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isncd by Smith. KJdcr & C 65. (Tomhil] 














London : 
Printed by Stewart and Mdrra y, 
Old Bailey. 


In presenting to the British Public the Autobio- 
graphy of a Negro Slave, it may be expected of me, as 
Editor, to state the circumstances under which this 
narrative came into my hands, and my reasons for 
believing that it is really what it professes to be, 
namely, The Life, Adventures, and Experiences of 
an African Prince, named Zamba, who succeeded 
his father as the King of a small territory on the 
banks of the Congo, and who was inveigled by the 
captain of an American slaver, and sold as a slave at 
Charleston, in South Carolina. 

This I am willing to do for the sake of truth and 
justice, although, in thus publicly avowing my parti- 
cipation in Zamba's attacks upon slavery and slave- 
owners, I am quite aware that I shall provoke the 
displeasure of many individuals now resident in 



Charleston, whom I regard as my personal friends, 
and, no doubt, I shall also incur the odium of all 
who are in favour of the continuance of negro slavery. 

I could not comply with the request of the Pub- 
lishers of the work, that I would afford them an 
opportunity of communicating directly with Zamba ; 
for (though it may not be generally known in this 
country) a letter addressed to a coloured person in 
Charleston by his proper name, would be opened at 
the post-office of that city, and in such a case as the 
present, Zamba's life would not be worth an hour's 

I therefore do not hesitate to declare, that I 
was personally acquainted with the African negro 
named Zamba, whose history is here related ; and 
that, during a residence of several years in Charles- 
ton, I heard from his own lips the leading incidents 
of his life. I have therefore no doubt of the truth 
of the statements contained in this narrative; in- 
deed, as regards the occurrences in Charleston, some 
anecdotes are too well known in that city to be 

That Zamba received considerable assistance in 
writing his autobiography, from both white and 
coloured friends, he himself states in his Preface ; 


and I think it right to avow, that my duties as 
Editor have not been limited to merely verbal re- 
vision. As the friend of Zamba, I felt myself at 
liberty to aid, in common with his friends in Charles- 
ton, in rendering his narrative more full and attrac- 
tive, by introducing remarks that he had made to me, 
and giving greater effect to some passages of descrip- 
tion. I have also taken upon myself to sanction the 
omission of certain portions of no particular interest in 
relation to Zamba and slavery. I should have had 
some scruples in making any alteration whatever 
in Zamba's narrative, had it been wholly and solely 
his own composition, however rude ; and I agree 
with the Publishers in wishing that the statements 
of this poor African had been written throughout 
in his own phraseology. This not being the case, 
however, I can only hope that since I have done 
nothing but what I had warrant for doing, the 
truthful character of the narrative has not been 
lessened by any act of mine, and that the inherent 
evidences of its authenticity will be recognised and 
felt by the reader; for I can truly state, that in 
all essential points this narrative is genuine and 

It may be proper to add, that I shall have no 


objection to give, to any sincere and candid inquirer 
for truth's sake, such further information as may be 
desired to satisfy any reasonable person of the reality 
of the hero of this autobiography — short of affording 
any clue to the identification of Zamba: for that 
would expose him to persecution, if not to the deadly 
vengeance of the slave-holders in the white com- 
munity amongst which he resides. 


Kirkintilloch, North Britain, 
March 1847. 


It will no doubt be deemed a strange circumstance 
that an African negro should attempt to write a 
book, and that he should presume to offer his pro- 
duction to the enlightened people of Great Britain. 

When, however, it is understood that, in the 
country in which he resides — the so-called free 
States of America — certain laws totally debar him 
from ajDpearing before the public as an author, 
he will perhaps be the more readily excused for 
availing himself of the freedom of the press of Eng- 
land, the only country upon earth where true and 
genuine liberty has taken up her abode. 

It may, perhaps, be a new thing to many persons, 
even in Britain, to know, that the laws of the state 
of South Carolina, in which I reside, are such, that 
the printer who would be rash enough to print, or 
the bookseller who would be daring; enough to offer 
for sale, the production of a negro, or any work 
written on behalf of this oppressed race, would not 


only draw upon himself the strong hand of the 
law, in the shape of a ruinous penalty, but would 
be exposed to the fury and summary vengeance of 
an insulted republic. Were a single copy of this 
simple production of mine to appear for sale in the 
window of any shopkeeper in the city of Charleston, 
a short time only would elapse ere the " Sovereign 
People" would attack the house and the person of 
the unfortunate trader, armed with all the horrors 
of " Lynch law," — a law which now proverbially 
reflects so much honour and credit on the mighty 
western republic. Tarring and feathering, and, 
finally, hanging from the nearest lamp-post, would 
be considered proper treatment for the rash book- 
seller ; but were it discovered that a wretched negro 
was at the bottom of the affair, he would probably 
be torn limb from limb, as a warning and example 
to his black brethren. 

Under these circumstances, it will be said that I 
might have brought out my book in some of the 
really free states of America — New York, for in- 
stance. I may mention, however, that although 
many States in the Union do not actually hold slaves 
themselves, there yet exists, generally speaking, a 
strong and deep-rooted prejudice against the black 
race. And since Providence has put it in my 
power, I prefer going at once to the fountain-head 
of liberty, and imploring the sympathy and the 


succour of that truly great nation, whose common 
people, as they may be called, at a mighty sacrifice 
of their own interests and those of their posterity, a 
few years ago, by one simultaneous and magnani- 
mous act, burst the fetters of eight hundred thou- 
sand of their fellow-subjects, residing in far distant 
parts of the earth. Such a people, understanding 
the real condition of nearly three millions of slaves in 
the United Stales, cannot, and I am sure will not, 
refuse their sympathy to the cause of the much 
wrono-ed Negro. 

My great ambition in writing this book is, to add 
fuel to the heavenly fire of humane and Christian 
feeling which already exists in the hearts of Britain's 
free-born sons towards the oppressed slave ; and 
should I succeed in creating any additional interest 
in behalf of my proscribed race, happy indeed shall 
I deem myself. Even the very thought that I have, 
in a small degree, made the actual condition of the 
poor negro more clear and palpable, will be a great 
satisfaction to me. 

It will naturally be inquired, — "By what means 
have you acquired the requisite education to fit you 
for your present attempt ?" Should the courteous 
reader indulge me by a perusal of the following 
pages, he will be informed on the subject. This 
much, however, I may say, that I have had the 
advice and the partial assistance, as I have pro- 

Xll author's preface. 

ceeded with my labours, of two or three coloured 
friends ■ — men who have travelled in Europe and 
other parts of the world, and who possess talents 
and education which might confer honour even 
upon a white man. I have also had the advice and 
approbation of a white friend or two, who feel an 
interest in the cause of humanity, and who do not 
consider themselves utterly contaminated by occa- 
sional friendly intercourse with a black man. 

Although I have had many misgivings in regard 
to my present attempt, I yet derive considerable 
spirit and encouragement from the idea, that, as 
the production of an African negro, it will excite in 
Christian England, even a larger share of interest 
and sympathy than were it the production of an 
educated white man ; for negro authors are, no 
doubt, scarce in the world : but I am aware that 
I must not be too sanguine on this point. It is 
my conviction, however, that in this city of Charles- 
ton, there are many of my oppressed and vilified 
race, who could produce a book, not only equal, 
but superior to this ; had they only enjoyed the 
same opportunities of education and information 
as have fallen to my lot. 

In the course of these pages, I have introduced 
a few topics not immediately connected with negro 
slavery. I humbly trust, however, that the in- 
dulgent reader will not find such paragraphs 


altogether void of interest ; on the contrary, I hope 
that he may find a few novelties, and become 
interested in my narrative. 

For very obvious reasons, I have been obliged 
to give fictitious names to the persons mentioned 
in the several anecdotes related ; not wishing un- 
necessarily to harass the feelings even of those 
who, by their conduct, evince a want of regard 
for the dearest and holiest rights of mankind. For 
my own safety, also, and that of my friends, I have 
been obliged to use great caution, lest any clue 
might be taken hold of to trace out and persecute 
us, for our presumption in daring to say, or even 
to think, that freedom is the natural birthright of 
all men everywhere upon the face of the earth. 

I have interested one white gentleman, especially 
in my favour, and to him, I trust, I shall never be 
deficient in gratitude. May I venture to hope that 
the general cause of liberty may, in a certain degree, 
be advanced through his means. It is through him 
that these pages are destined to appear in type. 
He has undertaken to forward my manuscript to 
a friend in Britain, who will take the matter in 
hand ; and it will, indeed, be a happy day for me 
when a copy shall reach my hands. It is not one 
copy, no, nor fifty copies, I fondly hope, that will 
suffice for Charleston. I even anticipate that some 
copies will be sought for by the enemies of liberty. 


There is no doubt that some of our high-minded 
and domineering planters and slave-dealers Avill be 
curious to see what " the black rascal" has dared to 
say of his betters. How they will fume and fret ; 
ay, and curse and blaspheme ! They will offer 
rewards of dollars by the hundred, and perhaps by 
the thousand, to discover who Zamba is ; but I 
calculate, as the Yankees express it, that Zamba is 
beyond the reach of their malice and fury. 

I feel thus far sanguine, because I am convinced 
that ere another generation pass away, American 
slavery will be on its last legs. And can any 
man, white or black, breathe a warmer prayer for 
America, than to wish that ere long she may, in 
truth and in deed, be as free from the curse and 
contamination of slavery, in every shape, as her 
high-souled and glorious mother, Britain. 

And now, courteous reader, I crave your indul- 
gence in perusing the following pages. Consider, 
in the first place, the situation and condition of the 
author, and make every allowance which your good 
nature will suffer you to do, in behalf of his inex- 
perience, his limited education, and that natural 
incapability of any intellectual effort which has 
hitherto (at least by a large proportion of white men) 
been supposed inseparable from the African race. 
In the next place, consider the cause in which I am 
writing ; and if a British heart beat within your 


bosom, I may rest content, that for the cause of 
human-kind in general, you will make great al- 
lowance for my deficiencies. Lastly, pardon my 
presumption ; consider, that possibly Providence 
may have singled me out from my brethren, and 
enabled me thus to embody my thoughts, for the 
purpose of arousing a flame which, although feeble 
and glimmering, may yet grow brighter and 
brighter, until the hearts and consciences of all 
men shall be so illuminated thereby, that true and 
rational liberty shall flourish in every land, and 
the existence and the very name of slavery be but 
as a tale that hath been told. 


Charleston, South Carolina, 
February 184G. 



Author's Birth and Parentage — Native Village and Royal Palace 
— Black King — Court of Justice — Standing Army — Adjacent 
Country — Negro Revels — Early Instruction in Religion — 
Idol-Worship — Mountain Scenery and Adventure with Ba- 
boon — Negro Priests — Youthful Ideas of a Future State . 1 


Trading in Slaves, &c. — African Cannibalism — Romantic Scenery 
— Lion Hunting — Singular Waterfall — Gooloo Bambo, a 
Negro King — Zamba's danger . . . .17 


Arrival of American Captain — Visit to his Ship— Trading Expe- 
dition — King Darroola's Village — Festivities — Darroola's 
Treachery and Skirmish — Zembola vows Vengeance . 83 


War Expedition— Zembola's Revenge— Burning a Negro Village 

— Fight and Massacre . . • ■ .49 



Zamba settles at Home and marries Zillah — Marriage Entertain- 
ments — Searching for Gold Dust — Zamba encourages Agri- 
culture — Learns to read the Bible — His Ideas of Christianity 
—He repels an Invasion . . . . * 67 


Zamba embarks for America — Interior of a Slave-ship — Voyage 
— Treacherous designs of Captain Winton — Arrival at 
Charleston — Sale of Slaves — Zamba is plundered and sold 
as a Slave — Reflections on his condition | . . .84 


Zamba in an Auction-store in Charleston — First Sabbath in a 
Christian Country — Goes to a Presbyterian Church — De- 
scription of the Scene, and Reflections thereon — A Negro 
Acquaintance — A White Friend and Counsellor — Negro 
Finery and Politeness — Zamba goes to an Episcopal Church 
— His Account of the Service, and Reflections on the Sermon 
— Goes to a Methodist Chapel — Effect of the Service on 
Zamba and his Brethren — The Sermon, and Reflections 
thereon . . . . . . .113 


Captain Winton visits the store of Zamba's master — Zamba finds 
a friend and teacher — Puts his money to interest — Effects of 
the American War — Negro Slavery in Charleston — Auction 
Sales of Negroes — The Cowskin — Horrors of a Slave-ship 
— Affecting Scene — Price of Slaves — Captain Pompey — 
Emancipation prohibited ..... 131 



Zamba comments on American liberty — Inhuman treatment of 
domestic slaves by their masters and mistresses — Condition 
of the negroes in Carolina — Zamba hopes to revisit Africa 
— Saves the life of his White Friend — Negro Epistle — Zamba 
and Zillah meet again, in Slavery — Zillah bought by Zam- 
ba's master ....... 157 


Zamba and Zillah reunited — Tidings of home — Zillah's account 
of her capture — Native missionaries needed for Africa — 
Zamba instructs Zillah — Penalties for teaching a negro to 
read — Arrival of Zamba's brother-in-law — Zamba and Zillah 
freed by their master — Zamba a shopkeeper . . 17G 


Zamba and Zillah join a Methodist Church — Their reception by 
two Ministers — Zamba and Zillah married — Zamba loses his 
White Friend — Captain Winton in distress — Is relieved by 
Zamba — Yv'inton killed in a Duel — A Carolinian Duelist. 188 


Description of Charleston — Negro Incendiaries — Traits of Sla- 
very — Gardens and surrounding Country — Extraordinary 
Escape — The Wilds of Carolina — An Inn in the Woods — 
Sporting in the Forest — A Negro Patriarch . . 109 


Scenery of South Carolina — Cotton and Eice Plantations — 
American treatment of Black and Red Races — Character of 
the Carolinians — Slave-dealers and Slave- Breeders — Con- 
duct of Carolinian Ladies to Negro Slaves — Atrocities of 
Carolinian Planters ...... 217 



Negro Conspiracies against the Whites— Anecdotes of Negroes 235 


Zamba's Plan for the Gradual Extinction of Negro Slavery in the 
United States — Advantages of Free over Slave Labour — 
Dangers from the Separation of Free and Slave States — 
Zamba's Appeal to the British Nation — Conclusion . . 24G 



Author's Birth and Parentage — Native Village and Royal Palace — 
Black King — Court of Justice — Standing Army — Adjacent- 
Country — Negro Revels — Early Instruction in Religion — Idol- 
Worship — Mountain Scenery and Adventure with Baboon — 
Negro Priests — Youthful Ideas of a Future State. 

To the best of my calculation, I was ushered into 
this world of sin and woe in the year 1780. I was 
born in a small village situated on the south bank of 
the river Congo, about two hundred miles from the 
sea, and had the honour to claim as my father, the 
chief or king who ruled over this village. His empire 
comprised a considerable part of the surrounding 
country, and in his own estimation, and that of some 
of the neighbouring potentates, he was a personage 
of no small importance and dignity. 

My father, whose name was Zembola, was a good- 
looking and very powerful man, and from his infancy 
he had been brought up to despise dangers and 
difficulties of every description. To attain the rank 
and fame of a great warrior was his sole ambition : 



far different from many great warriors in more civi- 
lised nations, he evinced no desire to extend his 
limited dominions. 

The village, or metropolis of his kingdom, already- 
referred to as my birth-place, consisting of about 
ninety huts and the king's palace, was built within 
a hundred yards of the river, which is here about 
half an English mile in breadth. The bank rises 
abruptly to about thirty feet above the common level 
of the water, and the village is thus placed out of 
reach of the highest floods; and a small but beauti- 
ful mountain stream issuing from a ravine or glen, 
enters the Congo at the east end of the village. 

The royal palace towered over all the other build- 
ings, and was in reality a very considerable edifice. 
Its form was circular, with an imitation of a dome at 
the top, in which hung an old ship's bell that was 
rung on. all great occasions, either of a mournful or 
joyous nature. The interior of the palace was divided 
into eighteen or twenty apartments, two of them 
especially being furnished in a manner that would 
rather astonish an European. The harem — you will 
no doubt smile, gentle reader, at the use of this term 
applied to such an insignificant building, and amongst 
such a barbarous people — was furnished with rich 
carpets and cushions to recline upon, and embellished 
with some very fine mirrors. The audience-chamber 
was about twenty feet square, having a floor of 
beautiful polished wood, and was furnished with 
handsome chairs and tables of foreign manufacture. 
The walls were adorned with many fine prints ; 


amongst them I remember in particular, King George 
III. on horseback, portraits of several English ad- 
mirals, and some pictures of sea fights; but above 
all, a very fine view of London attracted my earliest, 
and I may say my daily attention. 

When a mere boy, I used to stand for hours gaz- 
ing upon the wilderness of buildings represented in 
this picture, and oft-times amused myself by endea- 
vouring to count the houses, and even the very 
windows. My power of calculation, however, could 
never reach a higher sum than the amount of my 
own fingers and toes; when this was attained, I had 
always to " recur to first principles" (as the learned 
men say, with whom I have since then become 
acquainted) and reiterate the finger and toe. It 
may be asked, how did my kingly parent obtain 
these luxuries ? In his intercourse with the slave- 
traders, which was a considerable part of his avoca- 
tion. I must not omit to mention the throne, which 
was elevated somewhat above the other seats and 
furnished with a canopy of silk and many ornaments 
of gold and silver. Here, upon special occasions, 
sat King Zembola, arrayed in garments brought 
from various nations and climes — mostly old military 
and naval uniforms, besprinkled with no small quan- 
tity of gold and precious stones — and smoking a 
long tobacco-pipe, with a large crystal bottle of 
Frank "fire-water" near his elbow. In this state 
would he, with the utmost coolness and indifference, 
decide cases of life and death ; pronouncing sentence 
from which there was no appeal. I have seen him, 

b 2 



apparently in a calm and tranquil raced, take the 
pipe out of his mouth for a moment, and point with 
it to one of a number of poor wretches, whom by 
his code of equity he deemed worthy of death, and 
order the appointed officers to remove him, and bring 
in his head in five minutes ! No sooner said than 
done ; in the required time the bloody and ghastly 
head was brought to the foot of the throne, and a 
dram of rum, from the hands of royalty itself, 
generally rewarded the executioner. I cannot think 
that my father was naturally of a cruel disposition, 
but education and habit are everything. I question 
if any European monarch, enthroned in magnificence 
and splendour, and surrounded by his nobles, ever 
felt half so self-complacent as my father did with 
his score and half of attendants. Like his brother 
sovereigns of more extensive empires, my father had 
a regular standing army, though, including officers, 
amounting only to forty men. But in case of an 
invasion of his own kingdom, or his going upon a 
foreign expedition, he could muster about one hundred 
and fifty fighting men at a day's notice. His " regu- 
lars" were all armed with muskets and cutlasses; the 
others with spears only, or bows and arrows. With 
these latter weapons, however, much execution was 
occasionally done. 

The village, and about six acres of ground conti- 
guous, was surrounded with strong pallisades about 
nine feet high ; partly as a defence against any sudden 
hostile incursion, and partly to exclude wild animals, 
which at night were sometimes daring enough to 


attempt an attack on the cattle, that were all collected 
within at sun clown. The ground sloped very gra- 
dually backwards from the river, until at some miles 
distance, it rose into considerable mountains. About 
two hundred yards in the rear of the palace, arose, 
sheer out of the plain, an insulated hill, in form of a 
bee-hive, and covered to the summit with trees. It 
was about five hundred feet high, and a mile or so in 
circumference. At the yery foot of this hill, or rather 
rock, nature had formed an entrance five or six feet 
in diameter, and on proceeding a few yards inwards, 
it opened into an immense cave, capable of containing 
the whole population of my father's realm. By a 
little artificial aid, this cave was converted into a 
stronghold or retreat ; and being well secured at the 
mouth by a gate of iron bars, a small number of men 
within could defend it fur any length of time. In 
this retreat my father kept his treasures and valuables. 
These consisted chiefly of European and American 
goods (of which spirits and tobacco formed a large 
proportion), that he had received in barter for slaves ; 
for to tell the plain and honest truth, my father was 
neither more nor less than a flesh and blood merchant, 
He was also a farmer and grazier to a considerable 
extent, but only so as to procure mere eatables for his 
dependants. The whole of his subjects were obliged 
to labour, when required, upon the royal grounds ; 
but the forty men composing the regular army were, 
upon the whole, very lazy fellows : little work, save 
that of cutting throats, firing their enemies' villages, 
and capturing prisoners, could be got out of them. 


In their own line, however, I must own, they were 
very expert. 

Although my father generally exercised such de- 
spotic power over his subjects, there were times when 
great familiarity existed between king- and people. 
On certain holidays, and upon the return of a suc- 
cessful expedition, my father was obliged to allow 
great indulgences, especially to his warriors. He 
generally submitted to their demands with a good 
grace, and revelled and rioted like the best of them. 

1 remember, at one time, the army having returned, 
with King Zembola at their head of course, bringing 
fifty prime prisoners, that an uncommon jollification 
was resolved upon : nothing less than the audience 
chamber for their orgies would please the regulars, 
and into this state apartment a barrel of rum and 
other requisites for the carousal were brought. My 
father mounted his throne, and made a speech (he 
did not read his speech, as his brother and sister 
potentates of Europe do, in general, for alas ! poor 
man ! he was no scholar), and, of course, the said 
speech was mightily applauded. If literally trans- 
lated into negro's English, it would have run thus : — 
" My brave boys, hear me ! — I is great, powerful 
king ! who is bigger than me ? Sun look down on me, 
call me broder; moon, she do shine. Kiss my hand. 
You all brave boys, cause you my men. We go out 
fight de Moolah tribe. We all lion, — great roar ! 
Moolah men, dey all sheep. Poor piccanniny — dey 
runaway when see King Zembola. We chase dem, — 
smite, slay, kill — one, two, tree hundred, — send all to 


jumbo (hell). Burn village — take prisoner — fifty, 
sixty black rascal. Keep dera in" Zembola castle. 
Buckra captain come soon — buy slave. We get 
knife, musket, powder, ball, rum — rum. Huzza ! — 
huzza ! for King Zembola and his brave boys !" 

My father and his regulars (the militia, as we 
may call them, were served outside the palace) con- 
tinued to drink, and smoke, and feast during the 
night ; and in the morning, when I, at that time a 
boy of twelve years old, entered the audience chamber, 
with my mother and two of my sisters, the princesses, 
there lay, alas ! King Zembola on the broad of his 
back, his hand on the floor, and his feet, or rather his 
heels, resting on the edge of the throne; he held his 
crown (a large circlet of pure gold) clenched in his 
right hand, and a wooden cup half full of rum was 
grasped in the left. The prime minister lay with his 
feet across my poor father's stomach, and across him 
lay a captain of ten. In fact, all ceremony had been 
banished, and the Frank fire-water had accomplished 
what hundreds of their fierce and armed foes had 
failed in doing. My mother, who was a managing 
woman in her way, had her spouse quietly conveyed 
to bed, and immediately sent in a score of servants 
with buckets of water) from the Congo, which being 
dashed profusely in all directions, awoke the whole 

I have already said that there was a harem in the 
palace. My father, being a moderate kind of a king, 
contented himself with five wives. My mother was 
the only one who had a son., and she was, conse- 


quently, in the highest favour. I had nine half- 
sisters; and, as far as I can remember, they were all 
very kind to me. This might partly be owing to a 
feeling of selfishness, as they were aware that I 
should have much in my power at my father's death. 
Independently of this consideration, however, they 
were naturally well disposed : indeed (setting aside 
scenes of cruelty and blood to which the customs of 
the country have habituated them), the women of 
Africa in general have much of the milk of human 
kindness, and more than one white traveller has con- 
firmed this assertion. 

I must now recur to circumstances of an earlier 
date than those already mentioned. I trust the in- 
dulgent reader will pardon this discursive and irre- 
gular manner of writing, — for I have no experience in 
book-making. But I hope that my adherence to real 
matters of fact, will atone for any defect of arrange- 
ment in this narrative. 

Of the first three or four years of my existence, as 
is the case, I believe, with most others of the children 
of men, I can recollect nothing. When past the age of 
four, I have a clear remembrance of awaking almost 
every night after a long sleep, and peeping out of my 
little crib or box which was fastened to the side of 
the wall, I used to see my mother and |her four 
queens in companionship with a considerable number 
of the domestics, busily engaged in carding and spin- 
ning cotton; some few of them also were employed in 
weaving. The cloth was not much above four inches 
in breadth, and about the fineness of common English 


shirting; and they had the art of dyeing it : generally 
of a blue colour. Many, many years after, when 
residing in America, I sometimes saw a few pieces of 
this cloth brought from Africa; and the sight of it 
dimmed my eyes with tears when recollection brought 
back to mind the days of infancy — recalled the mid- 
night manufacturing scenes in my father's house, and 
the simple, but expressive and affecting songs which 
invariably accompanied them. 

I am certain that I recollect everything of impor- 
tance which took place after I had attained my sixth 
year. About that time my mother taught me to bow 
down every morning before a hideous image which 
was placed in a particular chamber of the house. 
This idol was tolerably well carved, and intended, I 
suppose, to represent the devil : it had a wide mouth 
stretching from ear to ear, long tusks, and huge 
goggle eyes, composed of precious stones; and was 
anything but an attractive object to the infant mind. 
The words my mother taught me to repeat, were 
only a few monotonous petitions to this hideous 
monster to do me no harm — not to burn me, or kill me, 
or run away with me. It was the worship of fear and 
terror, not of love. Oh ! how far more ennobling 
and glorious a mode of worship has dawned upon me 
since — long years ago. But when I think on the 
millions of my poor benighted relatives and country- 
men who are still in the darkness and shadow of death, 
this, indeed, embitters my recollections ; and I can 
only bow to the dispensations of a great and benevo- 


lent Being, who will, finally, vindicate all his ways 
and all his doings to the sons of men. 

For the first five or six years of my life, I was 
allowed to roll about on the ground or floor, or walk 
and run as T could, but was never permitted to stray 
beyond the village enclosure. My father, being some- 
what proud of his heir apparent, had me clothed in a 
red, or yellow garment which was fastened round my 
waist, and came down to my knees, somewhat like 
the petticoat worn by Scottish Highlanders ; and on 
my head was a flashy turban adorned with beautiful 
feathers plucked from the birds of my fatherland, and 
also with a jewel or two in front. The dress was 
light and airy, and left me at full liberty to exercise 
my limbs as instinct dictated. 

At the age of eight or nine, I first learned to han- 
dle the bow, and soon became expert enough to bring 
down any small animal at an ordinary distance. I 
shall never forget my first grand exploit in archery. 
I have already mentioned that close to the eastern 
side of the village flowed a beautiful stream which 
took its rise in the mountains. It ran for many miles 
through a romantic and lovely glen, which was the 
retreat of millions of the feathered tribes, and also of 
numerous quadrupeds. A considerable quantity of 
gold was found mixed with the sand and gravel of 
this stream, especially after heavy rains : that is, if 
any one took the trouble to search for it ; for to speak 
truly, my countrymen were by no means distinguished 
for industry, when they could avoid working, and the 


women had other things to attend to. I often used 
to ramble up the bed of this stream, accompanied by 
a young companion or two ; and sometimes by some 
of our own family : for my sisters were very fond of 
me. We used to catch in this stream small fish, 
which shone like gold and silver; but sometimes we 
came across game of rather an unpleasant descrip- 
tion, namely, small serpents and other noxious rep- 
tiles. We, however, seldom met with any of a size to 
alarm us much : the larger craft in general never left 
the Congo; but in it were crocodiles of eighteen to 
twenty feet in length, and also large sharks. Yet, 
although much traffic was carried on upon the water, 
and especially on the great river as it was called, 
there were seldom any lives lost. 

One day, accompanied by my sister Lemba, who 
at that time was about thirteen, while my age was 
eleven, with my bow and arrows in hand, I went to 
the stream, determined upon an excursion of some 
distance along its course. There was a splendid 
waterfall about half a mile up the glen, beyond 
which we had been previously warned by our parents 
not to wander. A prohibition of this kind, amongst 
almost every race of mankind, generally serves as a 
stimulus to young people to see what is round the 
corner, as it were ; and so it was with Lemba and I : 
with gay and light hearts we proceeded on and on, 
although surmounting the rocky precipice, over which 
was the waterfall, was a work of some difficulty. 
When we reached the summit, young as we were, 
we could not help lifting up our hands in admiration 


of the grandeur and magnificence of the scene here 
presented to our view. The river was a stream 
which an ordinary man could step across when it 
was not swelled by the rains ; but in the lapse of 
ages it had worn out a most fantastic and curious 
channel for itself through the solid rock: at every 
few yards it had made an excavation, like a large 
cauldron, and these cavities were evidently connected 
by unseen apertures, causing the water to boil, and 
toss, and foam unceasingly. Some of these pools, 
again, were tolerably calm, and in them we could see 
the glittering fish sporting by hundreds in the ele- 
ment, which was literally pure as crystal. The 
banks of the stream were here only about ten feet 
apart, and rose abruptly to at least a hundred feet in 
height ; the light of day appearing at top as if 
shining through a narrow chink, and rendering every 
thing below only half visible, in a kind of twilight. 
Shrubs and bushes, of a thousand varieties, sprang 
from the sides, and upon these sported birds, mon- 
keys, squirrels, and other children of the forest, who 
almost deafened us with their incessant and uncouth 
cries : they seemed unanimously to agree that Leniba 
and I were intruders on their sequestered domains. 

