : — 

Extracts from the Letters and Journal of the Rev. 
Thomas B. Freeman, JV&sleyan Missionary, 
containing an account of his visit to Ashantee in 

Reverend and Dear Sirs, 

Ever since my arrival on this station, (Cape 
Coast Castle,) I had felt deeply anxious to visit 


Coomassie. The tales of horror, wretchedness, and 
cruelty which I had often heard respecting the Ashan- 
tees wrought in my mind a constant restlessness to 
commence missionary operations among them. ■ 

Feb. 2. — At half-past 3 p.m. I reached the town of 
Mansue, and was very kindly received by the chief 
and his captains. 

Before I retired to rest, Gabrea (the chief) sent 
me a present, consisting of a good sheep, some plan- 
tains, and pine apples. His mother also sent me 
some yams and plantains. 

3rd, Sunday. — At 4 p.m. I preached the word of 
life to the chief and his captains, and many of the 

Considering their ignorant condition, they behaved 
very well. I do not remember that I ever witnessed 
a more interesting scene than that which took place 
at the close of the sermon. The sublime truths con- 
cerning the mysterious plan of human redemption, 
made such an impression on the minds of the chief 
and his captains, that they could no longer contain 
themselves, but spreading abroad their hands, and 
lifting up their voices, they acknowledged the loving- 
kindness of God, and declared, before many of their 
people, that they would worship God ; and I verily 
believe they would, if they could be watched over by 
a missionary or a teacher. 

Oth. — At 6£ A. M. I started from Berracoe i'oi 
the river Pnih,* which I reached nine minutes 
* Boosempvah of Bowditch 


before 9 a.m. The river, the largest I have yet 
seen in Africa, with its thickly- wooded banks 
abounding in palm treees and mimosae, presented a 
beautifully picturesque scene. When the river is 
at its greatest height, its depth may be about thirty 
or forty feet, and its breadth about ninety yards. 
Near the crossing place its bed is very rocky ; as it 
was very low, I could see many large pieces] of gra- 
nite above the surface of the water. The river Prah 
forms the boundary between Fantee and the domi- 
nions of the king of Ashantee. On the Fantee side 
of the river is a small town called Prahshoo. 

The whole of the Fantee country through which 
I passed, from within a mile or two of Cape Coast 
Castle up to the river Prah, a distance of about 
eighty-five miles, is covered with luxuriant vegeta- 
tion, consisting of plantains, bananas, palms, bamboos, 
pines, many large forest trees, covered with climbers, 
" Epiphitical Archidacece" and ferns. 

Immediately before entering Quissah, I passed 
over a hill of considerable height. Its soil is very 
rich, consisting of a mixture of yellow loam and 
clay. A spring of the most delicious water I ever 
tasted, rises above half way up the hill, (from what 
I could judge,) and after tumbling down its rocky 
bed of granite, bubbles by the small town of Quissah. 
The Assin country, though consisting of a very 
rich and fertile soil, covered with luxuriant vegeta- 
tion, presents one unbroken scene of desolation,* 

* If this brief account of Fantee and Assin is compared with 


except here and there a few huts occupied by 
Ashantees, whom the king sends to take care of the 

9th. — This morning the chief informed me that 
Corintchie, the chief of Fomunnah, had sent over 
for him to converse with him respecting me. Shortly 
afterwards, a messenger arrived from Corintchie, 
requesting me to go over and visit him, which I 
immediately prepared to do. When I entered the 
town, Corintchie was sitting before the front of his 
house under his large umbrella, waiting to receive 
me, his captains and people occupying the ground 
on his right and left. After the usual compliments 
on meeting, he asked me what object I had in view 
in wishing to pass up to Coomassie. I told him I 
had nothing to do with trade or palavers, but was 
come into the country to promote the best interests 
of the king of Ashantee and his people, by directing 
them in the way of peace and happiness through the 
preaching of the gospel. He then said he should 
like to hear the gospel in his town, before I pro- 
ceeded any further into the country. I hereupon 
proceeded to speak to him and all present on the 
being of a God, and the nature of the Christian reli- 
gion. They readily gave their assent to all I said, 
and Corintchie requested me to pay them a visit on 

that given by Bowditch, p. 23-4, it will be perceived that the 
Fantee country is rapidly improving under the fostering care oi 
the local government of Cape Coast, •while the Assin country 
abandoned by its rightful owners, is in ruins. 


the morrow, that they might hear more from me 
concerning the Christian religion. On my remark- 
ing, that as I was a minister of the gospel, I could 
not prudently make them presents according to the 
usual custom, it being beneath the dignity of Chris- 
tianity, which is so truly excellent in itself that it 
requires no recommendation except a consciousness 
of its value, he answered, " We do not desire any 
of the customary presents from you, but wish rather 
to become acquainted with Christianity." 

There were about 500 persons present. 

10th, Sunday.— At 8 p. m. I again went over to 
Fomunnah, to preach the word of life, followed by 
the chief of Quissah. 

I had a goodly number of our people with me, 
who assisted in singing the praises of God. 

At the conclusion of the sermon, Corintchie and 
his captains said it was a " good palaver." On my 
telling them that I had not laid before them a thou- 
sandth part of the sublime truths contained in the 
Bible, they said they should like to hear more of 
them, and especially what " Yancumpon" (God) 
liked, and what he disliked ; and seemed much 
pleased when I told them I should be happy to preach 
to them again whenever they pleased. 

On the 12th, Mr. Freeman received a present from 
the king of nine ackies of gold dust, (£2. 5s.,) and 
he was invited to remove to Fomunnah. 

19th, Tuesday. — Last night a sister of Corintchie 
died, after a Ions; sickness. Her death was an- 


nounced by the firing of muskets, and the mourners 
going about the streets. When an Ashantee of any 
description dies, several of the deceased's slaves are 
sacrificed. This horrible custom originates in some 
shadowy ideas of a future state of existence, and in 
a notion that those who depart hence stand in need 
of material food, clothing, &c, the same as in the 
present world ; and, consequently, as a vast number 
of concubines, slaves, &c. are the chief marks of su- 
periority among them here, so they will be in a future 
state. Accordingly, as I walked out early in the 
morning, I saw the mangled corpse of a. poor female 
slave, who had been beheaded during the night, lying- 
in the public street. It was partially covered with a 
common mat, (made from the stem of the plantain 
tree,) and as this covering is unusual, I concluded 
that it was thrown over to hide it from my view. In 
the course of the day I saw groups of natives dancing 
round this victim of superstitious cruelty, with all 
manner of frantic gestures, appearing to be in the 
very zenith of their happiness. 

In the evening I was informed that, as Corintchie 
and his captains did not wish me to see any more 
headless trunks lying in the streets, they had not 
sacrificed any more persons during the day, but would 
most probably do so during the night. I am happy 
to say, however, that I could not ascertain that any 
more sacrifices had been made. That only one per- 
son was sacrificed, I believe resulted entirely from 
n iy being in the town. 


27th. — I had a long conversation with some of the 
natives, on the subject of the general resurrection, 
and of the injury done to their country by human 
sacrifices. Many of the natives seem to have an 
utter dislike to this horrid custom, while others are 
sunk into such a state of apathy, that they are quite 
indifferent about it, though their lives, as well as 
those of others, are continually in danger. 

28th. — I paid Corintchie a visit, and reasoned with 
him closely on the painful consequences of human 
sacrifices and customs for the dead. He readily ac- 
knowledged the evil, and expressed himself as ready 
to do away with it, if he were at full liberty to do so, 
but he " feared the king." 

The only reason he could give for making customs 
for the dead, was that they felt very unhappy when 
they lost their relatives and friends, and were then 
very glad to have recourse to drunkenness, or any- 
thing which would drive gloomy thoughts from their 
minds for a season.* As he thus gave me a good 
opportunity of directing him to the only sure refuge 
for a troubled mind, — the consolations of true reli- 
gion, — I told him that God alone was able to sustain 
the human mind under afflictions and bereavements. 
He seemed affected with what I said to him. 

* While I was staying at Fomunnah I once reproved Corint- 
chie for drunkenness, when he said that the king had checked 
him for it once, and since I also had done it, which made the 
second reproof he had received, he would endeavour to avoid it for 
the future. 



March 2d. — To-day, another human victim was 
sacrificed, on account of the death of a person of 
rank in the town. As I was going out of the town, 
in the cool of the evening, I saw the poor creature 
lying on the ground. The head was severed from 
the body, and lying at a short distance from it. 
Several large turkey-buzzards were feasting on the 
wounds, and literally rolling the head in the dust. 
This unfortunate creature appeared to be about 
eighteen years of age, a strong healthy youth, who 
might in all probability have lived many years longer. 
As I returned into the town, I saw that they had 
dragged the body to a short distance, and thrown it 
into the ditch where the poor female was thrown the 
other day. 

On my conversing with some of the natives, con- 
cerning the horrible nature of human sacrifices, they 
said they themselves did not like them, and wished 
that they could be done away. While the poor 
creature was lying in the public street, many of the 
people were looking on with the greatest indiffer- 
ence ; indeed, they seem to be so familiar With these 
awful and bloody scenes, that they think no more of 
them, nay, they do not think so much of them, 
as they would of seeing a dead sheep, dog, or 

17th. — In the afternoon I again conducted Divine 
service, and preached from Matt; xix. 17, "If thou 
wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Co- 


rintchie and several of his captains were present, and 
appeared much excited during the sermon, but more 
especially during that part in which I explained to 
them the Ten Commandments. They often stopped 
me in my discourse, to ask questions ; among which 
was the following : — " Is the offering a human sa- 
crifice, murder ?" I answered, " It is even so ; and 
you will henceforth be left without excuse, if you 
still persist in that horrible practice." After I had 
directed their attention to the excellence of the com- 
mandments, especially the temporal and spiritual 
blessings which the consecration of the Christian 
Sabbath is calculated to introduce among mankind, 
I proposed the following question : — " Who are the 
happiest persons ? those avIio conscientiously keep 
God's commandments, or those who wilfully break 
them ?" They answered, without hesitation, " Those 
who keep them." And I verily believe that this 
answer was given in sincerity, as they appeared 
deeply impressed with the solemnity of the dis- 

On Mr. Freeman's afterwards telling them that 
he feared the delay of the king, in sending for him/ 
proceeded from suspicion, and " that it was his duty 
to turn aside, and carry the glad tidings of salvation 
to another nation, if he found them averse to re- 
ceiving the truth," they seemed very much con- 
cerned, and said they felt no disposition to oppose 
the introduction of Christianity amongst them, and 

. s2 


that they believed the king would also he glad to 
hear the truths of the gospel, and that he would wish 
me to stay a long time in Coomassie, after my arrival 
and first interview. 

In the afternoon, I rambled through the thicket, 
to the summit of a distant hill, where one of the 
most splendid pieces of scenery I ever saw, burst 
upon my view. The bush on the summit being 
rather low, I had an opportunity of viewing the sur- 
rounding country, in some directions, for several 
miles. Down the sloping sides of the hill the splen- 
did plantain-tree was luxuriating and waving its 
beautiful foliage. Then followed the delightful vale, 
winding to the right and left, studded with gigantic 
silk-cotton trees, acacise, mimosse, with an endless 
variety of climbers. 

28th, Thursday. — I travelled through a fine fertile 
country of diversified hill and dale, covered witli 
luxuriant vegetation, and studded with immense silk- 
cotton, and other forest trees. 

April 1, at 2 p.m. a messenger arrived from the 
king, requesting me to proceed as early as possible. 
„I immediately dressed myself; and while so doing 
three other messengers arrived, each bearing a gold 
sword, requesting me to hasten forward. I then 
proceeded towards the town, preceded by the mes- 
sengers, and some soldiers bearing arms. Having 
reached the outside of the town, we halted under a 
huge tree, and there awaited another royal invitation. 


In a short time his majesty's chief linguist (Apoko) 
came in a palanquin, shaded by an immense umbrella, 
and accompanied by messengers bearing canes nearly 
covered with gold, to take charge of my luggage, 
and see it safely lodged in the residence intended for 
me- All these things being properly arranged, an- 
other messenger arrived, accompanied by troops and 
men bearing large umbrellas, requesting me to" pro- 
ceed to the market-place. " The king's command- 
ment" being " urgent," we pushed along with speed, 
preceded by a band of music. As soon as we arrived 
at the market-place, I got out of my little travelling 
chair, and walked through the midst of an immense 
concourse of persons, (a narrow path being kept 
clear for me,) paying my respects to the king, and 
his numerous chiefs and captains, who were seated 
on wooden chairs, richly decorated with brass and 
gold, under the shade of their splendid umbrellas, 
(some of them large enough to screen twelve or four- 
teen persons from the burning rays of the sun, and 
crowned with images of beasts covered with gold,) 
surrounded by their troops and numerous attendants. 
I occupied half an hour in walking slowly through 
the midst of this immense assembly, touching my hat 
and waving my hand, except before the king, in 
whose presence I, of course, stood for a moment un- 
covered. I then took my seat at a distance, accom- 
panied by my people and several respectable Fantee 
traders, who are staying in the town, to receive the 


compliments of the king, &c, &c, according to their 
usual custom. 

After I had taken my seat, the immense mass 
began to be in motion ; many of the chiefs first 
passed me in succession, (several of them cordially 
shaking me by the hand,) accompanied by their 
numerous retinue. Then came the officers of the 
king's household ; his treasurer, steward, &c, &c, 
attended by their people, some bearing on their heads 
massive pieces of silver-plate, others carrying in their 
hands gold swords and canes, native stools neatly 
carved, and almost covered with gold and silver, and 
tobacco-pipes richly decorated with the same precious 
materials. In this ostentatious display I also saw 
what was calculated to harrow up the strongest and 
most painful feelings ; — the royal executioners bear- 
ing the blood-stained stools on which hundreds, and 
perhaps thousands, of human victims have been 
sacrificed by decapitation ; and also the large death- 
drum, which is beaten at the moment when the fatal 
knife severs the head from the body, the very sound 
of which causes a thrill of horror.* This rude 

* The language of this drum is known by the natives whenever 
they are within hearing ; so that they are as well aware of the 
moment when a sacrifice is made as though they were oii^the very 
spot. While the king was making sacrifices, during the custom 
for his brother, I was in a distant part of the town, conversing 
with my interpreter, who, knowing the fatal meaning of the sound 
of the drum, said, " Hark ! do you hear the drum ? A sacrifice 


instrument, connected with which are the most 
dreadful associations, was literally covered with dried 
clots of blood, and decorated with the jaw-bones and 
skulls of human victims. Then followed the king, 
(Quacoe Dooah,) under the shade of three splendid 
umbrellas, the cloth of which was silk velvet, of dif- 
ferent colours, supported by some of his numerous 
attendants. The display of gold which I witnessed, 
as his majesty passed, was truly astonishing. After 
the king followed other chiefs, and lastly the main 
body of the troops. 

This immense procession occupied one hour and a 
half in passing before me. There were several 
Moors in the procession, but they made by no means 
a conspicuous appearance. 

While I was sitting to receive the compliments of 
some of the first chiefs who passed, his majesty made 
me a present of some palm wine. 

I suppose the number of persons whom I saw col- 
lected together, exceeded 40,000, including a great 
number of females. The wrists of some of the chiefs 
were so heavily laden with gold ornaments, that they 
rested their arms on the shoulders of some of their 

The appearance of this procession was exceedingly 
grand and imposing. The contrast between the peo- 
ple themselves and their large umbrellas (seventy in 

has just been made, and the drum says, ' King, I have killed 
him. 5 " 


number) of various colours, which they waved and 
jerked up and down in the air, together with the 
dark-green foliage of the large banyan trees, under and 
among which they passed, formed a scene of that 
novel and extraordinary character which I feel un- 
able to describe. 

This morning I received information that the king 
had lost one of his relations by death, and that in 
consequence thereof, four human victims were already 
sacrificed, and their mangled bodies lying in the 
streets. I therefore concluded that I should not 
have an opportunity of seeing the king for a day or 
two. Shortly afterwards, I saw Apoko, the chief 
linguist, and told him that I was aware that there 
was bloody work going on to-day, as I saw a num- 
ber of large hawks and turkey-buzzards hovering 
over a certain spot where I judged these poor vic- 
tims were lying. He said it was even so, and in 
consequence, I should not have an opportunity of 
seeing the king to-day. and, perhaps, not to-morrow. 
I told him that I did not like the being confined at 
one small place, in a low, unhealthy part of the town, 
and that I must walk out and take exercise, other- 
wise my health would suffer. I also told him that 
I was anxious to commence my journey home to the 
coast on Monday next. On hearing this, he went 
immediately to the king, and informed him of what 
I said ; shortly after which he returned, accom- 
panied by two messengers, (one of them bearing in 


his hand an immense gold sword, to which was fas- 
tened a golden decanter which would hold ahout a 
pint,) stating that his majesty hegged of me not to 
go out into the town to-day, as he was making a 
custom for a departed relative ; and he knew Eu- 
ropeans did not like to see human sacrifices : and, 
also, that he did not wish to keep me from seeing 
over his capital; that he was fully satisfied my ob- 
ject was to do good ; and that he would see me as 
soon as the custom was over. I, of course, com- 
plied with his wishes, and made up my mind to wait 

Throughout the day I heard the horrid sound of 
the death-drum ; and was informed in the evening 
that twenty-five human victims had been sacrificed ; 
some in the town, and some in the surrounding vil- 
lages, the heads of those killed in the villages being 
brought into the town in baskets. I fear there will 
be more of this awful work to-morrow. 

6th, Saturday. — This morning I again talked 
of walking out into the town, when Apoko informed 
me that more sacrifices would be made during the 
day and that I must not go out until to-morrow. 
I therefore remained in my quarters until the after- 
noon, when, on finding myself in rather a dangerous 
state for want of exercise, I insisted upon walking 
out at one end of the town for half an hour. In the 
evening I learned that several more human victims 
had been sacrificed during the day, but could not 


ascertain the exact number. The most accurate 
account I could obtain was that fifteen more had 
suffered, making a total of forty in two days. 

While speaking to Apoko I did not fail to remind 
him that the law of God forbids this awful practice, 
and that they were under a great error in supposing 
that the persons sacrificed, would attend on the de- 
ceased relative of the king in a future state. 

These poor victims were allowed to be naked and 
exposed in the street, until they began to swell like 
dead dogs, and such is the callous state of mind in 
which the people live, that many were going about 
among these putrefying bodies, smoking their pipes 
with astonishing indifference. 

Having asked his Majesty to allow me to see the 
town to-day, he readily gave me liberty to go where 
ever I pleased. I therefore embraced the oppor- 
tunity of looking over it, which occupied about one 
hour. The streets are longer, and more clean and 
uniform than any I have seen in any other native 
town, since my arrival in Africa. The breadth of 
some of them is at least thirty yards, and the average 
length from 300 to 600 yards. The town is situated 
on a bed of granite, fragments of which are strewed 
in abundance over the finest streets, the average size 
of them being about twenty inches cube. A row of 
splendid banyan trees, at a considerable distance 
from each other, occupies the centre of some of the 
largest streets, affording a most delightful shade 


from the burning rays of the sun. The streets differ 
also "in appearance from those of any other town 
which I have seen in the interior, by the houses on 
each side having open fronts. The floor being raised 
from two to three feet above the level of the ground, 
the space between the ground and the level of the 
floor, and in some houses, a foot or two above the 
level of the floor, presents a front of carved work, 
beautifully polished with red ochre. In some the 
carved work is continued up to the roof, and where 
such is the case it is covered with white clay, which 
has the appearance of a lime white-wash. The roofs 
are made chiefly with bamboo -poles, or sticks with 
the bark stripped off, and thatched with palm- 

Behind each of these open fronts are a number of 
small houses, or rather open sheds, in which the people 
dwell, (the room open to the street being more of a pub- 
lic seat than a private room,) at an average number of 
from thirty to forty to each open front. These small 
dwellings in the back ground, are in many cases en- 
tirely hidden from the observation of any one passing 
along the streets, the only indication of them being a 
small door on the left or right of the open front. 
The houses are allbuilt on the same plan, from that 
of the king down to the lowest rank of captains ; 
and these are, with a few exceptions, the only per- 
sons who are allowed to build in any public situation. 
The rocky bed, on which the town is built, is in 


many parts very irregular, and some of the streets 
are so full of holes, occasioned by the heavy rains 
washing the earth out of the fissures of the rocks 
during the rainy season, that any one attempting to 
walk through them in the dark would place his neck 
in danger. 

There is only one stone built house in the town, 
which stands on the royal premises, and is called the 
castle ; all other buildings are of wood and swish, and 
by no means durable. 

The market-place, is a large open space about 
three quarters of a mile in circumference. There is 
no regularity in its form, but it approaches nearest 
to that of a parallelogram. One side of it is a large 
dell surrounded by large trees and high grass,* into 
which they throw at last, the mangled bodies of sa- 
crificed human victims. As I passed by this dell, I 
smelt a most intolerable stench, proceeding from the 
poor creatures who were thrown there on Saturday 
last. My feelings would not permit me to look into 
this horrid receptacle of the dead, but the very idea 
of it is dreadful. 

There are no regularly built stalls in the market- 
place. Many articles of merchandise were placed on 
the ground, and others on little temporary railings, 
which might be put up or taken down in a few 

* There is a kind of grass in the immediate neighbourhood of 
Coomassie, which grows to the height of twenty feet, the stalk of 
which is about three quarters of an inch in diameter- 


moments. Among the commodities exposed for 
sale, I saw Manchester cloths, silk, muslins, roll 
tobacco from the interior, large cakes of a kind of 
pomatum, made from the fruit of a tree in the depth 
of the interior, and used by the Ashantees for anoint- 
ing their bodies, to give a polish to their skins ; 
native tobacco pipes of very neat manufacture, cakes 
of a kind of whiting, used by the natives for marking 
their bodies, kankie (native bread), yams, plantains, 
bananas, pines, ground nuts, fish, and the flesh of 
monkeys and elephants. 

11th, Thursday. — Feeling better to day, I walked 
out into the town for air and exercise. As I passed 
the end of one of the streets I saw a group of persons 
surrounding a large Caboceers umbrella. A band of 
music was playing, and a human victim lying on the 
ground before them, exposed to public view ; I 
turned from the disgusting and awful sight with pain- 
ful feelings. 

In the course of the day, I reminded Apoko of my 
anxiety to obtain an answer from his majesty, respect- 
ing the establishment of schools, &c. in Ashantee, 
who answered, " The king will speedily give you an 
answer ; and we hope you will come to Coomassie 
again, and pay us another visit, as we shall be always 
glad to see you. The king believes that you wish to 
do him and the people good." 

14th, Sunday. — At half-past 7 a. m. I conducted 
divine service at my quarters. I continued in anxious 


expectation of a message from the king until about 
1 1 o'clock, when I found, on inquiry, that Apoko 
had not reminded his Majesty of seeing me to-day, 
because he thought I would not like to transact any 
kind of business on the Sabbath day. This idea was 
the result of a previous conversation with Apoko, 
during which I had explained to him the nature and 
claims of the Christian Sabbath. I told him, that my 
business with his majesty was of a purely religious 
nature, and that I had therefore no objection to see- 
ing him to-day. 

In about two hours Apoko returned, accompanied 
by a host of attendants, linguists, and messengers, 
with a present from his Majesty, consisting of two 
ounces and four ackies of gold dust (£9 currency) 
and a slave for myself; also eight ackies (£2 currency) 
for my interpreter and other attendants. He also 
gave me the following message from the king : — 

" His Majesty knows that you cannot stop longer 
on account of the rains, and as the things which you 
have mentioned to him require much consideration, 
he cannot answer you in so short a time; but if you 
will come up again, or send a messenger after the 
rains are over, he will be prepared to answer you." 

With this message I felt pleased, and said that I 
would certainly either come up again, or send a mes- 
senger at the time mentioned. I then repaired to 
liis Majesty's residence to take my leave, and found 
him seated in one of his apartments, surrounded by 


an immense number of attendants : when he requested 
me, with a courtesy which one could scarcely expect 
from a person so circumstanced, to present his com- 
pliments to his Excellency, President Maclean, and 
take a message to him. 

Having taken my leave, I commenced my journey 
at noon, preceded by an escort of troops. After I 
had proceeded a short distance along the street, Apoko 
came to testify his affection by a hearty shaking of the 

When I reached Franfrahaw, the troops left me ; 
and I stopped a few minutes to emancipate the slave 
whom his Majesty had given me. This poor fellow 
is from the depths of the interior, and is now in the 
prime of his days. 

On my informing him that he was now become a 
free man, he appeared overwhelmed with gratitude, 
and almost fell to the earth before me in acknowledg- 
ment thereof. He had not all the joy to himself, 
however, for whilst I enjoyed the luxury of doing 
good, many of my people looked on him with delight, 
and our pleasure was heightened when he told us, 
that he had been brought out twice for the purpose 
of sacrifice, during the recent custom, and had been 
twice put in irons and sent back alive : and that 
when he was brought out this morning he expected 
to be sacrificed in the course of the day. Happy 
change ! — Instead of having his head cut off, and his 
body thrown to the fowls of the air, he now finds him- 


self in the enjoyment of liberty, safely proceeding 
with ns far away from the scenes of his captivity. 

Night closed in nearly an hour before I reached my 
resting place, but we kept our path through the 
forest without much difficulty, and reached Fomun- 
nah a quarter after seven o'clock, wet, weary, and 
hungry. I immediately repaired to Corintchie's resi- 
dence. He seemed overjoyed to see me, gave me a 
hearty shaking with both hands, put his arms around 
my neck in transport, and made me a present of 
palm wine, and a mess of soup made with the flesh 
of the monkey. I then retired to my lodgings, and 
thankfully partook of Corintchie's monkey soup to 
satisfy the cravings of hunger, having little else to eat. 

17th, Wednesday. — Early this morning, Corin- 
tchie came to my quarters, shook me cordially 
by the hand, and testified his delight at seeing 
me safely returned from Coomassie. On my telling' 
him that I should want him to assist me in holding- 
further intercourse with the king, by sending mes- 
sengers, &c, and that perhaps I should return to 
Coomassie in the course of the next dry season, he 
said he would readily do anything which I requested 
of him. 

22d, — Reached Mansue : Gabree, the chief, wel- 
comed me back. 

On my inquiring whether he would like a mission 
to be established at Mansue, he said " Yes," and he 
should feel very happy it' he had a missionary resid- 


ing with him. Gabree is one of the most respectable 
chiefs in Fantee. 

Mansue, and the adjacent villages, contain a po- 
pulation of at least 10,000 souls, and is admirably 
situated for the establishment of a mission. 

Mr. Freeman reached Cape Coast in health and 
safety, April 23rd. In his letter to the secretaries 
of the Wesleyan missions, he adds, " I have no 
doubt as to getting up to Ashantee for the future, 
with much less expense than has been incurred in 
my first visit. The king would not make so much 
ado the second time, as I am no longer a stranger. 
I also think, that even, with a stranger, he would not 
adopt the same course as he did with me, inasmuch 
as the novelty is over." 

Such is the fearful state of a large population in 
the vicinity of a settlement which has belonged to 
Great Britain for more than a century ; but, also, 
such are the openings for missionaries. I know not 
whether the one or the other constitutes the stronger 
argument for efforts in that quarter for the spread of 
education and Christian truth. I shall recur to this 
subject when I speak of the " Elevation of the Native 
Mind," only observing that a serious responsibility 
will rest upon Christian England, if such an opening 
into Interior Africa be neglected." 

General Review. 
My object in this part of the work has been to 


furnish a description of Africa as it now is, — I shall 
conclude with a few observations. 

Towards the end of the last century the cruelty 
and the carnage which raged in Africa were laid 
open. From the most generous motives, and at a 
mighty cost, we have attempted to arrest this evil ; it 
is, however, but too evident, that, under the mode we 
have taken for the suppression of the Slave Trade, 
it has increased. 

It has been proved, by documents which cannot be 
controverted, that, for every village fired, and every 
drove of human beings marched in former times, there 
are now double. For every cargo then at sea, two 
cargoes, or twice the numbers in one cargo, wedged 
together in a mass of living corruption, are now 
borne on the wave of the Atlantic. But, whilst 
the numbers who suffer have increased, there is no 
reason to believe that the sufferings of each have 
been abated; on the contrary, we know that in 
some particulars these have increased; so that the 
sum total of misery swells in both ways. Each 
individual has more to endure ; and the number of 
individuals is twice what it was. The result, there- 
fore, is, that aggravated suffering reaches multi- 
plied numbers. 

It is hardly necessary to remind the reader that the 
statement I have given of the enormities attendant 
on the supply of slaves to the New World must, 
from the nature of the case, be a very faint picture 
of the reality — a sample, and no more, of what is 


inflicted and endured in Africa. Our knowledge is 
very limited ; but few travellers have visited Africa 
— the Slave Trade was not their object, and they had 
slender means of information beyond what their ovyn 
eyes furnished ; yet, what do they disclose ! 

If Africa were penetrated in every direction by 
persons furnished with the means of obtaining full 
and correct information, and whose object was the 
delineation of the Slave Trade — if, not some isolated 
spots, but the whole country, were examined — if, 
instead of a few casual visitors, recording the events 
of to-day, but knowing nothing of what occurred 
yesterday, or shall take place to-morrow, we had 
everywhere those who could chronicle every slave- 
hunt, and its savage concomitants, — if we thus pos- 
sessed the means of measuring the true breadth and 
depth of this trade in blood — is it not fair to suppose 
that a mass of horrors would be collected, in com- 
parison with which all that has been hitherto related 
would be as nothing ? 

It should be borne in constant memory, difficult as 
it is to realise, that the facts I have narrated are not 
the afflictions of a narrow district, and of a few inha- 
bitants ; — the scene is a quarter of the globe — a mul- 
titude of millions, its population ; — that these facts 
are not gleaned from the records of former times, 
and preserved by historians as illustrations of the 
strange and prodigious wickedness of a darker age. 
They are the common occurrences of our own era — 
the " customs" which prevail at this very hour. Every 



day which we pass in security and peace at home, 
witnesses many a herd of wretches toiling over the 
wastes of Africa, to slavery or death ; every night 
villages are roused from their sleep, to the alterna- 
tives of the sword, or the flames, or the manacle. 
At the time I am writing, there are at least twenty 
thousand human beings on the Atlantic, exposed 
to every variety of wretchedness. Well might Mr. Pitt 
say, "there is something in the horror of it which 
surpasses all the bounds of imagination." 

I do not see how we can escape the conviction that 
such is the result of our efforts, unless by giving way 
to a vague and undefined hope, with no evidence to 
support it, that the facts I have collected, though 
true at the time, are no longer a fair exemplification 
of the existing state of things. In the most recent 
documents relating to the Slave Trade, I find no 
ground for any such consolatory surmise ; on the 
contrary, I am driven by them to the sorrowful con- 
viction, that the year, from September, 1837, to 
September, 1838, is distinguished beyond all pre- 
ceding years for the extent of the trade, for the 
intensity of its miseries, and for the unusual havoc 
it makes on human life. 

If I believed that the evil, terrible as it is, were 
also irremediable, I should be more than ready to bury 
this mass of distress, and this dark catalogue of crime, 
in mournful silence, and to spare others, and especially 
those who have sympathised with, and laboured for, 
the negro race, from sharing with me the pain of 


learning how wide of the truth are the expectations 
in which we have indulged. But I feel no such 
despondency ; I firmly believe that Africa has within 
herself the means and the endowments which might 
enable her to shake off, and to emerge from, her load 
of misery, to the benefit of the whole civilised world, 
and to the unspeakable improvement of her own, now 
barbarous, population. This leads me to the second 
point, viz., the capabilities of Africa. 

There are two questions which require to be de- 
cided before we can assume it possible to extin- 
guish the Slave Trade. First, Has Africa that 
latent wealth, and those unexplored resources, which 
would, if they were fully developed, more than com- 
pensate for the loss of the traffic in man ? Secondly, 
Is it possible so to call forth her capabilities, that 
her natives may perceive that the Slave Trade, far 
from being the source of their wealth, is the grand 
barrier to their prosperity, and that by its suppression 
they would be placed in the best position for obtain- 
ing all the commodities and luxuries which they are 
desirous to possess ? 

Beyond all doubt, she has within herself all that 
is needed for the widest range of commerce, and 
for the most plentiful supply of everything which 
conduces to the comfort and to the affluence of 
man. Her soil is eminently fertile — Ptolemy says 
it " is richer in the quality, and more wonderful 
in the quantity, of its productions, than Europe 
or Asia." Are its limits narrow ? It stretches 


from the borders of the Mediterranean to the Cape 
of Good Hope, and from the Atlantic to the Indian 
Ocean. Are its productions such as we little want 
or lightly value ? The very commodities most in 
request in the civilised world are the spontane- 
ous growth of these uncultivated regions. Is the 
interior inaccessible ? The noblest rivers flow 
through it, and would furnish a cheap and easy 
mode of conveyance for every article of legitimate 
trade. Is there a dearth of population, or is that 
population averse to the pursuits of commerce 1 
Drained of its inhabitants, as Africa has been, it 
possesses an enormous population, and these emi- 
nently disposed to traffic. Does it lie at so vast 
a distance as to forbid the hope of continual inter- 
course ? In sailing to India, we pass along its 
western and eastern coasts. In comparison with 
China, it is in our neighbourhood. 

Are not these circumstances sufficient to create 
the hope that Africa is capable of being raised from 
her present abject condition, and, while improving 
her own state, of adding to the enjoyments and sti- 
mulating the commerce of the civilised world ? 

It is earnestly to be desired that all Christian 
powers should unite in one great confederacy, for the 
purpose of calling into action the dormant energies 
of Africa ; but if this unanimity is not to be obtained, 
there are abundant reasons to induce this nation, alone 
if it must so be, to undertake the task. Africa and 
Great Britain stand in this relation toward each 


other. Each possesses what the other requires, and 
each requires what the other possesses. Great Bri- 
tain wants raw material, and a market for her manu- 
factured goods. Africa wants manufactured goods, 
and a market for her raw material. Should it, 
however, appear that, in place of profit, loss were to 
be looked for, and obloquy instead of honour, I yet 
believe that there is that commiseration, and that 
conscience, in the public mind, which will induce this 
country to undertake, and, with the Divine blessing, 
enable her to succeed in crushing " the greatest prac- 
tical evil that ever afflicted mankind."* 

* Mr. Pitt. 



The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. — Isaiah xxxt. 1. 



As the reniedj 1 contemplate is now, ior the ii i s c 
time, published, it is necessary to explain the reason 
why it has hitherto been withheld. In the spring- of 
1838, I stated to several members of the cabinet my 
views as to the suppression of the Slave Trade. I 
could not reasonably expect, that, in the extreme 
pressure of business during the sitting of Parliament, 
they would be able to find time to give it the 
consideration it required, I therefore prepared for 
the press and printed a few copies of my work— de- 
scribing the horrors of the Slave Trade, and propos- 
ing a remedy, for the private use of the members of 
the administration, and placed these in their hands 
on the day that the session closed. At the latter end 
of the year (December 22), after various communi- 
cations with Lords Glenelg and Palmerston, I was 
officially informed that the Government had resolved 


to embrace and to adopt the substance of the plan. 
A question then arose as to the propriety of printing 
the whole work. It was thought highly desirable 
that the public should be put in possession of the facts 
which showed the extent of the Slave Trade, and the 
waste of human life which accompanied it. But as 
a negociation had been commenced with Spain for 
the cession to Great Britain of the sovereignty of 
Fernando Po, it was not deemed advisable to give 
publicity to the intelligence I had obtained as to that 
island, and the importance I attached to its possession. 
It was therefore resolved that I should publish the 
first part, withholding the Remedy till the fate of the 
negociation was determined ; in consequence of which 
my first volume was put into circulation in the com- 
mencement of the year 1839. 

The negociation has not, I regret to say, been 
as yet brought to an issue ; but it is in that 
state, that a definitive answer must speedily be re- 
ceived, and I am assured that there is no occasion 
for any further delay. 

There is another point upon which I wish to make 
myself clearly intelligible. Some of my most valu- 
able associates have given me a friendly intimation 
that they " hold themselves wholly distinct from any 
measure the Government may adopt with respect to 


the defence of the Colonies, or the suppression of the 
Slave Trade by armed force ; and that they are no^ 
to be considered responsible for the recommendations 
that any member of our committee may make, in 
connexion with such measures." This is a protest 
against those passages in my Remedy in which I 
advise that our squadron may for the present be ren- 
dered more efficient, and that our settlements should 
be protected by the British Government. I entirely 
feel, that the gentlemen who have made the protest 
cannot be considered as parties to this recommenda- 
tion. It was a suggestion of my own — -it was offered 
to Government before they had seen it — and Govern- 
ment will take its own course upon the subject. In 
my book I propose two distinct courses ; and I couple 
them together in the same work, because the arguments 
employed bear upon each of these separate questions. 
In other words, I apply to the Government to do one 
thing for the suppression of the Slave Trade, viz. to 
strengthen our squadron ; and I apply to individuals 
to join me in measures having the same object, but of 
a character totally different. Such, for example, as 
an attempt to elevate the mind of the people of 
Africa, and to call forth the capabilities of her soil. 

I have no wish to disguise my sentiments about 
armed force. I deprecate, as much as any man, re- 
sorting to violence and war. These are against the 


whole tenor of my views. It will be admitted, I 
think, that I have laboured hard in this book to show, 
that our great error has been, that we have depended 
far too much upon physical force, It is, however, the 
duty of our Government to see that the peace of our 
settlements be preserved. The natives whom we 
induce to engage in agriculture must not be exposed 
to the irruption of a savage banditti, instigated by 
some miscreant from Europe, whose vessel waits 
upon the shore for a human cargo. Nor must our 
runaway sailors repeat in Africa the atrocities which 
have been practised in New Zealand. Again and 
again the Foulah tribes said to the missionaries on 
the river Gambia, " Give us security, and we will 
gladly till the land and pasture the cattle in your 
neighbourhood." There Avere no means of thus pro- 
tecting them, and hence an experiment, founded on 
admirable principles, failed. But when I ask for an 
effectual police force, I ask for that only. I do not 
desire the employment of such a military force as 
might be perverted into the means of war and con- 
quest. I want only, that the man engaged in lawful 
and innocent employment in Africa, should have the 
same protection as an agricultural labourer or a me- 
chanic receives in England ; and that there, as well 
as here, the murderer and man-stealer may be ar- 
rested and punished. 


It is possible that in these views I may be mis- 
taken ; and that the gentlemen to whom I allude 
may wholly differ from me. But there is no reason 
because they do so, avowing their dissent, that they 
should abstain from joining me in the task of deli- 
vering Africa from the Slave Trade by the means of 
her own mind, and her own resources, developed and 
cultivated. In this object we heartily agree; and 
for its accomplishment we may heartily unite. I 
number amongst my coadjutors very many of the 
Society of Friends ; but I prize too highly the disin- 
terested and unflinching zeal with which that body 
pursues the objects which it approves, to be content 
to lose any individual of the number, especially 
through a misapprehension ; and it is for the purpose 
of averting this, that I have thought it necessary to 
enter into this explanation. 

I have already described the state of Africa. It 
will on all hands be said that there are great, if not 
invincible, difficulties to the application of a remedy. 
This is but too true. There is only one consideration 
strong enough to prompt us to grapple with these 
difficulties, namely, a just apprehension of her 
miseries. I pray my readers not to shrink from the 
task of sedulously studying the facts collected in this 
book. In the case of Africa, I fear hardly anything 


so much as the indulgence of excessive tenderness 
of feeling. If the benevolent and religious portion 
of the public choose to content themselves with the 
general and superficial conviction, that there is no 
doubt a great mass of misery in Africa, but refuse to 
sift and scrutinize each circumstance of horror, 
pleading the susceptibility of their nerves as an apo- 
logy to themselves for shutting their eyes and closing 
their ears to such revolting details ; then the best 
hope for Africa — perhaps the only hope — vanishes 
away. That resolute, unflinching, untiring deter- 
mination which is necessary, in order to surmount 
the difficulties which lie in the way of her deliver- 
ance, requires not only that the understanding should 
be convinced, but that the heart should be moved. 
Our feelings will be far too tame for the occasion, 
unless we can, in pity to Africa, summon courage 
enough to face, and to study, the horrors of the Slave 
Trade, and the abominations which there grow out of 
a dark and bloody superstition. 


It has been no very difficult task to collect materials 
for a description of the varied and intense miseries 
with which Africa is afflicted. Every person who 
visits that country, — whether his motive be the pur- 
suit of traffic or the gratification of curiosity, the pro- 
secution of geographical science or of missionary 
labour, — brings back a copious collection of details 
calculated to excite pity, disgust, and horror. 

Happy would it be if it were as easy to point out 
the remedy, as to explore the disease. 

To this task I now address myself, difficult though 
it be, from various causes — from the magnitude of 
the evil — from the vast and complicated interests in- 
volved — and from the comparative scantiness of our 
information. For, while the miseries of Africa are such 
as meet the eye of the most casual traveller, — while her 
crimes and woes are such as no one can overlook ; — 
the sources from whence we must hope for the remedy 
lie much deeper and far more hidden from our view. 
We know so little really of the interior of Africa, — 
her geography, her history, her soil, climate, arid pro- 
ductions, — so little of the true condition and capa- 


bilities of her inhabitants, that (having collected all 
the information within my reach) it is with very great 
diffidence I venture to put forth what appear to me, 
to be the principles which must rescue her, and the 
steps which we, as a nation, and as individuals, 
are called upon to take, to carry those principles into 

In one respect I apprehend no liability to error. 
With all confidence we may affirm, that nothing per- 
manent will be effected, unless we raise the native 
mind. It is possible to conceive such an application 
of force, as shall blockade the whole coast, and sweep 
away every slaver : but should that effort relax, the 
trade in man would revive. Compulsion, so long as 
it lasts^ may restrain the act, but it will not eradicate 
the motive. The African will not have ceased to 
desire, and vehemently to crave, the spirits, the 
ammunition, and the articles of finery and commerce 
which Europe alone can supply : and these he can ob- 
tain by the Slave Trade, and by the Slave Trade only, 
while he remains what he is. The pursuit of man, 
therefore, is to him not a matter of choice and selec- 
tion, but of necessity, and after any interval of con- 
strained abstinence he will revert to it as the business 
of his life. 

But, when the African nations shall emerge from 
their present state of darkness and debasement, they 
will require no arguments from us, to convince them 
of the monstrous impolicy of the Slave Trade. They 
will not be content to see their remaining territories 


a wilderness, themselves in penury, their villages 
exposed day after day to havoc and conflagration, their 
children kidnapped and slaughtered, — and all for the 
purpose of gaining a paltry supply of the most in- 
ferior and pernicious articles of Europe. They will 
perceive, that their effective strength may he applied 
to other, and more lucrative purposes : and as their 
intellect advances, it is not too much to hope that 
their morals will improve, and that they will awaken 
to the enormous wickedness, as well as folly, of this 
cruel system. " Europe, therefore," (to use the words 
of one of the most distinguished of African travel- 
lers,*) "will have done little for the Blacks, if the 
abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade is not followed 
up by some wise and grand plan for the civilization 
of the continent. None presents a fairer prospect 
than the education of the sons of Africa in their own 
country, and by their own countrymen previously 
educated by Europeans." 

We may assume, and with almost equal confi- 
dence, that Africa can never be delivered, till we 
have called forth the rich productiveness of her soil. 
She derives, it must be confessed, some pecuniary 
advantage from the Slave Trade: happily, however, 
it is the smallest possible amount of revenue, at 
the largest possible amount of cost. The strength 
of our case, and the foundation of our hope, lie in 
the assurance, — I am tempted rather to call it, the 
indisputable certainty, — that the soil will yield a far 
* Burckhardt, p. 344. 


more generous return. Grant that the chieftains 
sell every year 250,000 of the inhabitants, and that into 
their hands £4 per head is honestly paid. (This is not 
the fact, however, for they are often defrauded alto- 
gether, and are always cheated by receiving mer- 
chandise of the most inferior description.) Bat let us 
suppose that they get the value of one million of 
money : we have, from this sum, to deduct, first, the 
cost of maintaining their armies intended for the 
Slave Trade : then of the reprisals which are made 
upon themselves, and the consequent ravage of their 
land and destruction of their property : thirdly, the 
material items of arms, ammunition, and ardent 
spirits, which form one-third of the whole of the 
goods imported into Central Africa, and the greater 
part of which are consumed in their horrid slave- 
hunts :* — to say nothing of any indirect loss, such 
as millions of [fertile acres being left a desert ; 
— nothing of perils encountered and torments en- 
dured ; — making no other abatement than the three 
sources of direct and unavoidable expense which I 
have named, — the million will have melted away 
to a very slender sum. Call the clear profit, for 
argument's sake, £300,000 ;— and is £300,000 all 
that can be reaped from so extensive a portion of the 

* I remember it was given in evidence before a Parliamentary 
Committee, that an African chief thus concisely stated his mer- 
cantile views: — "We want three things, viz. powder, bull, and 
brandy ; and we have three things to sell, viz. men, women, and 
children. " 


globe, inferior to none other in native wealth ? Her 
fisheries, separately taken, would yield more ; or her 
mines, or her timber, or her drugs, her indigo, or her 
sugar, or her cotton. 

I am then stedfast in my belief, that the capabili- 
ties of Africa would furnish full compensation to 
that country for the loss of the Slave Trade. It may 
sound visionary at the present time, but I expect that 
at some future, and not very distant day, it will 
appear, that for every pound she now receives from 
the export of her people, a hundred pounds' worth 
of produce, either for home consumption or foreign 
commerce, will be raised from the fertility of her 

It is something to know that there is a natural and 
an infallible remedy for the distractions of Africa, 
and that the remedy is within reach, were there but 
the sagacity to use it. It is another question, how 
we shall cause that remedy to be applied, and how 
we shall make manifest to the clouded perceptions of 
her people, the false economy of selling her effective 
strength, while her plains remain a desert, instead 
of employing that strength in transforming that 
desert into a fruitful and smiling land. Capabi- 
lities are nothing to the unreflecting mind of the 
savage : he wants something present and tan- 

How then shall we undeceive her chiefs, and con- 
vince them, that it is for their interest that the Slave 
Trade should cease 1 This we must do for Africa : 


we must elevate the minds of her people, and call 
forth the capabilities of her soil. 

Bearing in mind, that every effort we make must 
be intended, either directly or remotely, to effect one, 
or other, or both of these objects, I now proceed, 
to a detail of the remedial measures which it seems 
necessary to adopt. 




The first thing to be done, is to throw all possible 
impediments in the way of the Slave Trade, and to 
make it both more precarious and less profitable than 
it is at present. 

In order to do this, our squadron must be ren- 
dered more efficient ; and this it is supposed may be 
accomplished — 

1st. By concentrating on the coast of Africa 
the whole force employed in this particular ser- 
vice. It has been our practice hitherto to distri- 
bute a few ships along the African coast, while others 
cruise near South America and the West Indies. 
The former, though they have failed in suppressing 
the trade, have at all events done something 
towards the annoyance of the trader. The latter, 
with equal zeal, and a much larger force, have done 
little or nothing towards this object. On the ave- 
rage of the last four years to which the accounts 
extend, viz., 1834-5-6 and 7, we have had on the 
West Indian and South American stations 42 vessels 
of war ; on the African station, 14. By the former 
there have been taken and adjudicated, in four years, 
34 slavers ; by the smaller squadron, 97. 

I am not so ignorant as to infer that the Admi- 



ralty were in error in this distribution of their dis- 
posable force. I well know that other objects than the 
suppression of the Slave Trade demanded attention : 
as little do I presume to cast any reflection upon 
the naval officers in command. But from these facts I 
conceive I am entitled to draw the conclusion, that, 
as far as the Slave Trade is concerned, little or no 
benefit has been derived from the force stationed in 
the neighbourhood of Cuba and Brazil. 

2dly. The efficiency of our squadron may be im- 
proved by an actual increase of the force. 

I am aware that some gentlemen, seeing that all 
our past naval efforts have failed, are in favour of 
withdrawing our whole force, and of relying exclu- 
sively on other means ; but it appears to me, that in 
order to try these other means with the most advan- 
tage, it is needful, for a time, to retain our force on 
the coast of Africa. 

If at the moment when we are beginning to 
encourage agricultural industry, and to give an im- 
pulse to the minds of her people, our navy were to 
abandon the coast, there can be no doubt that it 
would be a signal to the chiefs of the country (still 
ignorant of the resources of their soil, and still sup- 
posing that the Slave Trade alone can supply them 
with the luxuries of Europe) to prosecute their horrid 
traffic with even more than their usual energy. 
They would avail themselves of the removal of the 
only check which they have hitherto fell, and at the 
very moment when our last ship departed from the 


coast, Africa would present a scene of conflagration, 
massacre, and convulsion, such as even Africa has 
never before witnessed. 

Can it be imagined that agriculture could thrive or 
the voice of the teacher receive attention, or the arts 
of peace take root, at such a moment ? Having per- 
severed so long and so unprofitably in the attempt to 
suppress the traffic by force, it would be a poor mode 
of repairing our error, to dismiss that force just at 
the time when we most required tranquillity, and 
when anything likely to give a new impulse to the 
Slave Trade would be peculiarly unseasonable. 

It would appear to be a wiser policy to augment 
our force, and thus to multiply the risks, while we 
reduce the profits of the trade. We should try, if it 
were only for a given period, the full effect of what 
can be done by our maritime strength : instead of 
doling out, year by year, a force inadequate to our 
object, we should at this juncture strike a telling- 
blow, so that the African, while measuring the ad- 
vantages of that system which we wish him to aban- 
don, against that which we desire to see adopted, may 
feel in its greatest force the weight of those hazards 
and discouragements which the British navy can 

3dly. We may increase the efficiency of our 
squadron by the employment of steamers as part of 
the proposed reinforcement. I am, it must be con- 
fessed, but ill qualified to offer an opinion on a 
matter which comes rather within the province of 

u 2 


naval officers. I can only say, that amongst the 
many persons conversant with the coast of Africa, 
and with the Slave Trade, from whom I have sought 
information, I have not met with an individual 
who has not urged that steamers might be employed 
with great advantage. It is not only, that they 
would be able to explore rivers and harbours, which 
other vessels cannot enter, but that in latitudes 
where frequent calms prevail, they might often 
come up with slavers, which have hitherto escaped 
our cruisers. We know too well, that with his slaves 
safely on board, and his vessel fairly at sea, it is not 
often that the slave trader is captured. " Once out- 
side in my trim vessel, you may catch me if you 
can,"* is, unhappily, something more than an empty 
vaunt. In the proposed employment of steamers, to 
search the mouths of rivers, one precaution is indis- 
pensable. They must be manned by persons who 
can bear the climate to which they will be exposed. 
Admiral Elliott, now commanding on this station, 
objects to exploring the rivers, on account of the 
loss of life which invariably follows among British 
seamen : he recommends the enlistment of black sea- 
men for this service, and the purchase of small armed 
steamers to be employed exclusively in river navigation. 
I may as well say here, once for all, that, in all 
our African undertakings, I look to the employment 
(except in a very few cases) of the negro and co- 
loured race, and that I have reason to believe that 
* Vide page 1G4. 


well qualified agents of that description may be pro- 
cured without difficulty. 

I proceed now to the suggestion of a second pre- 
paratory measure. 

Treaties should be formed with native powers in 
Africa — they receiving certain advantages, propor- 
tioned to the assistance they afford in the prosecution 
of our objects, and engaging on their side, to put down 
the Slave Trade. I do not mean to say, that this is 
all that ought to be contemplated in these treaties. 
To give facilities for commerce and agricultural set- 
tlements will be a subject of consideration hereafter. 
All I urge at this point of the argument, is, that we 
should do our utmost to obtain the cordial co-opera- 
tion of the natives in the suppression of their detestable 

I am aware that a formidable objection to this pro- 
position will present itself to many of my readers. 
It will be said, that it is visionary to suppose that these 
barbarian chieftains can be induced, except by force 
of arms, to connect themselves with us, — to lend us 
their aid in extinguishing their only trade, — to enter 
into peaceable commerce with us ; and, yet more, 
to admit us, as friends, into their dominions, and 
voluntarily to grant us such an extent of territory 
and of privileges, as shall enable us to plant settle- 
ments among them. 

I trust, however, that in this case, we are to be 
guided, not by preconceived opinions, but by facts 
gathered from experience. The truth is, and on this 


my hopes are built, that the natives, so far from shun- 
ning intercourse withus,and rejecting our overtures for 
peace and commerce, have been, in almost every case, 
eager and importunate that we should settle among 
them. If further progress has not been made, it is our- 
selves who have been to blame. I find abundant in- 
stances in which they have declared their willingness 
and ability to suppress the Slave Trade, and in which 
they have offered to grant every facility for commerce, 
— to cede territory, — and, in not a few cases, to put 
themselves under our dominion. I find even treaties to 
this effect, formed between British officers and native 
chiefs. But I can seldom find that these invitations 
to amity and commerce have been encouraged, or that 
these treaties have been ratified by the Home Go- 

I grant that this anxiety on the part of the negroes 
to hold communication with us, is one of the most 
unexpected, as it is one of the most encouraging fea- 
tures of the whole case. It would have been far from 
strange if the disposition of African potentates had 
been adverse to a connexion with us. They have 
had but little reason to think favourably of Eu- 
ropean intentions, or to feel any great reverence for 
those who bear the name of Christians. If they are 
otherwise than distrustful of us, it must arise from 
their drawing a distinction between the course we 
pursue in Africa, and that taken by other civilised 
nations ; and from their having learnt by experience 
duly to appreciate the nature of our settlements at 


Sierra Leone and elsewhere ; or else from a deeper 
sense than we give them credit for, of their own forlorn 
and disastrous condition, and a conviction that they 
would be likely to improve it by intercourse with us. 
It may be, that they loathe their present evils further 
than we know, and, feeling impotent to rise out of 
their distresses by their own vigour, hope for deliver- 
ance through our instrumentality. But we must reason 
on facts as we find them ; and I believe that they bear 
me out in stating, that there exists throughout the 
whole space, from Senegambia to Benin, a marked 
confidence in the British ; and not only a readiness, but 
an anxiety, to have us for their neighbours, and to 
enter into amicable relations with us. I need not say 
how much depends upon the truth or fallacy of this 
statement. If it be true, many of the most formida- 
ble difficulties in our way are removed, and there 
will be, at least, an admitted possibility of a league 
between England and Africa, — for the suppression of 
the Slave Trade,— for the spread of commerce, — and 
for the development of those vast resources which are 
buried in the African soil. This, then, I shall endea- 
vour to prove ; but as there is an exception to this 
facility of intercourse, I will state it at once. 

I suspect it will be very difficult to gain the concur- 
rence of the chiefs on the coast : these, in the words 
of a gentleman who has spent many years in studying 
the geography of Africa, and the character of its inha- 
bitants, are " a rabble of petty chiefs, the most igno- 
rant and rude, and the greatest vagabonds on earth," 


They have been rendered habitual drunkards by 
the spirits which Slave Ships supply. As slave- 
factors, they have been steeled against all com- 
passion and all sympathy with human suffering; 
and no better influence has been exercised over them, 
than that derived from intercourse with the dregs of 
Europe. Besides, they obtain a two-fold advantage 
from the Slave Trade. The goods they obtain from 
Europeans give a considerable profit when sold 
to the natives, while the slaves, received by them 
ill return for those goods, yield a profit still more con- 
siderable, when sold to the slave- captain. 

We must then expect great opposition from the 
chiefs on the coast. It appears, indeed, from the 
journals of all travellers in Africa, that every impedi- 
ment has been thrown in their way, in order to pre- 
vent their proceeding to the interior of the country. 
It is, however, some consolation to learn from re- 
cent travellers, that the power of these chiefs has 
been greatly exaggerated. 

But whatever difficulties we may have to encoun- 
ter with the chiefs on the coast, (and I confess that, 
viewing their character, and the insalubrity of 
the climate near the sea, and at the mouths of 
rivers, I apprehend that they will be far from 
light,) there is good reason to believe that we shall 
find a much better disposition on the part of the 
Sultans and sovereigns of the interior, to receive, to 
treat, and to trade with us. I shall endeavour to 
show, first, that with respect to the two most power- 


ful potentates of Central Africa, the Sheikh of Bor- 
nou, and the Sultan of the Felatahs, there is some 
reason for supposing that we need not despair of 
their co-operation. 

Major Denham, in speaking of the Slave Trade at 
Bornou, says : — ". I think I may say, that neither the 
Sheikh himself, nor the Bornou people, carry on the 
traffic without feelings of disgust, which even habit 
cannot conquer. Of the existence of a foreign Slave 
Trade, or one which consigns these unfortunates to 
Christian masters, they are not generally aware at 
Bornou ; and so contrary to the tenets of his religion, 
(Mahometanism,) of which he is a strict observer, 
would be such a system of barter, that one may 
easily conclude the Sheikh of Bornou would be will- 
ing to assist, with all the power he possesses, in any 
plan which might have for its object the putting a 
final stop to a commerce of this nature. 

