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Full text of "Fifty days on board a slave-vessel in the Mozambique Channel in April and May, 1843"

m.5^7^S^ no. S' 



Digitized by tine Internet Archive 

in 2010 witii funding from 

Associates of tine Boston Public Library / The Boston Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/fiftydaysonboardOOhil 



FIFTY DAYS 



ON BOARD 



A SLAYE-YESSEL 



IN 



THE MOZAMBiaUE CHANNEL 



In April and May, 1843. 



BY THE 



REV. PASCOE GRENFELL HILL, 

chaplain OF^H.M S. "CLEOPATRA." 



J .^ijW INCHESTER3 NEW WORLD PRESS 

30 ANN STREET. 



r j^ c. 



FIFTY DAYS 



ON BOARD A SLAVE-VESSIL 



H. M. S. " Cleopatra," of twenty-six- 
guns, commissioned by Capt. C. Wyvill, in 
April, 1842, having received orders to pro- 
ceed to the Cape of Good Hope station, and 
to convey Lieut. General Sir William 
Gomm to Mauritius, of which Island Sir 
William had been recently appointed Gov- 
ernor, sailed from Spithead in the latter part 
of July, and arrived at Eio Janeiro on the 
6th of September. I was then in the " Mal- 
abar," of seventy-four guns, Capt. Sir 
George Sartorius, lying at Rio, and took ad- 
vantage of the opportunity w^hich the kind- 
ness of Commodore Purvis, senior officer on 
the station, afforded me, of getting transfer- 
red from that ship to the " Cleopatra." 

The unrivalled magniiicence of Rio har- 
bor, narrow at the entrance, but spreading 
into a circumference of seventeen leagues ; 
its hundred islands ; the mountains which 
inclose it, showing every change of outline, 
covered with the richest verdure from the 
shore to their summits ; the higher moun- 
tains beyond, which bound the view, ming- 
ling their heads with the clouds ; compose 
a scene of variety and beauty which can 
hardly tire the eye. The city, on the left 
hand at the entrance, is four or five miles 
from the mouth of the harbor ; the interme- 
diate coast divided into several small bays, 
studded with pretty villages and country 
«eats. These are still more numerous on 
the Braganza side of the harbor opposite to 
Rio, the favorite resort of its inhabitants 
during the heats of summer ; a steamboat 
crossing hourly through the day. The sce- 
nery on that side is not equally grand in 
character, but has more softness, and the 
contrast is as great of its quiet and retire- 



ment to the noise and bustle of the city. 
The usual landing-place at Rio is in front 
of the " Hotel PharouxV a very large and 
handsome building, which overlooks the 
quay, the market, and the great square. In 
the square, the principal objects are, the 
Palace of the Emperor, a Carmelite convent, 
now applied to secular purposes, and the 
Chapel Royal, adjacent to it. The busy 
stir on the quay, of boats sending passen- 
gers, or taking off supplies to the shipping ; 
the >till more busy and crowded m.arket, 
with its tropical profusion of fruits and ve- 
getables; above all, the different tribes of 
the human race, of every hue and feature, 
vdio throng it ; offer a curious and lively 
scene. The proportion of the colored pop- 
ulation to the white, in the province of Rio 
Janeiro generally, is probably not less than 
twenty to one. On the plantations in the 
interior, where this proportion is greatest, 
the sufferings of the negroes are doubtless 
severest. In the metropolis, their condition 
does not wear that mournful appearance in 
which the imagination is apt to present it. 
Certainly the content and cheerfulness of 
the motley crowd here seems to equal that 
of the common classes in most other coun- 
tries. The heartiest mirth prevails among 
the parties who mingle around the small 
charcoal fires on which they fry their fish, 
or boil their cassava root and sweet-potatoe. 
The hardest labor witnessed in the streets, 
is that of the coffee-carriers, who bear bags 
of great weight on their heads, at a running 
pace, to the sound of some rattling sub- 
stances in a bladder, which the leader of the 
parly shakes, and the others accompany 
with their voices. The number of hours 



RIO JANEIRO. 



for which this toil is exacted from them on 
their masteis' account still leaves them a 
portion of the day to work for their own 
profit, permitting them, by industry, within 
a reasonable time, to purchase their iree- 
dom. And it is to the credit o±' the Brazil- 
ians, that the moment which releases the 
negro from slavery, raises liim wholly above 
the xontempt and ignominy to which his 
race' is subject in some other slave countries, 
on account of color. The situation of the 
domestic slaves in Brazil is more favorable 
than that of any others. But although ca- 
ses of cruelty toward them do not often 
come into notice, there is no doubt that they 
are frequently over-worked, under-fed, and 
otherwise harshly treated, dependent on the 
caprice of an ill-tempered or avaricious 
owner. Even the more humane, insist that 
it is impossible to get their negroes to work 
without the use of the rod. '•' II faut les 
frapper," remarked a French lady to me. 
A flogging can be legally inflicted only by 
sentence of a raagistrate, whose award is 
generally one of extren»e severity. 

I attended one of the slave-auctions which 
take place usually every week, having 
been previously advertised in the Gazettes. 
About twenty- five ©f both sexes, decently 
dressed, were seated on benches behind a 
long table, which as each in turn ascended 
to be better viewed by the bidders, a sullen- 
ness of look seemed to express their feel- 
ing of degradation in being thus put up to 
sale. The prices seldom rose above 300 
mil-reis, about £31 ; but it is to be suppos- 
ed that those who are thus disposed of by 
auction are among the least useful or valua- 
ble to their owners. It is not uncommon 
to meet negroes in the streets, moving slowly 
with shackled feet, or with a heavy iron 
collar round the neck, usually denoting a 
recovered fugitive. Advertisements of run- 
away negroes often fill a column in the daily 
journals. In one of these, taken up at 
hazard, " Jornal do Comercio, 13 de Agosta 
de 1842," I find the following: 

" Disappeared on the 16th inst., fromB.ua 
do Cano, N. 2, a negro boatman, named Se- 
bastian, native of Inhambane : rather full- 
bodied, of ordinary height, dressed in a 
duty white shut and trowsers, and accom- 
panied by a black dog, answering to the 
name of ' Cara-linda.' Whoever may ap- 
prehend and take him to the House of Cor- 
rection, and give information thereof at the 
above address, will be rewarded for his 
trouble." • 

" Ran away, on the 8th inst., at eight in 
the morning, from Dr. Jose Julio de Freitas 
Contmho, N. 106, Rua do Hospicio, a ne- 
gro woman, his slave, named Maria, native 



of Congo, about twenty-five 3-ears of age, 
of a deeper black than usual, well-made in 
person, countenance handsome, teeth white 
and regular ; bearing marks on her arms, 
and one by incision, on her hand ; drest in 
a dark gown, with striped handkerchief , and 
red glass-earrings. She has taken with her 
two white gowns, shoes, socks, a lace 
shawl, a petticoat of stout calico, and a 
shift of the same. It is supposed that she 
has been decoyed away and kept in conceal- 
ment. Whoever may detain her is hereby 
protested against ; and any one who may 
discover and bring her to the above house, 
will be suitably rewarded." 

" Ran away, the 31st ult., a black, named 
Pedro, native of Mozambique, wearing a 
cotton shirt and trowsers, and an iron round 
his neck." — &c. 

"Whoever may apprehend and bring to 
N. 112, Rua de San Pedro, an old black 
woman, named Eva, who ran away, dre.st 
in a dark striped gown, carrying with her a 
case of sweetmeats, a box of linen, several 
pairs of shoes (being a great thief,) and 
having one of her eyes closed up, will be 
well rewarded." 

" Ran away, on the 12th inst., at one m 
the afternoon, a moleque (young male slave,) 
named Jose, drest in a striped cotton shirt 
and trowsers, somewhat dirty from use in 
the kitchen," — &c. 

" Ran away from the Caminho das La- 
rangeiras, a black, named Bento, of ordina- 
ry stature, having a wound on one of his 
cheek-bones : drest in a white shirt and 
trowsers," — &c. 

'• Escravos Fugidos. — Fugio, no dia 12 
do corrente, a uma hora da tarde, um mo- 
leque de nome Jose, na9ao Congo; levou 
vestido camisa e cal^a de algodao riscado 
de Minas, alguma cousa suja de estar na co- 
zinna : roga-se aos Srs. pedestres de, no ca- 
so de o apprehenderem, levalo a praia dos 
Mineiros n. 41 B, em casa de Manoel Fer- 
nande Machado Guimaraes, que sabera re- 
compensar o sen trabalho." 

" Fugio, no dia 8 do corrente, as 8 ho- 
ras da manhaa, ao Dr. Jose JuUo de Freitas 
Continho, morador na rua do Hospicio n. 
1 06, uma preta sua escrava, de nome Maria, 
de na9ao Congo, a qual tera 25 annos de 
idade ; e mais preta do- que fula, tem cabel- 
lo cortado a gaforina, e e bem feita de corpo ; 
tem bonita physionomia, dentes claros e bem 
arrumados, signaes nos bracos, e um ' de 
cortadura na chave de uma das maos; le- 
vou vestido de chita escura, len90 de risca- 
dinha e brincos de vidro escarlate ; levou 
dous restidos brancos, un de cassa de chad- 
rez miudo e outro de cambreta, sapatos, 
meias, um chale de renda. uma saia de mo- 



MATJEITIUS. 



lim grosso e uma camisa do mesmo. Sup- 
poe-se que fosse secluzida e esteja occulta, 
por ser mocamba recolhida e prendada. 
Profesta-se contra quern a tiver, e pede-se 
a quern a descobrir que a leve a referida casa, 
onde sera gratiiicado. 

Parallel to the Maranha or water-side, is 
Rua Direita, the widest street in Kio, which 
it traverses in its whole breadth ; the other 
principal streets going off at right-angles 
from it, through the length of the city. Of 
these, the first in attraction is the Rua Ouvi- 
dor, containing the most showy shops, 
chiefly French, and several circulating li- 
feraries, stocked with modern French litera- 
ture. Toward the upper part of the har- 
bour, the Rue Direita terminates in the as- 
cent to a hill, on which is situated the spa- 
cious Benedictine convent, still tenanted by 
some monks of that order. It has fared 
better with this than with many other eccle- 
siastical edifices, as witnessed in the roof- 
less walls of the Jesuit's College, occupying 
a somewhat similar hill in the part of the 
town toward the , harbor's mouth. One 
may regard, in the Southern Hemisphere, 
the ruins which mark the downfall of that 
Order, with feelings different from those 
which .such a spectacle would excite in Eu- 
rope, recalling to mind the brave and un- 
weared opposition made by its members to 
the iniquitous slave traffic of their country- 
men in Brazil. The Carmelite convent, in 
the great square already mentioned, about 
midway between the Jesuit's and Benedic- 
tine, has met a sort of middle fate, in being 
appropriated to secular uses. Within its 
precincts, is the Royal Library, brought 
from Portugal by King John VI., in 1808, 
consisting of nearly 10,000 volumes, con- 
taining many Portuguese and French theo- 
logical and historical works. Among the 
few English books, I found Southey's " His- 
tory of Brazil," and in its pages the follow- 
ing passages: "Europe has |no cause to 
rejoice in the establishment of the Jesuits ; 
but in Brazil and Paraguay their supersti- 
tion may be forgiven them for the noble ef- 
forts made in behalf of the oppressed In- 
dians."— Vol. ii. 232. 

" The Jesuits opposed the Indian slave- 
trade with the zeal of men who knew that 
they were doing their duty : never had men 
a better cause, and never did men engage in 
any cause with more heroic ardour." — 
lb. 308. 

The " Cleopatra," after a week's vstay at 
Rio, sailed on the 14th of September for the 
Cape of Good Hope, and arrived in sight of 
it on Sunday, the 9th of October. After re- 
peated endeavors, against a strong south- 
easter, to weather the Cape, in order to get 



round to Simon's Bay, the usual anchorage 
for our ships of war, on Wednesday morn- 
ing, the sea running very high, and the 
wind showing no disposition to abatement 
or change, it was found advisable to bear up 
for Table Bay, on the west side of the Cape, 
where we anchored the same afternoon 
The approach to the " Cape of Storms " is 
often a subject of anxiety to the navigator ; 
but to the passenger, weary of a long voy- 
age, no place can afford a more pleasant re- 
lief than Cape Town. It has broad, hand- 
some streets, shaded by trees ; well-furnish- 
ed shops ; excellent roads in its vicinity ; 
and a most delightful and healthy climate. 
On my way overland, to meet the "Cleopa- 
patra " at Simon's Bay, I spent a few days 
at the village of Wynberg, near Constantia, 
in a scene of complete rural quiet and beauty. 
We sailed from Simon's Bay at the end 
of October, and arrived about the middle of 
the following month at Port Louis, Mauri- 
tius. Sir WilHam Gomm, whose reputa- 
tion had preceded him thither, was welcom- 
ed with acclamation to his new Government ; 
and we had much t@ regret in the loss of 
his society, and that of Lady Gomm, to which 
their fellow- voyagers in the " Cleopatra " 
remain indebted for many agreable hours. I 
felt a desire to trace the scenery in this isl- 
and so minutely described in the elegant fic- 
tion of St. Pierre. Taking the book in my 
hand, and carefully marking every indica- 
tion which it afforded, I bent my steps to- 
ward the ," Embrasure," in the mountain- 
ridge behind Port Louis — " cette ouverture 
escarpee au haut de la montagne" — ^near 
which the author fixes the residence of 
" Paul et Virginie." After various ineffect- 
ual attempts to cross the mountain in that 
direction, I at length took the road to Pam- 
plemousses — " le chemin qui mene du Port 
Louis au quartier des Pamplemousses," — 
after proceeding on which two or three miles, 
a turning leads round to the back of the 
mountain, where nothing appears but its 
black, perpendicular side of immense height, 
and a long, rough slope, which ascends to 
it from the plain. I made my way, hov/- 
ever, up this ascent ; and at the foot of the 
precipice, completely overshadowed by it, 
suddenly opened before me the " bassin," 
the spot of which I was in search. I en- 
tered a labyrinth of trees and flowering 
shrubs ; the fragrant yellow acacia (Arabi- 
ca,) the gorjava in fruit ; and other kinds, 
which I had not seen common elsewhere. 
There were, indeed, no traces of human hab- 
itation except remains of former inclosures, 
which showed that the place had not always 
been lonely and neglected. Birds, roused 
by my entrance, flev/ from tree to tree,min- 



8 



ST. AUGUSTINE S BAY. 



gling their various notes on a;l sides; the 
only sounds which broke upon the deep sol- 
itude. The path thence to Port Louis, 
through an opening in the intervening ridge, 
commands a view of the church of Pample- 
meusses; of the " Trois Mamelles," and> at 
the same time, of the harbor and Signal- 
hill; — "le Morne de la Decouverte, avecla 
mer au loin, ou apparaissait quelqy.efois un 
vaisseau qui venait de I'Eiirope, ou qui y 
retournait ; — exactl}'- corresponds to the view 
described by St. Pierre, and, indeed, beyond 
a doubt, taken by, him on this very spot. 