We continued, however, to advance, amid the up- 
roar, for a few hundred yards, and could perceive 
from the increasing light that the ravine was widen- 
ing. At last we sat down upon a ledge of rock, and 
my sister, from a small basket which she had carried 
from home, took out something for us to eat. "While 
we were satisfying our hunger, a pretty large stone 


fell at our feet, and instantly a most hideous yell 
arose, which was heard above all the other noises ; 
when upon looking up we perceived seated on 
the corner of a rock a huge blue-faced baboon, 
grinning at and threatening us in a most horrible 

Poor Lemba fell a trembling, but presently re- 
covering herself she snatched hold of my hand, and 
said, " Zamba ! Zamba ! come, let us go home as 
quietly as possible. Keep your bow in readiness, but 
do not attempt to run. I will be cunning with 
baboon, else it may be bad for us." 

She instantly took a bit of what we were eating, and 
laid it upon the stone, and then we cautiously com- 
menced our retreat. On looking back we could 
perceive the ugly fellow spring at one bound to the 
place we had left. 

We continued retreating as quickly as possible, 
always leaving a little of our food in the way; this 
delayed the enemy, but when just at the brink of the 
precipice we had to lay down our last morsel. The 
baboon seemed determined not to lose sight of us, 
and chattered most furiously as we were sliding 
down the precipice at rather a quicker rate than we 
had climbed up. We reached the bottom in safety, 
but looking up we saw our enemy preparing to 
descend. Although very much frightened, I adjusted 
my arrow with tolerable steadiness, and let fly ; it 
was well aimed, I believe, but a small branch of a 
tree intervened, into which the arrow stuck. The 
animal seemed to understand that the arrow was sent 

14 zamba's first exploit. 

with no friendly purpose, and attempted to pull it 
out of the branch ; as he was leaning over for the 
purpose, and just at the critical moment, I sent 
another, which completely transfixed our foe, who 
came tumbling to the ground with a hideous yell. 
Lemba and I did not stop to examine the wound, but 
made the best of our way home ; and then what a 
tale of horror and interest we had to tell. My father, 
although displeased at our wandering beyond limits, 
clapped me on the shoulder, and said, " Now, Zamba, 
you are a man ; T shall soon take you on my expedi- 
tions, and you shall have a musket to shoot men with 
instead of monkeys." He then sent two of his regu- 
lars to bring the dead baboon, and, after it had been 
skinned, my father had it properly stuffed, and 
placed in such a part of the palace as would do 
honour to young Prince Zamba's courage and Lem- 
ba's prudence. The fact is, that such an animal 
would have been a match for a stout man, if with- 
out his weapons ; and on hearing the remarks of my 
father's dependants, who, of course, all paid court to 
the heir apparent, I swelled with pride like a 

Those among my readers who feel interested in 
this narrative, may, perhaps, be inclined to ask, 
« Were you receiving any proper education all this 
time? Had you a teacher? Had you any ideas 
beyond the things visible around ? Did you know 
anything of a future state ?" To such questions my 
reply is, that I had no teacher of letters ; and as for 
matters of religion, our ideas were extremely dull and 


erroneous. There were two priests in my father's 
dominions; but the fact is they were mere jugglers : 
not only ignorant, but licentious. They occasionally 
visited every house, muttering some gibberish, and 
performing many antics to astonish the women, and 
never failed to collect a pretty good revenue. On 
certain days of each year they came forth in a sort 
of disguise, wearing masks, and every soul they en- 
countered was obliged to provide a present, get it 
where and how he might ; and there was a particular 
day in the year when they came forth masked, and 
the first person they met had either to pay a very 
heavy ransom, or be slain as a sacrifice. In some 
few instances, which I well remember, the sacrifice 
was enforced in a manner too horrible to relate ; and 
this merely to keep up the authority of these wretched 

My father, in his intercourse with the white men 
who came to trade with him, had picked up some 
confused ideas of another world and of futurity ; but 
he troubled himself very little about the matter. 
And are there not millions in civilized Europe, en- 
joying every opportunity of religious instruction, who 
are just as indifferent to the fate of their immortal 
souls ? When I was even a boy some very strange 
ideas of time and space entered my mind. I used 
sometimes in the evening to lie down upon the 
ground, and gaze for an hour or two upon the glitter- 
ing stars with feelings of indescribable delight. The 
sun was too dazzling and splendid to gaze much 
upon ; but the moon — the mild and gentle moon, 

16 zamba's ideas of futurity. 

and the innumerable clusters of beautiful stars, fas- 
cinated my sight, and filled my mind with wonder. 
For what they were made, how they were made, and 
of what they were made, altogether puzzled my 
imagination, I sometimes, however, reasoned thus : 
Suppose I were carried this moment to yonder light 
star, what then should I see? More stars I should 
think. And what then ? More again — still more 
and more ; and then all will be darkness and 
nothing. But what then would be beyond that 
darkness ? This was the puzzle. In the same way 
I reasoned regarding time. After father die, I shall 
be king — then I have son, he king — he have son 
again, more king — more son, more king. And what 
then ? No end can I see. World burn up — all 
things end. But how end ? — something must be. I 
could come to no definite or satisfactory conclu- 
sion ; yet I think that such thoughts prove that 
Divine Providence, the Light of Nature, or what- 
ever it may be called, influenced me to a certain 
degree, even in wild and dark Africa. 



Trading - in Slaves, &c. — African Cannibalism — Romantic Scenery — 
Lion Hunting — Singular Waterfall — Gooloo Bamba, a Negro 
King — Zamba's danger. 

I have said that my father had much intercourse 
with white men. His principal business, indeed, was 
to procure cargoes of living flesh and blood, to be 
transported to some far land towards the setting sun. 
The slave ships, which came to this part of Africa, 
generally anchored a few miles within the mouth of 
the Congo, as there they lay secure from the ever- 
lasting surf which rolls all along the western coast. 
Sometimes my father carried down his people, as he 
called them, to the slavers in large canoes ; but not 
unfrequently the white captain, with a crew of ten or 
twelve men, came up to my father's residence. It 
was, in fact, a convenient depot for trading in other 
matters. A white man was, consequently, no strange 
sight to me, even from earliest infancy. There was 
an American, Captain Winton, who traded for many 
years with my father. It was he who had brought all 
the fine furniture for the palace, and amongst other 



toys he brought a large violin for me; but, as we 
had no instructor, the sounds which my father, my- 
self, or any of his people elicited from it, would by no 
means have set the stones a-dancing. On one occa- 
sion, however, when I had carried the violin into the 
woods, it providentially had the effect of setting a 
whole troop of hyenas to their heels : to my great 
relief and amazement. At last this Captain Win- 
ton brought a small barrel-organ, which could 
play eight tunes ; and, having instructed us how 
to change the tunes, it became a constant treat to 
prince and peasant: I really think that for six 
months after we received it, it was not quiet for six 
minutes. Like all other things, however, it fell into 
disuse, and was soon set aside as an incumbrance. I 
must confess, by the way, that my countrymen in 
general, though fond of music, are extremely capri- 
cious and volatile in their disposition. To proceed. 
This Captain Win ton and his men were sometimes 
inmates of the palace for eight or ten days at a 
time, therefore I soon learned to pick up many 
English words, and could soon bear part in a con- 
versation in that language. My father entertained 
the white men very hospitably, and presents were 
continually being exchanged. I may mention, how- 
ever, as an instance of the way this traffic went on, 
that Captain Winton received two fine slaves for the 

To procure cargoes of slaves, my father went upon 
an expedition every now and then with his regu- 
lars ; that is, he went to a distant part of the country, 


and found ways and means to pick a quarrel with 
some less powerful tribe, which generally ended by 
the weaker tribe giving up a number of slaves as 
ransom ; or a fight took place, and the strongest 
helped themselves. To do my father justice, how- 
ever, he made it a rule never to quarrel with his 
next neighbours ; he rather kept on terms with them, 
and, consequently, they served as a kind of rampart 
or wall to guard him against the incursions of others. 
Besides the slaves which he obtained in his warlike 
expeditions, he procured many more by fair trade : if 
the term may be applied in such a case. He often 
sailed up the Congo with a supply of English or 
American goods, and by bartering these to petty kings, 
several hundreds of miles up the country, he never 
failed to come back with a full cargo, at reasonable 
prices. He also procured gold dust, ivory, and other 
valuable commodities, in the same way. His kingly 
office was, in fact, no sinecure ; for to keep up such 
an establishment 'as my father did required consider- 
able exertion and prudence. I may mention here, 
that after I was in America I heard it frequently 
asserted by white men that my countrymen were 
cannibals. From my own experience I should have 
said that this was very incorrect, but my father told 
me that in one of his journeys, about four hundred 
miles further up the river than his own kingdom, he 
had seen exposed for sale publicly in the market of a 
town, the name of which I forget, human limbs regu- 
larly cut up ; and this I must not gainsay, as he could 
have no interest in making a false statement to me. 



My father proved as good as his word in en- 
trusting me with a gun, and about half a year after 
the baboon exploit he procured me a short rifle, with 
which I practised for an hour or two every day, and 
in a month or two handled it pretty well. In my 
own imagination I considered myself now a match 
for a score of baboons or hyenas, or even for a lion of 
moderate size ; and it was not long before my skill 
was put to the test. My father had appointed a 
regular hunting-match to take place, as several 
depredations had been committed upon his flocks not 
far from the village. About two hundred men were 
mustered on the occasion, and at my own urgent 
request I was allowed to accompany them. My 
father was really a very daring fellow, and as chief 
always considered it his duty to be foremost in 
danger. He, however, took good care to be well 
armed at all points. He had a fine double-barrelled 
rifle, a short cutlass by his side, a pair of pistols 
stuck in his belt, and an attendant close by him, 
carrying, for his master's use, a very strong spear, 
the head of which, about fifteen inches in length, 
was made of the finest steel, pointed, and double- 
edged. The shaft was about six feet long, made of 
lance-wood, and nearly as thick as a man's arm, 
so that in close encounter with any very large animal 
there would be no risk of its breaking:. Having all 

to o 

assembled before daybreak at the palace, a dram of 
rum was served out to every man, and, each being- 
supplied with provisions for two days, forth they 
went. When we had proceeded about two miles the 


sun arose, and by the time we had gained a certain 
point where the river Congo took a slight bend, one 
of the finest views, I believe, in Africa opened on our 
sight. Great part of the country before us was open, 
interspersed with splendid natural clumps of the teak 
tree, while here and there orange and palm trees 
adorned the scene ; fields of Guinea corn, eighteen 
or twenty feet in height, waved in the morning breeze, 
the beautiful broad-leaved Indian corn, or maize, 
spread its waving blades in the air, and then a field 
of cotton might be seen. Not far distant lay our 
village, and near it were herds of cattle and goats, 
and even the labourers at work in the fields might 
be discerned. I forgot the hunt for a few minutes 
in admiring this lovely scene ; and even now, when 
I recur to that morning, after the lapse of nearly 
half a century, I cannot help inwardly ejaculating, 
" When, oh ! when, will poor benighted, yet beauti- 
ful Africa, be brought completely and wholly un- 
der the mild and glorious influence of Christian 

My attention was soon drawn from the enchanting 
scenery around me, by the incessant blowing of 
horns and yelling of dogs, intermingled with the 
incipient growling of wild beasts. Scores of hyenas 
and other wild animals of the smaller kind, fled 
before us, and occasionally one was shot down : I 
cannot say how many were killed that day. We 
did not fall in with any formidable beast till towards 
mid-day, when a tremendous lion was started. 
Instantly our whole troop was on the alert, and 


some who had been very forward at first, now ex- 
hibited symptoms of disinclination to be in the front. 
My father, however, seemed quite in his element, 
and told me to keep close to him, but a little behind. 
When I got a view of the lion, which was the 
first I had seen, I really felt very strange : it was 
quite a different looking creature from the baboon. 
The beast retired very slowly, frequently stopping 
and looking round, lashing its sides with its tail, 
and uttering short low growls, which to my boyish 
imagination, appeared actually to shake the earth. 
It had been repeatedly fired at, but as yet evidently 
without serious effect, and at last it was brought to 
a stand in a small ravine, through which there was 
no egress. When the lion discovered its situation, 
it turned full round, and glared with eyes of fire 
on its pursuers, still lashing its sides; and now 
and then as some over-venturesome dog rushed for- 
ward, striking its assailant to the ground with its 
paw, as easily as a man could crush an egg-shell 
with his foot. My father with his attendant, soon 
approached within thirty or forty yards ; he levelled 
his rifle with the utmost coolness, telling me in a 
suppressed voice to fall back, and then fired. The 
lion uttered a sharp roar and shook itself, but still 
stood its ground. Again my father fired, and then 
the animal advanced several yards. Its aspect was 
terribly grand : its mane which was long enough to 
reach the ground, stood nearly erect like an immense 
ruff around its neck, and stretching out its fore-feet, 
it crouched behind considerably; still keeping its 



glaring eyes fixed on its foe. My father coolly reached 
out his hand to his attendant and received his spear, 
and then advanced to within ten yards of the beast, 
holding his weapon in readiness. At this instant 
the attitudes of the man and the lion would have 
made a magnificent picture. My father after a mo- 
ment's pause, knelt on one knee, holding the butt 
of his spear firmly to the ground, with the point 
sloping towards the lion ; he then uttered a loud and 
peculiar kind of cry, when the animal answering 
with a tremendous roar made a spring; my father 
still holding up the spear, leapt on one side with 
great agility, and the huge monster was completely 
transfixed. It rolled and twisted about in every 
direction, until some of the hunters rushed in and 
despatched him. Had my father not leapt aside at 
the instant, he would probably have received some 
deadly wounds from the struggling beast; but he was 
experienced in such encounters. He told me, after we 
came home, that having failed in both his last shots, he 
was determined to venture an attack upon the lion 
with his spear. His men looked upon him as in- 
vincible ; and he could not think of retreating and 
leaving one of his subjects to conquer what had 
baffled himself. My father now ordered all hands 
to halt, and a general refreshment to be given. The 
lion was speedily stripped of its skin, and it was 
found to measure from the nose to the rump about 
eight English feet; the tail being three or four feet 
in addition. There was not a man present who could 
with both hands clasp the leg round above the fore 


knee-joint : some idea may thus be formed of its 
enormous size. 

After resting for about a couple of hours, the heat 
being intense, every one was again on his feet, for 
it was strongly suspected, by the same experienced 
hunters, from certain marks and indications which 
had been seen, that the lion's partner could not be 
far off. And so it turned out ; for the lioness was 
started within a mile of the spot where her royal 
spouse fell, and she made off with all speed for the 
higher grounds. It was near sun-down when we 
saw her enter a ravine, and this being a well known 
locality, a general shout was given; as from this 
retreat she had no means of escape. The ravine, 
from which a small stream issued, was not above 
four feet wide : in some parts two men could hardly 
pass each other, and the rocks on each side rose at 
least a hundred feet perpendicularly. About a hun- 
dred yards from the entrance, the narrow chasm 
opened into an immense plain, as level and smooth 
as a cultivated field, about eight or ten acres in 
extent, and surrounded on all sides by precipitous 
cliffs, upwards of two hundred feet in height, clothed 
to the top with trees and shrubs of every description. 
At the farther end a beautiful spout of water came 
sheer over the precipice (the edge of which projected), 
and fell into a basin at least thirty feet from the 
bottom of the rock ; appearing like a stream of mol- 
ten silver as the sun shone upon it, and when the 
wind blew with any violence, it swayed to and fro 
like a solid band of metal. It was designated by a 


term in the African tongue, signifying the " crystal 

Our whole troop having entered this retreat, the 
lioness was soon discovered crouching behind a rock, 
and growling terribly. My father, having already- 
done his part sufficiently for one day, allowed all 
who chose to have a shot at the poor beast, and I 
suppose about fifty balls were sent into her. Orders 
were soon given to encamp for the night. In this en- 
closed space I believe ten thousand men might have 
found ample accommodation. Timber in large quan- 
tities was soon collected, and several immense fires 
were kindled ; and as a considerable number of the 
animals which had been killed during the day were 
of a palatable description, and other provisions had 
been brought out, a hearty supper was partaken of 
by all. My father being in a particularly good 
humour, gave orders that every man should receive a 
small measure of spirts— enough to enliven, but not 
to intoxicate. 

I may here take occasion to remark, that King 
Zembola was upon the whole rather a temperate 
man, considering his habits, his avocations, and his 
opportunities. Several of his neighbouring poten- 
tates, who could only maintain a body-guard of six 
or eight men, did nothing day after day but sit 
beneath the shade of a tree with their pipes in their 
mouths, and a keg of rum beside them, and were 
assisted in the evening to their dormitory in a state 
of oblivion. So long as their funds lasted they 
" kept the war up," as the saying is ; and there was 


one merry fellow, but an awful drunkard, named 
Gooloo Bambo, who again and again pawned his orna- 
ments, and even one of his wives, to my father for a 
keg of rum. These, however, as soon as he could 
raise the means otherwise were honourably redeemed. 
Who could have thought that the civilized art of 
pawnbroking had been carried on in heathen Africa ! 
This King Gooloo was a very eccentric fellow in 
some of his notions, particularly in regard to dress. 
At one period he had procured from a slave-trader 
a very beautiful scarlet long-tailed coat, covered with 
buttons and gold lace, which he wore close buttoned 
to the chin, but without vest, pantaloons, or even a 
shirt ; on his head he stuck a naval officer's cocked 
hat, and thrust his feet into a pair of good English 
top-boots, but as to a shirt, he scorned such an 
effeminate garment. My father earnestly advised 
him to wear a shirt at least, if he dispensed with 
unmentionables. " No, no," said he; "shirt made 
for Buckra man — shirt like woman petticoat. King 
Gooloo, brave warrior — have no shirt." I saw him 
one day, after he had generously made the whole of 
his staff officers and male attendants dead drunk, 
strutting in the dress I have described, with a musket 
over his shoulder, and doing duty as sentry at his 
own palace door, muttering to himself occasionally, — 
" King Gooloo — big fellow — great prince ; wonder 
what English people say 'bout me — what King 
George think; go see him some day. What 'Merican 
people say of me. Oh, Gomo I Gomo ! I 'stonish 
them some day." He would then go over to the 


rum-keg, and very gravely drink his own health. I 
am by no means exaggerating in regard to King 
Gooloo ; and perhaps, if the curtain were withdrawn, 
his brother monarchs in more enlightened parts of 
the earth might a ]so exhibit a few traits of eccen- 

To return to our encampment. Night set in imme- 
diately after supper, but some of the troop were dis- 
posed for sleep. War-dances, accompanied by fright- 
ful yells, were commenced, and continued till about 
midnight. Had any European traveller arrived that 
evening at the edge of the precipice above us, the 
scene presented to his view must have been very 
striking. The night was particularly dark, which 
rendered the light cast by the huge fires more glar- 
ing ; and the dark shadows and lurid reflections cast 
by every object around appeared to me altogether 
magnificent. Nothing seemed more fantastic than 
the slender stream of water rushing; through the air : 
it gleamed and flashed in the flickering light like a 
cataract of diamonds. The wild beasts, which held 
dominion in this quarter, being disturbed, kept 
up an incessant howling and chattering the whole 
night : hyenas, baboons, monkeys, and many other 
animals, joined their discordant notes to the scream- 
ing of numberless tribes of the parrot kind ; and 
small flocks of the large black vulture, so common in 
this part of Africa, flitted about from tree to tree and 
from rock to rock, seeming, to my boyish imagination, 
hordes of evil spirits in quest of a resting-place, or 
watching for an opportunity of pouncing upon our 

28 zamba's training. 

troop, as at last they lay outstretched in sleep. Long 
ere daybreak many of the party were astir, replenish- 
ing the fires, taking a morning smoke, or preparing 
for breakfast. This meal was no sooner despatched 
than we again started in search of game. I had the 
satisfaction of bringing down two hyenas and an 
antelope. Besides these, only a few small animals 
were killed by the rest of the party. By the after- 
noon, our village was again in sight. 

The death of the pair of lions relieved our flocks from 
all disturbance for a longtime afterwards, and the ad- 
ventures of this hunting expedition served to wile away 
many a long evening. I felt so much pleased with the 
result of this hunt, that I determined to apply myself 
regularly to the use of the gun, and, if possible, rival 
my father in his prowess. Accordingly, I practised at 
a mark every day, and frequently made short excur- 
sions, always bringing in a greater or less quantity of 
game. By the time I had attained my thirteenth year, 
I could hit an egg, suspended to the end of a cane at 
the distance of a hundred yards, with a single ball; and 
having performed this feat several times before my 
father, he allowed me, in company with an attendant 
or two, to take an excursion to any distance not 
exceeding two days' journey. I made free use of this 
license, and encountered many adventures and mis- 
haps ere I reached my fifteenth year; but I shall only 
trouble the reader with an anecdote or two. 

When I was about fourteen, having a good consti- 
tution, and being well taken care of in regard to food, 
&c, I had become, by free exercise, very stout and 

zamba's encounter with a lion. 29 

active for my age, and indeed was a match in strength 
and agility for many men arrived at maturity. I one 
day went forth, accompanied by two clever servants 
named Pouldamah and Bollah — lads who would 
not, I was confident, flinch at any danger — and 
having shot several hyenas, I got so eager in 
the sport that nothing would serve me but a lion 
encounter, if such could be obtained. I offered a 
handsome reward to the man who would first start 
one ; and having stretched far into the wildest part of 
the forest, our ears were at last assailed by the deep 
and low growl of one of the forest kino-s. Our doo-s 
soon led us into a hollow, where we perceived a large- 
sized lion regaling himself on the new-slain carcass 
of a wild goat. At sight of us, he merely turned 
round for an instant, and then proceeded with his 
meal, munching and growling alternately like a dog 
over a bone. Without a moment's hesitation, I fired, 
and hit him on one of the ears. This only irritated 
him; and before my companions could bring their 
pieces to a bearing, the huge beast was down upon 
us with a tremendous roar; and in turning tail, 
which I naturally did, I fell over a stone and lay- 
prostrate on my face. My companions also had 
taken to their heels on the instant ; but, partly 
through faithfulness to me and their own natural 
courage, and partly perhaps through fear of my 
father's anger — which would have been fatal to 
them, had anything happened to me — they rallied 
and stood firm for a moment, The lion coming up 
with me, laid one of his paws on my back, and put- 



ting his nose close to me, began to growl and snuff. 
The weight of his paw was tremendous, and even 
painful ; but, as I had been warned by old hunters 
of the habits and ways of the lion tribe, I lay dead 
still, and held in my breath until almost suffocated. 
When just about to give in for want of breath, I 
heard two sharp cracks, and in a moment my huge 
enemy was rolling on the ground. I arose " pretty 
smartly," as the Americans say, and rushed to my 
two faithful friends, who clasped me with delight, 
and even cried for joy. In the mean time, the 
animal continued to roll and tumble about in his 
death agonies, and had we not kept at a respectful 
distance until he was quite spent, we should probably 
have paid dearly for our temerity. After taking his 
dimensions, which we found little inferior to the one 
my father had so daringly encountered, we took away 
his skin as a trophy. 

And now, it may be inquired, how it happened that 
I, who was so expert a shot as to hit an egg at a 
hundred yards distance, did not mortally wound my 
enemy at first? The truth is, that I felt not quite so 
steady in my aim as the son of a brave chief ought 
to have done ; and, farther, I can assure my readers 
that it is one thing to aim at an egg placed upon an 
inanimate object, and another to aim at the said egg 
placed on the forehead of a living and fierce lion. 

I might mention many other encounters that I had 
with wild animals as I increased in years; but not to 
become tiresome on one subject, shall close my 
hunting adventures with another anecdote. One 



day, I went forth with about a dozen of my father's 
regulars, and after killing some small game, we fell 
in with a flock of antelopes, of which we were eagerly 
in pursuit through a kind of open country or prairie, 
where the grass and weeds grew two or three feet 
high. I had taken a hasty leap over a small rut, 
and, alighting on something soft and slippery, fell 
prostrate ; ere I could recover myself, I felt some- 
thing twist round my body, and roll me over and 
over. In a moment it occurred to me that I was 
within the folds of a serpent. I was squeezed so 
tightly, that I had only time to give one loud scream 
for assistance, and instinctively raise my arms up- 
wards in the endeavour to defend my head and face ; 
being aware, from what I had heard from others, 
that the serpent would endeavour to make a twist 
round my neck. I could hear the monster hissing 
and playing its head round my face, but could not 
see: either through pain or horror at my situation. 
I gradually felt my ribs bending beneath its cruel 
gripe, and imagined that all was over with me, 
when to my inexpressible relief, I heard the voices 
of my friends; one of whom, with his cutlass, at 
one blow severed the monster's head from its body. 
It still, however, held me firm in its gripe, but 
speedily two or three of my faithful attendants threw 
themselves on the tail part of the animal, whilst 
another cut about two feet off from its extremity. 
Instantly I felt relieved, but was quite unable to 
stand or speak. Fortunately water was at hand, and 
I soon came to myself, though now quite unconcerned 

32 zamba's escape from the boa. 

about pursuing antelopes or any other game — for that 
day, at least. The stench which proceeded either from 
the breath of the serpent, or from its fluids when cut 
asunder, was suffocating ; and when relieved from its 
folds, I was covered with blood and slime. As near 
as we could make out its dimensions, the serpent was 
about sixteen feet in length, and at the thickest part 
it was about the size of the leg of a stout man. It 
was a boa constrictor, and its bite was not poisonous ; 
although it left a mark or two on one of my arms 
which did not wear off for some years. For many 
days afterwards, I shuddered at the sight, or even at 
the mention, of a snake of any description ; and for a 
long while after, I occasionally screamed out in my 
dreams ; nor have I altogether got quit of my horror 
even at this day. While I lay prostrate beneath the 
paw of the lion, as before mentioned, I felt very 
uncomfortable — exceedingly so, indeed ; but that was 
nothing to be compared to what I endured whilst 
held in the folds of the serpent : the feeling was 
horrible — truly horrible ! 



Arrival of American Captain — Visit to his ship — Trading expedition 
— Kiucr Darroola's village — Festivities — Darroola's treachery and 
skirmish — Zembola vows vengeance. 

I shall now advert to other occurrences than limit- 
ing. My father made regular excursions with his 
men, and occasionally to a considerable distance, 
either for the purpose of quarrelling with some other 
tribe, and helping himself to what fortune threw in 
his way, or for the more laudable purpose of trading 
with other chiefs. He refused, however, upon all 
occasions to let me join him, saying that it was too 
much to risk both king and prince at one time. He 
ti'aded with various slave captains, both British and 
American ; but his chief customer was Captain 
Winton, who generally came every year, sometimes 
oftener. He brought many curiosities to my father 
to adorn his palace. We had even a very handsome 
London-made eight-day clock, various articles of 
crystal, crockery, and hardware, and even some 
elegant silver plate, and — what might be deemed 
very unnecessary for such ignoramuses as we all 


34 zamba's studies. 

were — many handsome printed books with fine plates. 
My father understood that all civilized princes had 
fine libraries, and he wished not to be behind any of 
them, 1 often used to turn over and over the leaves 
of these volumes, and would get Captain Winton, 
when he was not engaged in business, to explain 
their nature to me ; and he would occasionally read 
a story out of one of them. Sometimes their contents 
related to our own Africa, describing matters so 
naturally and truly, that to all of us it seemed quite 
incomprehensible, and indeed supernatural, that these 
books should talk better than our wisest men. I felt 
so much interested by what I heard read, and so 
eager to know more, that I absolutely bothered Cap- 
tain Win ton to give me some lessons in reading; and 
to him I owe the rudiments of my education. In his 
different visits, he enabled me completely to master 
the English alphabet, and even to read, in a manner, 
words of one syllable. For my instruction, he brought 
me an English primer, and I proved a very indus- 
trious scholar. 

I must be permitted to say, that nature had cer- 
tainly formed me in a more intellectual and thought- 
ful mould than the most of my countrymen ; and I 
could not shut my eyes to the fact that, in know- 
ledge, we were far, far behind the strangers who 
visited us. The various manufactures they brought 
us was another proof that we were but as infants in 
comparison to the whites. The more I thought upon 
the matter, the stronger became my desire to know 
more of the world and of mankind than what I could 


acquire in Africa; and I hinted this my desire to 
Captain Winton. But when my father learned that 
I had a wish to see foreign nations, he was quite 
indignant, and forbade me again to mention the sub- 
ject. This prohibition, however, like many others to 
young minds, had merely the effect of setting me 
brooding on the matter, and contriving how to attain 
my object. 

Captain Winton was a considerable favourite with 
the female part of our household. He never forgot 
to bring a few trinkets for them, — most of them, 
doubtless, of brass well gilded, — and in return he 
was sure to obtain real bullion in one shape or other. 
The women were very eager to procure small silver 
coins, with which they made very pretty necklaces 
and bracelets, stringing a coin and an amber or coral 
bead alternately. On gala days, my sisters carried 
about in this way, on their heads, necks, and arms, 
as much small change as an extensive retail shop 
would require. 

I had attained the age of sixteen, when Captain 
Winton, having arrived, I earnestly requested of 
my father that he would permit me to go down 
the river when the captain went, and see his ship 
at the same time. At length he consented, say- 
ing that he had a lot of slaves to take down to the 
vessel, and that we would all go together. Having 
arranged matters, and shipped his slaves, amounting 
to fifty-two, in two large canoes, he and I, with twelve 
of the regulars, embarked in another, and the captain 
accompanied us with his boat, in which were eight 

d 2 


men. In two days, we arrived at the anchoring- 
ground, which was four miles within the bar that 
stretched across the mouth of the Congo. 