" The eagerness with which all classes of people 
listened to our proposals for establishing a frequent 
communication by means of European merchants, 
and the protection promised by the Sheikh to such 
as should arrive within the sphere of his influence, 
particularly if they were English, excites an anxious 
hope that some measures will be adopted for directing 
the labours of a population of millions, to something 
more congenial to the humanity and the philanthropy 
of the age we live in, than the practice of a system of 
predatory warfare, which has chiefly for its object the 


procuring of slaves, as the readiest and most valuable 
property to trade with. 

" Every probability is against such a barter being 
preferred by the African black. Let the words of 
the Sheikh himself, addressed to us, in the hearing of 
his people, speak the sentiments that have already 
found a place in his bosom : — ' You say true, we are 
all sons of one father ! You say, also, that the sons of 
Adam should not sell one another, and you know 
everything ! God has given you all great talents, 
but what are we to do ? The Arabs who come here 
will have nothing else but slaves : why don't you 
send us your merchants ? You know us now, and 
let them bring their women with them, and live 
amongst us, and teach us what you talk to me 
about so often, to build houses, and boats, and make 
rockets.' " 

He adds, " Wherever El Kenemy, the sultan of 
Bornou, has power, Europeans, and particularly 
Englishmen, will be hospitably and kindly received. 
Although harassed by the constant wars in which he 
has been engaged, yet has not the Sheikh been 
unmindful of the benefits which an extended com- 
merce would confer upon his people, nor of the 
importance of improving their moral condition, by 
exciting a desire to acquire, by industry and trade, 
more permanent and certain advantages than are to 
be obtained by a system of plunder and destructive 
warfare. Arab or Moorish merchants, the only ones 


who have hitherto ventured amongst them, are en- 
couraged and treated with great liberality. 

" It was with feelings of the highest satisfaction that 
I listened to some of the most respectable of the 
merchants, when they declared, that were any other 
system of trading adopted, they would gladly embrace 
it, in preference to dealing in slaves." 

Denham makes these observations in 1824 ; in 
1830, Richard Lander says, he learnt that the Sheikh 
of Bornou had prohibited the canying of slaves any 
farther to the westward (that is, towards the coast) 
than Wawa, a town on the borders of his empire ; 
and it is not unworthy of notice, that when Lander 
was at this place a few years before, the chief of 
Wawa said to him, " Tell your countrymen that they 
have my permission to come here and build a town, 
and trade up and down the Quorra" (the Niger). 

Captain Clapperton visited Bello, the powerful 
sultan of the Felatahs, in 1823, at Sackatoo. Their 
conversation often turned on the Slave Trade, which 
Clapperton urged the sultan to discontinue. Bello 
asked the captain, if the king of England would send 
him a consul, and a physician, to reside in Soudan, and 
merchants to trade with his people 1 Clapperton 
said he had no doubt his wishes would be gratified, 
provided he would suppress the Slave Trade. The 
Sultan replied, " I will give the king of England a 
place on the coast to build a town." On another 
occasion, he assured Clapperton that he was able to 
put an effectual stop to the Slave Trade ; and ex- 


pressed, with much earnestness of manner, his anxi- 
ety to enter into permanent relations of trade and 
friendship with England. At the close of Clapper- 
ton's visit, Bello gave him a letter to the king of 
England, to the same purport as the conversation 
which had taken place between them. These offers 
on the part of the Sultan of the Felatahs must be 
held to be of great importance. He is the chief of 
a warlike, enterprising people, who have extended 
their sway over many of the nations and tribes around 
them ; and who, from the testimony of recent tra- 
vellers, are actively employed in carrying on war 
Avith their neighbours to supply the demands of the 
Slave Trade. It appears that Captain Clapperton 
met with an ungracious reception from Sultan Bello, 
in his last visit to Sackatoo in 1826 ; but this is 
accounted for by the Sultan's having discovered 
that Clapperton was on his way to visit his rival, 
the Sheik of Bornou, with whom he was then at 
war, and by the jealousy of the Arab merchants and 
slave-dealers, who had carefully instilled into his 
mind, of suspicions as to the intentions of Great Bri- 
tain. I am not aware that anything has been done to 
counteract this impression ; but it would not be diffi- 
cult to disabuse the mind of Bello, who would, no 
doubt, be induced by a few presents, to afford his 
countenance and protection to British trade, by which 
Houssa would be so greatly benefited. 

I will now proceed to prove, that there likewise 
exists on the part of the chiefs of less powerful tribes a 


disposition to enter into friendly relations with us. I 
give a single illustration : — In a despatch from Acting 
Governor Grant, dated Sierra Leone, 28th February, 
1821, I find that " an application had been made to 
Governor Macarthy by the king of the Foulahs, a very 
powerful prince in the interior, expressing a desire to 
have an officer sent up to Teemboo, the capital of 
his territories; and having myself," he says, "received 
a very friendly letter from the king, I was induced, 
in conformity with Governor Macarthy's intentions, 
to despatch Mr. O'Beirn, assistant-surgeon to the 
forces, on that service. The influence of the Foulah 
nation, extending from the branches of the Sierra 
Leone River to the banks of the Niger, and com- 
municating with the principal countries of the inte- 
rior, renders a friendly connexion with that country 
of much importance to our commercial interests; 
and it is with much satisfaction I have to report the 
good effect of Mr. O'Beirn's exertions ; which are al- 
ready felt here, in the increased supply of ivory, gold, 
and cattle, brought by the Foulahs to our different 
factories situate on this river. Mr. O'Beirn is merely 
accompanied by a few people of colour to carry his 
luggage and presents, the expense of which will be 
trifling." He was received in the most friendly 
manner possible at Teemboo, the capital of the 
Foulah nation, by the king, Almami Abdool Kacl- 

The following is an extract from Mr. O'Beirn's 
Journal : — " I never saw more joy and complacency 


in any countenance, than his expressed, on my being 
introduced to him, and I have seldom in my life 
experienced such a kind and warm reception." The 
chiefs were assembled to hear his explanation of the 
objects of his mission : he explained to them the 
great advantage they would derive from carrying on 
a trade with the colony, and how much superior such 
a trade would be to the traffic in slaves ; and told 
them, what England had done to put an end to it, and 
to give freedom to their countrymen. 

"Almami replied, that he had for many years 
wished for a communication to be opened between 
Sierra Leone and his country, Foota jalloo, and 
that it should continue free and uninterrupted to the 
latest day ; adding, that it was not his fault, or it would 
have been effected years before. He likewise re- 
marked, with respect to what I had said of the Slave 
Trade, it was his opinion that it would be given up 
ere long ; that is, sending them for sale to the coast, 
and that he was fully Convinced he would be brought 
to account in the next world for disposing of his 
fellow-creatures in that way ; but hoped, at the same 
time, God would accept the excuse of the impossibility 
that formerly existed of procuring the necessaries of 
life in such abundance, or resisting the inducements 
held out, at that time, by the white people that came 
to purchase them." 

I do not wish to impose upon my readers the 
monotonous task of travelling through a variety of 
such treaties which these chieftains have made, or 


have offered to make, with the British Government : 
these will be given in the Appendix ;* and I appre- 
hend that those who take the trouble of examining- 
them will find, that there is no unwillingness on their 
part to grant any reasonable quantity of land, — 
any powers however extensive, — and any conditions 
for the suppression of the Slave Trade, that we may 
think proper to propose ; and that all this may be 
obtained for the trifling consideration of a few dollars, 
or a few pieces of baft. I am ready to admit that 
little benefit has hitherto resulted from these negocia- 
tions, but this does not arise from any faithlessness 
on the part of the natives in the fulfilment of their 
engagements ; on the contrary, I may quote the un- 
exceptionable authority of Mr. Bandinel, of the 
Foreign Office, for the fact, that "compacts for 
the suppression of the Slave Trade have been con- 
cluded with the chiefs of several native states, and 
that those treaties have been faithfully maintained 
by the native sovereigns." Mr. Rendall, late Gover- 
nor of the Gambia, also says : — " With respect to 
the general conduct of the chiefs, I am not aware 
of our having any just cause to complain of a 
breach of confidence being committed in the treaties 
heretofore made with them, nor do I think there is 
any just cause to fear that they are now more likely 
to forfeit their words and honour, particularly in 
cases where their interests are studiously considered." 
The reason why greater advantage has not been 
* Vide Appendix A. 


derived from co-operation with these powers, is, as 
I have before intimated, that the British Govern- 
ment has discountenanced almost all efforts in that 
direction. " It has never," says Mr. H. Macaulay, 
Commissary Judge of Sierra Leone, in his evi- 
dence before the Aborigines Committee, in 1837, 
"been the policy of our government from the first, 
while it was in the hands of the company, nor since 
it has been transferred to the crown, to extend our 
territory in any way. Even when General Turner 
and Sir Neil Campbell Avere governors in former 
years, and acquired by treaty, and other just means, 
territory in the neighbourhood, and paid for it, the 
government ordered us to give it back. They would 
not allow us to take possession of it and occupy it 
as a British territory. And though, in my opinion, 
it would be desirable to extend our territory as our 
population increases so much, yet it has not been 
done." To the question — "Do you think it would 
be expedient or just to take possession^ of the terri- 
tory of these people without their consent?" He 
answers, " Certainly not ; but we are such good 
neighbours, and they have such perfect confidence in 
us, that I think there would be no difficulty in acquir- 
ing territory by treaty." " Have you found any 
difficulty in preserving relations of amity with the 
surrounding natives?" — " None whatever." 

It appears to me well worth while to adopt an 
entirely new line of policy, and to establish, to the ut- 
' ost extent possible, a confederacy with the chiefs, 


from the Gambia on the West, to Begharmi on the 
East ; and from the Desert on the North, to the Gulf 
of Guinea on the South. 

Thus, I have suggested two distinct kinds of 
preparatory measures. 

1st. An augmentation of the naval force employed 
in the suppression of the Slave Trade, and the con- 
centration of that force on the coast of Africa, thus 
forming a chain of vessels from Gambia to Angola. 

2ndly. A corresponding chain of treaties with na- 
tive powers in the interior, pledging them to act in 
concert with us ; to suppress the Slave Trade in their 
own territory ; to prevent slaves from being carried 
through their dominions, and, at the same time, to 
afford all needful facility and protection for the trans- 
port of legitimate merchandise. Thus, by creating 
obstacles which have not heretofore existed, in the 
conveyance of negroes to the coast, and by increasing 
the hazard of capture after embarkation, I cannot but 
anticipate that we shall greatly increase the costs 
and multiply the risks of the Slave Trade. 

If I am asked, whether I expect thus to effect 
its total abolition, I answer distinctly, No : — such 
measures may reduce, or even suspend, but they can- 
not eradicate the evil. If we succeed in establishing 
a blockade of the coast, together with a confederacy 
on shore, and proceed no further, it will still be 
doubtful, as it has been in our former operations, 
whether more of good or of evil will be effected ; — 
good, by the degree of restraint imposed on the traffic, 



or evil, by rendering what remains concealed and 
contraband ; and when I recur to the fearful aggra- 
vation of the sufferings of the slaves, which has 
already arisen from this cause, I am almost disposed 
to think that it were better to do nothing than to do 
only this. 

I propose the two measures I have just named, 
not as a remedy, but as an expedient necessary for 
a time, in order that the real remedy may be applied 
in the most effectual manner. For a time, the dan- 
gers and difficulties of the slave-trader must be 
increased, in order that the demand for slaves on the 
coast may be reduced in the interval that must neces- 
sarily elapse before a total suppression can be ef- 
fected. There was a time, during the last war, 
when our cruisers were so numerous in the African 
seas, that it was difficult for a slaver to escape^; and 
it was then observed that the chiefs betook themselves 
to agriculture and trade. 

The greater the impediments that are thrown in 
the way of obtaining supplies through the accus- 
tomed channels, the stronger becomes the induce- 
ment to procure them in another and better mode ; 
and thus, the diminution of the Slave Trade will 
operate as an encouragement to industry, and a 
stimulus to commerce. And the evil being thus 
temporarily held in check, time and space, so to 
speak, will be given for the effectual operation of the 




' It was not possible for me to behold the fertility of the soil, the vast herds 
of cattle, proper both for labour and food, and a variety of other circum- 
stances favourable to colonization and agriculture, and reflect withal on the 
means which presented themselves of a vast inland navigation, without la- 
menting that a country so abundantly gifted and honoured by nature, should 
remain in its present savage and neglected state." — Park. 

" The commercial intercourse of Africa opens an inexhaustible source of 
wealth to the manufacturing interests of Great Britain — to all which the 
Slave Trade is a physical obstruction.'' — Gustavus Vasa. Letter to Lord 
Hawkesbitry. 1788. 

But what is the true remedy ? It cannot be too 
deeply engraven upon the minds of British states- 
men, that it is beyond our power to rescue Africa, 
if the burthen is to fall wholly and permanently on 
ourselves. It is not the partial aid, lent by a dis- 
tant nation, but the natural and healthy exercise 
of her own energies, which will ensure success. 
We cannot create a remedy ; but, if it be true that 
this remedy already exists, and that nothing is 
wanting but its right application — if Africa possesses 
within herself vast, though as yet undeveloped, re- 
sources, — we may be competent to achieve the 
much less onerous task of calling forth her powers, 



and enabling her to stand alone, relying upon the 
strength of her own native sinews. The work 
will be done, when, her population shall be suffi- 
ciently enlightened to arrive at the conviction, 
(grounded on what their eyes see, and their hands 
handle,) that the wealth readily to be obtained from 
peaceful industry, surpasses the slender and preca- 
rious profits of rapine. 

Our system hitherto has been to obtain the co-ope- 
ration of European powers, while we have paid very 
little attention to what might be done in Africa itself, 
for the suppression of the Slave Trade. Our efforts in 
that direction have been few, faint, and limited to 
isolated spots, and those by no means well chosen. 
To me it appears that the converse of this policy 
would have offered greater probabilities of success ; 
that, while no reasonable expectations can be enter- 
tained of overturning this gigantic evil through the 
agency and with the concurrence of the civilised 
world, there is a well-founded hope, amounting al- 
most to a certainty, that this object may be attained 
through the medium and Avith the concurrence of 
Africa herself. If, instead of our expensive and fruit- 
less negotiations with Portugal, we had been, during 
the last twenty years, engaged in extending our inter- 
course with the nations of Africa, unfolding to them 
the capabilities of her soil, and the inexhaustible 
store of wealth which human labour might derive 
from its cultivation, and convincing them that the 
Slave Trade alone debars them from enjoying a 


vastly more affluent supply of our valuable commo- 
dities, and if we had leagued ourselves with them to 
suppress that baneful traffic, which is their enemy 
even more than it is ours, there is reason to believe 
that Africa would not have been what Africa is, in 
spite of all our exertions, — one universal den of de- 
solation, misery, and crime. 

Why do I despair of winning the hearty co-opera- 
tion of those European powers who now encourage 
or connive at the Slave Trade ? I answer, because 
we have no sufficient bribe to offer. The secret 
of their resistance is the 180 per cent, profit which, 
attaches to the Slave Trade. This is a tempta- 
tion which we cannot outbid. It has been, and it 
will be, the source of their persevering disregard 
of the claims of humanity, and of their contempt for 
the engagements, however solemn, which they have 
contracted with us. 

But why do I entertain a confident persuasion that 
we may obtain the cordial concurrence of the African 
powers ? Because the Slave Trade is not their gain, 
but their loss. It is their ruin, because it is capable 
of demonstration, that, but for the Slave Trade, the 
other trade of Africa would be increased fifty or a 
hundred-fold. Because central Africa now receives 
in exchange for all her exports, both of people and 
productions, less than half a million of imports, one- 
half of which may be goods of the worst description, 
and a third made up of arms and ammunition. What 
a wretched return is this, for the productions of so 


vast, so fertile, so magnificent a territory ! Take 
the case of central Africa ; the insignificance of our 
trade with it is forcibly exhibited by contrasting the 
whole return from thence, with some single article of 
no great moment which enters Great Britain. The 
feathers received at Liverpool from Ireland reach an 
amount exceeding all the productions of central 
Africa; the eggs from France and Ireland exceed 
one-half of it ; while the value of pigs from Ireland 
into the port of Liverpool is three times as great as 
the whole trade of Great Britain in the productions of 
the soil of central Africa.* What an exhibition does 
this give of the ruin which the Slave Trade entails 
on Africa ! Can it be doubted that, with the extinc- 
tion of that blight, there would arise up a commerce 
which would pour into Africa European articles of 
a vastly superior quality, and to a vastly superior 
amount ? 

If it be true that Africa would be enriched, and 
that her population would enjoy, in multiplied abun- 
dance, those commodities, for the acquisition of which 
she now incurs such intense misery, the one needful 

* Eggs, total amount unknown, but into London, 

Liverpool, and Glasgow, from France and £. 

Ireland alone 275,000 

Feathers from Ireland to Liverpool (Porter's 

"Progress of Nation," p. 83) . . 500,000 

Pigs from Ireland to Liverpool (Porter, [bid.) 1,488,555 

Total imports, productions of the soil of Central 

Africa (Porter'sTablcs, Supplement, No. 5) 150 . 01 I 


thing, in order to induce them to unite with us in 
repressing the Slave Trade, is, to convince them that 
they will gain by selling the productive labour of the 
people, instead of the people themselves. 

My first object, then, is to show that Africa pos- 
sesses within herself the means of obtaining, by fair 
trade, a greater quantity of our goods than she now 
receives from tiie Slave Trade ; and, secondly, to 
point out how this truth may be made plain to the 
African nations. I have further to prove, that Great 
Britain, and other countries (for the argument applies 
as much to them as to us), have an interest in the 
question only inferior to that of Africa, and that if we 
cannot be persuaded to suppress the Slave Trade for 
the fear of God, Or in pity to man, it ought to be done 
for the lucre of gain. 

The importance of Africa, as a vast field of Euro- 
pean commerce, though it has been frequently ad- 
verted to, and its advantages distinctly pointed out 
by those who have visited that part of the world, has 
not hitherto sufficiently engaged public attention, oi- 
led to any great practical results. It is, perhaps, not 
difficult to account for the apathy which has been 
manifested on this subject — Africa has a bad name ; 
its climate is represented, and not altogether unjustly, 
as pestilential, and destructive of European life ; its 
population as barbarous and ignorant, indolent and 
cruel — more addicted to predatory warfare than to 
the arts of peace ; and its interior as totally inacces- 
sible to European enterprise. With the exception of 


a few spots_, such as Sierra Leone, the Gambia, the 
Senegal, &c, its immensely extended line of coast is 
open to the ravages and demoralization of the Slave 
Trade, and the devastating incursions of pirates. The 
difficulties connected with the establishment of a le- 
gitimate commerce with Africa may be traced prin- 
cipally to these circumstances ; and could they be re- 
moved, by the removal of their cause, the obstacles 
arising from climate — the supposed character of its 
people — and the difficulty of access to the interior, 
would be easily overcome. 

Legitimate commerce would put down the Slave 
Trade, by demonstrating the superior value of man 
as a labourer on the soil, to man as an object of 
merchandise ; and if conducted on wise and equi- 
table principles, might be the precursor, or rather 
the attendant, of civilisation, peace, and Christianity, 
to the unenlightened, warlike, and heathen tribes who 
now so fearfully prey on each other, to supply the 
slave-markets of the New World. In this view of 
the subject, the merchant, the philanthropist, the 
patriot, and the Christian, may unite ; and should 
the Government of this country lend its powerful in- 
fluence in organising a commercial system of just, 
liberal, and comprehensive principles — guarding the 
rights of the native on the one hand, and securing pro- 
tection to the honest trader on the other, — a blow 
would be struck at the nefarious traffic in human 
beings, from which it could not recover; and the 
richest blessings would be conferred on Africa, so 


long desolated and degraded by its intercourse with 
the basest and most iniquitous part of mankind. 

The present condition of Africa in relation to com- 
merce is deplorable. 

The whole amount of goods exported direct from 
Great Britain to all Africa is considerably within one 
million sterling. 

In the year 1835, the declared value of British 
and Irish produce and manufactures exported to the 
whole of Africa was £917,726. 

Central Africa possesses within itself everything 
from which commerce springs. No country in the 
world has nobler rivers, or more fertile soil ; and it 
contains a population of fifty millions. 

This country, which ought to be amongst the chief 
of our customers, takes from us only to the value of 
£312,938 of our manufactures, £101,104* of which 
are made up of the value of arms and ammunition, 
and lead and shot. 

I must request the reader to fix his attention on 
these facts; they present a dreadful picture of the 
moral prostration of Africa, — of the power of the 
Slave Trade in withering all healthy commerce, — of 
the atrocious means resorted to, in order to maintain 
and perpetuate its horrors, — and of the very slender 
sum which can be put down as expended in fair and 
honest trading. 

The declared value of British and Irish produce 

* Parliamentary Returns for 1837. 


and manufactures, exported in 1837, was, according 
to parliamentary returns — 

To Asia .... £4,639,736 

America . . . 15,496,552 

Australia . . . 921,568 

Hayti / • - 171,050 

Central Africa . . . 312,938 

Deducting from this last sum the value of arms, 
ammunition, &c, the remnant of the annual trade of 
this country, so favoured by nature, and endowed 
with such capabilities for commerce, is but £211,834. 

There is many a cotton spinner in Manchester 
who manufactures much more ; there are some 
dealers in London whose yearly trade is ten times 
that sum ; and there is many a merchant in this 
country who exports more than the amount of our 
whole exports to Africa, arms and ammunition in- 

The imports from Africa into this country, though 
they have, undoubtedly, increased since the year 
1820, are still extremely limited ; and it is observ- 
able that they scarcely embrace any articles produced 
from the cultivation of the soil. Their estimated 
value, in 1834, was £456,014* (exclusive of gold 
dust, about £260,000) ; they consisted chiefly of 
palm-oil, teak timber, gums, ivory, bees'-wax, &c, 
* Sec l'uitcr's Tables. 


all extremely valuable, and in great demand, but 
obtained at comparatively little labour and cost. 

So small an amount of exports from a country so 
full of mineral and vegetable wealth, either shows 
the extreme ignorance and indolence of the people, 
or the total want of security both to person and pro- 
perty which exists in consequence of the Slave Trade. 
All the authorities which are accessible, clearly show 
that the latter is the true cause why the commerce 
between Africa and the civilised world, is so trifling ; 
and there is one remarkable fact which corroborates 
it, namely, that nearly all the legitimate trade with 
central Africa is effected through the medium of 
those stations which have been established by the 
British and French governments on its coasts, and 
in and around which the trade in slaves has either 
been greatly checked, or has totally disappeared. 

But limited as the commerce of Africa is at pre- 
sent with the civilised world, and infamous as one 
part of that commerce has been, it is capable of being 
indefinitely increased, and of having a character im- 
pressed on it, alike honourable to all parties engaged 
in it. The advantages which would accrue to Africa, 
in the development of her resources, the civilisation 
of her people, and the destruction of one of the greatest 
evils which has ever afflicted or disgraced mankind, — 
not less than the benefits which would be secured to 
Europe in opening new marts for her produce and 
new fields for her commercial enterprise- — would be 


What can we do to bring about this consummation ? 
It is in our 'power to encourage her commerce ; — to 
improve the cultivation of her soil ; — and to raise the 
morals, and the mind of her inhabitants. This is all 
that we can do ; but this done, the Slave Trade can- 
not continue. 

The first question, then, to be considered is, in 
what way can we give an impulse to the commerce 
of Africa? I apprehend that, for this purpose, little 
more is necessary than to provide security, and convey 
a sense of security : without this, there can be no 
traffic : this alone, with such resources as Africa pos- 
sesses, will cause legitimate commerce to spring up 
and thrive of itself; it wants no more than leave to 
grow. Nothing short of so monstrous an evil as the 
Slave Trade could have kept it down. 

Its natural productions* and commercial re- 

* Productions. — Animals. — Oxen, sheep, goats, pigs, &c, 
&c, Guinea fowls, common poultry, ducks, &c. 

Grain. — Rice, Indian corn, Guinea corn, or millet, wheat, 
Dourah, &c. 

Fruits. — Oranges, lemons, guavas, pines, citrons, limes, pa- 
paws, plantains, bananas, dates, . &c, &c. 

Roots. — Manioc, igname, batalee, yams, arrow-root, ginger, 
sweet potato, &c, &c. 

Timber.. — Teak, ebony, lignum viae, and forty or fifty other 
species of wood for all purposes. 

Nuts. — Palm-nut, shea-nut, cocoa-nut, cola-nut, ground-nut, 
castor-nut, netta-nut, &c, &c. 

Dyrs. — Carmine, yellow various shades, blue, orange various 
sliades, red, crimson, brown, &c. 

Dye woods. — Cam-wood, bar-wood, &c, &C. 

Gums. — Copal, Senegal, mastic, sudan, &c. ' 


sources are inexhaustible. From the testimony of 
merchants whose enterprise has, for many years past, 
led them to embark capital in the African trade ; and 
from the evidence furnished by the journals of tra- 
vellers into the interior of the country,* we gather 

Drugs. — Aloes, cassia, senna, frankincense, &c. 

Minerals. — Gold, iron, copper, emery, sal-ammoniac, nitre, &c. 

Sugar-cane, coffee, cotton, indigo, tobacco, India rubber, bees- 
wax, ostrich feathers and skins, ivory, &c. 

Fish. — Of an immense variety, and in great abundance. 

Note. — The above is a very imperfect list, but it may serve to 
show, at a glance, some of the riches of Africa. For all the state- 
ments relating to Africa, its capabilities and productions, I have 
specific authorities ; but it seems hardly necessary to quote them. 

* I shall here mention some of the names of countries and 
kingdoms : — 

Timbuctoo, the great emporium of trade in central Africa. 

The powerful kingdom of Gago, 400 Arabic miles from Tim- 
buctoo to the south-east, abounds with corn and cattle. Guber, 
to the east of Gago, abounds with cattle. Cano, once the famous 
Ghana, abounds with corn, rice, and cattle. Cashna Agadez, 
fields abound with rice, millet, and cotton. Guangara, south of 
this, a region greatly abounding in gold and aromatics. Balia, 
celebrated for its fine gold, four months' voyage to Timbuctoo. 
Bournou, its capital very large, and inhabitants great traders. 
The country very rich and fertile, and produces rice, beans, cotton, 
hemp, indigo in abundance, horses, buffaloes, and horned cattle, 
sheep, goats, camels, &c. Yaoorie produces abundance of rice. 
The country between JR. Formosa and Adra affords the finest 
prospect in the world. Inland it is healthy, and the climate good. 
Trees uncommonly large and beautiful, cotton of the finest quality, 
amazingly plentiful, and indigo and other dye stuffs abundant, 
The Jabboos carry on great trade in grain between Benin and 
Lagos. Boossa is a large emporium for trade. The place where 
the people from the sea-coast meet the caravans from Barbary 
to exchange their merchandise. From Boossa to Darfur there 
are numerous powerful, fertile, cultivated, well-wooded, watered, 
populous, and industrious states. Benin, Bournou, Dar Saley, 


that Nature lias scattered her bounties with the most 
lavish hand ; and that what is required to make them 
available to the noblest purposes is a legitimate com- 
merce sustained by the government, and directed by 
honourable men. 

In the animal kingdom I find that, in addition to the 
wild beasts which, infest its forests, and occupy its 
swamps, and whose skins, &c, are valuable as an 
article of commerce, immense herds of cattle, incal- 
culable in number, range its plains. Hides, there- 
fore, to almost any amount, may be obtained ; and 
well-fed beef, of excellent quality and flavour, can be 
obtained at some of our settlements, at from 2d. to 
3d. per lb. There are also in various districts im- 
mense flocks of sheep ; but as they are covered with 

Darfur, Kashua, Houssa, Timbuctoo, Sego, Wassenah, and many 
others, are populous kingdoms, abounding in metals, minerals, 
fruits, grain, cattle, &c. 

Atlah, on the Niger, healthy, many natural advantages, will be 
a place of great importance, alluvial soil, &c. The places on the 
banks of the Niger are rich in sheep, goats, bullocks, &c. 

Fundah, population 30,000 ; beautiful country. 

Doma, population large and industrious. 

Beeshle and Jacoba, places of great trade. 

Rabba, population 40,000. 

Toto, population immense. 

Alorie (Feletah), vast herds and flocks. 

Bumbum, thoroughfare for merchants, from Houssa, Borgoo, 
&c, to Gonga, vast quantity of land cultivated. 

Gungo (Island), palm-trees in profusion. 

Egga, two miles in length ; vast number of canoes. Egga to 
BOurnou, said to be fifteen days' journey. 

Tschadda, on its banks immense herds of elephants seen, from 
50 to 400 at a time. 


a very coarse wool, approaching to hair, and their 
flesh is not very good on the coast, it may be said, that 
though numerous, they are not valuable ; their skins, 
however, might form an article for export. Goats 
of a very fine and large kind are equally nume- 
rous, and sell at a lower price than sheep. Their 
skins are valuable. Pigs can be obtained in any 
numbers ; they are kept at several of the coast sta- 
tions. Domestic poultry, the Guinea hen, common 
fowls, ducks, &c, are literally swarming, especially 
in the interior, and may be had for the most trifling 
articles in barter both on the coast and inland. Fish 
of all kinds visit the shores and rivers in immense 
shoals, and are easily taken in great quantities during 
the proper season. 

The mineral kingdom has not yet been explored, but 
enough is already known to show that the precious 
metals abound, particularly gold. The gold-dust ob- 
tained from the beds of some rivers, and otherwise pro- 
duced, is, comparatively, at present, a large branch of 
the African trade. It is said that gold may be procured 
in the kingdom of Bambouk, which is watered by the 
Felema, flowing into the Senegal, and is therefore 
easily attainable in any quantity. Martin says, (vol. 
iv., p. 540,) the main depositories where this metal is 
traced, as it were, to its source, are two mountains, 
Na Takon and Semayla. In the former, gold is very 
abundant, and is found united with earth, iron, or 
emery. In the latter, the gold is imbedded in hard 


sandstone. Numerous streams (he adds) flow from 
these districts, almost all of which flow over sands 
impregnated with gold. The natives, unskilled in 
mining operations, have penetrated to very little depth 
in these mountains. Park found the mines of the 
Konkadoo hills, which he visited, excessively rich, but 
very badly worked. (Chapter on gold, vol. i. pp. 454, 
465, 524, and vol. ii. pp. 73, 76.) The gold which 
forms the staple commodity of the Gold Coast, is 
chiefly brought down from mountains of the interior. 
It is said that the whole soil yields gold-dust, and 
that small quantities are obtained even in the town of 
Cape Coast.* There are reported to be mines within 
twenty or thirty miles of the shore, but the na- 
tives are very jealous of allowing Europeans to see 
them.t Dupuis and Bowditch speak of the " solid 
lumps of rock gold" which ornament the persons of 
the cabooceers in the court of the king of Ashantee, 
at Coomassie.ljl Mrs. Lee (late Mrs. Bowditch) says, 
that the great men will frequently on state occasions, 
so load their wrists with these lumps, that they are 
obliged to support them on the head of a boy. The 
largest piece she saw at Cape Coast weighed 14 oz. 
and Avas very pure.§ Dupuis, on the authority of 
some Mohammedans, says that a great deal of gold 
comes from Gaman, and that it is the richest in 

* Sierra Leone Report, 1830, p. 87. 1 lb- P- 8S - 

\ Dupuis' Ashantee, p. 14 ; Bowditch's Travels, p. 35. 

§ " Stories of Strange Lands"," p. (>0. 


Africa.* Gold is said to be discovered in a plain 
near Houssa; and another writer (Jackson) says — 
" The produce of Soudan, returned by the akka- 
buahs, consists principally in gold-dust, twisted gold 
rings of Wangara, gold rings made at Jinnie (which 
are invariably of pure gold, and some of them of ex- 
quisite workmanship) bars of gold,! &c." He also 
states that gold-dust is the circulating medium at 

Iron is found in Western Africa. The ore from 
Sierra Leone is particularly rich, yielding seventy- 
nine per cent., according to Mr. M'Cormack, and said 
to be well adapted to making steel.§ The iron brought 
from Upper Senegal, by Mollien, was found to be 
of a very good quality. Berthier found it to resemble 
Catalonian.|| Iron is found also near Timbuctoo, and 
is manufactured by the Arabs. ^[ The discovery of this 
important metal in Africa is of the utmost conse- 
quence to its future prosperity, and will greatly facili- 
tate the accomplishment of the object contemplated. 
Early travellers relate that the mountains of Congo 
are almost all ferruginous, but that the natives have 
not been encouraged by Europeans to extract their 
own treasures. Copper is so abundant inMayomba, 
that they gather from the surface of the ground enough 
for their purposes.** Sal ammoniac is found in abund- 

* Dupuis, Ap. lvi. t Jackson's Timbuctoo, p. 245, 246. 

J Jackson's Timbuctoo, p. 251. § Sierra Leone Report, 1830. 

|| Mollien's Travels, Appendix. % Jackson's Timbuctoo, p. 24. 
** Degrandpre, T. F., p. 38. 



ance in Dagwumba, and is sold cheap in the Ash- 
antee market ; nitre, emery, and trona, a species of 
alkali, are found on the border of the Desert.* I 
might greatly enlarge this list, from the writings of 
travellers who have already visited the country, but it 
will be long before its mineral wealth will be ade- 
quately known. 

It is not, however, to the mineral treasures of 
Africa that we chiefly look ; we regard the produc- 
tions of the soil as of infinitely more value, especially 
those which require industry and skill in their 
culture. We look to the forests, and the plains, 
and the valleys, and the rich alluvial deltas, which 
it would take centuries to exhaust of their fertility 
aud products. 

Fifty miles to the leeward of the colony, of Sierra 
Leone is a vast extent of fertile ground, forming the 
delta of the Seeong Boom, Kitiam and Gallinas 
rivers. This ground may contain from 1,000 to 1,500 
square miles of the richest alluvial soil, capable of 
growing all tropical produce. According to Mr. 
M'Cormack, this delta could grow rice enough for 
the supply of the whole West Indies. f At present it 
produces nothing but the finest description of slaves.! 

*Bowditch,p. 333. 

f Sierra Leone Report, No. 66, p. 64. 

{ There is another large delta, formed by the rivers Nunez, 
Rio Grande, and Rio Ponga. It is described as very extensive and 
fertile. The Isles de Less command the mouths of these rivers. 
The Rio Nunez runs parallel with the Gambia. — Mi, Laird. 

soil. 317 

From Cape St. Paul to Cameroon s, and from 
thence to Cape Lopez, extends the richest country 
that imagination can conceive. Within this space 
from forty to fifty rivers of all sizes discharge their 
waters into the ocean, forming vast flats of alluvial 
soil, to the extent of 180,000 square miles. From 
this ground at present the greatest amount of our 
imports from Western Africa is produced, and to it 
and the banks of the rivers that flow through it, do I 
look for the greatest and most certain increase of 
trade. It is a curious feature in the geography of 
Africa, that so many of its great navigable rivers 
converge upon this point (Laird). The extent to 
which the Slave Trade is carried on in the rivers al- 
luded to is immense, and offers the greatest possible 
obstruction to the fair trader. 

With few inconsiderable exceptions, the whole 
line of coast in Western Africa, accessible to trading 
vessels, presents immense tracts of land of the most 
fertile character, which only require the hand of in- 
dustry and commercial enterprise to turn them into 
inexhaustible mines of wealth. 

But it is not to the coast alone that the merchant 
may look for the results of his enterprise. The 
interior is represented as equally fertile with the 
coast ; and it is the opinion of the most recent travel- 
lers, as well as of those who preceded them, that if 
the labourer were allowed to cultivate the soil in 
security the list of productions would embrace all 



the marketable commodities imported from the East 
and West Indies. 

Between Kacunda and Egga, both large towns on 
the Niger, the country is described as very fertile, and 
from Egga to Rabbah, where the river is 3,000 yards 
wide, the right bank is represented to consist of ex- 
tensive tracts of cultivated land, with rich and beau- 
tiful plains stretching as far as the eye can reach 
(Laird). The country does not deteriorate as we 
ascend the river. We have the testimony of Park, 
corroborated by Denham and Clapperton, in support 
of this statement, and their remarks embrace both 
sides of the river. The country surrounding Cape 
Palmas, the Gambia, the Senegal, the Shary, the 
Congo, presents to the eye of the traveller unlimited 
tracts of the most fertile portion of the earth. 

The woods of this continent are extremely valuable. 
Travellers enumerate not less than forty species of 
timber, which grow in vast abundance, and are easily 
obtained ; such as mahogany, teak, ebony, lignum 
vitee, rosewood, &c. 

While Colonel Nicolls was stationed at Fernando 
Po, he gives this account of its timber, in a letter to 
Mr. Secretary Hay. I extract the passage as a spe- 
cimen of the nature of African forests. He says 
that some of the trees are ten feet in diameter, and 
120 feet in height. — " Twenty men have been for a 
period of eight days cutting down one tree of these 
dimensions, for tlie purpose of making a canoe : it 

TIMBER. 319 

was quite straight, without a branch; the wood 
white in colour, close in grain, and very hard. I 
have no name for it, but it very much resembles the 
lignum vitee, except in colour. The canoe cut out 
of it is five feet within the gunwales, forty feet long, 
and carries about twenty tons safely, drawing but 
eight inches water. We have also a very fine de- 
scription of red wood, close-grained, strong, and good 
for beams, sheathing, ribs, and deck-planking of the 
heaviest vessels of war. We could send home stern- 
posts and stems, in one piece, for the largest ships. 
This wood seems to have a grain something between 
mahogany and oak : when cut thin to mend boats, 
it will not split in the sun, and when tapped or cut 
down, exudes a tough resinous gum, is very lasting, 
and not so heavy as teak or oak, takes a fine polish, 
and I think it a very valuable wood. There is 
another hard-wood tree of very large dimensions, the 
wood strong and good, in colour brown and white- 
streaked ; it also exudes, when cut, a strong gum, 
which I think would be valuable in commerce. 
Another, which we call the mast-tree, from the cir- 
cumstance of its being very tall and straight, is in 
colour and grain like a white pine. We have, 
besides the above-mentioned trees, many which are 
smaller, but very useful, their wood being hard, 
tough, and of beautifully variegated colours ; some 
are streaked brown and white, like a zebra, others of 
black, deep red, and brown." 
. In a despatch, 1832, Colonel Nicolls further 


states, that he has Commodore Hayes' authority for 
saying, that there never was finer wood for the pur- 
poses of ship-building.* 

Of dye-woodsf there are also abundance, yielding 

* Desp. p. 5; Colonial Records, 1832. 

t Many beautiful kinds of wood have been discovered by acci- 
dent amongst the billets of firewood, brought home in the slave- 
ships to Liverpool. Mr. Clarkson gives the following anecdote in 
his " Impolicy of the Slave Trade." After mentioning the tulip- 
wood and others, found in this manner, he says: — " About the 
same time in which this log was discovered (a. d. 178*7), another 
wood vessel, belonging to the same port, brought home the speci- 
men of the bark of a tree, that produced a very valuable yellow 
dye, and far beyond any other ever in use in this country. The 
virtues of it were discovered in the following manner : — A gentle- 
man, resident upon the coast, ordered some wood to be cut down 
to erect a hut. While the people were felling it he was stand- 
ing by : during the operation some juice flew from the bark of it, 
and stained one of the ruffles of his shirt. He thought that the 
stain would have washed out, but, on wearing it again, found that 
the yellow spot was much more bright and beautiful than before, 
and that it gained in lustre every subsequent time of washing. 
Pleased with the discovery, which he knew to be of so much im- 
portance to the manufacturers of Great Britain, and for which a 
considerable premium had been offered, he sent home the bark 
noAV mentioned as a specimen. He is since unfortunately dead, 
and little hopes are to be entertained of falling in with this 
tree again, unless a similar accident should discover it, or a 
change should take place in our commercial concerns with 
Africa. I shall now mention another valuable wood, which, 
like all those that have been pointed out, was discovered 
by accident in the same year. Another wood vessel, belonging 
to the same port, was discharging her cargo ; among the barwood 
a small billet was discovered, the colour of which was so superior 
to thai of the rest, as to lead the observe* to suspect, that it was 
of a very different BpecieB, though it is clear that the natives, 

GUMS — NUTS. 321 

carmine, crimson, red, brown, brilliant yellow, and 
the various shades from yellow to orange, and a fine 
blue. Of gums there are copal, Senegal mastic, 
and Sudan, or Turkey gum, to be obtained in large 
quantities ; and there are forests near the Gambia 
where, hitherto, the gum has never been picked. 
Of nuts, which are beginning to form a new and 
important article of trade, there are the palm-nut, 
the shea-nut, the cola-nut, the ground-nut, the castor- 
nut, the nitta-nut, and the cocoa-nut. The palm- 
tree grows most luxuriantly, and incalculable quan- 
tities of its produce are allowed to rot on the ground 
for want of gathering ; yet it is now the most im- 
portant branch of our commerce with Africa, 
and may be increased to any extent. The oil ex- 
pressed from its nut is used in the manufacture 
of soap and candles, and in lubricating ma- 
chinery. The shea, or butter-nut,* is scarcely less 

by cutting it of the same size and dimensions, and by bringing it 
on board at the same time, had, on account of its red colour, mis- 
taken it for the other. One half of the billet was cut away in expe- 
riments. It was found to produce a colour that emulated the 
carmine, and was deemed to be so valuable in the dyeing trade, that 
an offer was immediately made of sixty guineas per ton for any 
quantity that could be procured. The other half has been since 
sent back to the coast, as a guide to collect more of the same 
sort, though it is a matter of doubt whether, under the circum- 
stances that have been related, the same tree can be ascertained 
again." — p. 9. 

* The butter is prepared by boiling," and besides the ad- 
vantage of keeping a whole year without salt, it is " whiter, 
firmer, and, to my palate," says Park (vol. i. p. 302), " of a richer 


valuable than the palm-nut. Some travellers inform 
their readers that it is an excellent substitute for 
butter, and can be appropriated to the same uses 
with the palm-oil. It is a remarkable fact, in the 
natural history of these trees, that immediately 
where the one ceases to yield its fruit, the other 
flourishes abundantly. The ground-nut* is becom- 
ing also a valuable article of commerce ; and this 
with the other nuts mentioned, yield a rich supply of 
oil and oil-cake for the use of cattle. The value of 
the castor-nut, as an article of medicine, needs not 
be particularly adverted to. The roots which grow in 
Africa require generally but little attention in their 
cultivation ; among others, there are the follow- 
ing: — The manioc, yams, sweet potatoes, arrow- 
flavour than the best butter I ever tasted made of cow's milk." 
The shea-tree, which produces it, is said to extend over a large 
part of the continent, from Jaloof to Gaboon. " It has been ana- 
lysed by the French chemist, M. Chevreuil, and found well adapted 
for the manufacture of soap. Being inodorous and highly capable 
of taking a perfume, it would be valuable for the finer sorts." — 
Mrs. Lee, Stories of Strange La?ids,Y>. 26. 

* The gromid-nut yields a pure golden-coloured oil, of a plea- 
sant taste, and has been sold here at 56/. per ton. From 750 to 
1000 tons are produced on the Gambia; but these nuts appear 
plentiful along the whole coast, arc often mentioned by Park, and 
were noticed by Denham, as very abundant near the lake Tchad. 
It grows in a soil too light and sandy for corn — its stalks afford 
fodder for cattle — it sells at six shillings per gallon, and is as good 
as sperm-oil. The castor-nut also grows wild in great abundance 
on the banks of the Gambia, and elsewhere. 


root, and ginger :* the two latter are exportable, 
and the former yield a large amount of healthful 
and nutritious food. Yams can be so improved 
by cultivation that, at Fernando Po, Captain Bullen 
says, many weigh from fifteen to twenty-five pounds, 
and in taste almost equal a potato. On one occa- 
sion he bought upwards of four tons for seventy- 
six iron hoops ; and says, " The nourishment derived 
from them to my people was beyond belief."! The 
fruits are oranges, lemons, citrons, limes, pines, 
guavas, tamarinds, paw-paws, plantains and bana- 
nas. The paw-paw and plantain trees (says Ash- 
mun) are a good example of the power of an uni- 
formly-heated climate to accelerate vegetation. You 
may see in the gardens many of the former, not 
more than fifteen months from the seed, already fif- 
teen inches round the stem, and fifteen feet high, 
with several pecks of ripening fruit. Clear your 
lands, plant your crops, keep the weeds down, and 
the most favourable climate in the world, alone, 
under the direction of a bountiful Providence, will 
do more for you than all your toil and care 
could accomplish in America."! Tamarinds are 

* The ginger of Africa is particularly fine, and high flavoured ; 
it yields ahout sixty for one ; and the people only want instruction 
in the method of preparing it for European markets.— Denham y 
Desp., 2lst May, 1827 ; Sierra Leone Report, 1830, No. 57, 
p. 30. 

t Captain Bullen's Desp., November, 1826. 

X Ashmun's Life, Ap. p. 66. 


exportable. Of grain, there is rice, Indian 
corn, Guinea corn, or millet, &c. The quantities 
of these can be raised to any extent, and be 
limited only by demand.* The Rev. W. Fox, the 
Missionary, says, in his MS. Journal, August 22, 
1836 — " This afternoon I visited Laming, a small 
Mandingotown (above Macarthy's Island). I could 
scarcely get into the town for the quantity of Indian 
corn with which it is surrounded ; upon a very 
moderate calculation, and for a very small portion 
of labour, which generally devolves upon the poor 
women, [they reap upwards of two hundred fold." 
I am informed that Madeira wholly depends on 
the maize raised in Africa, and that the rice pro- 
duced there, when properly dried and prepared, is 
equal to that grown in South Carolina. Of drugs, 
there are aloest and cassia, senna, frankincense, car- 
damums, and grains of paradise, or Malagetta pep- 
per. Amongst the miscellaneous products, which 

* " Nothing can be more delightful than a stroll along the 
borders of the beautiful fields, winding occasionally along 
almost impervious clusters of young palms, whose spreading 
branches exclude every ray of the scorching sun, then opening 
suddenly on an immense rice-field of the most delicate pea-green, 
skirted by the beautiful broad-leaved plantain and banana, 'lite- 
rally groaning under the immense, masses of their golden fruit." 
Dr. J. Hall, Governor of Liberia. Missionary Register, 1836, 
p. 360. 

t A new use of the aloe plant has been discovered in the 
beautiful tissue and cordage manufactured from its fibres, by M. 
Pavy, of Paris. The fihres of the palm and banana-trees are also 
wrought by him into glossy stuffs. 


are in great demand in this country, may be enume- 
rated ivory, bees'-wax, caoutchouc, or Indian-rubber. 
The former of these articles will, of course, suffer a 
gradual diminution as the forests are cut down, the 
swamps, drained, and the plains cultivated ; but of 
the latter scarcely any diminution need be appre- 
hended. The bees'-wax of Africa is in great 
repute, and can be had in any quantity ; and the 
great price freely given for Indian-rubber might be 
a sufficient inducement to lead the African to pay 
more attention to its collection. Of this Mr. Ran- 
kin says,* describing what he saw in an excursion 
amongst the Timmanese, — " A large lump of In- 
dian-rubber (caoutchouc) lay on the table, also the 
produce of Tombo. This article, at present ac- 
quiring a high value amongst our importations, is 
not there made _ an article of commerce, Like al- 
most every other produce of the neighbourhood of 
Sierra Leone, it is scarcely known to exist, or is 
entirely neglected. It grows plentifully, and may 
be easily obtained by making incisions into the tree, 
from which it flows like cream, into calabashes tied 
underneath ; it hardens within a few hours." 

Mr. Elliot Cresson, examined before the American 
Committee on the Foreign Slave Trade, February, 
1839, stated, in answer to the question, — " What 
will be the commercial and political advantages to 
the United States, from an intercourse with the 
colony of Liberia 1 " " Among the valuable articles 
* Rankin's Sierra Leone, vol. ii. p. 218. 


of export, wax and spices are obtained in large quan- 
tities in our colony. The India-rubber tree grows 
wild in the neighbouring woods, and ostrich feathers 
have been exported largely. Hides could be obtained 
in any quantities ; so could rosewood, lancewood, and 
palmwood, and live oak of the best quality. One 
merchant in Philadelphia last year imported from 
the colony a quantity of pea or ground nuts, from 
which he realised the profit of 12,000 dollars. Cot- 
ton, of a very good staple, is found there, and culti- 
vated with great advantage, as there is no frost there. 
And the articles desired in return are those produced 
by American manufactures and agriculture." — Co- 
lonization Herald, March, 1839, p. 124. 

Ashmun, who seems to have had a clear view of 
the interest of the Liberian settlers, writes to them 
thus : — " Suffer me to put down two or three remarks, 
of the truth and importance of which you cannot be 
too sensible. The first is, that the cultivation of your 
rich lands is the only way you will ever find out to 
independence, comfort, and wealth." " You may, if 
you please, if God gives you health, become as inde- 
pendent, comfortable, and happy as you ought to be 
in this world." " The flat lands around you, and 
particularly your farms, have as good a soil as can be 
met with in any country. They will produce two 
crops of corn, sweet potatoes, and several other vege- 
tables, in a year. They will yield a larger crop than 
the best soils in America. And they will produce a 
number of very valuable articles, for which in the 


United States, millions of money are every year paid 
away to foreigners. One acre of rich land, well 
tilled, will produce you three hundred dollars' worth 
of indigo. Half an acre may be made to grow half 
a ton of arrow-root. Four acres laid out in coffee- 
plants, will, after the third year, produce you a clear 
income of two or three hundred dollars. Half an 
acre of cotton-trees will clothe your whole family ; 
and, except a little hoeing, your wife and children 
can perform the whole labour of cropping and manu- 
facturing it. One acre of canes will make you inde- 
pendent of all the world for the sugar you use in your 
family. One acre set with fruit-trees, and well at- 
tended, will furnish you the year round with more 
plantains, bananas, oranges, limes, guavas, papaws, 
and pine-apples, than you will ever gather. Nine 
months of the year, you may grow fresh vegetables 
every month, and some of you who have lowland 
plantations, may do so throughout the year." * 

I must also quote the authority of Denis de 
Montfort, a Frenchman of science, who in a paper 
on the gold of the Coast of Guinea, inserted in the 
" Philosophical Magazine," thus writes : — " There 
exists no country in the world so susceptible of 
general cultivation as Africa : we know that certain 
districts are fertile in corn ; and grain of every kind 
grows there, intermixed with sugar-canes lately in- 
troduced, and which protect the grain from hail. 
The plants of India, Europe, America, and Australia 
* Ashmun's Life, Ap., p. 64. 


will flourish there in perpetual spring, and the ani- 
mals of all climates can be easily naturalised. The 
negroes, whose respect for the whites is extreme, 
notwithstanding what they have suffered from them, 
will cheerfully give up their fields to be cultivated by 
them. Servants, and even slaves, will not be wanting, 
and this will be a true method of preventing these 
nations from massacring their prisoners of war, as 
the king of Dahomey does at the present moment. 
May our feeble voices on this subject reach the ear of 
royalty ! * 

It is almost impossible to turn to any book of 
African travels, without meeting with some incidental 
observations upon the fertility of the soil. I should 
have supposed that nothing of this kind would have 
occurred in the narrative of Captain Paddock ; yet he 
says : — " On the south was seen a very extensive 
country, abounding with little enclosed cities, large 
fields of grain, and productive gardens. In short, 
though the climate here is dry as well as hot, such is 
the great fertility of the soil, that it is capable of pro- 
ducing abundantly all the necessaries and most of the 
luxuries of life. What might it be under the culti- 
vation of a civilised, industrious, and skilful people !| 

" We made choice of a wheat-field, which lay but 
a few hundred yards from us ; and we had entered it 
but a few paces when we found ourselves completely 
hidden, even while standing erect. Although my 
mate was five feet eleven inches in height, and myself 
* Annual Register, 1815, p. 542. t P. 289. 


five feet ten, the heads of the wheat were above our 
own. This was the finest piece of wheat I ever saw ; 
it was all well headed ; and had we not gone among 
it, and took its measure, we should have known it 
was very tall, though we never could have told how 
tall." * 

It is observed by Brown, in his botanical appen- 
dix to " Tuckey's Voyage " (pp. 342-3), that from 
the river Senegal, in about 16° north latitude, to the 
Congo, in upwards of 6° south latitude, there is a 
remarkable uniformity in the vegetation of Western 
Africa — a fact which gives us promise of extending 
to any amount, our commerce in such vegetable pro- 
ductions as have already obtained a sale in Europe 
or America. Thus a tree which characterises nearly 
the whole range of coast, is the Elais Guineensis, or 
oil-palm, one of the most valuable to commerce. This 
grows in the greatest abundance in the delta of the 
Niger. There " the palm-nut now rots on the ground 
unheeded and neglected," over an extent of surface 
equal to the whole of Ireland. (Laird, vol. ii. p. 362.) 

The whole extent, too, of the Timmanee, and a 
great part . of Koranko, through which Captain 
Laing passed in 1822, was absolutely bristled with 
palm-trees, which, at the time he went up the coun- 
try (April and May), were bearing luxurious crops 
of nuts. " There is no known instance, or any ap- 
parent danger, of a failure on the part of all-bounti- 
ful nature in supplying the fruit : on the contrary, it 
* P. 181. 


is the opinion of Captain Laing, that were the popu- 
lation double, and had they all the industry we could 
wish, they would not be able to reap the abundant 
harvest annually presented to them."* 

The soil of Africa produces indigenously nearly 
all the useful plants which are common to other tro- 
pical countries, and some of them in greater perfec- 
tion than they are to be found elsewhere. 

There are some articles that require more notice : 

Hemp grows wild on tlie Gambia, and only re- 
quires a better mode of preparation to make it a 
valuable article of import. The same may be said 
of tobacco. Indigo grows so freely in Africa, that, 
in some places, it is difficult to eradicate it. " Im- 
mense quantities of indigo, and other noxious weeds," 
spring up in the streets of Freetown. t 

It is known to grow wild as far inland as the 
Tchad, and even with the rude preparation bestowed 
by the natives, gives a beautiful dye to their cloths. J 

Coffee is another indigenous shrub, which well 
repays cultivation. When Kizell, a Nova Scotian, 
first observed it near the Sherbro, he pulled up two 
or three plants, and showed them to the people, 
who said that they thought it was good for nothing, 
but to fence their plantations. It was all over the 
country, and in some places nothing else was to be 

* Sierra Leone Gaz., Dec. 14, 1822. 

t Despatch, Mr. Smart to Sir G. Murray, 1828; Sierra Leone 
Report, No. 57, p. 30. 

I Denham's Travels, p. 246. 

COFFEE. 331 

seen * Even in a wild state it seems to repay the 
trouble of gathering, for the Commissioners at Sierra 
Leone, in their Annual Report, of date 1st January, 
1838, inform us " that the Foulahs have been in- 
duced, by the fair traders of the river Nunez to 
bring down for sale to them a quantity of coffee, of 
a very superior quality, the produce of the forests of 
their own country." An extract of a letter, which 
they enclose, observes that "one great advantage of 
peaceful commerce with the natives is, that valuable 
productions of their country are brought to light 
by our research, sometimes to their astonishment." 
Thus, till within the last two years, this abundant 
growth of coffee was " left to be the food of mon- 
keys," but is now a source of profit to the natives 
and to our own merchants. A small quantity has 
been cultivated, both at Sierra Leone and the Gold 
Coast; and Ashmun (Life, Ap., p. 78) states that, 
in Liberia, no crop is surer ; that African coffee fre- 
quently produces four pounds to the tree, and that 
the berries attain a size unknown elsewhere. I air 
happy to learn that above 10,000 lbs. of African 
coffee were imported into this country in 1837, that its 
quality was excellent, and that it fetched a good price. f 

* Afr. Inst 6 Report, Ap. 

t Mr. M'Queen says, that the old Arabian traveller Batouta, -who 
nad visited China, states, that in the interior parts of Africa, along 
the Niger, which he visited, the tea-plant grew abundantly. — 
M'Queen's Africa, p. 218. Dr. M'Leod, describing the kingdom 
of Benin, says—" In the opinion of one of the latest governors 



Sugar-canes grow spontaneously in several parts 
of Africa ; and when cultivated, as they are in va- 
rious places, for the sake of the juice, they become 
very large. The expense of the necessary ma- 
chinery alone seems to have hitherto prevented the 
manufacture of sugar ;* 

I now come to the article which demands the 
largest share of our attention, viz. cotton ; because 
it requires little capital, yields a steady return, is in 
vast demand in Europe, and grows naturally in the 
soil of Africa. 