At the beginning of December, the "Cle- 
opatra'' quitted Mauritius, to proceed round 
the north point of Madagascar, to her ap- 
pointed cruizing ground, in the Mozambique 
Channel. A ne"sv interest here attached it- 
self to every sail which came in sight. The 
slave-trade on the coast of Africa is at pres- 
ent almost conhned to the districts of Quiii- 
mane and Sofula, having ceased at the port 
of Mozambiqne, through the zealous exer- 
tions of its late and present Governors. 
This zeal on their part has been attributed 
to the increase made of late years in the le- 
gal emoluments of the Government; the 
smallness of which, formerl}-, admitted 
temptation to add to them by patronizing the 
exportation of slaves. The City of Mozam- 
bique occupies an island across the middle of 
the harbor, about a mile and a quarter in 
length — scarcely a quarter of a mile in its 
greatest breadth. At one extremity is a very 
strong, handsome fort, built at the com- 
mencement of the 1 6th century. The island 
is low and sandy, with little vegetation ex- 
cept a few sickly palms, and depends for 
supplies on the adjacent coast. The present 
population is about 3,000, consisting chiefly 
of negro slaves, with a mixture of Malays, 
Johannians, Hindoo bunneahs, or traders, 
and a few Portuguese Creoles. I met in the 
streets a much greater proportion of shack- 
led slaves than at Eio Janeiro. The ne- 
groes inhabit cane huts, along the beach, 
and on the outskirts of the town : and I was 
struck with the order and decorum which 
prevailed among them. On remarking this 
to a Portuguese, named Nobre, the owner of 
the only large store in the place, he said — 
"Better for them, else their backs would 
smart." He candidly expressed his hatred 
to the English, for their exertions to sup- 
press the slave-trade. 

We crossed the channel, in the beginning 
of January, 1843, from the African shore, 
to the Bay of St. Augustine, on the coast of 
Madagascar, for the purpose of taking in 
fresh provisions and \Ys,tei. A. small mer- 
chant schooner, from Mauritius, lay there 
at anchor on ^our arrival, surrounded b}^ 



about twenty canoes, full of natives, who 
immediately paddled toward our ship. As 
tliey approached, a multitude of voices, vy- 
ing with each other, proclaimed the names 
and titles of our visitors. " Me broder Prince 
Wilt," meaning, I believe, " Prmce of 
Wales ;" " Me John Green ;" " Me Dunga- 
ree ;" '• Me Jem Bravo;" "You my very 
good friend — me come aboard, speaky 
the captain." They appeared to me a very 
fine race of savages ; their dark brown skins 
sleek and glossy ; their well-formed limbs 
supple from continual exertion; all their 
actions and gestures free and agile. Their 
features are far from &isagreeable, with an 
intelhgent, vivacious expression; their jet- 
black hair plaited with great care and clean- 
liness, and by no means untastefully. The 
canoes, which held about four each, were 
twenty feet in length, very narrow, and 
sharp at both ends. Though frail in ap- 
pearance, being formed of the soft " cabbage- 
wood," they are, in reality, safe — two long 
transverse poles suspending a solid piece 
of the same light wood, which, floating on 
the water, balances the canoe, and precludes 
the possibility of its upsetting. Most of 
our visitors were nearly naked, except a few 
whom the pride of di.stinction had led to 
disguise their persons in an old naval coat 
or cap, sometimes with the addition of a 
cast-off epaulette, and a profusion of brass 
nails or buttons. On being admitted on board 
the ship, their volubility increased, having 
at command agreat number of English words, 
many of which they pronounce with great 
clearness, unfettered, it may be supposed, 
by any grammatical connection. One, who 
announced himself as " Captain Long," ad- 
dressed me in the most earnest tone of sup- 
plication : 

" Look here — you very good friend to me : 
I love you very well ; all de same one fader ; 
you speaky the captain." 

" What shall T say for you to the cap- 
tain .?" 

" You speaky for me ; he give me one 
cape." (cap.) 

This petitioner had two brothers, bear- 
ing the same family name, but distinguished 
as "Young Long," and "Jem Long." 
These, though not above begging, deemed 
it beneath their dignity to bring shells for 
sale. 

"No — no get shell; me big man; sing 
out, 'Fellow, go get shell !' me have bul- 
lock — speaky the king. Prince Will." 

Several brought their assagais, or long 
spears, which they were hot unwilling to 
barter for beads, buttons, or "clouty" (cot- 
ton cloth.) 

In the afternoon, I landed at a vil 



ST. AUGtTSTINE S BAY. 



9 



within the mouth of the river which empties 
itself into St. Augustine's Bay. The huts, 
about fifty in number, are neatly constructed 
of clay aad reed, but so I0W3 that it would 
require one to stoop double in order to enter 
the door. Here we found " Prince Will," 
a dwarfish, most wretched object, in extreme 
old age, one eye completely overspread by 
a hideous kind of fungus. He v/as engaged 
at a sort of "palaver," on the occasion of 
receiving some embassage fiom his brother 
potentate, " King Voose," whose Govern- 
ment includes the territory on the other side 
of the river. , Their titles are apparently 
hereditary, and their authority, I believe, 
subordinate to that of " King Baba," who 
resides at some distance in the interior. 
" Prince Will" v/as seated on the ground, 
under the shade of some fine trees, amid a 
circle of above a hundred warlike- looking 
men, also seated on their haunches, some 
having muskets, and all holding long spears 
erect in their hands. He seemed entirely 
engrossed in smoking his pipe, and incapa- 
ble of taking any interest in the business 
going forward, which was conducted on iiis 
part by three or four who sat near him. 
All preserved great gravity of demeanor, and 
took not the slightest notice of our presence. 
Many women and children, who had at- 
tended us from our landing, kept back at a 
"respectful distance while -we approached the 
circle, but again thronged us alter we Avith- 
drew from it, on our return -to the boat. 
some of them were even pressing to enter it, 
and accompany us on board. One asked : 
" King ship take queeny ? Queeny come 
aboard ■" The title " Queeny" is given to 
their women, generally. On being told that 
their wish could not be complied vv^ith, they 
signified their discontent very strongly. The 
shameless hcentiousness of the women, en- 
couraged and promoted by their men, appears 
almost universal. 

On the morning after our arrival, " Prince 
Will" — notice having been duly sent of his 
intention, paid us a visit on board, bringing 
with him a large train of attendants. Cap- 
tain Wyvill having, Vv^th his usual good- 
nature, put in requisition all the chairs 
which could be got, his cabin was soon 
completely filled, and we were not then left 
long in suspense as to the purport of the 
visit. A young man stood forward and 
delivered, with much gesticulation, a some- 
what disjointed harangue, the object of 
which, however, was sufiiciently obvious. 
" Prince Will very good friend to you, you 
very good friend Prince Will ; you com.e 
here catch water, catch bullock — very 
good. -Prince Will, him no got powder, no 
got clouty — Prince Will, him drink brandy." 



Our declis were crovv'ded, on this and fol- 
lowing days, with natives, bringing shells 
for sale — harps, cowries, volutes, and. others, 
in great variety ; also a few water-melons 
and pum.pldns. One "Captain Harribee," 
from Pullear Bay, about ten miles distant, 
objected to barter: "No sell, give;" he 
asked for a bottle and some "clouty" and 
afterward sent us a present of a- fowl and 
a basket of eggs. Another man, who had 
received a Spanish dollar for two assagais, 
was asked v\^hat use he would make of the 
money ? " Get ten dollar, buy slave. Got 
one, two, three slave— bring v>fater, bring 
wood." Most of our visitors wear, around 
the neck, attached to a string of beads, among 
shells and other ornaments, a small piece of 
leather, which they call " Mahommed," and 
believe has a charm to protect from death. 
" Where," I asked one of them, "' do we 
go when we die?" " You die, takee shore 
— Tent-Rock, oder place — put in ground." 
" And never get up again .?" " No, no get 
up." "But you must die too." "No, I 



no die', 
question, 
swered, ' 
pray ?" 
schooner 
cargo of orseille 



Jem Long, to w^hom J put the 
" Do you ever pray to God .'" an- 
Malgash no see God ; what for 
The captain of the Mauritius 
a Frenchman, taking in here a 
a species of lichen, which 
roduces a fine dye, tells me that the natives 
In this part of the island belong to the tribe 
called " Secalaves." He mentions also the 
" Baignem.asaques," " Antolotes," and other 
Frenchified names. The main distinction, 
however, is between these tribes, who in- 
habit most of the w^est coast, and the Oo- 
valis, occupying the north part of the island, 
and the whole of its east coast, who own 
the sovereignty of the Queen of Madagas- 
car, and are much more advanced toward 
civilization. 

From St. Augustine's Bay, the " Cleopa- 
tra " proceeded to Algoa Bay, in the Cape 
of Good Hope colony, the south limit of our 
cruising station. This port alone has easy 
communication with the productive districts 
in the interior of the colony. Its principal 
exports during the year 1 842 were : — 
Wool . . . : value £43,560 
Ox and horse hides . . 19,494 

Goatskins .... 9,503 

Butter 2,907 

Tallow 2,899 

Horns 1,066 

Aloea 5,644 

Ivory 1,964 

The town, Port Elizabeth, contains upward 
of 3000 British inhabitants, and increases 
rapidly in population and importance. We 
found here nine English merchant- vessels 
at anchor. I made a visit to Uitenhage, about 
twenty miles distant, chief town of the di- 



10 



QUILIMANE. 



vision of the same name, to which Port 
Elizabeth belongs. It is pleasantly situa- 
ted in a fertile valley, sheltered by a low 
range of hills, and watered by the Zerartkop 
river. Every house lias its inclosures of 
peach, apple, or pear trees ; giving the whole 
an appearance of one large garden. The 
population is about 2000, half of the num- 
ber colored, the remainder chiefly Dutch, 
the English not amounting to one hundred. 
The time of the criminal sessions was ap- 
proaching, and the municipal authorities of 
Uitenhage vrere making preparation for the 
visit of the judges in circuit. Mr. Brunett, 
clerk of the peace, informed me, that since 
the abolition of slavery the average quar- 
terly number of criminal cases for trial in 
this division, containing 9000 square miles, 
and 1 1 ,000 inhabitants, had diminished from 
25 to 4. It is only to be regretted that the 
measure of slave-emancipation was not car- 
ried into effect in this colony with more con- 
sideration for its peculiar eircumstances. 
The compensation av/arded to the slave- 
owners here, through misunderstanding on 
the part of the Boers, or their inabihty to 
wait till the time appointed for its payment, 
fell, in a great measure, into the hands of 
brokers at Cape Town, who purchased their 
claims at a very low rate. The dissatisfac- 
tion and distrust occasioned by this mea- 
sure have been the cause of the rebellious 
■disturbances which have arisen in the colo- 
ny during the last five years, and which are 
now at a higher pitch than ever. Mr. Bru- 
, nett expressed to me the anxious desire of 
the English inhabitants to obtain a resident 
clergyman at Titenhage ; and showed me a 
good house and garden provided by them for 
a lay catechist, or schoolmaster, who had 
just left them, which they would gladly 
settle on a clergyman of the Church of En- 
gland, who should come among them, as 
well as contribute, in a reasonable degree, 
to his support. I remember that Mr. Dick- 
enson, clerk of the peace at Stellenbosch, 
twenty-five miles from Cape Town, held 
nearly similar language. That gentleman 
regretted to me that, instead of a school- 
master sent by Government, at a salary of 
2301. per annum, who exercised the Hot- 
tentots in questions concerning " oxygen, 
hydrogen, latent caloric," &c., a clergyman 
had not been sent to administer the ordi- 
nances of the Church, as well as give due 
attention to the education of the poor. It 
is the painful truth that, in this vast colony, 
though thirty-seven years have elapsed 
since it passed into the hands of the En- 
glish, the Church of England is still unre- 
presented. 

The " Cleopatra," on her return to the 



north, cruised along the African coast, and 
anchored ten miles off" the bar of Quilimane, 
early in February. Shortly after, I accom- 
panied a party, in one of our boats, to the 
town, situated about eight miles up the ri- 
ver, on its left bank. The water on the 
bar, at the time of our crossing it, was quite 
smooth ; but even a moderate breeze will 
curl the sea, to a great extent around, into 
formidable breaking waves. The sides of 
the river on each hand are a thicket of man- 
groves. Several recesses in these, shelter- 
ed large flat-bottomed boats, which are used 
to carry negroes to the slave-vessels out- 
side the bar. Pelicans, curlews, and other 
water-birds, flew around us. At two pla- 
ces, several hippopotami raised their heads 
above the surface, resembling, with their 
curved tusks, the twisted stumps of large 
trees. On a ball being fired at them, snort- 
ing up the water from their nostrils, they 
plunged beneath it. I longed to see one of 
the monsters in its full proportions, when, 
looking on a spall island, " Pequena Ban- 
ca," just in the mdd river, about 150 yards 
distant, appeared one standing on dry ground. 
The animal perceived us as soon, and ran 
to and fro with a speed hardly to be ex- 
pected from its unwieldy bulk; sometimes 
stopping to take a look at us, as if doubting 
which way to go, and, entering the water, 
gradually disappeared, not before I had sent 
a bullet at him, which, however, had no 
chance of penetrating its thick, tough hide. 
In size it approached the elephant ; but the 
shortness of its legs gave it rather the figure 
of the pig. We were most hospitably re- 
ceived at Quilim.ane, by Senhor Azevedo, a 
rich Portuguese gentleman, who carries on 
a considerable commerce in ivory and gold- 
dust. The exportation of slaves he pro- 
fessed to hold in abomination, and is at va- 
riance on that point with the present Gov- 
ernor of the district of Quilimane, whom 
he represents as conniving at it. Azevedo 
assured us he had certain intelhgence that, 
during this and the following month, four 
to six slave-vessels may be confidently ex- 
pected at this port. The European inhab- 
itants of Quilimane do not exceed ninety 
souls. The principal houses are well-built, 
v/ith extensive walled premises.- Rice- 
grounds occupy a swamp in the midst of 
the population, in which are the numerous 
mud huts of the negro slaves. I thought 
the rice of sweeter flavor than even the 
Egyptian. No more, however, is grown 
than is sulncient for the consumption of the 
inhabitants. The prevalence of the slave- 
trade here has had its usual effect in damp- 
ing all other spirit of enterprise. The hand- 
somest feature of the place is a large grove 



THE CHASE. 