On approaching this spot, where lay four other 
slave-ships, I was struck with wonder and amazement 
at the beautiful appearance and gigantic size of these 
ships, never having before seen any vessel larger than 
our canoes. After reaching the deck of Captain 
Winton's ship, the Triton, I could hardly believe but 
that all I saw was enchantment. This vessel carried 
twelve guns ; and, in honour of our visit, Captain 
Winton ordered a salute of five guns to be fired. I 
was, of course, well enough acquainted with the 
explosion of small arms, but had never seen a cannon 
fired ; and as I had no warning of what was about to 
take place either from my father or the captain (who, 
no doubt, wished to try my mettle), on the first gun 
being discharged, I leaped a considerable height from 
the deck, and looked round at my father perfectly 
thunderstruck. Indeed, I imagined it actually was 
thunder, and it was some time before I could recover 
my composure. When an explanation took place, 
however, it more surely convinced me of the wonder- 
ful power and knowledge possessed by white men. 

On being taken down to the cabin, I was shown 
some articles that appeared to me very curious ; 
amongst others, two very large globes, the nature of 
which the captain explained. My father laughed 
outright when he was told that this earth was round, 
and said, — " Oh, captain, you are making fool of 
black men." Several maps were also explained to 


us, and even the nature of eclipses was endeavoured 
to be illustrated to us by means of some diagrams ; 
but Captain \\ inton's endeavours were often fruitless, 
as it was impossible for him to supply us with com- 
prehension. Yet, although I could not understand 
all he said to us, I was convinced, from other circum- 
stances, that the white man must be in the right, 
however mysterious it then appeared to me. 

After thinking for some time, I inquired of the 
captain if he knew who made the world, and the 
sun and moon, and all other visible things. He an- 
swered, that one great and invisible Being had made 
all things, and that the idols we Africans worshipped 
were merely things invented by the imagination and 
ignorance of men. He also said that God in former 
times had sent visible angels from heaven to instruct 
and direct men in what was right, but that, through 
the wickedness of mankind, God had been displeased, 
and no more held visible intercourse with men. 
Yet that God in his mercy sent his Son, who had 
come into this world about two thousand years ago, 
and gave men good instructions and advice ; and at 
last, because he was superior in goodness to any 
being who had ever appeared on this earth, he was 
slain by wicked men ; but in three days he rose from 
his grave, and soon afterwards ascended up into 
heaven, in the presence of many witnesses. All who 
believed in this Son of God, and repented of their 
evil w r orks, Captain Winton told me, would after their 
death be taken to heaven, where they would for ever 
be happy. All this, although in a great measure 


incomprehensible to me at the time, made a deep 
impression on my mind ; and when I compared such 
things to the confused nonsense told to us by our 
itinerant priests, I longed from my heart to know 
something more of this Son of God. May I ask, 
now, if such feelings were not infused into my heart 
by the Holy Spirit of God, at that time, and not 
merely in consequence of a few sentences spoken by 
a slave captain ? If not from this cause, from 
whence did they arise ? I was now determined more 
and more, although I kept my thoughts to myself, 
that as soon as it was in my power I would make a 
voyage to the white man's country. 

Captain Winton then showed us the hold of the 
ship, and in this there were already stowed, including 
my father's cargo, nearly three hundred slaves ; they 
were mostly in fetters or shackles, and seemed other- 
wise very uncomfortable. Captain Winton told us 
that if he did not thus confine them, they would, when 
at sea, come on deck, and make such a confusion in 
the ship, that the men would be unable to do their 
work. This seemed plausible enough. I then asked 
him what would become of the slaves when he 
arrived in America. "Oh!" said he, laughing, 
" the women will all get white husbands, and will 
have little to do but dress and go about: they will 
be dressed, Prince Zamba, much better than your 
mother and your sisters ; and as for the men, 
they will be taught to work at various trades, and 
will be well fed and clothed, and be far better 
off than in Africa." I swallowed all this implicitly, 


and thought that in reality they would be better off 
than if kept by my father and other chiefs as 
prisoners, in which situation they had no security for 
their lives for one hour. Captain Winton, however, 
did not tell me all the facts of the case. I learned 
them afterwards by my own bitter experience. 

We stopped on board the ship all night, and next 
day my father received payment for his lot of slaves. 
At this time a stout male slave was valued, on an 
average, at from thirty to forty dollars, women from 
five to ten dollars less, and children in proportion. 
But the purchase was all paid in barter. A piece of 
common Irish linen was taken at from twenty-five to 
thirty-five dollars. A musket and bayonet, which in 
Birmingham probably cost thirty shillings, brought 
twenty dollars; and gunpowder was priced at a dollar 
per pound weight. My father, however, would some- 
times insist upon having a hundred or two of specie 
dollars, and seemed quite acquainted with their rela- 
tive value to manufactured goods. Having arranged 
all with Captain Winton, we embarked in our canoes, 
and ere we were a mile on our way up the river, I 
had the pleasure to see one of the slave vessels under 
weigh, with a fine breeze ; it was truly a marvellous 
spectacle to me. As we had three canoes in charge, 
with few hands, it was five days before we reached 

About seven months after this excursion, my 
father told me he would take me upon a trading 
expedition ; and farther promised that hereafter he 
would also take me in his war expeditions,- — in fact 


that we should always keep together and take our 
chance. He made me promise solemnly, that, in 
case anything befell him, I would endeavour to walk 
in his footsteps, and do all things just as he had 
done. I did so; but 1 must confess, with secret 
misgivings, as I had quite different ideas in my 
head. The expedition he was now bent on, he told 
me, was to pay a visit and trade with a brother king, 
named Darroola, of the Konnantu tribe, who resided 
about two hundred miles from our place, up the 
Congo. This Darroola, he said, was a very strange 
fellow, and it required great caution and courage to 
deal with him to advantage. However, I should 
soon be able to judge for myself. We had three of 
our largest canoes put in order, each of which would 
carry from forty to fifty men ; the one in which my 
father himself embarked had a sort of cabin amid 
ships, and was furnished with an awning and other 
conveniences. Our merchandise — consisting chiefly 
of Irish linen, red flannel, flashy English printed 
cotton, and some hardware, with five barrels con- 
taining about a hundred gallons of rum, and provi- 
sions for the voyage — was put on board the canoes, 
and we were accompanied by thirty of our best men 
well armed. 

After a passage of six days, mostly accomplished 
by dint of paddling, we came to King Darroola's 
landing-place, where we left the vessels in charge of 
five of the men, and then in formal order proceeded 
to the village, which made a handsome appearance 
at about a mile distant. We were soon descried, 


and King Darroola, at the head of twenty or thirty 
men, came marching down to meet us. The two 
chiefs appeared delighted to see each other; and I 
was regularly introduced. King Darroola's appear- 
ance was very striking and commanding, but there 
was something particularly savage in his smile, and 
his eyes, which were extraordinarily large, looked 
horribly malignant. He was dressed in red flannel 
breeches, with large knee-buckles — his bare legs 
showing above a pair of half boots ; a blue naval 
uniform coat, with large gold epaulettes ; and a red 
and blue striped night-cap. 

As we neared the village, which was surrounded 
with pallisades, some of his men commenced blowing 
trumpets, and huzzaing with all their might. On 
entering the gate, the most conspicuous building was 
the palace, of course, which was really a very decent 
looking building, of two stories in height. I could, 
as we drew near to the palace gate, perceive several 
ladies at the upper windows, one of whom beat 
upon a drum, and another rattled a tambourine vigo- 
rously in honour of our approach. The pallisades 
which surrounded the palace on all sides presented 
a ghastly, and to me an appalling sight. At the 
distance of about every three feet, a human head was 
stuck on the end of a small pole ; some of them 
appeared quite fresh, others were in various stages 
of putrefaction. I noticed that the pallisade at one 
side of the palace was destitute of these horrible 
trophies : the cause of this was soon explained. 
Just as my father was entering the gate, he stepped 


into a small pool of fresh blood, when, without 
appearing in the least astonished, he turned round 
to his brother king, and with a half serious, half 
comical look, said, — " What ! King Darroola, still 
keeping up the old amusement? You are too 
extravagant, sir. I am sure you always find me 
ready enough to bargain for your prisoners or 
your criminals. What have you been about this 
morning?" — " Ah," answered Darroola, "you know, 
King Zembola, that I can afford more heads than 
you. It is only for pocket-money I deal with you. 
I must have my palace adorned like a true king. I 
have about fifty blank spaces to fill up yet, and have 
only furnished three this morning." He then ex- 
plained that he had made it a rule, every new moon, 
to fill up at least three vacancies on the pallisades, 
until they should be furnished all round with heads. 
One of these he had taken this day, he added, 
belonged to one of his wives, of whom he was jea- 
lous ; another was the head of a slave, who had 
broken by accident a fine crystal bottle ; and the 
third, that of a prisoner who was rather sickly, and 
who would not, he believed, have brought ten dollars 
at all events. He coolly pointed out the three heads, 
which had been just stuck up in their places, and 
were still dripping with gore. My father only 
said, " Sir — sir, you are very extravagant." But 
the impression made upon my feelings was such 
that I could not help shuddering at the hideous 
spectacle ; which Darroola perceiving, he clapped me 
on the shoulder, and: said, " Ah, boy — boy, you 


have not seen the world, I perceive." I inwardly 
hoped that I should soon be far from a country of 
such horrors, and again reverted in my own mind to 
what Captain Winton had told me regarding the 
manner in which white men lived. 

On entering the interior of the palace, I ob- 
served that, although well furnished for an African 
prince, it had not the tasteful arrangement or hand- 
some ornaments of my father's house ; but a great 
many spoils of the chase lay scattered about, and the 
walls in every direction were adorned with imple- 
ments of war. The two chiefs now sat down at a 
table, and, excepting myself, all others were ordered 
out. They then commenced to talk of business; 
bottles of spirits and other refreshments were pro- 
duced, and after a few cups were drunk, Darroola 
inquired how much rum his brother had brought 
with him. To this and other questions, my father 
answered in an evasive manner, inquiring in return 
how many and what kind of prisoners Darroola had 
on hand ; who, like a true merchant, also evaded the 
question : in fact, the two for a long time, like abler 
tacticians in more civilized countries, appeared to be 
striving to get the weather-gauge of each other. At 
length they came to some kind of terms, and I found, 
by the prices agreed upon for the various articles to 
be given for fifty-five slaves, that my father drove a 
very profitable trade : he gained cent, per cent, at 
least on every article, and as much upon the slaves. 

After some little time, we went out and inspected 
the fifty-five slaves, some of whom appeared quite 


happy at the prospect of a change ; having already, 
as I had no doubt, experienced that they were in the 
hands of a fiend. My father then sent down a 
detachment, accompanied by a number of Darroola's 
men, to the canoes to bring up the requisite goods, 
and in the mean time the two chiefs returned to the 
drinking chamber, and seemed determined upon 
having a jollification. Barroola was, in his own way, 
very amusing, but I could hardly look at his savage 
countenance without wishing myself anywhere else 
than within his premises. The articles were soon 
brought up from the canoes ; Darroola very gene- 
rously ordered a cask of rum to be broached, and a 
good allowance to be served to all the men of both 
parties; and the whole afternoon was spent in jollity. 
My father, however, took the precaution, some time 
before sun-down, to go down to his canoes himself, 
and appoint a guard of fifteen men to watch all 
night: the others were to be accommodated at the 

We returned to the palace about dusk, and par- 
took of a feast which did credit to Darroola's cooks. 
At the request of Darroola, a few of my father's men 
were brought into the room where the two chiefs sat, 
and allowed to sit down along with them, and par- 
take of the good things; and in the course of the 
evening we were visited by a priest of the country, 
whom I instantly recollected having often seen at our 
own palace. After some time, this priest, who sat 
next my father, took a small idol out of his pocket, 
and holding it up, pretended to be whispering a 


prayer to it ; but this was only to attract my father's 
attention without being suspected by Darroola: who, 
by the way, was busily plying some of our men with 
rum, and had his head and his attention turned in 
another direction. The priest then whispered, " King 
Zembola, listen to me, but look as if you heard not. 
You have been my friend ; I am your friend : I can- 
not see you betrayed. Mark me now: — an attempt 
will be made to destroy you and your men to-morrow, 
when you are at the point of embarking : be on your 
guard. I can say no more. Now, do not let your 
countenance betray you. You are safe to-night ; but 
to-morrow — remember to-morrow." I could instantly 
perceive my father's countenance change ; but he 
quickly commanded his emotion, and looking steadily 
at the faithful old priest, merely pressed his hand, 
and said, " Good ! my friend, I shall never forget 

The entertainment continued, and at last all were 
more than ready for bed. Many, indeed, had already 
made theirs on the floor without ceremony, and King 
Darroola snored in his chair of state. My father 
and I retired to a room prepared for us ; and after 
placing two sentinels at the door, and seeing that our 
arms were in order, we lay down to sleep, and did 
not awake until dawn of day. The two kings met in 
the morning with the greatest affability; and refresh- 
ments were soon prepared, which speedily carried off 
all the effects of last evening's revelry. 

In the course of the forenoon, the fifty-five slaves 
were all taken down to the landing-place, coupled 

46 darroola's treacherous attack. 

together with fetters; and all being settled at the 
palace, King Darroola and about a dozen of his men, 
unarmed, accompanied us, and we all proceeded to 
the shore : apparently in peace and kindness. The 
slaves were then placed in two of the canoes, and the 
troops belonging to my father were preparing to take 
their places ; part having to go in the same canoes 
with the slaves, and the remainder with their chief 
and myself in our best canoe. 

At this juncture, Darroola embraced me, and then 
my father, with seeming cordiality, wishing us a good 
voyage and a good market, and then retired up the 
bank a few paces. Presently, however, he turned 
round, and exclaiming, — " King Zembola, I forgot 
something," — he gave a signal, and in an in- 
stant fifty or sixty men sprang out with a yell from 
the brushwood about a hundred yards distant, and 
commenced firing with great celerity. My father, 
being so far on his guard, had told his men previously 
to have their muskets loaded, each with a ball and 
eight or ten buckshot ; and he now very steadily told 
them to stand close and firm, and give the enemy a 
volley. At the first surprise, two of our party fell 
dead, but our men were superior in discipline to Dar- 
roola's, and better marksmen ; as they proved by 
their first volley, which brought down from fifteen to 
twenty of the enemy. Our men, too, were furnished 
with bayonets, which Darroola's had not ; and ere 
they could again load, my father, setting the example, 
called on his men to charge, which they did in gallant 
style, and in two minutes Darroola and his men were 


zambola's vow of vengeance. 47 

nearly out of sight. My father, however, was as 
cautious as he was brave, and not knowing how 
many more might be in ambush, he ordered us to 
embark without a moment's delay ; and on our way 
down to the water, he ordered his men to despatch 
every one of the enemy who lay wounded. With the 
utmost speed we hauled out the whole of the canoes, 
and were soon at the farther side of the Congo, driv- 
ing down the stream as fast as our paddles and the 
current could carry us. 

My father sat in silence for a considerable space of 
time after we were afloat ; but his countenance was 
altogether changed — it absolutely turned to a palish- 
grey hue, and his eyes rolled in their sockets as if 
they would burst from their orbits. At length his 
rage found utterance. He lifted up his hands, and 
swore by all the gods that were ever known in Africa, 
that he would not rest day or night until he had taken 
bloody revenge on Darroola and his tribe. " I have 
known," said he, " treachery practised by enemies on 
each other in war; but, in peace and friendship, never. 
Was there ever the equal to that accursed Darroola ? 
By the Great Kolla ! if I do not spill the blood of the 
whole tribe like water, may my whole race go to 
jumbo !" Then, by way of encouraging his men, he 
told them to broach a cask of rum, and gave each 
man a good cupful. He also gave the poor slaves a 
little to cheer their hearts, as they seemed evidently 
delighted at Darroola being put to flight. He then 
told the rowers to pull incessantly, promising them 
ample allowance of victuals and drink ; and so well 


did all execute their task, that, by the evening of the 
next day, we were safe at our own landing-place. 

After seeing the slaves secured, the first thing my 
father did was to go into the room where the hideous 
idol I formerly described was stationed, and give 
it a tremendous blow on the head with his cutlass. 
Although I put on a serious face, I could hardly 
help laughing at such conduct. He then called 
every male in the place to his presence, and 
after commenting a little on what had happened, he 
despatched messengers to every hut in his small 
domain, to summon instantly all who could wield a 
weapon. " That infernal scoundrel, Darroola," said 
he, " will expect me, as a matter of course ; but I 
shall be upon him ere he imagines we are at home." 
He then allowed all to take rest for one night, but 
commanded that next morning there should be a 
general muster. 



War Expedition — Zembola's E.evenge — Burning a Negro Village — 
Fight and Massacre. 

When the morning broke, nay father's men began 
to assemble from all quarters, and ere the sun was 
two hours up not one of those expected were missing: 
all seemed animated by the same spirit of retaliation 
and revenge. A hundred and forty men were selected 
for the enterprise, leaving about thirty in arms to take 
charge of matters at home till the expedition re- 
turned. Five large canoes w 7 ere put in order, and well 
provided with victuals and liquor; ammunition, and 
a quantity of combustible materials were provided, — 
nothing, in short, that was requisite for our purpose 
was omitted. By mid-day all were ready; and my 
father, after giving orders to the person he left as his 
representative, and taking farewell of my mother and 
the rest of his wives and family, took me into the 
room where the idol was placed, and kneeling dow 7 n, 
besought in a very earnest manner success on our 
enterprise. For my own part, even at that time I 
put very little faith in what the hideous image could 



do, — more especially now, when his ugly head was 
nearly cloven in two. Alas! my poor father! may 
the only living and true God forgive thy ignorance, 
in the day when motives and not words shall be 

We immediately afterwards embarked in the 
canoes, and set off at full speed, and both arguments 
and stimulants were used to make the rowers do 
their utmost. No untoward accident occurred to 
delay us for a moment, and in the afternoon of the 
third day we were within twenty miles of Darroola's 
village. The canoes were now brought close to the 
shore, and moored until the sun sank; immediately 
after which, having refreshed all hands, we again 
started, and orders were given that perfect silence 
should be maintained. About an hour before mid- 
night we arrived within two miles of our destination ; 
and here the canoes were brought close to the bank, 
and arrangements made for the attack. 

As it was possible that Darroola might be even 
thus early on the watch, my father gave orders that 
twenty picked men, accompanied by myself, should 
endeavour to surprise the sentinels, who would pro- 
bably be stationed near the landing-place; the re- 
mainder, including King Zembola, were to remain 
in arms beside the canoes, ready at a moment's 
warning for what might happen. I accordingly 
started with the twenty men, and as the night was 
exceedingly dark, and we were but partially ac- 
quainted with the ground, we had to choose our 
steps with caution. We marched right into the 


country for about a quarter of a mile, then taking a 
circuit, struck again down to the river side ; and as we 
approached the spot where we expected any sentinels 
to be stationed, we crawled upon our hands and 
knees, hardly daring to breathe. At last we could 
perceive one man close to the river's bank, walking 
backwards and forwards ; and, still advancing, we 
could make out three others sitting near him on the 
ground, quietly smoking. Had King Darroola seen 
them, their heads would no doubt have soon filled up 
a few of his blank spaces on the pallisades. We now 
all arose, but without the smallest noise, and rushing 
forward, the four sentinels were secured and bound, 
and threatened with instant death if a sound escaped 
them. I despatched two swift-footed fellows to my 
father, advising him to bring his men straight up by 
the bank of the river ; and such was their eagerness, 
that in less than an hour our whole party had 
ioined us. 

King Zembola now divided his whole force into 
seven companies, of about twenty men each, and 
every man of them was furnished with a few pitch- 
pine splinters, prepared in a peculiar manner to ren- 
der them more combustible, with directions that as 
soon as they entered the village, and the signal was 
given, each man was to set fire to the house near- 
est his station. My father then addressed a few 
words to the whole of us, bidding us remember 
that his honour, and the honour of our tribe, were at 
stake, and that if we failed in taking signal ven- 
geance on man, woman, and child, we were no 

e 2 


friends of his. " I shall sacrifice at least two hun- 
dred," said he, '* and we shall have about as many 
left as prisoners : at all events, Darroola shall pay 
with his blood for his treachery. But spare the old 
priest you saw in conversation with me at Darroola's 
table. And now forward in quietness." 

We marched in dead silence until we came to the 
village pallisades, and as fortune would have it, the 
first gate we came to yielded without force. The 
whole village was wrapt in deep repose and darkness, 
until the silence was broken by the barking of a dog 
or two. I felt considerably irritated at the treatment 
we had received from Darroola ; but, whether it was 
that my heart was formed of softer materials than 
my father's, or that a new light was beginning lately 
to break in upon my mind, certain it is I experienced 
an indescribable feeling — something allied to melan- 
choly and sorrow — as I gazed around on the dwell- 
ings of the poor Kormantoos, who, though guiltless, 
and most of them totally ignorant of Darroola's 
treachery, would in a few minutes be aroused from 
their peaceful slumbers to all the horrors of fire, 
slaughter, and every species of murderous cruelty; 
and although I calculated that a considerable num- 
ber of prisoners would be our booty, I wished, from 
the bottom of my soul, that the injury could be other- 
wise atoned for. I had, however, hardly time to 
make these reflections before my father ordered me 
to station my company in front of Darroola's palace, 
saying that he would place his own company close 
to me, as we might expect most resistance there. 


He then gave directions where the others should 20, 
and told them that as soon as they saw a single 
torch blazing at his station, they were to light their 
torches with all expedition, and set fire to the nearest 

In a few minutes afterwards, he struck a light 
himself, kindled a torch, and instantly our two com- 
panies held each his blazing torch aloft, and all the 
other companies followed like magic. The torches 
were no sooner applied to the dry thatch, or reeds, of 
which the huts were mostly formed, than the flames 
arose and spread like wildfire, and in a few minutes 
the whole village was in a blaze. And now arose the 
most awful shouting of men, mingled with the shrill 
screaming of women and children, that could be 
imagined; the terror-struck inhabitants endeavoured 
to rush out of their burning dwellings, but outside 
our men met them like infuriated tigers, and either 
cut them down with their cutlasses, or thrust them 
back into the flames with their bayonets. Some of 
the Kormantoo men made a gallant resistance, fight- 
ing with such weapons as they could snatch up in 
the confusion, but most of them were naked and 
unarmed, and of course had no chance. The palace 
windows were soon thrown open, and we could per- 
ceive Darroola himself, with a musket, at the head of 
a strong party of his men. They fired most deter- 
minedly, and even steadily, from the windows ; but 
the flames made such rapid and fearful progress, that 
this warfare could not last long: a number of our 
men fell, and we could plainly see that our volleys 


were thinning the number of our opponents within 
the palace. At length the fire became so fierce, that 
Darioola and his whole force of about thirty men, 
made a sally from the front gate, and bravely met us 
hand to hand. The struggle was now tremendous, 
and many fell on both sides ; at length Darroola 
singled out my father, who by no means evaded him, 
and for some time the two carried on a doubtful 
combat. Darroola was armed with a huge battle- 
axe, and my father with musket and bayonet parried 
his blows with great dexterity, till at length my 
father fairly thrust him through the body, and pinned 
him against a wall of the palace : even in this hor- 
rible position the brave Darroola struck at his trium- 
phant enemy; but his blows were now feeble, and 
when my father withdrew his bayonet, his opponent 
fell dead. Just as my father had finished this fierce 
encounter, a ball from one of the enemy struck him 
on the forehead, and ere I could reach him he had 
fallen beside his enemy : he uttered only one groan, 
and lay fixed in death. I was perfectly appalled, 
and knew not what to do. The enemy still continued 
to resist ; but as the news of my father's death 
spread through our ranks, most of the men came 
hurrying to the spot, and I could perceive from their 
numbers that we were completely victorious. I 
instantly gave orders that mercy should be shown to 
all who yielded. 

Just at this moment, a young girl, with hardly any 
clothing on her, but who, from the ornaments about 
her head and neck, was evidently a person of rank, 


came rushing up to me, followed by one of our men, 
who, with a cutlass uplifted, was in the act of striking 
her. I parried the blow and cried to him to desist ; 
and, upon' looking down, perceived the poor girl 
holding me by the feet and gazing imploringly in my 
face. By the light of the flames, I saw that she was 
beautiful, and as she turned up her eyes of heavenly 
sweetness, I could not help stooping down, and 
taking her in my arms, telling her that she was per- 
fectly safe. I then told two of my men (for the men 
were now mine, alas !) to take her beside the other 
prisoners, and see that no harm came over her. 

By this time day had broken, and of the beautiful 
village of Darroola hardly a vestige remained : a 
number of smoking heaps of ashes and rubbish, 
mingled with the remains of human beings, told 
where the cheerful and happy cottages had stood but 
yesterday ; and the loud wailing and lamentation of 
the wretched prisoners would have melted the heart of 
any but a fiend. On mustering our men, I found 
that thirty-five were wanting, besides my father; 
whilst of Darroola's people at least two hundred 
must have fallen in all. Of prisoners, we had a 
hundred and thirty: many of these were children. I 
now gave orders to have my father's body laid de- 
cently aside and covered with a cloth, and then 
directed a search to take place for the bodies of our 
fallen countrymen: assisting in this work myself; 
and after considerable trouble we found twenty-six 
quite dead, and nine so severely wounded that they 
had little chance of seeing home. We speedily had a 

56 king darroola's treasury. 

hole dug, in which we placed the bodies ; and as I 
felt deeply touched by my father's death and the 
horrible carnage amongst our enemies, I prevailed 
upon my men, by the promise of some rum, to dig 
another large pit, and bury in it as many dead bodies 
of the poor Kormantoos as they could collect. We 
left none living, nor a roof remaining, in the village ; 
and I believe that to this day the site remains a 

I was told that during the search for the dead, at 
the back of Darroola's palace (which I had not per- 
sonally inspected), a low-built mud-walled hut was 
discovered, which had escaped the fire, from its being 
covered with flat stones instead of rushes as the other 
houses were, and that it had no windows, but only a 
very strong door. I instantly went to the spot with 
a few men, and, on forcing open the entrance, dis- 
covered a flight of steps which led down to a tole- 
rably-sized vault or cellar. This proved to be Dar- 
roola's stronghold or treasury, and we found here a 
very considerable quantity of foreign goods, some 
casks of liquor, several very fine elephants' teeth, 
and, to our great satisfaction, a barrel containing 
between three and four thousand Spanish dollars, a 
hundred and twenty doubloons in a bag, and two 
small bags of gold-dust. Having brought out all 
these treasures, which were ours by right as con- 
querors, I had them placed in a heap on the outside ; 
and collecting all my men, except the few who 
guarded the prisoners, I addressed them to this 
effect : I told them that now, as I had succeeded my 


father as their king, I intended to act towards all of 
them as a generous chief, and that I hoped they 
would ever be faithful and true to me; and that, as a 
proof of my feelings towards them, as soon as we 
arrived at home, I would divide the whole of the 
spoil (except one or two things which I would place 
in the royal treasury) equally and justly amongst all 
of them, and that the shares of the men who had 
fallen would be given to their widows or other rela- 
tives. This announcement was received with shouts 
of joy, and immediately the whole body of the men 
knelt down, and each holding both hands close to 
the crown of his head, swore aloud by the great God 
Kollah, that they would be true to the death to me 
and mine. 

When I reflected, in after years, since the light of 
the blessed Gospel had shone into my benighted soul, 
upon this act of homage paid to me, I could not help 
sometimes weeping bitterly to think that I, at that 
time a poor ignorant boy, should accept of such reve- 
rence, which was due to God only. But, alas ! at 
that time I was sitting in the darkness and shadow 
of death, and knew no better. 

I then ordered a detachment of thirty men to go 
down and bring up our five canoes to the landing- 
place, where I would meet them with the prisoners, 
whom I immediately went to inspect. I found them 
generally in a most miserable plight ; many of them, 
as they afterwards told me, looking for nothing 
less than death in some cruel and protracted manner: 
for such was often the custom with conquerors in this 

58 zamba's clemency. 

part of Africa, so soon as they had leisure to enjoy 
the horrid scene. I assured them, however, that, 
much as we had been provoked by the treachery of 
their chief, not one of them should suffer so long as 
they behaved peaceably ; and, farther, I caused some 
refreshment to be given them. The poor creatures, 
one and all, testified their joy and gratitude at this 
announcement, and capered and clapped their hands 
with delight, as well as their bonds would permit 

I next inquired for the girl who had run to me for 
protection the evening before, and found her seated 
amidst a group of women, who had lent her some of 
their clothing, and appeared to hold her in great 
respect. At my approach, the poor girl rose, a blush 
(for allow me, gentle reader, to assure you that 
negroes really can blush as well as whites, although 
not so perceptibly) spread over her cheeks, and she 
seemed in great agitation. As our native languages 
were nearly alike, I could readily make myself under- 
stood ; so, taking her by the hand, I inquired who 
and what she was — for both her personal qualifica- 
tions and the rich ornaments she wore convinced me 
that she was no ordinary personage. She answered 
at once that her name was Zillah ; but here she 
paused and held down her head, seemingly much 
embarrassed. She then said that both her parents 
were dead, and was proceeding, when I interrupted 
her by saying, — " Oh ! never mind, Zillah, never 
mind ; you can tell me all your history when I take 
you to my mother." She seemed greatly relieved at 


what she was pleased, in after days, to style my deli- 
cacy and feeling, and turned her beautiful eyes upon 
me with a look of gratitude. The evening previous 
to that I shall never forget : her looks had struck to 
my heart with such force and influence as I had 
never before experienced ; but now, in broad day- 
light, she appeared still more lovely and interesting, 
and I gazed upon her for some time with a sensation 
altogether new to me — pleasing beyond my power to 
describe, and yet not without a degree of anxiety and 
pain. In one word, love — all-powerful love — which 
warms alike the hearts of kings and slaves, had 
kindled in my breast. Yes, for the first time, and 
after a scene of blood and cruelty, when my hands 
were still red with gore (for I had, with my own 
weapons, done some effectual service in the fray), 
and while my heart was yet bleeding for the death of 
my brave father, did the sweet and irresistible pas- 
sion of love take possession of my soul. 