As this last is a point of vital importance, I think 
it necessary to furnish a portion of the evidence I 
have collected as to the luxuriant and spontaneous 
growth of cotton in Africa : — 

Sir Fulk Grevell making, by order of Queen 
Elizabeth, a report to Sir Francis Walsingham on 
a memorial of certain merchant adventures : — " Sir, 
You demaunde of me the names of such kings as are 
absolute in the East, and either have wan\ or traf- 
fique w th the kinge of Spaigne." * * * * 
" Then followeth kingdoms of Gaulata, Tombuto, 
and Melly ; whereof the rirste is poore, and hath 
smal traffique ; the aeconde populous, and rich in 

we have had, on the establishment in this country (Mr. James), 
and one whose general knowledge of Africa is admitted to be 
considerable, the tea-tree flourishes spontaneously here." — 
M'Leod's Voyage to Africa, p. 18. 

* A company has been established at Monrovia, with a small 
capital, For the experiment. — Col. Herald, November, l> w .">7 

COTTON. 333 

come and beasts, but wanteth salte, w cl1 the Por- 
tugal supplieth ; the last hath store of corne, flesh, 
and cotten ivoll, w ch are carried into Spaigne in 
great abundance." Quoted by Mr. Bruce, from a 
M.S. in the State Paper Office — Annals of the East 
India Company, vol. i., p. 121. 

Beaver says, " Of the vegetables that are wild, the 
sugar-cane, cotton- shrub, and indigo-plant, seem the 
most valuable : no country in the world is more amply 
enriched than this is with the chief productions of the 
animal and vegetable kingdoms." 

Mr. Dalrymple, who was at Goree in 1779, states, 
" that there are three different kinds of cotton ; that 
samples sent home were considered by English mer- 
chants superior to that from the West Indies. It 
grows spontaneously almost everywhere, though it is 
sometimes cultivated. "* 

Cotton, says Col. Denham, grows wild about Sierra 
Leone, of three kinds, white, brown, and pink ; the 
first is excellent. f He also " found it wild on the 

Clapperton, saw some "beautiful specimens" of 
the African looms in the interior. § 

Park|] observes, almost every slave can weave. 

* Evid. Slave Trade Com., 1790, p. 297. 

t Col. Denham, Rep. Sierra Leone, Sess. 1830, No. 57, p. 16. 

\ Denham's Travels, p. 317. 

§ Clapperton, p. 5. 

|| Park, vol. i. p. 429. 

z 2 


Ashmun* says, it is believed that none of the va- 
rieties of the American cotton-shrub answers, in all 
respects, to the indigenous African tree. The cotton 
of this country is on all hands allowed to be of a good 
quality, and the mode of growing, curing, and manu- 
facturing the article pursued in America may be 
adopted here, making due allowance for the much 
greater size and duration of the African tree. 

Lander says, " From Badagry to Saccatoo, the cot- 
ton-plant, indigo, &c, are cultivated to a great 

Laird says, "The increase of trade from the interior 
would, I think, consist chiefly of palm-oil, raw cot- 
ton, shea-butter, rice, and bees'-wax. These articles 
would, I think, be indefinitely increased." 

The Rev. John Pinney,t an American missionary, 
says, " The crops of coffee, pepper, and cotton ex- 
ceed all that could be boasted of in the United 

And the Rev. J. Seys]. speaks of the "excellent 
cotton" of the St. Paul's River. 

I might, if it were necessary, multiply these proofs 
almost indefinitely, by references to M'Queen, Burck- 
hardt, De Caille, Dupuis, Robertson, &c. 

It has been my endeavour, throughout the whole 
of this work, to take nothing for granted, and to 

* Ashmun's Life, App., p. 76. 

1 Coloniz. Soc. Rep., quoted in Miss. Reg. for 1836, p. '22. 

1 Ibid. 


prove, as I proceeded, all that I stated. It cannot be 
necessary, however, to stop for the purpose of esta- 
blishing the vast importance to Great Britain of an 
additional market for the purchase of raw cotton. In 
our cotton-trade, there are about twenty millions of 
fixed, and twenty millions of floating capital invested. 
The total yearly produce of the manufacture amounts 
to forty millions. One million five hundred thousand 
persons earn their bread by it. 

Africa is capable of yielding this necessary article : 
it is as near to us as North America ; nearer than the 
Brazils ; two-thirds nearer to us than India. The 
vast tropical districts along the southern side of the 
Great Desert, the fine plains, and gently-rising country 
from the northern bank of the Rio de Formosa, and 
from the Niger to the base of the Kong mountains, 
are adapted to the culture and production of the finest 
cotton. This portion of Africa alone, so rich in soil, 
so easy of access, offers an independent and abun- 
dant supply of that article, the want of which impedes 
and oppresses our manufacturing prosperity. But if 
Africa, when delivered from that evil which withers 
her produce, and paralyzes her industry, can be made 
to supply us Avith the commodity which we so much 
need, she, in her turn, will be the customer of Europe 
to the same vast extent, for the manufactured goods 
which Europe produces. If it be true that inter- 
course with Africa, of an honest description, would 
be twice blessed_, — a blessing to the nation who con- 


fers, and to the continent which receives, cultivation 
and commerce, — nothing can exceed the folly (ex- 
cept the wickedness) of a system, which annually 
sweeps off nearly half a million of the inhabitants of 
Africa, and consigns, by its inhuman butcheries, one 
of the fairest portions of the earth to the sterility of a 

But it may be said, that though the land might be 
made to produce cotton, centuries must elapse before 
it can be made to yield any quantity of that article. 
I do not pretend to say that this will be suddenly 
accomplished ; but an anecdote which I heard stated 
to the Marquis of Normanby, by a gentleman whose 
mercantile knowledge would not be disputed by 
any one, may serve to forbid despair. He stated 
that the person who first imported from America a 
bale of cotton into this country was still alive, that the 
person to whom it was consigned in Liverpool was 
still alive, and that the custom-house officer at that 
place refused to admit it at the lower rate of duty, 
because, to his knowledge, no cotton could be grown 
in America ; yet that country which could grow no 
cotton, now, besides supplying her own demand, and 
that of all other countries, sends annually to Great Bri- 
tain a quantity valued at about £15,000,000 sterling. 

I propose, then, that an effort shall be made to cul- 
tivate districts of Africa, selected for that purpose, 
in order that her inhabitants may be convinced of the 


capabilities of their soil, and witness what wonders 
may be accomplished by their own labour when set in 
motion by our capital, and guided by our skill. 

There is no doubt that mercantile settlements 
would effect a considerable measure of good ; but 
the good is distant, and will be effected by slow de- 
grees, while the condition of Africa is such, that the 
delay of a single year carries with it a world of 
misery, and the certain destruction of a multitude of 

I confess that I think it would be well, on many 
grounds, if we could, to confine ourselves to the esta- 
blishment of factories. I fear, however, that this 
limitation would retard, if not defeat, our objects. 

We should touch Africa at a few prominent points, 
— at each of these, a mart might be established, and 
something might be done towards the education of 
the children of those who entered our service. But 
the evil is gigantic, and it requires gigantic efforts to 
arrest it. I believe, — and every word that I have read 
or heard on the subject confirms me in the impres- 
sion, — that Africa has, within herself, resources, 
which, duly developed, Avould compensate for the 
gains of the Slave Trade, if these were twenty times 
as great as they are. But it must never be forgotten 
that these resources are nothing, unless they are fairly 
and fully called into action. 

Factories on the coast may lead the natives to 
gather the spontaneous productions of nature. They 
may supply us with wood, with palm-oil, with skins, 


and with ivory ; but beyond the money or the goods 
paid for these, and beyond occasional and very lax 
employment to the natives, Africa would gain little. 
No habits of settled industry will be inspired ; no 
examples will be placed before those, the avenue to 
whose understanding is through the eyes; and who, 
however slow they may be to reason, are quick to 
perceive, and intelligent to imitate. 

I have already said, that two things must be 
achieved, or we shall fail : the one is, to call forth 
and elevate the native mind ; the other is, to provide a 
larger source of revenue than that derived from the 
trade in man. 

By agriculture — both will be accomplished. The 
ransom for Africa will be found in her fertile soil ; and 
the moral worth of her people will advance as they 
become better instructed, more secure, more indus- 
trious, and more wealthy. And then will be felt the 
influence of cultivated intellect on rude reason ; the 
children will be taught by our schools; our very 
machinery, doing easily what is impossible to their 
unaided strength, will eloquently speak to others, and 
beget that allegiance of mind, which is uniformly 
yielded by the untutored, to beings of superior capa- 
city. The ministers of the gospel, the best of civil- 
izers, will, as gently as irresistibly, work out a change 
in the current of opinion, and effect the cheerful re- 
nunciation of bloody and licentious customs. 

Such essential reforms as these cannot lie expected 
from the mere establishment of factories on the coast, 


Something, no doubt, will be gained by these, but not 
enough, to execute the task (of all tasks the most diffi- 
cult) of giving an impulse to the slumbering ener- 
gies of the people, and making productive the latent 
capabilities of the soil. In one word, Africa wants 
more than commerces — he wants cultivation. 

If cultivation be required, it becomes at once desir- 
able that we should afford to the natives the benefit 
of our experience and skill — our example and capital. 
Why should the African be left to work his way 
upwards, from his rude and unprofitable tillage, to 
that higher order of cultivation, which we have 
reached by the labours of successive generations ? 
Our discoveries in tropical agriculture must work a 
great physical change. It is probable, that we might 
reclaim a waste district in half the time, and at half 
the expense, that it would cost the inhabitants. 

But I look also, as I have already hinted, to the 
moral effect which will hence be produced. Those 
of old, who carried the spade and the plough into bar- 
barous countries were ranked with the deities. 

By our seeds, and our implements, and our skill 
in abridging labour and subduing difficulty, we 
shall place before the natives, in a form which they 
cannot mistake, the vast benefits they are likely to 
derive from intercourse with us ; and they will speed- 
ily perceive, that it is their interest to protect those 
strangers who possess secrets, which can make their 
land produce so unexpected and rich a harvest. 

It is quite clear that the present commercial 


intercourse between this country and Africa is 
extremely limited ; that the chief obstacle to its 
extension is the prevalence of the Slave Trade,* and 

* The imports of palm-oil have diminished during four late 
years, as may be seen by the following returns, viz. : — 


1834 . . . 269,901 

1835 . . . 234,882 

1836 . . . 236,195 

1837 . . . 201,906 

This diminution has arisen, not in consequence of a decrease in 
the demand for the article, but on account of the extension of the 
Slave Trade on the coast, and the increased difficulty of procuring 
a supply. 

" The industry of the natives, in a great degree, is stifled by the 
Slave Trade ; and, though a good deal of oil is prepared and sold, 
the English traders, loading at the mouth of the river, are often 
interrupted, and obliged to wait, to the loss of profit and the ruin 
of the crew's health, while a smuggling slaver takes all hands on 
the coast to complete her cargo." — Laird. 

" When there is a demand for slaves the natives abandon every 
other employment ; and the consequence is, that the British vessels 
trading on the coast are lying idle for want of trade. 

" In consequence of the great demand for slaves, the natives 
here and in the interior abandon cultivation, the trees go to de- 
struction, and no young trees are planted. 

" At one place in Africa where a very considerable quantity of 
palm-oil has been annually supplied to the ships of our merchants, 
the Spanish and Portuguese have latterly so much increased the 
Slave Trade, that the cultivation of the palm-trees, which was 
giving occupation to thousands, has not only become neglected, 
but the native chiefs have been incited to blind revenge ngainsl 
British influence, and have set fire to and destroyed 30,000 palm 
trees.'' — Recent Letters frum Africa. 


that it might be indefinitely increased under the fos- 
tering and protective care of the British government. 
The grounds on which this supposition rests are the 
number and situation of its navigable rivers ; its 
rich alluvial deltas, and extensive and fertile plains ; 
its immense forests ; its wide range of natural pro- 
ductions; its swarming, active, and enterprising po- 
pulation ; its contiguity to Europe, and the demand 
of its people for the manufactures of this country. 

In speculating on African commerce, it should be 
borne in mind that we have to deal with nations 
who are not only ignorant and uncivilised, but cor- 
rupted and deteriorated by the Slave Trade, and by in- 
tercourse with the worst class of Europeans. There 
will, therefore, be difficulties and obstructions to 
overcome before a clear field for honest commerce 
can be obtained. In the present state of the people 
we can hardly look to obtain from them articles 
which depend on an extensive cultivation of the soil, 
so as to compete with the productions of civilised 
nations. It is probable that in commencing an ex- 
tensive intercourse with Africa, there will be at first 
a considerable outlay of money without an immediate 
return ; but from whatever source this may be ob- 
tained, it should be considered as a gift to Africa 
It will ultimately be repaid a thousand-fold. 

The articles desired by the Africans in return for 
the produce of their country are too many to enume- 
rate. Lists of them are given by almost every tra- 
veller. It may, therefore, suffice to observe, that 


many of them are the produce or manufactures of 
our island, or of our colonies ; and it is an important 
consideration, that we may obtain the treasures of this 
unexplored continent, by direct barter of our own 
commodities, and that, while we cheapen luxuries 
at home, Ave also increase the means of obtaining 
them, by giving increased employment to our pro- 
ductive classes. 

The extension of a legitimate commerce, and with it 
the blessings of civilisation and Christianity, is worthy 
the most strenuous exertions of the philanthropist, 
whilst to the mercantile and general interests of the 
civilised world it is of the highest importance. Africa 
presents an almost boundless tract of country, teem- 
ing with inhabitants who admire, and are desirous of 
possessing our manufactures. There is no limit to 
the demand, except their want of articles to give us 
in return. They must be brought to avail themselves 
of their own resources. 

Attempts, as we have seen, have already been 
made to form cotton plantations, and the article pro- 
duced is found to be of a very useful and valuable 
description. Perseverance in these efforts is alone 
required to accomplish the object in view, and, when 
once accomplished, the importance to this country 
will be incalculable. The trade in palm-oil is capable 
of immense extension, and the article is every year 
becoming more important and in more extensive In exchange for these, and many other valuable 
articles, British manufactures would be taken, and 


British ships find a profitable employment in the 
conveyance of them. 

It so happens that a considerable proportion of the 
goods which best suit the taste of the natives of Africa, 
consists of fabrics to which power-looms cannot be 
applied with any advantage. Any extension, then, 
of the trade to Africa, will have this most important 
additional advantage, that it will cause a correspond- 
ing increase in the demand for the labour of a class 
of individuals who have lately been truly represented 
as suffering greater privations than any other set of 
workmen connected with the cotton trade. 

But the first object of our intercourse with Africa 
should be, not so much to obtain a remunerating 
trade, as to repair in some measure the evil that the 
civilised world has inflicted on her, by conveying 
Christianity, instruction, and the useful arts to her 
children. The two objects will eventually, if carried 
on in a right manner, be found perfectly compatible ; 
for it is reasonable to seek in legitimate commerce a 
direct antidote to the nefarious traffic which has so 
long desolated and degraded her. We have shown 
the vast variety and importance of the productions 
which Africa is capable of yielding : we have already 
proved that, notwithstanding the bounty of nature, the 
commerce of Africa is most insignificant. Truly may 
we say with Burke, " To deal and traffic — not in the 
labour of men, but in men themselves — is to devour 
the root, instead of enjoying the fruit of human dili- 




I have thus stated what I conceive to be the gist of 
the whole question, viz., that the deliverance of Africa 
must spring, under the blessing of God, from herself, 
and I have also shown, I trust to the satisfaction of 
every reader, that she possesses abundant capabilities 
for the purpose. The next question that arises, is, 
how are these capabilities to be made available ? how 
are we to obtain access to them ? Great, no doubt, are 
the difficulties ; yet, such are the discoveries of the last 
ten years, that we may now lay aside the impressions 
of an impenetrable continent, and of interminable 
wastes of sand, which have accompanied us from our 
childhood. We now know that a mighty river, 
which discharges itself into the Bight of Benin, by 
upwards of twenty mouths, is navigable, with little 
interruption, from thence nearly to its source, a 
distance of more than 2,600 miles. We also learn 
from the travellers who have navigated the Niger, 
that there are many tributary streams, some of which, 
especially the Tschadda, or Shaderbah, are equally 
navigable, and afford every facility for intercourse 
with the numerous nations and tribes who inhabit 
the countries in their vicinity. 


Mungo Park, in his last journey (1 805) , embarked 
on the Niger at Bammakoo, about 500 miles from 
its source. In his narrative he says, ■■' Having gained 
the summit of the ridge which separates the Niger 
from the remote branches of the Senegal, I went on 
a little before, and coming to the brow of the hill, I 
once more saw the Niger rolling its immense stream 
along the plain." And he tells us, it is larger " even 
here, than either the Senegal or the Gambia, and 
full an English mile over." When preparing for 
his subsequent embarkation on the Niger, he says, 
" the best wood for boat-building is near Kaukaiy, 
on a large navigable branch of the Niger." Park 
descended the river to Boussa, where most unhap- 
pily he was killed. 

In 1830, Lander, who had accompanied the en- 
terprising Clapperton in his last journey to Houssa, 
was sent out by the British Government to explore 
the Niger. He succeeded in reaching Boussa by a 
land route : there he embarked on the river, and 
after a voyage of about 560 miles, reached the Bight 
of Benin, and thus solved the interesting problem 
which had so long exercised the talents and ingenuity 
of modern geographers. 

Messrs. Laird and Oldfield, by the aid of steam- 
vessels, went up the Niger from the Bight of Benin, 
in 1832; and their journals contain much valuable 
information as to that river, and its tributary, the 
Tschadda. The latter, at the point of confluence, is 
represented to be one mile and a half broad ; and the 


country on the banks of both rivers is described to 
be most fertile, very populous, and, wherever there is 
any security from the ravages of the Slave Trade, 
highly cultivated, 

Mr. Oldfield ascended the Niger to the town of 
Rabbah, and he explored the Tschadda, for about 
100 miles from its confluence with the Niger at Ad- 

They also describe several towns, Eboe, Iccory, 
Iddah, Egga, Rabbah, and Fundah, proving bow 
great are the facilities for trade and commerce with 
the interior afforded by the river. 

It is to be regretted that so little of the Tschadda 
has been explored. Mr. Oldfield was informed, that 
its course lay through the heart of Africa, and that 
there were many large towns on its banks ; and Laird 
in mentioning this river, says, " By it, a communi- 
cation would be opened with all the nations inha- 
biting the unknown countries between the Niger and 
the Nile." 

Here, then, is one of the most magnificent rivers in 
the world, introducing us into the heart of Africa : 
at a central point, it opens a way by its eastern 
branch, to the kingdoms of Bornou, Kanem, and 
Begharmi ; by its western, to Timbuctoo, — each of 
them bringing us into communication with multi- 
tudes of tribes, and unfolding to us the productions 
of a most extensive and fertile territory. 

The problem is, how shall that stream be closed to 
the passage of slaves to the coast; while it is at the 


same time opened as a secure and accessible highway 
for legitimate commerce. The solution seems almost 
self-evident : we must obtain the positions which 
command the Niger ; and without doubt, the most 
important of these, is Fernando Po. 

Fernando Po. 

I have already adverted to the importance of this 
island, as being decidedly the best locality on the coast 
for the reception of liberated negroes ; and for aiding 
us in a great effort for the civilization of Africa. It is 
situated about 20 miles from the mainland, in theBight 
of Biafra, and commands the mouths of those great 
streams which penetrate so deeply into central Africa, 
along the coast from the Rio Volta to the Gaboon. 
These rivers are about forty in number, and Fernando 
Po is at the distance of from 40 to 200 miles. The 
island is exceedingly fertile ; the soil is composed of 
a fine deep black and brick mould : it abounds in 
many species of large and fine timber, fit for orna- 
mental or useful purposes ; and it is capable of pro- 
ducing, in the highest perfection, not only every article 
of tropical produce, but also many kinds of European 
fruits and vegetables : it is 24 miles in length, and 
16 miles in breadth. It has three ranges of hills, 
running parallel to the north-east side ; the centre 
rising into a conical volcanic mountain, to the height 
of 10,000 feet above the level of the sea. 

Mr. Laird thus describes its aspect : — " On my 

2 A 


return to Fernando Po I recovered rapidly, and was 
able to walk and ride about in a fortnight after my 
arrival. The splendid scenery that distinguishes this 
beautiful island is well known from former descrip- 
tions, and to persons coming from the low marshy 
shore of the main land has indescribable charms. 

"The view from the galleries of the government- 
house on a clear moonlight night I never saw equal- 
led, nor can I conceive it surpassed. To the north- 
east, the lofty peak of the Camaroons, rising to the 
immense height of 14,000 feet, throws its shadow 
halfway across the narrow strait that separates the 
island from the main land; while the numerous 
little promontories, and beautiful coves, that grace 
the shores of Goderich Bay, throw light and shadow 
so exquisitely upon the water, that one almost can 
imagine it a fairy land. On the west, the spectator 
looks down almost perpendicularly on the vessels in 
Clarence Cove, which is a natural basin, surrounded 
by cliffs of the most romantic shape, and a group of 
little islands, which nature seems to have' thrown in, 
to give a finish to the scene. 

" Looking inland, towards the island, the peak is 
seen, covered with wood to the summit, with its sides 
furrowed with deep ravines, and here and there a 
patch of cleared land, showing like a white spot in 
the moonlight." 

We are also informed, that, from the elevation of 
3,500 feet above the level of the sea, there is always 
found the climate of an European summer. 


The shores are bold, and, with hardly an exception, 
free from those swamps on the coasts of the main 
land, around the mouths of the rivers, which generate 
the fatal malaria which proves so destructive to the 
health and life of Europeans. From all this Fer- 
nando Po is entirely free ; while the land remains 
uncleared and uncultivated, diseases, the attendants 
of every tropical climate, will, to a considerable extent 
prevail, but never equal to what is witnessed on the 
alluvial, flooded, and swampy shores of the adjacent 
continent. When, however, the land shall be cleared 
and cultivated, the climate, we may reasonably expect, 
will become healthy and safe for Europeans : the same 
as the climate is found to be in the elevated parts of 
Jamaica, and in those West Indian islands which are 
cleared, cultivated, and drained, such as Barbadoes 
and St. Christopher's, to the latter of which Fernando 
Po bears in many points a very strong resemblance. 
The putrid malaria, generated on the alluvial plains 
and swamps, on the shores of the sea, and in the 
neighbourhood of large rivers in the torrid zone, 
never rises to any great height, probably not 400 feet 
above the level of the sea at anyplace; and, conse- 
quently, it is very obvious that Fernando Po would, 
when cleared of the wood, afford a healthy, as well as 
convenient location for any British force, or settlement, 
which it may be considered necessary or advisable to 
place upon it. The island, moreover, is free from 
hurricanes : there are several bays which afford most 
convenient access : two of these, North West Bay 



and Maidstone Bay, were carefully surveyed by 
Commodore Bullen in 1826. He describes the latter 
bay, as perfectly easy of access, and at once healthy 
and very airy, the westerly wind blowing directly 
across it at all times of day and night. He also says 
that there is good anchorage in all parts of the bay ; 
that it abounds with fish and turtle ; and that many 
streams of excellent water run into it. There are 
in this bay two very fine coves, where ships might lie 
and refit, as smooth as in a mill-pond, combined with 
the benefit of a beautiful and refreshing breeze. 
Commodore Bullen further says, that if a look-out be 
kept from the shore of this bay, scarcely a vessel 
could leave the Bonny, Calabars, Bimbia, and Ca- 
maroons rivers, without being observed time enough to 
give a signal to any vessel lying in the bay to intercept 
her; and he cites as an instance, the capture of a 
slaver, " Le Daniel," by his own vessel. This cap- 
ture was effected within four hours after first seeino- 
her, although his vessel was then lying at anchor in 
the bay. Commodore, now Sir Charles Bullen, 
strongly recommended that a settlement should be 
formed for liberated Africans in Maidstone Bay ; but 
it appears that Clarence Cove was preferred. Of the 
latter place we are told, that it affords the finest shelter 
and anchorage for shipping ; 500 sail may there ride 
in perfect safety and lie quite close to the shore. It 
also abounds with excellent spring water, as in fact 
the island generally does; the fine streams rushing 
from the mountains to the sea, in beautiful waterfalls 


and cascades, down its bold coasts. " You have not," 
said a gentleman, who had resided there nine years, 
and whose testimony may be relied upon, " an island, 
either in the North or South Atlantic, equal to Fer- 
nando Po for shipping : a vessel may anchor there 
all the year round in perfect safety." 

Colonel Nichols computes the natives to amount to 
about 5,000 ; and he states that, if the island were 
cleared and cultivated, it could easily maintain a very 
large population. He found the natives friendly, 
inoffensive, and willing to work : he employed them 
in clearing the ground for the British settlement at 
Clarence Cove. 

The Colonel speaks in high terms of the products 
and capabilities of the island. The yams were the 
finest he ever saw, and he introduced the cultivation 
of Indian corn with complete success ; and Captain 
Beatty thinks that a profitable whale fishery might 
be established on the shores of Fernando Po. 

Mr. Laird, in his remarks on our commerce with 
Africa, observes, " My proposal is, to make the govern- 
ment's head quarters at Fernando Po, which, from 
its geographical position, is the key to central Africa, 
and within a few miles of the great seats of our pre- 
sent commerce on the coast. It is also the only 
place upon the whole line of coast, on which hospitals 
and other conveniences could be erected, far above 
the reach of the coast fever, where invalids from the 
naval, military, and civil establishments, from all 


parts of the coast, might recruit their health in a 
pure and bracing atmosphere."* 

Fernando Po therefore, in every way, and in a very 
remarkable manner, possesses those advantages of 
which we stand in need. Is it our object to capture 
the slave-trader? Here is an island adjacent to his 
chief resort, so situated as to command and control 
the whole Bights of Benin and Biafra. Or is it 
our object to encourage legitimate commerce ? Fer- 
nando Po is at the outlet of that great stream which 
offers a highway into the heart of Africa. I con- 
fess, I look forward to the day, when Africa shall 
unfold her hidden treasures to the world ; and as a 
primary means of enabling her to do so, this island 
is of incalculable value. Do we dread the climate ? 
Here, and as I believe, almost here alone, on the 
western coast of Africa, has nature provided a po- 
sition, which enjoys the benefit of perpetual sea- 
breezes, free from the noxious effluvia which load 
even these breezes as we advance inland on the con- 
tinent ; whilst its high land is above " the fatal fever 
level." Or is it our object, as far as possible, to 
reduce the sufferings, and spare the lives of the 
negroes, whom we, with the most generous intentions, 
rescue from the slave-trader? Under the present 
system, we consign these negroes in vast numbers to 
destruction, consequent on a five weeks' voyage to 
Sierra Leone, Avhen they could be landed on the 
* Laird, vol. ii. p. 391. 


island of Fernando Po, within a few hours, or, at 
most, within a few days, after their capture ; while, 
if located on that island, they would afford material 
for the formation of what may be termed a normal 
school, for the introduction of agriculture, civilization, 
and Christianity into the interior of Africa. 

To the reader who may be desirous of obtaining* fur- 
ther information respecting this island, I strongly re- 
commend the perusal of the abstract of a letter which 
I insert in the Appendix.* It was written, as its date 
(Sept. 1835) proves, without reference to the plans 
which I now propose, and it did not come into my pos- 
session, till after the above description of the island 
had been prepared. It will be seen, however, how 
remarkably it confirms the statements I have made 
on other authorities. 

Next in importance to Fernando Po, is a settlement 
at the confluence of the Niger and the Tchadda. It 
can hardly be doubted, I think, even by those who 
are most sceptical with regard to predictions of future 
commercial greatness, that this position will, here- 
after, become the great internal citadel of Africa, and 
the great emporium of her commerce. It commands 
the Niger, with all its tributary streams and branches 
in the interior, while Fernando Po exercises the same 
control over its numerous mouths. With these two 
positions, and with our steamers plying between them, 
it is not too much to say, that this great river would 

* Vide Appendix B. 


be safe from the ravages of the pirate and the man- 
hunter, and would be open to the capital and enter- 
prise of the legitimate merchant. I must here avail 
myself of a passage from a work published nearly 
twenty years ago: — * 

"The extent of country and population whose 
improvements, labours, and wants would be dependent 
upon, and stimulated to exertions by a settlement on 
the Niger, is prodigious, and altogether unequalled. 
The extent comprehends a country of nearly 40° of 
longitude from west to east, and through the greater 
part of this extent of 20° of latitude from north to 
south, a space almost equal to Europe. Where the 
confluence of the Tschadda with the Niger takes 
place, is the spot to erect the capital of our great 
African establishments. A city built there, under 
the protecting wings of Great Britain, would ere long 
become the capital of Africa. Fifty millions of 
people, yea, even a greater number, would be depend- 
ant on it. 

9fC W *|f Sj! 

"The rivers are the roads in the torrid zone. 
Nature seems to have intended these as the great 
help in introducing agriculture and commerce. 

* The " View of Northern Central Africa" was published before 
it was known that the Niger emptied itself into the Bight of Be- 
nin, and when the prevailing theories gave that river an opposite 
direction. The author, Mr. M'Queen, is at least entitled to the 
credit of having clearly pointed out its true course; all that he 
then asserted has been verified by the expedition of Laird and 

RIVERS. 355 

(i Wherever the continents are most extensive, there 
we find the most magnificent rivers flowing through 
them, opening up a communication from side to side. 
What is still more remarkable, and becomes of great 
utility, is, that these mighty currents flow against the 
prevailing winds, thus rendering the navigation easy, 
which would otherwise be extremely tedious and 
difficult. The prevailing trade-winds blow right up 
their streams. This is the case with the Niger, and 
in a more particular manner during the time it 
is in flood. For ten months in the year, but more 
particularly from May till November, the prevailing 
wind in the Bights of Benin and Biafra is from south- 
west, thus blowing right up all the outlets of the 
Niger. In the Congo, Tuckey found the breeze 
generally blowing up the stream. It is needless to 
point out, at length, the advantages which may be 
derived from this wise regulation in the natural 

I have dwelt thus much on the Niger and the 
settlements connected with it, because it clearly holds 
the foremost place among the great inlets to Africa ; 
but the number and situation of many other navig- 
able rivers on the western coast of Africa have been 
much remarked by those who have visited them, as 
affording the noblest means for extending the com- 
merce of this country to the millions who dwell on 
their banks, or occupy the cities and towns in the 
interior. Along the coast, commencing at the southern 


point of the Bight of Biafra, and embracing the coast 
of Calabar, the Slave Coast, the Gold Coast, the 
Ivory Coast, the Grain Coast, the Pepper Coast, the 
coast of Sierra Leone, and thence northwards to the 
Senegal, there cannot be less than ninety or one 
hundred rivers, many of them navigable, and two of 
them rivalling in their volume of water and extent 
the splendid rivers of North America. It is reported 
that a French steam-vessel plies more than 700 miles 
up the Senegal, and that the Faleme, which flows 
into it eight leagues below Galam, is navigable in 
the rainy season for vessels of sixty tons burden. 
The Faleme runs through the golden land of Bam- 
bouk, whence the French traders obtain considerable 
quantities of that precious metal. The Gambia is a 
noble river. It is about eleven miles wide at its 
mouth, and about four opposite Bathurst. How far 
it extends into the interior is unknown ; it is said, 
however, that it has been ascended for some hundred 
miles.* It is also asserted that from the upper part 
of this river the Senegal can be reached in three, and 
the Niger in four days. 

In addition to the mighty rivers above referred to, 

* In 1834, Captain Quin carried Governor Rendall up to 
Macarthy's Island, in the Britomart sloop of war. Craft of 50 
or 60 tons can get up to Fattatenda, the resort of caravans for 
trade with British merchants. Commodore Owen terms the 
Gambia " a magnificent river." It was surveyed in 182G l>y 
Lieutenant Owen, R.N., on which occasion he was accompanied 
by the Acting Governor Macaulay, as far as Macarthy's Island, 
180 miles up the river. — Owen, ii. 


it has been ascertained that, from Rio Lagos to the 
river Elrei, no fewer than twenty streams enter the 
ocean, several of surprising magnitude, and navig- 
able for ships (M'Queen) ; and that all the 
streams which fall into the sea from Rio Formosa 
to Old Calabar inclusive, are connected together 
by intermediate streams, at no great distance from 
the sea. 

The geographical position of Africa, and its conti- 
guity to Europe claim for it especial attention. The 
voyage from the port of London to the Senegal is gene- 
rally accomplished in twenty-five days; to the Gambia 
in twenty- eight or thirty days ; to Sierra Leone, in 
thirty to thirty-five days ; to Cape Coast Castle, in 
forty-two to forty-eight days ; to Fernando Po, forty- 
eight to fifty-three days ; to the ports in the Bight of 
Biafra,in fifty to fifty-five days ; to the Zaire or Congo, 
in fifty-five to sixty days, respectively. Vessels leav- 
ing Bristol or Liverpool for the same ports possess 
an advantage, in point of time, of from five to eight 
days. The voyage is attended with little danger, 
provided common care be used. The homeward voy- 
age is of course considerably longer than the outward, 
in consequence of the vessels being obliged to take 
what is commonly called, the western passage, hav- 
ing generally to go as far as 40° west longitude. 
The difference in the length of the voyages, outward 
and homeward, may be stated at from three to four 

The use of steam would, of course, greatly diminish 


the length of the voyage, and facilitate the operations 
of the trader, until establishments could be formed 
to which the produce required might be conveyed by 
the natives. 

The best season for visiting the African coast is 
the dry season, that is, from December to May. But 
it may be remarked that the line of coast from Cape 
Palm as to Cape St. Paul's is less subject to rains 
than the Windward Coast or the Bights, and may be 
visited at any season. The worst period of the year is 
from the middle of July to the middle of December.* 

With regard to commerce, then, this portion of 
Africa would have fair play : her resources may prove 
greater, or less than we suppose ; but, whatever they 
be, the traffic arising from them will possess that first 
and indispensable requisite — security. 

I do not, however, anticipate that this commerce 
will in the first instance be large. Africa is only 
capable of producing : as yet, she does not produce. 
When it is found that there is security for person and 

* The chief causes of the sickness and mortality on hoard trad- 
ing vessels may be ascribed, first, to climate ; second, to overwork, 
and especially exposure to the action of the sun while working ; 
and, third, to drunkenness. This last is the chief cause of morta- 
lity. One great means of preventing sickness would be, to make 
it imperative for all trading-vessels to employ a certain number of 
natives, as is done on board men-of-war. 

Mr. Becroft (a merchant who resided for a number of years at 
Fernando Po) went up the Niger in the Quorra steam-boat, on a 
trading voyage, in 1836 ; his expedition lasted three months. He 
had with him a crew of forty persons, including five white men. 
Only one individual died, a white man, who was previously far 
gone in consumption. 


property, and that products of industry find a ready 
market, and command a supply of European articles 
which the natives covet, an impulse will, no doubt, 
be given to internal cultivation. But it is greatly to 
be desired, that this impulse should be as strong, and 
operate as speedily, as possible. What we want is, to 
supplant the Slave Trade by another trade, which 
shall be more lucrative. We cannot expect that 
savage nations will be greatly influenced by the 
promise of prospective advantage. The rise of the 
legitimate trade ought, if we are to carry the good- 
will of the natives along with us, to follow as close 
as possible upon the downfall of the trade in man : 
there ought to be an immediate substitute for the 
gains which are to cease. In short, the natives must 
be assisted, and by every method in our power put in 
the way of producing those things which will bear a 
value in the market of the world. It is impossible 
that we can be in error in assuming that Africa, 
under cultivation, will make more from her exports 
than she now receives from the sale of her popu- 

There is no danger that the experiment will fail, if 
time enough is allowed for the full development of 
its results : but there is very considerable risk that 
the experiment while advancing to maturity will fail, 
from the impatience of a barbarous people, who are 
not in the habit of contemplating distant results, and 
who, finding themselves stripped of one species of 
customary trade, have not as yet been remunerated 


by the acquisition of a better source of revenue. For 
this reason, I have already suggested that we should, 
for a time, subsidize the chiefs of Africa, whose assist- 
ance we require ; and, for the same reason, I now 
propose that we should give all natural, and even 
some artificial stimulants to agricultural industry. 

If at the moment when the African population 
find themselves in unaccustomed security, and feel, 
for the first time, a certainty of reaping what they 
sow ; when they see their river, which has hitherto 
been worse than useless to the bulk of the people — 
(for it has brought on its waves only an armed ban- 
ditti, and carried away from their smouldering villages 
only that banditti exulting in their captured prey) — 
transformed into the cheapest, the safest, and the 
most convenient highway between themselves, and the 
civilized world, and discover it to be the choicest 
blessing which nature has bestowed upon them ; 
if at the moment when a market is brought to their 
doors, and foreign merchants are at hand, ready to 
exchange for their productions the alluring articles of 
European manufacture, of which, sparingly as they 
have hitherto tasted, they know the rare beauty, and 
surpassing usefulness, — if at this moment, when so 
many specific and powerful motives invite them to 
the diligent cultivation of their soil, they are visited 
by a band of agricultural instructors, who offer at 
once to put them in possession of that skill in hus- 
bandry which the rest of the world has acquired, and 
they are enabled to till their ground in security, and 


find opened to them a conveyance for its pro- 
ductions, and a market for their sale ; and if simul- 
taneously with these advantages we furnish that 
practical knowledge, and those mechanical contri- 
vances which the experience of ages, and the inge- 
nuity of successive generations, have by slow degrees 
disclosed to ourselves — I cannot doubt that those 
combined benefits and discoveries will furnish an 
immediate, as well as an ample compensation for 
the loss of that wicked traffic, which, if it has afforded 
profit to the few, has exposed the great mass of the 
inhabitants to unutterable wretchedness. 



Africa, it is true, is in great measure untried 
ground, yet there is some information to be derived 
from the history of those colonies, few and imperfect 
though they be, which have been attempted along her 
coasts. There are also important hints to be found 
in the recorded opinions (many of them drawn from 
actual experiment) of those who are best acquainted 
with the subject, whether government officers, tra- 
vellers, or others. It may now be convenient to turn 
our attention to the colonies which already belong 
to us in Africa : in the history of them there is much 
to confirm my views. I extract the following passage 
from a paper written by Mr. Bandinel, dated Foreign 
Office, March 30, 1839 :— 

" So long ago as in 1792, the colony of Sierra 
Leone was founded by benevolent individuals, for the 
express purpose of inducing the natives to abandon 
the traffic. The course taken was two-fold : — the 
one, to educate the natives, with the view of teaching 
them to give up the Slave Trade, on a religious prin- 
ciple ; the other, to substitute for that trade a more 
legitimate commerce. 

" The accounts, soon after the settlement was 
formed, stated, that the natives crowded round the 
colony both for education and for trade ; and that the 


beneficial effect on them, in inducing them to quit 
Slave-trading, was instantaneous. That effect has 
been continued, and has extended, in the neighbour- 
hood of Sierra Leone, to a very considerable distance 
round the colony. Traders bring down the ivory, the 
gold-dust, and palm-oil, as usual. Of late years, a 
very important branch has been added to the legal 
trade, by the cutting of timber for the British navy ; 
and the minds of the natives are thus effectually di- 
verted from the baneful occupation of the Slave 
Trade, to the pursuits of legitimate commerce." 

I admit, that Sierra Leone has failed to realize all 
the expectations which were at one time indulged. 
It must, I fear, be confessed, that the situation was 
ill-chosen, — the north-west wind blows on it from 
the JBulloom shore, covered with mangrove- swamps, 
which generate the most destructive malaria. The 
district is small, by no means affording space for a 
fair experiment of our system. Nor is the land of 
the peninsula well suited for the growth of tropical 
productions ; and there is wanting that, without which 
we can hardly expect to see commerce spring up and 
thrive in a barbarous country, — a river navigable far 
into the interior. Besides these natural difficulties, 
there have been some, arising from the system which 
we have adopted, or " rather," in the words of one of 
the strongest advocates in favour of Sierra Leone, " in 
the want of anything like system or preconcerted plan 
in the administration of its government . . . the whole 
of its administration, with the exception of its judicial 

2 B 


system, was left to the chapter of accidents. No 
instructions were sent from home ; every governor 
was left to follow the suggestions of his OAvn mind, 
both as regarded the disposal and treatment of the 
liberated Africans, and the general interests of the 

colony Every governor has been left 

to follow his own plans, however crude and undi- 
gested ; and no two succeeding governors have ever 
pursued the same course. This remark applies more 
particularly to the management of the liberated 

I find this view confirmed in the third Resolution 
of the Report of the Select Committee on the State 
of Sierra Leone, 1830, which runs thus : — " It is the 
opinion of this Committee, that the progress of the 
liberated Africans in moral and industrious habits 
has been greatly retarded by the frequent change of 
system in their location and maintenance, and by the 
yearly influx of thousands of their rude and unci- 
vilized countrymen." 

This resolution notices another peculiarity in the 
case of Sierra Leone, which ought always to be borne 
in mind when it is brought forward as an instance 
of what may be done in African colonies. This pecu- 
liarity consists in the nature of its population, " a 
heterogeneous mass," but mainly composed of the sur- 
viving cargoes of captured slave-ships, — men who 
have undergone a great shock, — uprooted beings, — 
compelled colonists of a strange land. In addition to 
this original disadvantage, there have undoubtedly 


been great errors and omissions in the management of 
them. According to Colonel Denham, superintend- 
ant of that department, there has been " the want of 
instruction, capital, and example ;" yet he adds, "with 
the very little they have had of either, conveyed in a 
manner likely to benefit them generally, it is to me 
daily an increasing subject of astonishment, that the 
liberated Africans settled here have done so much for 
themselves as they have." 

Sierra Leone has unquestionably laboured under 
very great disadvantages.* But, with all its defects, 
if anything has anywhere been done for the benefit 
of Western Africa, it has been there. The only 
glimmer of civilization ; the only attempt at legiti- 
mate commerce ; the only prosecution, however faint, 
of agriculture, are to be found at Sierra Leone, and 
at some of those settlements which I have just named. 
And there alone the Slave Trade has been in any de- 
gree arrested. We may regret, therefore, that the 
experiment was not tried under more favourable 
circumstances, on a more healthy spot, on a more 

* I have compared various and conflicting accounts of Sierra 
Leone ; the Reports of the Company, and of the African Institu- 
tion ; the able Reports of Colonel Denham on the Liberated Afri- 
cans, and other Government Despatches ; the Statements of Mr. 
M 'Queen, and the Reply of Mr. Kenneth Macaulay; and the Evi- 
dence before both the Aborigines Committees, and that on the state 
of Sierra Leone, together with several private letters of authority; 
and I believe my statements will all be found accurate, though my 
authorities are too voluminous, and too varied, to quote or extract at 



fertile and suitable soil, on a larger scale, less exposed 
to the inroads of the slave-trader, and in the vici- 
nity of one of the great arteries of Africa. Still, ex- 
perience speaks strongly in its favour, because many 
thousands of human beings, taken from the holds of 
slave-ships, and placed there in the rudest state of 
barbarism, have made considerable advances in civiliz- 
ation,* because thousands of Negro children have re- 

* Captain Ramsay told me that he had been particularly struck 
with the intelligent conversation and refined manners of a person 
in whose company he dined at Fernando Po, and whom he thought 
capable of filling almost any situation. Had it hot been for his 
complexion, he would have supposed that he had been educated in 
England. This man was brought thither, not many years before, 
in the hold of a slave-ship. Mr. H. W. Macaulay, Commis- 
sary Judge at Sierra Leone, stated before a Parliamentary Com- 
mittee, in 1837, that a large portion of these people, brought, as 
they have been, to the " colony in a savage state," landed, as he 
has seen many thousands of them, in a diseased and wretched con- 
dition, yet become civilized and useful members of society. He 
states, that these men form the militia : they serve not only as con- 
stables and attendants on the Courts of Justice, but also as jury- 
men ; and they discharge this duty so satisfactorily, that Mr. Mac- 
aulay further states, that, having himself had questions of large 
amount before them, he should at all times be willing to abide by 
their verdict. In speaking of the advancement to which these 
people have attained, he says : " There are many such instances 
of liberated Africans : one in particular, which I recollect, where 
a man, who not very long since was in the hold of a slave-ship, 
is acquiring at present an income of, I suppose, from 1,200/. to 
1,500/. a-year. He has the government contracts for the supply 
of beef to the army and navy, and has had them for many years 
past, and he has always fulfilled his contracts to the satisfaction of 


ceived and are receiving the rudiments of Christian 
education, and because a trade has there taken root, in 
itself inconsiderable enough, it is true, but yet, one- 
third of the whole legitimate trade of Central Africa. 
The very fact, that so large a proportion of African 
commerce has taken refuge, as it were, in a spot so 
inconvenient, while none is found on that mighty 
river which flows from the centre of Africa into the 
Atlantic, is in itself, to my apprehension, an unanswer- 
able and authoritative proof, that, could the system of 
protection and instruction be tried on right principles, 
and upon a large scale, we need not despair of wit- 
nessing a great and glorious change in the condition 
of that continent. 

Since the above remarks were written, I have re- 
ceived a letter from Mr. Ferguson, a gentleman of great 
intelligence and experience, who was originally sent 
out to Sierra Leone under the auspices of the African 
Institution, and is now, and has been for the last 
eight years, at the head of the medical department 
there. The document is so interesting, and so highly 
important, that I have ventured to quote it at con- 
siderable length; not, however, without having, in 
parts, curtailed the original paper, as it respects a few 
facts and statements of minor importance: — 

" Having resided at Sierra Leone during a period 
of seventeen years, and had many opportunities of 

the Government. He is living in a very excellent house ; has every 
comfort about him ; and has educated two of his children in 


intercourse with the nations in the neighbourhood of 
that colony, my views of the practicability of the 
measures you contemplate have reference chiefly to 
the Windward Coast, and in a more especial manner 
to the colony of Sierra Leone, and to the nations 
immediately adjacent. 

" Though the friends of Sierra Leone have long- 
ceased to look for, or to expect any great advantage 
to the cause of African civilization from that quarter, 
I entertain a rather confident hope of being able to 
show that the cause is by no means so hopeless as it 
is generally supposed to be ; but on the contrary, that 
it is precisely in that quarter, and in its neighbour- 
hood, and at the present time, that the objects you 
contemplate are likely to be most speedily, and for 
some years at least, most extensively accomplished. 

" Much money as well as much parental care and 
encouragement were lavished on the infant colony of 
Sierra Leone ; but matters were so mismanaged in 
the outset of the undertaking, especially in the breach 
of faith with the Nova Scotian settlers, refusing to 
allot to them the quantities of land for which thev 
had previously stipulated, that distrust and dis- 
content, neglect of agriculture, and inveterate habits 
of idleness, became general. 

" After a lapse of some years, an accession was 
made to the colony of numbers, but by no means of 
moral strength, in a body of Maroons, who were 
sent from Jamaica alter the Maroon war. They had 
been for many years the only body of free blacks in 


the island of Jamaica. Indolent, and averse to 
agriculture in their native land, their habits were by 
no means changed by the transatlantic voyage, nor 
have they, in fact, studied to acquire habits of industry 
until this day. Thus agriculture and the useful arts 
received no aid whatever from such elements as the 
Sierra Leone Company had as yet employed in 
furtherance of their benevolent designs. 

" The abolition of the Slave Trade by Great 
Britain, and its subsequently declared illegality, 
under certain circumstances, by the governments of 
Spain and Portugal, and the consequent capture of 
vessels taken in the prosecution of the illicit trade, 
introduced, in the body of liberated Africans, a third 
element in the population of the colony, and it is to 
the working of that third element — what it has 
already done, is doing, and what may be prospectively 
and reasonably expected from it, that I desire espe- 
cially to direct your attention. 

" The condition of a body of captured slaves on 
their arrival at Sierra Leone for liberation, is the 
most miserable and wretched that can be conceived — 
emaciated, squalid, sickly-looking, ill-fed, barbarous, 
confined in inadequate space, compelled to breathe an 
atmosphere hardly fit for the sustenance of animal 
life — is it to be wondered, that, in such circumstances, 
the faculties of the soul should be cramped and 
benumbed by the cruelties inflicted upon the body ? 
It is nevertheless from among such people and their 
descendants at Sierra Leone, their minds at length 


elevated by a sense of personal freedom, and by the 
temperate administration of just and equitable laws, 
that you are to look for the first practical results of 
your operations, It is not my intention to trace the 
progress of the liberated Africans from the depths of 
misery alluded to, until we find them, after the lapse 
of fifteen or twenty years, independent and respect- 
able members of society, but to give you some notion 
of them as a class, and of the position in society 
which they occupy at the present day. 

" Those most recently arrived are to be found 
occupying mud houses and small patches of ground 
in the neighbourhood of one or other of the villages, 
which are about twenty in number. The majority of 
these remain in their location as agriculturists ; but 
several go to reside in the neighbourhood of Free- 
town as labourers, farm servants, servants to carry 
wood and water, grooms, house servants, &c. Others 
cultivate vegetables, rear poultry and pigs, or offer 
for sale a variety of edible substances. They are a 
harmless and well disposed people ; there is no 
poverty nor begging amongst them ; their habits are 
frugal and industrious, and their anxiety to possess 
money remarkable. 

'' Persons of a grade higher than those just de- 
scribed are to be found occupying frame houses, and 
are mostly employed either in carrying on small 
trades in the market, in buying and retailing the 
• iiigoes of native canoes, in curing and drying fish, 
or in working at various mechanical trades. Re- 


spectable men of this grade meet with ready mercan- 
tile credits, amounting from £20 to £60 ; and the 
class is very numerous. 

" Those who have advanced another step are found 
in frame houses, reared on a stone foundation, of from 
six to ten feet in height. These houses are very com- 
fortable ; a considerable quantity of furniture of 
European workmanship, and of books, chiefly of a 
religious character, is to be found in them, and an 
air of domestic comfort pervading the whole. Per- 
sons of this class are nearly altogether occupied in 
shopkeeping, and may be seen clubbing together in 
numbers from three to six, seven, or more, to purchase 
large lots or unbroken bales ; and the scrupulous 
honesty with which the subdivision of the goods is 
afterwards made, cannot be evidenced more thoroughly 
than in this, that, common as such transactions are, 
they have never yet been known to become the sub- 
ject of controversy or litigation. The principal 
streets of Freetown, as well as the approaches to the 
town, are lined on each side by an almost continuous 
range of booths and stalls, among which almost every 
article of merchandise is offered for sale. They are 
all in easy circumstances, and are invariably anxious 
to possess houses and lands of their own, especially 
in Old Freetown. Property of this description has 
of late years become much enhanced, and is still 
increasing in value, solely from their annually 
increasing numbers and prosperity. 

" Persons of the highest grade of liberated Africans 


occupy comfortable two-story stone houses, inclosed 
all round with spacious piazzas. These houses are 
their own property, and are built from the proceeds 
of their own industry. In several of them are to be 
seen mahogany chairs, tables, sofas, and four-post 
bedsteads, pier glasses, floor cloths, and other articles 
indicative of domestic comfort and accumulating 
wealth. They are almost wholly engaged in mer- 
cantile pursuits, and are to be found in neatly fitted- 
up shops on the ground-floor of their respective 
dwelling-houses. Many of them have realized con- 
siderable sums of money. Peter Newland, a libe- 
rated African, died a short time before I left the colony, 
and his estate realized, in houses, merchandise, and 
cash, upwards of £ 1,500. I am well acquainted with 
one of these individuals, whose name, shortly before 
my departure from the colony, stood on the debtor 
side of the books of one of the principal merchants 
for £'1,900, to which sum it had been reduced from 
£3,000 during the preceding two months. Many of 
them at the present moment have their children being 
educated in England at their own expense. 

" There is at Sierra Leone a very fine regiment of 
colonial militia, more than eight-tenths of which are 
liberated Africans. The amount of property which 
they have acquired is ample guarantee for their loyalty, 
should that ever be called in question. They turn 
out with great alacrity and cheerfulness on all occa- 
sions for periodical drill. They also serve on juries ; 
and I have repeatedly heard the highest legal autho- 


rity in the colony express his satisfaction with theL 

" From the preceding details it may be inferred, 
that a leading feature in the character of the liberated 
Africans is their great love of money. But this, 
though remarkable, is by no means of that sordid 
nature which induces the miser to hoard up his wealth 
for its own sake. On the contrary, their whole 
surplus means are devoted to the increase of their 
domestic comforts and the improvement of their out- 
ward appearance of respectability A comfortable 
house is the first great object of their desire. For 
this they are content to labour at any sort of work, 
and turn themselves diligently and cheerfully to any 
honest means of earning money. The working hours 
are from six in the morning till four in the afternoon, 
with one hour of interval for breakfast. Labour is 
to be had in abundance at 4d. per diem. Very needy 
persons may sometimes be found who will work for 
S\d. A good overseer or headsman may be had at 
5d. per diem, or 13s. per month. 

" Of the liberated Africans as a body, it may with 
great truth be said that there is not a more quiet, 
inoffensive, and good humoured population on the 
face of the earth. Of their religious spirit it is not 
easy, from the very nature of the subject, to form a 
decided opinion, but I know that their outward obser- 
vance of the Sabbath-day is most exemplary. On 
that day the passion for amusements is altogether laid 
aside, and the whole body of the people are to be 


found at one or other of the churches or chapels, 
which abound in the colony. 

" It may he presumed, from what has been said of 
their love of gain, that in their habits and desires 
they are decidedly industrious. But, however suc- 
cessful, from the abundance of European example, 
they may have been in the application of their ener- 
gies and industry to pursuits of a mercantile nature, 
it is to be regretted that no similar example in the 
department of agriculture has as yet been placed be- 
fore them. Were such example afforded in the cul- 
ture of such articles as would at all times meet with 
a ready purchaser, I am warranted in averring, with 
much confidence, that energies similar to those which 
(as we have already seen) have been so zealously and 
successfully directed to trade, would promptly, and 
with equal zeal, be found engaged in agriculture. 
In 1826 Mr. Clouston, a respectable merchant of 
Freetown, planted a small quantity of ginger by way 
of experiment, and having reported favourably of it, 
its culture was immediately taken up by a vast body 
of liberated Africans. Ignorance was, however, dis- 
played at every step of their progress. They planted 
indiscriminately in sterile and in rich soils, so that 
the sample produced was a mixture of plump and 
meagre roots. By some the sample was dried pre- 
viously to being offered for sale, by others not ; by 
some it was carefully cleaned, which others neglected; 
so that the merchants became averse to purchase it, 
and the growers saw their hopes blighted. In 1829 


their attention was turned to the culture of capsicum, 
by the sale of a lot at Freetown, which fetched 2s. 6d. 
per pound. It would have been difficult at that time 
to have collected two tons of pepper in the colony, 
but in the course of a very few years individual mer- 
chants were found exporting 100 and 150 tons per 
annum. The price however, fell to 4d. per pound ; 
sales could not even then be effected; and the hopes 
of the cultivators were again disappointed. In 1833 
their expectations were similarly raised and blighted 
by the encouragement held out for the manufacture 
of cassada starch. Instances might be multiplied, 
but I think those just noted are sufficient to show 
that the liberated Africans are not only willing but 
desirous that their attention should be directed to the 
culture of such articles as will afford them a certain 
return for their labour and industry ; and that the 
position at which they have arrived in the social state 
is precisely that to which the labours of philanthro- 
pists may be applied satisfactorily to themselves, and 
with a certain prospect of advantage to that interesting- 

" Among other circumstances indicative of the 
improvement of their worldly means, and of their 
desire still further to avail themselves of European 
example, none stands more prominently forward than 
the system which they have lately commenced of 
sending their children to England for education. 
Thirty years ago a few liberated African boys were 
sent to England and educated at the expense of the 


African Institution, with a view to their aid in work- 
ing out the general objects of the Institution at Sierra 
Leone. These boys, on their return to. the colony, 
with one exception, speedily fell back on the barba- 
rous habits of their youth, and their public utility fell 
far short of the expectations of their patrons. We 
now, however, behold under different auspices the 
same class of persons considerably advanced in wealth 
and civilization, desiring European education for 
their children of their own accord, without advice or 
pecuniary aid from others, and moved thereto solely 
by a conviction of its intrinsic excellence. There are 
now, however, but few outlets for the employment of 
educated young men in the colony ; and it appears 
clear that the quantity of talent of this description 
which will become available will in a short time far 
exceed the means of employment. The present is 
therefore precisely the time for the friends of African 
civilization to adopt such measures as may appear 
best calculated to secure the effectual co-operation of 
the new element which is about to be placed before 

" Several articles of tropical agriculture have been 
from time to time tried at Sierra Leone on a small 
scale, and the experiments have been generally suc- 
cessful. The most decided, as well as the most care- 
fully performed and most successful of these, was the 
introduction, a few years ago, by some of the gentle- 
men of the Church Missionary Society, of some of the 
seeds of the Sea-island cotton. I have stated above. 


that were examples in agriculture offered as liberally 
as they have been in trade, the former would be fol- 
lowed up by the liberated Africans with as much 
diligence and zeal as they have been found to have 
devoted to the latter. It would, however, be im- 
portant, in conducting such an experiment, that their 
attention should, in the first instance, be directed to 
such articles as in their culture require the smallest 
outlay of money, the shortest time to bring them to 
maturity, and a sure sale whenever and in whatever 
quantity they may be brought to market. 