11 



of lofty cocoa-mit palms, which afford a 
delicious shade. The mangoes are good, 
though inferior to those of Mauritius ; the 
plaintains dry and flavorless. 

About the middle of February, the " Cle- 
opatra" proceeded from Quilimane to recruit 
her stock of water at St. Augustine's Bay. 
Our return thither was hailed, shortly after 
our arrival, by "Jem Bravo," "Young 
Long," and others of our former acquaint- 
ance. Disgust, however, at their endeavors 
to impose on us, by asking ten dollars each 
for bullocks small and lean, the fair price 
for which would have been three or four 
dollars per head, hastened our departure,, as 
soon as the business of watering v/as com- 
pleted. On March 2d, having gone away 
in a boat to a neighboring reef, on a shelling 
excursion, while returning to the ship after 
dark, I perceived in the west horizon a re- 
markable column of Hght, resembling a ra- 
diation. Two or three days subsequently, 
the whole being visible above the horizon, 
it became evident that it was a distinct ce- 
lestial body; a comet, with a tail, on a 
rough m-easurement, of about forty degrees 
in length, travelling in a northerly and 
westerly direction. 

On March 4th, we left St. Augustine's 
Bay for Port Natal, desirous to learn how 
affairs went on there, previous to our return 
to Quilimane ; and anchored off Natal Bar 
on Sunday, March 12th. On the following 
morning, I crossed the bar in one of our cut- 
ters, vsrhich, the evening before, had been 
nearly swamped on it, and lost two of her 
oars. Lieut. Nourse, in command of the 
"Fawn" schooner, at anchor inside the 
harbor, told me that, from an account kept 
by him during a year, it resulted that there 
are, on an average, twelve days only in 
each month on which the bar is passable. 
There are about 200 soldiers here at present, 
under command of Major Smith — part at 
the " Point," just within the harbor's mouth, 
where a small fort is erected, and part at the 
Camp, two miles distant, on the site where 
the same officer, with a force of 100 men, 
withstood a siege of the Boers. The ex- 
isting relation between the British troops 
and the insurgents is that of a suspension of 
hostilities, without any acknov/ledgment yet 
made by the Boers of the sovereignty of 
England. 

The " Cleopatra" re-anchored off the bar 
of Quilimane on the 23d March, and, the 
same day, sent the barge up the river to the 
town. 

March 26th. The barge, which v/as dis- 
patched to Quilimane, returned this morn- 
ing, with the news that H. M. brig " Lily" , 
had, during our absence, driven a slave- 



vessel ashore, and carried off tv/o others, 
barks, prizes to the Cape ; bringing, also, a 
letter from the Governor of "Quilimane 
and PJos de Senna," in a far from congratu- 
latory tone on the subject. His version of 
the affair stated that, on the 4th of this 
month, the Portuguese brig of war, " Gentil 
Libertabor," crossing the bar of the river at 
daybreak, perceived a vessel approaching 
the shore, which the " Lily," then'' anchored 
outside, perceiving at the same moment, im-- 
mediately weighed anchor. The vessel in 
question, judging it impossible to escape, 
continued her course to the shore, where 
she grounded at hali^past seven, about six 
miles from the port. A quarter of an hour 
I alter, the Portuguese brig took possession 
of the stranded vessel, and hoisted on board 
j of her the Portugaese_fiag. The Governor 
I complains of the " Lily's" boats having 
afterward forcibly boarded the prize, and 
destroyed various parts of the vessel. We 
have grounds for more than suspicion that, 
had not an English cruiser been on the 
coast, the " Gentil Libertabor" would not 
have interfered with the proceedings of the 
slave vessel. The Governor's dispatch pro- 
ceeds to state, that, on the 20th of this 
month, the crews of the two Brazilian barks, 
" Desengano," and " Coniidencia," captured 
by H. M. brig " Lily," presented themselves 
before him, part having been put ashore, 
and part on board the boat of the pilot be- 
longing to this port, at that time on service 
at the bar; and expatiates on the peril of 
their being thus let loose on a country far 
from all inhabitants, except those of the 
tewn, exposed to the risk of being devoured 
by wild beasts. 

Friday, March 31 . A sail was observed 
this morning, apparently a brigantine, steal- 
ing along shore to the south of the Quili- 
mane river. At noon, the weather being 
calm, I took a seat in the barge, which, 
with the pinnace, were ordered away, man- 
ned and armed, to overhaul the vessel, or, 
faihng in that, to proceed up the river to 
Quilimane. Soon after leaving the ship, a 
light breeze sprung up and the boats made 
sail. After steering a good while in the di- 
rection in which the vessel had been seen 
from the ship, we unexpectedly caught sight 
of her two or three points farther to xvind- 
ward than we had supposed her to be, and, 
to our surprise, standmg toward the frigate, 
which lay at anchor. About the same time 
v/e perceived a boat pulling furiously in/that 
direction, v/hich proved to belong to the 
Portuguese brig of war, anchored inside the 
bar. 

It seemed doubtful which of us would win 
the race ; and we anxiously watched for 



12 



THE CHASE. 



some movement on the part of the " Cleo- 
patra," who had now the breeze as well as 
ourselves. At length we saw her, at the 
same moment cross her royal yards, and 
make sail. On this, the brigantine, taking 
alarm, hauled her wind. The race, mean- 
while, continued between onr boats and the 
Portuguese, until one of their rowers, prob- 
ably from a coup-de-soleil, was obliged to 
quit his oar, which made them drop astern. 
The night approaching, compelled our boats 
also to abandon the chase, and, having 
stood on the same course half an -hour after 
it became dark, we turned our heads back 
in the direction of the Quilimane river. On 
our return, falling in with the " Cleopatra," 
who continued the pursuit, the officer in 
charge of the boats wished to communicate 
with her, and supposed that she had hove 
to, in order to enable him to do so. Incau- 
tiously approaching her head, when close 
to her bows, we found that she had been 
just in stays, and, not perceiving our boat 
in the darkness, had gathered way, and was 
coming right down on us. In vain we hail- 
ed : " Put your helm hard a-port." No 
answer was returned. There was no pos- 
sibility of getting out of her way. " She 
is right into us." A few hands were near 
the bowsprit, to whom we cried : " Throw 
us plenty of ropes." I had hastily doffed 
my great coat in readiness for a swim ; and 
after an instant's hesitation, whether it 
would be better to jump overboard, or await 
the shock, and the chance of catching a 
rope, found my hand close to the dolphin- 
striker, which I seized, and the next instant, 
clambering up, 1 scarce knew how. clasped 
the image of Cleopatra, the figure-head of 
the frigate. Our boat had providentially 
heen perceived just in time to throw all the 
sails of the frigate a-back, before the col- 
lision, which, otherwise, would have been 
inevitable destruction to most of us. Of 
those who remained in the boat, only one 
was disabled, no other injury being done to 
the barge than smashing her mainmast; I 
rejoined my comrades in her, and we pro- 
ceeded toward the mouth of the river. Un- 
able, however, from_ the darkness of the 
night, to make sure of the entrance, we an- 
chored outside of the surf, and, the next 
morning, received a kind welcome from our 
hospitable friend Azevedo, at Quilimane. 
As we sat, after dinner, enjoying the cool 
of the evening, under a porch, he said to 
me, '« Monsieur Hill, voulez-vous voir un 
Prince noir?" On my assenting, he dis- 
patched a request for the presence of the 
royal personage, who soon made his ap- 
pearance, v/ith'a dozen attendants, from 
an adjacent house allotted to their use. 



This was a chief of the Macoa tribe, from 
about two hundred miles in the interior, 
who had brought some gold dust and 
ivory for Azevedo. He and his train had 
very little clothing among them : their arms 
and legs ornamented with rings of hippo- 
potamus hide. Having been put in spirits, 
by a distribution of brandy, they performed 
a dance as void of grace and agility as all 
other negro dances that I have seen ; accom- 
panying the exhibition by clapping their 
hands and a most discordant vocal chorus, 
the same, Azevedo told me, which they use 
when they go to hunt the hippopotamus, 
and well calculated to astound the animal, 
if that be their object. In return for this 
entertainment, two or three musical boxes 
were set a-playing, with M^hich the " Black 
Prince" was so much pleased, that he offer- 
ed to give four of his attendants for one of 
them. 

On the following day, we descended the 
river, and found the " Cleopatra" again an- 
chored off its mo uth^, having failed in pur- 
suit of the brigantine. The same afternoon 
we weighed anchor for the island of " Fo- 
go," about 100 miles to the north, where 
slave vessels frequently seek shelter ; leav- 
ing the barge and a cutter to guard the en- 
trance to the Quilimane river. Finding 
nothing at Fogo, the pinnace was sent to 
look into the small rivers along the shore 
to Mozambique, 100 miles further to the 
north, where she rejoined us after a fruit- 
less search ; and on Monday, April 1 0th, 
we began to retrace our course to the south. 

Wednesday, April 12tk. — At day-break 
this morning, being again off Fogo, on re- 
turn to Quilimane, the look-out at the top- 
mast head perceived a vessel on the lee- 
quarter, at such a distance as to be scarcely 
visible ; but, her locality being pronounced 
very suspicious, the order was given to 
" bear up for her." Our breeze was light, 
and, falhng still lighter, at 9 a. m. the boats 
were ordered out, and, in a few minutes, 
the barge and the first gig, manned and 
armed, were pulling away in the direction 
of the stranger. So variable, however, is 
the weather, at this season, that, before the 
boats had rowed a mile from the ship, a 
squall had gathered on our beam, and a 
thick haze surrounded us, hiding the chase 
from sight; rain fell in torrents, and we 
were going seven knots through the water, 
not waiting to hoist in the barge. The fog 
clearing away, the sun broke foith, and the 
rakish-looking brigantine, as we now per- 
ceived her to be, appeared to have carried 
on all sail during the squall. A steady 
breeze succeeded, and we began tO' feel 
pretty confident as to the issue of the race. 



On mounting a few steps up the rigging, 
we could see, under her sails, the low, 
black hull, pitching up and down ; and be- 
ing now within range of our shot, one of 
the forecastle guns was cleared away for a 
bow-chaser. The British ensign had been 
for sometime flying at our peak, — at length 
answered by the green and yellow Brazil- 
ian flag. Orders were given to "man the 
foremost quarters on the main-deck," and 
the due elevation given to the guns, when, 
suddenly, the brigantine dropped her peak, 
shortened sail, and rounded to, as to wait 
for our coming up. Her pursuer, in conse- 
quence, also shortened sail, immediately on 
which she again made sail and was off, in a 
different direction across our bows No 
time was lost in bracing our yards in pur- 
suit, and sending back the hands to their 
quarters at their guns. 

As soon as it was brought to bear, the 
foremost gun was fired ; and, after an eager 
watch of a few seconds, the ball ploughed 
the waters just across the bows of the chase. 
Another and another followed in quick suc- 
cession, equally unregarded by the brigan- 
tine ; and fifteen to twenty shot were fired, 
some ahead, some astern, some over, till, as 
we were evidently gaining on her every 
minute, and the chance of escape became 
■desperate, she at length shortened sail, and 
lay-to in good earnest. We now ranged up 
alongside, and eager eyes were turned on 
every part of the vessel. Dark, naked forms 
passing across her deck removed the least 
remaining doubt as to her character, and 
showed us that she had her human cargo 
aboard. A cutter being hoisted out, an offi- 
cer was sent to take possession, and the 
British ensign displaced the Brazilian. Capt. 
Wyvill, whom I accompanied, then follow- 
ed, taking v/ith him the surgeon, to inspect 
the state of health on board the prize. It 
was a strange scene which presented itself 
to us when we mounted her side. The deck 
was crowded to the utmost with naked ne- 
groes, to the number, as stated in her papers, 
of 450, in almost riotous confusion, having 
revolted, before our arrival, against their late 
masters ; who, on their part, also showed 
strong excitement, from feelings, it may be 
supposed, of no pleasant nature. The ne- 
groes, a meagre, famished-looking throng, 
having broken through all control, had 
seized everything to which they had a 
fancy in the vessel ; some with hands full 
of " farinha," the powdered root of the man- 
droe or cassava ; others with large pieces of 
pork and beek, having broken open the 
casks ; and some had taken fowls from the 
coops, which they devoured raw. Many 
were busily dipping rags, fastened to bits of 



'SIErAVE VESSEL, < Jg 

string, into the water-casks ; and, unhappi- 
ly, there were some who, by a like method, 
got at the contents of a cask of "aguardiente,** 
fiery Braziliaji rum, of which they drank to 
excess. The addition of our boats' crews 
to this crowd left hardly room to move on 
the deck. The shrill hubbub of noises, 
which I cannot attempt to describe, expres- 
sive, however, of the wildest joy, thrilled on. 
the ear, mingled with the clank of the iron., 
as they were knocking off their fetters on 
every side. It seemed that, from the mo- 
ment the first ball was fired, they had beeit 
actively employed in thus freeing themselves, 
in which our men were not slow in lending 
their assistance. I counted but thirty shack- 
led together in pairs ; but many more pairs of 
shackles were found below. We were not 
left an instant in doubt as to the light in 
which they viewed us. They crawled in 
crowds, and rubbed caressingly our feet and 
clothes with their hands, even rolling them- 
selves, as far as room allowed, on the deck 
before us. And when they saw the crew 
of the vessel rathe r unceremoniously sent 
over the side into the boat which was to take 
them prisoners to the frigate, they set up a 
long, universal shout of triumph and de- 
light. 