Zillah appeared to be about a year or so younger 
than myself. She was tall and exceedingly graceful, 
her countenance — though its features were some- 
what of the African cast — was beautiful, and her 
figure might vie in elegance, colour excepted, with 
the finest models of ancient sculpture. She wore 
massive gold rings in her ears ; a necklace of very 
large pearls, mixed with gold and coral beads, adorned 
her neck ; and solid bracelets of gold of African manu- 
facture, and rings of the same metal, encircled her 
wrists and ankles. I have little doubt but these jewels 
would have brought 1000?. in Europe : it was the 


sight of them that aroused the cupidity of the man 
who was pursuing her; and had I not interfered at 
the critical moment, the infuriated rascal would have 
cut her down without mercy. 

I now took Zillab, and telling her to choose out 
two of her own sex to attend her, promised that I 
would take her down the river in my own canoe ; and 
then ordered the whole party, my own men, prisoners 
and all, to proceed to the landing-place. 

And here I cannot help relating an affecting inci- 
dent that occurred by the way. On the roadside lay 
a young woman, cold in death, with a large wound in 
her side, and at her breast was an infant endeavouring 
to obtain its natural aliment from its dead mother's 
bosom. I made one of the women take the child 
along with her. No doubt, in last night's affray, the 
poor mother had been mortally wounded while 
endeavouring to escape, and death had overtaken 
her here. 

By the time we reached Darroola's landing-place, 
our men had safely brought up the five canoes ; and 
as these would not have conveniently carried our now 
increased company, we took three canoes which had 
belonged to our late enemy, and after some little 
trouble in arranging the prisoners, we proceeded 
down the river: as a matter of course I brought 
my father's body along with us. In three days we 
reached our village ; and some of our people (amongst 
whom were two of father's wives and four of my sis- 
ters), who were waiting at the landing-place, per- 
ceived, as we approached, that something was wrong ; 


although they guessed, by the additional canoes, that 
we had been successful. 

We no sooner made known King Zembola's death, 
than all was confusion and outcry, and in a few 
minutes the whole village was in motion. I went 
speedily up to the palace, taking Zillah by the hand, 
and met my mother, whom I requested to go in with 
me. In a few words, I acquainted her and the other 
wives of my father with what had occurred. There 
was now nothing but screaming, tearing of hair, 
and other violent manifestations of grief. My mother, 
however, at my earnest request, commanded her 
feelings better than some of the other royal dames, 
who had possibly less affection for my father. I 
entreated my mother to take care of Zillah, and to 
treat her as a daughter ; and my mother, notwith- 
standing her grief, embraced the poor girl affection- 
ately, and led her to an inner apartment. I imme- 
diately returned to the landing-place, to superintend 
the removal of my father's body, and saw every one 
ashore. I then appointed suitable guards to the 
prisoners, and ordered arrangements for their safe 
custody; for such was the irritation of our people, 
both men and women, who had been left at home, 
on learning the death of my father and so many of 
his brave men, and at sight of the wounded (though 
these were now actually amending) that they were with 
difficulty prevented from falling upon some of the 
poor prisoners, and taking summary vengeance. I 
informed them, however, that enough revenge had 


been already taken, and warned them, as they valued 
the favour of their king, which I now was, to do the 
prisoners no harm. I then, having got, all our plun- 
der ashore, made a fair and just distribution, as I 
had promised ; and this, together with a moderate 
supply of rum to all, had a great effect in promoting 
peace and resignation. I may here remark, that the 
value of dollars and of gold coin was perfectly under- 
stood in this part of the country; and those who were 
possessed of money had frequent opportunities of 
exchanging it for goods with passing traders. 

Having made other arrangements to the best of 
my ability^ I then gave orders that the body of the 
late king should be consigned to its parent earth : 
indeed, in such a climate, it had been already too long 
above ground. I permitted all who chose to take a 
last look of my father's corpse ; and a suitable grave 
having been dug, we laid it in the ground with many 
unmeaning ceremonies, and buried with it some of 
the brave warrior's weapons. According to a custom 
often put in practice here, one or two of my father's 
wives insisted on being made a sacrifice, and interred 
along with him ; but, partly by threats, and more by 
promises to them and their children, I induced them 
to forego this horrible piece of superstition. I could 
not, however, prevent some of the wives and other 
female domestics from making great gashes on their 
bodies with knives and other instruments. 

In the evening, I paid my respects to Zillah, and 
was pleased to find that she had already made some 

zauba's wealth and generosity. 63 

progress in my mother's affections. I left them 
together, after a few minutes, as all were much in 
want of refreshing sleep. 

The next day, I requested my mother to go with 
me to the stronghold or cavern already mentioned ; 
for I had found a large key in my father's pocket, 
and recollected his having told me that he had some 
valuables in his treasury which he could show me at 
any time. I must confess that I now felt a strong 
curiosity to see what was in the cave, and, as I shall 
presently explain, for a laudable purpose. My mother 
and I went accordingly, and having opened a large 
closet or apartment which was sunk in the wall of 
the cavern, we found a chest containing some silver 
plate, about five thousand Spanish dollars, about four 
hundred large gold pieces in a bag, and three bags of 
gold dust, besides some other valuable articles. I 
found, also, that the stronghold was well stored with 
foreign goods of every description requisite for our 
use, and more casks of rum and brandy than we 
might perhaps turn to good account. 

On our return, I, by my mother's advice (which 
showed she was far from being a jealous or envious 
woman) and with all good will, called into the state- 
chamber my late father's four wives and my nine 
half-sisters, and informed them that they would find 
no difference in their treatment, occupations, or way 
of living, and that I would, in all respects, so conduct 
myself towards them, that they should find their loss 
the less severe. As an evidence of my good inten- 
tions towards them, and that they might, in small 


matters, feel themselves more independent, I informed, 
them of what money was left in the treasury, and 
promised that I would give each of the four wives 
five hundred dollars, and a hundred to each of their 
daughters. I need hardly say that my generosity, 
as they called it, was greatly applauded. The rest 
of this day I spent in looking after matters out of 
doors, which need not be related. 

In the evening, I paid a visit to Zillah ; and since 
she had now been accommodated with more suitable 
apparel, the elegance of her appearance was by no 
means lessened. Need I describe how my heart pal- 
pitated and my hand trembled as I approached her, 
or descant upon her downcast and embarrassed looks 
as I gazed on her interesting countenance ? Many 
of my readers, no doubt, have felt the powerful in- 
fluences of love far beyond what my feeble pen can 
portray, and they will easily, therefore, appreciate 
my feelings when I say, that I was now deeply and 
irretrievably smitten by the charming Zillah. Captive 
though she was, and entirely in my power, I never 
for a moment indulged the idea of doing violence to 
her feelings -or affections; but I burned with eager 
curiosity to know who she was. Taking her by the 
hand, I said, — " Now, sweet Zillah, you may perceive 
that I am interested in you more than words can 
express. Tell me, who and what were your parents?" 
Poor Zillah fell a trembling, and faltered out, — " What 
can I deny to the preserver of my life ? Oh, my 
lord ! if you could but imagine the gratitude with 
which my heart beats towards you, indeed you 


would pity me. I dare not — I am afraid to utter 
the truth ; for, alas! I shall incur your displeasure, 
and you will drive me from your presence with horror." 
— " Zillah ! — dear Zillah ! allow me to call you — what 
can this mean ? It is all a mystery to me. It is 
impossible, perfectly impossible, that you can have 
reason to dread me. I look upon you as innocence 
and purity itself. If there is a secret which you 
dread to reveal, I swear to you that, whatever it may 
be, it cannot — shall not — abate my love to you for 
a moment." — " Well, then, my lord, since you speak 
so generously, at the risk of all that is dear to me, 
I shall no longer conceal from you who I am. My 
lord," — and here Zillah drew herself up with a dig- 
nity quite becoming — " I am the daughter of — 
Darroola!" She burst into tears, and would have 
fallen to the ground, had I not caught her in my 
arms, and pressed her with fervour to my bosom. 
" And so, Zillah," answered I, gazing on her sweet 
countenance, " you were afraid, my own sweet "Zillah ! 
— for mine you must be — to tell me of a circum- 
stance that you could no more prevent than I can 
help being the son of Zembola. Our fathers have 
both fallen, even side by side, and though both of 
them were wrong on many things, they fell like 
brave and noble princes ; and henceforth the loves 
of Zillah and Zamba shall far, far outweigh the 
hatred of Darroola and Zembola — shall it not be so, 
dear Zillah?" Zillah seemed quite overcome; and 
looking up in my face with a beaming countenance, 
said — " Noble-minded Zamba ! then am I happy. 


You love me for myself; and it would be folly 
indeed to deny that your appearance, and your gene- 
rous conduct from the first, raised a passion in my 
breast such as I never dreamt of before." I shall 
not enlarge upon this interview, for it is only to those 
immediately concerned that such scenes are interest- 
ing. Zillah, however, informed me, with a fresh 
flood of tears, that her mother was the unfortunate 
woman whose head Darroola had caused to be fixed 
on the pallisades of the palace on the morning of our 
first visit; but that her father's jealousy was utterly 
groundless, This circumstance only rendered her 
the more dear to me. 


zamba's difficulties with his prisoners. 67 


Zamba settles at Home, and marries Zillah — Marriage Entertainments 
— Searching for Gold Dust— Zamba encourages Agriculture — Learns 
to read the Bible — His ideas of Christianity — He repels an Invasion. 

I began bow to think of the important station in 
which I was placed; a youth of seventeen, with so 
many dependants, also all looked up to me for 
directions. The great number of prisoners on hand 
gave me much concern. I saw plainly that I could not 
keep them all about me ; but, in the mean time, I set 
such of them as were able to do a little work in the 
fields. The stubborn and idle disposition of most 
of them, however, proved to me that I should be 
obliged to make a bargain with Captain Win ton for 
them on his next arrival. But when I came to con- 
sider whether or not I was to pursue business as my 
father did, I found that my feelings and inclinations 
were not in unison with his. I was not, I believe, 
deficient in animal courage, nor in ambition, alto- 
gether ; but the horrors of the burning of Darroola's 
village caused in me an aversion to war in any 
shape. If an enemy attacked me in my own do- 
minions I would have fought to the last ; but I 
revolted from the systematic practice of going out 
p 2 

68 zamba's happiness. 

regularly with trained warriors, for the purpose of 
picking a quarrel with some weaker neighbour, and 
plundering him, — especially when I was convinced 
that by peaceably cultivating the earth, fishing in 
the waters, or hunting upon land, my people and I 
could procure sufficient for all our ordinary wants. 
Besides these, there was the chance of finding gold 
in a tolerable quantity, if it were carefully sought 
for. At all events, without going to war for the 
purpose of procuring slaves, I had capital enough to 
carry on trade on a large scale. But the idea of 
visiting some civilized countries, and attaining a 
knowledge of their customs and religion, was ever 
present to my mind : even my new-born affection 
for Zillah could not wholly eradicate these thoughts. 
Notwithstanding, my love for her continued daily to 
increase, and we enjoyed all the delightful sensations 
which innocent intercourse, and the anticipation of 
future happiness could bestow; for we resolved, that 
out of respect to our deceased parents, we would put 
off our union for at least three moons. Even yet, in 
my old age, and in a land far from my native Africa, 
I often recur to the delightful walks we enjoyed to- 
gether on the banks of the Congo. But I must not 
anticipate my history. 

About two months after King Zembola's death, 
Captain Winton arrived, and pretended to feel great 
sorrow at the loss of his old friend. By dint of 
persuasion, and some presents, I persuaded him to 
stay with us for two weeks, and during this time I 
got him to give me daily lessons in reading ; and by 


great attention and perseverance I made astonishing 
progress, as the captain averred. I could now read 
any common English book with tolerable facility ; al- 
though many words, and even sentences, were as yet 
wholly unintelligible to me. I obtained from him, 
likewise, as much information regarding foreign coun- 
tries as our time would permit. At length Captain 
Winton asked me plainly whether I would take a 
trip with him to America? saying, that he would 
then take me to London, where he was in the habit 
of doing business, and bring me back to my own 
country again. This idea pleased me mightily ; but 
at present the thoughts of Zillah, and the necessity 
that pressed on me to settle affairs rightly in my own 
kingdom, prevented my going with him. He said, 
that by shipping a good lot of slaves, and taking 
what gold dust I had in store, they would bring me 
quite a fortune in America ; that I could invest it in 
produce there — all which matters he would assist me 
in to the utmost; and by taking that produce to 
England, and purchasing manufactured goods in that 
country with the proceeds, I could finally land in 
Africa with property equal to any king in South Af- 
rica. I told him I should seriously think of all this : 
never for a moment doubting his sincerity. Captain 
Winton now made a bargain with me for the whole of 
my prisoners that were disposable : for there was a 
considerable number of infants and some others that 
I thought proper to retain. He bought between 
eighty and ninety, and in sending them away I never 
doubted but that I was doing; them a service. 


I now commenced preparations for my marriage 
with Zillah ; and as it is not every day that a king's 
marriage takes place, even in wild Africa, where so 
many petty chiefs assume that lofty appellation, 
these preparations were upon a large scale. I first 
signified my intentions to my privy council — for I 
actually had a select number of my officers, and a 
few of the eldest and most experienced men in my 
dominions, whom I had formed into a body, with 
whom I consulted upon all important occasions — 
and then despatched messengers to invite several 
neighbouring monarchs to the wedding. In par- 
ticular I did not forget King Gooloo Bambo ; and 
being certain that he would come equipped in the 
manner formerly described, 1 charged my envoy to 
inform him in a quiet way that he would oblige and 
honour me greatly by adding breeches to his costume ; 
and as a token of my friendship, I sent him a very 
elegant pair for the occasion. The envoy had some 
difficulty in making Gooloo understand the propriety 
of such a proceeding, and his Majesty made some 
objections to this innovation ; when, however, it was 
signified to him that if he did not comply with my 
request in this small matter, there would be very little 
strong waters coming his way in the entertainment, 
he at once gave in, saying, " Oh, Golly ! Golly ! — 
Can't want plenty rum at King Zamba's marriage: 
— must after all put on hirn breeches like de buckrah 

After I had fixed the important day, one morning, 
as I held a kind of levee, my two friends Pouldamah 


and Bollah, who saved my life by shooting the lion 
who had his paw on me, entered the audience- 
chamber and prostrated themselves before me ; then, 
rising up, in a hesitating manner, said they had a 
petition to prefer to me, and begged in the most 
humble manner that, provided I thought proper to 
refuse their suit, I would at all events not punish 
them severely. When I bethink myself now, how 
that I, at that time little more than a boy, could 
accept, and accept with pleasure and pride, such 
homage — indeed, it might be called worship — from 
my fellow-men, I cannot but smile at the weakness 
of man on the one hand, and his arrogance on the 
other. Truly I deserved the reprobation of Provi- 
dence for my presumption. The two young men 
then gave me to understand that they had gained the 
affections of my two half-sisters, Zedra and Koo- 
lamah, at whose instance, and with the consent of my 
own mother, they now petitioned to have their mar- 
riages celebrated along with my own. As I have 
always considered that a favour granted is only half 
a favour when granted reluctantly, and as my sym- 
pathies at this critical period were peculiarly tender 
in love matters, I at once acceded to their request; 
telling them that no doubt they would henceforth be 
as ready as ever to peril their lives for me. It is 
almost needless to add, that I received the warmest 
assurances of their affection and gratitude. 

My wedding-day at length arrived, and, to use the 
language of white men, I was " made happy ;" and 
so were five other individuals, if I might judge from 


appearances. The marriages were celebrated by the 
old priest who had proved so friendly to my father 
in the matter of Darroola's treachery, and who was 
accompanied by a brother in the same "sacred" 
office. The whole ceremony consisted of a few sense- 
less mummeries, performed before a hideous idol, 
and various invocations to the devil not to harm 
the newly married people in any way — to remain 
neutral, as it were. They neither asked nor expected, 
interposition on his part. These were accompanied 
by certain rites, of such a nature that I cannot with 
propriety attempt a description of them. There were 
a great number of strangers present, and feastings and 
rejoicings of one kind or another were kept up for ten 
days : nor did night bring a cessation to the uproar; 
for so I must term great part of the festival. An 
African holiday is chiefly distinguished by uncouth 
and incessant noise — firing of muskets, beating of 
drums, blowing of horns, rattling of cymbals and tam- 
bourines, and by the human voice in all the various 
modulations of shouting, screaming, and yelling. 

During the festival, various public entertainments 
were given by lamp-light ; and the large cave before 
described served very well as the arena of the per- 
formances. One night, the entertainment consisted 
in a number of men disguised to represent various 
wild and tame animals, chiefly quadrupeds; though a 
good many figured as the fowls of heaven. The per- 
formers were dressed in the skins of the several 
creatures intended to be represented, and some of 
them played their parts with great credit to them- 


selves and to the infinite satisfaction of the audience. 
The chief lion performed his part most nobly, and 
actually might almost have passed in twilight for a 
real monarch of the woods : he lashed with his tail, 
shook his mane, stamped with tremendous dignity, 
and roared tremendously. Several large baboons 
frisked and sported with great spirit, and a huge 
crocodile snapped his jaws, and beat his tail on the 
ground like a fury : a peacock and two large turkey- 
cocks also played their parts well. The whole at 
last joined in a kind of dance, or rather a stately 
promenade, bowing, and chattering, and roaring to 
each other with great complacency. In the midst of 
this singular masquerade, in came King Gooloo 
Bambo, in his full accoutrements, riding upon the 
back of a real living tame ostrich of enormous size, 
which he had trained for such occasions. His ma- 
jesty was at least " half-seas-over," as the sailors say, 
and held a cup in one hand, and a large bottle in the 
other, with which he first helped himself, and drank to 
the health of all concerned, and then very generously 
helped each and all of the performers, some of whom, 
with difficulty, managed to raise the cup to their 
lips. I need not say that his majesty's performance 
was greatly applauded by all present. Another night 
a drama was represented in a rude way. At last 
the festivities came to an end, and all retired to 
their respective homes well satisfied : to my great 
relief; for the last ten days had made a fearful inroad 
upon my provision stores, and especially upon the 
spirit casks, which were brought to a very low ebb. 

74 zamba's government. 

On the last night of the festival I made a speech to my 
brother chiefs, thanking them for their attendance, 
and signifying my desire henceforth to live on terms 
of the strictest amity with all of them ; and that I 
intended to avoid all occasion of going to war, unless 
in extremity, or in self-defence. But as there were 
some of them who, I was convinced, held me rather 
low in their estimation on account of my pacific 
principles, I declared that should any king or tribe 
attack me unprovokedly, they might perhaps find me 
not unprepared for war to the utmost. 

As soon as we had again all become a little tran- 
quillized after the excitement of our marriage festival, 
I began to put my kingdom in order. I determined to 
keep up the standing army to its former amount, but 
at the same time I obliged my warriors to spend at 
least one-half their time in the cultivation of small 
plots of land which I gave them ; or in hunting, 
fishing, or searching for gold dust. I found, how- 
ever, that although I allowed them many indulgences, 
they had still a great longing after war expeditions ; 
and I could learn, in a quiet way, that they often 
drew comparisons by no means to my advantage, 
between my father's warlike propensities and what 
they called my unmanly disposition. I also made 
my two brothers-in-law a present of so much land 
as would engage their attention, and keep them com- 
fortable, and also gave them sundry stores and utensils 
to commence with ; and, farther, appointed them to 
stations of trust near my royal person. I afterwards 
made several trading excursions up the river, and 


drove many bargains with white traders, who now 
frequently visited me. 

I had, in company with my brothers-in-law, made 
a valuable discovery of gold dust. In the ravine 
before mentioned, where I had the adventure with a 
baboon, I remarked that there were a great many 
excavations or pits in the bed of the stream. It may 
not perhaps be known to all my readers, that what is 
called gold dust by the trading world, is not a 
powder like flour, or the dust of the earth, or 
ground coffee, but is found in grains from the size of 
a pin's head to that of a common pea, or even larger. 
The way in which we collected it was by taking a 
few handfuls of sand and gravel from the bed of the 
stream — especially where we could evidently perceive 
the glittering particles — and placing the whole on a 
calibash, or small wooden vessel, which was held 
under a slender stream of water, we kept incessantly 
shaking it and turning it over with our hands. The 
lighter particles, of course, were swept by degrees over 
the edge of the vessel, and after a little time our pa- 
tience was generally rewarded by a few pieces of the 
precious metal which sank to the bottom; many small 
particles, however, escaped in such a rude and simple 
operation. I had become acquainted with the mys- 
terious power of the loadstone, through the instruc- 
tions of Captain Winton (who also made me a present 
of several magnets), and it occurred to me that were 
some substance discovered which would attract parti- 
cles of gold in the same way that small pieces of iron 
were attracted by the loadstone, it would be a great 


advantage indeed to gold-dust hunters. I also be- 
thought me, that by searching at the bottom of the 
deepest hollows in the bed of the stream, I should 
have a better chance of finding gold dust than 
hitherto. We therefore set to work, and after re- 
moving two or three feet in depth of round gravel 
and rubbish, we operated upon the soil we found 
undermost, and were astonished at the quantity of 
gold dust which in this way had been accumulating 
in those natural vessels for ages. I now had regular 
gangs of workers sent to this stream, and to stimulate 
them the more, I gave a certain portion to each slave 
of all that they found, or else some equivalent from 
my stores. In this way, during the first year after 
my marriage, I had collected as much as a hundred- 
weight of the precious metal, the greatest part of 
which I exchanged with traders for European goods, 
so that my stores were amply replenished. 

About a year after our marriage, Zillah brought me 
a son and heir to the throne. Soon afterwards 
Captain Winton arrived, bringing with him many 
rarities as presents; amongst others, some very fine 
articles of apparel for me. I bargained with him for 
a number of slaves, some gold dust, and a few ele- 
phants' teeth ; but, although I had been thinking 
much on the subject, I could not yet bring my mind 
to think of going with him to sea; principally on 
account of my love to Zillah, which suffered no 
diminution. I talked over the matter with him, 
however, again and again, and it still ran in my 
mind that sooner or later go I must, at all hazards. 


At this visit, which lasted a fortnight, I gave Winton 
some very valuable presents, and insisted on his 
spending most of the day in giving 1 me further les- 
sons in reading ; so that I could now read English 
with more ease and accuracy than would be readily 
believed. I also managed to get considerable infor- 
mation from him regarding; the Christian religion, 
although he seemed by no means greatly interested 
in the matter. The captain perceiving how well he 
had brought me on by his former lessons and my own 
indefatigable perseverance — for my heart was in the 
matter — prepared to leave me the elements and the 
sum of all truth, namely, the Bible; and he did leave 
me a very handsome one. I got him to explain a 
few of the leading points of Scripture, but I could 
see plainly that some other teacher than Captain 
Winton was awanting. He, however, by word of 
mouth, gave me a cursory view of the first two or 
three chapters of Genesis, and then recommended me 
to begin and go through the New Testament. 

After Winton went away I made it a rule to read 
a part of the Holy Scriptures every day, and although 
the light which I had to guide me in this was but as 
the glimmering of a glow-worm, and I knew not how 
to ask assistance from on high in the right way— 
that is, through Jesus, who alone is the way, the 
truth, and the life ; yet I do hope and believe that 
my heavenly Father, perceiving the sincerity of my 
heart, and the peculiarity of my situation, occa- 
sionally shed a bright ray of light from on high to 
guide me in my darkened and miserable condition. 

78 zamba's ideas of Christianity. 

There were, however, many words and expressions of 
which I could by no means make out the literal 
English meaning, much less could I understand the 
spiritual signification. I had no one to whom I could 
refer in my difficulty, and as yet I wanted one who 
could teach me to pray. 

It may be interesting to the reader to know what 
were my ideas at this time regarding Christianity, as 
being derived by an unassisted heathen from the 
sacred pages. I felt that the life and character of 
Jesus Christ were totally different from those of all 
other men whom I could conceive had ever lived 
before : that he was altogether pure and spotless ; 
that in no case did he ever seek his own aggrandize- 
ment in a worldly sense — rejecting the offers of men 
to make him a king ; that he went about continually 
doing good, and performing before thousands such 
miracles as were quite unheard of previously in the 
world. It occurred to me also that he who could 
feed thousands with a few loaves and small fishes, 
who could calm the raging sea, and raise the dead 
from the grave, could also, if he willed, have called 
up an army of men from the dust of the ground ; 
but in place of this, he forbade his followers to fight 
in his defence, and delivered himself up calmly to 
the rage of his enemies : and all this that he might 
save from some awful future calamity the whole race 
of sinful and wicked mankind. To die for his worst 
enemies, and even to pray for those who were the 
immediate instruments of his death, seemed to me 
altogether so different from the way of the world, as 


far as I had seen or heard, that I conceived sucli a 
sublime and uncommon idea could arise only in the 
mind of some being altogether superior to the human 

The more I perused the Bible, the more could I 
discern that it must have been a book sent from 
heaven to instruct blinded and wicked men, and to 
lead them to look beyond the mere matters of this 
world to something more glorious in another state of 
existence; for even in heathen Africa we had some 
faint glimmerings of a future state, where good men 
would be rewarded, and those who had been very 
wicked in this world would be punished. I could 
also begin to perceive that my heart was exceedingly 
inclined to follow after that which was evil, and that 
I had hitherto acted upon a very different principle 
from that golden rule which the Saviour laid down ; 
namely, to do unto all men as they would that all 
men should do unto them. 

There were many expressions of our Saviour's which 
at this time extremely puzzled me, though I humbly 
hope that many, many years since they have ap- 
peared to me as clear as the sun at noonday. But in 
my early years, and without an interpreter, I took 
the meaning literally as it was expressed. I could 
not understand that He who was meekness and bene- 
volence itself, and who brought " peace on earth and 
goodwill to men," should in another place say, that 
he "came not to send peace, but to bring a sword 
upon earth, and to set the father against the son and 
the son against the father •" nor why, elsewhere, he 


should recommend us to cut off our hand, or pluck 
out our eye if it offended us. Neither could I alto- 
gether understand how we were to forsake all and 
follow him. But at this time I was blind, and could 
by no means comprehend the spiritual interpretation 
of scripture. It is no doubt owing to hardness of 
heart that thousands of civilized men, who have 
every opportunity of deriving life and light from the 
pages of the Bible, merely glance at it occasionally 
when the pressure of worldly pursuits slackens for 
a few minutes, and without entering into the matter 
heart and soul, are content to pick out an expression 
here and there ; never troubling themselves to com- 
pare one part with another and consider the whole 
as a divine revelation, but in their carelessness and 
apathy becoming more confused in their ideas of salva- 
tion, they again recur to the world, seeking for com- 
fort and consolation in worldly pleasures and pursuits, 
a nd losing their way in the vague and dense mists of 

At this period I attempted to communicate a few of 
my newly acquired ideas to my mother and Zillah, 
who listened to me very patiently ; but I could per- 
ceive that it was only their affection for me that secured 
their attention : they shook their heads, and said, 
" White man's religion too deep." Any light, alas ! 
which I could throw on the matter was feeble in- 
deed: it was the blind leading the blind. From 
this time, however, I renounced my household idols, 
and never once entered the room where they were 
stationed. At the same time, until I saw more clearly 


how I could bring my friends to perceive the beauty 
and glorv of the doctrine of Jesus, I considered there 
would be little good attained in depriving them of 
that small consolation which they appeared to derive 
from the worship of those false gods. 

About two months after his birth, our child, my 
heir apparent, died, to the great grief of Zillah and 
myself. I, however, continued improving the condi- 
tion of my people, and adding to my own stores daily 
from the increased trade I was carrying on ; but I 
soon found that an earthly crown is not always worn 
with both honour and ease. I had sent my brother- 
in-law, Pouldamah, with a canoe and ten men to carry 
an assortment of goods to a chief named Cumanay, 
about a hundred miles up the river, with instructions 
to trade. Pouldamah accomplished this part of his 
mission satisfactorily, and both he and his men were 
hospitably entertained and feasted. It happened, 
however, that one evening some of his men and those 
of the king my neighbour had become merry with 
drink, and were boasting of the qualities of their 
respective chiefs. In the course of their talk, some 
of my neighbour's men called me " a woman," and 
said I was afraid to go to war; adding that I should 
not reign long over any except women like myself. 
My men were nearly coming to blows at last, when 
one of the opposite party, who was furious with 
drink, hinted pretty broadly that I should have a 
visit not altogether to my liking next new moon. 
My men looked upon this merely as a drunken 
boast, but related all to me on their return, and I 



considered it prudent, therefore, to be on my guard. 
1 had my men daily exercised ; all our arms were 
kept in order, in case of any attack; and the whole 
of my best warriors were warned to be ready at a 
minute's notice. At the time expected, I set a watch 
at night by the river-side, and kept a look-out through 
the day ; and on the first evening of the new moon, 
the whole of my forces were assembled at sun-down, 
close to the river-side, and kept watch during the 
whole night. About an hour before daybreak, some 
of my people could hear the noise of paddles on the 
water, and just at daybreak we could perceive ten or 
twelve canoes full of men approaching our landing- 
place, most of whom I could observe were armed. 
There was no mistaking their intention. I had made 
most of my men conceal themselves amongst the 
bushes, and by allowing my enemy to approach within 
forty or fifty yards of the shore, I could suddenly have 
opened a most deadly and destructive fire upon them; 
but the new light which had dawned upon my heart, 
influencing my naturally peaceable disposition, in- 
clined me to avoid the wanton effusion of blood ; as 
soon, therefore, as the hostile fleet came within about 
three hundred yards, I ordered the whole of my men 
who had muskets to give at once a complete volley, 
which I knew at such a distance would frighten, but 
not prove very fatal to my foes. The first volley 
staggered them, and by the time we had repeated the 
salute three or four times, our enemy had fairly 
turned tail ; and we could perceive, from certain 
unequivocal yells, that some of them were wounded. 