" No article seems to afford these requisites with 
such a prospect of certainty as cotton ; and a normal 
farm of 100 acres, for the culture of that article, in 
the south-eastern part of the colony, would, I am 
well assured, be followed within two years by a ge- 
neral rush of the whole agricultural population 
towards its production. The actual sight of a con- 
siderable quantity grown in the colony, offered for 
sale, and immediately purchased, would render 
any further experimental effort in regard to that 
article useless ; except, indeed, in respect of the 
best kind of seed to be used, and the most approved 
mode of culture. 

" But this is, perhaps, the smallest amount of bene- 
fit that would ensue. The natives of the countries in 
the immediate vicinity of Sierra Leone take a large 
quantity of British manufactures in return for Afri- 
can teak, the cutting and squaring of which is 
nearly altogether performed by slave labour. The 


sort of traffic to which it has given rise, has, never- 
theless, so clearly demonstrated to the native chiefs 
how much more advantageous it is to work their 
slaves than to sell them, that Slave Trading (I mean 
the selling of slaves) in the countries adjacent to 
Sierra Leone has nearly altogether ceased. In 
some of these countries the timber is now obtained 
with much more difficulty than formerly, owing to 
the greater distance from the water-side at which 
it has to be procured. Should this difficulty in- 
crease to such a length as to render the cutting of 
timber no longer profitable, the hands left unem- 
ployed in such a case would, in the culture of cot- 
ton, find ample means of profitable employment ; and 
by this means the continuance and permanence of 
the first great step in African civilization would, to 
the inhabitants of those countries, be secured. I fear 
that these people are not yet so far removed from 
the recollections of a flourishing Slave Trade as to 
render its abandonment by them the result of sound 
principle, or of a conviction of its cruelty. The con- 
tinuance of the legitimate trade on which they have 
already so successfully entered, may, however, in the 
hands of another generation, establish its final aban- 
donment on more reputable motives. Meantime, in 
the cutting of timber, and in the growth of rice, we 
have undoubted proofs of their industry, and of their 
willingness, by bodily labour, to obtain what they may 
require of European manufactures. 

" I trust that in this sketch of the liberated 


Africans, of the progress which they have already 
made, and of the efforts which they are still making, 
towards civilization, you will find not only sufficient 
encouragement to induce you to devote towards the 
colony of Sierra Leone a portion of your fostering 
care ; but also that you will perceive that the pre- 
sent is the time when instruction and encourage- 
ment, especially in the practice of agriculture, afford 
a fairer prospect of being crowned with success, than 
at any other period in the previous history or condi- 
tion of the colony. 

" I have a moral certainty that the advances which 
they have already made in knowledge and in wealth 
cannot possibly be arrested at the present stage, and 
that an impulse has been given to the onward course 
of improvement, the limit of which, in respect to 
them_, is not yet in sight. But however certain their 
future progress may be in the course on which they 
have so auspiciously entered, it is clear that that pro- 
gress might be accelerated tenfold, were there, in well 
conducted examples, and in competent instruction, 
as it were a beacon held out to them, teaching them 
alike what to avoid and what to cling to, as well in 
the mode of culture, as in the article to be culti- 

" There are places on the Windward Coast of 
Western Africa, other than Sierra Leone, which I 
think would repay any care that might be bestowed 
on them, in the way of agricultural instruction and 
example ; and, perhaps, none will be found better 



calculated for its application than the settlements on 
the river Gambia. The soil is rich, and more easily 
brought under culture than even that of Sierra 
Leone ; ground nuts and corn are grown there ; and 
cotton, also, in a considerable quantity, and of a tex- 
ture which, as I have been informed by respectable 
merchants, equals much that is brought from the 
West Indies and South America, although their 
mode of preparing it is inferior. At the extensive 
Government farm near Bathurst, which is worked by 
liberated Africans, such quantities of ground nuts 
and corn are raised, as far more than pay all the ex- 
penses of management ; and were example and the 
necessary instruction afforded, the culture of cotton 
might there be substituted with great advantage, and 
at no additional expense. 

" Keeping steadily in sight your principle of sub- 
stituting a harmless and profitable trade for one that 
is illegal and worse than profitless, I am also desirous 
of directing your attention to what has been going on 
during the last year or two in the Rio Nunez. This 
river, though now little spoken of, was in former 
years notorious for Slave Trading. 

" At Kaikandy, the chief trading place, situated 
about 100 miles from the sea, and in the country of 
the Landemas, numerous factories, occupied by 
French and English traders, are established ; to 
which Foulahs, Seracoolies, Bambarras, and people 
<>1* other nations, resort in great numbers. I spent 
sonic time there in February last, and was assured 


by the merchants that the Foulahs were gradually 
weaning themselves from the Slave Trade, and that 
they had of late years brought down a much larger 
quantity of native produce than formerly ; an assu- 
rance which was confirmed as well by the number of 
English and French merchants established there in 
the prosecution of legitimate commerce, as by the 
single slave-trader, Sefior Caravalho, a Portu- 

" About three years ago, some of the Foulah 
traders who resort to Kaikandy, brought down small 
parcels of coffee, and offered them for sale. The 
coffee was so eagerly purchased by the European 
merchants, that the Foulahs immediately turned their 
attention to the further supply of it. It appears that 
there are vast forests of indigenous coffee in the Foulah 
country, and of much finer quality than that of the 
West Indies or South America. The Foulahs evince 
great satisfaction in the possession of such an unex- 
pected source of wealth, and the quantity supplied 
has of course greatly increased; but, unfortunately, 
this infant trade, at the very dawning of its existence, 
is threatened with destruction; it being found that 
the protective duty for British plantation was so high 
as to prove tantamount to a total exclusion of the 
Foulah coffee, the duty on the former being Qd., and 
on the latter l.s-. 3d., per pound. The merchants at 
Kaikandy have, nevertheless, continued to purchase 
the coffee, in whatever quantities it has been offered, 

2 c 2 


in the hope that the British Government may yet be 
disposed to relieve them of their difficulties. 

" But the most grievous part of the disappointment 
is, that it would be difficult to devise any mode cal- 
culated more powerfully and effectually to disenthral 
the people from the desire of kidnapping and selling 
each other, than the admission of the Foulah coffee 
into the ports of Great Britain on terms similar to 
those of British plantation. 

" You will perceive from this detail, that the Fou- 
lahs, without any extrinsic aid, have already done 
much in furthering the object you have at heart ; 
that they want assistance ; that the present is the 
time at which that assistance may most effectually 
be applied ; and also the nature of the assistance 

" The Foulahs are an intelligent people, and are 
very anxious to extend their commercial dealings with 
the British. They seem to have already perceived 
that it is more profitable for them to preserve the ele- 
ment of labour in their own country, than to deprive 
themselves of its assistance by selling each other to 
strangers ; so that it may be said, without a metaphor, 
that in every hundred-weight of coffee which they 
collect and take to Kaikandy, at least one human 
being is preserved from slavery. 

'* An instance illustrative of their desire to pre- 
serve and extend their commercial relations with the 
British occurred a few months ago. A temporary 


interruption was thrown in the way of both the export 
and import trade of the river (Nunez), by certain 
dissensions among the tributary chiefs, the continu- 
ance of which was likely to prove highly detrimental 
to the interests of the British and other merchants 
established at Kaikandy. Lieutenant Hill, of her 
Majesty's brig Saracen, on being made acquainted 
with the danger to which British property was ex- 
posed, very promptly set sail for the Rio Nunez for 
its protection. On his arrival there, a grand palaver 
was called, for the purposes of investigating the 
causes of this disturbance, and of restoring tranquil- 
lity. The conference which ensued was presided over 
by a Foulali chief, who appeared to be established at 
Kaikandy in an official character, and to be clothed 
with functions (as the event showed) of a nature more 
full and extensive than those of a mere consul or 
charge d'affaires. 

" It appeared by the majority of voices, and by an 
almost unanimous concurrence of opinion, that the 
cause and continuance of the disturbances were attri- 
butable to the intrigues of a Mandingo named Boi 

" The Foulali chief addressed himself to Lieut. 
Hill, in a speech explanatory of the great anxiety of 
the Foulali king to maintain and to extend commer- 
cial intercourse with the British, and his determina- 
tion to put down and remove any obstacle to its con- 
tinuance that should arise ; and to satisfy Lieut. Hill 


of the sincerity of his professions, he offered then and 
there to decapitate Boi Modao, and thus at once re- 
store trade to its usual channels. Lieut. Hill, of 
course, declined a proof of sincerity so unequivocal 
and convincing. 

" The conference was no sooner at an end than 
Boi Modao, with marks of great haste and much 
alarm, fled from that part of the country, and trade 
was carried on as usual." 

We now proceed to the further consideration of 
the Gambia. "In the year 1S14," says Mr. Ban- 
dinel, " a colony was formed at St. Mary's, on the 
river Gambia, by British settlers, who removed from 
the coasts of Senegal, when it was restored to the 
French. This colony has increased and flourished 
beyond all reasonable calculation, and is already 
more powerful and wealthy than any of those elder 
settlements of the British in Africa, which were 
formed for the purpose of promoting the Slave Trade. 

" The beneficial effects of the settlement of 
St. Mary's, on all the tribes along the banks of the 
Gambia, are perhaps still more prominent than those 
which have taken place round Sierra Leone." 

"The Gambia was formerly a great mart for slaves. 
The population along its banks are now eager for 
lawful commerce, in which alone they are now en- 
gaged. The trade is extended above 400 miles up 
the river; a new and lucrative branch has also been 
lately opened there in gum ; and the only exception 


to the cheering picture occurs in the French 
establishment at Albreda, where still some slaves 
are said to be harboured, obtained from natives 
in the interior, and sent overland afterwards to 

The Slave Trade is, however, so small and so 
declining at Albreda, that the exception may be 
almost said to prove the rule ; because it shows, that 
though an European establishment exists, ready to 
trade in slaves, it does not flourish against the rivalry 
of a legal commerce. 

In the year 1833, a mission, in connexion with the 
Wesleyan Society, was established at Macarthy's 
Island on the Gambia, with the view of promoting 
the civilization of the neighbouring tribes of Foulahs 
through the medium of Christianity. To the mis- 
sionaries connected with this establishment I am in- 
debted for much valuable information respecting the 
present state of Western Africa. The Rev. R. M. 
Macbrair, in a M.S. statement with which he has 
favoured me, ascribes the abolition of the Slave 
Trade in the neighbourhood of the Gambia to two 
causes ; first, to the vicinity of the British colony, 
and its command over the river ; and, secondly, to 
the existence of a good market for the produce of 
the soil. The change effected by these circum- 
stances Mr. Macbrair thus describes : — " Culture 
is more practised in the neighbourhood of the Gam- 
bia, where affairs are now comparatively peaceful. 
Before the abolition of the Slave Trade, there were 


considerable factories here ; and one native merchant, 
now at St. Mary's, was sold no less than three times 
by another, who resides in the same place. One of 
the kings also, is said to have " seized and disposed of 
some of his subjects whenever he wanted a horse, a 
wife, or other purchasable commodity." But now 
that the slave-market is abolished, and the natives 
can find a ready market for the produce of their 
lands by means of the British merchants, the culti- 
vation of the soil increases every year ; and the Abo- 
rigines have been heard to say, that they now wish 
they had their slaves back again, because they could 
get more by their labours in husbandry, than they 
did by selling them to Europeans." 

Mr. Finden, who has been a resident merchant on 
t he Gambia for the last 17 years, says, in a letter to 
me, dated 4th May, 1838 — " Prior to the formation 
of the settlement, the trade consisted almost wholly 
in slaves ; and vessels, fitted out for the purpose, pro- 
ceeded up the river about 300 miles. Since that 
period, I can state from correct information, and my 
own knowledge, that no slaves have been exported 
in any vessel from the Gambia ; and in lieu of this 
horrible traffic, a valuable and legitimate com- 
merce has been established there, which by encou- 
ragement might be considerably increased and 
rendered most valuable to the mother country.' 
" This," he thinks, "might be effected by extend- 
ing protection, at least as high up the river as it is 
navigable in the dry season. I should consider 


Fattatenda* and Kantally Coonda the most desirable 
spots. By 'this means, greater quantities of our 
exports could be thrown into the country, and trade 
drawn from a much greater distance, and we should 
thus be enabled, in a great measure, to check the 
slave -traders who pass these places on their way to 
the different leeward slave-depots. An armed steam- 
vessel would be of great service, and would afford 
a protection to trading vessels and factories esta- 
blished on the banks of the river, which are at pre- 
sent rendered unsafe by the depredations committed 
by marauding chiefs." 

These views are fully concurred in by the Rev. 
John Morgan, to whose zeal the Foulah mission 
partly owes its origin. e He recommends the purchase 
of tracts of land adjoining the principal rivers which 
flow into the Atlantic, in which the natives might 
find security from the predatory incursions of the 
chiefs, and from the cupidity of the slave-trader ; 
and he likewise suggests the employment of an armed 
steam-vessel attached to each settlement. He says, 
" I am convinced that thousands would flee to such 
places of refuge, as soon as they could be assured of 
protection, and thus a dense free population would 

* A considerable trade is already carried on at the port of Fat- 
tatenda, beyond which merchant-vessels do not proceed. The 
Rev. W. Fox, who visited it in 1S37, describes it as " the resort 
of caravans from the interior ;" and consequently a considerable 
concourse of people is invariably attracted thither in the pursuit 



soon spring up, and agriculture and commerce would 
rapidly extend. These settlements might soon be 
rendered capable of defending themselves, and a 
great saving of European life would be immediately 
effected, as the interior of the country is far more 
salubrious than the coast." 

Here I must again express my regret that the use- 
fulness of our principal African settlements should 
have been impaired by an injudicious selection of 
localities, and by a too contracted scale of operations. 
The disadvantages with which they have had to con- 
tend are thus stated by Mr. Morgan : — " Being" situ- 
ated on the coast, those who most needed refuge could 
not reach them : secondly, they have ever been so 
small, that it was impossible for more than a small 
number to provide the means of subsistence on either 
of them : thirdly, in several cases, protection has not 
been offered to those who have fled to them." To 
these causes, I think, it may be attributed that our 
success has been so limited, and that so little has 
been done towards the accomplishment of our main 

We find, however, in the immediate neighbourhood 
of the Gambia, where the influence of the British 
flag is felt, the Slave Trade has been suppressed, and 
comparative tranquillity and security have been esta- 
blished. But we do not proceed far into the interior, 
before we meet with the same scenes of violence and 
rapine as before. In many cases, the slaves avIio were 
formerly brought to the mouth of the river, are now 


transported over land to other parts of the coast ; the 
depredations of the powerful chiefs still continue and 
have hitherto rendered abortive the attempts which 
have been made by the missionaries to establish na- 
tive settlements on the main land, without the aid of 
British protection. These circumstances confirm 
me in the opinion which I have formed, in common 
with those who are best acquainted with the subject, 
that our settlements, in order to be effective, must be 
fixed in the interior, where the Slave Trade originates, 
and where our experiments can be tried at a less 
costly sacrifice of human life. 

I cannot conclude my notice of this colony, without 
adverting to the success which has attended the la- 
bours of the missionaries, from whom I have so 
largely quoted. By the latest official returns of the 
establishments at St. Mary's and Macarthy's Islands, 
it appears, that there are " 559 members in church 
fellowship, with congregations amounting to more 
than double that number." The Mandingo language, 
which is generally used in that part of Western 
Africa, has been reduced to grammatical form, and 
translations of the gospels have been made. In the 
schools, which are partly conducted by native teachers, 
220 are instructed in the elements of a plain edu- 
cation ; and the missionaries state that they are 
encouraged to persevere in their labours, by the 
increasing desire manifested by the people to obtain 
instruction. An interesting feature in this mission- 
ary enterprise is the experiment which is about to be 


made of following up the preaching of the gospel by 
instruction in the arts and pursuits of civilized life. 
The site of a native village has been selected in 
Macarthy's island, and 600 acres of land have been 
allotted by the British government, on which some of 
the Christian natives are already receiving elementary 
instruction in agriculture. 

The Gold Coast. 

Our settlement on the Gold Coast is another 
illustration of the advantage of stations in Africa. 
In this case, there are two unquestionable facts, 
— 1st, That the Slave Trade did prevail in the 
district of the Gold Coast. 2ndly, That it has 
been entirely suppressed, and that a considerable 
and increasing trade has sprung up in its place. 
To any one familiar with the earlier period of 
the Slave Trade controversy, it will not be neces- 
sary to say, that it was perpetually referred to, as 
the district which furnished by far the greater part 
of the slaves taken to the British colonies. We not 
only established forts there for the express purpose of 
encouraging that trade, but there seems to have been 
no difficulty in obtaining from parliament munificent 
grants for their maintenance — 30,000/. was the an- 
nual sum thus applied. 

" These establishments," says the governor of the 
colony, " constituted the great emporium whence 
ihe British West India colonies were supplied with 
slaves. Such being the case, and considering also 


the vast number of slaves which were annually ex- 
ported in order to meet the demands of so extensive a 
market, we are fully warranted in affirming, that in 
no part of Africa was the Slave Trade more firmly 
rooted, or more systematically carried on, than in 
these settlements." 

What is now termed legitimate commerce was, pre- 
viously to the passing of the Abolition Act, but little 
thought of, and only attended to, so far as it was aux- 
iliary to the grand object — the acquisition of slaves 
" Daily accustomed to witness scenes of the most cold- 
blooded cruelty, the inhabitants became utterly callous 
to human suffering ; each petty chieftain oppressed 
and plundered his weaker neighbours, to be in his turn 
plundered and oppressed by one stronger and more 
powerful than himself. In no portion of Africa, in 
short, was the demoralising, the brutalising influence 
of the Slave Trade more fearfully displayed, than in 
those extensive tracts of country which now form, or 
are adjoining to, our settlements on the Gold Coast." 

But, happily, this state of things no longer 
exists. Within a few short years so complete a re- 
volution has been effected, that, in the expressive 
words of Governor M'Lean, "from Apollonia to 
Accra, not a single slave has been exported since 
the year 1830." 

It becomes, then, highly interesting to ascertain 
how, and by what means, the Slave Trade has been 
eradicated from a portion of Africa, comprehending a 
space which Governor M'Lean rates at 4000 square 


miles inland, and a line of coast 180 miles in extent, 
— where it had been planted, protected, fostered, and 
munificently encouraged for centuries. 

This great object has not been accomplished by our 
naval squadrons. Her Majesty's cruisers have cer- 
tainly been in the habit of visiting the settlement, 
but only for the purpose of procuring supplies, and of 
affording, if called upon, aid to the local authorities. 
No cruiser (says the Governor) has ever, at least for 
many years, been stationed off the Gold Coast for 
the purpose of intercepting slaves. 

This revolution has been effected by the very 
agency which I desire to see tried on other parts of 
the coast, and on a greater scale, — by the establishment 
of a station, which, while it multiplies the difficul- 
ties and dangers of the slave-trader, will afford pro- 
tection to the native in the cultivation of the soil, by 
giving security to the trader, and opening a market 
for the sale of the productions he rears. Crops have 
been grown, and articles produced, and labour be- 
stowed, because he who sowed knew that he should 
reap, and he who laboured was no longer exposed to 
the probability of seeing his acquisitions rifled, and 
himself hunted after, by the marauders whom his pros- 
perity had attracted. 

It is not to be denied that there were great difficul- 
ties in the outset. The trade in man has its attractions 
— it combines the hazard of the chase, with the name 
and the profits of merchandize. It affords a field for the 
exercise of skill — for the display of courage — for the 


employment of stratagem — for the gratification of re- 
venge. It calls forth all those martial passions, in 
which savages, and others than savages, conceive that 
all glory resides. To somej no doubt, it yielded wealth : 
a successful sally — a fortunate adventure — a sudden 
and daring surprise — rendered a profit larger than 
a month's labour would produce. It was, more- 
over, the inveterate custom of the country. The 
inhabitants knew the art of kidnapping, and knew 
no other art : there seemed to them no other way 
by which they could obtain those supplies of foreign 
manufacture and produce, which long habit had ren- 
dered necessaries of life. 

These difficulties stood in the way of the effectual 
abolition of the Slave Trade : they were only to be 
overcome by proving to the natives experimentally 
that it was their interest to suppress it; in other words, 
that they would gain by the sale of their productions 
a larger amount of those foreign luxuries which they 
craved, than by the sale of man. It was therefore 
necessary to create some other species of traffic, 
whereby the native could procure his wonted supplies. 
This end could not have been effected without the 
aid of resident merchants and a local government : 
the one, to afford a perpetual and ready supply of the 
articles which the African required, and to urge him 
to provide the goods which would be taken in ex- 
change ; the other, to protect legitimate commerce, 
and to redress, and, if needful, to punish the exporta- 
tion of slaves. 


The experiment has been successful. The diffi- 
culties and perils which, after the Abolition law, 
attached to the Slave Trade, called into existence 
various articles of commerce previously unknown. 
The soil, which formerly did not yield sufficient for 
the sustenance of the inhabitants, now exports a 
very large amount of corn to Madeira ; and the 
natives, as we are expressly told by the governor, 
are better supplied with European and other mer- 
chandize than formerly, when it was the chief mart 
for slaves. 

It does not diminish my satisfaction to know that 
this result was brought about by slow degrees. For 
many years after the Slave Trade was abolished by 
law, the conflict between lawful and unlawful trade 
continued. It was not likely that the natives would 
be weaned in a moment from the customs of their 
forefathers, or by anything short of a succession 
of experiments. But innocent commerce has at 
length fairly Avon the victory, and the last case which 
occurred is thus described. I quote it, because the 
narrative proves that prior to 1830, our influence 
had checked the Slave Trade ; and because it inci- 
dentally shows, in an official form, the customary 
horrors of the traffic, which, as far as the Gold Coast 
extends, we have been so happy as to repress. 

" In the month of January, 1830, the king of 
Apollonia, an ally, though not a dependent on the 
British government, despatched messengers to Cape 
Coast Castle, to intimate that a Spanish slaver had 


anchored off Apollonia fort, the captain of which 
asserted, that he had obtained the president's leave to 
purchase a cargo of slaves, and had already landed 
goods for that purpose ; that lie (the king of Apol- 
lonia) wished to ascertain whether there was any 
truth in the Spanish captain's assertion, as he 
should certainly furnish him with no slaves, with- 
out the full consent and permission of the president. 
The president, in reply to this message, highly 
commended the conduct of the king of Apollonia, as 
a reward for which he sent him a handsome present, 
at the same time strictly prohibiting him from ex- 
porting, or permitting to be exported, a single slave, 
and explaining to him the British laws on that 

" In the mean time, the king had contrived, by 
fair promises, to get into his possession the whole of 
the Spanish cargo of goods ; and when his messen- 
gers returned from Cape Coast Castle, he flatly re- 
fused to deliver a single slave, or return the cargo. 
The Spanish captain managed, however, to get on 
board his vessel several of the king's family, and in- 
timated to him, that, unless the slaves contracted for 
were furnished immediately, he would certainly carry 
them (the king's hostages) off the coast ; whereupon 
the king, mustering his more immediate attendants 
and adherents, sallied out into the town, in the night 
time, and seizing all without distinction whom he 
could find, sent them, to the number of 360, on board 

2 D 


in irons, at daybreak, receiving in return the per- 
sons detained as hostages. 

" Here were 360 free people, living in their own 
houses, in perfect peace and apparent security, seized 
without the shadow of pretext, by a rapacious and 
remorseless tyrant, whom they had been taught to 
look up to as their father and protector. One of 
them, a Mulatto girl, about sixteen or seventeen years 
of age, was afterwards redeemed, and she described 
the consternation and horror of the poor people, 
when they found themselves ironed in the slaver's 

In a letter which I received from Governor 
M'Lean, dated 28th September, 1838, he again ad- 
verts to the formerly disordered state of the colony, 
which he thus contrasts with its present condition : — 
" In 1830, all communication with Ashantee, and 
through it with the interior, had been entirely stopped 
for 10 years previously ; and the only trade done 
was for what gold and ivory could be procured in the 
districts adjoining the coast. The whole country 
was one scene of oppression, cruelty, and disorder ; 
so much so, that a trader dared not go twenty miles 
into the ' bush.' At present our communication with 
the interior is as free and safe as between England 
and Scotland; single messengers can, and do, travel 
from one end of the country to the other with perfect 
safety ; and no man can oppress another with im- 
punity." Such is the important change which a local 


government, with but limited resources at its com- 
mand, has been enabled to effect throughout this ex- 
tensive territory, in the short period of eight years, 
and principally by means of a strict and impartial 
administration of justice. The natives, long used to 
the most cruel tyranny, warmly appreciate their pre- 
sent mild and equal system of government, and rely, 
with perfect confidence, upon the integrity of their 
rulers. The consequence is, the trade of the Gold 
Coast already repays more than twenty-fold the sum 
granted by Parliament for the support of the local 
establishment.* Its exports to Great Britain amount 
to 160,000/. per annum, forming one-fifth of the 
whole commerce of Africa ; although the country is 
by no means so fertile as many other parts of that 
continent, and has not the advantage of navigable 

It is also gratifying to find that, through the labours 
of the Wesleyan missionaries, Christianity is making 
considerable progress in this part of Africa. The 
Rev. T. B. Freeman, in a letter to the parent So- 
ciety, dated 10th October, 1838, after describing in 
animated terms, the prosperous state of the mission, 
and the field which is now open for Christian enter- 
prise, communicates the following interesting intel- 
ligence : — " I have received information, via Fer- 
nando Po, that several liberated Africans in the 
Island of Jamaica, who are members of our Society in 
the Kingston circuit, and who are natives of Cape 

* United Service Journal, March, 1838. 

2 d 2 


Coast, Annamaboe, and Accra, and other places 
along the western coast of Africa which are under 
the British flag, are very anxious to return to their 
native land. But they are afraid of being again torn 
away from their homes, and exposed to all the horrors 
of slavery ; and, secondly, of being deprived of those 
Christian privileges which they now enjoy. Please 
to inform them that their fears are groundless ; that 
their persons and property will here be perfectly 
safe, and that several hundreds of their countrymen 
have embraced the truths of Christianity. They can 
also have employment as soon as they arrive here." 

A striking contrast to the state of the Gold Coast 
is presented by the town of Wydah, situated on the 
Bight of Benin. This place is the residence of the 
notorious De Sousa, the slave-broker of the king of 
Dahomey, and it enjoys very little, if any, legitimate 
trade. The captain of a merchant-ship states, that he 
has seen there 28 slave vessels under Spanish and Bra- 
zilian colours. "These vessels," he observes, "would 
carry, on an average, 350 or 400 slaves each. On 
returning, ten months after, I have seen several of 
these vessels in the same roadstead, having in the 
interim completed a slavery voyage to Brazil and 

To these portions of Africa, in particular, Great 
Britain owes a heavy debt of justice, for the many 
years of misery which she inflicted upon them by 
making them the seats of the Slave Trade ; a debt, 
which she can only hope to repay, by carrying out the 

the'^gold coast— wydah. 399 

salutary measures which have proved so successful 
in the case of the Gold Coast. But as the injury 
was not limited to these localities only, so her redress 
should not terminate there: in order that her com- 
pensation may be ample, and her remedy efficient, 
they must be applied nearer the sources of the evil. 

Our efforts, as far as they have gone, have been suc- 
cessful, and although our principal object has not been 
attained by them, we have proved what may be effected, 
by granting our protection, by encouraging commerce 
and agriculture, and by diffusing the blessings of 
Christianity. By adopting a similar policy in positions 
more favourable, and in connexion with the other mea- 
sures which I propose, I am led to believe we shall 
effectually check the Slave Trade, and produce a revo- 
lution in Africa, still more signal than that which has 
been already experienced in our present settlements. 

It appears, then, that these three cases, Sierra 
Leone, Gambia, and the Gold Coast, as far as they go, 
illustrate and strengthen my views. When the errors 
which have been committed in their management 
shall be rectified, — -when education and Christian 
instruction shall prevail, and when an effective im- 
pulse shall have been given to commerce and agri- 
culture, we, seeing what has already been done, may 
reasonably hope that a salutary change will be 
effected in this unhappy continent. 

A further confirmation of this hope is derived from 
the recorded observations of gentlemen, worthy of all 


confidence, who have collected their opinions on the 

Governor Macarthy, in addressing the merchants 
of St. Mary's on the Gambia in a visit he paid them 
in 1818, used the following words: — " I consider 
the extension of an honourable trade in Africa as 
benefiting a considerable portion of the human race. 
I anticipate with delight the period when, in lieu of 
the horrid traffic in human life, British trade and 
industry will spread, and the Christian religion 
prevailing over Africa, the inhabitants of this vast 
continent will, by their emancipation from moral and 
physical slavery, rank among civilized nations." * 

General Turner, governor of Sierra Leone, ap- 
pears to have been a man of vigorous and enlarged 
mind : had he lived, he would probably have done 
much for the suppression of the Slave Trade. His 
reports are the more interesting to me, because I 
find that his views, as to the mode of accomplishing 
that object, closely correspond with those which I 
have adopted. He appears to think that the aboli- 
tion is to be effected by means of treaties with the 
native powers ; by engaging them to lend their assist- 
ance ; by thus rooting out the Slave-trader from his 
usual field of exertion ; and by the employment of 
steamers on the coast : above all, by the influence of 
legitimate commerce. 

* Nineteenth Report of Church Missionary Society. 


Extracts from Despatches from Major-General 
Turner, late Governor of Sierra Leone. 

Dated 20th July, 1825. 
" The great increase of the Slave Trade in this 
neighbourhood, together with the inadequacy of the 
ships of war on the station, have caused me to turn 
my attention seriously to the evil, as well as to the 
remedy for it ; and whilst I admit the evil to exist 
to a shameful extent, I am happy to say, that I will 
undertake, at little or no expense, without the aid of 
the navy, without compromising the government, 
and without risk of failure, to complete in six months 
such arrangements as will prevent any vessel, of any 
nation, carrying away a cargo of slaves from Western 
Africa ; and I pledge myself that the completion of 
these measures will produce to Africa more peace and 
good order, more industry, prosperity, and morality, 
— and to England, a larger and better field for the 

exercise of her benevolence; 

# ■» * * 

" England should prevent the collection of these 
unhappy victims, and bestow her care upon nations 
with knowledge to appreciate, and character to retain 
the advantage of an intercourse with her : that there 
are such nations within our reach, and that they are 
anxious to open a communication with us, is within 
my knowledge ; and that I will accomplish all these 
objects without much expense, if approved of, I pledge 
myself. If there should be any doubt, I should beg 
that those who know me best maybe referred to, whe- 


ther I am likely to engage in wild, visionary schemes. 
Should such measures be approved of, all I want 
from England are two small steam-boats. 

" These two boats, in addition to the one already 
ordered for the general work of this extended com- 
mand, will be enough to occupy and maintain our 
sovereignty over the various rivers from Senegal to 
the Gold Coast — a sovereignty winch I will procure 
from the natives, if approved of, at a small expense; and 
I will establish and maintain the British flag on them, 
which will cause them to be considered British waters, 
and give us the power to exclude all nations from them." 

Dated }8th October, 1825. 

" On approaching the Sherbro, J caused the king 
and chiefs of the maritime districts engaged in the 
war, to be assembled ; and as they had already applied 
to me for protection against their enemies, I informed 
them that the only condition upon which I would 
grant them effectual security would be the giving up 
for ever the Slave Trade, making over to me for the 
King of England the sovereignty of their territories, 
acknowledging the laws of England, laying down 
their arms in the present Avar, and agreeing never to 
undertake any other without the consent of the go- 
vernment of Sierra Leone for the time being. They 
immediately agreed to these terms, and a treaty was 
accordingly signed and ratified, in presence of all the 


* * * » 

" By this treaty, upwards of 100 miles of sea-coast 


are added to this colony ; a circumstance which, in this 
particular case, will tend greatly to increase its trade 

and general prosperity. 

* # # # 

" As regards the Slave Trade the district now 
ceded has, for many years back, been the theatre of 
its most active operations in this or perhaps any 
other part of the coast ; and the best information that 
I can collect warrants my stating the number an- 
nually exported at not less than 15,000, all of whom 
will in future be employed in cultivating the soil, 
preparing and collecting articles of export, and im- 
proving their own condition. 

* * . # * 

" The other parties engaged in the war, and who 
are an inland people, I sent a messenger to, to desire 
that they would no longer carry on the war, as I had 
taken the country under my protection ; they ex- 
pressed their willingness for peace, and some of the 
principal men among them came down and begged to 
be taken under our 'protection, which was done. I 
could not remain long enough in the Sherbro to re- 
ceive the more distant ones ; but I make no doubt I 
shall be able to bring about a general peace through- 
out these countries, and cause the kings and chiefs to 
turn their attention to more humane and profitable 

* * * * 

" The affairs of this colony (Sierra Leone) are 
taking a much wider range, and the valuable pro- 


ducts of the interior are finding their way here in 
much larger proportion than formerly, and the influx 
of strangers from very distant nations is very great. 
The name and character of the colony are spreading 
rapidly, as is proved by the repeated messengers sent 
to me from the rulers of distant nations, and the 
eagerness with ivhich they seek our friendship and 
alliance. Our influence and authority with the 
smaller states immediately around are getting greater, 
and the beneficial results very visible. * * * * 
" The most powerful of them, the king of the Man- 
dingoes, has placed himself under our orders." 

Bated 1st November, 1825. 

" I have just received from chiefs to the northward 
of this colony, an offer to give us the sovereignty of 
their country, and to abolish for ever the Slave Trade, 
receiving, in return, our protection and the benefits of 
a free trade with us." 

Dated 20th December, 1823. 

Reports the success of his expedition up the rivers 

Rokell and Port Logo, which, by their junction, 

form the river and harbour of Sierra Leone. The 

Rokell is the direct route to the countries round the 

source of the Niger. 

* * * * 

Having overcome the difficulties which had called 
for his active interference, General Turner entered 
into a Convention with the people, the substance of 
which I give in his own words : — 

"The Convention, in the first place, puts an eilec- 


tive stop to all slave-trading, to internal wars, a 
scourge more baneful to Africa than the Slave Trade 
itself, and gives security and stability to persons and 
property : it causes the chiefs and others to become 
industrious, in order to procure, either by cultivation 
or trade, those articles of luxury which they for- 
merly acquired by the sale of slaves or plunder in 
war; it will lead to civilization, morality, and a 
desire of education and useful knowledge, by show- 
ing the advantage which educated men will have in 
trade over uneducated ones ; and the becoming pro- 
vinces of this government will create a strong desire 
to learn our language and religion. 

" To us it will have the effect of greatly extend- 
ing the sphere of our mercantile transactions, by 
enabling agents and travellers to pass through the 
country in security, of extending and improving our 
geographical knowledge, of obtaining correct infor- 
mation of the power, wealth, and resources of each 
nation, and thereby forming, in the course of time, 
a large outlet for our manufactured goods, and of 
receiving, in return, valuable raw materials, and of 
spreading throughout distant nations impressions of 
our wealth, influence, and greatness. These facts 
are already beginning to be felt, and the surrounding 
countries generally, (with the exception of a few 
factious chiefs who live by plundering travellers,) 
aware of the advantage of being connected with 
Sierra Leone, are petitioning this Government to 
interfere to put an end to their wars, and to take 


them under its protection. Your Lordship will 

observe, that the public are put to no expense for 

the accomplishment of these objects ; that there is 

no increase of our military establishments required. 
# * # * 

" I would submit that a small yearly salary should 
be given to each native chief placed in charge of these 
provinces or districts, from 50/. to 100/. per year." 

I have given these extracts at considerable length, 
because they are highly valuable, as showing, on the 
testimony of a person who had great experience, that 
the true way to suppress the Slave Trade, and to 
extricate Africa from its present abyss of misery, is 
to be found in friendly intercourse with the natives ; 
in the encouragement of their legitimate trade ; in 
the cultivation of the soil, and in alliances with them 
for the suppression of the Slave traffic. Acting upon 
this system, he says, " I have little doubt but I shall 
have the honour, ere long, to announce to your Lord- 
ship the total abolition of the Slave Trade for 1000 
miles around me, and a tenfold increase to the trade 
of this colony." 

I may be permitted to relate the melancholy, but 
to me highly interesting termination of the career 
of this officer. In the early part of the spring of 
1826, he proceeded to the Sherbro country, for the 
purpose of consolidating those arrangements for the 
abolition of the Slave Trade which he had entered 
into with the king and the native chiefs. On his 


arrival at the Sherbro, he discovered, that the great 
slave-traders, who had retired from that district on 
the signing of the convention, prohibiting the export- 
ation of slaves, had joined with those of the Gallinas, 
and had come to the resolution of establishing the 
Slave Trade by force, even in the districts where it 
had been voluntarily given up by the native chiefs, 
and were then assembled in force up the Boom river, 
seizing our people, and putting at defiance our power 
and our rights. 

Upon this band of miscreants he made a success- 
ful attack, and he concludes his despatch on the 2nd 
of March, 1826, by saying: " After carrying away 
the guns and stores, and destroying by fire the town 
and neighbourhood, we embarked, and got safely to 
the shipping in the Sherbro on the 23rd, after de- 
stroying the two principal strongholds, with eight 
smaller towns, where these wretches kept their 
victims in chains, until the ships were ready to receive 
them ; and I sincerely trust that this lesson will teach 
the deluded of this country not to put further faith 
in the vain boastings of these wicked people, who, 
by administering to the worst passions of the igno- 
rant and unfortunate inhabitants, not only depopu- 
late and turn into deserts the most fertile plains 
which I have ever seen, but so blunt their feelings, 
and brutalize their natures, that, for a few bottles of 
rum and heads of tobacco, the parent is found, with- 
out remorse, casting away his offspring ; each village 
is engaged against the other, for the purpose of 


making prisoners ; and men, like beasts of prey, are 
ever on the watch to seize their neighbours and their 

I received an account of this expedition from a 
gentleman who joined it as a volunteer. He spoke 
of the conduct of General Turner with admiration. 
Not content with heading the attack, and command- 
in 2: the boats in the descent, he took with his own 
hands the soundings of every part of the river, and 
underwent more physical toil than the lowest of the 
crew. He paid the greatest attention to the health 
of all his party, and administered medicine to them 
upon the slightest symptom of incipient fever. The 
only point of which he was regardless was his own 
health ; and to this imprudence he fell a victim. One 
of his officers ventured to remonstrate with him on the 
subject, and told him that he saw he was indisposed. 
The General replied, that nothing could touch his iron 
constitution ; that he never had taken a dose of physic, 
and never would. On his arrival at Sierra Leone, he 
wrote with his own hands the despatch dated March 
2nd, from which I have already made quotations. On 
the 3rd of March he begins a short letter to Lord 
Bathurst thus : — " I lament exceedingly that an at- 
tack of fever got up the Boom river should prevent 
my having the honour of submitting to your Lord- 
ship observations upon the bearings which the cir- 
cumstances detailed in my despatch of the 2nd inst. 
have upon the state of this unhappy country, and the 
prospects which they hold out, for a great revolution 


in the affairs of the inhabitants." After adverting, in 
three lines to the expedition, he says : — "Although 
the bar of the Gallinas river is an extremely diffi- 
cult and hazardous undertaking, I think that, by 
blockading them, and making a strong party there, 
I shall completely break up the Slave Trade, and stop 
for ever, from those shores, the export of near 
30,000 slaves annually, substituting agriculture, se- 
curity of person and property, industry, civilization, 
and knowledge of the Christian religion. At 
all events, if my health is restored, I will do my 

According to my informant, he found the General 
at his desk, quite insensible, with his pen still in his 
hand, and this letter before him. It is well worth 
notice that, in his last words, he should have dwelt 
upon the extinction of the Slave Trade, by the substi- 
tution of agriculture, security of person and property, 
industry, civilization, and knowledge of the Christian 

The effect of General Turner's measures are thus 
described by his successor, in a despatch, dated 2nd 
of July, 1826 :— 

" The measures adopted by General Turner have 
secured peace, safety, and tranquillity to a large 
extent of country, have destroyed an annual export 
of at least 1 5,000 slaves, and have prevented all the 
wretchedness, misery, and bloodshed which would 
otherwise have attended the making of these slaves. 


" More real service has been performed by him 
towards the abolition of the Slave Trade, and that, 
too, permanently, should his measures be followed 
up, than by all the other means employed by His 
Majesty's Government for that purpose." 

I cannot express how deeply I deplore that twelve 
years should have elapsed, in which little or nothing 
has been done by the Government in furtherance of 
views so sound, so enlightened, and so promising. 

Colonel Nicholls, who was Governor of Fernando 
Po, during our occupation of that island, and who 
has had, perhaps, as much knowledge, derived from 
experience, as any man, of the nature of the Slave 
Trade, and of the most effectual modes of pre- 
venting it, in a memorial to Government in 1830, 
thus describes his general view : — 

" There is one means, and I am persuaded but 
one effectual means, of destroying the Slave Trade, 
which is, by introducing a liberal and well-regulated 
system of commerce on the coast of Africa. At 
present, the African is led to depend principally 
on the slave-dealers for his supplies of manufactured 
articles, of which he is so fond, and stands so much 
in need. The individuals engaged in this traffic are 
persons of the most infamous and unprincipled de- 
scription : they come in their ships to the mouths of 
the different unexplored rivers, where they land a 
quantity of trade goods of the worst kind, and leav- 
ing their supercargoes to exchange them with the 


chiefs for slaves, return to the sea whilst their cargoes 
are collecting, where, as pirates, they rob our mer- 
chant-ships, murder their crews, and, when glutted 
with plunder, return to the coast to ship their victims, 
for whom they pay about 71. or 8/. a-piece, and sell 
them for 70/., 80/., or 100/. each. In conducting the 
barter for these poor creatures with the chiefs, the 
slavers are frequently guilty of every sort of violence 
and injustice. Of this the chiefs are well aware, 
and submit to it only because they have no redress. 
Were it put in their power to procure better manu- 
factured goods from merchants who would have some 
regard to justice and fair dealing in their transactions 
with them, they would eagerly give them the prefer- 
ence, particularly if they were protected from the 
resentment of the slave-dealers. 

" I will give, as nearly as I can recollect, the sub- 
stance of a conversation which passed between one of 
the native chiefs and myself on this subject. I began 
by asking him how he could act so unwisely as to 
sell his countrymen for 11. or 8/., when he might 
render them so much more profitable to him, by 
making them labour ? The chief mused awhile, and 
then said, * If you will show me how this is to b% 
done, I will take your advice.' I asked him how 
much palm-oil a man could collect during the season ? 
c From one to two tuns,' was his answer. I then 
inquired, how a man could be employed when it was 
not the palm-oil season ? ' In cutting down and 
squaring wood, gathering elephants' teeth, tending 

2 E 


cattle, and cultivating rice, corn, and yams,' was the 
reply. I then said to him, e Suppose a man collects 
a tun and a half of palm-oil in a season ; that, accord- 
ing to its present value, will amount to 11/. or 121. ; 
and suppose he picks up one elephant's tooth, the 
value of which is about 2*. per lb., the weight fre- 
quently fifty pounds ; but reckon it at one-half that 
weight, that will be 21. 10s. more. The value of 
these two articles alone will be nearly double what 
his price brings you, if you sell him ; and this he would 
bring you every year, allowing him all the other kinds 
of his labour for his own maintenance. Upon this 
simple calculation, the truth of which, cannot be de- 
nied, what a loser you are by selling him. Besides, 
you get goods inferior, both in quality and quantity, 
to those you could procure by exchanging the produce 
of this man's labour with British merchants.' The 
chief acknowledged I was right ; but said that, when 
I was gone, the slavers would come, and if he did not 
get slaves for them, they would burn his town, and 
perhaps take away himself and his family, in place of 
the slaves they expected him to collect for them ; but 
that if this could be prevented, he would sell no more 
slaves. I then told him, if he promised this, I would 
come to his assistance, in case the slavers committed 
any violence against him, and put the miscreants in 
his power : that I should advise him to assemble his 
head-men, and try and punish the delinquents by his 
own law, and I thought they would not trouble him 
again. I assured him, that he and his countrymen 


were considered by us as much better men than these 
slavers, and that we would protect them if they would 
trade fairly with us in other produce than slaves. 

" This chief drove off the first slaver that came, as 
I directed him : he is now carrying on a thriving 
trade, and his people are more civil and kind to us 
than any I have yet seen. I feel convinced that I 
could influence all the chiefs along the coast in the 
same manner ; but, to be able to effect this, it would 
be necessary to have the means of moving from one 
place to another, with, a degree of celerity that a 
steam-vessel alone could give us. This would be re- 
quisite, both to enable us to keep our promise of pro- 
tecting the chiefs from the slavers, and also for the 
purpose of going up the rivers^ which are at present 
unknown to us, with the least possible risk of health, 
or loss of time. 

" Steam-boats would also be of incalculable use to 
commerce, by towing ships over bars and agitated 
currents, whilst, as a means of catching the slave- 
ships, and protecting the coast from the depredations 
of their crews, three steamers would effect more than 
the expensive squadron now maintained there. These 
three vessels should carry four heavy guns each, be 
of as light a draught of water as possible, and be 
manned with fifty white * and fifty black men each : 
they would not cost one-half as much as one large 
frigate, one corvette, and two gun-brigs, whilst they 

* Colonel Nicholls now thinks that a much smaller number 
of white sailors would be sufficient. 



would be an infinitely more efficient means of attain- 
ing the end proposed by the use of them. I pledge 
myself to put an end to the whole of our expense, 
and totally to suppress the Slave Trade in two years. 
But if this plan be not adopted, we may go on paying 
over and over again for the liberated Africans to the 
end of time, Avithout performing anything beneficial 
in their behalf." 

Mr. Rendall, who was Governor of the Gambia, 
(where he died,) it appears, contemplated, some 
years ago, a plan for the suppression of the Slave 
Trade ; and had made some progress in a letter 
intended to be addressed to the Duke of Wellington. 
I extract a few passages from it, which will serve to 
show, that experience conducted him to the same 
conclusion as that which has been arrived at by the 
authorities I have already cited. In the introduction, 
he says — " Of all the measures calculated to insure 
the prosperity of Africa, none promises so well as 
the encouragement of its legitimate commerce and 
agriculture." He recommends the immediate clear- 
ance and cultivation of a district, " which would at 
once embrace two of the most important objects ; 
viz., the improvement in salubrity, and the pro- 
duction of such articles of export as would render the 
colony valuable to the mother country." " Give," he 
says, " an impulse to industry by establishing model 
plantations ; let moral and religious education go 
hand in hand; and. thus most firmly do I believe that 
the great and benevolent objects of the real friends of 


Africa will be most securely attained." — u Govern- 
ment," he adds, " must begin, by showing to the 
natives the practicability and profit of cultivation." 
But he is convinced that the outlay thus required 
would be speedily and abundantly repaid. He 
speaks of cotton, coffee, indigo, and ginger as being 
the produce that would thrive the best. 

I now insert some extracts, bearing on the same 
points, which I find in Mr. M' Queen's " VieAv of 
Northern Central Africa :" — 

" There is no efficient way to arrest the progress of 
this deep-rooted evil, but to teach the negroes useful 
knowledge, and the arts of civilized life. Left to 
themselves, the negroes will never effectually accom- 
plish this. It must be done by a mighty power, who 
will take them under its protection, — a power suffi- 
ciently bold, enlightened, and just, to burst asunder 
the chains of that grovelling superstition which en- 
thrals and debases their minds, and that, with the 
voice of authority, can unite the present jarring ele- 
ments which exist in Africa, and direct them to 
honourable and useful pursuits. Till the native 
princes are taught that they may be rich without 
selling men, — and till Africa is shown that it is in 
the labour and industry of her population, and in the 
cultivation of her soil, that true wealth consists, — 
and till that population see a power, which can pro- 
tect them from such degrading bondage, there can 
be no security for liberty or property in Africa ; 


and, consequently, no wish or hope for improvement 
amongst her population. 

" It is in Africa that this evil must be rooted out, — 
by African hands and African exertions chiefly that 
it can be destroyed. It is a waste of time and a 
waste of means, an aggravation of the disorder, to 
keep lopping off the smaller branches of a malignant, 
a vigorous, and reproductive plant, while the root and 
stem remain uninjured, carefully supplied with nou- 
rishment, and beyond our reach. Half the sums we 
have expended in this manner would have rooted 
up slavery for ever. Only teach them, and show them 
that we will give them more for their produce than 
for the hand that rears it, and the work is done. All 
other methods and means will prove ineffectual. 

" The change contemplated in Africa could not be 
wrought in a day. But were we once firmly esta- 
blished, in a commanding attitude on the Niger, and 
an end put to the two great scourges of Africa, Super- 
stition and an external Slave Trade, the progress of 
improvement would be rapid, and the advantages 


# * * * 

" Nothing can be done, — nothing ever will be 
done, to alter their present indolent and inactive 
mode of life, till justice and general security are spread 
throughout these extensive regions. It would be 


vain to expect industry or exertion on their parts, in 
order to procure the comforts and the luxuries of life, 
when no one can call anything lie may possess his 
own, or where the superior wealth which lie does 
possess serves only to mark him out as the prey of 
the unfeeling robber or sovereign despot." 

The opinions also of travellers, who have visited 
different parts of Africa at different times, are very 
similar, both as to the capabilities of Africa, and as to 
the opposite effects produced by the antagonist sys- 
tems of the Slave Trade and legitimate commerce ; 
and they concur in declaring that the encourage- 
ment of the one ever tends to the destruction of the 
other. This truth was admitted even by Golberry, 
who was so far from being carried away by the phan- 
toms of philanthropy, — that he owns he felt some 
difficulty in checking the expression of his " just 
indignation" against the " cruel theories" of those 
pretended philosophers, who imposed on the vulgar 
by decrying the Slave Trade. 

"I have also observed," says Golberry, " that this 
surface of Africa (all the country between Cape 
Blanco and Cape Palmas), is at least 374,400 square 
leagues, which is more than a fifth of the total 
superficies of this large continent ; and that, if we 
should one day be enabled to traverse freely and habi- 
tually this extensive space, not only Europe would 
discover new sources of wealth, and new objects for 
industry, but that, by a natural and inevitable conse- 
cmence, the whole of Africa would soon be enlight- 


ened, and everything which yet remains ambiguous 
in the centre of this continent would be laid open to 

"There is reason to presume that more active 
relations, together with agricultural and mercantile 
establishments, and wholesome institutions, whose 
object should be the instruction and civilization of 
the negroes, would, in the course of fifteen years, 
augment these products from thirty to more than 
sixty millions ;•* and if, during this period, England 
and France act in unison — if the Governments of 
the two first nations in the world were to proceed, 
with emulation, in pursuit of the same object, then, 
far from the Slave Trade being augmented, it would 
soon diminish to one half, and it would quickly be 
abolished by a natural consequence ; the inexhausti- 
ble fertility of a soil which the natives would learn 
to cultivate, and which has hitherto remained, in a 
manner of speaking, abandoned to nature, would 
administer to the wants and enjoyments of Europe ; 
the African would become civilized ; and the ardent 
wishes of a rational philosophy would speedily be 

Robertson speaks to the same effect : — " If Africa 
is to be made subservient to the views of Europe, 
let her have an interest in her own labour, and 
that interest will be the strongest and best secu- 
rity for her friendship. Show her the advantages 

* Francs. 


of industry, and will she deviate so far from the 
usual motives which actuate mankind, as not to cul- 
tivate such a connexion, in order to improve her 
own condition ? There is but one system for us, 
which can secure her friendship, and her social in- 
tercourse, and that is, an equitable use of our and 
her rights." 

Park's testimony is similar : — " It cannot, how- 
ever, admit of a doubt that all the rich and valu- 
able productions, both of the East and West 
Indies might easily be naturalized, and brought 
to the utmost perfection, in the tropical parts of 
this immense continent. Nothing is wanting to 
this end but example, to enlighten the minds of 
the natives ; and instruction, to enable them to di- 
rect their industry to proper objects. It was not 
possible for me to behold the wonderful fertility of 
the soil, the vast herds of cattle, proper both for 
labour and food, and a variety of other circum- 
stances favourable to colonization and agriculture, 
and reflect, withal, on the means which presented 
themselves of a vast inland navigation, without la- 
menting that a country, so abundantly gifted and 
favoured by nature, should remain in its present 
savage and neglected state. Much more did I lament 
that a people, of manners and disposition so gentle 
and benevolent, should either be left, as they now are, 
immersed in the gross and uncomfortable blindness 
of pagan superstition, or permitted to become con- 
verts to a system of bigotry and fanaticism which, 


without enlightening the mind, often debases the 

Mr. Laird, discussing the best mode of establishing 
trade, and of civilizing Africa, proposes establishing 
a chain of British posts up the Niger, and across to 
the Gambia : he proposes six or seven stations, and 
says:— "There are two ways in which this might 
be done with comparative economy : the one, by 
merely establishing a trading post; the other, by 
acquiring a small territory and importing West Indian 
and American free negroes, who would bring with 
them the knowledge they have acquired in the cul- 
tivation of sugar and other tropical produce, and 
would form, in fact, agricultural schools for the 
benefit of the surrounding population." 

"By the Niger, the whole of Western Africa 
would be embraced ; by the Sharry (which I have 
no doubt will be found navigable to the meridian of 
25° east longitude) a communication would be opened 
with all the nations inhabiting the unknown countries 
between the Niger and the Nile. British influence 
and enterprise would thereby penetrate into the re- 
motest recesses of the country; one hundred millions 
of people would be brought into direct contact with 
the civilized world ; new and boundless markets 
would be opened to our manufactures ; a continent 
teeming with inexhaustible fertility would yield her 
riches to our traders ; not merely a nation, but hun- 
dreds of nations, would be awakened from the 
lethargy of centuries, and become useful and active 


members of the great commonwealth of mankind ; 
and every British station would become a centre from 
whence religion and commerce would radiate their 
influence over the surrounding country. Who can 
calculate the effect that would be produced, if such 
a plan were followed out, and Africa, freed from her 
chains, moral and physical, allowed to develope her 
energies in peace and security ? No parallel can be 
drawn, no comparison can be instituted, between 
Africa enslaved, and Africa free and unfettered." 

Lander confirms these views : — " It is more than 
probable, as we have now ascertained, that a water 
communication may be carried on with so extensive 
a part of the interior of Africa, that a consider- 
able trade will be opened with the country through 
which we have passed. The natives only require 
to know what is wanted from them, and to be shown 
what they will have in return, and much produce 
that is now lost, from neglect, will be turned to a 
considerable account. The countries situated on 
the banks of the Niger will become frequented 
from all the adjacent parts, and this magnificent 
stream will assume an appearance it has never yet 

Major Gray, summing up the means for bringing 
the Africans to a state of civilization, and relieving 
the people from the tyranny of their chiefs, says, — 
" It has occurred to me there are no means more 
available, and, I may add, more speedily practicable, 


than the enlargement of our intercourse with the 
people, and the encouragement and protection of the 
internal commerce of Africa. By this, we can im- 
prove them in the way of example ; by the other, we 
can benefit them and ourselves in the way of inter- 
change of commodity : our habits and our manners 
will gain upon them in time, and our skill tend to 
stimulate and encourage theirs." 

" By increasing their commerce, we also obtain 
another happy consummation, we give them employ- 
ment, and we consequently, to a certain extent, secure 
them from the incessant meddling of their maraboos. 
We could congregate them in greater numbers to- 
gether, and therefore the more readily instruct them ; 
and I may venture to add, that if a fair trial of zeal 
were used in such a delightful employment, within 
a very few years they would prove themselves not 
unfitted for the enjoyment of liberal institutions." 

"That there are powers of mind in the African, 
it were quite idle to dispute ; that the productions of 
the country are capable of being beneficially em- 
ployed must, I think, be equally incontestable to any 
one who has carefully perused the preceding pages ; 
and, to act with honesty, we should not allow both, or 
either, to lie for ever dormant." 

" The European governments," says Burckhardt, 
" who have settlements on the coasts of Africa, may 
contribute to it by commerce, and by the introduction 
among the negroes of arts and industry." 

ALLEN. 423 

Capt. W. Allen, R.N.,* in a letter addressed to me 
August, 1839, observes : — " I have read your ' Remedy' 
with great interest and attention, the more so, as I find 
embodied in it all the ideas I had formed on the same 
subject, deduced from observations written on the 

There is no species of argument which carries with 
it a greater force of conviction to my mind, than the 
concurrence of a variety of persons, who, being com- 
petent to judge, and having opportunities of forming 
a sound judgment, examine a given object with very 
different purposes, from very different points of view, 
yet arrive, without concert, or previous communica- 
tion, at the same conclusion. In the case before us, 
we collect the unpublished despatches, letters, and 
journals of the several Governors of Sierra Leone, 
Fernando Po, the Gambia, and the Gold Coast. These 
documents were written at different times, with no 
view to publication, and there was no connection 
between the officers who wrote them. Differing on 
many points, they harmonise exactly on those which 
affect my case. Each speaks of the exuberant fer- 
tility of the soil ; each laments the desolation which, 
in spite of nature, prevails ; and each looks to the 
cultivation of those fertile lands, and to the growth 
of legitimate commerce, as the remedy to the distrac- 
tions of Africa, and the horrors of the Slave Trade. 
For example, it appears that General Turner at 

* Captain W. Allen was employed by the Admiralty to ascend 
the Niger in Laird and Oldfield's expedition. 