Account was now taken of the number of 
the negroes, amounting to 447. Of these 
189 were men, few, however, if any, ex- 
ceeding 20 years of age; 45 women; 213 
boys. The number of sick among them was 
reckoned at 25*. Captain Wyvill proposed 
to take 1 00 on board the " Cleopatra." This 
humane and judicious intention was, how- 
ever, unfortunately prevented from taking 
effect, owing to an erroneous impression that 
some of them were infected with the small- 
pox. Our prize proves to be the same ves- 
sel which we chased on the 31st ult., off 
Quiiimane ; her name, the " Progresso," last 
from Paranagua, in Brazil, and bound, as 
her crew state, to Rio Janeiro. They are 
seventeen in. number, and, with a few ex- 
ceptions, active-looking, able-bodied men : 
three Spaniards ; the rest Portuguese, or 
Brazilians. They quitted the coast only last 
evening, and have thus been captured by us 
within a few hours after the embarkation of 
their cargo. The vessel is of about 140 
tons ; the length of the slave-deck, 27 feet; 
its mean breadth, 21 1-2 feet; its height 
3 i-2 feet. The captain, if we credit the 
statement of the crew, was, with another 
man, drowned in the surf, where they em- 
barked the negroes ; and the absence of the 
long-boat gives some probability to the story. 
A Spaniard, of Barcelona, by name Antonio 



* This calculation was afterward found to be 
much too low. 



14 



SLAVE VESSEL. 



VaJlel, replied to my inquiries, " No hay 
qiiien manda ; tan capines somos uno como 
otro." " There is no one who commands ; 
-we are captains as much one as another." 
This man, with another Spaniard, of GaUcia, 
Sebastian Vicete, and a Portuguese, named 
Manoel, employed to cook for the negroes, 
were sent back into the prize. An interpre- 
ter being much wanted to communicate with 
them concerning the care and management 
of the negroes, I ofiered my services during 
the voyage, to which Captain Wyvill hav- 
ing assented, at 7 o'cock in the evening I 
found myself, with ]ny servant and carpet 
bag, on board the " Progresso," under sail 
ior the Cape of Good Hope. The English 
previously sent on board were, the lieuten- 
ant in charge, a master's assistant, a quar- 
termaster, a boatswain's mate, and nine sea- 
men. 

During the first v/atch, our breeze was 
light and variable, the water smooth, the 
recently liberated negroes sleeping, or lying 
in quietness about the deck. Their slender 
supple limbs entwine in a surprisingly small 
compass ; and they resembled, in the moon- 
light, confused piles of arms and legs, rather 
than distinct human forms. They were, 
however, apparently at ease, and all seemed 
going on as fah'ly as couJd be desired. But 
the scene was soon to undergo a great and 
terrible change. About one hour after mid- 
night, the sky began to gather clouds, and 
a haze overspread" the horizon to windward. 
A squall approached, of which I and others, 
who had lain down on the deck, received 
warning by a few heavy drops of rain. 
Then ensued a scene the horrors of which 
it is impossible to depict. The hands having 
to shorten sail suddenly, uncertain as to the 
force of the squall, found the poor helpless 
creatures lying about the deck an obstruction 
to getting at the ropes and doing what was 
required. This caused the order to send 
them all below, which was immediately 
obeyed. The night, however, being in- 
tensely hot and close, 400 wretched beings 
thus crammed into a hold 12 yards in length, 
7th in breadth, and only 3 1-3 feet in height, 
speedily began to make an effort to reissue 
to the open air. 

Being thrust back, and striving the more 
to get out, the after-hatch was forced down 
on them. Over the other hatchway, in the 
fore-part of the vessel, a wooden grating 
was fastened. To this, the sole inlet for 
the air, the suffocating heat of the hold, and, 
perhaps, panic from the strangeness of their 
situation, made them press ; -and thus great 
part of the space below was rendered use- 
less. They crowd to the grating, and. 
clinging to it for' air, completely barred its 



entrance. They strove to force their way 
through apertures, in length fourteen inches, 
and barely six inches in breadth, and, in some 
instances, succeeded. The cries, the heat, — 
I may say, without exaggeration, " the 
smoke of their torment," — which ascended, 
can be compared to nothing earthly. Oiie 
of the Spaniards gave warning that the 
consequence would be "many deaths." — 
" Mariana habr-a muchos muertoy." 

Thursday, April lSth{Hohj Thursday.) 
— The Spaniard's prediction of last night, 
this morning was fearfully verified. Fifty- 
four crushed and mangled corpses lifted up 
from the slave-deck have been brought to 
the gang-way and thrown overboard. Some 
were emaciated from disease ; many, bruis- 
ed and bloody. Antonio tells me that some 
were found strangled, their hands still grasp- 
ing each other's throats, and tongues pro- 
truding from their mouths. The bowels of 
one were crushed out. They had been 
trampled to death for the most part, the 
weaker under the feet of the stronger, in the 
madness and torment of suffocation from 
crowd and heat. It was a horrid sight, as 
they passed one by one — the stiff distorted 
limbs sm.eared with blood and filth — to be 
cast into the sea. Some, still quivering, 
were laid on the deck to die; salt water 
thrown on them to revive them, and a little 
fresh water poured into their mouths. Anto- 
nio reminded me of his last night's warning, 
" Ya se lo dixe anoche." He actively em- 
ployed himself, with his comrade Sebastian, 
in attendance on the wretched living beings 
now released from their confinement below ; 
distributing to them their morning meal of 
"farinha," and their allowance of water, 
rather more than half a pint to each, which 
they grasped with inconceivable eagerness, 
some bending their knees to the deck, to 
avoid the risk of losing any of the liquid by 
unsteady footing, their throats, doubtless, 
parched to the utmost with crying and yel- 
ling through the night. 

A heavy shower having freshened the 
air, in the evening most of the negroes went 
below of their own accord, the hatchways 
being left open to allow them air. But a 
short time, however, had elapsed when they 
began tumuituously to re-ascend, while per- 
sons above, afraid of their crowding the deck 
too much, repelled them, and they were 
trampled back, screaming and writhing, in 
a confused mass. The hatch was about to 
be forced down on them, and, had not the 
lieutenant in charge left positive orders to 
the contrary, the catastrophe of last night 
would have been re-enacted. Antonio, 
whom I called at this juncture, turned away 
with a gesture of horror, saying, " No soy 



SLAVE VESSEL. 



15 



capaz de matarlos como anoche." On ex- 
plaining to him, however, that it was desir- 
ed he would dispose in proper places those 
who came on deck, he set himself to the 
task with great alacrity. As they climbed 
nimbly up, he made me feel their skins, 
which had been wetted by the rain : " Es- 
tan frescos," — " they are cool." " No tie- 
nen caior, tienen miedo." It was not heat, 
but fear, which now made them rash to es- 
cape from the hold ; and he showed me, 
with much satisfaction, how soon and quiet- 
ly thay were arranged out of the way of 
the ropes, covered with long rugs provided 
for the purpose. " Manana no ha de morir 
ninguno : — acaso algunos de los que estan 
ahora enfermos." " To-morrow there will 
not be one- dead — perhaps some oftho.se who 
are now sick." 

April 14th (Good Friday.) — But one dead 
this morning. There are three in a dying 
state of the number trampled on the first 
night ; one, a robust lad, so dreadfully bruis- 
ed and swollen as to be unable to move a 
limb, nor can we open his eyelids. An or- 
ange squeezed into his month, from time to 
time, seemed to refresh him. 1 observed 
two women creep out of the boiler in which 
beans are cooked for the negroes. On the 
first night, the females appear to have gone 
quietly, at an early hour, to a berth parti- 
tioned off for them between the rest of the 
hold and our cabin : it being the custom of 
slave-traders to keep the sexes strictly sepa- 
rate. At two, this afternoon, a large ship 
was reported to leeward ; soon ascertained 
to be the " Cleopatra," standing out from 
Quiiimane, where she had touched on her 
way to the Cape. 

April 15th {Easter Even.) —The world 
can present no more shocking spectacle of 
human wretchedness than is contained in 
this vessel. It seems that a scene so har- 
rowing can hardly be witnessed without an 
injurious effect on the beholder ; its tenden- 
cy being, first to overwhelm, afterward, by 
familiarizing, in some degree to deaden, the 
feelings. Perhaps it but reveals that apa- 
thy to the sufferings of others which the 
heart would be unwilling to acknov/ledge 
of itself. Antonio came to report to me that 
not one had died during the last night ; ad- 
ding, " Bien arreglados, no mueren." 

April 16th, (Easter Day.)— The " Cleo- 
patra" being Vvathin two miles of us, at day- 
break, wishing to communicate, we bore up 
close to her, and, at 10 a. m., I accompanied 
the lieutenant on board. In a quarter of an 
hour we returned, bringing an old Portu- 
guese, named Valerian, to assist in repairing 
our sails, which were old and weak ; and 
a more important, as well as agreeafele ad- 



dition to our company, in the assistant-sur- 
geon of the frigate, who proceeded to an ex- 
amination of the sick. The majority of 
cases were those of dysentery and ulcerated 
wounds. One man has deep sloughing ul- 
cers, from a flogging. " He cannot be worth 
much," remarked a Spaniard, "since he 
came into our hands not only ironed, but 
flogged." A poor child, six or seven years 
of age, has lost nearly the whole of his great 
toe, from the insect " niguas," or " jiggers." 
Another has a severe wound in the leg, 
caused by a bite from one of his compan- 
ions. Various impediments have prevented 
us from assembling to-day for Divine ser- 
vice. Our situation, indeed, appears as un- 
favorable as can well be imagined to the re- 
pose of the sabbath ; and I am still more 
puzzled than formerly at a remark in the 
'^' Life of the Ptev. John Newton," to the ef- 
fect, that he had never enjoyed sweeter sea- 
sons of communion with his Maker than 
during his voyages to the coast of Africa for 
slaves.* 

Mmday, April 17th. — Almost a «alm. 
The " Cleopatra" sent boats this morning, 
and took on board fifty of the boys. The 
disease among them, which had the appear- 
ance of sm.all-pox, proves to be a virulent 
kind of itch. 

Tuesday, April 18th. — The \^and con- 
tinuing very light, we received a second 
visit from the " Cleopatra's" boats, and sent 
further provision for the boys above men- 
tioned, viz., two sacks of rice, one of millet- 
seed, and a quantity of Monte Video dried 
beef; of which last article alone the "Pro- 
gressQ." carries store enough to support all 
the negroes for two months. There are, 
besides, six hundred sacks, containing about 



* Cape Town, June 24th.— The passage, in 
Mr. Cecil's "Life of Newton," is as follows : — 
" 1 never knew sweeter or more frequent hours 
of Diviae communication than on my two last 
voyages to Guinea, when I was either almost 
secluded from society on ship-board, or when on 
shore among the natives. I have wandered 
through the woods, reflecting on the goodness 
of the Lord to me. Many a time, upon these 
occasions, I have restored the beautiful lines of 
Propertiusto the right owner ; lines full o[blas- 
phemy and madness when addressed to a crea- 
ture, but full of comfort and propriety in the 
mouth of a believer : — 

"/Sic ego desertis possim bene vivere sylvis, 
Quo nuUo humano sit via trita pede ; 

Tumihi curarum requies ; in nocte velatra 
Lumen, et in solis lu mihi turba locis.' " 

The terms of censure applied to the above 
lines are surely severe. The sentiments they 
contain appears as innocent aslceautilul : — 

" Thus in the sylvan deserts would I dwell, 
Where never human foot h'^ith (rod ; with thee, 

A solace to my ears: in darkness fell, 
Alight; in solitude, society." 



16 SLAVE VESSEL. 

twenty-eight pounds each, of small beans ; 
a great many of an inferior rice, and of 
♦* farinha." Below the slave-deck are stowed 
twenty-two huge water-casks, averaging 
:five or six hogsheads each. The length of 
one measured'was six feet six inches. The 
cabin-stores are profuse ; lockers filled with 
ale and porter ; barrels of wine ; hquors of 
various sorts ; macaroni, verrniceUi, tapioca 
of the finest kind ; cases of English pickles, 
each containing twelve jars ; boxes of cigars ; 
muscatel raisins, tamarinds, almonds, wal- 
nuts, &c., &c. The coops on deck are 
crammed with fowls and ducks, and there 
are eleven pigs. A breeze springing up in 
the afternoon, and gradually freshening, the 
*' Cleopatra" shot ahead of us, passing so 
near that we could exchange farewell signs 
with our friends on board, who seemed now 
to be parting company in good earnest. 