They were out of sight in an hour ; and I had the 
further gratification of finding that my merciful pro- 
cedure was very advantageous to me, even in the 
opinions of my brother chiefs. Some time afterwards, 
meeting King Cumanay at a neighbouring station, 
where I was trading, I reproached him with his 
unfair and unworthy attack upon one with whom he 
had no cause of complaint; when, to my astonish- 
ment, he firmly denied having any part in the trans- 
action, and swore by all his idols that it must have 
been some other tribe who had so basely endeavoured 
to take advantage of me. Seeing how matters stood, 
I did not insist upon the accusation, but signified 
that I should be ready at all times for any treacherous 
enemy, and that the next time my assailants would 
not be let off so cheaply. During the time I remained 
in Africa after this affair, I had no further annoyance 
from my neighbours ; so far verifying the adage of 
more civilized men, that to be prepared for war in 
time of peace is the truest wisdom. 

G 2 



Zamba embarks for America — Interiorof a Slave-Ship — Voyage — Trea- 
cherous designs of Captain Winton — Arrival at Charleston — Sale of 
Slaves — Zamba is plundered and sold as a Slave — Reflections on his 

Captain Winton arrived soon after this matter had 
occurred, and as usual we traded to a large extent. 
I at last told him that my curiosity was so excited on 
various subjects, that I should most likely be ready 
to accompany him in his next voyage. Some time 
after this, Zillah brought me another son ; but, like 
the first, he only survived a few months ; and this 
circumstance, although it by no means lessened my 
affection for my wife, increased my desire to go 
abroad. Nothing remarkable occurred for a consi- 
derable time ; and towards the end of the season, 
when Captain Winton again made his appearance, I 
decided to make my long-projected voyage. As I 
have always conceived that evil, whether to ourselves 
or others, conies soon enough without anticipating it, 
I had never hinted either to Zillah or my mother 
anything regarding my intention of leaving Africa ; 


and now that I told them of my determination, they 
were of course in great grief, and used every endear- 
ing art to detain me. But I was firm to my purpose ; 
and at length some of my arguments, and the promise 
of my return, had the effect of pacifying them a little. 
I arranged all my government affairs, and appointed 
my two brothers-in-law to act as regents in my 
absence, either jointly or separately. 

Captain Winton was very anxious that I should 
put on board all the gold dust and other African 
produce that I possessed, and as many slaves as I 
could muster. I was not, however, blind to the 
imprudence of such a course: the ship might be lost, 
or I might be cut off by sickness or accident; and in 
either case I should be doing great injustice to my 
family to incur the loss of so much treasure. I 
therefore shipped only a part of my property ; namely, 
thirty-two prime slaves, about thirty pounds of gold 
dust, and somewhat over two hundred doubloons in 
gold coin. The captain had brought me a farther 
supply of clothing, both fine and coarse, which, with 
some African rarities and my gold, were stowed in 
two fine trunks that Winton made me a present of. 
He seemed, indeed, as if he could not do enough for 
my accommodation ; and had I only possessed a 
little more shrewdness, and been less inexperienced 
in the ways of this deceitful world, I should have 
perceived that he had some underhand intentions in 
regard to me. 

After many tears and lamentations on both sides, 
and an assurance on my part that after visiting 


America and England, I should return with Captain 
Winton, bringing home as much property as would 
make me the richest king on the banks of the Congo, 
I bade adieu to Zillah and Africa. Little did I then 
think that I should no more see dear Africa for ever ! 
My mother told me, as she bade me farewell, that, 
from certain dreams she had, she was convinced she 
should behold my face no more; and poor Zillah was 
inconsolable. At this distant date, I now think of 
all this with a melancholy kind of satisfaction, yet 
with a natural regret; but when I reflect upon the 
way in which a merciful Providence has acted to- 
wards me, I feel my heart swell with gratitude and 
love. Out of seeming evil, how much good hath 
fallen to my lot is not to be reckoned. The Almighty 
in His wisdom thought fit to wrest from me a few 
handfuls of yellow glittering dust; but He hath since 
repaid me with that inestimable treasure, which is 
from heaven, which no one can rob me of, and which 
will never perish, nor rust, nor fade away. 

Captain Winton accommodated me with a hand- 
some state-room, and we left the Congo on the first 
day of October 1800. I found that, including my 
own thirty-two, there were in all four hundred and 
twenty-two slaves on board : but as the vessel was of 
500 tons burthen, they were not so crowded for space 
as I have since learned has often been the case with 
emigrants from Europe to America ; their accommo- 
dation, however, was very miserable. The ship's 
lower deck was divided fore and aft into compart- 
ments of about six feet square, by planks raised 


about six inches; and into each of these divisions four 
slaves were put; to lie down, or sit, or take it as they 
chose. The planks were intended to keep them 
from rolling when the sea was rough. Of course, 
they had nothing but the hard deck to lie upon. 
In regard to clothing they were very scantily sup- 
plied : in general, both male and female had a yard 
and a half, or two yards of Osnaburghs wrapped round 
their loins ; and some of them had a piece of cloth, 
or a handkerchief, bound round their heads. The 
males were all linked two and two by a small chain 
round the ankle. As for provisions, they were much 
better off than in the generality of slave-ships ; and 
this, strange as it may appear, they owed to the 
avarice rather than the humanity of the captain. 
The motives of the latter, however, were of little 
moment to the poor slaves, provided the end was for 
their advantage. The slaves were supplied for break- 
fast with a fair ration of ground Indian corn boiled, 
with a spoonful of molasses to each ; they generally 
had boiled rice for dinner ; and supper was the same 
as breakfast. Sometimes for dinner they received 
each about half a pound of ship biscuit, with a little 
morsel of beef or pork ; too much of this latter would, 
no doubt, have created thirst. Although this cap- 
tain (as will be shown in the sequel of my narrative) 
acted in a most dishonourable and treacherous man- 
ner towards me, and was totally devoid of all Chris- 
tian principle, yet, to serve his own ends in the 
matter of the slaves, he acted the part of a humane 
and considerate man. He told me, in the course of 


our voyage, that, in the early part of his experience 
in the slave-trade, he had seen as many slaves as he 
had with him at present shipped on board a vessel of 
200 tons, where they were literally packed on the top 
of each other j and, consequently, from ill air, con- 
finement, and scanty or unwholesome provision, dis- 
ease was generated to such an extent that in several 
cases he had known only one-half survive to the end 
of the voyage; and these, as he termed it, in a very 
unmarketable condition. He found, therefore, that, 
by allowing them what he called sufficient room and 
good provisions, with kind treatment, his speculations 
turned out much better in regard to the amount of 
dollars received ; and that was all he cared for. 

For the first few days, the most of us — I mean the 
blacks — were laid down with sea-sickness : but, the 
weather being fine, that was soon got over. The 
captain caused the hatches to be kept open night and 
day (except only upon two occasions) during the 
•whole voyage ; and after daylight set in he allowed 
about one-fourth of his cargo to come on deck for 
two hours by rotation. He had always four of his 
men, with loaded muskets and fixed bayonets, day 
and night on deck; but during this trip there never 
was the slightest attempt at rioting and mutiny. 
The only misfortune that befell us was this : — After 
being about fifteen days out at sea, one evening, 
about sunset — the ship with all sail set, going down 
the trades at the rate of five knots an hour — in the 
clap of a hand, or at least more suddenly than a 
stranger to these latitudes could imagine, a heavy 

- t W 


squall struck the ship, carrying away great part of 
the loftier spars and sails, and laying her very nearly 
on her beam ends. In a few minutes a tremendous 
sea rose, and although the squall blew over in about 
a quarter of an hour, and the ship regained her 
position, the poor slaves below, altogether unprepared 
for such an occurrence, were mostly thrown on the 
lee-side, where they lay heaped on the top of each 
other ; their fetters rendered many of them help- 
less, and before they could be arranged in their 
proper places, and relieved from their pressure on 
each other, it was found that fifteen of them were 
smothered or crushed to death, besides a great num- 
ber who were cruelly bruised. The captain seemed 
considerably vexed ; but the only (or at least the 
chief) grievance to him was the sudden loss of some 
five or six thousand dollars. 

Soon after I had recovered from sea-sickness, and 
was able to go about, one day at dinner-time I asked 
Captain Winton (who, though tolerably attentive to 
me, no longer showed that assiduous deference which 
he showed towards me in Africa) if he would give me 
a few lessons in reading the Bible, when he was not 
engaged in his duties. He looked with a peculiar 
expression to his chief mate, and smiled in a very 
significant manner, saying, — " You see, Mr. Prince 
(the mate's name), what a good Christian I have 
made of this King Zamba ; you see how eager he is 
about the Bible. I question much if arty of your 
missionary folks, who have been labouring for years 
to convert the heathen, have performed such a 


miracle as I have. And don't you think, Prince, 
that I deserve payment for my labour as well as ever 
a black coat amongst them?" Then addressing me, 
he said, — " Really, King Zamba, I must charge you 
for all the lessons I have given you for these some 
years past, and I cannot charge you less than a 
doubloon per hour. I could positively have picked 
up many a good boat-load of niggers during the time 
I spent in hammering lessons into your head ; and be- 
sides this, it is not every day that the poor master of a 
slave-ship falls in with a king for a pupil. We shall 
talk of this again, however, and settle our accounts at 
the end of the voyage." He laughed heartily as he 
said this, wdiich I at first thought he meant only for 
a joke; but as he cast his eyes in a peculiar way 
from me to the mate, and again from the mate 
towards me, I could not help feeling somewhat un- 
easy. I felt, in fact, that I was not exactly safe. 
The captain, however, and sometimes Mr. Prince, the 
mate, listened to me whilst I read for an hour or so ; 
and they also gave me a few lessons in geography, 
and explained many very wonderful things to me. 

About eight days after the circumstance related 
above, I had retired early to my berth, which was 
next the cabin. The upper part of the state-room 
door was of glass, and slid aside for ventilation, and 
a red curtain hung over it. As I lay awake about 
ten o'clock, ruminating upon my condition, the cap- 
tain and Mr. Prince came down to consult their 
books and charts, and after a while the captain 
ordered the steward to bring in some liquor. They 


sat for a considerable time conversing about the 
affairs of the ship and the voyage ; but at last I 
could hear the captain say, in a low voice, " Look 
in quietly, Prince, and see if his majesty is asleep, 
but don't disturb him." On hearing the mate 
approach my berth, I lay quite still, and breathed 
hard, as if I were in deep slumber. Prince raised 
the curtain, and called me two or three times in a 
low tone, and then touched me on the shoulder, but 
I still lay seemingly unconscious. He then retired, 
and said, laughingly, to the captain, " Oh, poor 
Zamba is as sound as a top; no doubt he is dream- 
ing of hunting lions, or gathering gold dust in 
Africa." — " Well, well," said Winton, " let him en- 
joy himself while he may ; I rather fear, however, 
that before long I shall awaken him to certain realities 
which he little dreams of. Do you know, Prince, 
that I have been thinking to make this voyage turn 
out to be the best ever I made. " I have the hank in 
my hand," as they say in Connecticut, and more fool 
will I be to let slip the advantage. Betwixt niggers, 
gold dust, and doubloons, this black fellow has more 
than twenty thousand dollars; and what the deuce 
is the use of all that to him? I really think, be- 
tween man and man, that I have given him twenty 
thousand dollars' worth of good English and sound 
religion. As the parsons say, I have given him the 
' Pearl of great price' — I have given him what gold 
cannot purchase ; and surely, Prince, ' the labourer 
is worthy of his hire.' I shall at all events secure 
the dust before many days go by." Although usin g 



the words of sacred scripture, the avaricious rascal 
said all this in a half-laughing tone. " But," said 
Prince, " will not Zamba expose you, and tell the 
whole story when he gets to Charleston ?" — " Ex- 
pose, and be d d !" answered Winton. " Are 

you such a flat, Prince, as not to know that the 
oath of a black or coloured man, ay, or of ten thou- 
sand of them, against a white man in Carolina is not 
worth the seventh part of a d — n ? No ; although 
a white man should cut the throats of a dozen nig- 
gers, and a thousand black fellows witnessed it, their 
evidence would be no more regarded than the yelp 
of a dog. Besides, Prince, just consider that this 
black king, as they call him, has all his life had no 
scruples in making merchandise of his own flesh and 
blood. He thinks little just now, however, that the 
fate of the thirty-two negroes he shipped on board 
will be his own before a month 's over. I have helped 
at least to make him a sort of Christian, and now I 
shall finish, Prince, by giving him a great moral 
lesson — what think you ?" They had some farther 
conversation after this which I could not exactly 
make out ; I had heard enough, however, as the 
humane reader may well imagine, to awaken me, 
indeed, to a sense of the horrible predicament into 
which I had brought myself, and I could with diffi- 
culty prevent my sobs from being heard. 

At the breakfast-table next morning I endeavoured 
to command my feelings, so as that my countenance 
might appear as usual ; but Captain Winton remarked 
that something was the matter with me. I told him I 


was suffering much from headache. " Oh, Zamba," 
said he, " I know well enough what is the matter 
with you ; you have been dreaming about Africa and 
your young wife : but keep up your heart, boy, you 
will find plenty of pretty wives in Charleston. And, 
by-the-by, Zamba, you will then see what you have 
never seen before, — that is, women called mulattoes, 
half white and half black — very pretty girls, I can 
assure you ; they will be ready to snap at a king of 
such property as you." But I was in little humour 
for language of this sort. After breakfast I said that 
I wanted to bathe my head with vinegar, and lie 
down for a while \ and Winton making no objection, 
I retired shortly afterwards to my berth. In the 
course of the forenoon I contrived to conceal about 
thirty of my doubloons, by sewing them in betwixt 
the lining of various articles of my clothing; I also 
put a little gold dust away in the same manner, but 
only amongst my coarse clothes, as I looked for 
nothing less at this cruel captain's hands than to 
have my fine clothing taken from me. I also stowed 
away about two pounds weight of gold dust in each 
of a pair of stockings, which I thrust carelessly 
into a pair of shoes. Should I save these articles 
from the clutches of my white lC friend" Winton, I 
calculated that it would be so much, at all events, to 
help me in a strange land. 

On the third day after this I was conning over a 
chapter in the New Testament, when I came to that 
place where it says, " What shall it profit a man to 
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" I 

94 zamba's consolation. 

was forcibly struck with the mysterious ways of Pro- 
vidence. " If God," thought I, " has seen fit to 
permit this white man to rob me, and betray me for 
the sake of my money, am I not now in the way of 
having my precious soul everlastingly saved ? So 
that, although it be partly through the means of a 
wicked and unprincipled man, who has made use of 
the precious words of scripture, and assumed the 
character of a follower of Christ, to entrap and be- 
tray me, I can yet see the hand of God in it all : out 
of seeming evil he can bring good ; and thus all 
things redound to his glory. And as regards my 
slaves, let me ask my own heart, whether or not I 
have been doing as I would be done by ? I now feel 
that I have fallen into the pit that I had digged for 
others ; and I plainly see that — as if to prove the truth 
of the words of scripture, and to bring conviction 
home to my heart — Providence is allowing Captain 
Winton to measure out to me in the same way as I 
have been measuring out to others." And for the 
first time, I believe, I uttered an audible prayer, as I 
murmured to myself, " Lord have mercy upon me, 
and pardon me, and save me from the evils that I 
deserve. I cast myself before Thee, and can only say, 
God be merciful to me a sinner!" 

These meditations were interrupted by the captain 
coming down, seemingly in a hurry ; " Zamba, 
Zamba ! " says he, " there is a vessel just now in 
sight, and I have my suspicions that she is a pirate — 
that is, a sea robber. Now the first thing they do is 
to search the cabin for money, and your trunks will 


be opened ; you had, therefore, better give me your 
bag of gold dust and your gold pieces, all but a few, 
which you can reserve to offer to the pirates when 
they come. Now make haste, for it will take me a 
few minutes to put them in a safe place." What 
could I do but quietly surrender the gold ? With 
sparkling eyes, and a grin of cunning delight, he took 
my treasure into his own state-room, and I never 
again cast my eyes upon it. In a few minutes 
the vessel neared us, and proved to be a Spanish 
slaver from Havannah, bound for the coast of Africa. 
We continued our course to westward and northward; 
and low-spirited as I was, I could not but be amused 
and interested by the wonders which are to be seen 
by those " who go down to the sea in ships." 

At meal-times I could observe many nods, and 
winks, and sly grins pass between the captain and 
the mate as they occasionally looked towards me ; 
though I sat quietly swallowing my victuals, and 
appeared not to notice them. After what I had 
learned from their conversation regarding thelaw as 
it referred to negroes in America, I was glad to 
perceive that the countenance of neither indicated 
any malignant feeling towards me, and I felt thankful 
to God that my life was not in danger. Nothing 
could have been easier than for Winton to have 
had me thrown overboard some dark night; I consi- 
dered, therefore, that my case might be much more 
grievous than it was, and I endeavoured to await 
calmly and submissively the will of the Almighty. 

On the fiftieth day after our departure from Africa, 


the captain found by his observations at noon, that 
we were within a hundred miles of the coast of Caro- 
lina, and gave orders to prepare the anchors and 
cables ready for service. I could observe that the 
water was beginning to change from the deep blue of 
the main ocean to a lightish green, and it became 
more and more so as we got westward. As we were 
running about eight knots an hour, we had soundings 
in the afternoon, about six o'clock ; and by midnight 
the Charleston light was visible, like a large star, alter- 
nately appearing and disappearing; and the weather 
being very fine, we kept running on till within a few 
miles of the lighthouse. The nature of this light in- 
terested me very much. Every minute, or so, a bright 
glare would flash all across the water between the 
shore and our ship, and then all was pitch darkness 
for a few seconds ; all which seemed very strange to 
me. I may mention that in the forepart of this day, 
while yet a hundred miles from shore, the captain 
and some of the crew said they plainly smelt the 
scent of the pine woods ashore. The ship was kept 
under easy sail all night, and soon after daylight we 
could discern the tops of the trees, which seemed 
like a low dark line in the horizon; and presently 
we could discern the white sandy beach with the 
surf breaking over it. Shortly afterwards a beautiful 
little sloop came towards us, and sent out a small 
canoe with three or four men in it ; one of whom, as 
black as myself, came on board, and to my great 
astonishment and delight, took the command of the 
ship. Thinks I to myself all will be right now : I 

zamba's first sight of a civilized country. 97 

shall surely have one on my side ; but I soon found 
that this man was only hired to steer the ship for a 
few miles, and then had no more to do with it. 
This man's name was Pruivus; he was one of the 
best pilots belonging to the port ; and at last, after 
serving in this capacity for forty-five years, was 
drowned in the hurricane of 1822. I was, at all 
events, much gratified to find one of my countrymen 
filling a post of such importance. We safely crossed 
the bar, which is sometimes very dangerous to ves- 
sels ; it has only thirteen feet or so at low water, 
and the sea runs very high upon it when the wind is 
easterly. Soon afterwards we neared Sullivan's 
Island, a spot where the Carolinians resort to in 
summer. I was quite astonished at the appearance 
of the houses, and of a strong fort mounted with 
heavy cannon ; but the strangest sight of all to 
me, was a number of carriages drawn by horses 
along the beach. In an hour more we anchored 
close to the city, which presented a very handsome 
appearance, and, together with some hundred or two 
of ships at the wharves, it was a striking sight ; yet, as 
there are very few great buildings in Charleston, and 
only one very fine steeple, the view fell far short of 
what I expected to see in the white man's country — 
I mean, it seemed, to my eyes, nothing at all in 
comparison to the picture of London in my father's 

The weather had been warm, and, the day we 
arrived in Charleston, it was uncommonly hot for 
that late season of the year; but, next morning, I 


98 negroes' notion of ice. 

went on deck before sunrise, and found an amazing 
change had taken place. During the night the wind 
had veered round to the north-west, and was blowing: 
keenly ; the sky being beautifully clear. I now saw 
ice for the first time in my life: a skin of ice, about 
as thick as a dollar, covered small tubs of water on 
deck. After sunrise, many of the slaves came on 
deck, but speedily went down again : they could not 
stand the piercing wind, thinly clad as they were. 
As the sun gained power, however, it felt comfortably 
warm. One or two of the negroes took pieces of ice 
in their hands, to show to their comrades below, who 
imagined it was glass, until it melted, to their great 

In the course of the forenoon, the ship was hauled 
in to a wharf at the north-east side of the city. I 
saw the captain preparing to go ashore; and, expect- 
ing that he would take me with him, I put on some 
of my finest clothing. When he saw me thus 
dressed, he said, " Zamba, I think you had better 
put these clothes off, and just do in the mean time 
with your ship's clothing. I shall explain to you 
again about it." I felt hurt at his behaviour: very 
much disappointed, indeed ; for I was, at that time, 
wofully inexperienced in worldly matters. I ima- 
gined that an African king would be regarded with 
much respect in America ; but had I considered a 
little on some things I had previously heard the cap- 
tain say, I might have remembered that kings and 
princes of every description were at a heavy discount 
in republican America. 


The captain came on board in the afternoon ; and, 
soon afterwards, several dray-loads of clothing for the 
slaves were brought alongside. Next day was still 
cold ; but the whole of the slaves were put ashore, 
and obliged to wash and scour themselves. They 
were then provided with tolerably good clothing, 
made of blue or white coarse w-oollen cloth, of English 
manufacture, commonly called "plains." The owners 
of the ship had provided these ; but, had the weather 
been warm, the poor slaves would have been put up 
for sale in the scanty clothing they were in. The 
captain told me they were advertised for sale, which 
would take place in two days. Meantime we had a 
considerable number of white gentlemen to visit us, 
mostly intending purchasers. On the appointed day, 
the auctioneer, a Mr. Naylor, accompanied by two 
young clerks, came down ; and, after much careful 
inspection, arranged the whole cargo in separate lots, 
some of them singly, and others in lots of fifteen or 
twenty. The single ones were intended for domestic 
servants in town, and were chosen from the youngest 
and smartest- looking; the larger lots for the country, 
or what are called "field hands." At length, a great 
number of white gentlemen had arrived, and a few 
white ladies — at least, white women ; for their conduct 
was not such as would entitle them to be called ladies 
in Europe: in a calm, cool, business-like way, they 
went around the various groups of negroes, examining 
and handling their limbs in the same manner as I 
afterwards saw butchers examining cattle. 

The sale soon began, and took up a consider- 

h 2 


able time ; the prices ranging from 250 to 450 
dollars a head : the thirty-two negroes whom I had 
put on board brought nearly 10,000 dollars. It will 
be thus seen that the owners of the ship had made 
an excellent speculation : by this trip, as I learned 
from the captain, they had cleared from 90,000 to 
100,000 dollars; and it must be allowed, that great 
part of this arose from the prudent and humane 
treatment which was exercised towards the live cargo. 
No doubt exists in my mind, that the moving prin- 
ciple in all concerned was avarice; and, in this case, 
it showed that, even from sinister motives, Providence 
can cause good to be produced at last. In the 
course of my subsequent experience, I have known 
ships, of the same tonnage as the Triton, arrive from 
Africa, in which seven hundred and fifty slaves had 
been embarked ; but, owing to cruel usage, scanty 
and unwholesome provisions, impure air, and absolute 
filth, which prevailed on board, not more than four 
hundred lived to reach Charleston ; and of these, one- 
half were in a most weakly and miserable condition, 
and the remainder could by no means be classed as 
sound and healthy. In these cases, greed and avarice 
joined to inhumanity were punished ; but at a sad 
expense of life, as regarded the wretched negroes. 
I have seen a slave-ship arrive from Africa, in such a 
condition as to its freight of flesh and blood, that no 
mortal of ordinary nerves could put his head below 
the hatch ; and in such a miserable state were the 
negroes, that I have known thirty or forty out of one 
cargo sent up to the hospital in carts. I heard fre- 


quently also, from what I deemed good authority, 
that on board these crowded and ill-conducted 
slavers, it was not a rare circumstance for the captain 
to order such poor slaves as were evidently dying, to 
be thrown overboard during the night, while yet the 
pulse of life was beating ! 

In the evening, when the slaves were sold, the cap- 
tain, after supper, addressed me as follows : — " You 
see, Zamba, that, owing to the death of one of the own- 
ers of the ship, she is to be sold ; and I believe that 
I shall not continue in the trade at present — I 
have some arrangements to make in the northern 
states, which I came from originally; and may, per- 
haps, settle there altogether; so that you will per- 
ceive I cannot go to London with you as I pro- 
posed. I will make some bargain for you, however, in 
Charleston, and will leave you in good hands ; and 
as you have no experience of the world yet, I shall 
take care of your little property for you in the 
mean time; and in the course of a few years, when 
you have learned something, I shall settle accounts 
with you." •' Do you mean to leave me here, sir," 
said I, "and keep my property also? Surely, captain, 
after the friendship my father and I have shown you, 
you cannot be so cruel and dishonourable! If you 
do, I shall appeal to the white gentlemen in 
Charleston — I shall tell my whole story to them," 
said I, rising up from the table, quite in- 
dignant. " Sit down quietly, Zamba," said Winton, 
" and I shall give you a lesson. You see, Mr. 
Prince," said he, turning to the mate, " how the 

102 a slave-dealer's sophistry. 

African blood gets up. But it is of no use here, 
Zamba ; you must be calm, I tell you, or it will 
be the worse for you : you will learn before long, my 
lad, to keep yourself calm and composed like us 
Yankees. Now, in the first place, you see, Zamba, 
that, supposing I were to allow you to go into the 
city of Charleston, and commence your story at the 
corner of a street, nobody would mind you ; or if 
any one did listen to you for a moment, the white 
people would call you a lying rascal, and perhaps 
would beat you, and your own countrymen would 
only laugh at you. They would say that if you 
spoke truth you were well served, for that if you 
brought such a lot of slaves from Africa for sale 
you well deserved to be sold yourself. In the next 
place, consider, Zamba, I have given you as much 
education as will balance your little property; 
and I shall dispose of you to a good master. Some 
folks in my place would sell you to a planter in the 
country to get you out of the way ; and I tell you, 
Zamba, that if you are not perfectly docile and 
humble, that I shall do so to-morrow if I choose. 
You will find the country a miserable place in com- 
parison to the life you may lead with Mr. Naylor; 
who will instruct you in a clever business and treat 
you well, provided you conduct yourself properly. 
And now, Zamba (seeing that I was upon the point 
of breaking out) if you utter a sentence, I shall take 
your two trunks from you and all that they contain, 
and give you a single suit of clothing like to the 
rest of your countrymen. I have, however, a con- 


science, Zarnba ; and you may be truly thankful you 
have fallen into such good hands : and besides, I am 
giving you a good moral lesson." 

I need not say that I was not altogether thunder- 
siruck at the captain's behaviour, as I had received 
some hints previously from his conversations with 
the mate : but yet it came very hard upon me ; 
although now that I reflect upon it, and know better 
things, I feel that, on account of my slave trans- 
actions, I really deserved no sympathy : I was merely 
reaping the fruits of my labour. Nevertheless, Cap- 
tain Winton proved himself an unprincipled villain; 
and he, too, latterly reaped the fruit of his labours. 
But of this in good time. Thus did this wicked and 
treacherous captain defraud me of about ten thousand 
dollars, the price of the slaves ; about seven thousand 
dollars in gold dust, and three thousand in doub- 
loons, and — what was of more value than all — my 
liberty ! I had no means of redress, none what- 
ever, even in a Christian country. Neither my word 
nor my oath would have been of any avail ; so in 
silence and humility was I obliged to submit, and 
console myself that the rascal had left me my two 
trunks and their contents. 

I went to bed very disconsolate, and dreamed that 
I was in Africa, with my dear Zillah and my mother, 
in my own palace, surrounded by m}^ friends and 
attendants. From this vision of past happiness, 
never to return, I awoke before sunrise to the sad 
realities of my condition. At breakfast the captain 
bantered me about my downcast looks. " Zamba," 

104 zamba's future master. 

said he, " you need not take it so much to heart : 
you will yet think I have been your best friend. 
Have I not given you a deal of information about 
the world ? Have I not taught you to read, and 
brought you to a Christian country, where you will 
have wise men to teach you all about the Bible, and 
explain it to you for nothing ? By-and-by you will 
become a good Christian ; and as for your money, 
which I am so kind as to take charge of for you, I 
can assure you, that if left to yourself amongst white 
people, either here or in Europe, you would not 
boast of it being your own above ten days : you 
would be cheated and robbed at every hand. And 
besides, Zamba, you must know that in a country- 
like this, so much money in the hands of a boy so 
young as you are would be dangerous — very danger- 
ous. I tell you. I shall make a bargain to-day with 
Mr. Naylor for you, and if you are perfectly quiet 
and respectful, you shall see how much I am inte- 
rested in you." Thus did this unprincipled man 
endeavour to cover his avarice and injustice under 
the cloak of friendship. As I have already hinted, 
however, my fate might have been much more 

After dinner the captain came on board with Mr. 
Naylor and another gentleman. This was the last 
time I had the honour to sit down to dine with 
so many white gentlemen ; and from what I have 
since seen of Carolinian customs, I am at a loss to 
know how and wherefore it so happened that a 
negro was so honoured on this occasion. Mr. Nay- 

zamba's future master. 105 

lor was a thin, careful-looking sharp-eyed man ; but 
there was a benevolent expression in his counte- 
nance ; and as I had, even at that time, my own 
rude ideas of physiognomy, altogether I was pleased 
to be in his company. He asked me many ques- 
tions about African scenery, manners, &c, and I 
was very near giving him some answers (as a mat- 
ter of course) which would reflect discredit on 
Captain VVinton ; but the latter kept a sharp look- 
out, and often interrupted and corrected me. The 
captain at length said, " Zamba, you will go with 
this gentleman, and you will learn to be a clever 
man of business in his store. Mr. Naylor is pleased 
with your appearance, and the good account I have 
given him of you ; and I have made a bargain with 
him for you. I am to receive six hundred dollars ; 
which you and I will talk about again : but to con- 
vince you and everybody else of my generosity, I 
shall return Mr. Naylor three hundred dollars to 
be kept for your benefit ; and as he is kind enough 
to say that he will allow you interest upon it, you 
will be able, in the course of a few years, with what 
you may otherwise save, to buy your freedom, if 
you wish it." 