Sierra Leone, and Colonel Nicolls of Fernando Po, 
had in view much such a plan as I have suggested, 
when they spoke in their despatches of putting an 
end to the Slave Trade in two or three years. This 
unconscious union between themselves is not all. 
The views of these gentlemen correspond with those 
which I find in the private journals of the Mission- 
aries, who have gathered their experience, and formed 
their opinion, while labouring among the native tribes 
of the Gambia. That which is the opinion of these 
soldiers and of these teachers of religion turns out to 
be the opinion of the most distinguished travellers 
and of intelligent traders. Captain Becroft, who 
traded on the Western Coast, and Captain Raymond, 
who did the same on the Eastern, tell me, — that 
trade, springing from the cultivation of the soil, will, 
and that nothing else will, abolish the Slave Trade. 

This uniformity of opinion between governors and 
missionaries, travellers and traders, stops not here. 
Mr. M'Queen and Mr. Clarkson,* who have spent 
their lives in studying Africa, but not in the same 
school, here cease to differ. Mr. Clarkson thus con- 
cludes a long letter to me, dated November 20th, 
1838 (after having noticed and approved each sug- 
gestion I had made, particularly the purchase of a 
large tract of country, for the establishment of pattern 
farms, and the selection of Fernando Po) : — 
" Upon the whole, it is my opinion that, if Govern- 

* For Mr. Clarkson's judgment on the views and principles 
staled in this book, see Appendix D. 

m'queen. 425 

ment would make the settlements which you have 
pointed out ; if they were to substitute steamers in the 
place of sailing ships ; if they were, by annual presents, 
to work upon the native chiefs ; if they were to buy 
the land upon which their settlements would be built, 
and introduce pattern farms for the cultivation of cot- 
ton, indigo, rice, or whatever other tropical production 
they might think fit, they might as certainly count upon 
the abolition of the Slave Trade, even in a short time, 
as upon any unknown event, which men might expect 
to be produced, from right reasoning, or by going the 
right way to work, in order to produce it. As far as 
our knowledge of Africa, and African manners, cus- 
toms, and dispositions goes, a better plan could not be 
devised — no other plan, in short, could answer. Had 
this plan been followed from the first, it would have 
done wonders for Africa by this time, and it would 
do much for us now : in two years from the trial of it 
it would become doubtful, whether it was worth while 
to carry on the Slave Trade ; and in five years I have 
no doubt that it would be generally, though, perhaps, 
not totally, abandoned. Depend upon it, 'there is no 
way of civilizing and christianizing Africa, which all 
good men must look to, but this." " Teach them," 
says Mr. M'Queen, " that we will give them more 
for their produce, than for the hand that rears it, and 
the work is done. All other methods and means 
will prove ineffectual." 

Other illustrations of this coincidence might be 
quoted. The Society of Friends, anxious to benefit 


Africa, could devise no better means, than the estab- 
lishment of a school and a farm in the neighbourhood 
of St. Mary's. The experiment failed, or it seemed 
to fail, owing to the death of the agent whom they 
had sent ; but it was with no small pleasure that I 
found, in the papers of the brother of a deceased 
governor of the colony, this evidence that their 
labours were not entirely lost. After stating that the 
Society had formerly established a school and a farm 
on a point of land forming Cape St. Mary's, " as 
eligible a spot for such an undertaking as could be 
found in the country," he goes on to say, "The natives 
of the neighbourhood must have observed, with some 
degree of attention, the mode adopted by these settlers 
in their agricultural pursuits. Indeed, it must be 
inferred that many of them assisted on the works of 
the farm, as at this date (viz. 14 years after) they 
conduct matters in a more neat and satisfactory man- 
ner than is to be observed in other parts of the 
country. Their grounds are well cleaned and en- 
closed ; vegetation, of one kind or another, appears 
to be kept up during the year ; the quality of their 
articles is superior to their neighbours ; and alto- 
gether there is a superiority among these people, a 
neatness about their persons and villages, that pleases 
the eye, particularly as these things do not exist in 
other parts of the country. The old chief of the 
district loses no opportunity of making the most par- 
ticular inquiries after his friends the Quakers, and 
of expressing his regret that such good people should 


not have remained amongst them, as their kindness 
wilJ ever live in the memory of the inhabitants. The 
chief and his sons are worthy good folks, and much 
attached to the English. ' The seeds which Mr. W. 
Allen and other gentlemen have sent to the Gambia 
have been of infinite service, in improving the quality 
of the cotton and rice."* 

I hardly know anything more encouraging than the 
facts which have thus unexpectedly come to light. 
Here an effort has been made, exactly in conformity 
with the views which I am endeavouring to urge, but 
it was soon abandoned ; yet the effect of that imper- 
fect experiment is still visible in the improvement 
of the face of the country, and in the manifest 
distinction between that district which had been 
thus befriended, and the desolate regions which sur- 
round it. 

The fact, too, that these simple people retain a 
lively and grateful recollection of their benefactors, 
and cease not to pant for their return, proves that in 
the minds of the people, as well as in the quality of 
the soil, there are materials on which we may work. 
When so much was effected by a slight effort, what 
may we not expect to be accomplished, when the 
same merciful measures shall be adopted permanently, 
and upon a large scale 1 

One further coincidence, and not the least remark- 
able, remains to be stated. I gave a description 
on a former occasionf of a slave-hunt, or gazzua, 
* Rendall. f Page 91 of this edition. 

2 F 


which was perpetrated in the dominions, and by 
the permission of the Pasha of Egypt. Some 
strong representations of the impolicy and atrocity 
of such proceedings were made to him by some of 
our countrymen, particularly by Dr. Bowring.* And 
I have now to describe the influence which these have 
exercised over his conduct. f From a manuscript 
which purports to be an official account of the jour- 
ney of his Highness to Soudan, of the views in which 
it originated, and of the policy which was adopted 
with regard to the natives, I extract the following 
particulars. In the autumn of 1838 the Pasha's 
attention was turned to his savage territory of Sou- 
dan, and he resolved to take measures for the abolition 
of the Slave Trade, and to introduce a reformation in 
the customs, commerce, and agriculture of the in- 
habitants : for this purpose he repaired thither in 
person, accompanied by his usual attendants, and 
several scientific persons, collected not only from his 
own country, but from the continent of Europe. He 
embarked in a steam-boat, October 15th, 1838. In 
passing the cataracts, he had to endure some hard* 

* Vide Appendix E., p. 564, for an extract from a letter from 
Sir. W. H. Pearson to Mr. Buxton, junior, containing an account 
of that gentleman's visit on board a slave-ship on the Nile. 

t The consul at Alexandria, of date 5th May, 1838, narrates a 
conversation which he had had with Mahommed Ali, in which the 
pasha said that he would not permit his officers in the interior to 
seize slaves : and he adds that the pasha himself does not now 
purchase any more slaves for his own use or service. — Class D., 
1838-U, p. 14. 


ships, and was exposed to considerable danger. 
After passing the first cataract, he had to remain 
during a night without provisions or attendance : in 
the attempt to pass the second, the boat in which he 
was seated was dashed violently on the rocks, and it 
was with difficulty that he effected his escape, while 
the vessel was carried away by the current. On the 
eleventh of November, the cataract of Annek was 
reached : it appears from the narrative, that this was 
the first attempt that was ever made to pass it : from 
Dongola, he went across the desert to Kartoum, the 
capital of Sennaar, on the confluence of the Blue and 
the White Nile ; he proceeded along the Blue Nile, 
and there was joined by some pupils of the schools 
of language and mineralogy. At Fazoglo, hearing 
of depredations, committed, according to custom, by 
a tribe of mountaineers on their more feeble neigh- 
bours, he despatched a force against them, under the 
command of a superior officer, who returned with 
540 prisoners. His Highness had them brought 
before him, and spoke to them at great length on 
the odiousness and barbarity of stealing and selling 
their fellow-creatures ; then, wishing to join example 
to precept, he permitted them to depart, after having 
distributed to every one ten days' provisions and 
given dresses to five of the chiefs. Learning that 
some prisoners had been taken at Kordofan, he 
ordered them to be dismissed, with permission to 
return home, or to establish themselves as cultivators 
on the banks of the White Nile, issuing at the same 

2 f 2 


time a manifesto, declaring that slave-hunting was 
strictly forbidden ; and that if any quarrels should 
arise between neighbouring tribes, their differ- 
ences were to be brought before the Governor- 
general, who was commissioned to decide them. 
At length he arrived at the mouth of Fazangoro, 
where, after inspecting the gold mines, he laid the 
foundations of a town, which is to be called by his 
own name, Mohammed Ali, and to contain houses for 
fifteen hundred families. The chiefs of the country 
showed their readiness to co-operate with him, by 
offering a much larger force for the working of the 
mines : this however he declined. We are expressly 
told, that he pays his workmen wages, and provides 
them with dresses adapted to the climate : also, that 
he granted land to Arab agriculturists for the form- 
ation of model farms, supplied them with the neces- 
sary implements and animals, and declared them to be 
exempt from taxes for five years. The land of Sennaar 
is extremely fertile ; it readily returns sixty for one ; 
the dourah grows quickly and produces very rich ears ; 
animals and wood abound ; cotton succeeds wonder- 
fully, almost without cost, and it produces more 
wool than that of Egypt, which is cultivated at a great 
expense. Hitherto, however, cultivation has been 
entirely neglected. The Pasha collected round him a 
great number of the sheikhs, made them presents, and 
addressed them in a speech, remarkable not only 
for its good sense, but for the quarter from whence 
it was delivered. " The people of other parts of the 


world were formerly savages ; they have had in- 
structors, and, by labour and perseverance, they have 
civilized themselves ; you have heads and hands like 
them ; do as they have done : you also will raise your- 
selves to the rank of men ; you will acquire great 
riches, and will taste enjoyments of which you can at 
present, from your profound ignorance, form no con- 
ception. Nothing is wanting for this purpose : you 
have a great quantity of land, cattle, and wood : your 
population is numerous, the men strong, and the wo- 
men fruitful. Up to the present time you have had no 
guide : you have one now : — it is I ! — I will lead you 
to civilization and happiness. The world is divided 
into five great parts ; that which 3^011 occupy is called 
Africa : in every country, except this, the value of 
labour is understood, and a taste for good and useful 
things prevails ; men devote themselves with ardour to 
commerce, which produces wealth, pleasure, and glory 
— words, which you cannot even comprehend. Egypt 
itself is not an extensive country ; yet, thanks to la- 
bour and the industry of its inhabitants, it is rich, 
and will become more so : distant provinces are ac- 
quainted with it ; and the territory of Sennaar, which 
is twenty times larger than Egypt, produces almost 
nothing, because its inhabitants remain as idle as if 
they were without life. Understand well that la- 
bour produces all things ; and that without labour 
nothing can be had." 

His Highness then explained to them, in detail, 
the advantages of agriculture and commerce. His 


auditors; astonished at what they heard, begged him 
earnestly to take them into Egypt, that they might 
be instructed in those arts. " It would be better," 
replied his Highness, " that you should send your 
children there ; they will learn more easily, because 
they are younger, and will remain longer useful 
to these countries, when they return to them. I 
will place them in my colleges ; they will learn 
there all that is useful and ornamental. Be not 
uneasy about their welfare, they shall be my adopted 
children ; and, when they are sufficiently instructed in 
the sciences, I will send them back to be happiness 
to you, and to these countries, and a glory to you." 

The sheikhs very willingly accepted the offer : — 
every one wished to send his children into Egypt ; 
the most powerful among them, named Abd-el-Ka- 
dir, having no son, asked the favour for his nephew. 
His Highness then urgently recommended Ahmed 
Pasha to labour for the welfare and civilization of 
these people; and, for the purpose of encouragement, 
announced, that he should himself return next year, 
in order to judge the progress that might be made, 
and incite them to fresh exertions. 

The Viceroy departed the next morning, and re- 
turned to Fazoglo on the 1st of February, when he 
renewed his exhortations to the sheikhs of that dis 
trict ; and proceeded to Kartoum, where he was de- 
lighted to find the good effects of his late visit, in 
some land being already in full cultivation. From 
thence he visited, in like manner, the White Nile, 


and, on returning to Kartoum, he set on foot the 
building of a Christian church. Before leaving the 
place, he proclaimed the freedom of trade in indigo, 
which the provinces of Dongola and Berber produce 
in considerable quantities, and ordered the governor 
to supply implements, and everything necessary, for 
the development of its cultivation. After which, he 
embarked with his suite, leaving M. Lambert, with 
the charge of making two reports, — the one, upon a 
projected railroad, in that part of the desert which 
separates Abu-Muhammed from Kurusku ; the other, 
on the formation of a canal between the White 
River and Kordofan, destined to furnish water wi- 
the irrigation of the land, and to facilitate the carriage 
of the iron-ore of the mines. 

The cataracts were repassed on his return ; and, 
on the 14th of March, the cannon of the citadel of 
Cairo announced to Egypt the arrival of the Viceroy, 
after an absence of five months and four days, 

Having freely, in another place, commented upon 
the conduct of the Pasha, in permitting the con- 
tinuance of the gazzua, and in allowing his offi- 
cers to reimburse themselves, for any arrears of their 
pay, with the human booty which they might seize, 
we are bound to do justice to the course which he 
has now pursued, and to acknowledge that the zeal 
and energy which he has displayed, in acting upon 
his new opinions, furnish an example, which any 
civilized and Christian nation may do itself honour by 
following. It must be confessed, there were great 


impediments in his way : it was not likely that he, a 
follower of Mahomet, whose religion justifies the en- 
slavement of the infidel, should have shared our ab- 
horrence of all that pertains to the trade in man : he 
must have had to surmount many strong and deep- 
seated prejudices in his own bosom, and must have 
exposed himself to public reproach, if not danger, 
before he resolved to set his face against a system so 
long established, and so lucrative. It was an act 
of great vigour in a prince, seventy years of age, 
threatened by a formidable enemy, and holding his 
authority in some considerable measure, by his own 
personal presence and influence, to undertake a jour- 
ney, of more than five months' duration, through a 
country so rarely visited, exposing himself to consi- 
derable perils and fatigue, and the expense of con- 
veying with him a large body of well-qualified 
assistants. It is greatly to the credit of his under- 
standing to have seen so distinctly that a greater 
amount of wealth may be drawn from the cultivation 
of the soil, than from the chase and capture of the 
inhabitants. The language which he uses to the 
native chiefs proves that he well comprehends the 
principles by which a degree of civilization may be 
spread among savage tribes, and valuable products 
reared from their rich but untilled lands. But the 
point which deserves most notice is, that, from the 
moment he was convinced, he acted, at once and 
boldly. In a very short period, he has executed a 
voyage of discovery ; he has selected an excellent posi- 


tion for a town, and commenced building it. He has 
entered upon a system of hiring labour and paying 
wages (in itself, I am afraid, an innovation) ; he has 
laboured to convince the native chiefs that it is better 
to sell their productions than their subjects : he 
has made some provision for the education of their 
children ; he has relinquished taxes, and established 
free trade in articles which have hitherto been sub- 
ject to a monopoly ; he has given orders for the form- 
ation of a canal and a railroad ; and he is employed in 
opening through the cataracts a way sufficiently wide 
for the passage of boats of large dimensions : more- 
over, and it confirms one of my most important anti- 
cipations, he has found better cotton in Soudan than 
that which is grown by himself in Egypt : in short, if 
I may judge by his actions, as represented in the nar- 
rative which is put forth under his authority, there is 
no more thorough-going advocate of the policy which 
I am labouring to recommend to the British nation 
than the personage whom, but a few months ago, I 
had to point out to public indignation as the patron 
of the horrible gazzua. It must, however, be borne 
in memory that we have only seen the beginning of 
a new system. The character of the Pasha will be 
judged, not by what he has hitherto attempted, but by 
the fidelity with which he shall adhere to the prin- 
ciples he has professed, and by the sagacity with which 
he shall carry into execution the wise and benevolent 
design which seems to reflect so much credit upon him. 
I have thus shown that many persons, whose 


veracity we have no reason to doubt, whose expe- 
rience furnishes the best means of forming a correct 
judgment, and who cannot be suspected of acting in 
concert, arrive at precisely the same conclusions. The 
argument deducible from this coincidence of opinion 
enforced itself on me with peculiar effect. I pos- 
sessed neither the practical experience which belongs 
to a traveller, a trader, or the governor of a colony, 
nor the intimate acquaintance with native mind ac- 
quired by the missionary ; nor that deep knowledge 
of all that has been written concerning Africa, in 
which Mr. Clarkson and Mr. M'Queen excel. Yet in 
ignorance of almost all the opinions to which I have 
now referred, I had, by a process, and from docu- 
ments, quite distinct, arrived at the same result. I 
attentively examined the papers on the Slave Trade, 
annually presented to Parliament : they demonstrated 
the unwavering sincerity of the Government, by 
whatever party administered, and the generous com- 
passion of the nation : at the same time, they forced 
upon me an undoubting conviction, that the evil 
could never be eradicated by this mode of correction. 
Ready to abandon all further effort, in despair of 
being able to effect any practical good, and from an 
abhorrence of the task of afflicting myself and others 
by a recital of evils, which I could not cure, and of 
horrors, which every effort seemed to aggravate, I cast 
my eyes, in every direction, in order to discover if there 
yet existed any effectual remedy. It then occurred to 
me, that Africa, after all, obtains a very inconsider- 


able revenue from the Slave Trade ; while the 
outlay, so to speak, — the desolation, the slaughter, 
the bloody and diabolical superstition, and the human 
suffering from all these, — are indeed prodigious : the 
net profit to Africa (whatever it may be to the 
civilized ruffians who instigate the trade) is mise 
rably scanty. " Thou sellest thy people for nought ; 
and dost not increase thy wealth by their price." 
There was something hopeful in the fact that the 
interests of Africa were not involved in the con- 
tinuance of the Slave Trade. It gave birth to the 
inquiry, Is it not possible for us to undersell the 
slave-dealer, and to drive him out of the market, by 
offering more for the productions of the soil than he 
ever gave for the bodies of the inhabitants ? 

This opened a new field of investigation. I 
eagerly turned to every book of travels which might 
furnish an insight into the capabilities of that quarter 
of the globe. There was anything but a dearth of 
materials : I found evidence, sufficient to fill volumes, 
that Africa, though now a wilderness, may rank with 
any portion of the world in natural resources and in 
the power of production. Travellers, whatever may 
be the scarcity of other topics, never fail to speak of 
the exuberance of the soil on the one hand, and the 
misery of its inhabitants on the other. These two 
subjects occupy three-fourths of the pages of those 
who have visited Africa. It is sufficient here to say 
that I rose from that part of the investigation, in 
possession of incontrovertible proof that nature had 


provided an abundance of all things which consti- 
tute agricultural wealth. The question then arises, 
Are there hands to till the earth ? Africa, notwith- 
standing the annual and terrible drain of its inhabit- 
ants, teems with population : but for the Slave Trade, 
there is no reason to doubt that it would be as 
densely peopled as any part of the globe. Can 
labour be obtained there as cheaply as in Brazil, 
Cuba, or the Carolinas ? We have some light on 
this subject. We know that a slave fetches, in 
Interior Africa, about 3/. ; in Brazil, at least 70/. ; 
when seasoned, as an African is in his own country, 
100/. Africa, then, has this great advantage over Ame- 
rica, that it can be cultivated at one-twentieth of the 
expense. Why, then, should the inhabitants be torn 
from Africa, when her native labourers upon her 
native land might hold successful competition with 
any Slave State ? The soil being equal, a labourer 
in Africa will raise as much produce as the same 
labourer transported to America, but at less ex- 
pense ; for you can hire ten labourers in the former 
at the price that one costs in the latter. Hence I 
infer, that the labour and produce of Africa, if fairly 
called forth, would rival the labour employed, and 
the produce raised in America, throughout the 
markets of the civilized world. 

Besides all this, the labourers stolen in Africa are 
not, in fact, carried to America. What the one 
loses, the other does not gain. Africa loses three 
labourers; America obtains but one: in no species 


of merchandise is there such waste of the raw ma- 
terial, as in the merchandise of man. In what other 
trade do two-thirds of the goods perish, in order that 
one-third may reach the market ? 

Apart, then, from all considerations of humanity 
and Christian principle, and narrowing the question 
to a mere calculation of pecuniary profit, it would 
appear a strange kind of economy to carry away 
the population from their native fields, which need 
nothing but those hands for their cultivation, in order 
to plant them in diminished numbers, at a prodigious 
expense, in another hemisphere, and on land not 
more productive. 

But would these men be willing to work for 
wages 1 I did not require to be taught that men will 
work, not only as well but ten times better, for reward, 
than they were ever made to do by the lash : proof, 
however, of this truth presented itself. As I shall 
have to enlarge upon that subject before I close this 
book, I will only say here, that of all the fictions 
ever invented by interested parties to quiet their 
own consciences, or delude the world, there is none 
so gross as the doctrine, that less labour is to be won 
by wages, than can be extorted by the whip. 

Thus, then, the study of the writings of travellers 
proved to me that Africa possessed all the separate 
elements necessary for vast production and extensive 
commerce ; but these materials, were, if I may so ex- 
press myself, asunder : the hands, both able and will- 
ing to labour, had never been brought to bear upon 


the land, so capable of yielding a grateful return. 
It was not till after I had come to the conclusion 
that all that was wanting for the deliverance of 
Africa was that agriculture, commerce, and instruc- 
tion should have a fair trial, that I discovered that 
those views were not confined to myself, and that 
others had arrived, by practical experience, at the 
same result which I had learnt from the facts, and 
from reasoning upon them ; and I was very well 
pleased to renounce any little credit which might 
attach to the discovery, in exchange for the solid 
encouragement and satisfaction of finding that what 
was with me but theory, was with them the fruit 
of experience. I cannot but remember that a poet, 
who possessed the faculty of combining the closest 
reasoning with the most flowing verse, saw, and 
availed himself of this species of argument for the 
defence of Christianity : — 

" Whence, but from Heaven, could men unskill'd in arts, 
In several ages born, of several parts, 
Weave such agreeing truths ; or how, or why, 
Should all conspire to cheat us with a lie?" 




" True faith, true policy, united run." — Pope." 
" If you plant where savages he, do not only entertain them with trifles 
and gingles, but use them justly and graciously, with sufficient guard never- 
theless." — Lord Bacon. 

" The greatest advantage a Government can possess is to be the one trust- 
worthy Government in the midst of Governments which nobody can trust.'' 
— Edinburgh Review, Jan. 1840. r~Life of Clive, p. 330. 

It appears to me a matter of such peculiar moment 
that we should distinctly settle and declare the Prin- 
ciples on which our whole intercourse with Africa, 
whether economic or benevolent, whether directed 
exclusively to her benefit, or mingled (as I think it 
may most fairly be) with a view to our own, shall be 
founded, and by which it shall be regulated, that I 
venture, though at the risk of being tedious, to devote 
a separate chapter to the consideration of them. The 
principles, then, which I trust to see adopted by our 
country, are these, — - 

Free Trade. 

Free Labour. 

free trade. 

Nothing, I apprehend, could be more unfortunate 
to the continent we wish to befriend, or more dis- 


creditable to ourselves, than that Great Britain should 
give any colour to the suspicion of being actuated by 
mercenary motives ; an apology would thus be af- 
forded to every other nation for any attempt it might 
make to thwart our purpose. We know, from the 
Duke of Wellington's despatches, that the powers on 
the continent were absolutely incredulous as to the 
purity of the motives which prompted us, at the con- 
gress of Aix la Chapelle, to urge, beyond everything 
else, the extinction of the Slave Trade. 

In a letter to Mr. Wilberforce, dated Paris, 15th 
Sept., 1814, the Duke of Wellington says, " It is 
not believed that we are in earnest about it, or have 
abolished the trade on the score of its inhumanity. It 
is thought to have been a commercial speculation ; 
and that, having abolished the trade ourselves, with a 
view to prevent the undue increase of colonial pro- 
duce in our stores, of which we could not dispose, 
we now want to prevent other nations from cultivat- 
ing their colonies to the utmost of their power." 

And again, in another letter to the Right Honour- 
able J. C. Villiers : — 

Paris, 31st August, 1814. 

" The efforts of Great Britain to put an end to it 
(the Slave Trade) are not attributed to good mo- 
tives, but to commercial jealousy, and a desire to keep 
the monopoly of colonial produce in our own hands." 

The grant of twenty millions may have done some- 
thing to quench these narrow jealousies, but still, the 
nations of the continent will be slow to believe that 


we are entirely disinterested. It should, then, be 
made manifest to the world, by some signal act, 
that the moving spring is humanity ; that if England 
makes settlements on the African coast, it is only for 
the more effectual attainment of her great object ; 
and that she is not allured by the hopes either of 
gain or conquest, or by the advantages, national or 
individual, political or commercial, which may, and I 
doubt not, will follow the undertaking. Such a de- 
monstration would be given, if, with the declaration, 
that it is resolved to abolish the Slave Trade, and, 
that in this cause we are ready, if requisite, to exert 
all our powers, Great Britain, should couple an of- 
ficial pledge that she will not claim for herself a 
single benefit, which shall not be shared by every 
nation uniting with her in the extinction of the Slave 
Trade ; and especially 

First, — That no exclusive privilege in favour of 
British subjects shall ever be allowed to exist. 

Secondly, — That no custom-house shall ever be 
established at Fernando Po. 

Thirdly, — That no distinction shall be made there, 
whether in peace or in war, between our own sub- 
jects and those of any such foreign power, as to the 
rights they shall possess, or the terms on which 
they shall enjoy them. In short, that we purchase 
Fernando Po, and will hold it for no other purpose 
than the benefit of Africa. I am well aware that 
these may appear startling propositions ; I am, how- 



ever, supported in them by high authorities : the sug- 
gestion as to the custom-house was made to me by 
Mr. Porter, of the Board of Trade ; and that respect- 
ing neutrality in peace or in war, originated with the 
learned Judge of the British Vice-Admiralty Courts. 
Supported by his authority, I may venture to say 
that, though a novel, it would be a noble characteristic 
of our colony. As it is intended for different ends, so 
it would be ruled by different principles, from any 
colony which has ever been undertaken : it would 
have the distinction of being the neutral ground of the 
world, elevated above the mutual injuries of war ; 
where, for the prosecution of a good and a vast object, 
the subjects and the fleets of all nations may meet 
in amity, and where there shall reign a perpetual 

Let us look to the tendency of the proposition, 
that no custom-house shall be established at Fernando 
Po, or at the post to be formed at the junction of the 
Niger and the Tchadda : we might then hope that 
the history of these stations would be a counterpart 
to that of Singapore, which is described as having 
been, in 1819, " an insignificant fishing -village, and 
a haunt of pirates/' but now stands as an eloquent 
eulogy on the views of its founder, Sir Stamford 
Ruffles, proving what may be effected, and in how 
short a time, for our own profit and for the improve- 
ment of the uncivilized world, "by the union of native 
industry and British enterprise," when uncurbed by 
restrictions on trade. 



I now turn to the second great principle, viz., — 
Free Labour, 

It may be thought by some almost superfluous that 
this should be urged, considering that there is an 
Act of Parliament, which declares that " Slavery 
shall be, and is hereby utterly and for ever abolished 
in all the colonies, possessions, and plantations of 
Great Britain." But if ever there were a case in 
which this great law should be strictly and stre- 
nuously enforced, and in which it is at the same time 
peculiarly liable to be neglected or evaded, it is in 
the Case of any possessions we may obtain in Africa. 
It is necessary to be wise in time, and never to suffer 
this baneful weed to take root there. Let us re- 
member what it has cost us to extirpate it from our 
old colonies. It is remarkable that among the whole 
phalanx of antagonists to the abolition of West India 
Slavery, there was never one who was not, by his 
own account, an ardent lover of freedom. Slavery, 
in the abstract, was universally acknowledged to be 
detestable ; and they were in the habit of pathetically 
deploring their cruel fate, and of upbraiding the 
mother-country, which had originally planted this 
curse among them ; but property had entwined it- 
self around the disastrous institution, and we had to 
contend with a fearful array of securities, marriage 
settlements, and vested interests of all kinds. Again, 
bondage, it was said, had seared the intellect, and 



withered all that was noble in the bosoms of its vic- 
tims. To have begun such an unrighteous system 
was an error, only less than that of suddenly eradicat- 
ing it, and of clothing with the attributes of freemen, 
those whose very nature had been changed and defiled 
by servitude. 

I firmly believe that much of all this was uttered 
in perfect sincerity ; and yet, I feel the most serious 
apprehensions lest these wholesome convictions should 
evaporate before the temptations of a country, where 
land of the richest fertility is to be had for Id. per 
acre, and labourers are to be purchased for 4/. per head. 
We know, not only that the Portuguese are turning 
their attention to plantations in the neighbourhood of 
Loango, but that they have been bold enough to ask 
us to guarantee to them their property, that is their 
slaves, in these parts. This, together with certain 
ominous expressions which I have heard, convinces 
me that my apprehensions are not altogether chime- 
rical ; and I am not sure that we shall not once more 
hear the antique argument, that Negroes, " from the 
brutishness of their nature," are incapable of being- 
induced to work by any stimulus but the lash : at all 
events, we shall be assured, that if we attempt to es- 
tablish Free Labour, we shall assail the prejudices of 
the African chiefs in the tenderest points. If we do 
not take care, at the outset, to render the holding of 
slaves by British subjects in Africa highly penal, and 
perilous in the last degree, we shall see British capital 
again embarked, and vested interest acquired in hu- 


man flesh. We shall, in spite of the warning we 
have had, commit a second time, the monstrous error, 
to say nothing of the crime, of tolerating slavery. 
A second time the slave-master will accuse us of 
being at least accomplices in his guilt ; and once 
more we shall have to buy off opposition by an ex- 
travagant grant of money. 

The suggestion, then, that I make is that we shall 
lay it down, as a primary and sacred principle, that 
any man who enters any territory that we may 
acquire in Africa, is from that moment " Free, and 
discharged of all manner of slavery," and that Great 
Britain pledges herself to defend him from all, 
civilized or savage, who may attempt to recapture 
him. That one resolution will do much to give us 
labourers, — to obtain for us the affections of the po- 
pulation, — to induce them to imitate and adopt our 
customs, — and to settle down to the pursuits of peace- 
ful industry and productive agriculture. 

No more daring attempt was ever made to form a 
settlement in Africa than that undertaken by Captain 
Beaver, near the close of the last century. His object 
was to establish a colony on the island of Bulama. 
Notwithstanding the errors into which he fell, and 
which proved fatal to his expedition, yet was it 
highly creditable to him, that at a time when the 
abolition of the Slave Trade had made but little way 
in the public mind, and when the extinction of slavery 
was not thought of, he should have perceived, and 
applied principles so wise and so humane as those we 


find scattered in his interesting volume. His Narra- 
tive proves two points, — first, that the natives of 
Africa may be led to prefer legitimate commerce 
to slave-dealing. Secondly, that they were very 
willing; to labour for wages. 

The chief dissimilarity which first struck the Afri- 
cans, in the conduct of this and that of other European 
settlements, was their refusal to purchase slaves. 

" This they could not account for ; neither were 
they altogether pleased with it at first ; for, when 
negotiating with Niobana for the purchase of the 
Biafara territory, he said, that ' It was very hard that 
we would not buy his slaves !' Having made him 
comprehend that our intention was rather to cultivate 
the earth than to trade ; but that we should, notwith- 
standing, at all times, trade with him for wax, ivory, 
clothes, &c, — in short, that Ave would buy every thing 
which he had to sell, except only slaves, whom he 
could always dispose of as he had been accustomed to 
do heretofore — he appeared satisfied ; although he 
could not comprehend why we would not purchase 
the one, nor why we cultivated the other." 

By their steadiness in this point, they got the 
character of being the first white men the natives had 
ever heard of " who could not do bad." And " from 
no circumstance," says Captain Beaver, " did we 
derive so much benefit, as from our not dealing in 


The natives not long after found out that these 
new colonists not only refused to purchase slaves, 


but that no man in their settlement was permitted to 
be considered in the light of a slave. The two first 
who came to Captain Beaver were full of suspicion ; 
they remained with him a little more than three 
weeks., and then signified their desire to depart at 
the time when their help was most needed. Captain 
Beaver wisely did not even ask them to remain, but 
paid them their wages, and dismissed them with pre- 
sents. Their report induced others to take service, 
and he never after wanted grumetas : in one year, he 
employed nearly two hundred of them. The Afri- 
cans of these parts always, he says, go armed, and 
never voluntarily place themselves in the power of 
even a friendly tribe ; but when they had once ascer- 
tained that these English colonists neither bought 
nor sold slaves ; that every man was paid for the full 
value of his labour, and suffered to depart whenever 
he chose, " They came to me unarmed," says Cap- 
tain Beaver, " and remained for weeks and months 
at a time on the island, without the least suspicion of 
my ever intending them evil." And this, though he 
was occasionally obliged to inflict punishment on 
individuals of their number for disorderly conduct. 
" Thus," he says, " by the negative merit of treating 
these people with common integrity, was I not only 
able to acquire their confidence, and, by their labour, 
to do almost all that was done upon the island, but 
also to overturn one of their strongest prejudices 
against us, and to convert their well-grounded 
suspicion of fraud and deceit in all Europeans, into 


esteem and respect for the character of a white 

I cannot dismiss the work of Captain Beaver, with- 
out expressing my satisfaction in finding, that he, like 
others whom I have named, gathers from his expe- 
rience on the coast of Africa that the Slave Trade is 
to be overthrown by fair dealing, and by the wealth 
which is to be raised from the soil. " One great 
motive of the Africans in making slaves, indeed I 
may say the only one, is to procure European goods ; 
slaves are the money, the circulating medium, with 
which African commerce is carried on : they have no 
other. If, therefore, we could substitute another, 
and at the same time that other be more certain and 
more abundant, the great object in trading in slaves 
will be done away. This may be done by the 
produce of the earth. "Let the native chiefs be once 
convinced that the labour of a free native in culti- 
vating the earth may produce him more European 
goods in one year than he could have purchased if 
he had sold him for a slave, and he will no longer 
seek to make slaves to procure European commo- 
dities, but will cultivate the earth for that pur- 
pose." And this is the testimony which he bears 
to African industry, and to the facility of procuring 
labour: — 

" I know that those who choose always to see the 
African character in its worst light will probably say 
lliiit they never will be induced voluntarily to labour ; 
and that I betray a total ignorance of it, in supposing 


that they can ever be brought to cultivate the earth 
for wages. That assertion may be made ; but my 
answer is, ' Put it to the test.' And I moreover say 
that, as far as my little knowledge of the Africans will 
enable me to judge, I have no doubt of their readily 
cultivating the earth for hire, whenever Europeans 
will take the trouble so to employ them. I never 
saw men work harder, more willingly, or regularly, 
generally speaking, than those free natives whom I 
employed upon the island of Bulama. What induced 
them to do so ? Their desire of European commo- 
dities in my possession, of which they knew that they 
would have the value of one bar at the end of a week, 
or four at the end of a month. Some of them 
remained at labour for months ere they left me ; 
others, after having left me, returned : they knew 
that the labour was constant, but they also knew that 
their reward was certain. I think, therefore, that 
as far as my experience goes, I am warranted in 
saying that the Africans are not averse to labour, 
unless those in the neighbourhood of Bulama are 
unlike the rest of their species. So much as to the 
question of labour. " # 

If I have quoted at unusual length from Captain 
Beaver's work, it is because here is testimony upon 
which no shade of suspicion can rest. This work 
was published before a word had been uttered upon 
the controversy, as to free and slave labour ; and it 
comes from a gentleman who took nothing upon the 
* Beaver's African Memoranda, p. 385. 


authority of others, but formed his opinions from his 
own personal experience in Africa. 

I shall subjoin in the Appendix further proof, on 
the authority of General Turner, Colonel Denham, 
and Major Ricketts, who also spoke from what they 
saw at Sierra Leone, as to the disposition of Africans 
to work for wages.* 

The Rev. W. Fox, missionary at McCarthy's Island, 
whom I have already quoted, says, " The East- 
ern Negroes, .... come here and hire themselves as 
labourers for several months, and, with the articles 
they receive in payment, barter them again on their 
way home for more than their actual value on 
this island." In the journal of the same gentleman, 
just received, under date of April, 1838, he writes 
thus : " I have to-day paid off all the labourers who 
had been employed on the mission-ground, and have 
hired about eighty more, with three overseers ; many 
others applied for work, and I should have felt a 
pleasure in engaging them, but that I wished to keep 
the expenses within moderate bounds." 

It thus appears that free labour is to be obtained 
in Africa, even under present circumstances, if we 
will but pay the price for it, and that there is no neces- 
sity at all for that system of coerced labour, which 
no necessity could justify. I am aware that I have 
trespassed on the patience of many of my readers, 
who require no arguments against slavery ; but I have; 
already expressed, and continue to feel, if there be 
* Vide Appendix C. 


danger anywhere in the plan for the cultivation of 
Africa, it lies in this point. And I wish the ques- 
tion of slavery to be definitively settled, and our prin- 
ciples to be resolved on, in such a way as shall render 
it impossible for us to retract them, before a single 
step is taken, or a shilling of property invested in the 
attempt to grow sugar and cotton in Africa. 

I shall here introduce the consideration of two 
other points, which though they cannot precisely be 
classed as principles, yet are nearly akin to them, and 
deserve our very serious attention. 

The proposal of a settlement in Africa, necessarily 
recalls to mind our vast empire in India ; and, surely, 
no sober-minded statesman would desire to see re- 
newed, in another quarter of the globe, the career 
we have run in the East. 

I entirely disclaim any disposition to erect a new 
empire in Africa. Remembering what has now been 
disclosed, of the affliction of that quarter of the globe, 
and of the horrors and abominations which every spot 
exhibits, and every hour produces, it would be the 
extreme of selfish cruelty to let a question so moment- 
ous be decided with an eye to our own petty interests ; 
but there is another view of the case, — it would also 
be the most extreme folly to allow ourselves to swerve 
one iota from its right decision, by any such indirect 
and short-sighted considerations. 

What is the value to Great Britain of the sove- 
reignty of a few hundred square miles in Benin, or 
Eboe, as compared with that of bringing forward 


into the market of the world millions of customers, 
who may be taught to grow the raw material which 
we require, and who require the manufactured 
commodities which we produce ? The one is a 
trivial and insignificant matter ; the other is a sub- 
ject worthy the most anxious solicitude of the most 
accomplished statesmen. 

It appears to me, however, that the danger of our 
indulging any thirst for dominion is rather plausible 
than real. In the first place, the climate there for- 
bids the employment of European armies, if armies 
indeed formed any part of my plan, which they do 
not. I look forward to the employment, almost 
exclusively, of the African race. A few Europeans 
may be required in some leading departments ; but 
the great body of our agents must have African 
blood in their veins, and of course to the entire exclu- 
sion of our troops. 

2dly. In Asia, there was accumulated treasure to 
tempt our cupidity : in Africa, there is none. Asia 
was left to the government of a company : the Afri- 
can establishments will, of course, be regularly sub- 
jected to parliamentary supervision. Our encroach- 
ments upon Asia were made at a time, when little 
general attention was bestowed, or sympathy felt, for 
the sufferings and wrongs of a remote people. Now, 
attention is awake on such topics. India stands as a 
beacon to warn us against extended dominion ; and 
if there were not, as I believe there are, better prin- 
ciples among our statesmen, there would be a check 


to rapacity, and a shield for the weak, in the wakeful 
commiseration of the public. 

I may add, that, were the danger as great as some 
imagine, it would have disclosed itself ere this. The 
French have had for some time a settlement on the 
Senegal; the Danes on the Rio Volta; the Dutch on 
the Gold Coast ; the Portuguese at Loango ; the Ame- 
ricans at Cape Mesurado, and the English at Sierra 
Leone, in the Gambia, and on the Gold Coast ; and I 
know not that there has been upon the part of any of 
these a desire manifested to raise an empire in Central 
Africa. Certainly, there has been none on the part 
of the British : on the contrary, I think there is some 
reason to complain that our government has been too 
slow, at least for the welfare of Africa, in accepting 
territory which has been voluntarily offered to us, and 
in confirming the treaties which have been made by 
our officers. We have been in possession of Sierra 
Leone not very far short of half a century ; and I am 
not aAvare that it can be alleged that any injury has 
been thereby inflicted upon the natives. 

Lastly. There is this consideration, and to me it 
seems conclusive : — Granting that the danger to 
African liberty is as imminent as I consider it to be 
slight, still the state of the country is such, that, 
change as it may, it cannot change for the worse. 

The other point to which I would call attention is, 
the encouragement which may be afforded to the infant 
cultivation of Africa, by promoting the admission and 
use of its productions. I shall not advert to the 


assistance which we may fairly expect from the Le- 
gislature in this respect, when the subject is brought 
under its consideration in all its important bearings ; 
with the example of France and the United States 
before them, I cannot doubt that Government will 
introduce such measures as a liberal and enlightened 
policy will dictate. But individuals have it in their 
power to contribute largely to the encouragement of 
African produce, by a preference that will cost them 
little. Let them recollect that for centuries we were 
mainly instrumental in checking cultivation in Africa : 
we ransacked the whole continent in order to procure 
labourers for the West Indies. Is it, then, too much 
to ask, now when we are endeavouring to raise her 
from the gulf of wretchedness into which we have 
contributed to plunge her, that while she is struggling 
with enormous difficulties, we should force her in- 
dustry and excite her to unfold her capabilities by 
anxiously encouraging the consumption of her pro- 
duce ? 




" Wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence ; but the excellency of know- 
ledge is, that Wisdom giveth Life to them that have it." — Ecclesiastes, vii. \2» 

" That peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be 
established among them for all generations." — Liturgy. 

I now come to the point which I deliberately con- 
sider to be beyond all others momentous in the ques- 
tion before us. I lay great stress upon African com- 
merce, more upon the cultivation of soil, but most 
of all upon the elevation of the native mind. 

This is a wide subject; it embraces the considera- 
tion of some difficult questions. They resolve them- 
selves into these : 1st. Are the Africans able and 
willing to learn? 2d. TVhat ) and how shall we teach 
them ? 

It is true that the inhabitants of Africa are in the 
very depths of ignorance and superstition ; but, still, 
there are amongst them redeeming symptoms, how- 
ever slight, sufficient to prove that the fault is not in 
their nature, but in their condition ; and to teach us, 
that when we shall have put down that prodigious evil 
which forbids all hope of their improvement, it is abun- 
dantly possible that the millions of Africa may assume 


their place among civilized and Christian nations ; and 
that a region, whose rank luxuriance now poisons the 
atmosphere, may he brought under subjection to the 
plough, may yield a wealthy harvest to its occupants, 
and open a new world, as exciting to our skill, capital, 
and enterprise, as was America on its first discovery. 
In these views it is a satisfaction to me that I can 
lean upon an authority so stable as that of Mr. Pitt. 
Mr. Wilberiorce, writing to Mr. Stephen in 1817, 
says : "Reflection renders me more and more confi- 
dent that we shall, or, at least, that they who live a 
few years will, see the beginnings of great reforms 
in the West Indies, as well as opening prospects of 
civilization in Africa. In the latter instance I must 
say, even to you, that Pitt's death has been an irre- 
parable loss to us. He had truly grand views on the 
topic of our moral and humane debt to Africa." * 
And there is a speech on record, of which Mr. 
Sheridan said at the time, " If Mr. Pitt were always 
thus to speak, the opposition could not survive a fort- 
night ;" and of which Mr. Fox said 1 5 years afterwards, 
that it was "the most powerful eloquence that ever 
adorned those walls ; a speech not of vague and showy 
ornament, but of solid and irresistible argument;" in 
that speech Mr. Pitt said, " Some of us may live to 
see a reverse of that picture, from which we now 
turn our eyes with shame and regret ; we may live to 
behold the natives of Africa engaged in the calm 
occupations of industry, and in the pursuit of a just 
and legitimate commerce ; we may behold the beams 
* Wilbcr force's Life, vol. iv. p. 306. 


of science and philosophy breaking in upon their land, 
which, at some happier period, in still later times, may 
blaze with full lustre, and, joining their influence to 
that of pure religion, may illuminate and invigorate 
the most distant extremities of that immense con- 

In the first part of this work I have given a descrip- 
tion of the deadly superstition which prevails in Africa, 
and of the effect it produces. The reader is requested 
to carry a sense of this most miserable state of things 
along with him, while we are considering what can be 
done towards the moral, intellectual, and religious im- 
provement of the people. 

Preliminary to this, I beg to call attention to cer- 
tain indications, — faint, no doubt, — but, considering 
the difficulties and impediments to improvement in 
Africa, encouraging indications, — of a capability for 
better things ; 

And also, to show that there are facilities for giving 
instruction to the inhabitants, which hold out the 
hope that our labours, if we shall be induced to make 
them, will not be in vain. 

Hence an argument for a mighty effort towards the 
moral and intellectual improvement of Africa, may 
be successfully derived. 

Before I proceed to these indications of capability, 
I must premise that a just judgment cannot be formed 
of the Africans without reference to the circumstances 
in which they are placed. Things which would be no 
proof at all of intelligence in an European, who had 

2 H 


been taught the truths of religion, and been under 
the influence of a certain measure of refinement and 
civilization, denote positive intellect in an African 
savage from his birth, imbibing the grossest super- 
stition, and bereaved of motives to action by his inse- 

JVhat Allowance then should be made in favour of 
the Negro ? 

When we find that at this period of the world there 
are nations not very remote from the centre of civili- 
zation, who have as yet learned the use of no agricul- 
tural implement but the hoe, and who, eager for 
wealth, have not energy enough to till their land, or 
work their mines, or in any way to avail themselves of 
the prodigal bounty of nature, we are apt to rush to 
the obvious but fallacious conclusion, that they are 
not men in the ordinary sense of the term, but beings 
of a stunted intellect, and of a degraded order. 

This false conception has been the cause of infinite 
suffering to the negro race. During the whole con- 
troversy on the subject of slavery, it was the great 
defence and apology of the planters; it constituted 
their whole case. They triumphantly pointed at the 
idleness of the negro, and extracted from it a justifi- 
cation of the necessary severity with which he was 
treated. The error has not as yet been dissipated ; 
many benevolent persons, judging of the African 
under his present aspect, despair of his improvement. 


It will serve better than a thousand arguments to 
dispel this idea of inferiority in the African, and to 
induce us to make large allowances for him, notwith- 
standing his existing debasement, if I produce before 
my readers individuals of European extraction, of a 
race which amongst Europeans is supposed to stand 
in the highest rank for energy and intelligence, who 
have been, in the space of a few months, corrupted 
and debased by oppression. When Englishmen are 
masters, and Africans their slaves, we charge them 
with sloth, deception, thievishness ; and we rate them 
as another and an inferior order in the family of man. 
I am going to reverse the picture, and to show that 
when Africans are masters and Englishmen their 
slaves, they reckon us a poor, pitiful, degraded race 
of mortals ; inveterate thieves, and proverbial liars ; 
too lazy to work, too stupid to learn, too base to be 
credited ; hardly sensible of the obligation of an 
oath ; and fit only to be hewers of wood and drawers 
of water to the true believers, to whom God, in an- 
swer to their prayers, has been pleased to send 


" It may from many a blunder free us, 
To see ourselves as others see us." 

Such, as I shall' show, is the reproach in each 
case; and in each case I doubt not that it is just. 
Let Slavery be imposed on man of whatever race, that 
man is found a poor, tame, degenerate creature. The 
black, being a slave, thieves ; so does the white. He 
lies; so does the white. The black will not do a 



stroke of work, except under the terror of the lash ; 
just so the white. The fact, in both cases, is true ; 
and the fallacy lies, not in an erroneous opinion of 
the demerits of the slave, but in this — that each 
forms his estimate on a being corrupted by oppres- 
sion. He forgets that it is natural that the man 
reared in slavery should be tainted with slavish vices ; 
that, denied access to knowledge, it is natural he 
should be ignorant ; that, wanting a motive, he neces- 
sarily wants perseverance. 

Before we can pronounce a man, or a race of men, 
desperately wicked, and incorrigibly idle, they must 
have their fair chances as men — we must give them 
a motive for their exertions. We must associate 
with the fatigues we call for, a sense of personal 
advantage to spring from them; we must awaken 
whatever there may be of native vigour sleeping in 
their bosoms, and we must release them from the 
trammels which incumber their progress, if we desire 
to see them advance with rapidity. 

One corroboration of this doctrine is to be found 
in the history of Adams, who was wrecked upon the 
coast of Africa, made a slave to the inhabitants, and 
was carried to Timbuctoo. Adams was a British 
sailor, and our consul at Mogadore thus describes 
him at the termination of his captivity : — " Like 
most other Christians, after a long captivity and 
severe treatment among the Arabs, he appeared, at 
his first arrival, exceedingly stupid and insensible."* 
* Adams's Residence at Timbuctoo. Iutroil. p. 24. 


But a still more forcible illustration of the truth of 
this theory is to be found in the very interesting nar- 
rative of the loss of the Oswego, on the coast of Africa, 
and the enslavement of Captain Paddock and his 
crew. He was a man on whose statement every 
reliance could be placed. De Witt Clinton, governor 
of New York, thus writes to him, October 1817, — 
" I have been urged by several respectable gentle- 
men, who, together with myself, repose the utmost 
confidence in your candour and veracity, and who 
have been a long time acquainted with the respect- 
ability of your standing in society, to solicit from you 
a statement of your sufferings and adventures." In 
compliance with this application, the narrative was 

Captain Paddock was a Quaker, high in repute 
with the Society of Friends, by whom no man will 
be respected who is not strictly veracious. He him- 
self gives proof of the effect which slavery had upon 
his own morals. He furnishes an elaborate descrip- 
tion of his various modes of robbing and deceiving 
his master. He steals his corn, his tobacco, his fruit, 
his boat. He makes no scruple of telling falsehoods 
out of number to his master, and of purloining every- 
thing he could lay his hands on. 

Of this, the following will serve as an illustration : 
— " I was soon after called away to furnish tobacco 
for a few who were smoking under the shade of the 
walls. When they had done, my second mate, who 
was as fond of tobacco as myself, suggested a query 
as to the propriety of robbing the pouch of a little. 


We did so, and divided the spoil among such of our 
company as were tobacco-chewers. Not long after, 
some new company having come, I was again called 
upon to bring the pouch ; and the fellow, on opening 
it, charged me with stealing from it. Against that 
charge I defended myself as well as I could. For 
some time I was unwilling to make the hazardous 
attempt again ; but at last, while the Arabs were all 
lying asleep under the shade, I proposed to my second 
mate that we two should go off together to some dis- 
tance, where we might have an opportunity of taking 

some out in such a manner as not to be suspected. 

* # * # * 

" We sat down in the finest piece of wheat I ever 
saw, and commenced the business that we went upon, 
taking particular notice of the turns of the string and 
knot of the pouch, in which, when we had unrolled 
it, we found two little sticks, laid in such a manner 
as to detect me in my next attempt upon it, and 
doubtless for that purpose. Having opened the 
tobacco, we took out as much of it as we durst, and 
replaced the little sticks as exactly as possible, when 
we rolled it up again, putting round it the string just 
as we found it, and hurried out of the field." * 

The Africans having discovered that their captives 
were exceedingly idle, resorted to exactly our own 
methods of procuring (what was formerly so much 
dwelt upon in this country) " steady labour in the 
sun." They beat them, they starved them ; they 
said to them, " If you will not work, neither shall 

* Loss of the Oswego, p. 181. 


you eat;" and even threatened to shoot them for 
their indolence. Captain Paddock says, " Early in 
the morning of the 27th, the sickles that the Arabs 
brought with them were made ready, and all of us 
were ordered out to work." This he refused, for 
which he received their curses and threats, but de- 
termined not to heed them. " This controversy lasted 
an hour, and they got my men into the field at last. 
Some of them could handle a sickle as well as the 
Arabs themselves ; and I told one of them (the man 
that I was fearful would be of the most service to 
our enslavers) to cut his own fingers, as if by acci- 
dent. They all understood my meaning, and it was 
not long after my men had been dragged into the 
field before I found they were doing very well ; 
I mean well for our own purposes. Some by acci- 
dent, and some intentionally, perhaps, cut their 
fingers and hands with their sickles, and made loud 
complaints ; while others, who were gathering up 
the grain for binding, did it in such a wasteful 
manner, that their work was a real loss to the owner. 
Upon this the Arabs took away the sickles from those 
that had been reaping, and set them to haul the 
grain up by the roots. They did so, but laid it in 
the worst form that was possible. By managing 
things in this way, they beat the Ishmaelites, and 
got the victory."* 

Their masters, finding that all their efforts to over- 
come the indolence of their Christian slaves were 
ineffectual, directed their vengeance against Pad- 
* Loss of the Oswego, p. 157 to 159. 


dock, saying, " If Rias works, his men will, for he is 
the head devil among them." I 

It is curious to remark that the opinions the Afri- 
cans entertained of us bore a strong resemblance to 
the doctrine, now I trust obsolete, but not long ago 
in full vogue amongst ourselves, of the inferiority of 
the African race. All who took an interest in the 
question of negro emancipation must remember the 
deep prejudice which was felt by the white popula- 
tion of the West Indies against any approach towards 
social intercourse with those who had black blood in 
their veins. I have heard of a clergyman who was 
persecuted for admitting persons of colour to the 
Sacrament at the same time with the whites ; of a 
gentleman who was banished from society for the 
crime of permitting his own coloured daughters to 
ride with him in his carriage through the public 
streets ; and upon the occasion of two gentlemen of 
colour being admitted under the gallery of the House 
of Commons when their own case was under discus- 
sion, I heard a member of Parliament express in a 
very animated speech his disgust at the insult thus 
offered to the representatives of the people : " He had 
hoped never to have seen the day when the laws of 
decency and of nature might thus be trampled on." 
We are not the only persons who have insisted on this 
aristocracy of complexion. Paddock and others have 
recorded that " swinish-looking dogs and white- 
skinned devils were the appellations which were fami- 
liarly applied to them by Africans. " " The Arabs 
were well received here ; but we were more ridiculed 


than ever we had been, receiving an abundance of 
the vile epithets so common to these people, who had 
ever viewed us as a poor degraded set of beings, 
scarcely fit to live in the world. The old man 
(Aliomed) was seated opposite the gate at the time. 
He spoke to me, and bade me sit down ; I sat down, 
but, happening to sit near him, he ordered me away 
to a greater distance, saying, he did not allow a Chris- 
tian dog to be so near him ; I obeyed, and moved 
off a little. The women were foremost in inso- 
lence and abuse; but their children were not far 
behind them."* " They frequently spoke of us, but 
in such a manner as often to remind me of the old 
adage, i Listeners seldom hear any good of them- 
selves.' That saying was verified here completely. 
The heads of their discourse concerning us were,'!' 

* Loss of the Oswego, page 208. 

t About the same estimate ' of negroes was at one time enter- 
tained by British subjects. " An Act for the Security of the 
Subject" was passed in Bermuda in 1730. A passage of it runs 
thus : — " Whereas, they (negroes, Indians, mulattos) being, for 
brutishness of their nature, no otherwise valued or esteemed 
amongst us than as our goods and chattels, or other personal 
estates ; be it therefore enacted, that if any person or persons 
whatsoever, within these islands, being owner or possessor of any 
negroes, Indians, mulattos, or other slaves, shall, in the deserved 
correction or punishment of his, her, or their slave or slaves, for 
crimes or offences by them committed or supposed to be committed, 
accidentally happen to kill any such slave or slaves, the aforesaid 
owner or possessor shall not be liable to any imprisonment, arraign- 
ment, or subject to any penalty or forfeiture whatsoever ; but if 
any person or persons whatsoever shall maliciously and wilfully 
kill and destroy any slave or slaves, then the aforesaid person or 


that we were a poor, miserable, degraded race of 
mortals, doomed to the everlasting punishment of 
hell fire after death, and, in this life, fit only for the 
company of dogs ; that our country was so wretch- 
edly poor that we were always looking out abroad for 
sustenance, and ourselves so base as to go to the coast 
of Guinea for slaves to cultivate our land, being not 
only too lazy to cultivate it ourselves, but too stupid 
to learn how to do it; and finally, that if all Chris- 
tians were to be obliged to live at home, their race 
would soon be extinct;" and "an old man swore 
that we were not worthy of a mouthful of bread."* 
" They think that there are no people in the world 
so active and brave as themselves, nor any so well 
informed ; and they proudly say that they are at war 
with all the world, and fear nobody." f 

Upon one occasion, the Arab appears to have had 
the best of the argument. " Ahomed made some 
inquiries of me respecting the manufactories of my 
own country, which I answered as well as I could ; 
and I took the liberty to tell him how much better 
he would be treated than we had been, if by any ac- 
cident he should be thrown on our shores ; that, in 
such an event, instead of being held in bondage, and 
sold from tribe to tribe, our sultan would have him 
conducted back to his native country in safety. He 
heard me out, and then warmly retorted upon me as 
follows : — ' You say, if I were in your country, your 

persons shall forfeit and pay unto our Sovereign Lord the King 
the full sum of tin pounds current money." 