Wednesday, April 19th. — Antonio gave 
me to-day an account of his escape off 
Quilimane, and subsequent capture, on our 
second chase. The slavers supposed the 
*' Cleopatra," lying at anchor, to be an Ame- 
rican whaler. When undeceived on this 
point, and pursued by the frigate to the 
south, taking advantage of the darkness of 
the night, they hauled round, and, running 
back in an opposite direction, anchored be- 
tween Quilimane and Fogo. Here they 
commenced the em^barkation of their cargo, 
which occupied ten days. " And had we 
not been detained," he added, " a day or 
two, waiting for provisions, we should have 
escaped you altogether. On the same night 
that we left the coast, we saw the lights of 
a shi'p, and tried to get out of her way, but 
there was little v\diid, and, at day-break, I 
mounted to the topmast-head, and — descu- 
brimas la fragata.'' The negroes forming 
their cargo, are affiiTQed by the Spaniards to 
have been in a very sickly state — "mala 
esclavitud" — when embarked; having wait- 
ed on the coast tv/o or three months in ex- 
pectation of a vessel. Some oi them had 
come from far in the interior, and w^ere re- 
ceived in wretched condition, and fifty were 
rejected as unfit to take. The vessel, they 
say, is capable of carrying five hundred, 
" bien arreglados y acomodados." Though 
little confidence may be due to the reports of 
slave-traders, I questioned them v/hether 
Ihey considered the traffic likely to be abol- 
ished. Antonio, lifting his fore-finger to 
his eye, silently shook his head. Sebastian 
gave me his opinion that in Brazil, where 
many secluded creeks afforded facility for 
contraband adventure, there would be great 
difficulty in suppressing the trade, though 
the authority of the Government, if hearty 
in the cause, migh't do much. At Havana, 



he remarked, where for many years he had 
been engaged in it, and, at former periods, 
had seen twenty " negreros" lying in har- 
bor at a time, and two or three go in or out 
during a day; now, owing to the zealous 
efforts of the Governor, not one was seen to 
enter. At Quihmane, by his account, eight 
or nine vessels take in their cargo yearly, 
averaging, at the lowest, five hundred in 
each. "But, now," he added, "none es- 
cape :" " es una cai'rera de hombres per- 
djdos :" " it is a semce of desperate men." 
Two vessels, as before mentioned, having 
been taken, and another diiven ashore by 
the "Lily;" the " Progresso" makes the 
fourth capture this year. One, however, 
they say, escaped a few weeks since from 
that coast ; and it may be doubted whether 
its profits will not compensate for !he loss 
of the other four. On the east coast of 
Africa negroes are usually paid for in mo- 
ney, sometimes in " fazendas," coarse cot- 
tons, at a cost of about eighteen dollars for 
men, twelve for boys. At Rio Janeiro, 
their value may be estimated at 500 milreisj 
or £52 for men; 400 milreis, or £41 105, 
for women ; 300 milreis. or £31 for boys. 
Thus, on a cargo of five hundred, at the 
mean price, the profit will exceed £19,000. 

Cost price of 500, at fifteen dollars, or 
£3 5s. each, . . - - £1,625 

Selling price at Rio of 50G, at £41 10s. 
each, --.-.- 20,750 

" Es un comercio terribile," remarked An- 
tonio. The epithet thus applied by him to 
the commerce, taken literally, though strictly 
appropriate, would be far from expressing 
his meaning, viz., that it is extremely lucra- 
tive. The pay of the crew in the '^ Pro- 
gresso," as shewn by her papers, was at the 
rate of twenty-five milreis, about £2 12s. 
per month ; to which the Spaniards say, a 
present of five hundred milreis to each per- 
son would have been added on the issue of 
a successful voyage. They are both suffer- 
ing under t'he coast-fever, against which, 
however, they bear up stoutly. Manoel, 
the Portuguese cook, on the contrary, giT^es 
way to it, has shaken hands with the sailors, 
and says that he is going to die. 

Thursday, April 20th. — A negro died this 
morning from having gorged himself with 
dry meal and crude beans. When thrown 
overboard, it being a dead calm, the body 
floated for upwards of half an hour, the face 
above v/ater, close to the vessel, and some- 
times striking against the side ; while we 
were in apprehension every moment that a 
shark might approach and seize on it. Ano- 
ther negro suddenly fell on the deck, in 
violent convulsions ; his eyes became fixed, 
fiis lips contracted, and we thought him 



SLAVE VESSEL. 



17 



dying. One of his companions, however, 
who speaks a little Portuguese, informed us 
that his fit v/as occasioned by having smoked 
a quantity of tobacco, wrapt in a piece of 
rag. After he had succeeded in swallowing 
a little water, he was immediately relieved, 
and lay down to sleep. A shed has been 
erected on deck, to shelter the sick, and ano- 
ther for the women, w^hose berth helOw is 
used for a store-room.. The sick are fre- 
quently intruded on by others, who have no 
claim to be numbered among them,regardless 
of the injuries th-y occasion to the weak, 
helpless creatures, whom they crowd and 
crush ; the misery of their own circumstances 
it may be supposed, leaving no room for 
commisseration of their fellovz-sufJerers. 
The great physical suffeiing of all seetas to 
be a raging, unquenchable thirst . . . 

Km ev TO ojjioKO KaOeiariKSi to ts nXsnf xai sXaaaov 

iroToy, They eagerly catch the drippings 
from the sails al'ter a shower ; apply their 
lips to the wet masts ; and crawl to the 
coops to share the supply placed there for 
the fowds. I have remarked some of the 
sick licking the deck, when washed with 
salt water. Their dinner to-day consisted of 
four bags of beans, and two of rice, well 
boiled together, and affording a plentiful re- 
past. It is distributed in tubs, round which 
they are seated, in parties of ten, and, at a 
signal, hegin to dip their hands into the mess, 
and convey the contents to their mouths with 
great dexterity, hut without any undue haste 
or greediness. Several of the younger boys 
have attached themselves to the after part of 
the deck, near our cabii^., and will not leave 
the spot even during tlie night, having a 
piece of sail thrown over them. Their 
names are, iVIarcello, who appears not to be 
above six years of age, Quehnga, Carrepa, 
and Catula. 

Sunday, April, 23rd. — Squally weather, 
and a heavy sea, prevented any attempt at 
the performance of Divine service. To turn 
my thoughts from harassing subjects, I had 
recourse to a fev/ books, hastily put into 
my bag, on quitting the ship ; and the first 
which came to my hand, a volume of Mr. 
Newman's Lectures, transported me at once 
to the spot where J spent this season two 
years since. On the afternoon of Easter 
Sunday, 1841, I heard their author preach, 
at St. Mary's, on the Passion of our Lord, 
and pas.sed the evening of the same day, 
amid a kind and hospitable circle, around 
the fireside of Mr. Palmer, of Worcester 
College. " Kebie's Christian Year," the 
constant companion, not of this only, but of 
all my wanderings in every quarter of the 
globe, affords a "treasure of sweet thought" 
n all scenes and circumstances. 



' Far, far away, the home-sick seaman's hoard. 

Thy fragrant tokens live : 
Like flower-leaves in a precious volume stored. 

To comfon and relieve 
Some heart too weary of the restless world." 
Form of Prayer to be used at Sea. 
Tuesday, April 25th.~The poor wretch 
who has wonderfully lingered twelve days, 
since the contusions received on the first 
night, terminated his miseries to-day, aiJdj 
when thrown overboard, sunk as lead. We 
are now just on the Tropic, having made 
only 350 miles on our voyage, owing to the 
frequent calms. The weather much resem- 
bles that which one. m.eets on the Line, but 
little to be expected where we now are, at 
this season. " I Ba\Y a shark, sir," said a 
sailor tome this m^orning, " twice as big as 
what you are, swimming about the vessel." 
A large one was caught soon after, and 
mixed with farina, made a meal for the ne- 
groes, which they seemed to relish. We 
apprehended, on openmg the monster, that 
v/e might find the remains of one of their 
late comrades, but the stomach was quite 
empty, which accounted for the ravenous 
manner in which the bait had been instantly 
seized. Half an hour after the entrails of 
this shark had been taken out, and its tail 
chopped off, both which operations it endured 
without a sign of sensation — it was sup- 
posed, indeed, that we had drowned be- 
fore bringing it on board — on a bucket of 
salt water being soused on it, to wash off 
the blood, it began to flounder about the deck, 
and bite on all sides, as if in full vigor of 
life. This sight makes credible the stories 
which I had previously heard as exaggera- 
tions, of sharks caught and deprived of their 
entrails, on being thrown back into the sea, 
and swimming off apparently as if nothing 
had happened to them. 

V/ednesday, April 26th.— Six of the Eng- 
lish, including myself, are affected with 
feverish symptoms, though none in so severe 
a degree as the Spaniards. Manoel, the 
Portuguese cook, was reported delirious this 
morning, and unlikely to survive the day. I 
vv^ent forward to see him, in the men's hold, 
where he lay in a narrow crib. 

" Camara de marineros," said Sebastian, 
" es como casa de los puercos," — "A sai- 
lor's berth is like a pig-sty." 

" Como esta Manoel .'" I inquired. 

"Ah! Ave Maria Purisima! si escapa 
estanoche, no se: es segun el Biscaino." 
— " He is like the Biscayan .'" 

" And who was the Biscayan ?" 

" Era un Biscaino, que venia con noso- 
trcs, que cay5 enfermo, y dix5 que iba a 
morir, y — en efeto rnurio." — It was a Bis- 
cayan, who came with us, who fell sick, 
and said he was going to die, and — in fact 



18 



SLAVE VESSEL. 



he died." " En estas calenturas de la costa 
de Africa," he continued, " es menester que 
no se acobarde; que si uno se acobard^, en 
quartro dias muere." — " In these fevers of 
the coast of Africa, it is necessary not to 
turn coward ; for if one turns coward, in 
four days he dies." 

The Portuguese could not recognise any 
one. To my question, if he knew me — 
" Manoel, quern sou eu ?" he rephed : 

"Si, o tubarad." — " Yes, the shark ;" — 
thinking, perhaps, of the voracious jaws 
that were shortly to prey on him. 

At 2, P. M., he died. The body, sewn 
up in a hammock, with a shot to make it 
sink, was , brought aft to the poop, where, 
the English and Spaniards attending, T read 
the Form of Burial Service appointed to be 
used at Sea : " committing his body to the 
deep, to be turned into corruption, looking 
for the resurrection of the body, when the 
sea shall give up her dead, and the life of 
the world to come." The increase of res- 
ponsibility incurred by those who have been 
called to the high hope of the Christian, 
and the " greater condemnation" which may 
arise from our misuse of the privilege, is 
His to pronounce, who will judge the se- 
crets of all at the last day. 

Friday, April 28. — The outcries below 
in the middle of last night being greater than 
usual, I obtained a lantern, and having rous- 
ed up the " Capita5 Pequeino," a boy ad- 
vanced to the title of f Captain" for his ser- 
viceableness in speaking a few words of 
Portuguese, he told me the cause of the up- 
roar. " Estao roubando agoa." I descen- 
ded on the slave-deck with a Spaniard, and 
an English sailor, who caught seven of the 
ringleaders in the act of drawing water 
from the casks beneath. The long, loose 
planks which compose this deck have daily 
to be removed, to get at the water and pro- 
visions ; but the nightly depredators, in rais- 
ing them, must at the same time displace a 
mass of hving beings, piled on the top, re- 
gardless, no doubt, of any injury they may 
thus cause to them. The mischief result- 
ing from their delinquency is, not the loss 
of the wa^er abstracted, but the corruption 
of that which remains, by the foul rags 
which they dip into the casks to obtain it. 
The boys v/ere anxious to exculpate them- 
selves from, sharing in the theft vnih the 
men; crying, in their language, "Ouishi, 
ouishi no capean," — " the little ones do not 
steal." This morning the culprits were 
«« seized up" with small cords to the fore- 
rigging, and received from fifteen to twenty 
lashes each from a rope's end ; a Spaniard, 
an Englishman, and a strong negro, reliev- 
ing each other at the task. Six of the 



most able negroes have been appointed to 
assist in pulling at the ropes, and entitled 
" capita5s marinheiros ;" distinguished by a 
canvas frock, with a daub of paint on the 
back, to mark the port and starboard watch- 
es. Their odd appearance and awkward 
efforts excite some mirth among the crew. 
" We ought to feel for the poor things," re- 
marked a sailor to his comrade, " more than 
w^e do." " Ay," was the rejoinder, " but 
we do not feel for one another, let alone 
them." Even the more considerate seem 
pone to look on this unhappy race as an 
inferior order of beings ; as if the Almighty 
had not " made of one blood all nations of 
men on all the face of the earth." Thus 
one hears the expressions : " It will die ;" — 
" that is dying;" — that fellow cannot live:" 

We have, at length, the luxury of a fair 
breeze, after a fortnight of calms or variable 
airs. Shoals of porpoises have been darting 
along on both sides of the vessel, skimming 
the water past us with surprising swiftness, 
or springing several feet through the air, 
and at every minute crossing our bows, 
where the sailors are bent, though vainly, 
on harpooning one of them. 

Saturday, April 29. — Last night I was 
awakened by the sound of taking in sails, 
amid peals of thunder, and lightnings the 
most vivid which I have anywhere wit- 
nessed. Flash succeeded flash with scarce- 
ly sensible intermission, blue, red, a^nd of 
a still more dazzling white, which made the 
eye shrink, lighting up every object on 
deck as clearly as at midday. All the winds 
of heaven seemed let loose, as it blew alter- 
nately from every point of the compass. 
The screams of distress from the sick and 
weak in the hold, mingled with the roar of 
the tempest. In the morning a strong gale 
came on, driving us back to the north. The 
heavy sea rendered it too dangerous to v^er, 
and tiie vessel, from her extraordinary width 
of beam, being ill qualified to scud, we have 
lain-to since noon. From the rolling and 
creaking, one might fancy everything going 
asunder. The women's shed on deck has 
been washed down, and the planks which 
formed its roofs falling in a heap, a woman 
was found dead under the ruins, -killed, the 
assistant- surgeon supposes, by a blov/, hav- 
ing no appearance of disease. 

Sunday, April 30. — The wind has 
moderated sooner than we had ventured to 
hope ; but the swell of the sea continues so 
high as to prevent our assembling for Divine 
service. We are beginning again to make ^ 
a little progress through the water in the 
right direction this evening. 

Monday, May .1. — " May-day," which, 
in our climate, brings on the sunny hours, 



SLAVE VESSEL. 



19 



in this hemisphere marks the approach of 
the cold. The naked negroes* begin ah'eady 
to shiver, and their teeth to chatter. This 
is a new infliction added to the former cala- 
mities to which this unhappy race is doomed. 

'OvK t<JTi.v ovSev hivov 
'Hi ovK 0.1/ apaiT^ a-^dog 

If we meet fead weather on getting into colder 
latitudes near the Cape, as it is probable we 
may, increased mJsery and mortality must 
be the consequence. 