So saying, he took out a purse, counted out 
(of my own identical money, I believe) twenty 
doubloons, and handed them to Mr. Naylor; who 
gave him a receipt for the sum, and at the same 
time wrote out on a slip of paper what I afterwards 
learned was a promissory-note at ninety days' date, 
payable to Captain John Winton, for six hundred 


dollars, the same being the price of an African 
negro named Zamba. 

Although I was almost prepared for such treatment, 
I could not help starting up, and exclaiming — "And 
is this the way — is this the cruel manner I am to be 
treated? Have you absolutely sold me as a slave, 

Captain Winton, after all you have " Here I was 

interrupted by the captain, who also started up, and 
exclaimed — or rather roared out, for now he was in a 
dreadful passion — " Hold your tongue, you black 
rascal, or I'll withdraw my bargain. Just utter one 
word more, and I shall have you sent to a rice plan- 
tation to-morrow, and there they will cool your 
African blood for you, I can assure you." Mr. Nay- 
lor looked at me, as I thought, with much feeling ; 
and as I now saw that it was in vain to contend with 
fate, I sat down and burst into tears. The gentleman 
who was along with Mr. Naylor puffed away at a 
cigar and coolly sipped his wine, muttering to him- 
self, " Curious affair this ; can't understand it at all. 
But, after all, who the devil cares about a nigger?" 
Mr. Naylor then addressed me, and said, " My boy, 
you must not take on so. If you conduct yourself 
properly and honestly, I will take good care of you. 
I shall send down to-morrow for you." The gentle- 
men retired soon afterwards, and Captain Winton 
went ashore with them. When he came back I was 
in bed, but he came into my state-room, and told me 
he had a good mind to keep my trunks for my inso- 
lence, as he called it, before the white gentlemen. 
I gave him a meek answer, considering to myself 


zamba's parting from his betrayer. 107 

that " a soft answer turneth away wrath." I slept 
little that night, but lay brooding over my unhappy 
condition. Yet now 1 really felt extremely anxious 
to be out of sight and out of the power of the 

In the forenoon of next day, one of Mr. Naylor's 
clerks, a young Scotchman named Thomson, came to 
the ship to bring me away. My trunks were placed 
upon a dray, and in a very few minutes I was ready to 
go ashore. Just as I was leaving the cabin, the cap- 
tain, who was busily engaged writing, held out his 
hand to me, and said — " Ho ! Zamba, don't go away 
in that manner without bidding me farewell. I tell 
you seriously, that not one slave captain in a thou- 
sand would have done for you as I have; and you 
may thank your stars that your fate is not worse. 
By-the-by, Zamba, though I don't think you will 
soon forget me, here is a farewell remembrance to 
you — you will, perhaps, be in want of a little pocket- 
money." So saying, he gave me a handful of silver 
pieces, amongst which were two American gold eagles. 
I was inwardly inclined at first to reject it, but 
instantly changed my mind, and put the money in 
my pocket, though I could not help saying — " Well, 
captain, I thank you, although I know it is part of 
the price of my own blood." 

I then left the ship, and accompanied the young 
man who was sent for me ; and as I paced across the 
wharf, and then along the street, many strange ideas 
floated in my brain regarding the inconsistency of 
character displayed by this Captain Winton. He 

w wr^ 


was naturally a warm-hearted, good-humoured man, 
possessing much information ; but avarice, the love- 
of money — that root of all evil — led him to commit 
the most base and heartless actions. His behaviour 
towards me was certainly a moral lesson, but a dear 
bought one indeed to me ; that is to say, as the 
world reckons. 

On the way to Mr. Naylor's store — he was one of 
the principal auctioneers in Charleston, and did an 
immense business — Mr. Thomson, the clerk, entered, 
into conversation with me, and was perfectly aston- 
ished to learn that I could read the English Bible 
tolerably. He seemed very much interested in me ; 
and being quite aware that I was now entirely out of 
the power of Captain Winton, I told him, in as few 
words as possible, my whole history, strictly keeping 
to the truth between man and man. " Well, well, 
my poor fellow," said he, " I can hardly think you 
have framed such a story; and if only the one-half 
of it be true, this Captain Winton for roguery out- 
Yankees all the Yankees that ever breathed in New 
England. But you have no redress, my poor fellow ; 
none whatever. However, you have fallen in with a 
good owner, and if you conduct yourself, as I hope 
you will, you will not find yourself so uncomfortable 
as thousands of your countrymen." Oh, how that 
word owner tingled in my ear — it seared my heart 
like a branding iron. But my conscience told me, in 
a louder tone than ever, that I deserved my fate. 
I thanked Mr. Thomson for his encouraging words, 
and told him that, as a proof of the truth of my 

~ ^' 

zamba's first impression of slavery. 109 

history, I could show him some articles in my trunks 
which would convince him I was correct in my state- 

As we walked along the streets I was much struck 
with the appearance of the houses ; and the shops 
especially attracted my notice : the wealth which 
they displayed in goods of every description seemed 
inexhaustible. But, alas ! I was only a poor slave, 
and in a land of strangers. It cheered me, however, 
to observe, as I went along, that my countrymen, 
who thronged the streets at every hand, seemed in 
general happy and contented. Some were driving 
drays, others drove fine and elegant carnages, and 
numbers were busy in the grog stores, or standing in 
groups at the doors of them ; and their incessant 
laughing and chattering bespoke anything but misery. 
Then, as we passed the foot of the public markets, 
the appearance of black men, and women too, 
decently, and many of them flashily dressed, and all 
apparently in high spirits, was quite pleasing. As I 
passed by some barbers' shops 1 peeped in, and there 
again were my countrymen quite busy, soaping and 
shaving the beards, and cutting the hair of white 

When we arrived at Queen Street, the lower part 
of which forms what is called Vendue Range, the 
clerk ordered the drayman to proceed with my trunks 
to my master's dwelling-house in Broad Street, and 
there leave them ; he then told me to follow him 
down the street, in which Mr. Naylor's store was 
situated. I was quite astonished at the extent of this 

110 zamba's initiation. 

store, and the way in which it was filled with goods 
of every description. I thought to myself that there 
were as many fine prints and handkerchiefs as would 
supply every woman in Africa, or even in the world, 
with clothing; and such quantities of beautiful rifle 
guns, pistols, and swords, were to be seen also, as 
perfectly amazed me. All these goods were to be 
sold by auction. My master spoke a few words to 
me kindly, saying no work would be required of me 
that day, and I might merely walk about the store, 
and satisfy my curiosity. Mr. Thomson, also, be- 
haved with much condescension to me : he pointed to 
various bales and boxes, and seemed gratified that I 
could tell him, in plain English, the names of the 
letters marked on them. I was somewhat at a loss 
to make out figures or numbers ; but I attained this 
knowledge soon afterwards. Mr. Thomson told me 
he expected I should be very serviceable in the store, 
and that it would be greatly in my favour if I be- 
haved civilly and respectfully to all, and was always 
prompt and active. Surliness and slowness, he said, 
were the besetting faults of my countrymen ; " but 
you were a prince, Zamba," added he, laughing, 
" and must not lose your character." 

In the afternoon, I was taken up to my master's 
house, which was a large brick building, and, as I 
afterwards perceived, splendidly furnished. At the 
back of the house, and on each side of a large court, 
paved with brick and kept very clean, were situated 
houses for the servants : very snug two-story wooden 
buildings. I was allowed to occupy part of an upper 


room in one of them, into which my trunks were 
taken ; and I was welcomed by two or three of my 
countrymen (Africans, I mean), and about half a 
dozen negro women, who were all employed in some 
way or other about the house. Soon afterwards, we 
had supper, which was both abundant and agreeable. 
Some of my fellow-servants belonged originally to my 
own part of Africa ; so that I had many questions to 
answer in the course of the evening. I was gratified 
to find that although all of them had a great desire 
to visit their native Africa for a time, they seemed of 
opinion that they should like again to return to 
America. This, however, it must be observed, was 
only the bright side of slavery ; or, at least, the tole- 
rable side of it, if I may say so: and it must, indeed, 
be a most awful and miserable condition of human 
nature, which can exhibit nothing save hopeless and 
helpless misery and despair. 

In due time, I went to bed for the first time in the 
free and generous land of Columbia : so called, at 
least, by white men in America. Although under a 
comfortable roof, and upon a snug bed, I could by no 
means go to sleep. My feelings were various and com- 
plicated, and 1 began to consider whether or not I had 
great room for self-congratulation. It is true that I 
had been most wofully duped by Captain Winton; 
but, on the other hand, as I have already admitted, I 
deserved it; and, besides, I had yet a considerable 
amount of property remaining. I argued thus with 
myself: — " What right had Captain Winton to seize 
my property, and sell me as a slave?" But then my 


conscience told me plainly, " What right had you, 
Zamba, to put on board the Triton thirty-two fellow- 
creatures — nay, fellow-countrymen — and congratulate 
yourself that you would get rich by selling them in a 
foreign land?" — "Oh!" says I to myself, "they 
were either my captives in war, or I paid a fair price 
for them?" — " Very well, Zamba," said conscience; 
" but does not common reason teach you, — did not 
the Holy Book, which you partly understood, tell you 
clearly — that you should not do that with other men, 
which you would not wish them to do to you?" 
Thus I found that all my reasonings with conscience 
ended in my own conviction ; and became quite con- 
vinced that I had more reason to be thankful for the 
mercies and advantages which I still possessed, than 
cause to murmur at the treatment I had received 
from Captain Winton. I have often considered since, 
that as long as a man's conscience speaks to him in 
loud and decisive tones, he has no occasion to despair. 
At length I fell asleep, and dreamed again and again 
of poor Zillah and my mother. 



Zamba in an Auction-store in Charleston — First Sabbath in a Chris- 
tian Country — Goes to a Presbyterian Church — Description of the 
Scene, and Reflections thereon — A Negro Acquaintance — A White 
Friend and Counsellor — Negro Finery and Politeness — Zamba goes 
to an Episcopal Church — His Account of the Service, and Reflec- 
tions on the Sermon — Goes to a Methodist Chapel — Effect of the 
Service on Zamba and his Brethren — The Sermon, and Reflections 

I arose at daylight next morning, and found that 
some of the servants had been up for an hour or two. 
Mr. Thomson, who lodged with my owner, sent for 
me, and told me to follow him to the store. When 
we got there, he made me assist him, and take dry 
goods out of boxes and bales, and arrange them on 
shelves, and also do some other light work about the 
store. He conversed with me a good deal, but only 
when the other clerks did not observe him ; for they 
were chiefly American-born, and considered all con- 
versation with a negro, except what business abso- 
lutely required, quite derogatory to their dignity as 
free-born republicans. 



In a few days, I became tolerably expert in hand- 
ling goods, and the time passed on pleasantly but 
for the thoughts of my own native home. Sunday at 
length came ; and I shall never forget the first Sab- 
bath I spent in America. It was, I think, the 29th of 
November. My master told me I might go to some 
church, with some of the other servants; but that 
afterwards he would now and then require my ser- 
vices on that, as well as on other days, to wait at 
table. He said to me, smiling, " If you get on as 
well as I have seen you do for the short time now 
past, Zamba, I have no doubt that you will yet be a 
free man. It is for your own benefit partly that I 
shall have you instructed to be a house, as well as a 
store, servant : you will thus learn a good deal of the 
world ; and if you are particularly civil and service- 
able to your superiors, you will now and then be 
getting a few dollars." 

Mr. Thomson saw me before he went to church, 
and told me I mieht follow him. Although he 
seemed much interested about me, and was of a frank 
open disposition, he could not avoid participating in 
the prejudice which generally prevails in Carolina 
against the black race. To have walked alongside 
of him in public would have been considered an open 
breach of the peace ; I, therefore, respectfully kept 
a few paces in his wake. When we arrived at the 
church, which was the chief Presbyterian place of 
worship in the city, he pointed to a door at the left 
hand, and told me to go in there and walk up stairs. 
I did so, and found a number of people of my own 

zamba's first visit to church. 115 

colour already seated. In the opposite gallery were 
a number of white people, and the space below was 
about half filled with white ladies and gentlemen. 
I afterwards learned that in every church in the 
city, of whatever denomination, one side of the 
gallery is wholly appropriated to the accommodation 
of white strangers, and the other side for people of 

This regulation, certainly, indicates genuine good 
feeling and real practical Christian charity. Did 
such a spirit pervade all her institutions and cus- 
toms, America might then hold up her head among 
the nations of the earth. 

After some time the clergyman entered and read 
part of a psalm, as usual in the Presbyterian ser- 
vice ; and immediately afterwards about twenty 
white men and women in the front of the gallery- 
commenced singing. I could not well make out the 
words they sang, and asked a man who sat near 
me what they meant. " Hold your tongue, boy," 
said he; " mustn't talk in meeting. Tell you dey 
worship God ; so be quiet like good fellow." I ob- 
served that only some of the white people joined in 
singing, although the most of them opened a book, 
and seemed very serious ; but amongst all the black 
folks on my side of the church not one book was to 
be seen, and of course they did not join in worship- 
ping God. 

Thinks I to myself this is very strange, but no 
doubt the white folks know best what is right ; or, 
perhaps, they think it would hurt their dignity to 
i 2 

116 zamba's first visit to church. 

sing with poor slaves. I was rather out in my con- 
jectures, as will appear by-and-by. 

A prayer was, as usual, then offered up, and. I 
was pleased to find that the minister prayed for all 
men, master and servant, bond and free. The minis- 
ter then gave out a chapter in the Bible, and com- 
menced reading; again most of the white people 
opened their books. I had a Bible in my pocket, 
but felt at a loss what to do, from fear of giving 
offence j but after a minute's hesitation I took it 
out, and witli a little difficulty found the place. 
Instantly many eyes were turned upon me, especially 
those of my own countrymen. I felt very much 
abashed, lest I was doing something displeasing to 
the white people ; but, as Providence would have 
it, in the very chapter which the minister was read- 
ing, occurred these words, at the very instant I was 
in my perplexity, " Search the Scriptures, for in 
them ye have the words of eternal life, and they 
are they which testify of me." I instantly felt my 
spirit refreshed, and thought to myself, " Since the 
Almighty hath been pleased that I have acquired 
the art of reading, I am not only permitted by Him, 
but commanded to search the holy book." 

The minister then lectured on Ephesians vi. 5, 
" Servants be obedient to your masters, according to 
the flesh." He certainly explained very minutely 
the duty which servants, especially bondsmen, owed 
to their masters and superiors ; and held forth 
awful denunciations, both in this life and through 
all eternity, upon all who dared to step aside from 

zamba's first visit to church. 117 

the path of duty. Said he, " Even though you 
should have reason to complain of the hardship of 
your case, remember, that ' whom the Lord loveth 
he afflicteth, and scourgeth every son he taketh to 
himself.' And remember, also, my black friends 
(he was very, very careful to avoid calling us brethren), 
what holy Paul saith, • I have learned in what- 
soever condition I am to be content.' " 

There is no doubt but this clergyman was merely 
doing his duty; but I could take notice, even at 
this my first experience of a sermon, that he never 
once alluded to any duty which mutually be- 
longed to the master towards his dependants and 

The service ended in the usual manner, and I 
returned, well pleased that I would now be in the 
way of hearing the Bible explained to me ; and, 
above all that, from hearing how the clergyman 
addressed his brethren, I should soon be enabled 
to express my feelings to my brethren in a becoming 
manner. On coming out of church, the black — an 
old grey-headed man — whom I had addressed at 
the commencement of the service, came with me 
and said, " My boy, I see you is a stranger ; but 
how hab you come to read Bible ? Can't suavey 
(understand) this !" I explained in a few words how 
I had been so favoured. " Ah! well, well, boy, you 
may tank God for this. Buckra can't take know- 
ledge to read from you now. But do you hearee me : 
in dis fine free country " — (here he looked round for 
fear of being overheard) — " you never would have 


learn to read good book; white man's law fine any 
man one hundred pounds who would offer to teach 
poor black man ABC; and if you, my poor boy, 
offer to teach any of your comrade one single word 
to read, you either pay fine or go to jail, and buckra 
take payment out of your bare back with one good 
hard cow's skin — dat is white man's law, boy ; but, 
for all dat, some few black folks in Charleston have 
got knowledge how to read in quiet way, and 
can write a little too ; but all under a cloud you see. 
Buckra man terribly 'fraid we get too wise," said 
the old man, with a peculiar grin. 

We then parted, but not before I had received an 
invitation to visit old Jerry and his wife ; and we 
soon afterwards became very friendly. 

When I returned to my master's house, I saw 
Mr. Thomson in the back yard. He asked me to 
come up to his room, and requested me to read him 
a chapter in the Bible. I did so, and he was pleased 
to say that I must have considerable natural abili- 
ties, else I could not have made such progress in the 
cursory manner I had received my lessons. " As I 
keep my own room a great deal in the evening," 
said he, " I will run the risk of giving you some 
lessons myself; and I shall also teach you to write 
and count. This must be kept very quiet, however, 
Zamba ; for if found out giving you lessons of the kind 
I shall be heavily fined, and incur the ill-will of many 
in this place." He then expressed a wish that I 
should go to an Episcopalian church in the after- 
noon, and to a Methodist one in the evening. I 


should like to know," said he, " which form of 
worship, of all you hear this day, interests your feel- 
ings most. But remember, Zamba, when you enter 
the house of God you must throw away all thoughts 
of the world, or of business ; and the first thing you 
ought to do is to lift up your heart inwardly to God, 
and pray that your eyes, and your heart, and your 
soul may be opened to the truth ; and that you may 
be enabled to see that you, as well as all men, are 
but poor, perishing, lost sinners : lost beyond all 
redemption, if the Holy Spirit conduct you not 
to the foot of the cross — even to the Lord Jesus 
Christ, who never did, and never will refuse sal- 
vation to all such as come unto Him in sincerity, 
and with humble and contrite hearts. I hope, 
Zamba," said this excellent young man, taking 
me by the hand, " that you will yet have reason 
to bless the day when you came to this country ; 
and that you will even look upon Captain Win- 
ton as a friend, and pray for him as one who, 
in the hands of Providence (although to suit his 
own evil purposes) hath been the means of snatching 
you as a brand from the fire. I do hope, Zamb*a, 
that even now, in your condition as a slave, you will 
be brought from * a state of sin and doubt and 
darkness, to the marvellous light, and freedom, and 
purity of the gospel of the Lord Jesus. I do pray, 
as your friend, that you may receive, even here, 
a treasure such as the world cannot give, and 
(blessed be God !) such as it cannot take away — a 
treasure altogether different from, and infinitely more 


to be desired than, the few handfuls of gold which 
a wicked man has deprived you of." 

Tears ran down the cheeks of this good young man, 
as he addressed me ; and I felt something inexpressibly 
delightful within my breast at so much unlooked-for 

It is now nearly forty years since this young and 
truly sincere disciple of the Lord Jesus exchanged, 
this life of care, and trial, and uncertainty, for an 
inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and which will 
never fade away — at least so is my humble belief and 
hope; and yet often and again do I behold in my 
imagination his open and benevolent countenance, 
as he addressed me, more as if I had been a brother 
and friend than a poor ignorant bondsman. 

In the afternoon I accompanied one of my fellow 
servants to an Episcopalian church ; and on the way 
thither I could not help being much gratified at the 
appearance made by my countrymen and countrywo- 
men. Many of the latter were dressed in a very elegant 
style ; which, although it pleased me then, I have 
long since ceased to admire, being by far too gaudy, 
and quite unbefitting their station : what with flaming 
silk shawls, silk stockings, and red-heeled morocco 
shoes, they seemed prepared for some jollification 
rather than anything else ; and some of them, sporting 
fine parasols, tripped along the pavement with much 
levity and frivolity. 

It occurred to me, " where have they procured 
all these fine things ? Not in a very creditable way, I 
fear." I afterwards found this to be true in regard to 


hundreds of them ; and little to the honour and 
discretion of their white lords and masters. It was a 
gratifying thing to me, however, to find my country- 
folks so very agreeable and polite to one another, 
when they chanced to meet in the street. They 
invariably addressed each other — with a marvellous 
deal of bowing and curtseying, and shaking of hands 
— as daddy and mammy, sister and broder, sir and 
madam, and received similar salutations in return 
with great seeming satisfaction ; evincing by the 
loud tones in which they spoke, no habitual dread or 
terror of their superiors. Many young black men 
were dressed as finely and fashionably as the first 
gentlemen in the city; with fine cambric-frilled 
shirts, and adorned with sparkling jewels, they walked 
along as proudly as any peacock in the meridian sun. 
I observed, as I walked very slowly along to see how 
matters went, one good-looking young black address a 
couple of young ladies as black as himself. Taking 
off his glove and kissing his hand, he bowed almost 
to the ground, and then kept his hat off his head 
altogether, for some time. " How you do, dear Misses 
Sarah and Dinah ? I hope I have the pleasure of 
seeing you this morning in clever good health ; hope 
mamma,and all friends come on well. Will you allow me 
the supreme felicity of waiting upon you to church ?" 
I also observed in my progress to church, that the 
doors of a few shops stood open, and that people were 
buying and selling goods within. I was told these 
were Jewish traders ; the rest of the shops and stores 
were all closed and quiet. 

122 zamba's opinion of the episcopal service. 

We soon arrived at the church, which was very- 
handsome and elegant, and fitted up differently from 
the one I had attended in the morning. When 
the organ commenced playing, I was literally thunder- 
struck with the tremendous and sublime music ; 
so different from anything I had ever heard or 
imagined. I, however, could make no sense out of 
the words which were chanted or sung. I could 
understand some of the prayers, and was much 
pleased to hear many of the blacks join in this part of 
the service, as they kneeled down with much decency 
and apparent seriousness. The service seemed to me, 
however, to be too complicated for such a simple and 
unlearned person as myself; and I really conceived 
that the simple prayers of the Presbyterians came 
nearer to my view of things. The English mode 
seemed certainly more calculated to keep the attention 
of the hearers awake ; but if I may dare to express 
myself, there was too much bustle and stiff formality 
about it : the other form appeared to come more 
directly from the heart. 

After some time, the clergyman, having retired 
and again made his appearance in another dress, 
which was a new matter of wonder to me, gave out 
the text, — " Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
thou shalt be saved." He went on to explain his 
text, and I thought to myself that many of his re- 
marks particularly applied to my own situation. He 
gave a short sketch of the history of man from his 
creation — of his speedy and fatal fall from innocence 
and consequent happiness — and of the natural enmity 


of his heart to all that was good. He then expa- 
tiated upon the necessity for a Saviour, and showed 
that such could not be found either in one of the race 
of fallen mankind, or even of the more exalted angels 
of heaven ; who, high as they were, stood charged 
with folly in the eyes of Him who is altogether purity 
and perfection. It was requisite, then, that one 
should be found altogether spotless and pure, and free 
from the taint of sin in any degree — who could lay 
his hand upon fallen, wretched, and forlorn man, on 
the one side, and upon a justly offended and infinitely 
holy God, upon the other, and reconcile the one to 
the other. " An intercessor," said he, " must be 
found, who, by his own obedience and suffering, as a 
spotless and sinless being, can atone to infinite jus- 
tice in a satisfactory manner for the sins and rebel- 
lions of the millions of lost mankind. And such a 
mediator could only be found in the person of Jesus ; 
who, although dwelling in the bosom of the Father 
from all eternity, of his own free will and benevolence 
towards mankind, became, in due time, a sacrifice, 
and, by the shedding of his precious blood upon the 
cross, made an end of sin, and finished transgression 
He then gave a brief view of the life, character, and 
doings of the Saviour whilst upon earth. " Would 
it," continued he, " ever have entered into the imagi- 
nation of man or angel, that He who was the Second 
Person in the Godhead, and who thought it no rob- 
bery to be equal with God, should assume the form 
and submit to the inconveniences and infirmities 
attendant upon the sons of men — that he should lead 


a life of humiliation, and at last lay down his life for 
a wretched and rebellious race ? Such sublime and 
godlike ideas could only have emanated from a source 
exalted infinitely above all that created intelligence 
could ever imagine ; and the conduct of the blessed 
Saviour whilst amongst men was so transcendantly 
pure and benevolent, so superior to anything that had 
hitherto been seen upon the earth, that even his bit- 
terest enemies found that it was altogether absurd to 
deny the supernatural effects produced by his mere 
words. When they saw the lame and the blind, who 
had been so from their mother's womb, at once 
restored to sight and hearing, and when, even before 
many witnesses, the dead were called forth from their 
graves ; still, in the malignity and obstinacy of their 
hearts, they refused to receive the light into their 
darkened minds, and, since they could not deny the 
plain and open fact that such miracles were per- 
formed, attributed the power of the blessed Saviour 
to magic and the agency of evil spirits. Before 
our Saviour's time," continued he, " it had been said 
by wise and sober men and learned philosophers, that 
men should act as they would that others should do 
to them ; but it was reserved for the Saviour himself 
to teach mankind a doctrine hitherto unthought of, 
and altogether in itself bespeaking its high origin — 
namely, that we should forgive our enemies, do good 
to those who despitefully use us, and pray for those 
who revile and persecute us ; in a word, that we 
should return good for evil. And now, my friends, 
believe in this Jesus, and you shall be saved. But 


it is not a mere simple assent to the truth as a matter 
of historical fact that will save you. Believing, you 
must act, and show, by your conduct towards all men 
and towards your Creator, that you believe the Lord 
Jesus to be his only and well-beloved Son ; and as an 
evidence that your belief is genuine, you will en- 
deavour literally to follow Jesus in all your words 
and actions, and even in your very thoughts. In 
one word, remember that the Lord Jesus expressly 
said, ' If you love me, you will keep my command- 
ments.' And, again, ' Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, 
and do not the things that I say ?' " 

Pardon me, gentle reader, for being so diffuse upon 
the matters of my first Sabbath-day's experience in a 
Christian land. I am aware that some who may 
honour me by a perusal of these papers will slip over 
what they may deem cant and hypocrisy ; but I am 
also aware that there are others who will feel inte- 
rested in tracing my progress from darkness to light, 
and from the power of Satan to the glorious liberty of 
the sons of God. 

On my way home from church, I reflected thus to 
myself : " Surely these white people ought to be 
very good and happy, possessing so many advantages 
and blessings. What splendid and substantial houses, 
and what elegant furniture ! Such fine clothing to 
wear — such luxurious food and wines to eat and 
drink — such fine streets to walk in — such elegant 
carriages to ride in — and, above all, such noble 
houses in which to worship God ! And what sub- 
lime music to elevate and soothe their feelings ! But, 

126 zamba's reflections. 

ah ! why should they be so unjust towards the black 
people? Why, above all things, debar them from 
learning to read and write, and thus, in a great mea- 
sure, cause God's own message from heaven to be a 
sealed book to those who, from their ignorance, stand 
most in want of it? " 

I felt greatly comforted by what I had heard this 
day, and bethought myself that I should now — at 
least once in seven days — experience a delight which 
nothing else on earth could give me. Is it not, 
surely, a high honour for sinful and rebellious man 
to be allowed to lay his heart open before God — to 
implore his assistance and his advice — and to hold 
communion with him, so to speak, as a friend and a 
councillor ? I, however, learned from my comrade 
that there were thousands of white people, and also 
many blacks, in Charleston, who never entered a 
church door from year to year ; choosing rather to go 
upon pleasure-parties into the country, or even, still 
worse, to spend the whole of the Lord's holy day in 
drinking, gambling, quarrelling, and blaspheming in 
public houses. How often, alas ! do men, in all coun- 
tries and stations, look upon God's choicest blessings 
with an apathy and an indifference alike strange and 
lamentable ! Because they have, all their life long, 
been accustomed to find them within their reach at 
any time and at all times, they think them too com- 
mon and familiar to be much cared for. 

In the evening, my comrade went with me to a 
Methodist chapel. He told me the black people 
chiefly joined this sect of Christians. They seemed 


generally to have more sympathy with our race, and 
did not assume so much state and superiority as other 

Soon after we entered the meeting, a hymn was 
read ; the person who led the singing slowly re- 
peated line after line, and, to my great satisfaction, he 
was instantly joined by the whole of the congrega- 
tion, white and black. Many of the latter — especially 
the females — appeared to understand the music well, 
and sung with beautifully clear voices. I attempted 
to follow, to the best of my ability, and felt within 
me a species of happiness hitherto unknown. I felt 
that, in this the first audible offering of my heart to 
Almighty God, I was now and for ever bursting the 
chains of ignorance and paganism, and that hence- 
forth I should consider myself as enlisted under the 
banner of our Lord Jesus. 