* Loss of the Oswego, p. 148. t Ibid. 144, 


people would treat me better than I treat you. There 
is no truth in you. If I were there, I should be 
doomed to perpetual slavery, and be put to the hardest 
labour in tilling your ground. You are too lazy to 
work yourselves in your fields, and therefore send 
your ships to the negro coast, and, in exchange for 
the useless trinkets with which you cheat the poor 
negroes, you take away ship-loads of them to your 
country, from which never one returns ; and had your 
own ship escaped our shore, you yourself would now 
be taking the poor negroes to everlasting slavery.' 

" Although the purpose of my voyage had been 
very different from what Ahomed suspected, yet I felt 
the sting of this reproach in a manner that I can 
never forget." 

Upon another occasion, Ahomed drew no very 
flattering comparison between the conduct of Christ- 
ians and that of the followers of the Prophet. " The 
negroes are men that you Christian dogs have taken 
from the Guinea country, a climate that suits them 
best. You are worse than Arabs, who enslave you 
only when it is God's will to send you to our coast. 
Never, I must confess, did I feel a reproach more 

The distinction made by the Arab between the 
conduct of Mussulmans and Christians, was as just as 
it was ingenious. Their creed permits the disciples 
of the true Prophet to enslave the heretics ; whereas, 
our purer faith says, u Whatsoever ye would that 
men should do to you, do ye even so to them ;" and 
* Loss of the Oswego, p. 112. 


abounds in noble passages, denouncing God's wrath 
against the oppressor, and particularly that oppressor 
who is a man-stealer, and " who taketh his neigh- 
bour's labour without wages, and giveth him nought 
for his work." 

We remember the time when a negro slave who 
absconded was convicted and punished as a thief. 
He had run away with his master's chattels, i. e. his 
own body. The Arab seems to have adopted a some- 
what similar train of reasoning. " After a few 
minutes' silence," says Captain Paddock, " Ahomed 
accosted me in the following manner : — ' There is 
no confidence to be placed in Christians ; for when- 
ever they come ashore on our coast, they bury their 
money in the sand, as you yourself have done, to 
prevent it from falling into the hands of the true 
believers. It is our property. We pray earnestly 
to the Almighty God to send Christians ashore here : 
he hears our prayers, and often sends us good ships ; 
and if you did as you ought to do, we should have the 
benefit of them."* 

It is very curious that, in the course of their jour- 
ney, they fell in with a tribe of African abolitionists 
and Mahommedan quakers. At one town their re- 
ception was different to what it had usually been. 
" I inquired," said Paddock, " who they were. He 
replied, ' They belong to a sect called Foulah. 
They will not mix with the other inhabitants, but 
choose to live altogether by themselves ; and are so 
stupid, that if the Emperor of Morocco should march 
* Loss of the Oswego, p. 190. 


an army to cut off the whole race, they would not de- 
fend themselves, hut would die like fools, as they are.' 
I asked him if they used fire-arms. ' No,' said he, 
* they make no use of them ; and if God was pleased 
to send a Christian ship ashore near them, they would 
neither seize upon the goods nor the men, nor would 
they huy a slave of any kind.' I asked him if they 
were numerous ; and he answered, ' No, they are not 
numerous ; but the dwellings you see on the sides of 
the hills yonder are theirs, and in many other places 
they are to be found ; and wherever they are, they 
always keep together by themselves.' Finally, I 
asked him if they were Mahometans. 'Yes,' he 
answered, ' they are, or else we would destroy them ; 
but they are poor ignorant dogs, and little better 
than the Christians.' "* 

I should feel myself called upon to apologise to my 
readers for these lengthened quotations, were it not 
important to show that Europeans and Christians 
are not proof against that moral poison which belongs 
to oppression. Let a man, European, American, or 
African, imbibe that taint, and its virulence will be 
manifest in the stupidity of his understanding, in the 
deadness of his moral sense ; it will be visible to the 
eye of the most careless observer, even in the external 
features and carriage of its victim. Reduced to the con- 
dition of a slave, he will droop and relax, and become 
good for nothing, or next to nothing. We see that 
a race fortified by early association, by the resources 
of intellect and education, and by the elevating prin- 
* Loss of the Oswego, p. 199. 


ciples of Christianity, placed in precisely the same 
circumstances as the African, exhibits precisely the 
same degree of degeneracy. And can we wonder 
that they who have so long been the victims of every 
species of cruelty, should not as yet have put forth 
those generous qualities and that higher order of in- 
tellect which will not grow, except in a genial atmo- 
sphere, and on a favouring soil ? Does not this rescue 
the African from the supposed stigma of inferiority ? 
Franklin defines a slave to be " an animal who eats 
as much, and works as little, as possible." The 
black, the brown, the red, the white races of men, 
are alike indolent when they want a motive for exer- 
tion. " Ye be idle, ye be idle," was the reproach of 
Pharaoh to his Israelitish bondsmen ; " ye be idle, 
ye be idle," says the master to the slave in all nations 
and in all ages. 

" 'T is liberty alone that gives the flow'r 
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume, 
And we are weeds without it. 

I now proceed to the enumeration of the symptoms 
which lead me to hope that in due time the African 
races may be excited to industry, ingenuity, and 

I admit that on the coast there is a belt of slave- 
trading chiefs, who, at present, find it more pro- 
fitable to supply the slave-markets than to conduct 
a legitimate commerce. Little business can be done 
when there are any slavers at their stations, — indeed, 
llic fair traders are always compelled to wait until 
the human cargoes are completed. These chiefs 


not only obstruct the fair trader on the coast, 
but as much as possible prevent his access to the 
interior. Insecurity, demoralisation, and degrada- 
tion are the results ; but as we recede from the 
coast, and ascend the rivers, comparative civilisation is 
found, industry becomes apparent, and no inconsider- 
able skill in many useful arts is conspicuous. All 
travellers have observed the superior cultivation, and 
comparatively dense population of the inland regions. 
Laird, in ascending the Niger, writes, " Both banks 
of the river are thickly studded with towns and vil- 
lages ; I could count seven from the place where we 
lay aground; and between Eboe and the confluence of 
the rivers, there cannot be less than 40, one generally 
occurring every two or three miles. The principal 
towns are Attah and Addakudda ; and averaging the 
inhabitants at 1,000, will, I think, very nearly give 
the population of the banks. * * * The 
general character of the people is much superior to 
that of the swampy country between them and the 
coast. They are shrewd, intelligent, and quick in 
their perception, milder in their disposition, and 
more peaceable in their habits." Oldfield says 
(vol. i. p. 163,) that, from the great number of towns 
they passed, he is inclined to suppose that the popu- 
lation must be very dense indeed. And (vol. ii. p. 
17,) ™ no sooner does the traveller approach one town, 
than he discovers three or four, and sometimes five 
others." Park speaks (vol. ii. p. 80,) of the " hills 
cultivated to the very summit, and the surplus grain 
employed in purchasing luxuries from native traders." 


Laing speaks (p. 156) with delight of " the extensive 
meadows, clothed in verdure, and the fields from which 
the springing rice and ground-nuts were sending forth 
their green shoots, not inferior in beauty and health 
to the corn-fields of England, interspersed here and 
there with a patch of ground studded with palm- 
trees." Tuckey reports (p. 342) a similar improvement 
in the face of the country at some distance up the 
Congo, where he found towns and villages following 
each other in rapid succession. Ashmun, writing from 
Liberia, says, " An excursion of some of our people 
into the country, to the distance of about 140 miles, 
has led to a discovery of the populousness and com- 
parative civilisation of this district of Africa, never 
till within a few months even conjectured by myself. 
We are situated within 50 leagues of a country, in 
which a highly improved agriculture prevails ; where 
the horse is a common domestic animal, where ex- 
tensive tracts of land are cleared and enclosed, where 
every article absolutely necessary to comfortable life 
is produced by the skill and industry of the inhabit- 
ants; where the Arabic is used as a written language 
in the ordinary commerce of life ; where regular and 
abundant markets and fairs are kept ; and where a 
degree of intelligence and practical refinement dis- 
tinguishes the inhabitants, little compatible with the 
personal qualities attached, in the current notions of 
the age, to the people of Guinea." * 

The wants of the people in Africa must not, any 
more than their industry and enterprise, be judged of 
* From Miss. Regr. for 1828, p. 335. 


by what is observable on the coast. The Moors, 
who have preceded us in the interior, have imparted 
more knowledge of commercial transactions than we 
may suppose. Captain Clapperton told Mr. Hamilton 
that he could have negotiated a bill on the Treasury 
of London at Soccatoo. The Moors have introduced 
the use of the Arabic in mercantile affairs ; and that 
language is nearly as useful in Africa, as the French 
language is in Europe. In 1812, Mr. Willis, for- 
merly British Consul for Senegambia, stated his belief 
that in the warehouses of Timbuctoo were accumu- 
lated the manufactures of India and Europe, and that 
the immense population of the banks of the Niger 
are thence supplied. A Moorish merchant reported 
to Mr. Jackson, that between Mushgrelia and Houssa 
there were more boats employed on the river than 
between Rosetta and Cairo ; and that the fields of that 
country were enclosed and irrigated by canals and 
water-wheels,* — a demonstrative proof of the activity, 
industry, and civilisation of the people. 

" Thirty years' experience," says an African mer- 
chant (Mr. Johnston), " of the natives, derived from 
living amongst them for the whole of that period, 
leaves a strong impression on my mind that, with 
due encouragement, they wou Id readily be led to the 
cultivation of the soil, which I think in most places 
capable of growing anything." Mr. Laird, in a letter 
to me, observes, — " As to the character of the inhabit- 
ants, I can only state that, if there is one characteristic 
* Jackson's Timbuctoo, pp. 24, 38, and 427. 



that distinguishes an African from other uncivilised 
people, it is his love of, and eagerness for, traffic : men, 
women, and children trade in all directions. They have 
regular market-places where they bring the produce 
of their fields, their manufactures, their ivory, and 
everything they can sell. * * * At the Iccory-Mar- 
ket I have seen upwards of one hundred large 
canoes, each holding from ten to forty men, all 
trading peaceably together. I was informed by the 
natives that it was considered neutral ground, and 
that the towns at war with one another, attended the 
same market amicably." The industrious inhabit- 
ants of the Grain Coast supply Sierra Leone, and 
Liberia with the greatest portion of their food. 

One of the sub-agents of the Slave Trading Com- 
pany, which I have already noticed, thus writes to his 
principal from the town of Gotto, about ten leagues 
up the river Benin, of date 20th June, 1837: " I 
was astonished to see so large a market the day I 
arrived. The town is large and eligible ; there were 
at least 4000 persons at market with all sorts of com- 
modities for sale." 

Of their capabilities of improvement we may judge 
from the rude efforts of negroes transported from 
North America, or liberated from slave-ships at 
Sierra Leone. What these men have wanted, as 
Colonel Denham remarks, is " instruction, example, 
and capital ;" and he adds, " that, with the small 
amount of either that they have received, it is a sub- 
* Class A, 1838-9, p. 64. 


ject of astonishment to him that they have done what 
they have."— (Despatch, 21st May, 1829.) They 
supply the market of Freetown with plenty of fruit 
and vegetables, such as yams, cassada, Indian corn, 
ground-nuts, pine-apples, sugar-canes, &c, &c. 

Nearly the same account may be given of the exu- 
berant fertility of the eastern as of the western coast, 
and of the lucrative character of the commerce which 
might be there carried on were it not for the de- 
structive Slave Trade. I have been informed by 
the captain of a merchant- vessel who was long on the 
eastern coast, that before the Slave Trade absorbed 
the whole attention of the people, two merchant-ships 
used to be annually despatched from Lisbon, which 
for the most paltry outfit, brought home return car- 
goes of from 40,000/. to 60,000/.* 

Other testimonies might be added to show that 
the African is not wanting in those qualities which 
accompany civilisation, and he only requires that a 
right direction should given to his industry and intel- 
ligence, to qualify him for intercourse with the more 
refined European. 

* The gentleman who furnished this information, mentions the 
following articles of commerce on the eastern coast of Africa : — 
Gold, silver, copper, iron, ivory, horns, tallow, hides, skins, tor- 
toiseshell, ostrich-feathers, pearls, ambergris, amber, gums and 
various drugs, palm-oil, cocoa-nut oil, black whale-oil, sperm- 
oil, bees'-wax in great abundance, coffee, tobacco, indigo, corn, 
rice, &c. A most profitable trade might also be carried on in 
cowries, which abound on the coast, where he has purchased them 
at 4d. a-bushel ; on the western coast they are the current coin, 
and are told out by the hundred. All these articles find a ready 
market at Ceylon, Bombay, and Calcutta. 

2 i 2 


The eagerness with which the Timmanees entered 
into the laborious and fatiguing work of cutting, 
squaring, and floating to the trading stations the 
immense bodies of heavy teak timber exported froni 
Sierra Leone, is a convincing proof of their readi- 
ness to engage in any employment where they can 
get a reward, however small, for their labour. It 
is well known that during the time the timber trade 
was in activity^ several native towns were formed on 
the banks of the river, and many natives came from 
a distance up the country to engage in it. Timber 
was cut at the termination of the largest creeks at 
Port Logo, and even so far as Rokou, and floated 
down to Tombo, Bance Island, and Tasso. (Laing, 
p. 77.)* 

I have lately seen a portion of the Journal of the 
Rev. W. Fox, written at Macarthy's Island, in which, 
of date September 3, 1836, he mentions having given 
away a considerable number of Arabic Scriptures to 
Mandingoes, and to Serrawoollies, or Tiloboonkoes, 
as they are here more generally termed ; which lite- 
rally means Eastern people, as they come from the 
neighbourhood of, and beyond, Bondou, and are strict 
Mahommetans. They come here and hire themselves 

* " Twenty years ago," says Laird (vol. ii. p. 3G3), " African 
timber was unknown in the English market. There are now 
from 13,000 to 15,000 loads annually imported. In 1832 Mr. 
Forster, in a letter to Lord Goderich, stated the importation as 
high as ' from 15,000 to 20,000 loads, giving employment to 
20,000 tons of shipping annually.' From 3,000 to 4,000 loads 
of rod teak-wood are exported annually from the Gambia, " and 
tlic mahogany from that river is now much used for furniture, 


as labourers for several months, and with the articles 
they receive in payment barter them again on their 
way home for more than their actual value on this 

The Kroomen who inhabit Cape Palmas are a 
most extraordinary race of men. They neither sell 
nor allow themselves to be made slaves. These men 
leave their homes young, and work on hoard the 
trading vessels on the coast, or at Sierra Leone, 
Their attachment to their country is great, nor will 
they engage themselves for more than three years. 
" To my mind," says Mr. Laird, in the letter to me 
which I have before quoted, " these men appear 
destined by Providence to be the means of enabling 
Europeans to penetrate into the remotest parts of 
Africa by water. They are patient, enduring, faith- 
ful, easily kept in order, and brave to rashness when 
led by white men. Any number may be got at 
wages from two to four dollars per month." 

We thus find that little difficulty exists in pro- 
curing either labourers or seamen in Africa. 

To those disposed to make the necessary allow- 
ances, it is something to know that it has been 
remarked by many travellers, that the Africans are by 
no means devoid of aptitude and ingenuity in imi- 
tating European manufactures. Thus, at the island 
of Tombo Mr. Rankin* saAv the lock of a rifle which 
had been so well repaired by a Foulah, who had never 
seen any but the fractured one, that strict examina- 
tion was necessary to discover what part had been 

* Rankin, vol. i. p. 1 30. 


replaced. In Benin they make muskets, procuring 
only the locks from Europe ; and at the market of 
Jenne, DeCaillie observed gunpowder, of an inferior 
kind indeed to ours, but of home manufacture. In most 
parts of Africa the natives have some notion of work- 
ing metals.* They are acquainted with many dyes, 
and make much use of indigo. Colonel Denhamf says 
that the dark blue of the tobes (or tunic) worn in 
Bornou cannot be excelled in any part of the world ; 
and Kano is famed for its indigo establishments. I am 
told that they are also acquainted with a plant which 
produces a more brilliant blue than the indigo. From 
other vegetable substances they obtain other colours ; 
thus Wadstrom stated to the Committee of 1790, J 
that the whole army of the king of Darnel was clothed 
in cloth of native manufacture, dyed orange and 
brown. They also give a red or black dye to their 
leather ; for the tanning of which they use several 
kinds of bark. § 

In the year 1818 Mr. Clarkson had a conference, 
on the subject of the Slave Trade, with the Emperor 
Alexander at Aix-la-Chapelle. I have before me 
a private letter which he wrote to J, J. Gurney, 
Esq., describing the interview. He states that he 
exhibited articles in leather, in iron, in gold, in 
cotton cloth, mats, &c. " Having gone over all 

* The Rev. Mr. Fox has recently presented me with two gold 
rings of excellent workmanship, manufactured by a native of the 

t Clapperton, p. CO. 

I Abbrcv. Evid. vol. iii. p. 10. 

§ Rankin, vol. i. p, 132. Clapperton, p. 61, 62. 


the articles, the Emperor desired me to inform him 
whether he was to understand that these articles were 
made by the Africans in their own country, that is> 
in their own native villages ; or after they had arrived 
in America, where they would have an opportunity 
of seeing European manufactures. I replied, that 
such articles might be found in every African village, 
both on the coast and in the interior ; and that they 
were samples of their own ingenuity, without any 
connection with Europeans. ' Then,' said the Em- 
peror, ' you have given me a new idea of the state of 
these poor people. I was not aware that they were 
so far advanced in society. The works you have 
shown me are not the works of brutes, but of men 
endued with rational and intellectual powers, and 
capable of being brought to as high a degree of pro- 
ficiency as other men. Africa ought to be allowed 
to have a fair chance of raising her character in the 
scale of the civilised world.' I replied that it was 
the cruel traffic which had prevented her from rising 
to a level with other countries, and that it was really 
astonishing to me that the natives had, under its im- 
peding influence, arrived at the perfection which dis- 
played itself in the specimens he had just seen. The 
Emperor replied that it was equally astonishing to 
him, for that wherever the trade existed, a man could 
have no stimulus to labour ; being subject every hour 
to be taken away for a slave, he could not tell whether 
he should enjoy the fruits of it ; he was sure upon 
this principle that no man in Africa would sow more 
corn than was sufficient for his own consumption ; 


and so the same principle would prove an obstacle to 
any extraordinary cultivation of the works of art." 

The natives have some turn both for husbandry and 
gardening. In the more settled parts of the interior 
more pains are taken with cultivation, and even the 
slaves are said to work better than those on the coast. 
One of the best specimens of African agriculture is 
given by De Caillie, as observed by him at Kimba, on 
the road between Kankan and Jenne : — 

" I walked about in the neighbourhood of our 
habitation, and was delighted with the good cultiva- 
tion ; the natives raise little mounds of earth in which 
they plant their pistachios and yams ; and these 
mounds are arranged with some taste, all of the same 
height, and in rows. Rice and millet are sown in 
trenches ; as soon as the rainy season commences, they 
put in the seed around their habitations, and when 
the maize is in flower they plant cotton between the 
rows. The maize is ripe very early, and they then 
fill it up to make room for the other crop. If they 
do not plant cotton, they turn up the ground after the 
maize is got in, and transplant the millet into it, a 
practice which I never observed in Kankan. I was 
surprised to find these good people so laborious and 
careful ; on every side in the country I saw men and 
women weeding the fields. They grow two crops 
in the year on the same land ; I have seen rice in 
ear, and other rice by its side scarcely above the 

Agriculture is obviously one of the first ails to 
* Dc Caillic's Travels, vol. i. p. 293, 294. 


which we ought to direct their attention, not merely 
as furnishing the surest ground for our future com- 
mercial intercourse, but as tendingto bring the people 
into a condition of life most favourable for the recep- 
tion and spread of Christianity. When Mr. Read 
set forth to convert the Bushmen on the frontier of 
Cape colony, he is reported to have said, " We take a 
plough with us ; but let it be remembered, that in 
Africa the Bible and the plough go together." And 
in the same spirit should I desire that our operations 
might be carried on. At present, indeed, trade (the 
barter of such articles as the country spontaneously 
produces, and which may suffice for the limited demand 
Africa has hitherto known,) is likely to be more to 
their taste than an occupation requiring regular 
labour ; still the Cultivation which has arisen in many 
places on the stoppage of the Slave Trade, the ground- 
nuts grown for sale on the Gambia, the corn raised 
for exportation on the Gold Coast, the cutting of 
timber at Sierra Leone, and the preparation of palm- 
oil at the mouths of the Niger, prove that these people 
may be led to adopt new methods of earning wealth 
by honest industry. In fact I think it is evident that, 
as Sir R. Mends wrote in 1823 to the Admiralty, 
'• Avherever the traffic in slaves has been checked, the 
natives have shown a fair and reasonable desire for 
cultivating the productions of their country."* 

* It is impossible not to observe with regret how little these 
" desires" have met with encouragement from Europeans. Cap- 
tain Arabin, in describing the fertile banks of the river Cassa- 
manza, where the Portuguese have factories, thus refers to the 


The negro's aptitude for letters has, as we may 
well suppose, been still less exercised than his manual 
skill ; but we have proof, I think, that as a race, they 
are by no means deficient. On this point I may 
quote the words of an accurate observer, a Quaker 
lady,* who devoted much of her life to the promotion 
of African education, and at last sacrificed it in the 

" If my heart might speak from what my eye has 
seen, I would say I am fully convinced that it is not 
any inferiority in the African mind, or natural capa- 
city, that has kept them in so depressed a state in the 
scale of society, but the lack of those advantages which 
are, in the usual order of Providence, made use of as 
instruments for the advancement and improvement of 
human beings. Those disadvantages which they, in 
common with other uncivilised natives, have suffered, 
have with them been cruelly increased, by that oppres- 
sion, which, wherever exercised, has a natural ten- 
inhabitants, who, though now hardly to be distinguished from the 
aboriginal negroes, yet are partly descended from the first settlers. 
" They have remarkably fine cotton and indigo, and manufacture 
from them cloth of a dye and texture highly esteemed in Africa, 
and susceptible of much greater improvement ; but the Portuguese, 
neglecting these advantages and capabilities of a people who have 
a mixture of their own blood in their veins, direct their attention 
almost wholly to the traffic in slaves, and sell indiscriminately 
these ingenious artificers, with their wives and children, whenever 
they can catch them." — " State of the Slave Trade," in the Amulet, 
183:2, p. 218. 

* Hannah Kilham, who made three voyages to Africa for the sake 
of acquainting herself with the native languages ; she reduced to 
writing the Wolof or Juloof, in which bIic printed reading lessons. 


dency to fetter, to depress, and to blunt the powers 
of the mind ; and it is very unfair, and a great aggra- 
vation of the cruelty, to reflect on the victims of it, as 
wanting ability for any other station than that which 
they have been suffered to fill. I do not think that 
even here [Sierra Leone] Africans have had a fair 
trial of what they might be, had they the same advan- 
tages in education, and circumstances connected with 
education, which Europeans have been favoured with, 
yet their intelligent countenances, and the ability they 
show when rightly instructed, evince certainly no 
deficiency in the natural powers of the mind ; they 
come here, as to a foreign land, the language of 
which is quite strange and unknown to them, they are 
taught in this strange language, (those of them who 
have school instruction,) from lists of detached words, 
spelling lessons, many of which they never hear but 
in those lessons, and their meaning therefore remains 
unknown. "* 

" It seems very evident from what we hear, that 
civilisation is prevented, or has been prevented, along 
the coast, by the prevalence of the horrid traffic in 
men ; and the interior, north of the line, is much more 
civilised than near the coast. The interior of the 
south appears to be little known. I wish the scep- 
tical as to African capacity could have seen a Foulah 
man, of striking and intelligent countenance, who was 
here the other clay, and have heard his melodious 
reading of Arabic manuscripts. I am informed, both 
here and in the Gambia, that the Mahomedans of 

* Letter from H. Kilham to W. Allen, 1824. 


Western Africa are the most orderly and well con- 
ducted part of the African population. Their zeal 
in the promotion of Arabic schools should stimulate 
Europeans of higher profession. If persons be suit- 
ably introduced, so as that their designs are fully 
known, I believe intercourse, where only good is 
intended, would, in most places, be made more easy 
than some are willing to believe." * 

Facilities for giving Instruction. 

There is no more encouraging feature than the 
readiness which has been generally observed on the 
part of the negroes, to obtain for their children, and 
sometimes for themselves, the advantages of educa- 
tion. Their love of acquiring knowledge, especially 
that of languages, is thus spoken of by Mr. Laird. 

" The eagerness with which the Africans thirst 
after knowledge, is a very striking feature in their 
character ; on the coast great numbers have learned 
to read writing from the captains of merchant vessels, "t 
He mentions that the late Duke Ephraim, chief of 
Old Calabar, though he could not read a newspaper, 
yet considered it essential to have a supply of books. 
" The schools at Sierra Leone and Cape Coast have 
done most, if not all, the good that has been done. I 
know an instance now of a captured slave, resident 
at Fernando Po, who sent his son to England for 
education. All the chiefs would gladly pay for the 

* Appendix to Second Report of African Instruction Society, 
p. II. 

t Laird, vol. ii. p. 395. 


board and education of their children. In the interior, 
in every village where Mahommedanism is professed, 
the children crowd to learn to mutter Arabic prayers 
and scraps of the Koran." 

Liberia presents the example of a black commu- 
nity managing their own affairs on civilised principles. 
There, besides the governor, there is scarcely a white 
man in authority. They have two public libraries, a 
press, and the journal of the colony, "The Liberian 
Herald," is edited by a negro, the son of a slave of 
Virginia, and frequently contains able dissertations 
written by men of the same race. 

Mr. Ashmun found the natives bordering on the 
American Colony of Liberia very desirous of putting 
their children under his care. He writes in a Re- 
port, 1825 : — " No man of the least consideration in 
the country, will desist from his importunities until at 
least one of his sons is fixed in some settler's family.* 

At this time many of the natives reside in the 
colony, and are gradually adopting the habits of civi- 
lised life. Many came thither for the express pur- 
pose of obtaining a Christian education, for which 
purpose, also, many of the native kings continue to 
send their sons. Missionaries of various denomina- 
tions have penetrated into the neighbouring states, 
and all have sent cheering accounts of their success 
and prospects. f 

* Life of Ashmun, p. 211. 

t Address of Judge Payne to the Vermont Colonisation Society, 


Two Wesleyan ministers, Messrs. Dove and Bad- 
ger, visited the " Plantains," an island on the mouth 
of the < Sherbro', in April, 1839. 

Mr. Dove says, " The island has a beautiful 
appearance, and the cattle on it look as fine as 
any I ever saw in my native land. The island, 
though small, belongs to King Calker,who treated us 
with great kindness. We took up our abode in the 
royal apartments, and the next day we dined with his 
Majesty. He is certainly a sensible man, and seems to 
be quite free from the vile and superstitious customs 
practised throughout the ' Sherbro' country ; he pos- 
sesses a pretty good knowledge of English, and ex- 
pressed a wish to have a missionary to live with him ; 
we had the high gratification of seeing him reading 
an English Bible. His brother, also, is a sincere 
inquirer after truth: having received some instruc- 
tion when young, and living in Freetown, he now 
instructs both children and adults, and when we wit- 
nessed the result of this king's brother's labour, we 
could not but rejoice. He has translated several 
portions of the sacred Scriptures, catechisms, and 
some of our excellent hymns, into the ' Sherbro' lan- 
guage : he wishes me, if possible, to get them printed 
for the use of the heathen around him." 

Besides this eagerness on the part of the African 
tribes to obtain intellectual and useful instruction, 
there is also a most encouraging willingness to re- 
ceive, and listen to, the teachers of Christianity. In- 
deed, I am not aware of any instance of Christian 


teachers having been repelled, when their object has 
been fairly understood, except, indeed, by the noto- 
rious influence of European Slave Traders. These 
miscreants obliged the church missionaries to leave 
some of their stations ; an event deeply to be re- 
gretted, as they had established some excellent 
schools on the Rio Pongas": one of their scholars 
was Simeon Wilhelm, who died in England in 1817, 
and was well knoAvn as a young man of remarkable 

Within the last three years Mr. Fox has visited 
the chiefs of Woolli, Bondou, Barra, and Nyani, and 
obtained from all, Pagan and Mahomedan, invitations 
for missionaries. The following is the account he 
gives of an interview with Saada, the Almamy of 

On Saturday, April 28, 1838, Mr. Fox reached 
Boollibanny, the capital of the Mahomedan state of 
Bondou, and on the following day had an interview 
with Saada, who was encamped six miles from the 
city, and was about to start on a marauding expedi- 
tion. On being introduced, Mr. Fox immediately 
stated the object of his journey, adding that he had 
visited the kingdoms of Barra, Nyani, and Woolli, and 
that those kings were favourable to his design ; and 
giving, at the Almamy's request, a brief summary of 
the doctrines and precepts of Christianity. The 
Almamy replied, that all that had been said was very 
good ; and that Mr. Fox might look at the Bondou 

* See the Life of Wilhelm, by the Rev. Mr. Bickersteth. 


ground, and inform him when he had fixed upon a 
place ; but that he and his people must still follow 

" This being ended," Mr. Fox continues, " I told 
him I had one request to make ; namely, that he 
would abandon the Avar he had in contemplation. 
In reply to my request, the Almamy asked, Why I 
did not wish him to go to war ? I answered, From 
the misery that must of necessity follow ; but espe- 
cially because of the Divine command given to 
Moses, ' Thou shalt do no murder.' Shortly after 
this, I shook hands with this powerful chief, and we 
returned to our lodgings at Boollibanny. 

" About an hour afterwards, to my surprise and 
that of others, the Almamy and his war-tribe came 
galloping home." 

Mr. Freeman's visit to Ashantee has been already 
noticed. On this occasion his converts gave proof of 
the effect of the gospel which he had preached to them. 
No nation could have been more barbarously treated by 
another, than the Fantees by the Ashantees ; who 
had exercised their power in the most ferocious man- 
ner, not only slaying them by thousands in the field, 
and destroying their villages, but putting hundreds of 
them to death by torture. It has been only British 
protection that has preserved the weaker race ; yet 
no sooner did the ill-used Fantees hear of Mr. Free- 
man's views than they entered fully into them, and 
became, as he says, " not only willing, but anxious 
for him to go up to Coomassie." Such a salutary 


feeling has religion wrought in them, that they are 
now making a voluntary subscription to send the 
gospel to their blood-thirsty enemies. 

We have also seen the results of Mr. Freeman's 
evpedition ; the impression made upon his mind was 
thus stated by himself after his return. " I am happy 
to inform you, that through the mercy of the God 
of missions, I have surmounted every difficulty, and 
returned fully satisfied that even the sanguinary 
Ashantees are ready to receive the gospel, and that, 
as soon as the committee can send a good supply of 
missionaries to this station, we shall, by the blessing 
of God, establish a mission among that people." * 

In their last report, the Church Missionary Society 
state that they also hope soon to be able to extend 
their operations from Sierra Leone into the interior, 
that some preliminary excursions had been made 
by the missionaries, and that the reception they met 
with from the people was encouraging. 

Agents to be obtained. 

We have already seen the desirableness of edu- 
cating and civilising the inhabitants of Africa ; and 
a number of facts have been brought to light, tending 
to show, that there is at least as great a readiness on 
their part to receive instruction, as on ours to com- 
municate it ; the question now remains — Who are 
to be the instructors? The climate is generally 
viewed as unfavourable to Europeans, and this being 

* Wesleyan Missionary Notices, November, 1839, p. 1G6. 

2 K 


the case, I have great satisfaction in finding, that 
from among the liberated Africans in our West In- 
dian Colonies, we are likely to he furnished with a 
number of persons, in whom are united the desirable 
qualifications of fitness for the climate, competency to 
act as teachers, and willingness to enter upon the 

An important feature of the present time is this, 
that the exertions of the missionaries in the West 
Indies are beginning to tell on their converts in the 
missionary spirit which they have imparted. There 
is a feeling in the hearts of our emancipated negroes 
towards the land of their origin, which seems to have 
arisen spontaneously in various congregations. 

Last December, in the hope that openings might 
ere long occur for the employment of native agents, 
I addressed, through the Rev. Mr. Trew, a circular 
to the heads of missionary societies, inquiring whe- 
ther trustworthy persons could be found for various 
departments of our operations. Before answers 
could be received, the Rev. Mr. Dyer, the secretary 
of the Baptist Missionary Society, transmitted to me 
an inquiry on their part in the following letter to 
the committee at home, from the minister of one of 
their congregations in Jamaica. 

Mont ego Bay, Jan. 2\st, 1S39. 
" We beg to press upon your attention a subject of 
vast importance, and shall feel thankful if, at the 
very earliest opportunity, you will bring it before the 


members of the committee, with our earnest request 
that they will take it into their prayerful and serious 
consideration, and without delay adopt measures to 
realise the desires of many thousands of their fellow 
Christians in this island. The subject is, a mission 
to the interior of Western Africa ; the land from 
which the beloved people of our charge, or their 
forefathers, were stolen, and which is at present 
without the light of the gospel, and suffering under 
accumulated wrongs. We, their ministers, feel on 
this subject an intense interest, while in their hearts 
the strongest emotions are excited for the perishing 
land of their fathers. The conversion of Africa to 
God is the theme of their conversation and their 
prayers, and the object of their most ardent desires. 
For this they are willing to toil, and devote the fruits 
of their labour, while some are anxious to go them- 
selves, and proclaim to their kindred the love of 
Christ in dying for their salvation. In short, a feel- 
ing prevails among the members of our churches, to 
check which would be to injure their piety, and we 
believe avouM grieve that Divine Spirit, by whose 
gracious influences those feelings have been excited. 

" There being no direct communication between 
this island and Africa, and few sources of information 
respecting that country being opened to us, we are at 
a loss to fix upon any plan to carry our desires into 
effect, and are therefore desirous that the committee 
should give it all the consideration it demands, and as 
early as possible communicate their sentiments to us." 



The following letter to myself, from a highly 
respectable gentleman, is of a somewhat similar 
character : — 

Kingston, Jamaica, May 1st, 1839. 
" It is very remarkable that before being acquainted 
with the movements in England, we had been acting 
in some measure practically on your principle. Three 
or four months ago a large meeting, consisting of 
betwixt 2000 and 3000 persons, was held in this 
city, for the purpose of considering the best means of 
Christianising Africa, by such Christian agency as we 
could collect in this island. I was president of that 
meeting, and on my return home, what was my 
surprise to find upon my table Mr. Trew's circular, 
inquiring to what extent a Christian commercial 
agency for operations in Africa, could be procured 

here ! We have had since another meeting, 

when a society was organised for the Evangelisation 
of Africa, by means of native agency. The object 
has excited the deepest interest in the black popula- 
tion, and I have no doubt be shall we able to make 
a commencement at least. Your plan is much more 
extensive. I think you may rely on securing from 
the West Indies an agency of negro and coloured 
persons, efficient for establishments either civil or 
commercial, as might be thought advisable, A 
good common education is generally within the reach 

of all classes now The negro is naturally a 

very susceptible creature, perhaps naturally the most 


favourably disposed of any of the human family, to 
receive and avail himself of the advantages which 
may be put in his way ; but by some fatality, un- 
accountable on any principle, save that ' the time to 
favour it had not come,' the tribe has remained an 
outcast, and the country a waste. 

" One poor African, named James Keats, left this 
country a few months ago, really on a pilgrimage to 
his native land, that he might carry the gospel there. 
We are anxious to hear of him. He had reached 
Sierra Leone, and had, I believe, embarked in Her 
Majesty's ship Rattlesnake for the Congo river, 
which he intends to ascend." 

I have also received a letter from the Rev. John 
Beecham, stating that a number of agents might be 
obtained from among the Wesleyan negroes in the 
West Indies, who are already qualified for the work 
" to a good extent," and who, by the necessary 
training, might prove valuable auxiliaries to the 

The Rev. Mr. Holberton, Rector of St. John's, 
has also stated his views on the subject, in a letter 
to the Rev. Mr. Trew, dated Antigua, March 6, 1839, 
of which the following is an extract : — 

" The subject of your circular has long occupied 
my mind ; and now that it has come, soliciting 
inquiry on the point, I cannot help laying before you 
what seems to me a very feasible, and comparatively 
inexpensive mode of proceeding in this deeply in- 


teresting work. Instead of having a college erected 
in one of the islands for the reception of native black 
and coloured youths of promise, I would respectfully 
recommend that an agent be sent to this island, and 
there gather about him a band of black and coloured 
youths, to be trained and educated expressly for the 
employments proposed in your letter, more especially 
as missionaries. Nothing is better than an infant 
school as the first training place for the future 
missionary, as he is there likely to be moulded into 
a pains-taking, persevering, simple-minded man. 

" From persons so employed and approved, your 
agent might make a selection. Such as he made 
choice of should be trained by him, and domesticated 
with him for a time ; and when the necessary 
measure of fitness was apparent, should be sent for 
one year to the Church Missionary Society's college 
in England. And when you forward them from 
England, send as their superintendent, one of our- 
selves, a minister who shall direct their energies 
aright, bear with their weaknesses, and keep united 
heart and mind in the great work on which they had 
been sent out. I do not see how you can move a 
step in this great undertaking without sending out 
an agent of decided piety, sound judgment, and com- 
petent ability, to instruct and direct those who are to 
be committed to his charge ; but let him be no 

" On the whole, then, you will see that I do not 
hold the scheme which you state in your letter to be 


at all a visionary one ; but am sanguine enough to 
hope, that if you proceed on the plan I have ventured 
to recommend, you will attain to the desired end by 
a very speedy, and sure and safe way. I rejoice in 
the prospect of such an undertaking. It will be the 
most righteous compensation that could be made to 
Africa for all the wrongs England, through for- 
mer years, took part with other nations in doing 
to her. Of a truth how beautiful will be to her, the 
feet of the sons of those who were cruelly torn from 
her soil in years past, returning to her shores again 
with the everlasting gospel in their hands, and their 
mouths opened to declare unto her what God hath 

The Rev. John Clark, baptist missionary in 
Jamaica, stated to me, in a letter dated September 
16, 1839, " that the case of Africa was exciting deep 
sympathy amongst the members of his congregation." 
He also named several negroes, already qualified to 
some extent, who were willing and even anxious to 
enter immediately upon the work; and stated his 
full conviction that an ample number of native 
agents might, after suitable education, be available 
from the island of Jamaica, for the important pur- 
poses of African instruction. 

Advances already made. 

To this it must be added that some advances have 
already been made. The Church Missionary Society 
have a normal school for the education of teachers 


at Sierra Leone; by the last statement it appears 
that sixteen are now in the course of education, under 
the effective instruction of the Rev. G. A. Kissling, 
Avho speaks favourably of his scholars. By a sum- 
mary, issued May, 1839, it appears that there are 
5098 of all ages under the care of this society ; and 
the report of this year states, " with thankfulness to 
Almighty God, the steady progress of this first 
established of the society's missions." 

The Report of the Wesleyan mission for this year 
has the following paragraph, p. 68 : — " The state of the 
work at the West African stations is very gratifying, 
and the openings for more extended usefulness are 
most inviting. At Sierra Leone nearly 2000 per- 
sons are united together in religious fellowship, and 
the schools are prosperous. The stations at the 
Gambia are increasing in importance. At Macarthy's 
island the committee for the civilisation department 
are exerting themselves for the benefit of the con- 
verted natives. The kingdoms of Woolli and Bon- 
dou, which the enterprising spirit of Mr. Fox has 
explored, and other places, are open to the mission- 
aries. At Cape Coast, the rapid spread of the 
gospel calls for the most grateful acknowledgments 
to Almighty God, who has crowned the labours 
of his servants with signal success. And in the 
midst of the discouragements resulting from the pain- 
ful visitations of disease and death, which these mis- 
sions from time to time experience, it is an alleviating 
consideration that a native agency is rising up, by 


which the work may at no distant period be prose- 
cuted, without so large a sacrifice of life and health 
on the part of European missionaries.'' 

The Wesley an s have declared their intention to 
establish a college on Macarthy's island for the edu- 
cation of children of natives of the higher classes, in 
connexion with the experimental farm. One bene- 
volent individual, Dr. Lindoe, has engaged to ^ive 
£1000 to this institution. 

The Church Missionaries have prepared, and with 
the help of the Bible Society, printed, translations of 
the gospel of St. Matthew in the Bullom, Mandingo, 
and Susoo languages, in which they have also 
printed grammars, or lesson-books, as well as in the 
Eyo or Aku,* and the Sherbro. The American mis- 
sionaries have published elementary books in the 
Greybo and Bassa languages. I have before men- 
tioned the Wolof lessons of Hannah Kilham. The 
Rev. R. M. Macbrair, of the Wesleyan Society, has 
published a complete grammar of the Mandingo. 
Another Wesleyan missionary, the Rev. W. Arch- 
bell, has published a grammar of the Sechuana lan- 
guage of South Africa, which has been also critically 
investigated by the French missionary, M. Casalis, 
and is supposed to be the key to the dialect prevailing 
from the Congo to Delagoa bay. 

* It is worthy of remark that the Aku language has heen found 
to be understood by the great majority of the captured negroes. 
Mr. Ferguson is my authority for this : from this circumstance 
important facilities are likely to arise. 


I am not amongst the number of those who derive 
encouragement from the vicinity of the Mahomedans. 
I must confess that I apprehend a more stubborn 
resistance to the diffusion of knowledge, especially 
that which is the best and the most civilising, from 
the followers of the Prophet, than from the simple 
and docile, though barbarous, tribes of Central Africa. 
Mahomedanism also gives the sanction of religion to 
the Slave Trade, and even enjoins it as a mode of 
converting the heathen. That people are " Kaffer- 
ing, and do not say their prayers, the dogs !" is suffi- 
cient reason for the true believers making war upon 
them,* and carrying them into slavery i Their pre- 
judices are so deeply rooted, that some missionaries 
do not hesitate to say they would rather deal with 
Pagans than with Mahomedans. 

Yet even with these there is some encouragement ; 
to a certain extent they go along with us. There 
are points in the Mahomedan faith which we may 
turn to account in attempting to introduce better 
instruction. The Mussulmans of the west do not 
regard Christians with the same horror as those of 
the east; they seem to be favourably impressed by 
finding that we acknowledge much of their own 
sacred history ; and with them, the names of Abraham 
and Moses serve to recommend our holy books. 

We may make common cause also with them in 
Africa, in our common abhorrence of the bloody rites 
and sacrifices of the Pagans. Thus Mr. Hutchison 
* Denham, p. 149. 


writes from Coomassie : — " This place now presents 
the singular spectacle of a Christian and a Mahomedan 
agreeing in two particulars — rejecting fetishes, and 
absenting themselves from human sacrifices and other 
abominations. The rest of the people, of whatever 
country they may be, when the king's horns announce 
anything of the kind, strive who will get there first, 
to enjoy the agonies of the victims !" 

Hitherto education has been entirely in the hands 
of the Mahomedans ; and in fact, the Arabic is, to a 
considerable extent, the common language of Central 

The travels of the Mahomedans have to a certain 
degree enlarged their minds. They are the leaders 
of most of the caravans, and some travel merely for 
pleasure. Mr. Fox mentions seeing at Macarthy's 
Island, a Moor who had come across the continent 
from Medina, and was much interested on being 
shown on a map the places he had passed through. 
" When questioned as to the object he had in view in 
coming so far, his answer was, he merely came for 
' take walk' — ' he wished to see the Gambia, Senegal, 
&c.' " Mr. Fox gave him the New Testament in 
Arabic, which he read with tolerable ease. 

It becomes evident, therefore, that our way is not 
totally blocked up, but that there are many circum- 
stances which will tend to facilitate our efforts for 
disseminating knowledge and religion among those 
who are the objects of our sympathy. And the 
encouragement and stimulus to exertion which we 
derive from these, ought to be in proportion to the 


magnitude of the enterprise we contemplate, and of 
the results we expect will follow. The elevation of 
the native mind, as it is the only compensation 
we can offer for the injuries we have inflicted on 
Africa, so it is the truest, the cheapest, and the 
shortest road to the downfall of the Slave Trade, and 
of those frightful superstitions which it has tended to 

In what way, then, can this advance of mind he 
most effectually and speedily attained ? I answer in 
the words of Mr. Burke, when speaking on a kindred 
subject,* " I confess I trust more, according to the 
sound principles of those who have at any time 
ameliorated the state of mankind, to the effect and in- 
fluence of religion, than to all the rest of the regula- 
tions put together." The Gospel ever has been, and 
ever must be, the grand civiliser of mankind. Hap- 
pily for Africa, a mass of evidence is to be found cor- 
roborative of this assertion, in the Report of the Com- 
mittee of the House of Commons in the sessions 1833 
and 1834, on the Aborigines Question, appointed to 
consider, amongst other things, " what measures 
ought to be adopted to promote the spread of civilisa- 
tion among the Aborigines of our colonies, and to lead 
them to the peaceful and voluntary reception of the 
Christian religion." A main branch of that inquiry 
was, " Whether the experience of the several mis- 
sionary societies led to the belief that it would be 
advisable to begin with civilisation in order to intro- 

* Burke's Works, vol. ix. p. 287 : Letter to Dundas on Civilisa- 
tion of Negroes in the Two Hemispheres. 


duce Christianity, or with Christianity in order to 
lead to civilisation." It is a striking fact, that the 
representatives of the missionary bodies who were 
examined on that occasion, without any previous con- 
cert between themselves on the subject of the inquiry, 
arrived at precisely the same conclusion, namely, 
" That there is no means so effectual, under the divine 
blessing, to benefit man for ' the life that now is,' as 
well as ' that which is to come,' as Christianity." 

In proof of this, Mr. Coates, secretary of the 
Church Missionary Society, observes to the com- 
mittee : 

" I find the preceptive part of Christianity. tends to 
make man peaceable, honest, sober, iudustrious, and 
orderly. These, in my opinion, are the very elements 
of civilisation, in the moral sense of it. 

" The impression of its great principles on the 
heart tends directly to make him humble, self-denying, 
philanthropic, beneficent, apart from the consideration 
of those effects which may be deemed more strictly of 
a religious or theological kind. I see in it, there- 
fore, an arrangement and process by which the human 
mind is to be operated upon in a more powerful manner 
than by any other agency that can be imagined. 

" If I look at the world when, at the rise of Chris- 
tianity, it found Rome in the zenith of her power 
and glory, in the highest state of civilisation, as civi- 
lisation could exist in a heathen land, at that period, 
among other practices, that of selling their prisoners 
of war into slavery, prevailed. I find, too, in their 
gladiatorial games, man opposed to man in mortal 


conflict. And this not an accidental occurrence, or a 
scene exhibited in private, but habitually at their 
theatres, and to the most polished and distinguished 
of the whole population. What do I find at the 
expiration of a few ages ? Christianity gains the 
ascendancy, and these things are extinct. 

" I would only attempt further to illustrate this 
bearing of the subject from three or four facts of a 
recent date. At a recent period, suttees prevailed 
throughout our possessions in India — they are now 
prohibited : and this was effected by the expression 
of Christian opinion and feeling in this country. I 
look back on the enormous evils of the Slave Trade. 
The Slave Trade is suppressed, and suppressed un- 
questionably by the force of Christianity in this 
country. I come to a still more recent period, and 
see slavery abolished throughout all the British colo- 
nies, and that at the cost of £20,000,000 of public 
money ; the result most unquestionably of the state 
of Christian principle and feeling. 

" I now take up the question under a different 
aspect — I mean as it is illustrated by the effects of 
modern Protestant missions. I notice more particu- 
larly those of the Church Missionary Society. 

" Mr. George Clarke, a catechist, who has been 
twelve years in New Zealand, thus writes : — ' Here 
are a number of poor cannibals collected from the 
different tribes around us, whose fathers were so rude, 
so savage, that for ten years the first missionaries 
lived among them, often expecting to be devoured by 
them. A few years ago, they were ignorant of every 


principle of religion ; had glutted in human blood, 
and gloried in it ; but now there is not an individual 
among them who is not in some degree acquainted 
with the truths of the Christian religion. Not six 
years ago they commenced with the very rudiments of 
learning; now many of them can read and write 
their own language with propriety, and are com- 
pletely masters of the first rules of arithmetic. But 
very few years ago a chisel made out of stone was 
their only tool ; now they have not only got our tools, 
but are learning to use them.' 

" Mr. R. Davis thus writes from the same mission: 
— c During the last quarter my time was principally 
occupied in preparing agricultural implements, and 
in attending to my natives employed about different 
work — carpentering, sowing, fencing, taking up the 
potato crop, and clearing land for the plough.' " 

We next turn our attention to the testimony of 
another labourer in the Christian field, who no less 
strongly supports the preceding statements. 

The Rev. John Beecham, of the WesJeyan Mis- 
sionary Society, after expressing similar opinions to 
those delivered by Mr. Coates, as to the sole efficacy 
of Christianity in establishing and promoting refine- 
ment and civilisation, with their attendant comforts, 
and very clearly illustrating his idea by a reference 
to ancient history, proceeds further to support his 
sentiments by referring to the testimony of Kahke- 
waquonaby,* a chief of the Chippeway Indians, whose 

* The literal meaning of Kahkewaquonaby is " Sacred," or 


name has been subsequently changed into Peter 
Jones. This tribe, notwithstanding their rejection of 
the offers of Government made to induce them to 
renounce their roving course of life, afterwards em- 
braced the gospel when preached to them, and de- 
voted themselves to the pursuits of civilized life. 

Mr. Jones thus writes : — " The improvements 
which the Christian Indians have made, have been the 
astonishment of all who knew them in their pagan 
state. The change for the better has not only extended 
to their hearts and feelings, but also to their personal 
appearance, and their domestic and social condition. 
About ten years ago this people had no houses, no 
fields, no horses, no cattle. Each person could carry 
upon his back all that he possessed, without being 
much burthened. They are now occupying about 
forty comfortable houses, most of which are built of 
hewn logs, and a few of frame, and are generally one 
and a half story high, and about twenty-four feet long 
and eighteen feet wide, with stone or brick chim- 
neys ; two or three rooms in each house. Their fur- 
niture consists of tables, chairs, bedsteads, straw mat- 
tresses, a few feather beds, window curtains, boxes, 
and trunks for their wearing apparel, small shelves 
fastened against the wall for their books, closets for 
their cooking utensils, cupboards for their plates, 
knives and forks ; some have clocks and watches. 

" Eagle's feathers;" the chief being of the Eagle tribe. He was 
baptised by the name of Peter, and assumed the name of Jones 
from bis sponsor. 


They have no carpets, but a few have mats laid on 
their floors. This tribe owns a saw.-mill, a workshop, 
a blacksmith's shop, and a warehouse, the property 
of the whole community. They have about 200 
acres of land under cultivation, on which they grow 
wheat, Indian corn, potatoes, &c. In their gardens 
they raise vegetables of various kinds, and a few have 
planted fruit trees. They have a number of oxen, 
cows, horses, and pigs ; a few barns and stables ; a 
few wagons and sleighs ; and all sorts of farming 

" The gospel has of a truth now proved the 
c savour of life unto life,' among our poor degraded 
women. The men now make the houses, plant the 
fields, provide the fuel and provisions for the house ; 
the business of the women is to manage the house- 
hold affairs. The females eat with the men at the 
same table. You will be glad to hear that they are 
not insensible to the great things the gospel has done 
for them. I have often heard them expressing their 
thanks to the Great Spirit for sending them mission- 
aries to tell them the words of eternal life, which 
have been the means of delivering them from a state 
of misery and degradation." 

The testimony of the Rev. William Ellis, secretary 
of the London Missionary Society, is to the same 
effect. " True civilization and Christianity," he ob- 
serves, " are inseparable ; the former has never been 
found but as a fruit of the latter." And he proceeds 
to show with much force and perspicuity, the ineffi- 



ciency of a mere demi- civilization to penetrate to the 
root of human evil, and to lead to comfort and to 

In the report of the London Missionary Society 
for 1835, a comprehensive view is taken of the effects 
produced by its labours in the South Sea Islands, 
and which may serve as an illustration of the benign 
and salutary influences of Christian truth, when per- 
severingly pressed upon the acceptance of the most 
barbarous people. The report observes,-—" Forty 
years ago, when this society was formed, the islands 
of the South Seas had been discovered, explored, and 
abandoned, as presenting no objects worthy of fur- 
ther regard. Their inhabitants were sunk still lower 
in wretchedness by intercourse with foreigners, and 
left a prey to the merciless idolatry that was fast 
sweeping them from the face of the earth. To them 
the attention of our venerable fathers in this cause 
was first directed, and a mission was auspiciously 
commenced. Idolatry was subverted, infant murder 
and human sacrifices ceased, education was promoted, 
converts flocked around the missionaries, churches 
were gathered, missionary societies formed, and 
teachers sent forth, Now, the people, fast rising in 
the scale of nations, have, as fruits of the Divine 
blessing on missionary perseverance, a Avritten lan- 
guage, a free press, a representative government, 
courts of justice, written laws, useful arts, and im- 
proved resources. Commercial enterprise is pro- 
moting industry and wealth, and a measure of do- 


mestic comfort, unknown to their ancestors, now per- 
vades their dwellings. A nation has been born at 
once, and surrounding nations have been blessed 
through their mercy." 

Testimonies of this kind might be multiplied to a 
great extent. The annals of missionary proceedings 
teem with information of the most conclusive cha- 
racter, whilst the newly converted heathen them- 
selves, ever ready to testify to the blessings they are 
thus brought to enjoy, are heard to exclaim, " But 
for our teachers, our grass on the hills, our fences 
and houses, would have been lire ashes long ago ; 
and we should have been upon the mountains 
squeezing moss for a drop of water, eating raw roots, 
and smothering the cries of our children by filling 
their mouths with dirt, grass, or cloth." "We were 
all blind till the bird flew across the great expanse 
with the good seeds in its mouth, and planted them 
among us. We now gather the fruit, and have con- 
tinual harvest." 

No less striking is the evidence of Andrew Stof- 
fell, a converted Hottentot, before the Aborigines 
Committee. He is asked, " Have the character and 
condition of the Hottentots been improved since the 
missionaries came among them., and in what re- 
spects ?" He replies, cf The young people can now 
read and write, and Ave all wear clothes; many of 
us have learned trades, and we are altogether better 
men. We have ploughing, wagon-makers, and 
shoemakers, and other tradesmen, amongst us. We 

2 l 2 


can make all those things, except a watch and a 
coach. The missionaries have done much good, and 
they have tamed the Hottentots." 

The testimony of Mr. Eiisha Bates, who was a 
member of the Society of Friends, before the same 
Committee, furnishes the most convincing evidence 
of the efficacy of Christianity in promoting the im- 
provement of the temporal condition of savage 
nations, even where other means had failed. He 
observes, speaking of the Indians of the United 
States, " Within the last few years we have had 
occasion to review the whole course of our proceed- 
ings, and Ave have come to the conclusion, from a 
deliberate view of the past, that we erred in the plan 
Avhich was originally adopted, in making civilization 
the first object ; for we cannot count on a single indi- 
vidual that we have brought to the full adoption of 
Christianity." Having been further asked, " Do 
your Society now regret that they did not begin with 
Christianity, in order to lead the way to other advan- 
tages ; and if you had to recommence the same under- 
taking, would you now begin with Christianity ?" he 
emphatically replied, " Decidedly Ave should, from a 
full conviction that the attempt to civilize without 
Christianity has failed ; and that the plan now 
adopted is to make Christian instruction the primary 

From these facts, gathered from different sources, 
the inference does not appear by any means doubtful, 
that whatever methods may be attempted for amelio- 


rating the condition of untutored man, this alone can 
penetrate to the root of the evil, can teach him to love 
and to befriend his neighbour, and cause him to act 
as a candidate for a higher and holier state of 

The hope, therefore, of effecting Africa's civiliza- 
tion, and of inducing her tribes to relinquish the 
trade in man, is, without this assistance, utterly vain. 
This mighty lever, when properly applied, can alone 
overturn the iniquitous systems which prevail 
throughout that continent. Let missionaries and 
schoolmasters, the plough and the spade, go together, 
and agriculture will flourish ; the avenues to legiti- 
mate commerce will be opened ; confidence between 
man and man will be inspired; whilst civilization 
will advance as the natural effect, and Christianity 
operate as the proximate cause of this happy change. 