Wednesday, May 3. — The gale has re- 
turned from the southwest, though with 
somewhat less violence than before. We 
are lying-to, under main and fore- trysail, 
the fore- staysail having been blown away. 
We feel the cold now severely. Seven 
negroes were found dead this mornmg — 
among them a girl. 

Thursday, May 4. — The gale, which 
raged, like its predecessor, about twenty- four 
hours, has abated, and we have to-day light 
winds, apparently dying away into a calm. 

Friday, May 5. — The " Capitao Pequen- 
ino," who bears also the Portuguese name 
of " Luiz," came quietly to me this evening, 
and said, " Seneor, estao roubando aguar- 
dient eabaxo." " They are stealing brandy 
beiow." I could not comprehend how this 
could be, as all the brandy in the hold had 
been started at the commencement of the 
voyage, to prevent mischief. Having re- 
ported it to the Lieutenant, I accompanied 
the two Spaniards to the slave-deck, and 
surprised a large party of the negroes, busily 
drawing up, by means of old rags, as usual, 
the contents of t^vo barrels. One of these 
proved to be of water, and another smaller 
one, which Luiz supposed to be aguardiente, 
contained vinegar. Summary punishment 
was inflicted on eight, who were taken in 
the fact. They received by moonlight about 
eighteen lashes each, and were coupled in 
shackles previously to being sent back into 
the hold. Thus, as in many other fine be- 
ginnings, the end but ill corresponds with 
the " early promise." The sound of knock- 
ing oiT their irons, which thrilled so musi- 
cally on the°ear, when we boarded the prize, 
terminates in the clank of rivetting them on 
again, with the accompaniment of flogging. 
The result of their offence is certainly highly 
provoking, when, as is sometimes the case, 
instead of pure water, we draw up from the 
casks their putrid rags ; on the other hand, 
none can tell, save he who has tried, the 
pangs of thirst which may excite them in 
that heated hold, many of them fevered by 
mortal disease. Their daily allowance of 



* The females were distinguished by a cotton 
handkerchief around the waist. 



water is about half a pint in the morning, 
and the same quantity in the evening, which 
is as much as can be afforded them.. 

Saturday, Mmj 6. — The two sheds built 
on deck for the females and for the sick, 
though an excellent provision during the hot 
weather, on our passing into cold latitudes, 
rendered their inmates more exposed than 
the rest, who took refuge below, till the 
weather, levelling both, put all on an. 
equality. The shed for the sick has how- 
ever, been re-erected. Many of the negroes 
have letters cut on the breast or shoulder, 
which, Antonio tells me, are the marks of 
their respective owners, who, on the ves- 
sel's arrival at Rio, thus recognize their own 
property. An agent, " fattore," at QuiK- 
mane, in correspondence with the Eio mer- 
chants, having notice when a vessel is to be 
expected, holds the cargo ready for embarka- 
tion. The condition of the negro, he added, 
is much worse at Rio, where he goes forth. 
ragged and wretched, " hke a slave," than 
at Havana, where he is often better dressed 
than many of the whites. 

Sunday, May 7. — My congregation to-day 
consisted of ten ; three officers, five sailors, 
two boys. 

Tuesday, May 9. — A heavy squall last 
night from the west, and this morning a 
strong gale. We hove-to, as before. The 
first objects which met my eye on deck were 
three lying dead on it : a man, covered by a 
coil of rope, a grim and ghastly object ; the 
poor little boy, with the " jiggers" in his 
foot, who had borne his sufferings vs^ith 
great patience ; and a young girl, whose eyes 
yesterday were both completely closed from 
inflammation of the head. Their lives had 
been for some time but a burden to them, 
and could not have been much prolonged, 
but were certainly shortened by the incle- 
mency of the weather. On looking down 
the after-hatchway, I had several times 
thought that I perceived part of a body be- 
tween two loose planks, half hidden by 
others lying- on it, yet as often concluded 
it must be some bucket or small barrel ; but 
at last ascertained it to be the corpse of a 
woman, who came yesterday to complain 
of her bowels. She was healthy-looking, 
well-formed, and in the prime of woman- 
hood, apparently about 18. The weather 
last night having driven all below who 
could move themselves thither, she was in 
all probabihty killed by falling down the 
hatchway — a raised cover, called the " com- 
panion," having increased the fall to about 
six feet. In consequence of this, a plank 
has been placed mid-way down, to facili- 
tate the descent. The wind is evidently 
abating this evening. Our gales, if formida- 



20 



SLAVE VESSEL. 



ble, have hitherto been, happily, of brief 
duration. 

Thursday, May 11. — I was called on 
deck soon after six this morning, to look at 
*' the most splendid sunrise ever seen." 
The whole sky was hung with parallel 
layers of cloud^ not dense enough to pre- 
vent the beams of the sun from gradually 
piercing and tinging rhe entire mass with a 
bright flame color. In the east, this v/as of 
a deeper hue, varied with rich green and 
yellow lines ; and, presently, the sun him- 
self arose, liery red, from the wave. Though 
a fine, it was certainly a threatening dawn, 
and gave omen of a troubled day. Clouds 
were rising from all quarters of the horizon, 
and the breeze, which had been fair and 
steady, gradually freshened to nine knots. 
At noon there was all hurry to take in sail. 
and 2 p. m, we were iying-to under a gale 
heavier than any of the precedmg ones. 
Had Vv'e shipped a sea, or lost either of our 
remaining sails, we had now no spare ones 
left to replace them, our danger would have 
been imminent. Toward evening, we were 
gratified by the report of the|helmsman, that 
*' the heart of the gale was broke." A 
yellow haze however overspread the setting 
sun, and it continued to blow as wildly as 
ever. Squalls, rapidly succeeding each 
other, mingled sea and air in one sheet of 
spray, blinding the eyes of the helmsman. 
Waves, towering high above us, tossing up 
the foam from their crests toward the sky, 
threatened to ingulf us every moment. The 
vessel, however, bending alternately each 
gunwale to the sea as it passed, then plung- 
ing deeply forward, but recovering herself 
with a bound, rode gallantly through the 
assaults of the winds and the waves. 

Friday, May 12 — I have to-day witnes- 
sed a spectaele such as I had frequently 
heard to have occurred in slave-vessels, but 
barely know how to describe. In a tub, 
placed on the slave-deck, for necessary pur- 
poses, a boy was found, who had fallen 
backward, and, too weak to extricate him- 
self, was smothered in it. He appeared 
quite dead ; but, on some v/ater being thrown 
over him, shov/ed some symptoms of return- 
ing hfe, though only for a few hours. 

Monday, 'May 15. — When the squalls, 
breaking heavily on the vessel cause her 
to heel over, and the negroes to tumble 
against one another in the hold, the shrieks 
of the sufferers, through the gloom of the 
night, rising above the noise of the winds 
and waves, seems, of all horrors in this 
imhappy vessel, the saddest, I went on 
deck in the early part of the morning watch. 
The horizon looks clear to windward, the 
moon just dipping into it, and day breaking 



in the opposite quarter. '' The first actoi on 
the scene is Cato, our mulatto cook, bust- 
ling, in the most imperfect light, among his 
pans and kettles, making a fire in the galley 
to cook our breakfast. What comes next'? 
The same dismal, oft-repeated tale ; three 
bodies, a man and two boys, lilted on deck 
from the hold. The man was one who 
had been savagely beaten by two of his fel- 
lows in misery three or four days ago. That 
the greater number of those who die have 
their deaths hastened by others overlying 
or otherwise injuring them below, is obvious 
from the fact, that they are found dead in 
the morning ; very rarely, at least, during 
the day-time. It not unfrequently happens, 
that they are crushed between the loose 
planks on the slave-deck, affording space 
for their limbs to slip down beyond their 
strength to extricate. The Spaniards, whom 
I found engaged in cleaning this deck, amid 
a scene of filth sickening to every sense, 
mentioned to me that, among the medicinal 
stores provided for the negroes, there are 
three which w^ould be found of great use 
to them : " Macela" (camomile,) " Raiz de 
Althea" (marsh-mallow root,) and " Gomma 
Arabica." Antonio argued, not unplausi- 
bly, that the manner of the negro's life in 
his own countr)'", " Como los animales in 
el campo," so difierent Jrom ours, rendered 
different remedies suitable. According to 
his theory, the bitter of a strong camomile 
decoction kills the worms in the stomach, 
and the' mixture of the marsh-mallow and 
gum arable soothes and strengthens the bov/- 
els. He is to give his medicine a trial. 

Tuesday, May 16. — To my sincere sor- 
row, the "Capitao Pequenino," and an- 
other little boy named Francisco, with the 
chief of the " Capitaos Marinheiros," and 
several others, were brought up this mor- 
ning, charged by Sebaslian with stealing 
water below, I could hardly credit it oi 
the tv^o boys, since I believe they might al- 
ways have got water for asking, as they had 
made themselves useful, and been treated as 
favorites ; except it be that, literally, " sto- 
len waters are sweet." There was no doubt 
of their delinquency, as they hung down 
their heads, and did not speak when I ques- 
tioned them. Their punishment was such 
as rather to frighten than to hurt them. 
That of the other culprits, though not se- 
vere, was attended by melancholy circum- 
stances. One was in an advanced stage of 
dysentery, of which the execution of the 
punishment elicited the most revolting 
proofs. It so happened, that as another was 
lashed to the grating of the fore-hatchway, 
writhing about, and screaming with all his 
force, " Larnbooya, lambooya," — their cry 



SLAVS VESSEL. 



21 



for mercy, two dead bodies were lifted up 
out of th^e hold, scarce two yards distant. 
There is among the negroes a man na"med 
Cimao, whose grotesque countenance and 
gestures make him regarded as a sort oi 
buffoon. He has been appointed successor 
to the '• Capitao Marinheiro,'' degraded for 
his late theft. One gave hirn an old jacket, 
another a pair of trowsers, to equip him for 
his office. Sabastian, who holds his quali- 
fications cheaply, eyed the proceedings with 
apparent disdain ; and having, like a true- 
born Spaniard, a refroAi ready on every oc- 
casion, said : 

" Este es el viage de Orineco, 
Quien no rauere se vuelve ieco :* ' 
which, I suppose, may be loosely rendered 
thus : 

" This is the voyage to Luckinabad , 
They who don't die become mad;" 
Thursday, May 18. — There is a natural 
good-breeding frequently to be remarked 
among the negroes, which one might little 
expect. They sometimes come aft, on see- 
ing us first appear on deck in the morning, 
and bend the knee by way of salutation. 
Their manner of returning thanks for any 
little present of food or water, is by a stamp 
on the deck, and a scrape of the foot back- 
wards, and they seldom fail, however weak, 
to make this acknowledgment, though it 
cost them an effort to rise for the purpose. 
The women make a curtsey, bowing their 
knees forward so as nearly to touch the 
ground. In the partition of the small pieces 
of beef in their tubs of farinha, the most 
perfect fair-dealing is always observed. 
One of each little party takes the whole into 
his hands, and distributes two or three bits, 
as the number allows, to each, and, should 
there be any remainder after the division, 
pulls it into yet smaller pieces, and hands 
them round v.rith equal impartiality. After 
a meal, they express general satisfaction by 
a clapping of hands ; a mode also used by 
some among them of asking ■ a favor, or 
begging pardon for a fault. I have collect- 
ed a few words as a specimen of their lan- 
guage. 

Numerals. 



Massoro 


Head. 


1 Bossy. 


Masse 


Eye. 


2. Peedy. 


Macootoo 


Ear. 


3 Datoo. 


Maroto 


Finger 


4 Nahy. 


Macoonuy . 


Nail. 


5 Shanoo. 


Cocy 


Neck. 


6 Danhaloo. 


Mimba 


Beily. 


7 Shenomy. 


Mendo 


Leg. 


8 Sairy. 


Maniallo 


Foot. 


9 Femba. 


Yboono 


Toe. 


10 Coomy 


Names of Men 


Names of Women. 


Shematonga. 




Berezida. 


Gondivenga. 




Citania. 


Chapanduco, 


- 


Banzuvery. 


Zakaly. 




Mandilacota. 



Friday, May 19.— Bossey, the boat- 
swain's m^tte, who was attacked by dysen- 
fery a few days since ^ and taken into our 
cabin, died this morning at four. The poor 
fellow had possessed a considerable stock of 
humor, was a singer of comic songs, and a 
great favorite of his shipmates. Two or 
three days ago he said, " he knew he should 
not get up any more, and should make him- 
self happy ;" meaning that he would banish 
all thoughts tending to make him uncom- 
fortable. I could get him to converse but 
very little. Once, on asking if he under- 
stood parts of Psalms which I was reading 
to him, he answered very earnestly, " Oh, 
yes I" His last action, when we inquired 
if there was anything that he wished done 
for himj was to raise his hands above the 
bed-clothes, and turn them clasped upward. 
The assistant-surgeon, on a post-mortem 
examination, found an abscess covering 
nearly half of the liver. At 1, p. m., I 
committed his body to the deep, all the crew 
being able to attend, with the exception of 
one, suffering from inflammation of the liv- 
er, whom we have taken into the berth in 
our cabin, lately occupied by poor Bossey. 

Saturday, May 20. — We have, at length, 
a fah breeze, the first for many days, and 
are going three or four knots, being now 
near the spot we were on ten days ago. 
Antonio has been essaying the virtues of 
his mixture on the dysentery patients.* I 

* The following is a nearly perfect list of the 
medicines provided for the negroes, found oft 
board the "Progresso" when taken by the 
'■Cleopatra:" 
Linseed, . ; . . ; 8 lbs. 
Marsh-mallow root, . . ' . 6 

Pearl Barley, 6 

Camomile, 6 

Tamarind pulp, . . . . 6 

Basdieum, 6 

Epsom Salts, . . . . . 16 

Gum Arabic, .... 5 

" Flor de Sabugueiro," . '. . 6 
Pomegrante rind, ... 5 
Manna, ...... 4 

Columba, ..... 4 

Electuario Cathartico, . . .4 
Cream of Tartar, . . . 2 
Sena leaves, ..... 2 

Ointment of Cantharides, . . 2 
Rose Ointment, .... 2 

Go wlard's Ointment, . . . 2 

Mustard, 2 

"Borrachinhas," .... 2 
Adhesive Plaister, ... 1 
Resinous Ointment, . * . ^ 

"MelRozado," . . .2^ 

" Especies Pectoraes," . . . 5 
" Ditto Emehentes," . . 5 

" Especies Antiscorbuticos," . . 4 
" Cascas de Remaas," . . 4 
" Almofaris de Bronse," . . 1 

Le Roy's Purgative, . . i 6 bott. 