The prayer which immediately followed appeared 
to be indeed a prayer from the inmost parts of the 
soul. It was spirit communing with spirit. The 
speaker seemed to be deeply impressed with the idea 
that he was in the presence of an omnipotent and. 
awful Being, altogether full of goodness and mercy — 
a Being whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, 
and who yet deigns to dwell in the heart of the 
humble and contrite man. As the speaker went on 
(and I took notice that he, as well as many of the 
congregation, kneeled at the commencement of the 
prayer), he entered more and more into the spirit of 
his holy exercise ; again and again he clasped his 
hands with energy, and called, in a voice still louder and 


louder, upon the Lord, to look down and have mercy 
upon all present. Many of the white audience 
seemed equally earnest, and called aloud, with all 
the fervour of an aroused spirit, for mercy and peace. 
Many, too, of the blacks — especially the females — 
appeared to be greatly moved and excited, and even 
lost all command over their feelings, beating their 
breasts, and calling out — " Lord, have mercy upon us 
sinners !" 

I am quite aware, from my subsequent experiences, 
that the Methodists have been accused of an improper 
degree of fanaticism and enthusiasm, according to the 
notions of worldly men. No doubt, there are some- 
times extravagances committed in the Methodist 
mode of worship ; but is there no allowance to be 
made for simple and unlearned people, who, perhaps 
for the first time in their lives, have their eyes opened, 
as it were, in an instant, by the power of the Holy 
Spirit, which oftentimes pierceth as a sword, separat- 
ing the joints and marrow ? In the days of our 
Saviour, there is no doubt that, on the impulse of the 
moment, many sinners called aloud, in the streets 
and in the fields, for mercy; and there is as little 
doubt that the men of the world in those days looked 
upon them also as mad enthusiasts. 

On my way home from church, I began to 
question myself, whether I considered any worldly 
disadvantages and disappointments I had experienced, 
were to be compared with the advantages I now 
enjoyed? — hearing the gospel preached to me, as 
it were, and the infinite love and salvation of Jesus 


offered to me, a poor miserable and ignorant sinner ; 
and I further asked myself, " Are you perfectly at 
peace in your heart with Captain Win ton, and can you 
fall down on your knees and pray for him, and 
forgive him from the bottom of your heart?" I will 
candidly own that this latter part of the matter 
seemed not altogether so clear to me as my con- 
science told me it should be. As I thought further 
of it, however, I was, by the holy Spirit of God illu- 
minating my heart and eyes, brought so far, that 
before I slept that night I fell upon my knees, 
and offered up a prayer, entreating God that he 
would enable me to forgive Captain Winton soon. 
But in the midst of my devotion conscience again 
interposed, and whispered, " But, Zamba, what if 
God removes you from this world before daylight; 
how will you dare to stand before Him, and your 
enemy still unforgiven ? " I found there was no 
tampering with conscience ; so at once I petitioned, 
" Lord, enable me this moment to forgive my enemies, 
wherever or whoever they may be; or enable me 
altogether to forget them." 

The serious reader will perceive what struggles still 
went on within me betwixt the natural heart of sin 
and corruption, and the holy influences of the blessed 
Spirit. It is sometimes very difficult to drive the 
old man utterly away from the sinful heart, which 
he has so long occupied : he will often assume a 
less revolting shape, and attempt to go halves with 
the struggling sinner; blinding him so far that he 
thinks he has wholly obtained the triumph over sin, 



when he is yet but in the hottest of the battle. The 
young man with whom Jesus communed regarding 
his previous life and character, made a stand at the 
sacrifice proposed by Christ : for the sake of his 
worldly possessions, which were great, he turned his 
back upon the precious jewels which Christ had in 
store for him ; and, as many others since have done, 
and even now still do, went away — away to enjoy, for 
a few fleeting years or days, the gross pleasures of the 
senses ; and for ever to forego those pleasures which 
are at God's right hand. 



Captain Winton visits the store of Zamba's master — Zarnba finds a 
friend and teacher — Puts his money to interest — Effects of the 
American War — Negro Slavery in Charleston — Auction Sales of 
Negroes — The Cowskin — Horrors of a Slave-ship — Affecting scene 
—Price of Slaves — Captain Pompey — Emancipation prohibited. 

Next morning I resumed my duties at the store, and 
soon became tolerably expert at handling and ar- 
ranging goods. 

In my different conversations with Mr. Thomson, 
I had given him a history of the manner in which 
Captain Winton had behaved towards me ; and, as a 
matter of course, Mr. T. had made no secret of it, 
so that the other clerks, and many customers who 
frequented the store, were acquainted with it. It 
is well known to the world that the Americans are a 
very inquisitive race ; and I am aware, from my own 
experience, that they do not let any story they get 
hold of lose anything in its travels. I excited much 
more interest in the concern than was altogether 
agreeable; for the fact of the matter was, that 
although all joined in condemning the Captain to a 

k 2 


certain extent, the laugh was invariably turned 
against me at the last : I was told half a dozen 
times every day, by some one or other, although 
in a good-humoured way, that I was well served. 
" Really, you were a fine fellow, Zamba, to be in 
the way of selling thirty-two of your own countrymen. 
Dog should not eat dog, Zamba." 

Captain Winton had been several times at the 
store regarding business with my master ; but as yet 
I had never encountered him closely: he generally 
came round by a back way, which led to the counting- 
house. Whether it was really the case or not, may be 
doubtful, but I could not help imagining that he 
did not wish to see me : to face me, I would say, eye 
to eye : such cowards does guilt cause men to be. 
As chance would have it, however, one afternoon 
Captain Winton, with another gentleman, came 
walking down the front pavement, and were passing 
the large open door, around and within which were 
about a score of dealers (Jews, Gentiles, and all sorts), 
waiting to receive the goods they had purchased in 
the forenoon. One of these, a New England man, 
and a very merry fellow, called out, " Ho ! Winton, 
come hither and tell us all about the story of the 
Black Prince," at the same time pointing to me as I 
was engaged in handing out goods. The Captain 
did not change colour, but he looked rather black, as 
I have heard people say, and answered, " What do 
you mean now, Bennet? You are always upon some 
nonsense or other." " Why, I guess anyhow, Captain, 
it was no nonsense of you to make twenty thousand 


particular hard dollars at a slap ; and all without any 

trouble, too, as they tell me, excepting a lesson or 

two in the primer to this poor black Nincompoop. 

I must acknowledge, Winton, you do credit to old 

Connecticut — you have beat all to particular smash 

your cousin Ezekiel, who sold some barrels of wooden 

nutmegs last year here at Vendue. Ha! ha! 

Winton, you are a real king of trumps, and don't 

do things by halves. But, I say, Winton, for old 

times you must stand treat the next time you come 

up my way in King Street." All this was said in 

a free and easy sort of way ; nevertheless, it evidently 

went to the quick ; as, however well-pleased people 

may feel with themselves at making a spec in a 

way of this kind, they do not wish the world to 

know all the particulars. The laugh completely 

turned against the Captain for once; and a 

good-natured shopkeeper, who had once or twice 

before spoken to me kindly, slipt a quarter dollar 

into my hand, as I assisted him to put his goods 

upon a dray, saying, " Never mind, Zamba, you 

are a clever fellow, and will be a man yet. And as 

for that rascally Captain, I tell you, as sure 's my 

name is Tobias, your money won't thrive long with 

him : he is too fond of the dice-box." 

I must confess that I felt a secret satisfaction in 
seeing Winton thus annoyed. This, then, was a 
pretty sure sign that my heart was yet in the gall 
of bitterness. I consoled myself, however — and how 
glad are all men to catch at a straw in extremity — 
that I was on the way to better things. I went 


home in the evening and had my supper. And I 
may here remark that, to use a common saying, 
I and the rest of my fellow servants were fed like 
princes ; and the large kitchen, with its fire blazing 
every evening, and its well-furnished table, was by 
no means a scene of gloom or discontent. I was 
often, indeed, at a loss to know why we were 
permitted to be so merry and cheerful. But, as I 
shall yet show, there was an amazing and awful 
difference between our situation and that of thousands 
of our countrymen. 

After supper, Mr. Thomson sent for me to his 
room. He was desirous to know what were my feel- 
ings in regard to the good things I had heard on the 
Sabbath, and which of the churches I should prefer 
going to regularly. I at once told him, that I pre- 
ferred the Methodists ; " because," said I, " they 
seem to address their sermons very particularly to 
the blacks ; and they seem pleased to hear us join in 
singing and praying. And, besides all this, I think 
they are a very plain and simple people, and more 
adapted than the other sects to teach us poor blacks." 
" I believe you are not far wrong, Zamba," said he. 
" You may go and hear a few of the other sects which 
are in the city ; but the sooner you fix upon one, the 
better. Keep by one minister : you are not so likely, 
in that case, to be tossed about by every wind that 

Although I had made up my mind, after Captain 
Winton's affair, to put my trust in no white man, I 
was now inclined to alter my mind. Mr. Thomson 


seemed such an amiable young man, and appeared 
to have my soul's interest so much at heart, that I 
thought I could not do better than consult and con- 
fide in him in temporal affairs. 

I told him about the gold I had contrived to save 
from the Captain's clutches, and how it happened. 
He was quite delighted to learn that I had shown 
so much prudence and forethought, and said that it 
would be a great pity to let my money lie idle in a 
trunk. He said that Mr. Naylor was a very rich 
man, and a most honourable man ; but that people 
in business were never the worse for having plenty of 
ready money. He would speak to Mr. Naylor on the 
subject, and had no doubt but that he would readily 
take charge of my little stock, and give me good 
interest for it. " In the mean time, Zamba," said he, 
" although you have far more money than would pur- 
chase your liberty at a fair price, I would, as a friend, 
advise you to remain as you are ; you could not be 
more comfortable anywhere than in Mr. Naylor's 
service ; and you will be the better for more expe- 
rience before you venture on the world on your own 
account. I suppose, Zamba," said he, smiling, " you 
will be often thinking of home, and your wife and 
mother; but just be patient a little, there is no 
saying what the Almighty will bring round for you. 
And let me tell you, Zamba, that, although I do not 
say much about it, I think as often about the hills of 
my own dear Scotland, as you can do about Africa ; 
and I have a dear father and mother there, too ; and 
sisters and brothers, whom I dream of almost every 

136 zamba's treasure. 

night." He then told me that his father was a clergy- 
man in Scotland, with a small income and a large 
family ; and that, as he himself was very saving in 
his habits, and had a good salary besides his board, 
he was enabled to send his father every year, about 
two hundred dollars ; " which is," said he, " not 
near so much as some of my fellow-clerks annually 
spend on theatre tickets, cigars, and brandy. It is 
to my virtuous parents, however, and the grace of 
God, that I owe all ; and I must not boast of my 
virtue : my comrades lay out their money to please 
themselves, and so do I." 

The next morning early I opened my hidden trea- 
sures, and it was found that I had about five pounds 
of gold dust; this was afterwards sold at 250 dollars 
per pound, making 1250 dollars ; and the thirty doub- 
loons came to 450 dollars, so that I had 1700 dollars 
to place in the hands of Mr. Naylor, who congra- 
tulated me on my prudent conduct. " I will allow 
you," said he, " at the rate of seven per cent., Zamba ; 
so that you will have 119 dollars every year coming to 
you as interest ; and it will always be increasing. And 
now I tell you, in the presence of Mr. Thomson, that 
in case of my death, I shall give you a letter declaring 
you a free man, and will also give you a receipt for 
the money ; for you must understand that, by the laws 
of this State, a slave cannot own property in his own 
right. You will draw out these papers, Mr. Thomson, 
and we shall show poor Zamba, that all white men 
are not exactly so greedy as Captain Winton." I was 
much struck at my master's condescension, and very 


much amazed to find that money grew so fast, from 
year to year, in the hands of white men. 

Excepting anxious thoughts regarding Africa and 
my dear friends there, my mind and body, I may say, 
were in a sound and comfortable state. Mr. Thomson 
faithfully performed towards me the part of a teacher : 
giving me lessons, at least four times in the week, in 
reading or writing, not forgetting arithmetic ; and he 
was pleased to say that I was a most hopeful scholar. 
He used to say, " How blind are the rulers of this 
State to debar black men from the knowledge of 
letters, and how much are they combating against 
their own interests : they might have excellent clerks 
and bookkeepers, without being required to pay high 
salaries to white men. For instance, now, Zamba, I 
make no doubt but that, with proper instructors, and 
having the thing done openly, in a few years you 
would be as expert at writing and figures as many 
clerks in Charleston, who receive 1000 or 1200 
dollars per annum. But prejudice, stupid prejudice, 
will often blind men to their dearest interests ; and 
the dearest interest of man in America seems to be 
the acquisition of dollars and cents : there are mer- 
chants in this city, who, by educating their own 
negroes, might save annually from 6000 to 8000 
dollars." For my own part, I found that the more 
I read in books, the more was I inclined to read on 
and know as much as possible regarding the people 
of other countries ; and I found that the little learn- 
ing I had already obtained was of great service to 
me, in performing my duty towards my master. 


I may mention, that Mr. Naylor had a most 
extensive business going on. He sold a vast deal 
of what is called real property : houses, lands, &c. ; 
also immense lots of goods alongside of ships; lots 
of negroes, almost every day ; and an immense quan- 
tity of dry goods at the store. 

Whilst in Mr. Naylor's service, I saw many ups 
and downs in the commercial world. During the 
war with Britain, from 1812 to 1815, business was 
almost wholly at a stand. Let the Americans boast 
as they will, to use the expression of an old Scotch 
merchant, who went much about our store : " Anither 
half year, my braw lads, would finish you, stoup and 
roup : ye wad be rinnin' red naked, an' no a bowl or a 
plate, or a hale jug in a' yer aught." 

War, in fact, a ruin and a curse to any country, 
is especially so to America. Her trade was com- 
pletely knocked up ; and even her agriculture in 
a great measure : for example, good cotton was 
offered in Charleston at five or six cents per pound ; 
but no one would venture to buy it, because they 
were in daily dread that the British would come in 
and burn the city and its contents. I recollect, 
however, a certain Dutch gentleman — who was very 
wealthy, and had perhaps better information from 
Europe than some of his neighbours — who ventured 
upon ten or twelve thousand bales of cotton, at six 
cents or so, and took his chance of the burning. 
When peace came, he realized from twenty to twenty- 
five cents for his whole stock ; thus clearing more than 
half a million of dollars. I recollect also that the ear- 


liest arrivals of goods from Britain brought enormous 
prices : blue-edged common dinner plates, which cost 
about two shillings per dozen in Liverpool, brought 
six dollars, or about twenty-seven shillings. I saw 
the same kind, however, sold, in about a twelve- 
month afterwards, at half a dollar per dozen : the 
market getting overstocked, and sales by auction 
being resorted to. Other kinds of goods — British, 
French, and German, were equally in demand at the 
opening of the trade ; but the market was so soon 
overwhelmed, that I have seen such sacrifices at 
auctions as would cause a man of a mercantile turn 
to shed tears. 

I had, as yet, in regard to my fellow-countrymen, 
observed few of the evils of slavery. Draymen, 
porters, and workmen of every description, seemed 
generally merry and hearty ; and, in the loading of 
ships with cotton, rice, See, a stranger would think 
the negro one of the merriest creatures in the world : 
such continual singing and bawling going on, as if 
there were no such thins; as care in the world. But. 
as I have already said, I had yet only seen the bright 
side of the picture. 

To be sure, the very action of exposing my fellows 
to sale was a deplorable matter ; but to this traffic I 
had been habituated, and, I fear that I must add, 
hardened. We had almost daily sales of negroes. 
But I must particularize a little. When my master 
had orders from any customer, for instance, to sell a 
single negro, or a few, it was generally called a Lot, 
and the sale took place before the Auction Store. 


When the number amounted to any thing consider- 
able, they went by the name of a Gang ; and the sale 
took place at the Exchange. 

In selling them at the Store, a large table was 
placed before the door, upon the wooden pavement ; 
and upon this table my master, or one of his partners, 
mounted, with a paper in his hand and a small wooden 
mallet. The negro or negroes, generally dressed in 
their best, were then placed also upon the table, and, 
were told to hold up their heads. Mr. Naylor, or his 
partner, then read out their description and character : 
sound, sober, honest, and no runaway, being almost 
always part of the latter; and then the Terms of Sale 
were stated : cash, or an endorsed approved note, at 
sixty or ninety days, or sometimes six months. 

In the mean time, intending purchasers, including 
oft-times white ladies, had gathered around the table. 
Questions were then put to the piece of living mer- 
chandize, and, in general, quiet and humble answers 
given ; although I have seen some of my race very 
sullen and refractory. On the other hand, I have 
seen some young fellows as merry as crickets, laugh- 
ing and joking with all around. These generally, 
however, I am aware, could pretty well guess into 
whose hands they would most likely fall. I have 
more than once heard a young lad bawl out to a 
gentleman passing down the Vendue-street : " Do, 
Massa Robertson, come here, and bid for me, and 
disappoint old Mr. Lamp, who wants much to have 
me ; but I would rather sarve you, Sar." 

I have, however, witnessed scenes at auctions which 


were truly harrowing to the soul ; especially in the 
case of females. I have seen poor women so much 
agitated, and rending the air so with their screams, 
that the auctioneer, notwithstanding all his bland- 
ishments, was obliged to put off the sale till a 
succeeding day ; and the poor women had to be 
taken into the Store, and revived (for more than 
once have I seen them faint) with a glass of wine. 

What would ladies in civilized and Christian Eng- 
land think of the fair and gentle ladies of free and 
Christian America — to see, I say, these lilies of the 
creation at an auction table, putting questions to 
victims of their own sex, such as no modest man 
would repeat, and that, too, in the presence of a 
crowd of men ? I have seen at the same time 
men ordering these poor black women to pull 
down their stockings, and stretching forth their un- 
hallowed hands to assist the poor creatures in 
doing so. This was done, as I was told, to ascertain 
whether the individuals offered for sale, were troubled 
with diseased or ulcerated legs : but it was done with 
the utmost coolness; just in the same manner as a 
butcher handles his four-legged victims. 

To recount the strange, cruel, unnatural, and in 
some few cases humorous, scenes at the sale of 
negroes which came under my observation, would 
be endless. I must sometimes adhere to generals 
and not to particulars. I may observe, however, 
that upon an average, the owners of their fellow-men, 
who thus outraged the first principles of human 
nature, by making merchandise (and that too in 



such a glaring manner) of " man, the image of God," 
even although clothed in a sable skin, generally so 
arranged matters beforehand, that husband was not 
separated from wife, father or mother from their 
children, or children of the same parents from one 
another. If they could as well be sold in lots con- 
veniently to the purchaser, so far all was good. If 
not — that is to say, if the purchaser had not cash, or 
credit sufficient to go a certain length, or if he required, 
perhaps, only a female domestic servant — he, without 
compunction, bought the wife or daughter, and left 
the husband or father to some other bidder ; who, 
perhaps, lived in a part of the country where there 
would be no chance of the poor slaves ever again 
meeting with each other. 

I have seen the husband and wife, and sometimes 
an infant or two, upon the auction table ; the hus- 
band with his arms around the neck of his faithful 
and long-loved, although black partner, imploring, in 
the most moving language, while the tears trickled 
down his sable cheeks, that they would not separate 
him from all that he cared for upon earth ; and the 
poor woman equally moved, and in many cases more 
so, beseeching, with all the eloquence of nature's 
own giving, that she might be allowed to toil the 
remainder of her earthly existence with the only one 
her heart ever loved. But all in vain! For the con- 
venience of some proud, arrogant, and overbearing 
planter, or some iron-hearted slave-dealer, who had 
all his life been accustomed to regard the black race 
as merely a superior order of brutes, the most sacred 


and tender links of humanity were torn asunder, 
and a few coarse jeers and remarks made upon the 
mighty fuss about nothing. I have heard it re- 
marked a hundred times, " Feelings of a negro ! 
where the devil did they find feelings? No, no, my 
good fellow (addressing the wretched and broken- 
hearted husband), your wife and children go with 
me; she is an excellent cook and laundress I hear, 
and really I am not in want of a fellow like you at 
present :" or, " why, really I would go out of my 
way a few dollars to accommodate you all; but I 
know well enough that you will soon find a wife, go 
wherever you may; and as for your wife you seem 
so uneasy to part with, why, I promise you, I shall 
find her a husband to her heart's content." 

Amongst many of the white people the impression 
is that a negro has no feelings, although even these 
know well to the contrary, and merely entertain this 
idea before the world, to cloak their own want of 
feeling. I have seen husband and wife so loth to 
part, that at length the husband was forced into 
the auction store and compelled to await the arrival 
of his purchaser, whilst the weeping wife and chil- 
dren were conveyed up the street to a waggon in 
waiting for them ; their lordly, noble, high-souled and 
generous republican master, bringing up the rear 
with a cowskin in his hand, applying it now and 
then, in a gentle way, to the back of his new-made 

And here, by the way, I may let the British reader 
know what a cowskin is. Many hundred bundles of 



them have gone through my hands in attending 
my duty in my master's store. Large quantities 
came down from the manufactories in the northern 
States, by almost every ship : for, although these 
states disown the holding of slaves, they have no 
objection, for the sake of a few dollars in the way of 
honest trade, as they call it, to supply the southern 
tyrants with proper instruments of torture. 

The cowskin, then, is formed of untanned cow or 
ox hide, cut in narrow strips, and twisted together in 
a spiral form, as thick as a stout walkingstick at the 
butt end, and tapering gradually to a point ; and, 
lastly, coated over with oil paint, generally green. 
The fact is, that the greater part of them are used 
as riding-whips. They are so tough and so hard 
that any person of ordinary strength can leave a 
deep mark in a deal board by one blow of this in- 
strument. It may then be imagined with what 
effect it tells upon the bare back or legs of a poor 
negro, or (as happens often enough) a negress. 

My master had often the sale of whole cargoes of 
slaves, " fresh from Africa," — or, as it turned out in 
many cases, anything but fresh. I have seen ships 
arrive from my native land with cargoes at least three to 
one more numerous than that of the vessel in which I 
myself came to America. The filth and the abomi- 
nation which some of these presented was perfectly 
indescribable ; and the squalid, wasted, and mise- 
rable plight in which the poor negroes or cargo ap- 
peared, was enough to have checked for ever such 
traffic, had not the individuals who were embarked in it 


been destitute of every feeling which can confer 
honour or dignity on human nature. Some of these 
poor victims to the white man's love of gold, were so 
far gone that I have known the owners of the ship to 
murmur and grumble very much at being obliged to 
pay duty (which the law compelled them to do) on im- 
porting negroes, viz. ten dollars each. " Ten dollars !" 
I have heard them say, " why some of these poor 

devils are not worth ten cents. But we can't " 

this sentence was left unfinished : they meant, " we 
can't well now throw them into the sea, and so evade 
the ten dollars ; no, that would be rather too open, 
even for Carolina." But I am quite aware that the 
captain was, in some cases, given to understand, 
in as delicate a manner as possible, that he should 
get rid of such encumbrances on the east side of 
Charleston bar: that is, somewhere or other in the 
bosom of the broad Atlantic. 

Slave ships from Africa generally moored off a 
place in the north-east side of the city, called 
Gadsden's wharf. It was out of the bustle of the 
harbour j and here a number of low wooden sheds 
or huts were erected, for the accommodation of 
imported negroes. 

During the warm season, the poor creatures were 
landed, and after being washed and cleaned, were 
put up for sale, in general with no more than a 
yard or two of Osnaburgh round the middle; but in 
winter the owners were, for their own sakes, obliged 
to furnish them with a few warm clothes, other- 
wise they would have lost them altogether,, The 



keen sharp air which prevails during some days of 
the winter months would speedily have finished 

Although certain that they had come to a country 
where they would be treated as slaves, and sub- 
jected to hard work and hard treatment, without 
the smallest chance of ever again seeing their native 
land, yet the negroes upon coming ashore, and being 
allowed to stretch their limbs, and walk about a 
little — to refresh themselves in the salt water, and 
breathe the pure air of heaven — and, above all, 
being furnished with fresh provisions, it was astonish- 
ing to observe how their spirits revived : a change 
for the better appeared in their countenances, and 
they expressed their delight, by capering and sing- 
ing. But no wonder, after all, when we consider 
the difference between the hold of a ship, containing 
four or five hundred negroes, surrounded with filth, 
and suffering from suffocation, and the fresh and 
grateful free air of heaven. 

I would here observe, that in the preceding portion 
of my narrative, and also in that which is to follow, 
I have never had recourse to falsehood, in expressing 
what I have seen or heard ; the case does not require 
it ; the plain and simple truth will do more for the 
cause of the black man, than ten volumes of var- 
nished fables : yea, one simple fact, related as it 
actually happened, will do more for our cause, than 
fifty exaggerated fabrications. To do justice, then, 
to the white man, I observed, that in dividing the 
negroes into lots for sale, the captain and mates 


were always consulted by the owners, and such of 
the slaves as it could be made out were related to 
one another, were put in the same lot. I remember 
one case, however, which created some sensation, 
even among the hardened slave-dealers. 

By some oversight or mistake, a mother was put 
in one lot, and her only daughter, a fine girl of sixteen 
or seventeen in another, and when, after the sale, the 
purchasers were driving away their lots, (for, indeed, 
they were actually driven away, like four-footed beasts) 
the poor girl ran to her mother, and taking her by 
the hand, was proceeding up the wharf with her. 
But in a moment, this was discovered by the person 
who had purchased the girl — for a particular purpose, 
as it afterwards appeared. He instantly followed 
and seized the girl by the wrist, and although she 
could not speak a word of English, she manifested 
by her looks and voice, that she was not deficient in 
nature's eloquence. She threw her arms around the 
neck of her mother, who seemed equally moved; and 
it was not without much difficulty, and many hard 
blows of the cowskin, that they could be separated. 
Mr. Naylor here humanely interfered, and en- 
deavoured to effect a compromise or bargain betwixt 
the planter who purchased the mother, and who 
resided 150 miles up the country, and the person 
who had purchased the daughter; but all to no 
effect. The latter, who resided within 20 miles of 
Charleston, would hearken to no terms ; he had a 
particular purpose, as I have already said, for the 
girl, and would yield her up to no one. 

l 2 

148 zamba's scholarship. 

What this purpose was, I might leave the reader 
to guess; but as some readers may not be quite 
conversant with the humane and christian-like laws 
and habits of Carolina, I may tell him that the poor 
girl was intended to grace the harem of this noble- 
minded and free-souled republican — nolens volens t I 
may add. 

Perhaps the reader may exclaim to himself here, 
" What do you know about Latin, my black friend ?" 
Why, sir, my kind friend Mr. Thomson, besides in- 
structing me in English, writing, arithmetic, and a 
little geography, lent me a Latin dictionary, to shew 
me the derivation of words, and taught me how to 
use it; so that I have picked up even a little of that 
ancient and sublime language. 

And, by the way, I may mention that during my 
residence in Charleston, I have been acquainted with 
negroes and mulattoes, not a few, who could both 
speak and write in English, French, Spanish, and 
German. 2 

It is an easy matter for republicans — liberal- 
minded legislators — to make laws prohibiting the 
black man from using the means of instruction; but 
it would be as easy to stay the gulf-stream in its 
course, as to put these laws in force to the letter. 
One black man, who possesses a little knowledge, 
may communicate the same to hundreds of his race, 
without the cognizance of white men ; and there is 
much more of this going on in Charleston, even now, 
than the public are aware of. And shall it all come 
to nought ? No ! the light, feeble though it be at 


present, and necessarily communicated amid gloom 
and privacy, will yet burst forth like a blazing comet, 
and astonish those despots, who attempt to smother 
the heavenly spark of knowledge, and to stifle that 
eager desire for information which exists in the soul 
of many black men — and black women too. 

I hope the kind reader will pardon my frequent 
digressions ; I am not used to book-making, and have 
no regular plan laid down for my narrative. I write 
down just as my memory serves me, and from the 
impulse of the moment. I must also crave pardon 
for such frequent allusion to self; but I can hardly 
avoid this piece of egotism. 

It may not be out of place here to speak of the price 
or value of slaves at different periods. From the time 
of my arrival in America, up till 1807, an immense 
quantity was imported from Africa. In 1807 the 
American government nominally abolished the slave 
trade. I say nominally, for although after that year 
there was no direct importation, it cannot be denied 
that up to this very hour thousands of negroes are 
annually smuggled into the southern states — especially 
to the ports in the Gulf of Mexico — from Cuba 
and the Brazils ; and it is also believed, not a few di- 
rect from Africa, in an underhand way. 

The price of negroes usually varies with the price 
of rice and cotton ; although this rule does not 
always hold. At this present moment, for instance, 
while cotton sells at from 6 to 8 cents per pound, 
a good field hand will bring from 400 to 600 dollars; 
and I remember well that, in 1817 and 1818, when 


the same kind of cotton was at its very highest : 
namely, 33 and 35 cents, the same negro would 
not have brought above 800 dollars. — I believe, how- 
ever, that the present high price is maintained on 
account of the great demand in the far western states ; 
especially for the newly admitted state of Texas. 

The slave-dealers are exulting at this great acqui- 
sition at present ; as being, in their opinion, a deadly 
blow at the abolitionists. Time will, perhaps, yet 
show that they are in the wrong. Providence some- 
times blinds the wicked to their own destruction. 

In regard, however, to the price of negroes, I have 
seen two old women sold for 60 dollars. They were 
above 80 years of age, and could be of no use as 
domestics ; unless perhaps to kindle a fire, or watch a 
pot boiling. In the particular case to which I allude 
they were purchased by a charitable man, who had 
some bowels of compassion even for negroes. And 
it must be remembered here that the owner of slaves 
cannot, when his negroes get old and feeble turn them 
into the street altogether : no, he must maintain them 
in some way, however stinted. The law in this case 
is not destitute of wisdom and humanity. I may say 
then, that I have seen negroes sold at all prices, from 
30 dollars (61. 15s. sterling) up to 1550 dollars, 
(348/. 155.). I have seen this latter sum paid for a 
young man of 25, who was a first rate cooper and 
blacksmith. It will be seen then, from this, that the 
white man in his capacity of slave-owner, does not 
enjoy his privileges altogether without some serious 
drawbacks. The man, for instance, who to-day pays 


1500 dollars for a negro, may lose him to-morrow by 
the unceremonious visitation of that great and in- 
visible power before which all men, bond and free, 
prince and peasant, must bow, sooner or later. Or 
the new made purchase may take it into his head to 
run away to the woods, or perhaps feign sickness, or, 
as it has happened more than once, may commit 
suicide. Such accidents as these must detract a great 
deal from the slave-holder's peace of mind. 