If, indeed, it be true that such effects will follow 
in the train of religion, and that Christianity alone 
can effect such changes and produce such blessings, 
then must we pause before we take a single step 
without it. The cause of Africa involves interests far 
too great, and results far too stupendous to be trifled 
with. The destinies of unborn millions, as w T ell as 
of the millions who now exist, are at stake in the 
project; and the question is one of life or of death, 
of comfort and happiness, or of unutterable misery. 

I believe that Christianity will meet the necessities 
of the case, and will prove a specific remedy for the 
moral evils of Africa, 


My next proposition consequently is, that it is our 
duty to apply this remedy if we can. 

One part of our national debt to Africa has already 
been acknowledged by the emancipation of our colo- 
nial slaves. There remains yet, however, a larger 
debt uncancelled,; — that of restitution to Africa itself. 
We shall have much difficulty in ascertaining the 
amount of this obligation. Had we the means of 
discovering the total number of the sufferers whose 
miseries we have caused, or could we form the faint- 
est idea of the nature and extent of the woes which 
are justly chargeable upon us as a nation, the duty 
of making reparation to Africa would be obvious. 

Next to the debt which we ourselves owe, I can 
form no conception of a stronger argument in favour 
of carrying thither civilization and Christianity, than 
the existence of the Slave Trade itself, as it is found 
at this day, attended, on the one hand, by desolation ; 
on the other, by a blind and devouring superstition ; 
and in all directions encircled by ferocity and carnage, 
by torture, by terror, by all the evils through which 
man can be afflicted ; and this variety of woes ending 
in the annual sacrifice of 500,000 human beings. 

I repeat, that a stronger proof we cannot have, that 
it is the duty of the people of this empire to take up 
the cause upon Christian grounds, as a measure of 
atonement for the injuries we have done to her, as 
the only means now within our power of making 
restitution to her still degraded population ; and as 
the most successful implement for uprooting from its 


very foundations that gigantic and accursed tree, 
which for ages has nourished beneath its shadow 
lamentation, and mourning, and woe. 

Let but the people of this Christian country take 
up this cause as a duty, nationally and religiously, 
and no difficulties, however great, can, with the 
Divine blessing, hinder its success. 

Nationally and religiously, the duty is plain. We 
have been put in trust with Christianity, — we have 
been the depositaries of a pure and holy faith, which 
inculcates the most expanded benevolence, and yet 
have not only neglected, as a nation, to confer upon 
Africa any real benefit, but have inflicted upon it a 
positive evil. Covetousness has dimmed our moral 
perceptions of duty, and paralysed our efforts, during 
many generations; and now that the nation has 
awakened from its lethargy, it is high time to act up 
to the principles of our religion. 

Africa still lies in her blood. She wants our mis- 
sionaries, our schoolmasters, our bibles, all the ma- 
chinery we possess, for ameliorating her wretched 
condition. Shall we, with a remedy that may safely 
be applied, neglect to heal her wounds ? Shall we, 
on whom the lamp of life shines, refuse to disperse 
her darkness ? 

" If there be any consolation in Christ, if any com- 
fort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any 
bowels of mercies,"*, we must awake to the duty, 
amidst every difficulty, of freely and liberally distri- 
* 1 Cor. vi. 9. 


buting to others those rich and abundant blessings 
which have been entrusted to us. 

I dwell no longer on the point of duty, but proceed 
to prove that we can apply the remedy. 

I have dwelt the longer on the facilities which 
exist for the instruction of the natives, in order to 
show that the attempt to raise negro intellect, and to 
impart moral culture and religious instruction, is not 
of that forlorn character which many suppose. The 
facts I have stated are, I apprehend, sufficient to 
show that there is, amongst the Africans, a capability 
of receiving instruction ; that there are agents within 
our reach, well calculated to assist in conferring it ; 
that there is, in many parts at least, a thirst for edu- 
cation, and a readiness to accept the services of mis- 
sionaries ; and that, although the steps already taken 
have been very few, there has been some little 
advance. Other circumstances render the project of 
sending instructors more feasible at the present than 
at any former time. They will be carried to their 
destination by water. British steamers will be upon 
the Niger to protect them (at the only time that mis- 
sionaries want protection) on their first settlement 
among the natives. Missionaries find less difficulty 
than any other class of persons, perhaps, in winning 
the confidence of native tribes. The secret of their 
success, is, the spirit of fair dealing, and the manifesta- 
tion of upright and benevolent intentions, which they 
carry with them. These speak to all men, but 
especially to the uncivilised, in a language which 


they accurately comprehend, and to which they freely 
respond. It would seem, then, that the difficulties, 
considered a few years ago insurmountable, in the 
way of an attempt to diffuse intellectual, moral, and 
religious knowledge amongst millions of the human 
race, plunged in the very depths of ignorant supersti- 
tion, have been in a great measure removed. Hence 
it is evident, that the question is not so much as to 
our power, but as to our willingness, to provide the 
means of conferring the inestimable benefits of 
intellectual advancement and true religion. 

Having arrived at this point, it will naturally be 
asked, what scheme of instruction do I propose ? 
I answer, I hardly dare to propose any scheme. 
Would that there were that charity among the Chris- 
tians of the happier quarters of the world, Avhich 
would induce them to lay aside their minor differ- 
ences, in order to make a combined effort, of the 
most determined and strenuous character, to pour 
instruction upon Africa ! But if this unity be too 
much and too good to be expected, we may at least 
hope that every department of the Christian church 
will separately press forward into that vast field 
which will. I trust, speedily be opened, and where 
there is room enough and need enough, physically 
and morally, for all.* 

* I have no fear that missionaries to Africa will be wanting 
from our own country ; but it gives me satisfaction to find the 
following passage in the South African Commercial Advertiser: — 
'' It will be agreeable to all who can comprehend the grandeur of 


I may, however, recommend — 

Firstly. That in every settlement formed on the 
views here laid down, the religious, moral, and 
industrial education of the natives should be con- 
sidered an essential and fundamental object, claiming 
the early and careful attention of the founders of such 

Secondly. That missionary societies should, by mu- 
tual agreement, subdivide and apportion the parts of 
this common field, so that each section of the Christian 
church may have undisturbed possession of its own 
sphere of labour. 

Thirdly. That immediate arrangements should be 
made by each for normal schools,* intended to rear 

this opening prospect, to learn that the people of the United States 
of America have determined to unite with the discoverers and 
regenerators of Africa. In a private letter, addressed to a gentle- 
man of this colony, which we have just seen, the writer, one of 
the heads of a college in New Jersey, announces the deep interest 
which this subject has already excited in that country ; and he 
inquires, with an anxiety approaching to impatience, as to the 
course their first missionaries should take, and the regions in 
which they are likely to he most useful. Thirty students in that 
college, he says, will be ready to start in a few months. At present 
their views are chiefly directed to Central Africa. It is not im- 
probahle, therefore, that they may follow the course of the newly- 
opened Niger." 

* I am happy to say that this suggestion is by no means a novel 
one. In 1835, the Moravians contemplated a plan for establishing 
an institution in Jamaica, " for training native missionaries and 
teachers for needy Africa." The Rev. Hugh Stowcll has recently 
proposed "an institution akin to Bishop's College, in the East 


not only native teachers of religion, but native arti- 
zans 3 mechanics, and agriculturists, well instructed 
for the purpose,'and themselves converts to Christianity. 

Fourthly. That the African Civilization Society 
now being instituted shall befriend and protect all who 
are engaged in disseminating the truths of Christianity. 

My object will be attained if two things are 
effected, — if a spirit of harmony shall reign amongst 
all who devote themselves to the benefit of Africa, — 
and if, wherever channels of commerce are opened, 
or agricultural locations made, there shall be put in 
operation at the same moment a system of instruction 
which shall raise up and send forth teachers of all 
that Africa requires to learn. 

Indies, where those of the liberated Africans and of their teeming 
offspring who should give promise of distinguished piety and 
talent might be educated as future missionaries to the land of 
their forefathers." He goes on to say that, " without the services 
of converted natives, humanly speaking, very extended success 
cannot be anticipated. If, in other countries, this principle holds 
good, how much more in the case of Africa. There the fatality 
of the climate to European constitutions, the untamed savageness 
of the interior tribes, and the multiplicity of their motley dialects, 
present next to insuperable barriers to other than aboriginal 




I have sufficiently explained what my object is. 
It is the deliverance of Africa, by calling forth her 
own resources. We contemplate that her popula- 
tion, instead of being sold into Foreign Slavery, and 
of perishing by tens of thousands in the process of 
transportation, shall be employed in the tillage, and 
in the commerce, which may be found at home. 
In order to do this, we must 

1st. Impede and discourage the Slave Traffic. 
2ndly. Establish and encourage legitimate com- 
3rdly. Promote and teach agriculture. 
4thly. Impart moral and religious instruction. 
To accomplish the first, we must 

Increase and concentrate our squadron, and 
make treaties with the chiefs of the coast, the 
rivers, and the interior. 
To accomplish the second, we must 

Obtain commanding positions ; settle factories ; 
and send out trading-ships. 
To accomplish the third, we must 

Set on foot an agricultural company. 
Obtain, by treaty, lands for cultivation, with so 
much power as may be necessary to keep 
the slave-trader at a distance. 


The territory we obtain should be freely offered 

to us, without any kind of constraint. 
It should be in the vicinity of some navigable 

The climate should be, for Africa, healthy. 
The soil should be capable of growing- tropical 

Its limits should be extensive. 
To accomplish the fourth, we must 

Support the benevolent association now esta- 
Besides these special purposes, there is one general 
object, which must be carefully provided for, viz. : 
that the agents employed in Africa, whether on their 
own account, or in connection with an association at 
home ; whether engaged in commerce, cultivation, 
or instruction, may be sufficiently protected. 

Of the work to be done, a part belongs to the 
Government, and a part must be executed by indi- 
The Government should 

Take on itself the whole duty and expense of pre- 
serving the peace, and of affording the neces- 
sary protection, to new British settlements in 
Increase and concentrate our naval force. 
Obtain Fernando Po, and such other com- 
manding positions as may be found neces- 


Prepare, — instruct, — and send out embassies, 
with all practicable dispatch, (or authorize 
their African governors,) to form treaties, in- 
cluding either, or all, of the following points,, 
viz. : — Prevention of Slave-traffic ; — arrange- 
ments for legitimate trade or cultivation, — with 
such privileges and powers as may be neces- 
sary for their well-doing ; and with grants of 
land for cultivation. 
The part which devolves on individuals interested in 
the fate of Africa is, — 

1st. Strenuously to assist the benevolent asso- 
ciation already mentioned, the objects of 
which are — to assist individuals or societies 
who may engage themselves in the task of 
educating the population of Africa ; — to pro- 
mote by every means in its power, — direct 
and indirect, — its civilization, cultivation, and 
commerce ; to obtain and circulate statistical, 
geographical, and all other information con- 
cerning that country, especially availing itself 
of the opportunity shortly to be presented of 
doing so, by appointing agents to accompany 
the expedition, which it is intended to send 
out in the ensuing autumn; and, lastly, to 
keep alive the interest of the people of Eng- 
land on the subject. 

2ndly. To form an agricultural company, which 
shall, hereafter, send out persons well ac- 
quainted with tropical climates and produc- 


tions ; to form settlements, guided by such 
arrangements and treaties as the Government 
may have made ; to commence pattern farms 
and establish factories, well supplied with Eu- 
ropean goods ; in a word, to use all the means 
that experience may point out, for a profit- 
able and successful employment of British 
skill and capital in the African continent. No 
Slavery, no monopoly, forbearance towards 
the natives, and utter enmity towards Slave 
Trade and Slavery in all their forms, must 
be the fundamental principles of such a com- 
pany ; and an honest adherence to these will, 
in my full belief, insure its prosperity and profit. 
I have proposed two associations, a Benevolent 
Society, which shall watch over and befriend the in- 
terests of Africa, and a Company, which shall culti- 
vate her soil. In one sense they are entirely sepa- 
rate ; the object of the one is, charity, — of the other, 
gain. As they are distinct in their principle, so, I 
think, they ought to be kept entirely separate in the 
prosecution of their details. Yet, it is impossible 
that they should not subserve and benefit each other. 
It is impossible to spread education, scientific know- 
ledge, and the civilizing influence of Christianity, 
without communicating that to the population, which 
will most materially contribute to the advance of 
commerce and agriculture : on the other hand, there 
is no better way of advancing the moral and physical 
condition of the people, than by the introduction of 


our skill, and the sagacious and successful employ- 
ment of our capital amongst them.* 

To the question which has already been repeatedly- 
put to me, by those who have been moved to compas- 
sion by the sorrows of Africa, What shall we do ? 
my answer is, — Join the African Institution, which 
we are endeavouring to revive ; and join the African 
Agricultural Association, which we are about to esta- 

* Statements and proposals of a more definite nature respect- 
ing these two associations will, I trust, be laid before the public at 
no distant day. In the mean time, it ma}' be well to observe, in 
answer to the inquiry in what manner it is proposed to work land 
in Africa, that it is intended that those employed as superintend- 
ents should be, as far as possible, of negro extraction, but that 
none should be sent but men of moral and religious character. 
That such are to be had I have, I trust, shown in the Chapter on 
the Elevation of Native Mind (page 491). 

But in what species of agriculture is it proposed to employ 
them ? In the first instance, perhaps, in the cultivation of cotton ; 
on the facilities for which I have dwelt at some length (page 332) ; 
but as we become better acquainted with Africa, we shall know 
how to turn its cultivation to the best advantage, and of course we 
shall grow those articles which will find the readiest and most 
profitable market in the civilized world. 



I cannot close this work, without suggesting some 
considerations, which, in the review I have taken of 
the whole subject, have forcibly impressed themselves 
on my own mind. Great as is the undertaking, 
there are, at the present time, many concurrent and 
favourable circumstances, which have not previously 

England is at peace. Since the abolition of the 
Slave Trade by Great Britain, it is not too much to 
say, that there has been, both at home and amongst 
many of the nations of the continent, an increase of 
a benevolent and enlightened spirit. Our sincerity 
with regard to the Slave Trade has been established, 
by sacrifices which admit of no misconstruction. 
The principles involved in that great measure have 
been carried out by the abolition of slavery, and by 
the willingness of the nation to pay the price of that 
most costly act of duty. Thus, then, we are in a 
condition (our own hands being clean) to ask the 
co-operation of France, Russia, the United States, 
and other great powers; and we have a right to 
demand from Spain, Portugal, and Brazil that they 
should no longer delay the execution of their en- 

Again, there are certain circumstances, which ren- 
der Africa far more accessible than at any former 

2 m 


period. We now know the course of the Niger, 
and an entrance into the centre of Africa is opened, 
by means of this noble river. We have now got, in 
steam, a power which enables us to traverse it ; to 
pass rapidly through the unhealthy parts of it; 
to ascend it against the current ; in short, to com- 
mand its navigation. 

Beyond, and besides all these, there is another 
circumstance lately brought into existence which 
may supply us with the necessary agents capable of 
enduring: the African climate. I wish not, with too 
sanguine an eye, to anticipate the course of events, 
but I cannot help believing, as I have elsewhere 
stated, that in the present condition of the negro 
race in our West Indian colonies lies one of the 
best hopes of Africa. They are rising, under the 
influence of freedom, education, and religion, to a 
rank, which will fit them to be messengers of peace 
to the land from which their fathers were torn ; and 
already, though the time has been so short, various, 
distinct, and unconcerted symptoms have appeared, 
proving that " it pitieth them to see her in the dust." 
At the moment, then, that a highway is discovered 
into the heart of Africa, and that a new power is 
placed in our hands enabling us to command its 
navigation, and that agents present themselves quali- 
fied by physical constitution to endure the climate, 
and by intellectual cultivation to carry with them 
the seeds of true improvement ; at that moment, we 
learn the utter fallacy and inutility of the system for 


the suppression of the Slave Trade which we have 
hitherto been pursuing. 

But there is another consideration, though quite 
of a different order, which bears strongly upon this 
point. New markets for the sale of our manufac- 
tured articles are urgently required, at a time when 
we are excluded from some of our accustomed chan- 
nels of sale. 

Nor is the supply of the raw material less impor- 
tant ; new fields for its growth ought to be opened, 
in proportion to the increasing consumption of the 
world. I firmly believe that, if commercial coun- 
tries consulted only their true interests, without re- 
ference to motives of a higher character, they would 
make the most resolute and persevering attempts to 
raise up Africa — not to divide her broad territory 
amongst them, nor to enslave her people, but in order 
to elevate her into something like an equality with 
themselves, for their reciprocal benefit. 

But I am well aware that it is a case in which we 
must act under circumstances of considerable dis- 
couragement ; and especially that of our great igno- 
rance with regard to the real internal condition of 
Africa, both physical and moral. 

Upon any other subject, the dimness of our know- 
ledge would supply an unanswerable reason for 
pausing; but the state of Africa admits no delay. 
The complicated horrors which are crowded into the 
space of a single month, furnish sufficient reasons for 
all possible dispatch, and for adventuring on mea- 

2m 2 


sures, which, under other circumstances, would be 
premature and probably rash. Better to fall into a 
thousand errors in the detail, and to incur the ex- 
pense and mortification of the miscarriages they will 
cause, than to sit still, and leave Africa to her woeful 

If nothing be done, Africa will be at the end of 
50 or 100 years what she now is, and we shall still be 
as ill-informed, as we now are, of the readiest means 
for her relief. But if we grapple with the evil, we 
shall either find ourselves in the right road, or grope 
our way to it ; and the very mistakes we now make 
will serve to direct us aright hereafter. 

I am not so sanguine as to suppose that we can 
at once, by a single effort, solve the problem which 
lies before us. The deliverance of Africa will put 
our patience and perseverance to no ordinary trial. 
We must deliberately make up our minds to large 
and long-continued expense, to persevering labours, 
and to severe disappointments. I wish not in 
any degree to conceal from myself, or from others, 
these truths. 

But the question is,— Shall such an experiment be 
made ? There are two mighty arguments which 
should prompt us to such an undertaking : the in- 
tense miseries of Africa, and the peculiar blessings 
which have been showered upon this country by the 
mercy of Divine Providence. With regard to the 
first, I need not again plunge into the sickening 
details of the horrors which accompany this bloody 


trade, and of the sanguinary rites, which there bear 
the name of religion. Whether we look to the vast 
space which, is there made a theatre of public misery, 
or calculate how many deeds of cruelty and carnage 
must be perpetrated every day in the year, in order 
to make up the surprising total of human distress, 
which, by indisputable documents, we know to be 
realized, there is enough to awaken the deepest pity, 
and to arouse the most energetic resolution. 

Turning to the second consideration, we cannot 
fail to see how signally this nation has been pre- 
served, and led forward to an extent of power and 
prosperity, beyond what almost any other nation has 
been permitted to reach. "It is not to be doubted 
that this country has been invested with wealth and 
power, with, arts and knowledge, with the sway of 
distant lands, and the mastery of the restless waters, 
for some great and important purpose in the govern- 
ment of the world. Can we suppose otherwise than 
that it is our office to carry civilization and hu- 
manity, peace and good government, and, above all, 
the knowledge of the true God, to the uttermost end 
of the earth?"* 

Since that passage was written, Great Britain has 
refuted the idle, yet once the all but universal doc- 
trine, that confusion, havoc, and bloodshed must 
follow the extinction of slavery. And with this 
doctrine of universal convulsion has also fallen the 

* The Rev. Mr. Whewell's Sermon before the Trinity Board. 


allegation, that negroes will not work, except under 
the impulse of the whip. It is confessed by every 
authority, that wages have charmed away what used 
to be called "the natural and incurable indolence of 
the African.'- I do not say a single word here upon 
the controverted question, whether the negroes de- 
mand excessive remuneration. We may assume, for 
the sake of argument, that they are exorbitant. This 
may be a fault, though, under all the circumstances, 
not an unnatural or surprising one ; but this does not 
touch my assertion, grounded upon all the papers which 
have been produced to Parliament, that, when satis- 
fied with the rate of wages, they do labour indus- 
triously, and execute more work, in better style, and 
in less time, than when they were slaves. There 
never was a greater delusion, than that negroes 
could not be induced to work for money. 

A nobler achievement now invites us. I believe 
that Great Britain can, if she will, under the favour 
of the Almighty, confer a blessing on the human race. 
It may be that at her bidding a thousand nations now 
steeped in wretchedness, in brutal ignorance, in de- 
vouring superstition, possessing but the one trade, and 
that one the foulest evil that ever blighted public pros- 
perity, or poisoned domestic peace, shall, under Bri- 
tish tuition, emerge from their debasement, enjoy a 
long line of blessings — education, agriculture, com- 
merce, peace, industry, and the wealth that springs 
from it; and, far above all, shall willingly receive that 
religion which, while it confers innumerable tempo- 


ral blessings, opens the way to an eternal futurity of 

I have already confessed that I am not experienced 
or skilful in matters which touch the commercial part 
of the question. I tread this ground with diffidence. 
I say no more, than that it appears to me that the soil 
in Africa being rich, and the people being found upon 
it, it is not advisable to carry them to a distance. It is 
possible, however, that some fallacy, unsuspected by 
me, may lurk under my theory, if theory of mine it 
can be called ; but when I come to humanity, jus- 
tice, and the duties of Christian men, I stand upon 
a rock. It may be, or it may not, that while we act 
under the impulse of charity to the most afflicted of 
mankind, we are also obeying the dictates of the 
most far-sighted policy, and the most refined ambi- 
tion. It may prove, or it may not, that while we are 
leading Africa to grow at home, cheaper sugar than 
Brazil, and cheaper cotton than the United States, 
we are renovating the very sinews of our national 
strength. Be this as it may, without doubt it is the 
duty of Great Britain to employ the influence and 
the strength which God has given her, in raising 
Africa from the dust, and enabling her, out of her 
own resources, to beat down Slavery and the Slave 

I am aware that it is quite a different question 
whether the means I propose are practicable, and 
likely to be crowned with success. It belongs to the 
nation to consider whether the suggestions now 


offered, and the policy which I have ventured to re- 
commend, are likely to eradicate that mighty evil 
which desolates Africa, degrades Europe, and afflicts 
humanity. If it shall appear that my views are not 
chimerical, — that they have some grounds of reason in 
themselves, and are fortified by a great mass of evi- 
dence of a practical nature,— and if it shall appear 
that, whether we look to the great interests of huma- 
nity, or consult the prosperity and honour of the Bri- 
tish empire, it is our duty to proceed, undeterred by 
difficulty, peril, or expense, — then I trust that steps 
will be taken boldly and rapidly, for the accomplish- 
ment of th e obj ect . 

But if it shall appear that this, and every other 
plan is likely to be futile, or, if the Government shall 
not feel itself justified in braving the difficulties and 
expense which will be required, then must I express 
my painful conviction, that it would be better for the 
interests of humanity that we should withdraw alto- 
gether from the struggle ; — better to let the planters 
of America satiate themselves with their victims, 
than to interpose our efforts, unavailing in reducing 
the magnitude of the evil, while they exasperate the 
miseries which belong to it, — better to do nothing than 
to go on, year after year, at great cost, adding to the 
disasters, and inflaming the wounds of Africa. But I 
cannot contemplate such a result, — I must hope better 

The case is now fairly laid before the nation. It 
belongs to no individual, to no party, — it is a distinct 


and isolated question. My desire has been to lay 
it upon the national conscience of Great Britain. 
There I must leave it ; having fully stated what I be- 
lieve to be the only remedy, and the best means of 
applying that remedy. 

I find, in the sacred writings, a faithful picture of 
sorrows, — such as those with which Africa is now 
afflicted ; but I find also annexed to that description 
a prophetic promise, which we must fervently desire 
to see realised to miserable Africa : — 

" Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, — Before these days 
there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast : 
neither was there any peace to him that went out, or 
came in, because of the affliction : for I set all men, 
every one against his neighbour. 

" But now I will not be unto the residue of this 
people as in the former days, saith the Lord of 

" For the seed shall be prosperous ; the vine shall 
give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, 
and the Heavens shall give their dews : and I will 
cause the remnant of this people to possess all these 



On Facilities of making Treaties. 

The following instances may prove the disposition of the 
native chiefs to form connexions with us : — 

Sir Charles MacCarthy, in giving an account of the 
negotiations for taking possession of the Isles de Loss, 
states, that the treaty " was made with great facility, with- 
out drunkenness or bribery *." In 1826 the king of 
Barra ceded to Great Britain, by treaty, a tract of land on 
the northern shore of the Gambia, 36 miles in length, by one 
in breadth, for 400 Spanish dollars yearly ; all slave-trad- 
ing to be finally prohibited. In 1827 the king of Combo 
guaranteed to the British crown rights nearly amounting to 
sovereignty over his dominions, extending about 30 miles 
along the southern bank of the river, and 10 miles along 
the coast, and from 10 to 15 miles in breadth, with the 
prohibition of the Slave Trade, for an annual payment of 
100 dollars. 

Treaties with the king of Bulola and Biafra, made by 
Sir Neil Campbell, cede the sovereignty of those districts, 
and a right on the part of Great Britain to establish forts or 
factories, with clauses for the abolition of the Slave Trade. 
From the Pongas and Nunez rivers, little or no produce, 

* Mr. Hutton, acting governor at the Gambia, effected an arrangement 
with the chief of Contalacunda, which being deemed a place of importance 
by our merchants, he did not consider 50 dollars annually (about 10/.) ill 
bestowed in securing its chief's friendship. 


except slaves, is exported. In 1827, Sir N. Campbell saw 
the chiefs of these rivers, and obtained " the cession of the 
most commanding points up the mouth of each." Mr. 
Hutton states, in 1829, that he made a treaty with the king 
of Woolli at Fattatenda, and obtained the full sovereignty 
of that town, with stipulations in favour of our commerce, 
for the payment in merchandise of 200 dollars annually. 
He also made a treaty with the king of Bondou, and ob- 
serves, " The object of 300 or 400 dollars is trifling, com- 
pared with the advantage that would result from such a 
connexion with both these kings, whose influence extends 
not only through the whole of Bondou and Woolli, but also 
to the adjoining countries of Shendrum and Tanda, cele- 
brated for gold, gum, &c." Though we have not availed 
ourselves of these openings, — though the payments to the 
chiefs were soon suspended, — some benefit seems to have 
been derived from these engagements. Rev. T. W. Fox, a 
Wesleyan missionary, as appears from his journal in my 
possession, paid a visit to Woolli in 1837, and urged upon 
the king the benefits of Christianity : " He," says Mr. Fox, 
" listened attentively, appeared pleased, and said that was 
what he wanted; and if I would come and sit down on his 
ground, he would give me as much land as I wished, and 
his own children to be educated." I replied, " That if I 
sent a missionary, I hoped he would protect him, and not 
allow anybody to trouble him ;" Koy (the king) answered, 
" that he belonged to white man, and that if Tobaba fodey 
(the white priest) came to sit down in his kingdom, nobody 
should, or would, trouble him." He also said, "he hoped 
God would preserve me ; the object I had in view was very 

The king of Bondou, also, whom Mr. Fox likewise visited 
in 1838, offered to give him ground for a settlement, and 
said, " They were all glad to see him, and they loved him 


very much, because he was a good man." It is something 
in the present disastrous condition of Africa, that there is 
a good feeling towards the British, and no rooted indisposi- 
tion to listen to their agents. 

In 1827, the king and head men of Brekama solicited 
Sir N.Campbell to take them under British protection: 
they stipulated to renounce the Slave Trade, and to enter 
into no wars, in return for British alliance, " and four pieces 
of baft annually." 

Governor Rendall gives a list of 19 kings or chiefs, on 
the northern and 20 on the southern, bank of the Gambia, 
with whom we have some intercourse or connexion. The 
total sum annually divided amongst these, for rents and pro- 
pitiatory presents, reaches only 300Z. This liberality is 
not without its effect. Governor Rendall reports 751. spent 
in presents to chiefs and head men, on both banks of the 
river, between Bathurst and Woolli, and says, " This ex- 
penditure has not been in vain, as I have received intelli- 
gence that the war in Carbo, which has lasted 12 years, is 
finally settled, both parties having taken my advice, and 
called in umpires to decide their difference: the paths 
through Carbo and Footah-Jallow will now be open to the 
river, by which a great influx of trade must take place." 
Besides the tribes lying immediately on the Gambia, Gover- 
nor Rendall says, that " messengers are often received at 
Bathurst from the kings of Boaul and Cayor, to the north- 
ward of Bondou; Cassan, and Kaarta-Bambarra, to the 
eastward ; and the Almanez of Footah-Jallow, to the south- 
east." I am aware that no definite ideas can be derived 
from this catalogue of barbarous chiefs : we have, however, 
evidence sufficient to show that the soil is fertile, and suited 
to tropical productions ; that the forests are full of maho- 
gany and valuable woods, and that the country yields gold : 
hence we may justly infer, that from a territory so extensive, 


for which natvire has clone so much, there is a capability of 
large cultivation, and of considerable commerce. The 
Commissioners of Inquiry sent out to that country in 1827, 
report thus, — " When the magnitude of the river Gambia, 
and the various countries through which it takes its course 
are duly considered, it will probably be concluded that, 
with capital and enterprise, its trade may be increased to a 
considerable extent ;" they add, and I entirely unite 
with them in the opinion, " Great as the advantages, in 
this point of view, which it presents, they can never be 
completely available, without the establishment of a more 
intimate and friendly intercourse with the natives of the 
country." Following the coast, we come to the Portuguese 
settlements of Cacheo and Bissao ; and then to a belt of 
Slave-dealing states, extending to the Congo, and blocking 
out legitimate commerce from the interior. Here, however, 
we have some claims, of which we have not availed our- 
selves. The fine little island of Bulama, in the estuary of 
the Rio Grande, belongs to Great Britain : it is unoccupied ; 
and, in 1826, Governor Macaulay recommended that libe- 
rated Africans should be located there. I find, in Captain 
Beaver's " African Memoranda," the following report of the 
cession of this island to us : — " The original purchase of 
the island of Bulama, made by Captain Beaver in 1792, 
was effected without any difficulty; though, on the first 
arrival of the English, they had offended the natives by 
cutting wood without permission, and in the quarrel which 
ensued, some lives had been lost." When Captain Beaver 
entered into a palaver with the two kings of Canabac, 
touching the purchase of their hunting island of Bulama, 
one of them, while he attributed the affray to our taking 
the liberty to help ourselves, without any leave from the 
native authorities, expressed his desire to treat with us 
amicably on fair terms. He said, " He was sorry for what 


had happened, but that then they neither knew who we 
were, nor what were our intentions : we were strangers, and 
we took their land." Being, however, convinced of the 
pacific and just dispositions of the English, and of the great 
reciprocal benefits that were likely to result from an Euro- 
pean colony established in their neighbourhood, they readily 
made over the sovereignty and possession of the said island 
to the king of Great Britain, for 473 bars of goods (about 
78/. 16,?. 8d.) 

Two chiefs on the mainland afterwards put in a claim for 
a part of the price ; and Captain Beaver, having ascertained 
that " there was some justice in these people's claims," wisely 
satisfied them, and bought their concurrence in the cession 
of the island, together with a still larger tract on the main- 
land, for goods, the cost price of which he estimated at 
25/. las. Id. There were some further charges for Euro- 
pean agency in these transactions.* 

Captain Beaver, at all events, did not apprehend that 
there was any difficulty in his time in obtaining any extent 
of territory on reasonable terms : for he proposes to the 
Government, that they should purchase between the 
Gambia and the Rio Grande a tract of 18,000,000 of acres, 
which, in his opinion, might be bought for 5000/., or less. 

* See the copy of these treaties in Johansen's "Account of Bulama and 
the Bulam Association," pp. 28, 29. 



Vide Page 34. 

Abstract of a Letter written in 1835, relative to Fer- 
nando Po. 

This island belongs to Spain, and was formerly called 
" Formosa," or the beautiful island, a designation it well de- 
serves. It has three ranges of hills running parallel with the 
north-east side of it, the centre one rising into a mountain of 
about 10,000 feet in height. After some negotiation be- 
tween the governments of England and Spain, it was agreed 
in 1827, that the former might place an establishment on 
the island for the purpose of locating upon it such negroes 
as might be captured, and emancipated, under the Slave 
Trade Abolition Treaties, and a governor was sent from hence, 
and various buildings were erected; but some difficulties 
arising, in consequence of the Spanish Crown refusing to 
transfer the sovereignty of the island, it was abandoned, 
after the outlay of a considerable sum. This termination of 
the negotiation is most deeply to be lamented, as the island, 
in the hands of Great Britain, would prove a most important 
and valuable possession as regards her commerce ; but it 
would be still more important to the civilization of Africa, 
forming, as it does, the key to the centre of that vast conti- 
nent, and in this view, to the philanthropist, its occupation by 
the British Crown would be invaluable, as the prepossession 
of the natives on the opposite coast (from which it is distant 
only a few miles) in favour of the English, over all other na- 
tions, is very remarkable : but to any maritime trading na- 

538 APPENDIX 3. 

tion, it would prove a valuable acquisition. The Americans 
have already shown a desire for opening a trade with it, and 
in 1834 one or two vessels were engaged in whaling there. 

On the northern end of the island there is a very fine 
bay, where the different points of land form an inner and 
outer anchorage, and where from 400 to 500 vessels might 
ride in all the months of the year in complete security. The 
facilities for discharging and taking on board their cargoes 
are also very great, as they may lie in three or four fathoms 
of water w T ithin 40 or 50 feet, of the shore, the depth increas- 
ing greatly at every additional few feet : it is remarkable, too, 
that these seas are not visited by the hurricanes so preva- 
lent on other parts of the coast, and that even the tornadoes 
are less violent than elsewhere. These advantages, joined to 
its immediate vicinity to the great rivers which penetrate to 
the heart of Africa, render it unnecessary to say a word to 
enforce the desirableness of its becoming an English pos- 
session. At the period when the island was abandoned a 
town had been laid out at the head of the bay, a consider- 
able number of houses had been built, and a good drainage 
cut through each street. The population, then amounting 
to about 700 persons, w r ere in a flourishing condition, 
being constantly employed in cutting timber, building, and 
cultivation, and the town was bidding fair to become one of 
the most — perhaps the most — important on the coast. The 
native population, in its immediate vicinity, was estimated at 
between 500 and 600 persons, whose ready submission to 
the English government gave every facility to the progres- 
sive improvement of the new colony : they looked up to the 
whites, and readily received instruction in the schools which 
were established, and they attended church with great re- 
gularity and decency on the Sundays — on which days they 
came into the town in great numbers. 

The island produces, in rich abundance, palm-oil, cocoas, 


plantains, and yams ; and it is covered with a vast variety 
of trees, many of them of the most useful qualities : there 
are whole forests of palms, and many different kinds of 
trees which would be valuable for cabinet work ; but, in 
a commercial point of view, the most important amongst 
its timber trees, and in which it also abounds, is that which 
is peculiarly adapted for ship-building, and which may be pro- 
cured of almost all lengths. Several ships, both belonging 
to the government and to merchants, have been repaired 
with it at the island, and many cargoes have been imported 
into England, and used in the king's and merchants' yards. 
The palm-tree is invaluable to the negroes, who use palm- 
wine as a beverage. The soil is so rich, that no limits can be 
assigned to its productiveness : it is capable of producing 
almost every luxury in the vegetable world for the use of 
man and beast. 

Much has been urged in favour of, and also against, the 
climate of this island ; but when the timber, with which it 
abounds, is felled, — and this, if the island were occupied by 
the British, would be constantly progressing, as it is, as has 
been already stated, of a very valuable kind, — there can 
scarcely be a doubt that it would become, ere very long, the 
Madeira of the western coast : as almost any degree of tem- 
perature may be obtained on the different ranges of its moun- 
tains ; and the vegetables of the temperate as well as of the 
tropical climates, flourish in its soil, which is extremely fertile. 
The water, too, is pure and abundant ; game is plentiful, and 
its coasts swarm with fish. It is a fact well established, 
that, in plains in tropical climates where fever exists at a 
temperature of from 80° to 90°, it is not found on the neigh- 
bouring mountains, where at noon the thermometer does not 
range higher than from 70° to 75°. 

2 N 


Extract of a Letter from another Gentleman, dated Cla- 
rence, Fernando Po, May, 1835. 

"■ We anticipate with much anxiety the (we trust not very 
far distant) period, when this establishment will be again 
resumed by our government : for, on investigation into the 
real state of the colony, it must necessarily take place, and 
then prejudices will surely give way, and truth prevail over 
the false representations, through which, one of the most 
beautiful and profitable spots in Africa has been so injudi- 
ciously abandoned. Indeed, I can, in addition to its beauty 
and great utility to British trade in Western Africa, safely 
say, that; in point of salubrity, if not more so, it is at all 
events equal to any other British settlement on the coast. 

" Since 's departure, we have drawn up our militia, 

and designated it ' The Clarence Militia Corps,' and I feel 
great pleasure in stating, that, considering the short period 
the men have been under arms, and their natural awkward- 
ness at first, I should not be ashamed to welcome the Com- 
mander-in-chief with a captain's guards whenever Admiral 
Campbell will deign to honour us with a visit. 

" Our little town of Clarence has also undergone some 
alterations and improvements ; the town, which formerly laid 
scattered in the midst of a forest of plantains and bananas, 
has been brought in nearer to the cove, and properly laid out ; 
the streets are made broad, and cut each other at right angles, 
on either side of which are the houses and allotments, of 
equal dimensions : so, that in what street soever you may be, 
instead of the suffocating atmosphere that formerly assailed 
one, you now enjoy a cool and refreshing current of air, which 
must certainly be conducive to health, and justify our anti- 
cipating even healthy wet seasons. 

" While we go on thus improving among ourselves, I do 
not despair of working a complete revolution in the manners 


and habits of the aborigines, who are rapidly becoming 
inhabitants among us, and are already beginning to adopt 
our customs; assume a more active and industrious cha- 
racter; and supply us with much greater quantities of 
palm-oil than formerly." 


Copy of a Despatch from General Twner to Earl Bathurst. 

Dated Sierra Leone, January 25th, 1826. 

" It is found that, under this system of putting them (the 
liberated Africans) to easy and regular labour such as they 
have been used to, on their landing from slave-ships, they 
become very orderly good labourers ; but in the cases where 
they have been located in the villages, and have received 
gratuitous maintenance, they can, with difficulty, be induced 
to give a day's labour for good wages. 

" It would but lead to disappointment to imagine that a 
large mass of poor ignorant people, without capital, skill, or 
industry, could be brought to maintain themselves, and to 
raise articles of export, without the assistance of labour- 
wages. Could such a system succeed even in England, the 
poor rates might soon be abolished." 

General Turner further says, that if men of colour who 
understand the cultivation of cotton and coffee, were brought 
from the West Indies, to superintend such plantations as 
would not fail under such facilities to be formed by 
capitalists, he is satisfied much would be done in a few 
years for the improvement of the country.* 

* Parliamentary Papers, Sierra Leone, p. 7, Session 1830, No. 57. 



Copy of a Despatch from Lieutenant- Colonel Denham,* 
General Superintendent of the Liberated African De- 

Dated Sierra Leone, May 2\st, 1827. 

" What this colony, or rather the liberated Africans, have 
felt the most want of is, instruction, capital, and example : 
with the very little they have had of either, conveyed in a 
manner likely to benefit them generally, it is to me, daily, 
an increasing subject of astonishment, that the liberated 
Africans settled here have done so much for themselves as 
they have. 

c< I have not observed any disinclination for voluntary 
labour : it appears to be a system perfectly understood and 
practised by the liberated Africans here ; and strengthens 
with their strength, as they become more sensible of the sweets 
of labour, by enjoying the profits of it, and the comforts 
those profits enable them to purchase : indeed, to the many 
hundreds of liberated Africans that have been employed as 
labourers on the different Government works, as well as on 
the buildings erected by private individuals, during the last 
few years, may in some measure be attributed the compara- 
tively small number of agricultural labourers in the villages. 

" Labourers' wages have varied from 1,?. to 6d. per day : 
yet has there never been a deficiency of liberated Africans, 
who were willing to labour for hire. On the Naval Stores, 
now erecting by contract on King Tom's Point, are nearly 
200 liberated African labourers, who work well and steadily, 
at 20,y. per month, one-half paid in money, and the re- 
mainder in goods taken from the stores of the merchants 
who have the contract. 

" The period of labour also forms a longer portion of the 
day here than even in the South of Europe, where for se- 

* The celebrated African traveller, ami eventually Governor of Sierra 


veral hours, when the sun has most power, a general cessa- 
tion of labour, or indeed employment, takes place. La- 
bourers in this colony work from six in the morning till five 
in the afternoon, constantly, with the exception of the hour 
from nine till ten, which they are allowed for breakfast. 

" Husbandry and practical agriculture should be en- 
couraged by every possible means ; but yet I am inclined to 
think the kind of labour in which so many of the liberated 
Africans have been and still are employed, has been upon 
the whole beneficial to them : they must acquire intelligence, 
habits of regularity, and steady labour, with much general 
knowledge, by being employed with artificers, and watch- 
ing the progress of the public buildings from the foundatio 
to the roof, — the roof, to the finished whole, — as in the case 
of the extensive Barracks, and a very handsome building 
intended for the Naval stores, which are both nearly com- 

" They are already sensible of the rewards of industry, 
by being in possession of the profits ; and the advantage of 
property is becoming daily an increased object of interest. 

" An anxious desire to obtain and enjoy the luxuries of 
life is apparent in every village, from the oldest settler to 
the liberated African of yesterday. European articles of 
dress are the first objects of their desire, and for the means 
of acquiring these both sexes will cheerfully labour ; and a 
gradual improvement has taken place in their dwellings, as 
they become possessed of the necessary means for that pur- 
pose. Of the practicability of introducing free labour 
amongst the liberated Africans settled here, I have not the 
slightest doubt, nor do I believe they would work half as 
well in any other way, unless the greatest cruelty should be 
exercised towards them. 

" My opinion on this subject is formed from facts, collected 
during an actual residence in each of the settlements of 


liberated Africans, of from one to three weeks, and I shall 
merely state those facts, as I consider them better than any 
reasoning. The number of frame-houses with stone founda- 
tions, and also stone houses, has increased in all the villages, 
particularly the mountain ones of Gloucester and Regent. 
Three sold during the last three years at Wellington. There 
are seven stone houses nearly finished, all begun during the 
last two years. The owners of these habitations, which cost 
them from 100 to 200 dollars, have all acquired the means 
of so permanently establishing themselves, by free labour 
and industry : they were all, with the exception of a few dis- 
charged soldiers from the Fourth West India Regiment, 
landed from the ships here after capture, and merely given 
a lot of ground and rations for a time : they became masons, 
carpenters, coopers, smiths, and farmers. 

" The markets at Freetown are supplied with fruit and 
vegetables, almost exclusively, by the mountain villages ; and 
from 80 to 100 men, women, boys, and girls, are to be seen 
daily on the hill leading to Gloucester town, with the pro- 
duce of their farms and gardens. This is also entirely the re- 
ward of their own industry and perseverance, for not the 
least instruction on this important branch of labour have they 
ever received."* 

Major Ricketts in a despatch, dated June 30th, 1829, 
speaking of the produce raised by the liberated Africans, 
says : — 

" The value of these articles may be estimated by the 
well-known fact, that a labouring man can go into the mar- 
ket and purchase as much food for a penny-halfpenny as 
will suffice for two meals. Some of the persons supplying the 
market are known to travel from Waterloo and Hastings, 
the former being 22, and the latter 16 miles from Freetown, 
carrying their produce in baskets on their heads. This kind 

* Papers relative to Sierra Lcono, September, 1830, No. 57. p. 15 — 17. 


of industry clearly manifests the desire the liberated Afri- 
cans have to labour voluntarily, to enable them, by honest 
means, to become possessed of those luxuries, which they see 
their more wealthy brethren enjoying."* 


Playford Hall, 17th July, 1839. 
My Dear Friend, 

Having read your little book, bearing the name of " The 
Remedy," I congratulate you on having at last discovered 
a way, winch if followed up in all its parts, would most cer- 
tainly lead to the abolition of that execrable traffic called 
the Slave Trade. 

Two of the measures which you hold forth to accomplish 
this object, are the employment of steamers in conjunction 
with sailing vessels, and the annexation of the island of 
Fernando Po to our foreign possessions. Simple and in- 
significant as the means may at first sight appear, they will 
be decisive in their consequences, and fully answer the end 
as far as the capture and destruction of slave-vessels are 
concerned. Steamers, it is obvious, will come up with these, 
at times and seasons, when our best sailing ships cannot 
touch them, and Fernando Po is a station, in the sight of 
which eight-tenths of the existing slaves must pass to be 
carried on. Commodore Bullen, whom you have quoted, 
says, " that if a look-out be kept from the shore of this bay, 
(in Fernando Po) scarcely a vessel could leave the Bonny, 
Calabars, Bimbia, and Camaroon rivers, without being 
observed time enough to signalize to any vessel lying in the 
bay to intercept her;" and he cites as an instance the cap- 
ture of a slaver Le Daniel by his own vessel. This capture 

* Papers relative to Sierra Leone, September, 1830, No. 57, p. 39. 


was effected within four hours after first seeing her, although 
his vessel was then lying at anchor in the bay. Taking in 
these three happy circumstances together, the employment of 
steamers, the vicinity of Fernando Po to the coast, and that the 
island commands a sight of eight-tenths of the Slave Trade 
now carried on, I cannot doubt that ten vessels would be 
captured where one was taken before. I verily believe that 
our cruisers would make such havoc among the slave vessels 
in three months, that when the news of what they had done 
should reach Cuba, Brazil, &c., the insurance there would 
be raised to a frightful amount, and merchants begin to 
query, whether it would be advisable to send any more 
adventures to that part of the coast. So far for the first 
three months ; but after this, other vessels would be on their 
way to the Niger, ignorant of what had happened, and 
would share the same fate. Here a fresh report of captures 
would be communicated to the people of Brazils, Cuba, &c, 
and what effect would this produce there? No insurance 
at any rate ! No heart to venture again in this trade ! And 
here I cannot help stating the benefit that Fernando Po 
would be to the slaves who should be captured on these 
occasions : instead of being carried to Sierra Leone, as 
heretofore, many of them in a diseased state, a voyage of 
five or six weeks, during which a prodigious loss of life has 
occurred, they would be landed there in health in three or 
four days, some of them in a few hours, where they would 
be liberated, and set to work, and earn their own main- 
tenance immediately. I have been writing hitherto under 
the supposition that we are at liberty to take vessels of this 
description bearing the Portuguese flag. It is said that a 
treaty is on foot for that purpose with Portugal, but if that 
should fail, existing treaties would bear us out in the cap- 
ture of such vessels. 

But supposing these two measures should be successful, 


as you think they would be, in putting an end to the Slave 
Trade, what do you recommend next ? You recommend 
that a new trade should be proposed to the natives in 
exchange for that of the Slave Trade, in the productions of 
their soil ; that is, by means of agriculture, by which their 
wants, and more than their usual wants, would be supplied, 
so that when the new trade should come fairly into play, 
they would find, practically find, that it was more than a 
compensation for the old; and that the rise of this new 
trade should immediately follow the downfall of the Slave 
Trade. But how is this new trade to be brought about ? 
You answer by treaties with the native chiefs : by subsidies 
to some of them, which, though they would be important, 
would be of trifling amount ; by purchasing land, which, 
though extensive, would be attended with little cost ; by 
introducing settlements among them, by which their in- 
dustry would be directed to the proper objects of cultivation, 
and that cultivation improved by our skill ; by which their 
youth would be educated, their manners and habits civil- 
ized, and the gospel be widely spread among them. 

There is no doubt that if all these things could be accom- 
plished, not only the Slave Trade would be abolished, but 
the natives would never wish to return to it. Now you 
have shown by historical proofs that all these things have 
been already done in many instances in different parts of 
Africa, and that the results have been highly favourable, 
and this, without any particular pains being taken, except 
at Sierra Leone ; in fact, without any but ordinary sthrmlus 
being given, the natives being left to their own will and 
pleasure, and without any other incitement than the pro- 
tection which a settlement in this vicinity afforded them, 
and a simple declaration, " that they should be paid for 
their labour." What would be the case then, were a great 
company established in England, whose constant object 


would be to excite their energies by the prospect of a suit- 
able reward, and by instructing them how to earn it ? 

Let us now see what these historical proofs are (and I 
shall quote from them very briefly) on which you place so 
much reliance. Sierra Leone offers itself for consideration 
first. You say that " the accounts, soon after the settle- 
ment was formed there, stated that the natives crowded round 
the colony, both for education and for trade, and that the 
beneficial effect upon them in inducing them to quit slave 
trading, was instantaneous. That effect has been continued, 
and has extended in the neighbourhood of Sierra Leone to 
a very considerable distance round the colony. Traders 
bring down ivory, gold-dust, and palm oil as usual. Of 
late years a very important branch has been added to the 
legal trade for the cutting of timber for the British Navy, 
&c. &c. 

The river Gambia presents itself next. " In the year 
1814," says Mr. Bandinel, " a colony was formed at St. 
Mary's on this river. This colony has increased and 
flourished beyond all reasonable calculation, and is already 
more 'powerful and wealthy than any of those 1 older settle- 
ments of the British in Africa, which were formed for the 
purpose of promoting the Slave Trade." — " The beneficial 
effects of this settlement at St. Mary's on all the tribes along 
the banks of the Gambia, are perhaps still more prominent 
than those which have taken place round Sierra Leone." 

In the year 1833, a mission in connexion with the 
Wesleyan Society was established at Mac Carthy's island. 
" Before the abolition of the Slave Trade," says the Rev. 
Mr. Macbriar, " there were considerable factories here, but 
now that the slave market is abolished, and the natives can 
find a ready market for the produce of their lands by 
means of the British merchants, the cultivation of the soil 
increases every year ; and the aborigines have been heard 


to say, that they now wish they had their slaves back again, 
because they could get more by their labour than they did 
by selling them to Europeans." 

Let us add another of your proofs. The Rev. J. Morgan, 
to whom the Foulah mission in the same river partly owes 
its origin, recommends the purchase of tracts of land adjoin- 
ing the principal rivers. He says, " that thousands would 
flee to such places of refuge as soon as they could be 
assured of protection, and thus a dense free population 
would soon spring up, and commerce would rapidly ex- 
tend." I myself am connected by subscription with a 
settlement in this river, and the accounts from thence, 
which I see yearly, are full of the anxious desire mani- 
fested by the natives on the banks of it, to be under our 
protection, and to cultivate their lands in peace, and to be 
civilized and christianized. 

We come now to the Gold Coast. In no part of Africa, 
says the Governor, M f Lean, was the Slave Trade more firmly 
rooted, or more systematically carried on than in these set- 
tlements." e ' But a great change has taken place since its 
abolition. The soil, which formerly did not yield sufficient 
for the sustenance of the inhabitants, now affords to export 
a very large amount of corn to Madeira" u besides greatly 
increased quantities of gold-dust and ivory." " The exports 
to Great Britain amount to £160,000 per annum." For- 
merly " the whole country was one scene of oppression, 
cruelty, and disorder, so that a trader dared not go twenty 
miles into the bush. At present our communication with 
the interior is as free and safe as between England and 
Scotland." Add to this the statement, that f ' several hun- 
dreds of the natives, through the labours of the Wesleyan 
missionaries, have embraced the truths of Christianity." 

Having now made a few quotations from what you have 
advanced relative to our own colonies on the continent of 
Africa, let us quote from what you have said relative to other 


parts of the same continent which are not in our possession. 
The first of these which presents itself in the order of loca- 
tion upon that coast, is the country in the neighbourhood of 
the Senegal. The natives having had reason to suppose 
that it was the intention of the British Government, when 
they took possession of this river, to abolish the Slave Trade 
as far as their new dominions extended, were filled with joy. 
" Seeing no probability of any further Slave Trade," says 
Mr. Rendall, who was a resident of St. Louis, in the Senegal, 
from 1813 to 1817, "they bethought themselves to turn 
their attention to agriculture, and all disposable tracts of 
land were in consequence to be found in a state of cultiva- 
tion. The .inhabitants passed from one village to another 
without fear or jwotective iceapons , and contentment seemed 
to reign not only in the countenances, but in the humble huts 
of the inhabitants." This account of Mr. Rendall is very 
short. It is a pity that he did not dwell more largely, as he 
might have done, on the extraordinary industry, which 
this belief of the abolition excited ; on the great quantity of 
land put in cultivation for miles along the banks of the 
Senegal, and on the markets which the people had opened 
for themselves. I had an account of these particulars, as 
they occurred, from persons at Fort St. Louis, myself, an 
had occasion afterwards to transmit them to the Congress at 
Aix-la-Chapelle, where I understood they were received and 
read . 

The next place in order of location is the Island of 
Bulama, situated opposite to the country of Biafra, and not far 
from the great rivers Rio Grande and Nunez. Here Cap- 
tain Beaver, at the close of the last century, attempted to 
form a colony. Two of the natives of the opposite continent 
soon crossed over to him, and though he told them " he 
could have no dealing in slaves," yet their report induced 
others to take service with him, and he never afterwards 
wanted grumettas or labourers. In one year he employed 


nearly two hundred of them. He never saw men work 
harder, more willingly, or regularly, generally speaking, 
than they did. And what induced them, says Captain 
Beaver, to do so ? " Their desire of European commodities 
in my possession, of which they knew they would have the 
value of one bar at the end of the week, or four at the end 
of a month. Some of them remained at labour for months 
ere they left me. Others, after having left me, returned. 
They knew that the labour was constant, but they also knew 
that their reward was certain." To this account I may just 
add, that I knew Captain Beaver personally, and that I have 
heard these and other important statements from his own 
lips. He was a captain in the royal navy ; and in private 
life he was most estimable, and a man of high moral cha- 

The last place in the same order, but some hundreds of 
miles further down the coast, which you quote, is the river 
Niger. Unfortunately the gentlemen you mention have not 
been resident in the interior of this country, and therefore 
can only speak of what they saw and heard while navigating 
this immense river. By this river, says Mr. Laird, one 
hundred millions of people would be brought into direct con- 
tact with the civilized world, new and boundless markets 
would be opened to our manufacturers, a continent teeming 
with inexhaustible fertility would yield her riches to our 
traders ; not merely a nation, but hundreds of nations, 
would be awakened from the lethargy of centuries, and be- 
come useful and active members of the great commonwealth 
of mankind." And what says Mr. Lander of the disposi- 
tion of this vast population of the countries through which 
this river goes? " The natives," he says, " only require to 
know what is wanted from them, and to be shown what 
they will have in return, and much produce that is now lost 
from neglect, will be returned to a considerable amount." 
But the most important evidence which you have cited for 


this part of the country is Colonel Nicholls. He tells us, 
that from his long experience in these and other parts of 
Africa, " there is one means, and he is persuaded but one 
effectual means, of destroying the Slave Trade, which is by 
introducing a liberal and well regulated system of commerce 
on the coast of Africa." He then gives us the substance of 
a conversation with one of the native chiefs on this subject, 
in which he convinced him of the folly of trading in the 
bodies of the inhabitants in comparison with trading in the 
productions of the soil, so that this chief gave up the Slave 
Trade : and says, " I feel convinced that I could influence 
all the chiefs along the coast in the same manner : but to 
be able to effect this,, it would be necessary to have the means 
of moving with a degree of celerity that a steam-vessel alone 
would give us." — " Steam-boats would also be of incalculable 
use to commerce, by towing ships over bars and agitated cur- 
rents, whilst, as a means of catching the Slave-ships, and pro- 
tecting the coast from the depredations of their crews, three 
steamers loould effect more than the exp>ensive squadron now 
maintained there. I pledge myself to put an end to the 
whole of our expense, and totally to suppress the Slave 
Trade, in two years." O, how I wish that Colonel Nicholls 
could be sent again to Africa for this purpose ! He is the 
only man alive to effect it. I know him well. His whole 
heart and soul are in the project. Besides, he has an inti- 
mate knowledge of these seas and harbours, of Fernando Po, 
and what it can do towards the abolition of the Slave Trade ; 
of the mouth of the Niger, and the great rivers falling into 
it; of some of the native chiefs personally, and of the manners, 
customs, disposition, and temper in general of the inhabitants 
of these parts. 

But why should I go further into "The Remedy" you 
propose? It would be a waste of words. It has already 
appeared probable, nay, more than probable, that if steamers 
were employed, and Fernando Po added to our possessions, 


the capture of the vessels concerned in the hateful traffic 
would be comparatively easy ; that treaties might be made 
with the African chiefs, and several of them subsidized in 
our interest; and that the energies of the natives on that 
vast continent might be called forth in a new trade, in the 
productions of their soil, (which of itself would sap the 
foundation of the Slave Trade,) and that thousands and 
tens of thousands of these natives might be engaged in it. 
Again, you have projected: a large commercial and agricul- 
tural company, which should take off their produce, and 
supply their wants. What can you devise, and what can 
you desire more, to put down the Slave Trade and to civilize 
Africa? I hope then that you will not be so diffident as 
you appear to be relative to the success of your measures : 
if they do not succeed, none will. I have studied the sub- 
ject for more than half a century, and give it as my opinion 
that yours is the only plan that will answer. I cannot 
doubt that the Government would readily promote your 
views, if they were only persuaded that it was probable that 
the abolition of the Slave Trade would follow, and that a 
great part of the country, the moral and religious part of it, 
would be grateful, very grateful, to them for so doing. And 
now, my dear Friend, having read your little work twice 
over, and having formed my conclusions upon it, and find- 
ing these in unison with your own, I thought that you would 
be pleased with them ; and thanking you, as every aboli- 
tionist must do, for the great labour you must have undergone 
in preparing your present plan, I remain, with great 

Your sincere and affectionate Friend, 

Thomas Clakkson. 