Ditto Emetic, . . . . 3 
" Agoa Ingleza" (febrifuge,) . 1 



22 



SLAVE VESSEL. 



am not sanguine as to its efficacy, the dis- 
ease having, in most cases to which it is ap- 
plied taken too deep root. He points to their 
shrunk bowels,the skin wrinkled in folds, and 
asks: " Esos tienen barriga, o que tienen? 
no tienen mas que el pecho." One or two, 
however, who were in a state of emacia- 
tion, have begun to look better, and he 
pledges himself for their recovery. Only 
those cases, he says, are beyond hope in 
which the disease has made such progress 
as is marked by blood-redness of the mouth 
and gums — a horrid symptom generally ob- 
seived in the more advanced stages. " Esos 
moriran, los otros no." The ulcer cases 
have put on so hideous a form that I can 
now scarcely bear to look at them. These 
poor patients are, almost without exception, 
affected by dysentery also, of Avhich they 
are certain to die, even if healed of their ul- 
cers. 

" Quorum si quis, ut est, vitarat funeraleti ; 
Visceribus tetris, et nigra proluvie alvi, 
Posterius tamen hunc tabes, letumque, mane- 
bat." 
A boy, wasted to as mere a skeleton as it 
is possible to conceive a human being, died 
this afternoon while Antojuo was adminis- 
tering to him his camomile mixture. He 
had made him sit up to drink it, when he 
drooped his head, fell forward, and died in 
that posture. 

Sunday, May 21, — Our breeze continues 
fair, though still light ; the sea smooth, and 
the weather fine. All our crew were able 
to assemble within hearing of Divine Ser- 
vice, raising my congregation to fifteen. As 
it was late before all had made themselves 
neat and ready for attendance, I read only 
the Morning Prayer and Litany, omitting 
the Communion Service ; although the full 
service would hardly have occasioned any 
impatience among hearers accustomed, in 
the " Cleopatra," to the unmutilated offices 
of the Church, 

Whatever gale the laboring vessel toss. 
'I stationed the " Capitao Pequenino," 



Chloride of Lime, 

Bark Wine, 

Castor Oil, 

Phials of Opodeldoc, 

Tartar Emetic, 

Calomel, 

Ipecacuanha, . 

" Balsamo CathoHco,' 

Spirit of Ammonia, 

Peruvian Bark, 

Camphor, 

Sulphate of Quinine, 

Laudanum, 

Sugar of Lead. 

Powdered Bluestone, 

"iWhite Vitrei," 

"iLombriguera," . 

"Pos de Joannes," . 



1 
1 

1 
4 

8 oz. 
8 
6 



who has crept into favor again, at the main 
hatchway, to sign into silence the negroes 
below, if any should show a disposition to 
be noisy. The few on deck, principally fe- 
males, remained perfectly quiet. After the 
service, I wished to question the " little cap- 
tain" as to the existence of any kind of re- 
ligious worship among the African tribes, 
but could give him no notion of what T m- 
tended to ask. Antonio, who came to my 
assistance, told me it was needless, as he, 
who knew much of the African coast, could 
assure me that they had not the remotest 
idea of any religion. " No tienen Dios, ni 
Santo — animales son, viven en covados, en 
el monte, como los lobos." " They have 
neither God nor Saint — mere animals, they 
live in holes of the rocks, like wolves." 
The onl}^ appearance of superstition, he 
added, prevalent among the native tribes, is 
their " fetish." They hang anything they 
fancy about their persons, call it "fetish," 
and venerate it. I asked him if, at the Ha- 
vana, where his occupation formerly lay, 
it w^as customary, previously to baptizing 
the newly-imported slaves, to give them any 
religious instruction. " No les ensena na- 
da," he replied, " antes del bautismo; noes 
preciso ensen'arles nada, para bautozar-los." 
They are taught nothing before baptism ; it 
is not necessary to teach them anything in 
order to baptise them." 

Wednesday, May 24. — The breeze light 
and variable during the day, has been, these 
two last nights, succeeded by a dead calm ; 
the mainsail being lowered, to save it from 
the wear occasioned by the roll of the vessel, 
the other sails flapping heavily against the 
mast. It is now that we suffer great annoy- 
ance from the foul air produced by so many 
pent-up sick and wretched creatures. At 
the first outset of our voyage, it was com- 
paratively trifling, and I suffered little incon- 
venience from venturing down on the slave- 
deck, to see what the matter was, when any 
extraordinary noise or outcries occurred. It 
is superfluous now to make this descent, in 
order to inhale its atmosphere, which per- 
vades every part of the vessel, and in our 
after-cabin is almost intolerable. Gold lace 
and silver articles, though kept in drawers 
or japanned cases, have turned quite black, 
through this state of the air. In the middle 
of last night I left my great-coat and grass 
matj which have, in sailor's phrase, done 
duty for a bed since I came on board, and 
went on deck to seek a little relief, but in 
vain. There was not a breath of wind : 
nothing in apparent motion in sea or air, or 
the Heaven, except the huge albatross, with 
wings extending sixteen feet, wheeling round 
and round, sometimes sweeping so close as 



SLAVE VESSEL. 



almost to touch the taffrail, on which I was 
seated. I returned below, and, heaping the 
cover of a large tea-pot with tobacco,* igni- 
ted and blew away at it, till the poor sick 
man whom we have taken into our cabin, 
complained that I was " stifling "him. Dis- 
order, I think, in every sense, is on the in- 
crease among the unhappy blacks. During 
the late fine weather, they have spent the 
sunny hours of the day on deck, but when 
below, their cries are incessant day and 
night. Thinned as their numbers are by 
death, there is no longer narrowness of 
room, but increasing sickness and misery 
make the survivors more hard and unfeel- 
ing, and they fight and bruise one another 
more than formerly. Little Catula, the finest 
among them, who received a bite in the leg 
about six weeks since, getting continual 
blqws and knocks, the wound has now be- 
come a deep spreading ulcer. Another fine 
intelligent lad has been lately severely bit- 
ten in the head. Others have the heel, the 
great toe, the ankle-joint, nearly bitten 
through; and worse injuries than these, too 
savage to mention, have been inflicted. 
Madness, the distraction of despair, seems 
to possess them. 

Several sail have been observed Within 
these few days. So long a time had previ- 
ously passed without our seemg any, that 
we seemed " all deserted on the main," ex- 
cept by the albatrosses and Cape pigeons, 
which have constantly attended us for up- 
ward of a month past. The latter, a pretty 
species of bird, much resembling the pigeon 
in head, beak, and fan-tail, with white 
breast and mottled plumage, swim, in flocks 
of from fifteen to twenty, close to the ves- 
sel's side There is land in sight this after- 
noon — the first since the commencement of 
our voyage — supposed, from our observa- 
tion, to be Plettenbm-gh Bay, between Algoa 
Bay and the Cape. Some of the negroes 
point at it with looks of interest and curi- 
osity, but the greater number of them sit 
huddled together on the deck, their heads 
resting on their knees, apparently in perfect 
apathy to all around ; and surely a more 
wretched looking set of objects were never 
assembled. 

Saturday, May 27th.-^-The bodies of 
three boys lay on the lee gangway this 
morning, awaitmg the assistant-surgeon's 
selection of a subject for post-mortem exami- 
nation. Antonio, pointing to one of them, 
made me observe his tongue protruded from 
his mouth, and a slight wound on the neck 
— indications that he had been strang-led. 



*" We found on board a large stock of Quili- 
mane tobacco, with a quantity of reed and clay 
pipe-bowls, for the use of the negroes. 



It appeared to me, from an occasional move- 
ment of the head, that he still lived. The 
Spaniard said that it was but the motion of 
the vessel ; but, on looking more attentively 
for some time, exclaimed, " Vive, este vive" 
— adding "pero esta para morir" — " but he is 
at the point of death." Some foam pres- 
ently issued from his mouth, the heaving 
of his breast became perceptible, and he 
continued to breathe between eight and nine 
hours. 

Sunday, May 28th. — Cape Agulhas in 
sight this morning, ten miles distant. We 
are still about one hundred miles from the 
anchorage in Simon's Bay. Our weather 
continues beautifully fine, and promises a 
favorable conclusion to a troubled voyage. 
During the Afternoon Service, the gentle 
swell of the bright sea, the silence all around, 
contrasted to the noise and stir of other days, 
and the " soothing tendency" of the Service, 
combined to give a greater imprsssion of 
peacefulness than I have hitherto felt on the 
passage. Might the voyage of life, after its 
storms and vicissitudes, end as brightly and 
peacefully ! 

Wednesday, May 31. — It is reraaikable 
that no death has occurred to-day, though, 
during the previous seven days, the fatal 
cases have averaged four per diem. The 
ancient " Capitao" of the " Maruiheiros" 
who was flogged on the 16th inst. for steal- 
ing water, and has scarcely sho vn himself 
above deck since, during the warmth of 
noon crept up the main hatchway ; but so 
altered as scarcely to be recognized. From 
one of the plumpest and stoutest of the party, 
he appeared reduced to little more than a 
skeleton; the shrunk and wrinkled skin 
hanging in loose folds over the regions of 
the bowels, and that " sign of despair," 
the horrid appearance of blood on the Hps, 
which marks the fatal stage of dysentery. 

" Sudabant etiam fauces intrinsecus atro 
Sanguine, etulceribusvocisvia saepta coibat." 

Thursday, June 1. — The unusually high 
number of eight were found dead this morn- 
ing, and we can no longer venture, as be- 
fore, to throw them into the sea, lest the 
waves should wash them on the in- 
habited shores of the Bay, which we entered 
last night. The first sight which gieeted 
our eyes when the morning mist had cleared 
away, were ships lying in Simon's Bay, two 
or three miles distant. Three pendants were 
discovered, and others imagined. A frigate, 
with topmasts down, was pronounced to be 
the " Cleopatra ;" or, as termed in affectionate 
familiarity, the " Cleo." " But how is this ? 
She has fifteen ports on her broadside, where 
should have been only nine." Just then a 
fishing-boat, which we hailed, informed us 



24 



SLAVE VESSEL. 



that the " Cleopatra" had sailed a few days 
before, for Port Natal. The frigate proved 
to be the " Isis," Captain Sir John Marshall, 
from Ivlam-itius. The brig " Acorn" also 
lay at anchor, returned from cruising on the 
•west coast of Africa. As soon as the " Pro- 
gresso" anchored, we were visited by the 
health-officer, who immediately admitted us 
to pratique. My friend, Mr. Shea, super- 
intendent of the Naval Hospital, also paid 
us a visit, and I descended with him, for 
the last time, to the slave-hold. Long ac- 
customed as he has been to scenes of suf- 
fering, he was unable to endure a sight, 
" surpassing," he said, " all he could have 
conceived of human misery," and made a 
hasty retreat. One little girl, crying bitter- 
ly, was entangled between the planks, want- 
ing strength to extricate her wasted limbs, 
till assistance was giveii her. 

Total number of deaths during the Voyage. 



Apnl 13. 
14. 

16. 

17. 
18. 
20. 
22. 
24. 
25. 
26. 



May 



29. 
30. 

1. 
2. 
3. 
4. 
7. 
8. 
9. 
10. 



Brought up 

May 13. . . 

14. . . 

15. . . 

16. . . 

17. . . 

18. . . . 

19. . . 

20. . . 

21. . . . 

22. . . 

23. . . 

24. . . 

25. . . , 

26. . . 

27. . . 

28. . . 

29. . . 

30. . . 
June 1. . . 



100 



In fifty days . 163 
Carried up . 100 ' 
Friday, June 2. — Previously to setting out 
for the village of Wynberg, where I prom- 
ised myself some repose of body and mind, 
I paid a visit to Sir John Marshall, on board 
the *' Isis," who welcomed me vdth his usu- 
al kindness ; and, on my passage back 
to the shore, I once more called on the 
*' Progresso." Fourteen corpses — six hav- 
ing been added to the eight who died yes- 
terday — lay piled on deck, to be interred 
this afternoon on the beach. A hundred of 
the healthiest negroes were already landed 
at the pier, to proceed in wagons to Cape 
ToAvn. Most of the '•' familiar faces" were 
gone. My poor little Macarello gave me a 
look of entreaty to be taken away, but he, 
who first attracted our attention hy his sleek, 
Wealthy appearance, is now among the sick. 
Catula, too, with his bad leg, looked dov^^n- 
cast, as indeed he has always done : and 
•when I tried to cheer him, the tears ran down 
his cheek. I was not prepared for the 



feeling generally evinced by the negroes on 
coming into port, which is that of evi- 
dent anxiety and apprehension. ¥/hether 
it arise from their thinking less even of 
their present ills than of " others which 
they know not of," or from some particular 
forebodings, I could not gather. The hun- 
dred above-mentioned received each, on 
landing, a good new warm jacliet and trow- 
sers, and were placed quite snugly and com- 
fortably in open v/agons ; and it was great 
pleasure to see tlieh- circumstances so amend- 
ed by the transfer ; yet it was more difficult 
than ever to get a cheerful look from any 
one of them, I subseqiaently overtook them, 
half-way on my drive to Wynberg, at " Far- 
mer Peck's," a place of refreshment for 
travellers, well known to all who have 
any acquaintance with the Cape, and found 
them not more reconciled to the change in' 
their situation. The women had each a 
new white blanket, in addition to an 
under-dress. " Berezida," " Banzuvery," 
" Mandilacota," readily responded to their 
names, but showed ]ittle signs of pleasure 
on the occasion. Doubt and fear were pre- 
dominant, and their countenances resembled 
those of condemned victims. 

Oa my visit to Wynberg, in October 
last, it seemed to me almost a Paradise. The 
season is now- changed to the winter of the 
southern hemisphere, and the leaves are 
falling around. There still remain, how- 
ever, some roses, and the air is fragrant with 
the scent of mignonette ; and certainly no 
spot can be better calculated to afford that 
rest to which, after fifty days on board a 
slave-vessel, one has some claim. 



JV'jnberg, near Cape Town, June, 19. 

After the lapse of seventeen days from their 
! leaving the vessel, I have this morning vis- 
ited the negroes in the buildings prepared 
for their reception at Papendorf, near the 
sea- shore, about a mile from Cape Town, 
where they are well lodged, fed, and attend- 
ed. All were landed from the " Progresso " 
on the 2nd and 3rd instant, in number 222, 
the remainder of 397, showing a mortality 
while on board of 175.' Of the 50 sent :.": 
the " Cleopatra," one had died during the 
passage, and one after coming into the hai- 
bor. On cleaning out the " Progresso," 
subsequently to landing the negroes, the 
body of a lad was found beneath the planks, 
in a state of decomposition. Part of a hand 
had been devoured, and an eye completely 
scooped out by the rats. At the time of 
my arrival at Papendorf, a burial was tak- 
ing place, attended by the negroes in pro- 
cession — the ninth which has occurred 



SLAVE" VESSEL. 



^S* 



among them since their removal thither. Of 
28 left at Simon's Bay, not being in a con- 
dition to bear removal, 14 have died to the 
present date. The sick are still numerous. 
It was pleasant to remark to-day, the more 
cheerful, assured look of the liberated ne- 
groes. Their impression at first had been 
that they were destined to be devoured by 
the wife men, and they were reluctant to 
eat, fearing it was intended to fatten them 
for that doom. The attendants, some of 
whom are of their own nation, soon freed 
them from this apprehension. 

Heretofore, it has been the authorized 
practice to apprentice negroes brought to the 
Cape in prizes, as servants or farm-labor- 
ers, for terms of six or seven years, accord- 
ing to their age ; the indentures of such ap- 
prenticeships including various conditions 
favorable to the negro. One of these stipu- 
lates, that the person to whom he is bound 
" shall cause the said apprentice to be care- 
fully instructed, and as speedily as possible, 
in the Christian religion, and to be taken, 
when sufficiently instructed, Ho be baptized ; 
and also shall permit and suffer and encour- 



age the said apprentice to attend public wor- 
ship . . . and. when he shall have been 
baptized, shall immediately cause notice 
thereof to be given to the collector of He? 
Majesty's customs at the Port of Cape 
Town, in order that the identity of such ap- 
prentice may at all times be known and dis- 
tinguished." 

In consequence of an Order in Council, 
dated January 4th, in the present year, no- 
tice has been recently issued by the local 
governm-ent, that negroes under twenty-one 
years are henceforth to be apprenticed as 
household servants only, or in trades re- 
quiring " peculiar art or skill];" male negroes 
of twenty-one and upward, for one year 
only, as farm servants ; females of twenty- 
one and upward, for one year only, as house- 
hold servants. It appears that there is little 
demand among the mechanical trades of the 
colony for such apprentices at the |)resent 
time. Th€ agricultural colonists complain 
that the period of one year, for which the 
adult is allotted to them, is too short to ad- 
mit of their deriving adequate benefit from 
his services. 



CONCLUDING REMARKS. 



Wynberg, near Cape Town, Sept. 3. 
The circumstances which I have witness- 
ed attendant on the present practice of the 
slave-trade have led me more carefully to 
consider the chief obstacles which impede 
its abolition. And first in order of these, 
appears obviously the impunity permitted 
to those who engage in that traffic. So long 
as slave-traders, though taken in the actual 
perpetration of their crime, are free from all 
apprehension of penalty attached to it, we 
may look in vain for its suppression. To 
such persons no other restraint than fear of 
punishment can be of any weight. It was 
evident, in the case of the Spaniards on 
board the " Progresso," that their only shad- 
ow of apprehension was that of not meeting, 
if sent to Rio Janeiro, equal favor with their 
Portuguese and Brazilian shipmates. The 
old Portuguese sailor, whom the necessities 
of his family had induced to embark in a 
slave vessel, desired nothing better than to 
be sent back to Rio. The other thirteen, 
Brazilians ©r Portuguese j who had preced- 
ed us to the Cape in the " Cleopatra," we 
learnt, on our arrival, had already dispersed 
wherever it pleased them, there being no 
authority at tthe Cape to deal with them as 
criminals. The captain, whom they reported 
to have perished in the surf near Quilimane, 
but who was concealed among them, em- 
barked for Rio, with four of his compan- 
ions, in an English brig, having obtained 
money, as has been since discovered, from 
an English mercantile house in Cape Town. 
It is not to be presumed that his motives for 
concealing himself arose from any other 



fear than that of inconvenient detention un- 
til the condemnation of the vessel should 
take place.* Here, then, is the evil which 
first claims a remedy in carrying into effect 
the spirit of existing enactments for the pun- 
ishment of the slave-trader, so that he may- 
no longer with impunity make a mock of 
the laws and treaties ratified by all .the civi- 
lized nations of the globe. 

The motives to such a course derive, were 
it necessary, increased weight from the con- 
sideration that the sufferings and mortality 
of the negroes, connected with their trans- 
port, are, by the measures at present pursu- 
ed to check it, not lessened, but aggravated. 
It is too manifest, that under circumstances 
similar to those which I have related, the 
capture of the " prize " must be an event 
far more disastrous to the slave than to the 
slave-dealer. It cannot be supposed that 
the accumulated calamities which ensued 
to the hapless beings on board the "Pro- 
gresso," on their transfer to the protection 
of their liberators, could have taken place 
had they continued in the hands of their 
purchasers. As the latter have the highest 
interest which men can have in the preser- 
vation of an extremely valuable cargo : so 
are they, of all men, most qualified for the 
task, by experience of the system best cal- 
culated to provide for their health and safe- 
ty, and by concurrence of able hands, in am- 
ple number, to carry that system into effect. 
In these respects, the reverse may generally 
be asserted of those, who, on the capture of 
the vessel, by a ship of war, succeed to 
their charge. Those who know the naval 



* The captain of the " Defensive," a second Brazilian slave-prize taken by the " Cleopatra, ' 
off Quilimane, soon after her return to hercruising-ground, and brought into Simon's Bay on the 
29th ult. (without negroes on board,) treated with the utmost ridicule the notion of his being 
considered in Braz]l an offender against the law ; remarking that, after a stay at the Cape, he 



CONCLUDING REMARKS. 



27 



service are aware that a cruiser, especially 
on a sickly station, can often but ill spare 
more hands to send away in a prize than 
are barely sufficient for their proper duties 
in working the vessel. The number thus 
sent away will be further liable to reduction 
by sickness, from the tainted, unhealthy at- 
mosphere to which they are introduced, 
and other causes peculiar to the change of 
their situation. Thus, in the case of the 
"Progresso," every seaman was in his 
turn disabled by illness. It is also to be re- 
membered, that the officer in command of 
the prize, on whose exertions and discretion 
,the welfare of the rescued negroes mainly 
depends, is encompassed by professional 
difficulties of a very engrossing kind, in- 
creased, in many cases, by the novelty of 
an independent command, and the weakness 



of his crew, should sickness occur among 
them, in a vessel unproved as to her sea 
qualities, worse provided in naval stores 
than those to which he has been accustom- 
ed, and on a coast probably strange to him. 
It is not to be expected that any individual 
can, in addition to these causes of embar- 
rassment, be equal, in the care of 500 help- 
less beings, to a burden usually divided 
among 15 or 20 persons, well trained to the 
work, and employed in it day and night. 
The advantage of improved medical treat- 
ment offers less alleviation to the sufferings 
of the negroes than would be at first sup- 
posed. All that medical care and skill, as 
adapted to European constitutions and mal- 
adies, could effect, was tried by our assist- 
ant-surgeon on the negroes of the " Progres- 
so," without success, that I am aware of, 



might probably return to Rio and take command of another slave-vessel. He had been an officer 
in the Brazilian navy. The slave-trade, is, I believe, in Brazil looked on rather as a sphere for 
spirited and skillful adventure than as a discreditable hne ol enterprise. It is rather curious 
that, of the captains of slavers whom I have known, two out of three were proficients on the guit- 
ar. The following air, composed by Captain Arias, a Spaniard, I fcopy, by permission, from the 
music-book of Miss Apollonia Boonzeier, of Hout's Bay : 

CAPRICHO DEL CAPITAN ARIAS. 



e^ 



W—&- 



d^ 






-8-=?=:^ 



:«?zit 



Ca . mi - na ^ o - ril-las del E - bro Caba - Hero li di - a-dor 










B— — W—m- 



~\ 1 ^ -^ 7 



1 



J, 



j a — P i* 



?: 



con - tra - rios ven - cio. 



Des - pier - ta Leo - nor 






-m~m- 



in any one instance. On the other hand, 
the slave-dealers, in their selection and ap- 
plication of the large stores of medicines 
found on hoard the vessel, may be presumed 
to have been guided by some experience of 
their beneficial effects. In general, it is 
certain that the augmentation of sufferinejs, 
under the present system employed for the 
suppression of the slave-trade, is such as 
to present an additional motive for the adop- 
tion of a more efficient course, by taking 
some measures v/hich may give force to tlie 
penal enactments against persons engaged 
in that traffic* While we boast the name 
of Wilberforce, and the genius and elo- 
quence which enabled him to arouse so gen- 
eral a zeal against the slave-trade ; while 



ethers are disputing with liim the claim of 
being " the true annihilator of the slave- 
trade ;" that trade, so far from being annihi- 
lated, is at this very hour carried on imder 
circunistances of greater atrocity than were 
known in his time, and the blood of the 
poor victims calls more loudly on us as the 
actual, though unintentional, aggravators of 
their miseries. 

I may in conclusion remark, that, even 
after taking this lii'st necessary step, the 
root of the evil, slavery itself, would still 
remain deeper than any penal measures, 
however strictly enforced, can reach. It 
sprmgs from the present debased, demora- 
lized condition of the native African tribes. 
The prominent feature of social relation, in 




des - pier - ta A - di . os, A - di - os, Leonor. Des - pier - ta Leo - nor 

.III! \ \ I \ \ ^ I r 1^: 



-sh-m- 



z± 



d— F3=^ 






:^z^z:^- 



-9-e—^r 



-^ 




No Uores si a saber llegas 

Que me matan por traydor. 
Que el amarte es mi delito 

Yen el amor no hay balJon. 

Despierta, fee. 

Captain Arias, after some months' detention at the Cape, took command of another slave ves- 
sel on the coast of Africa ; but being peized by a sterner captor, the coast-fever, is said to have died 
after iwo hours' illness. 

In the berth occupied by the captain of the "Progresso," I found a ^agett'awozir, a beautifully 
worked sampler, with the f ollovv'ing pretty verse in the cestre, in variegated silks: 

" No meio de mil prazeres. 
Que gozares con sabor, 
Ve nestapequena oferta 
Sinceras provas de amor." 



* May 15, 1820.— The United States legisla- 
ture made the slave-trade piracj^ with penalty 
of death. 

March 31, 1824.— Great Britain enacted, that 
any person concerned in the slave-trade from 
January 1, 1825, should, on conviction, "suffer 
death, as pirates, felons, and robbers ought to 
suffer." The penalty was subsequently altered 
to transportation. 

Nov. 15, 18^^.— The State of Buenos Ayres 



declared, that their citizens, trading in slaves, 
should be punished as pirates. 

Nov. 23, 1826 —Brazil signed a convention 
with Great Britain, stipulating that the carrying 
on of the slave-trade after three years from that 
date, shonld be deemed and treated as piracy. 

In 1841, Austria, Prussia and K,ussia declared 
by treaty the slave-trade piracy. 

In 1842, Portugal became a party to a similar 
treaty. 



eONCLUDIN©- REMARKS. 



Uif 



many parts, is that of absolute slavery to 
their chiefs. The barter and exchange of 
slaves among them, is as frequent as, in 
Europe, that of do^s or horses. I have 
mentioned the case of a chief from the inte- 
rior, at Quilimane, who, though in no way 
concerned in the exportation of slaves, 
crfFered, in my presence, four of his train to 
Azevedo, in barter for a paltry musical toy. 
Parents will sometimes bring even their own 
children for sale. The abominable traffic, 
ingrafted on this " degenerate and degraded 
state," confirming and perpetuating its ills ; 
the wholesale shipment of slaves to foreign 
lands, involving the multiplied hardships of 
their journey from the interior to the coast ; 
exposure to aggravated sufferings and mor- 
tality, after embarkation, .even under the 
most favorable circumstances ; these form 
the catalogue of charges against the slave- 
trader. The predominance of slavery, how- 
ever, in the barbarous countries with which 
he trades, existed previously to his traffic ; 
and, should it cease, would still remain. 
No other measure can reach this evil than 
the introduction among their savage tribes 
of the principles of civilization and Chris- 
tianity, without which blessings their state 
would be but partially amended by the sup- 
pression of the slave-trade. It is, indeed. 



little in our power to speculate at what 
period so glorious an event may take place. 
We may, however, by a retrospect of the 
means blessed by the Almighty in time past 
to the conversion of the heathen, gather 
that tiiey differed in no slight degree from 
any at present in operation for that end. 
Though in modern times the labors of indi- 
viduals have produced- partial and temporary 
benefits, and some, whose " record is on 
high," have bequeathed noble examples of 
zeal and devotedness, those labors have left 
on earth no permanent results, their very 
traces having passed away with the zeal 
and devotion which animated them. When 
the spirit which of old converted our own 
and all the other barbarous nations of Eu- 
rope to the faith of Christ, shall again 
animate His church — the only instrument 
which has ever availed to raise a single 
nation from " darkness and the shadow of 
death " — Christianity will again gain ground 
on heathenism, as in former times. A branch 
of that Church, once planted and flourishing 
in our own colony, may soon extend her 
arms to the barbarous nations on each side 
of the adjacent channel, and gather the sa- 
vage tribes of Madagascar and Mozambique 
mider the barmer of the CroSs. There is no 
other that can ever triumph over Slavery 



THE END. 



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Ne-w and beautiful Collection 
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