I mention how my time has been chiefly occupied as an 
apology for my abbreviated account of the matter you are in- 
quiring about ; however, thus much I can state and verify. 
When I was travelling between Der, the capital of Nubia and 
Epsambool, I met a slave ship descending the Nile, and as 
I wished to see what was going on in the vessel, 1 went on 
board to purchase some ostrich feathers. This was in March 
last, I cannot tell the exact date, as my journals are in Paris. 
There were probably 20 or 25 slaves, of ages between 10 and 
16. There was one man about 30 chained to the bifurcated 
end of a long pole ; his neck was enclosed by the two branches, 
and a chain from one end to the other secured him even 
from a movement of his head. The other end of the pole 
was locked to the floor of the hold of the vessel. It appears 
that this man had attempted to escape. I actually saw but 
this one vessel, but my interpreter told me that several 
slave vessels had passed us in the night. 

I was in the slave market in Cairo ; I saw many slaves, 
male and female, on sale ; being an European, I was not 
permitted to see the white slaves, nor do I know that there 
were any on sale at that time. The black slaves 1 had free 
access to ; and I was told that there were some white ones in 
the rooms. 

I am, Sir, your obedient Servant, 

Wm. Hyde Pearson. 




Copy of a Letter from the Right Honour oble Lord John 
Russell to the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's 
Treasury. (Laid on the table of the House of Com- 
mons, 8th February, 1840.) 

Downing Street, 
My Lords, 26th December, 1839. 

The state of the foreign Slave Trade has for some time 
past engaged much of the attention of Her Majesty's 
Confidential Advisers. In whatever light this traffic is 
viewed, it must be regarded as an evil of incalculable mag- 
nitude; the injuries it inflicts on the lawful commerce of 
this country, the constant expense incurred in the employ- 
ment of ships of war for the suppression of it, and the 
annual sacrifice of so many valuable lives in this service, 
however deeply to be lamented, are not the most disastrous 
results of this system. The honour of the British Crown is 
compromised by the habitual evasion of the treaties subsist- 
ing between Her Majesty and foreign powers for the aboli- 
tion of the Slave Trade, and the calamities which, in 
defiance of religion, humanity, and justice, are inflicted on 
a large proportion of the African continent, are such as can- 
not be contemplated without the deepest and most lively 
concern. The Houses of Lords and Commons have, in 
their addresses to the Crown, expressed, in the most ener- 
getic terms, the indignation with which Parliament regards 
the continuance of the trade in African slaves, and their 
anxious desire that every practicable method should be 
taken for the extinction of this great social evil. 



To estimate the actual extent of the foreign Slave Trade, 
is, from the nature of the case, an attempt of extreme diffi- 
culty ; nor can anything more than a general approximation 
to the truth be made. But after the most attentive 
examination which it has been in my power to make, of 
official documents, and especially of the correspondence 
communicated to Parliament from the department of Her 
Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 
I find it impossible to avoid the conclusion, that the average 
number of slaves introduced into foreign states or colonies 
in America and the West Indies, from the western coast 
of Africa, annually exceeds 100,000. In this estimate 
a very large deduction is made for the exaggerations 
which are more or less inseparable from all statements 
on a subject so well calculated to excite the feelings of 
every impartial and disinterested witness. But making 
this deduction, the number of slaves actually landed in the 
importing countries affords but a very imperfect indication 
of the real extent of the calamities which this traffic inflicts 
on its victims. No record exists of the multitudes who 
perish in the overland journey to the African coast, or in 
the passage across the Atlantic, or of the still greater num- 
ber who fall a sacrifice to the warfare, pillage, and cruelties 
by which the Slave Trade is fed. Unhappily, however, no 
fact can be more certain, than that such an importation as I 
have mentioned, presupposes and involves a waste of human 
life, and a sum of human misery, proceeding from year to 
year, without respite or intermission, to such an extent as to 
render the subject the most painful of any which, in the 
survey of the condition of mankind, it is possible to con- 

The preceding statement unavoidably suggests the in- 
quiry, why the costly efforts in which Great Britain has so 


long been engaged for repressing the foreign Slave Trade 
have proved thus ineffectual? Without pausing to enume- 
rate the many concurrent causes of failure, it may be suffi- 
cient, to say that such is the difference between the price at 
which a slave is bought on the coast of Africa and the price 
for which he is sold in Brazil or Cuba, that the importer 
receives back his purchase- money tenfold on the safe arrival 
of his vessel at the port of destination. It is more than 
probable that the general profits of the trade, if accurately 
calculated, would fall exceedingly below this estimate, as 
indeed it is certain that in many cases it is carried on at a 
ruinous loss. But your Lordships are well aware, how 
powerful and constant an impulse may be given to any 
species of illegal traffic, however hazardous, when they who 
engage in it are allured by the hope of very larg'e and quick 
returns, if their good fortunes could enable them to escape 
the penalties of the law. It may therefore be readily under- 
stood how effective is such a stimulus, when, as in the case 
in question, the law itself is regarded with general disfavour 
in the society to which the violator of it belongs, and is 
reluctantly executed by the government of that society. We 
must add to this exciting motive the security which is derived 
from insurances, and insurance companies, which are carried 
on to a great extent, and combined powerful interests. 
Under such circumstances, to repress the foreign Slave 
Trade by a marine guard would scarcely be possible, if the 
whole British navy could be employed for that purpose. It 
is an evil which can never be adequately encountered by 
any system of mere prohibition and penalties. 

Her Majesty's confidential advisers are therefore com- 
pelled to admit, the conviction that it is indispensable to 
enter upon some new preventive system, calculated to arrest 
the foreign Slave Trade in its source, by counteracting the 



principles by which it is now sustained. Although it may- 
be impossible to check the cupidity of those who purchase 
slaves for exportation from Africa,, it may yet be possible to 
force on those, by whom they are sold, the persuasion that 
they are engaged in a traffic, opposed to their own interests 
when correctly understood. 

With this view it is proposed to establish new commer- 
cial relations with those African chiefs or powers within 
whose dominions the internal Slave Trade of Africa is car- 
ried on, and the external Slave Trade supplied with its 
victims. To this end the Queen has directed Her Minis- 
ters, to negotiate conventions or agreements with those 
chiefs and powers, the basis of which conventions would be, 
first, the abandonment and absolute prohibition of the 
Slave Trade; and, secondly, the admission for. consumption 
in this country, on favourable terms, of goods the produce 
or manufacture of the territories subject to them. Of those 
chiefs, the most considerable rule over the countries adja- 
cent to the Niger and its great tributary streams. It is 
therefore proposed to dispatch an expedition which would 
ascend that river by steam-boats, as far as the points at 
which it receives the confluence of some of the principal 
rivers falling into it from the eastward. At these, or at any 
other stations which may be found more favourable for the 
promotion of a legitimate commerce, it is proposed to esta- 
blish British Factories, in the hope that the natives may be 
taught that there are methods of employing the population 
more profitable to those to whom they are subject, than that 
of converting them into slaves, and selling them for expor- 
tation to the slave traders. 

In this communication it would be out of place, and 
indeed impracticable, to enter upon a full detail of the plan 
itself; of the ulterior measures to which it. may lead, or of 
the reasons which induce Her Majesty's Government to 


believe that it may eventually lead to the substitution of an 
innocent and profitable commerce, for that traffic by which 
the continent of Africa has so long been desolated. For 
my immedia'e purpose it will be sufficient to say, that 
having maturely weighed these questions, and with a full 
perception of the difficulties which may attend this under- 
taking, the Ministers of the Crown are yet convinced that 
it affords the best, if not the only prospect of accomplishing 
the great object so earnestly desired by the Queen, by her 
Parliament, and her people. 

Having instituted a careful inquiry as to the best and 
most economical method of conducting the proposed expe- 
dition, I find from the enclosed communication from the 
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that it will be ne- 
cessary to build three iron steam-vessels for this service, 
and that the first cost of those vessels, including provisions 
and stores for six months, will amount to 35,000/. It fur- 
ther appears that the annual charge of paying and victual- 
ling the officers and men will be 10,546/. The salaries of 
the conductors of the expedition, and of their chaplain and 
surgeon, will probably amount to 4,000/. In addition to this 
expenditure, Presents must be purchased for the chiefs, and 
tents, mathematical instruments, with some other articles 
of a similar kind, will be indispensable for the use of the 
persons who are to be engaged in this service, when at a 
distance from their vessels. I have some time since given 
directions for the completion of this additional estimate, but 
with those directions it has not hitherto been found prac- 
ticable to comply. The charge for this branch of the pro- 
posed service will not be very considerable. 

I have to convey to your Lordships my recommendation 
that in the estimates to be laid before the House of Com- 
mons for the services of the year 1840, the sums be in- 


dueled which are necessary to provide for the expenses of 
the proposed expedition to the Niger, on the scale already- 
mentioned, under the several heads of expenditure. 

I have, &c. 

(Signed) J. Russell. 



Abolitionists, African, 470] 

Abu-Muhammed, projected railroad from, to Kurusku, 433 

Adamastos, a slave vessel that lost 304 out of 800 slaves on her voy- 
age, 162 

Adams, an Englishman enslaved at Timbuctoo, 462 

Addah Cuddah, an African town destroyed in a slave hunt, 85 

Addahkuddah, a town on the Niger, 472 

Advances already made in introducing education and religion, 498 

Africa, her early condition unknown, but more flourishing than in 
modern times, 227; engaged in agricultural pursuits in the twelfth 
and sixteenth centuries, 227 ; evidence of Sir J. Hawkins in 1562, 
227 ; of Bosman in 1700, of W. Smith in 1726, description of the 
country by recent travellers, 228,472,473; of the interior, 474; 
inhabitants in a demoralised state, 231, 290; the knowledge we 
possess very limited, 269, 277; reason to suppose that her condi- 
tion is far worse than it has been ascertained to be, 269 ; her ca- 
pabilities, 271, 280, 307, 459, 476 ; disposition to trade, 272, 476 ; 
much confidence in the British, 289 ; favourable disposition of 
chiefs in the interior, 290 ; importance of, as a field of European 
commerce, 305 ; her productions, 310 to 337; willingness of the 
people to labour, 328 ; her geographical position, 357 

African statistics, 307, 311; population, 472 

African timber, extent to which it is imported, 478 

African trade contrasted with other trades to show its present insig- 
nificance, 304, 307 ; its value in introducing civilisation and 
Christianity, 306 ; imports increased since 1820, 308 ; articles 
calculated for, enumerated, 310 to 329; might be largely ex- 
tended in cotton, 335 ; at present checked by the slave trade, 340, 
472 ; the import trade into Africa capable of vast extension, 341, 
343, 377; facilities for commercial intercourse, 344; security ne- 
cessary, 358; principles on which all trade with Africa should be 
conducted, 441 

Agents, in all cases, should be negroes or coloured, 286, 454 ; to be 
obtained among the liberated Africans, 492 ; also from Jamaica, 
494; from Antigua, 495; from Wesleyan negroes in the West 
Indies, generally, 495 

Aglae, a slave vessel, description of her stowage of her slaves> 136 


562 INDEX. 

Agricultural Company recommended, 518 

Agriculture discouraged by the slave trade, 226, 279, 483 ; its pro- 
fitable returns, 280 ; would be checked by the removal of our 
cruisers, 284 ; eligible character of the country, 316; in Liberia, 
327 ; places adapted for cotton, 335 ; practical effect in providing 
greater profits than are found in the slave trade, 338; general 
success at Sierra Leone, 376 ; agricultural school at McCarthy's 
Island, 390 ; model plantations suggested by Governor Rendall, 
414; by Mr. Laird, 420; natives disposed to agriculture, 475; 
state of, at Kimba, 482 

Aguila Primera, slave vessel, 37 

Ahomed, the Arab master of Captain Paddock, 467 

Aku, language generally understood by captured negroes, 499, note 

Albreda, a French settlement on the Gambia, 385 

Alcide, Portuguese slave vessel, 51 

Allen, Captain W., R.N., employed by the Admiralty to ascend the 
Niger, 423 ; his views coincident with those of the Remedy, 423 

Allen, William, a slave trader, 123 

Anaconda, an American slave vessel, 40 

Angola, its slave exports, 51, 52 ; the governor of, a slave trader, 207 

Angornou, a market for the Mahommedan slave trade, 63 

Apoko, chief linguist to the king of the Ashantees, 258 

Apollonia, conduct of the king of, in a slave-trading transaction, 394 

Arab vessels, employed in slave trade, 60 

Arabian slave trade, its extent, 66 

Arabic, used as a written language in the interior, 474 

Arabin, Captain, his description of the native manufactures at Cas- 
samanza, 483 

Argentine republic, its share in the slave trade, 38, 53 

Argus, a Spanish slaye vessel that threw ninely-seven of her slaves 
overboard, 157 

Arogan, a slave vessel, mortality arising from stowage described, 1G1 

Ashantees, their ferocious character and customs, 236 to 240; effects 
of missionary labour among them, 490 

Ashmun, his advice to Liberian settlers, 326, 331 ; his opinion on 
African cotton, 334 

Attah, an African town on the Niger, 472 

Aviso, a slave vessel, her stowage described, 144 ; after capture, 176 


Badagry, in the Bight of Benin, a slave market, 1 15 

Bahia, its slave imports, 1 8 

Bammakoo, on the Niger, 345 

Bandinel, Mr., of the Foreign Office, his testimony to African fidelity 

INDEX. 563 

to treaties, 297; respecting^ Sierra Leone, 362; respecting St. 
Mary's on the Gambia, 384 

Banee island, 478 

Barra, its chief favourable to missionaries, 489 ; treaty with him, 532 

Bassa language, books in it, 499 

Bates, Elisha, his evidence of the efficacy of Christianity in improv- 
ing the temporal condition of the American Indians, 510 

Beaver, Captain, his opinion of the fertility of Africa, 333 ; his 
attempt to establish a colony on the island of Bulama, 447J 

Beecham, Rev. John, 505 

Becroft, Captain, his views on the abolition of slave-trading by agri- 
culture and commerce, 424 

Begharmi, a district in the interior, 346 

Bello, sultan of the Felatahs,his overtures to Captain Clapperlon, 293 

Benguela, its slave exports, 50, 51 ; state of its slave deput, 113 

Benin, its manufacture of muskets, 479 

Berracoe, 247 

Biafra, king of, treaty with him, 532 

Bimbia river, 545 

Bloodhounds, on board slave-vessels to keep the slaves in order, 143 

Boaul, 534 

Bondou, 478, 489 ; treaty with the king of, 533 

Boollibanny, the capital of Bondou, 489, 

Bornou, slave trade, 66, 70, 79 ; sheik of, the terms of his alliances 
with the sultan of Mandara, 80; inhabitants averse to the trade, 
291 ; its manufactures, 480 

Bossman, his statement of the mortality of slave-trading expeditions, 

Bowditch, Mr., his description of the human sacrifices, 233, 234 

Bowring, Dr., his information respecting slave importations into 
Egypt, 68, 109 ; his account of the sufferings of a female slave 
over the desert, 110 ; of slaves during the seasoning, 193 

Brazilian Friends, a slave vessel, her stowage, and the state of her 
cargo described, 144 

Brazilian Government, its connivance at the trade, 27, 180 

Brazilian slave trade, 16, 18, 19, 24; evidence of its extent, 21, 22, 29 
53; on the increase, 25, 28; with Quilimane, 49; its extent with 
the east coast of Africa, 50 

Breckama, king of, desirous of British protection, 534 

Brillante, a slave vessel that lost 214 out of 621 slaves, 163 

British manufactures, trade purposely for the slave trade, 55 ; the 
extent of such manufactures, 56 

Brown, the botanist, his observations on the uniformity of vegetation 
in Western Africa, 329 


564 INDEX. 

Browne, the traveller, his estimate of the number of slaves in cara- 
vans, 65 ; his description of the march to the coast, 99 

Bruce, the traveller, his account of slave-hunting expeditions, 74 

Buenos Ayres, slave imports, 37, 53 

Bulama, an island, the scene of Captain Beaver's colonial specula- 
tion, 447 ; in the Rio Grande, belonging to Great Britain, 535 

Bullen, Captain R.N., his description of the "Aviso" after capture, 
176; of Fernando Po, 350 

Bullom language, Gospel of St. Matthew translated into, 499 

Bulola, king of, treaty with him, 532 

Burckhardt, his information respecting the slave market at Shendy 
66, 69 ; respecting the march to the coast, 103 

Byara, Mr., his efforts to suppress slave trading at the Mauritius, 

Cacheo, a Portuguese settlement, 535 

Caillie, the African traveller, his description of the march to the 
coast, 106 

Calabar, Old, a district under Duke Ephraim, 486 

Calabases river, 545 

Camaroons, a mountain in Fernando Po, 348 

Camaroon river, 545 

Campbell, Lieutenant-Colonel, his official remonstrance with Mahom- 
med Ali respecting slave hunts, 90 

Canabac, palaver with the kings of, respecting the cession of Bula- 
ma, 535 

Cape Palmas coast, slave exports, 52 

Capsicum, 375 

Capture, mortality after, 175; evidence of Admiral Hamond, 175; 
of Captain Bullen, 175; of Mr. McCormack, 176; fourteen pet- 
cent, on the number captured, 178 ; loss of life after capture illus- 
trated in the case of seventeen vessels, amounting to 44 per cent., 
183 ; report of the committee of 1830, 183 

Captured slaves, their state on being liberated, 369 

Caravalho, a Portuguese, the only slave trader on the Rio Nunez, 

Carbo, a war in, lasted for 12 years, 534 

Calros, a slave trader, from which slaves were thrown overboard, J35 

Carletta, a slave vessel that by mismanagement was wrecked and 
lost 2G9 slaves, 166 

Carolina, a slave vessel, sufferings of her cargo from want of water 
described, 160 

INDEX.' 565 

Cassamanza, a river, the site of Portuguese factories, 483 

Cassan, 534 

Cassoos, a powerful slave-trading tribe, 83 

Castle, Captain R.N., his description of a slave vessel captured by 

him, 150 
Cayor, 534 
Christianity cannot be introduced till the slave trade is suppressed, 

10,11,226; its connexion with legitimate commerce, 306; with 

agriculture, 483 ; its civilising power, 502 
Cinco Amicos, slave vessel, 36 

Cintra, a slave vessel that lost 214 out of 970 slaves, 163 
Civilization of Africa may be effected by education in the country, 

279, 502 ; will be introduced by legitimate commerce, 306 ; general 

remarks, 360; results of experience, 362 ; in the case of the Gold 

Coast, 390 ; of St. Mary's, 384; coincidence of opinions on the 

way of promoting it, 423 ; predicted by Pitt, 458 ; rapidly advanced 

by Christianity, 504, 505 ; specific steps to be taken, 518 
Clapperton, Captain, his interviews with Bello, sultan of the Felafahs, 

on the suppression of the trade, 293 ; his report on African 

cotton, 333 
Clarence, in Fernando Po, its description, 540 
Clarke, George, twelve years resident in New Zealand, his views of 

the power of Christianity in advancing civilization, 505 
Clarkson, Thomas, his views as to the means of abolishing slave 

trading, 424 ; Appendix D., 545 
Clippers, American, a vessel particularly used for the slave trade, 

because built for speed without reference to the accommodation of 

the cargo, 159 
Clouston.Mr., a merchant at Freetown, his speculation in ginger, 374 
Coates, Mr., his views of the power of Christianity in advancing 

civilization, 503 
Cobbe, a market for the Mohammedan slave trade, 63 
Coffee, 330, 331 

Coincidence of opinions on the civilization of Africa, 423, 435, 436 
Collier, Admiral, his report of the capture of La Jeune Estelle, 140 
Collingwood, Luke, the captain of a slave vessel who threw his 

slaves overboard, 131 
Combo, king of, treaty with him, 532 
Commerce essential to Africa, 7, 278; mercantile views of an 

African chief, 280 ; of the. inhabitants of Bornou, 291 ; nature of 

the existing trade described, 304 
Commissioners in mixed commission courts, 18, 30 
Committee on Sierra Leone, its report, 364 
Commodore, a slave vessel that lost 300 out of 685 slaves, 163 

566 INDEX. 

Conclusion, 523, summary of the motives that should induce national 

exertion, 523 to 531 
Conquest in Africa disclaimed, 453 
Contraband slave trading must prevail, even if every state declared 

it piracy, 221 ; the profits too great to allow of smuggling being 

prevented, 222 
Cook, Captain, his description of slave mortality on board slave 

traders in port, 119; of the horrors incident to their detention, 

120, 132 
Coomassie, the capital of Ashantee, the scene of atrocious horrors, 

233, 246 to 267 
Constantia, a slave vessel of which the cargo was reduced from 438 

to 70, 153 
Corintchie, chief of Fornunnah, 248 ; his observance of the " customs* 1 

on the death of his sister, 250 
Corroborative proofs of the extent of the slave trade, 46, 52 ; as 

derived from manufactures for the trade, 54; their general result, 

57 ; as derived from captured vessels, 58 
Cotton, 326, 332 ; vast national importance of an additional market 

for its supply, 335 ; eligibility of Africa as such a market, 335 ; 

instance of its rapid growth, 336; promise of success, 377,380; 

in Soudan, 435 
Contalacunda, chief of, subsidy to him, 532 
Cresson, Elliot, his evidence of valuable character of a trade with 

Liberia, 325 
Cuba, 29; its slave population in 1828, 33; its sugar exports, 33 ; slave- 
trading connexion with the United States, 42 ; extent of its trade 

on Governor M'Lean's calculation, 47 ; its trade with Quilimane, 

49 ; its extent according to Lieutenant Bosanquet, 50 ; its extent 

according to M'Queen, 53, 133 
Cullen, Dr., his statement of mortality after landing, 190 
Custom-house should not be established at Fernando Po, 443 
Customs, or ceremonies observed by Africans, very cruel, 235 ; de- 
scription of them, 236 ; by Mr. Freeman, 250 


Dalrymple, his statement on the abundance of cotton grown in 
Africa, 333 

Darfours, caravans, 66, 67, 68, 70, 95 

Darkalla, an African town destroyed in a slave hunt, 80 

Davis, Mr. R., 505 

Denham, Major, his description of the way of seizing slaves, 79 ; of 
the mortality of slaves during wars, 99 ; of the march to the coast, 
107, 108 ; of the disposition of Bornou, 291 ; on cotton, 333 

INDEX. 567 

Descubierta, slave vessel, 36 

Desert or caravan slave trade, 63, 6S ; its extent, 69 ; its hardships, 

De Souza, a great slave trader at Whydah, 225 ; slave broker to the 
king of Dahomey, 398 

Destimida, a slave vessel, her stowage described, 154 

Detention, the mortality incident to, 113 

Devaynes, his statement of the mortality of slave-trading expe- 
ditions, 98 

Diana, a slave vessel, her state described, 144 

Dolores, an American slave vessel, 40 

Dongola, productive of indigo in considerable quantities, 433 

Don Manuel, a slave vessel, her mortality described, 162 

Donna Maria da Gloria, a slave vessel, her dreadful state after cap- 
ture, 178 

Donovan, Dr. James, his report of the state of liberated Africans, 

Drugs, fit for trade, enumerated, 325 

Duke Ephraim, chief of Old Calabar, his library, 486 

Duqueza de Braganza, a slave vessel, dreadful mortality of her 
cargo, after landing, 190; statement of her expenses and profits, 

Dupuis, British consul atAshantee, his statement of the opinions 
of the king ofAshantee, 78; his description of the "customs" 
of the country, 236 ; of African productions, 314 

Duty, 6f Great Britain, of restitution to Africa, by introducing 
Christianity and civilization, 512 

Dyer, Rev. Mr., his communication of the wish to send a mission to 
Africa from Jamaica, 492 


East Indian goods employed in the slave trade, 58 

Eastern coast, its extensive trade,, 476 

Eboe, an African town on the Niger, 346 

Egga, a large town on the Niger, in a fertile country, 318, 346 

Egyptian slave trade, its extent, 66, 67 

Elevation of the native mind an essential duty, 278,457; African 
disposition to learn, 457, 484; the shortest road to the extinction 
of the slave trade, 502 

El Juan, a Spanish slave vessel, in which the slaves were fired upon 
in the hold during chase, 150 

El Kenemy, sultan of Bomou, his sentiments on the slave trade, 
292, 293 

Ellis, Rev. William, his opinion on the connexion between civiliz- 
ation and Christianity, 507 



Emanuel, an American slave vessel, 40 

Esne, in Egypt, 66 

Esperanza, a Spanish slave vessel on board which between 60 and 

70 slaves were deliberately murdered, 169 
Esplorado, a slave vessel on board of which 300 out of 500 slaves 

were suffocated during bad weather, by closing the hatches, 171 
Esplorador, a slave vessel that lost 360 out of 560 slaves, 163 
Es-Siout, in Egypt, 66, 67 
Estelle, a Spanish slave vessel that, being wrecked, left her cargo on 

the shoal while the crew escaped, and all perished, to the number 

of 300, 170 
Exclusive privileges in trade objectionable 443 
Experience, the results of, in attempts hitherto made 1o civilize 

Africa, 362 
Exports to Asia, America, Australia, Hayti, Central Africa, 308 j 
Eyo or Aku language, printed grammars in it, 499 


acilities for commercial intercourse, 344, 419; facilities of making 
treaties, 532 

Factories should be established, 337; mode of proceeding, 337; their 
locality matter of importance, 388, 390 ; should be fixed in the 
interior of the country, 389; Laird's suggestions, 420 

Failure of past efforts for abolition of the slave trade, 203 ; sum- 
mary of the argument, 2)8; impossibility of getting the trade 
declared piracy, 218; where it has been so declared, the law has 
been a dead letter, 219 

Falconbridge, his description of the conveyance of slaves to the 
coast, 102; of the middle passage, 124; his respectability, 129; 
on seasoning, 184 

Faleme, a river flowing into the Senegal, 356" 

Fama de Cadiz, a slave vessel, dreadful mortality on board described, 

Fanny Butler, an American slave vessel, 41 

Fantees, a tribe at war with the Asbantees, 490 

Fazoglo, conduct of Mohammed Ali at, 429, 432 

Felatahs, an African tribe given to slave trading, 85, 293 

Felix, a Portuguese slave vessel, its dreadful state on capture de- 
scribed, 158 

Fergusson, Mr., his statements respecting Sierra Leone, 36 7 

Fernando Po, a commanding position, 347; country described, 349, 
537; on what terms it should be occupied, 443 ; its productions, 
538; its climate, 539 

Fetish, explained, 231, note 

INDEX. 569 

Fetish tree, described by Lander, 243 

Fez, a slave depot north of the desert, 64 

Finden, a resident merchant on the Gambia, his testimony to the 
extinction of the slave trade in that river, by the introduction of 
commerce, 386 

Flor de Loando, a slave vessel, dreadful state after capture, 181 

Flor de Quilimane, a slave vessel that lost 163 out of 850 slaves, 

Fomunnah, 250 

Foolokolong, a Poulah town, destroyed by slave traders, 86, 238 

Foot ah Jallow, 534 

Foulahs, a powerful nation in the interior, 295 ; their coffee trade, 
331, 381 ; intelligent, 382 

Foulis, Mr., assistant surgeon, his report of the state of liberated 
Africans, 188 

Fox, Mr., his estimate of the extent of the slave trade in 1792, 

Fox, Rev. Mr., his description of the depopulating effects of slave 
hunts, 86, 87, 88; of the "customs" of Africa, 238; of the fertility- 
Laming, 324 ; of African disposition to labour, 452 

France, her flag lent to cover slave trading, 205 ; cannot by her con- 
stitution declare the trade to be piracy, 218 

Franfrahan, 265 

Franklin, his definition of a slave, 471 

Free labour, 10, 439, 444 

Free trade, 44 1 

Freeman, Rev. Thomas, extracts from his journal describing his 
visit to Coomassie, 246 to 267; his information of the prospect of 
black missionaries from Jamaica, 397 

Freetown, its description, 371; supply of its market by liberated 
slaves, 476 

Fruits, fit for trade, enumerated, 323, 327 

Fundah, a town on the Niger, 346 


Gabree, a chief in Fantee, 267 

Gambia, its character, 356, 379 

Gazoua, or slave hunt, 68; particularly described, 90, 91, 92, 93, 

109 ; forbidden by Mohammed Ali, 429 
General Espartero, a slave vessel, statement of her profits, 224 
General Laborde, a slave vessel, captured, and liberated on frivolous 

excuses, 217 
General Review of the subject, 267 
Generous, a slave vessel, cruelty on board, 118 

570 INDEX. 

Geographical position of Africa, 357 

Ghadanics, a slave depot north of the Desert, 64 

Ginger, African, 323, and note 

Giraud, Mr., his statement of the frequency of human sacrifices, 233 

Gold Coast, settlement at, an illustration of the advantage of locality, 
390; slave trade wholly suppressed by introduction of legitimate 
commerce, 391 ; its exports to Great Britain amount to 160,000/. 
per annum, 397 

Gotto, on the Benin, its extensive market described, 476 

Gray, Major, his testimony to the slave trade being the cause of war, 
78 ; his account of the march to the coast, 104; on African civil- 
ization, 421 

Great Britain originally enslaved, 13 

Greville, Sir Fulk, his report of the abundance of cotton at T imbue- 
too in Queen Elizabeth's time, 332 

Greybo language, books in it, 499 

Gums,, fit for trade, enumerated, 321 


Hagan Lieut., R.N., his statement of the open traffic in slaves at 
Bissao, 206 

Hall, General, his efforts to convict slave traders at the Mauritius, 220 

Hamilton, Captain, R.N., his search of theDestinida slave vessel, 154 

Havana, its slave imports, 30, 32, 40 ; slave-trading connexion with 
the United States, 41, 44; its slave trade increasing, 210; present 
value of slaves there, 223 

Hayes, Captain, R.N., his description of the wholesale suicide of 
slaves on board a slave vessel, 154 ; of women bringing forth chil- 
dren on board, and of living men being chained to putrid bodies, 

Hemp, 330 

Holroyd, Doctor, respecting the slaves annually captured by Moham- 
med Ali, 67; his account of slave hunts, 95, 96, 108; of the slave 
march to Kartoom, 1 1 1 

Houssa, great intercourse by boats with Mushgrelia, 474 

Human sacrifices most prevalent in slave-trading districts, 230; 
evidence of Captain Fawkner, 231 ; of Mr. Giraud, 232; of Mr. 
Bowditch, 234; of Mr. Dupuis, 236 

Hutchison, Mr., his report of Christian and Mohammedan co-opera- 
tion in repudiating fetishes and superstitious abominations at Coo- 
massie, 501 


Iccory, a town on the Niger, 346; its market described, 475 

Imaum of Muscat, his slave trading, 60; treaty with, (iO 

[index. 571 

Incomprehensible, a slave vessel, in which the slaves, after capture, 

were found to be so cramped by confinement that their limbs 

were with difficulty straightened, 161 
Indigo, 327, 330, 432 
Ingenuity, instances of, quoted, 479 
Inhambani, its slave exports, 49, 81 
Instruction, facilities for giving it, 459, 486 ; allowances to be made 

for the negro, 460; aptitude for receiving it, 484; advances already 

made, 498 
Intrepido, a slave vessel, in which 208 out of 343 slaves died from 

the stowage, 149 
Invincible, an American slave vessel wrecked at the Bahamas, 42 
Invincible, a slave vessel, its extreme mortality arising from close 

stowage described, 149 ; afterwards wrecked with 200 slaves on 

board, only 53 of whom were saved, the greater part being chained 

together; horrible conduct of the crew, 168, 169 
Isabelita, slave vessel, 52 


Jackson, the African traveller, his information, 65 ; his report of the 
mortality of a slave caravan, 108 

Jackson, Mr., a judge of the Mixed Commission Court at Sierra 
Leone, his description of the aggravation of the sufferings of the 
middle passage by the illicit character of the trade, 159; of a 
slave vessel after capture, 177 

Jamallie, a Mandingo town, fired by slave traders, 86 

Jenne, a market for the Mohammedan slave trade, 63 ; its gun- 
powder manufactory, 479 

Joaquim, a Portuguese slave vessel, state of her cargo after landing* 

Johovah, slave vessel, 25 

Jones, Peter, a converted chief of the Chippeway Indians, his testi- 
mony to the power of Christianity in advancing civilization, 506 

Ju-ju, an African town, a depot for slaves, 117 

Juragua, 30 


Kacunda, a large town on the Niger, in a fertile country, 318 
Kaikandy, the chief trading town on the Rio Nunez, 380 
Kauem, a district in the interior, 346 
Kankan, 482 

Kano, a market for the Mohammedan slave trade, 63 ; its indigo es- 
tablishments, 480 
Kartoum, the capital of Sennaar, 429, 432 
Kasbenda, a depot for slave trade, 50 

5?2 INDEX. 

Keats, James, a black missionary from Jamaica to Africa, 495 
Kelly, Captain, his judicial declaration of the state of his prize, the 

Nova Felicidade, 139 
Kilham, Hannah, her labours in negro education, 484 ; her remarks 

on the native disposition to learn, 484 
Kimba, its agriculture, 482 

Koranko, a district favourable to the palm tree, 329 
Kordofan, annual slave imports, 67, 70; slave hunts, 91, 109, 429 
Korgo, an African district, the scene of a slave hunt, 96 
Kouka, a market for the Mohammedan slave trade, 63 
Koy, the king of Woolli, 533 

Kroomen, a tribe at Cape Palraas, their habits and character, 478 
Kurusku, its projected railroad, 433 


Laborde, Count de, his report of slave hunts, 91 

Labour, its value and supply, 438 ; must be free, 444 ; Appendix C. 
Mr. Fox's testimony to the willingness of the Africans to labour, 

La Jeune Estelle, a slave vessel from which slaves were thrown over- 
board in casks, 140 

Laing, Captain, his opinion of African fertility, 329 

Laird, the African traveller, his statement of slave-trading expedi- 
tions, 84 ; his reasons for the increased mortality of the middle 
passage, 159 ; his statement of the degraded state of Africa, 231 ; 
on the interior trade, 334; Fernando Po, 347 

Laming, a Mandingo town, fired by slave traders, 86 ; country fer- 
tile, 324 

Lander, the African traveller, his statement as to African wars, 84 ; 
of mortality on the march, 112 ; at the depot at Papoe, 114 ; at 
Badagry, 115 ; his account of barbarities at Badagry, 241 ; of the 
sheik of Bornou, 293 ; on the cotton plant, 334 

Landing and seasoning, 184 ; evidence of Falconbridge, 184 ; hor- 
rible cruelties" on sale, 185; opinion of Mr. Reffell, 188; of Mr. 
Rankin, 189; of Dr. Cullen, 190; summary of mortality incident 
to this period, 194 

Languages, African, progress made in them, 499 

La Pantica, a slave vessel, sufferings of her cargo after capture, 179 

Leake, Colonel, his information respecting the supply of slaves at 
Cairo, 67 

Leao, a slave vessel that lost 283 out of 855 slaves, 30 of whom were 
thrown overboard alive, 162 

L'Eclair, a French slave vessel, her stowage described, 143 

Le Daniel, a slave vessel, in which nineteen slaves were killed in 

INDEX. 573 

struggle for fresh air, 149; 'a slave vessel captured by Captain 
Bullen, 545 

Lee, Mrs., her " Stories of Strange Lands" quoted, 322, note 

Leonard, his statement of the mortality of slaves at the period of 
detention, 116 

Les Deux Soeurs, a slave vessel, her stowage described, 142 ■ 

L'Espoir, a slave vessel, her piratical character, 145 

L'Henriette Aimee, a slave vessel that lost all her cargo by wreck, 

Liberated Africans, 369; their progressive improvement, 371 , 476 ; form 
the Colonial Militia, 372; qualified for agents, 492; General Tur- 
ner's description of them, 541 ; Colonel Denham's description, 542 

Liberia, its fruitful character, 327; favourable to coffee, 331 ; its in- 
ternal economy described, 487 

Lindy river, a mart for slaves, 60 

Loango, Portuguese settlement at, 454 

Lushington, Right Hon. S., in favour of the permanent neutrality of 
Fernando Po, 443 

Lyon, Captain, his estimate of slave trade in Fezzan, 65; his report 
of a slave hunt, 77 ; of the march to the coast, 105 


Macarthy, Governor, his intercourse with Almami Abdool Kaddree, 
king of the Foulahs, 295 ; his testimony in support of the prin- 
ciples of the Remedy, 400 

Macaulay, Mr., his estimate of the extent of the slave trade, 204 

Macaulay, Kenneth, on Sierra Leone, 365 

Macaulay, Mr. Henry, his evidence before the Aborigines Commit- 
tee, 298 ; on Fernando Po, 366 

McBrair, Rev. Mr., his description of slave seizures, 88 ; of the re- 
gret expressed by African chiefs that they have sold their slaves, 
230; on the Gambia, 385 

McCormack, John, his description of slave vessels after capture, 
176; of African fertility, 316 

McLean, Governor, his estimate of the extent of the slave trade, 47 ; 
his calculations founded on manufactures for the trade, 54 ; of its 
profits, 225 * 

McQueen, Mr., his estimate of the extent of slave trade, 53, 365 ; 
his suggestions for its suppression, 415 

Magico, a slave vessel, wrecked and attempted to be blown up by 
her crew with all her slaves on board, 167 

Mandara, the sultan of, marries his daughter to the sheik of Bornou 
for the proceeds of a slave hunt, 80 

Mandingo language, reduced to grammatical form, 389 

574 INDEX. 

Mandingoes, 478 ; language reduced to grammatical form, 499 

Maranham, its slave imports, 1 8 

March to the coast, 99 ; particularly described by Mungo Pari;, 100 ; 
by Falconbridge, 102; by Riley, 103; by Major Gray, 104 ; by 
Lyon, 105 ; by Caillie, 106 ; by Major Denham, 107 

Maria, a slave vessel, her horrible state from disease, described, 150 

Maria de Cruz, a woman, the owner of two slave vessels, on board 
both of which the slaves were flogged and starved to death, 148 

Maria Peguena, a slave vessel belonging to Maria de Cruz, on board 
of which the slaves were starved to death, 148 

Massona, in Abyssinia, 66 

Mendez, Dr., his estimate of mortality on the march to the coast, 113 

Mends, Sir R., his opinion that the suppression of slave dealing uni- 
formly has led to agricultural occupation, 483 

Mesurado, Cape, American settlement at, 454 

Midas, a slave vessel, of which the cargo was reduced from 560 to 
282, 153 

Middle passage, 122; described by Falconbridge, 124; but its 
horrors undei-stated in the opinion of naval officers,' 126; no direct 
modern evidence accessible, 130; its horrors increased by the 
clandestine character of the trade, 159 ; mortality of four vessels 
1088 out of 2836, 163; description of it by a Spanish slave captain, 
164; wrecks, a source of, 146; evidence of Lieutenant Wilson, 
R.N., 171 ; summary of the mortality of the middle passage, 172 

Minerals, 313 

Miscellaneous productions fit for trade, indigenous in Africa, 325 : 
on the eastern coast, 477 

Missionaries of colour easily obtained, 11; great success of, 389, 397 

Mohammed Ali, his slave hunts, 90, 1 09 ; his journey to Soudan, 428 

Mohammedan slave trade, 59; its extent on the east coast, 62; 
marts for carrying it on, 63 ; aggregate amount, 69 

Mohammedan slavery in Africa itself, 70 

Mokhara, in Arabia, a large slave market, 67 

Monte Video, engaged in slave trade, 38, 39 ; omitted in the general 
calculation, 40 

Montfort, Denis de, his paper on the productiveness of Africa, 327 

Moresby, Captain, his description of the manner of carrying on the 
Arab slave trade, 78 ; of the passage coastways, 165 , of the pre- 
valence of the trade at the Mauritius, 220 

Morgan, Rev. Mr., his testimony as to the effect of the slave trade in 
occasioning war, 89 

Morgan, Rev. John, his opinion that protection is all that is wanted 
to secure the extension of commerce and agriculture, 388; on the 
salubrity of the interior, 388 

index. 575 

Mortality incident to the slave trade, 73 ; causes of it, 73 ; as inci- 
dent to seizure, doubled since 1790, 97 ; summary of, incident to 
seizure, 97; incident to the march to thecoast, 99, 111 ; evidence 
of Browne, 99; of Park, 100; of Falconbridge, 102; of Riley, 
103; of Major Gray, 1 04 ; of Captain Lyon, 105; of Caillie, 106 ; 

. of Denham, 107; of Dr. Holroyd, 108; of Dr. Russell, 109; of 
Dr. Bowring, 109; of Lander, 111 ; of Oldfield, 112; of Dr. Men- 
dez, 113; incident to detention, 113; evidence of Commodore 
Owen, 113, 173; of Oiseau, 114; of Lander, 114; of Leonard, 
116; of Oldfield, 116; of Colonel Nicholls, 1 1 7 ; of Captain Cook, 
118, 173; incident to the middle passage, 122, 163, 172; ofCal- 
deleugh, 173; of McLean, 173 ; of Captain Ramsay, 173 ; of Sir 
Graham Hammond, 173; after capture, 175 to 184 ; after landing 
and in the seasoning, 184; general summary, 195 to 202; mor- 
tality after capture omitted in the general calculation, 198 ; dimi- 
nished fecundity of the African race also omitted, 199; mortality 
on board trading vessels, its causes, 358 

Mourovia sugar company, 352, note 

Mourzook, a slave depot, the capital of Fezzan, 64, 65, 10" 

Mozambique, amount of slave exports, 49 

Muncaster, Lord, his statements on the seizure of slaves, 74, 98 

Muscat, extent of its slave trading, 61 

Mushgrelia, great intercourse with Houssa, 474 

Muskets, manufactured at Benin, 480 

N. ■ 

Napoleon, a slave vessel, 123 

Native mind, importance of its elevation, 457 

Naval force of importance, though inadequate to extinguish the 
trade, 6, 392 ; must be rendered more efficient, 283 ; steamers 
should be employed, 285, 413 

Navigation, inland, 317, 345, 346,354, 420, 421, 433, 479 

Negro character and disposition, 461, 485; thirst for knowledge, 486 

Neutrality of Fernando Po to be permanent and invariable, 443 

Newland, Peter, a liberated African, his wealth, 372 

Newton, Rev. John, his opinion on the mortality occasioned by slave- 
trading wars, 98 

Nicolls, Colonel, his description of a predatory excursion for slaves, 
86; of a slave depot, 117; of conduct on board a slave vessel, 
169; of African woods and timber, 318; of Fernando Po, 347 
his opinion on the principles of the " Remedy/' 410 

Niger, its course and character described, 345, 354 

Nova Felicidade, a slave vessel, described, 139 

Nuts, fit for trade, enumerated, 321 

Nyani, its chief favourable to missionaries, 489 

576 INDEX. 


Obeid, the capital of Kordofan, its slave hunts, 91, 94, 95 

O'Beirn, assistant surgeon, his mission to the king of the Foulahs, 

Oldfield, the African traveller, his description of a slave market, 112, 

116 ; his account of the Niger, 346 
Oiseau, captain of Le Louis, slave vessel, his cruelty, 114 
Ordeal by poison, 240 

Opportunity of active measures great at the present time, 515, 523 
Oswego, wrecked on the coast of Africa, 463 ; African opinion of 

white inferiority, 466 

Paddock, Captain, his observations on the fertility of the soil, 328; 

Captain of the Oswego, wrecked and enslaved, 463 
Palm oil, 329 ; imports of it diminished of late years, 340 
Palmersfon, Lord, his letters to the commissioners at Rio respecting 

British subjects engaged in the slave trade, 56 
Paquete de Capo Verde, slave vessel, 35 
Para, its slave imports, 18 
Park, Mungo, his description of the mode of obtaining slaves, 75 ; 

of the march to the coast, 99; of the skill of slaves in weaving, 

333 ; of the Niger, 345 ; of the civilization of Africa, 419 
Pasha of Egypt, his expedition, 429 ; his character, 434 
Patacho, a slave vessel, on board of which the slaves were kept 

without air or food for 48 hours, 160 
Panteta, a slave vessel, her state after capture, 176 
Pernambuco, its slave imports, 18, 26 
Pinney, Rev. John, his report of African coffee, pepper, and cotton 

crops, 334 
Piombetes, a Portuguese slave vessel, lost with 180 slaves on board, 

Pitt, Mr., his estimate of the extent of the slave trade in 1792, 204 ? 

his expectations of African civilization, 458 
Plantains, an island in the mouth of the Sherbro', 488 
Population, African, dense on the banks of the Niger, 472 
Porter, Mr., of the Board of Trade, opposed to a custom-house at 

Fernando Po, 443 
Porto Rico, its exports, 35 ; slave population, 35 ; extent of its slave 

trade, 36, 53; omitted in the general calculation, 37 
Portugal, her encouragement of the slave trade, 205, 206, 211 
Portuguese slave vessels, their number in 1838, 48 
Practical measures recommended for carrying out the " Remedy," 51 

INDEX. 577 

Preparatory measures, 283, 299 , partial benefit to be expected from 

them, 300 
Principles on which the slave trade may be suppressed by aid of 

commerce explained, 8, 306, 338, 400, 410, 414, 415, 418, 419 
Profits of slave trading, 180 percent., 222 


Quaco Dooah, king of the Ashantees, 257; his observance of the 
customs, 259 

Quakers, Mohammedan, are ignorant dogs, no better than Chris- 
tians, 470 

Queahs, an African tribe, destroyed by a slaving expedition, 82 

Quilimane, its slave exports, 49: its prosperity destroyed by the 
slave trade, 81 ; mortality of a cargo landed there, 118, 120, 162 


Rabbah, on the Niger, rich and fertile, 318, 346 

Railroad, projected by Mohammed Ali, 433 

Rankin, his description of the destruction of Rokel in a slave hunt, 
85; of a vessel after capture, 1 78 ; of liberated Africans, 189; of 
the extent of the western trade, 201 

Rapido, a slave vessel that threw all her cargo, amounting to 250, 
overboard, 155 

" Recent Letters from Africa," a book quoted, 340, note 

Raymond, Captain, his views on the abolition of slave trading by 
agriculture and commerce, 424 

Reffell, Mr., his opinion of the state of slave cargoes after landing, 

Regulo, a slave vessel that threw part of her cargo overboard to avoid 
capture, 155 

Remedy, the true, to be found in the enlightenment of the natives to 
the advantages of peaceful industry, 302 ; not in the co-operation 
of European powers to suppress the trade, because we have no in- 
ducement to offer equal to the 180 per cent, profit derived from 
it, 303 ; to be found in commerce, 306 ; in agriculture, 338, 342 ; 
these principles supported by Governor M'Carthy, 400; by Gene- 
ral Turner, 401 ; by Colonel Nicolls, 410; by Governor Rendall, 
414; by Mr.M'Queen, 415; by Robertson, 418; by Park, 419; 
by Laird, 420; by Lander, 421 ; by Major Gray, 421; by Burk- 
hardt, 422 ; by Captain W. Allen, 423 ; specific steps recom- 
mended to be taken, 518 

Rendall, Mr., bis testimony to the good faith of African chiefs, 
297 ; his views on the improvement of Africa, 414 


578 INDEX. 

Ricketts, Major, on the disposition to work for wages, Appendix C. 

Riley, his information, 65 ; his account of the conveyance of slaves 
to the coast, 103 

Rio da Plata, a slave vessel whose cargo was pirated after landing, 

Rio da Prata, slave vessel, 38; her tonnage in relation to her licensed 
cargo, 39 

Rio de Janeiro, slave importations, 17, 22, 24, 39, 49, 51; its im- 
ports of British manufactures for slave trading cargoes, 54 

Rio Nunez, formerly notorious for slave trading, but now the site of 
many factories, 380 

Rio Pongas, its schools, 489 

Rio Volta, Danish settlement at, 454 

Ritchie, his estimate of slave trade in Mourzouk, 65 

Ritter, the geographer, his description of slave caravans, 65 

Robertson, Mr., his suggestions for rendering Africa a source of pro- 
fit to Europe, 418 

Rodeur, a slave vessel, dreadful sufferings of her cargo from oph- 
thalmia, 137 

Rokel, an African town, destroyed in a slave hunt, 85 

Rokell, a river, the direct route to the sources of the Niger, 404 

Rokou, place where timber is cut, 477 

Rosanna, an American slave vessel, 41 

Ruppell, Dr., respecting the slaves captured by the Pasha of Egypt, 
67 ; respecting the mortality consequent on their capture, 109 


Sackatoo, capital of the Felatahs, 63, 294 ; cotton planted to a great 
extent, 334 ; bills on England negotiable, 474 

St. Jago, 31 

Saint Joachim, a slave vessel, horrible state of her cargo, 136 

Saint Leon, a slave vessel, lost by the ophthalmia of her cargo and 
crew, 139 

St. Mary's, a settlement on the Gambia, its nourishing state, 384 

St. Paul de Loanda, its slave exports, 50, 51 

San Jose Hallaxa, a slave vessel, on board which the slaves died 
from starvation, 147 

Schools described, 389 ; desire manifested for learning, 389 ; for agri- 
culture at M'Carthy's Island, 390 ; native aptitude for learning de- 
scribed by Hannah Kilham, 484 ; on the Rio Pongas, 489 ; nor- 
mal school at Sierra Leone, 498 ; college about to be established 
on M'Carthy's Island, 499 ; establishment of normal schools re- 
commended, 517 

INDEX. 579 

Sechuana language, key to the dialect from the Congo to the Dela- 
goa Bay, 499 

Seizure of slaves, occasion of mortality, 74 

Senegal, state of the slave depot at, 113; French settlement, 454; 
navigable for 700 miles, 356 

Sennaas, its slave trade, 66, 70 ; Kartoum, its capital, 429 

Serrawoollies, or Piloboonkoes, 478 

Settlements in Africa, rules to be observed in their formation, 516 

Seys, Rev. J., his statement of excellent cotton at St. Paul's River, 

Sharpe, Granville, description of the middle passage taken from his 
Memoirs, 130 

Shendrum, a country celebrated for its gold, 533 

Shendy, a slave depot on the Nile, 64, 66, 70, 109 

Sherbro', a river, 402, 488 

Si, a Spanish slave vessel of 71 tons, having 360 slaves on board, 

Sierra Leone, its success partial, and the causes explained, 363; its 
progress, 403, 455 

Siout, a slave depot on the Nile, 64 

Slave labour deprecated, 10 ; absurdity of its principle, 439 

Slave vessels captured, 58 

Slavery, its demoralizing tendency, 461 

Slaves, their average cost price, 57, 438; numbers captured on their 
passage, 58 ; buried alive, 119 ; dying by starvation, 120; thrown 
overboard, 130, 145, 155 ; their treatment in the middle passage, 
122 to 167 ; flogged to death, 148 ; their treatment after landing 
and in seasoning, 184 to 194; drowned to avoid duty in the 
Brazils, 202 

Slave trade, its extent, 12, 15, 46, 79, 195 to 202; aggregate of 
annual loss to Africa stated at half a million, 202 ; manner of 
conducting the smuggling trade, 20, 39, 212 ; carried on by a joint 
stock company, 26 ; its extent proved by collateral evidence, 46, 
53 ; its extent on the east and south-west coasts of Africa, 50 ; 
chiefly upheld by British capital, 54 ; Mohammedan, 59 ; mari- 
time, 60 ; desert or caravan trade, 63 ; aggregate amount of the 
Mohammedan trade, 69; aggregate of the trade generally, 74; 
the usual cause of African wars, 77; trade doubled since 1790, 
97, 205 ; must be supplanted by a more lucrative trade, 359 — 393 

Smith, Professor, his testimony to the slave trade being the usual 
cause of African wars, 77 ; his description of the country, 228 

Society for the civilization of Africa should be formed, 519 

Soleil, slave vessel captured by the Leven, 49 

Somaulys, inhabitants of Berbera, engaged in slave trade, 62 


580 INDEX. 

Souakin, a large slave market, 66 

Soudan, negroes, their destination as slaves, 64, 67, 70, 107, 428 

Spain, extent of her slave trade in 1837, 212: bribery of official men 
to connivance, 217 

Specific steps to be taken for advancing the civilization of Africa, 

Steam cruisers necessary, 286 

Stoffell, Andrew, a converted Hottentot, his evidence of the improved 
condition of the Hottentots in consequence of missionary instruc- 
tion, 509 

Subsidies to African chiefs, 360 

Sugar-cane, 327, 3S2 

Summary of the calculations of the slave exports to the west, 45, 59 

Superstitions and cruelties of the Africans, 226 

Susoo language, Gospel of St. Matthew translated into, 499 

Sutil, a slave vessel, state after capture described, 180 

Tafilet, a slave depot, north of the desert, 64, 65 

Tanda, a country celebrated for its gold, 533 

Tasso, 4 78 

Teembou, capital of the Foulahs, 295 

Temerario, slave vessel, 36 

Teresa, a slave vessel that went down with 186 slaves on board, 168 

Texas, its agents in communication with Havana slave merchants, 
42 ; extent of its trade, 44, 53 ; omitted in the general calcu- 
lation, 45 

Timbuctoo, 346 ; a market for the Mohammedan slave trade, 63, 65 

Timmance, a district favourable to the palm tree, 329 

Tombo, 478 ; the island of, 479 

Tonnage of slave vessels while the trade was allowed, 122 ; frauds in 
licensed Portuguese slave vessels, 144 

Trade winds, their direction up the African rivers, 355 

Treaties for the abolition of the slave trade inefficient, 210, 213, 225 ; 
with native powers a necessary preparatory measure, 287 ; their 
disposition to enter into treaties, 292, 294; good faith, 297; with 
the king of Sherbro, 409 ; facilities for making them, 532 

Tringham, Lieutenant, R.N., his description of a captured slave 
vessel, 146, 176 

Tschadda, its supposed course, 346, 354 

Turner, General, governor of Sierra Leone, 400 ; extracts from his 
journal exhibiting an identity of principles with those of the 
Remedy, 401 to 406 ; his death, 409; effect of his measures, 409 

INDEX. 581 


Uniao, a Portuguese slave vessel, mortality after landing, 187 
United States, 40 ; effect of the president's declaration encouraging 
to the trade, 41 ; their flag lent to cover slave trading, 41, 42, 43, 
89 ; extent of their trade, 43 ; hostile to the right of search, 209 
Uruguese minister, bribed to permit slave importation, 38 


Vencedora, a Spanish slave vessel carrying the royal colours of 

Spain, dreadful sufferings of her slaves, 215 
Venus, an American slave vessel, 43 
Viajante, a slave vessel, 167 

Vicente, a notorious slave dealer at Rio de Janeiro, 207 
Vicua, a slave vessel which the captain attempted to blow up when 

captured, 141 
Village-breaking, or tegria, described, 75, 82, 85 
Villault, his statement of the mortality of slave-trading expeditions, 98 
Viper, an American slave vessel, 40 


Walsh, Dr., his description of a slave vessel detained on her passage, 
and the horrible sufferings of her cargo, but which was allowed (of 
necessity) to prosecute her voyage, 151 

Wars in Africa, 77, 82, 83 ; evidence of Lander and Laird, 84 ; their 
results, 85 ; evidence of Mr. M'Brair, 89 ; of Rev. J. Newton, 98 ; 
of Denham, 99 

Wauchope, Captain, R.N., his description of the horrors of a cap- 
tured slave vessel, 157 

Wawa, a market for the Mohammedan slave trade, 63, 293 

Wednoon, a slave depot north of the desert, 64 

Wellington, Duke of, his report of European feeling on our abolition 
of British slave trade, 442 

Wesleyan mission at M'Carthy's Island, 385 

White river, 433 

Wilberforce, Mr., his description of the mode of obtaining slaves, 75; 
of the middle passage, 133 

Wilson, Lieutenant, R.N., his testimony to the horrors of slave 
vessels, 171 

Woods, fit for commerce, 318 ; for dyeing, 320, 479 

Woolli, its chief's invitation to missionaries, 489 ; treaty with him, 

582 INDEX. 

"Wrecks, mortality incident to, 166 

Wydah, in the bight of Benin, its legitimate trade depressed by the 
slave trade, 398 


Yeanarn, a slave vessel, her horrible state on capture described, 142 ; 
afterwards lost, and sunk with 380 slaves on board, 166 

Zanzebar, a mart for slaves, 60, 62 

Zong, a slave vessel from which the slaves were thrown overboard, 


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