I mentioned already that I had seen some rather 
humorous scenes even at the sale of negroes ; I shall 
describe one which took place about six years after 
my arrival in Charleston. My master had orders to 
sell a schooner and her crew; and, accompained by 
Mr. Thomson and myself, he proceeded to the wharf 
(it was Crafts' wharf, I recollect) on the day of sale. 
After a number of intending purchasers had col- 
lected on the schooner's deck and on the wharf, Mr. 
Naylor read out the particulars of sale, viz. : — " The 
schooner Susannah, with all her apparel and appur- 
tenances, 65 tons register, 3 years old, a regular 
trader to Georgetown, and carries a large cargo to her 
tonnage. Conditions : — an approved indorsed note, 
at 90 days, with security on the vessel." Well, the 
vessel was knocked down at 2250 dollars to a Mr. 
Lawson. Mr, Naylor then read on : " Pompey, the 
Padroon, a black man aged 28, a prime negro — " Here 
Mr. Naylor was interrupted by Pompey, who stood 
close beside him on the quarter-deck, rigged out 
in his best : and really he was as handsome a fellow 
as any in Carolina. — Pompey then bowed to Mr. 


Naylor, and said, " Mr. Naylor, if it be quite agreeable 
to your feelings, I will thank you to call me Captain ; 
'specially when you observe, sar, that my crew are 
present. I always wish to have good example before 
my crew." And here Pompey drew himself up with 
much state and gravity, with his arms folded across 
his chest. Mr. Naylor, who was in reality a very 
affable man at all times, smiled — indeed Pompey's 
speech excited a smile on the countenances of all pre* 
sent — and said, "Oh ! very well ; by all means Captain 
Pompey, I really made a mistake. Well, a prime 
negro, named Pompey, captain of the said schooner 
Susannah, 28 years old, sound, sober, and honest, 
well acquainted with the Georgetown and Savannah 
trade, and also with the turtle fishing on the Florida 
banks. Who bids for Captain Pompey ? He will be a 
great acquisition to any one, especially to the owner of 
this same schooner. Is five hundred dollars bid?" 
" Yes," said a would-be purchaser. 
" Six hundred dollars, I hear — seven hundred dol- 
lars: thank you, Mr. Turner; eight hundred dollars — 
nine hundred dollars — one thousand dollars for Cap- 
tain Pompey. Go on, gentlemen, you a'n't half-way 
yet. Captain Pompey is worth two thousand dollars, 
if he is worth a cent." 

When the thousand dollars were bid I had my eye 
on Pompey, and being pretty well acquainted with 
him, felt much interested ; and it was curious here to 
see the workings of human nature, or rather of human 
pride ; at a thousand dollars Pompey held his chin at 
least three inches higher, and his jet black eyes 


actually flashed with excitement. However, to go on, 
eleven hundred dollars were bid — " Twelve hundred 
dollars, do I hear?" said Mr. Naylor; "thirteen hun- 
dred dollars — thirteen hundred dollars, is that all that 
is bid for Captain Pompey, the primest hand in all the 
coasting trade ? It is actually throwing him away." 

"Not so fast, Mr. Naylor, if you please," said 
Pompey, again interrupting; "whether you throw 
me away or not, you are 'ware, sar, that I shall 
not throw the Susannah away, nor myself either, if I 
can help it." 

"Well done, Captain Pompey," said a bidder; 
"fifty dollars more for that, my lad." 

Mr. Lavvson, who had purchased the vessel, seemed 
considerably uneasy now. "At once," he said, " fifteen 
hundred dollars, Mr. Naylor ; and that is my last 

" Fifteen hundred — fifteen hundred ; does nobody 
say more? then fifteen — fifteen — fifteen hundred dol- 
lars ; — going, going, gone ! It is a high price, Mr. 
Lawson ; but still you have a bargain, considering 
Captain Pompey's character and ability." 

Mr. Naylor now proceeded, — " Jacob, a negro man, 
aged 30, sound, sober, and faithful, acts as mate ; 
Caesar, aged 25, of a similar character, acts as 
steward ; and Jupiter, a negro boy, aged 16, a very 
promising lad, acts as cook : these three go in one lot. 
Terms for the whole of the negroes, cash on delivery." 

Not to tire the reader with the auctioneer's gossip, 
these three were knocked down to the gentleman who 
bought the other two lots, at two thousand dollars. 

154 a slave's hospitality. 

The sale being now finished, Captain Pompey 
bowed low to Mr. Lawson and Mr. Naylor, and said, 
" Gentlemen, I hope you will do me the honour, with 
as many of the other gentlemen as choose, to step 
down and take a glass of wine ; it will be most grate- 
ful to my feelings, and I beg you will not deny 
me the felicity of entertaining you for once." 

" Oh, yes, Captain Pompey, by all means," said 
two or three at once ; " we shall, with much plea- 
sure, drink success to the Susannah, her captain and 

The reader will have perceived that the whole of 
the crew of the Susannah held office in one shape 
or other, viz., captain, mate, steward, and cook. 

Upon going below, the cabin scuttle being off, 
I could hear Pompey order Csesar to put down 
glasses and bottles. He then drew some Madeira 
wine, and had decanters of brandy and gin, on the 
table besides. With his own hands, he then went 
round with the liquor on a waiter, and served his 
guests in a most respectful manner. 

" Sit down a little, Captain Pompey," said the new 
purchaser; " sit down, and take a glass yourself." 

" No, Mr. Lawson, I thank you very much, but 
I know my station : I will not sit down in the pre- 
sence of white gentlemen, and 'specially when one of 
them is my owner ; but I shall, with great pleasure, 
drink prosperity to all consarned." 

After a short time Pompey's guests left him, and 
he then came on deck and requested me to go below, 
where he acted the host with much suavity and 

"captain pompey" doing the honours. 155 

dignity. He sat at the head of the table, and placed 
me at his left hand, and we enjoyed ourselves eating, 
drinking, and perhaps too rashly criticising some 
of our white masters. Pompey did not forget his 
crew either; but called them down and treated them 
handsomely, standing, however. He knew his dignity 
too well to ask his subordinates to sit, especially when 
he had company. 

The reader will, I dare say, see from all this 
that Pompey knew something of the world, and 
could act the courtier as well, perhaps, as many a one 
who sports a star on his breast, and an embroidered 
garter on his knee. Captain Pompey, it must be 
observed, however, although a slave, was treated 
by his owners in a very different manner from the 
common run of slaves. He was allowed a consi- 
derable number of perquisites, and many ways of 
turning a penny on his own account. In a few years 
after the time I refer to, he purchased his own freedom, 
and has since done well. 

But in those days there were few obstructions 
by law to prevent a slave from procuring his freedom, 
provided he could satisfy his owner in regard to 
the dollars. 

The case is totally different now. Since the at- 
tempted insurrection in 1822, various laws have been 
passed to prevent humane masters from emancipating 
their slaves, and enterprising and careful slaves from 
purchasing their freedom. In fact, such a thing can- 
not be done without express permission from the 
legislature of the state ; and the different processes 


that must be gone through in order to obtain this, 
operate very nearly as a total prohibition to indivi- 
dual emancipation. It is somewhat akin to, but even 
more difficult to obtain, than procuring an act of 
Parliament in Britain for any important matter. 



Zamba comments on American liberty — Inbuman treatment of domes- 
tic slaves by tbeir masters and mistresses — Condition of tbe negroes 
in Carolina — Zamba bopes to revisit Africa — Saves tbe life of bis 
white friend — Negro epistle — Zamba and Zillab meet again, in 
slavery — Zillab bought by Zamba's master. 

I had now been nearly two years in America, alias 
Columbia, alias — by a horrible incongruity — the 
land of liberty ! Liberty, forsooth ! why, really Dame 
Liberty, with her long hair flying freely bahind 
her, her bold look, and the cap of liberty in her hand, 
looks mightily out of place, as she appears in a gilded 
and splendid car, drawn by a score of groaning slaves, 
loaded at the ankles with half a hundredweight of 
iron shackles, and with their bare backs wealed and 
scarred with the cart-whip or the cowskin. But 
this is all of a piece with Jonathan's inconsistency : 
witness his flag — the so much boasted of national 
flag. What the stars signify I am not quite satisfied 
about ; but to a certainty the stripes very fairly re- 
present the slave's portion in the community. Jona- 
than ought to be ashamed to hoist it when sailing 


upon the highway of nations — the free and open sea; 
— or when he comes within sight of any land where 
true liberty dwells. 

It will be imagined that I am in jest ; but I really 
would, with all due deference for the people of Ame- 
rica, suggest, by way of improvement to their flag, 
that they should expunge the stars, and replace 
them by their far-famed eagle ; such as is represented 
on their coins. Though I would have the said eagle 
drawn with a cowskin in its beak; for the bunch of 
arrows in one of its claws, I would substitute a bundle 
of cigars ; and place in the other claw a grog-bottle. 
These three symbols, in conjunction with the stripes 
underneath, would far more truly and faithfully repre- 
sent the propensities and tendencies of a nation of 
despots and slaves — of tyrants and their victims — 
than their present device. 

And now that I am upon this particular point, let 
me ask what the far-famed heroes and worthies of the 
revolution ever effected for the cause of true and 
rational freedom? 

In their celebrated declaration of Independence, 
they state that all men are born free and equal ; and 
that personal freedom is the rational and indis- 
putable birthright of every man. 

Now, unless it can be made out clearly by the 
abettors of slavery, that coloured men are brutes, 
destitute of mind and soul, they must plead guilty to 
the glaring inconsistency of bursting asunder with 
the one hand the chains and fetters of King George 
the Third — which weighed so heavily upon their own 


limbs — whilst with the other hand they were firmly 
and cruelly riveting chains and fetters, ten times 
more weighty and galling, around the limbs of their 
coloured fellow-men — their brethren : thousands and 
tens of thousands of them born and bred in the same 

I saw lately, in a British newspaper, a paragraph 
stating that the late President Jackson had left no 
instructions in his last will that his slaves should be 
emancipated ; but that George Washington had done 
so. This is a gross mistake. I say it with all due 
respect to the memory of the great Washington — the 
father of his country — the brave, acute, and inde- 
fatigable general ; the disinterested hero who refused 
to accept gold or permanent honours as a reward for 
his labours ; the man who in private life bore a spot- 
less name : in short, the man who bore the character 
of a sincere follower of Christ. This — all this, and 
much more in his favour may be true : but alas ! — 
foul spot on the escutcheon of the immortal Wash- 
ington ! he left his slaves — and a goodly number they 
were — he left them a legacy ! What was it ? The 
chains, the fetters, and the degradation of slavery ! It 
is of no use denying it. I may be scouted by many, 
even in free Britain, for daring to arraign, in any 
shape, the otherwise noble Washington ; but I merely 
answer in the words of the Latin proverb, " Magna 
est Veritas, et prevalebit." — Truth is great, and will 
prevail. America's military heroes have never moved 
one finger in the cause of general and genuine free- 
dom ; anything that has been done in this way, has 


been by her Christian heroes, and especially by some 
members of the Society of Friends. More than one 
of these real friends of liberty and mankind have, 
at once, given freedom to their slaves by the score, 
and even in greater numbers. 

But to return to my story : — I had been nearly two 
years in Charleston, and had witnessed little practical 
cruelty in regard to slaves. To be sure I had occa- 
sionally seen youngsters pretty severely chastised ; 
but not without cause. Nothing very glaring came 
under my notice, until the following occurrence. 
One fine summer morning, about six o'clock, as I was 
preparing to go to the Store, I heard a dreadful 
screaming in the neighbouring yard, where a new 
tenant had come during the previous week. On 
looking out of my bed-room window, I saw a white 
gentleman with his coat off; he held a young negro 
woman by the arm with his left hand, whilst with the 
other he struck her, apparently with all his force, with 
a cowskin. The poor girl was naked to the middle; 
her back and bosom quite bare of course ; the blood 
flowed at every stroke, and her screams were truly 
heart-rending : " Massa, dear massa ! for God Al- 
mighty sake forgive me, and I '11 never do so again. 
Do, dear massa ! for mercy sake, be done !" Her cries 
and petitions were alike in vain, until at last the white 
brute — I cannot help calling him such, whether or not 
the reader may be displeased at this expression : who- 
ever had been a spectator, as I was, I am sure 
would not think my words too strong, — worn out 
with exertion, let her go. On inquiry, I found that 


in cooking some coffee for him that morning the girl 
had mismanaged it in someway ! And mark ! reader — 
enlightened British freemen ! — this man the world 
styled a gentleman ! he was a lawyer, of considerable 
practice in the city. I can hardly describe how I 
felt on witnessing this outrage on humanity — this 
horrible insult to the modesty and tenderness of the 
weaker, (I need not say the fair) sex ; this dreadful 
degradation of human nature. But after all, thinks 
I to myself, the degradation is chiehy on the part of 
the gentleman. 

In the course of the day I related to Mr. Thomson 
what I had seen. " Oh ! Zamba, that is nothing to 
what you might see every day, were you upon some 
country estates. The people in town, for decency's 
sake, and perhaps, too, because they are more polished 
in their manners altogether, keep these things as quiet 
as possible. When they wish to chastise a slave, they 
send him to the workhouse, or sugar-house, as your 
black brethren call it; and there the poor wretch 
receives a regular lashing, according to law : that 
is to say, not more than thirty-nine strokes can be 
inflicted in one day; and for this accommodation the 
owner must pay half a dollar." 

I brooded in silence over the matter; but the very 
next day, as fate would have it, I witnessed a still 
more melancholy scene. On passing through State- 
street, I heard screams and yells proceeding from a 
yard ; and on peeping through a chink in one of the 
boards in the fence, I beheld a young girl, stripped to 
the middle, her hands tied to a post, used generally 



for fastening ropes to for drying clothes upon ; and 
behind her a young — lady, shall I call her? No, 
nor yet woman ; but a she-fiend, in the semblance of 
a lady, deliberately striking her victim with a regular 
cowskin, making the blood start at every blow ; and 
to make the punishment more severe, abusing the girl 
with her tongue, in terms very unfit for a lady to pro- 
nounce : " I shall teach you, you confounded black 
devil, to burn my best muslin gown ; but take that — > 
and that," redoubling her blows ; " and if you ever do 
the like again, I shall have you flayed alive." The poor 
wretch, it seems, in ironing a gown of the lady's, had 
applied an iron in rather too hot a state ; and now the 
meek-tempered mistress revenged herself at the ex- 
pense of everything sacred and dear to the sex, by 
treating her worse than a dog. 

I felt an impulse to leap over the fence and interfere 
in the matter ; but a moment's reflection convinced 
me that I would merely make the matter worse ; and 
should I dare to raise my hand against a white person, 
I already was aware that, according to law, I should 
forfeit my right hand. 

I made some inquiries regarding the parties, and 

found that the lady was a Miss (I am strongly 

tempted to disclose her name), a young woman of 
twenty ; very beautiful, according to white notions, 
accomplished and wealthy, and much admired by 
the other sex : in short, one of the toasts of the 

On passing the house, a few days afterwards, I 
perceived her seated near an open window, performing 


upon the piano, and singing with really a melodious 
voice ; and looking, for all the world, as people say, 
like an angel. But oh ! alas, what a different part 
had I seen her perform a few days previously. 

Ladies of free and glorious Britain, what would 
you have thought to have seen your fair sister of 
Carolina — the delicate, the refined, the intellectual, 
the admired and beloved of her family, — throwing 
aside the character of an angel in human shape, 
and assuming the office of a bloody and iron-hearted 
executioner? — Ye would weep, would ye not? — ay, and 
blush with indignation, to see your sex so horribly 
degraded. But, above all, would ye not congratulate 
yourselves that ye breathed a purer and holier atmo- 
sphere, and lived in a land where no such outrage 
against the majesty, and the dignity, and the modesty, 
of womankind could take place ? 

I commenced one day, about this time, in a 
contemplative fit, to enumerate the advantages 
and disadvantages which appertained to the lot 
of the negro in Carolina. In the first place, sup- 
posing that in Africa he was in the situation of 
a mere vassal or slave to his native prince — 
subject to all the caprices of his lord, and, in the 
matter of life and death, completely at his mercy — 
in being transported to America, in one sense, 
and perhaps, in more than one, his condition as a 
rational being was amended; he had the means of 
being instructed in the knowledge of the one only 
living and true God, and of living in a community, 
even though as a slave, far, far elevated above any- 

m 2 


thing be could ever have experienced in his native 
land. I candidly confess that I deem the first of 
these advantages sufficient to outweigh a whole host 
of disadvantages. 

In the second place — previous to the laws which 
have of late years been passed, placing so many ob- 
stacles in the way of individual emancipation — by 
industry and frugality, the negro could, in many 
cases, obtain his personal freedom to a far more 
efficient extent, and in a state of society more con- 
sonant to the dignity of man, than he could ever 
have obtained in Africa. 

But, on the other hand, imported as a slave from 
Africa, he was put up for sale to the first bidder, as if 
he were a four-lego-ed brute ; and were he to assume 


a partner of the other sex, to console his dreary con- 
dition, he could, at an hour's warning, be torn from 
wife and children, and disposed of to a new tyrant ; 
and perhaps one yet more reckless than he had yet 
laboured under. In the next place, he was totally 
denied all means of intellectual culture ; even the 
very elements of reading were forbidden fruit, by 
law : a fine of 100/. being the penalty levied upon 
any white man who should dare to teach a negro 
the alphabet. In the third place, the evidence of a 
coloured person is perfectly null and void in the 
case of a white person. I reckon these three the 
most prominent disadvantages under which the negro 
labours in America ; but I might enumerate a thou- 
sand petty insults to wriich he may be daily sub- 
jected. To mention one, for instance : the most 
degraded ruffian, who wears a white skin, upon 


meeting a coloured person on the pavement, male 
or female, old or young, should the latter not in- 
stantly give way, that is, step into the kennel, ankle 
deep or knee deep, may, if he so incline (and it is 
often done), knock the poor negro down: this may 
serve as a sample. 

The condition of slaves in the city is much prefer- 
able to the situation of those in the country ; this 
will appear most plainly, from the fact, that nothing 
is more common in town than for a master, in the 
event of a slave behaving improperly, saying, " I shall 
sell you into the country, you rascal, the very next 
time you do so and so." This generally has a far 
more decisive and lasting effect than a chastisement 
with the cowskin. Slaves in the city, especially 
domestic servants, are in general well fed and well 
clad : although it would appear very anomalous to an 
Engl'uh gentleman to see a black footman standing 
behind his master's carriage, clad in glaring and 
handsome livery, but without shoe or stocking on 
his feet. This I have seen often enough, and the 
same carriage, by the bye, had painted on the pan- 
nels some splendid coat of arms. Republicans as- 
suming the insignia of nobility ! It would almost 
cause a poor negro to laugh, though the cowskin were 
brandished in his face. 

The condition of negroes in the country is often 
dreary enough, though not altogether either without 
its advantages. Upon many estates the negroes are 
set to task work. In this way, however, they have to 
work apart from each other, and consequently are 


more cheerless. I am aware that in the West Indies 
negroes generally labour in gangs or companies, and 
beguile their labour with the song, and with mutual 
words of encouragement ; but in Carolina I have seen 
forty or fifty in one large field, all apart, and all 
labouring in solemn silence. By this plan of task 
work, however, a clever negro has his work over 
sometimes by three o'clock in the afternoon ; and he 
may then employ the remainder of the day, if near a 
river, in fishing, or in snaring small game, or in any 
way he chooses. 

By law, a planter must allow each grown slave 
nine quarts of Indian corn per week, and one pint of 
salt ; but nothing else : no not a salt herring even, 
or an ounce of meat to relish his corn. Indian corn 
by itself will hardly make into bread, and is gene- 
rally used by the negro in the shape of mush or 
hominy (a kind of pudding or porridge). This allow- 
ance gives about two and a half pounds per day of 
grain ; and on some estates the negroes are allowed a 
small piece of garden-ground, and may keep a few 
fowls, or a pig. By these means, in some cases they 
are tolerably comfortable in regard to food ; and as to 
clothing, there is either by law or custom a certain 
allowance of various articles per annum : but all 
depends upon the temper of the proprietor or over- 

The condition, then, of the negroes varies just in 
proportion to the variety of disposition or caprice 
in their masters ; which of course are about as various 
as their physiognomies. 


To say that by law the negro is entitled to this 
or to that is all a mere mockery ; for who is there to 
see these laws put in execution 1 or to whom is the 
aggrieved negro to make his complaint? Suppose 
that an avaricious overseer on an estate of two hun- 
dred negroes thinks proper to give them only six 
quarts of corn per week, how is this to be rectified 1 
The affirmation of the white tyrant will be taken in 
evidence at any time ; whilst the asseveration or oath 
of the two hundred negroes will not go for one pin's 
point. To talk, therefore, of any law in favour of 
negroes, while at the same time the solemn evidence 
of a thousand of these negroes is rejected with 
contempt, is merely adding mockery and insult to 

In regard to my own case, I had nothing to com- 
plain of; I was w'ell fed, comfortably lodged, and had 
plenty of clothes ; and received much kindness from 
my master, and all with whom I had immediate 
intercourse. I had no grieving thoughts or cares, 
except in regard to my poor wife and relations, in 

After I had been about two years in Charleston, I 
asked Mr. Thomson whether or not he thought Mr. 
Naylor would allow me to embark in some slave-ship 
for Africa, and arrange matters so as to return with 
my wife to Charleston. I had felt so much of the 
benefits of civilization, and of the sublime hopes and. 
ideas with which Christianity inspired me, that I had 
no wish to return to Africa as a permanent residence. 
I was now a close and attentive hearer of the Gospel ; 


and humbly hope that without any prospect of future 
personal freedom, I should on no account have fore- 
gone the advantages which I weekly, or oftener, 
derived from the preaching of the Gospel. 

Mr. Thomson made my request known to Mr. 
Nay lor, who in a few days told me that some friends 
of his, in Baltimore, were at that time building a 
ship expressly for the African trade ; that she would 
probably be ready for sea in six months or so, and 
that he would make such arrangements as would 
ensure my safety from being over-reached by any 
captain ; and also, that he would secure my return 
with my wife. 

Such kindness and friendly interest in my behalf 
fairly overwhelmed me. I could only kiss Mr. Nay- 
lor's hand, and weep my gratitude. 

It pleased Heaven, however, that I should never 
again behold Africa. But I must not anticipate my 

About this time an occurrence took place which 
raised me very much in the estimation of all who 
knew me. I am quite aware that in relating such 
anecdotes I am exposing myself to the charge of 
egotism in a great degree : methinks I hear some one 
of my indulgent readers exclaim, "Why this sur- 
passes all I have ever seen in print; I can tell you, my 
good black fellow, that you are tolerably well provided 
with vanity." So be it, gentle sir, as long as I 
adhere to the truth I must be content to stand 
the smart of a few of the shafts of criticism, as many 


a better man has done before me ; and will have to do 
as long as books are printed. 

To proceed : my master one day ordered Mr. Thom- 
son and myself to go down to a ship which had 
arrived from the West Indies, and make some ar- 
rangements in getting the cargo properly placed on 
the wharf where it was to be sold next morning. The 
ship lay across the end of one of the wharves, and 
was a few feet distant from the land ; in walking up 
the plank which reached to the ship's gangway, 
Mr. Thomson unfortunately slipped his foot, and 
was instantly swept by the tide, which runs pretty 
strong here, astern of the ship, and in a few minutes 
would have been far out in the harbour. At this 
season, sharks were tolerably plentiful about the 
harbour, ranging about for prey at all times ; so that 
poor Mr. Thomson, who could only swim a few 
strokes, was in imminent danger. I was quite used 
to the water in Africa and could swim like a sea- 
gull ; so without hesitation, kicking off my shoes, and 
throwing off my jacket and hat, which was done in a 
few seconds, I plunged into the flood, and after a 
few minutes' strenuous exertion made up to my friend, 
who was just at the moment sinking ; having seized 
him by the coat collar with my left hand, I continued 
to keep afloat until a boat (several of which were 
pulling hastily to our assistance) came alongside and 
hauled us in ; Mr. Thomson in a state of insensibility, 
and myself well ducked and completely out of breath. 
A tavern was luckily at hand, into which Mr. Thom- 
son was conveyed, and by prompt attention was 


brought to his senses in less than an hour. As soon 
as he saw me and understood from those around that 
I had been his preserver, he held out his hand and 
said • " Zamba, I always thought well of you ; 
but now I am bound to you for life : never shall I 
forget my noble-hearted Zamba." He was speedily 
conducted home to refresh himself in bed, and was 
out next morning at business. 

This little incident, which I should have deemed a 
matter of no moment in Africa, procured me consi- 
derable favour and interest here. Mr. Naylor took 
me by the hand and was pleased to say : " You 
are a good boy, Zamba, and have behaved like a true 
hero, and a true Christian, which is more to the 
point; and depend upon it, you shall be no loser Dy- 
vour generous endeavour to save Mr. Thomson : you 
shall not want a friend as long as I am spared, and 
your conscience will be a satisfaction to you in life 
and death." 

^Mr. Thomson [himself j redoubled his attention to 
me, and made me spend at [least every other evening 
in^his room, instructing^ me] as far as his own infor- 
mation went, and causing me occasionally to write 
him short letters, 'to which he gave answers. I am 
certain some of myattempts in this way would amuse 
the" reader not a] little. I have most of them yet 
in my possession, and frequently peruse Mr. Thom- 
son's with a melancholy pleasure ; he having now 
been nearly these forty years in a land (at least I 
believe and hope so, from the bottom of my soul) 
of light and glory, where no proud tyrant can pre- 


sume to lord it over his trembling slave. Should 
these pages of mine be yet perused by some haughty 
Carolinian, no doubt he will say : " Ay, ay, the 
black scoundrel ! and he pretends to sentiment too: 
could I but find out his den in Charleston, I should 
make a good cowskin welt his hide for him." Provi- 
dence will, however, I trust, protect the poor old 
black fellow from the despots of Carolina : and who 
knows but these pages may live and bring forth fruit 
many years hence, and serve to stir up the next gene- 
ration of negroes, at least to make an attempt to 
obtain their rights. I now give a literal copy of one 
of my first letters to Mr. Thomson. The spelling 
and diction will amuse the reader, no doubt; but 
could he only see the penmanship it would add to 
his mirth. 

" Verry Gud Sar, 
I am moch indett to yu for kindnes to poor Afri- 
cann. — I'm stonish yu pay tension so grat to blak 
Slaw — if Scotsman al lik yu den Scotlan must shude 
bee vine cuntrey — yu teech me reed — reed Bibell. — 
Bibell telly me all bout God and Hevven an grat most 
eksselentest Saveeour Jesus who die for all men ever 
live and bleeve on Him. — Bibell telly me allsoe bout 
Hell, dat is de place vere al bad man goe — al Tyrands 
an Moorderurs an Teeves — dey wil floggee Cow- 
skinn one anoder dere for punishe for sins dune in 
dis worlld — 'Low me tank yu Massa Tomson fur al 
yur tension an no morr till nicks time yu heerre from 
mee yur moss bedeent Sarvan Zamba." 


For some months matters went on very smoothly 
with me; only that I was getting very impatient to 
know when the new ship spoken of would sail for 
Africa. One day, however, in April 1803, Mr. Naylor 
came into the Store, and calling me aside informed 
me that a ship had just come into port consigned to 
him with a cargo of slaves direct from the river 
Congo ; and he smilingly said, " Perhaps, Zamba, 
you may hear some news of your wife and friends." 
I felt very much agitated at this information; and 
felt something strange beating at my heart, I could 
not explain how. Mr. Naylor a short time after- 
wards ordered Mr. Thomson and myself to proceed to 
the wharf where the ship had by this time hauled in, 
and make arrangements about the slaves coming 
ashore, &c. 

I remained quite silent all the way, but felt as if 
something strange were about to happen. When we 
came alongside the ship (the Hunter), the slaves were 
crowding out, and one-half were already washed and 
quartered in the sheds. 

We proceeded thither to ascertain what kind of 
cargo we had got ; I had just entered the little build- 
ing, and Mr. Thomson had stepped in the door-way, 
when I heard my name called, or rather screamed 
out, and, in a moment, a young woman had thrown 
her arms around me and continued calling out, 
" Zamba ! my dear Zamba." 

In the first moment, although the voice somehow 
thrilled to my heart, I was, as the sailors say, " taken 
all aback ;" but, on recovering myself, and looking 

zamba's meeting with zillah. 173 

in the woman's face, my astonishment may be 
imagined, when I found her to be my own dear 
Zillah ; — ay, the once proud and splendid African 
princess. But, alas ! how altered ; not so much in 
looks, however, as in apparel and general appear- 
ance. She had merely a short Osnaburgh petticoat 
on her lower limbs, an old Madras handkerchief on 
her head, and a tattered printed shawl across her 
breast; but better, however, in respect to dress, than 
the most of her fellow passengers. Alas ! where was 
now the rich and gaudy apparel in which I had her 
clothed in her native land? where the many gold 
ear-rings and bracelets, and the necklace of pearl, 
which would have been coveted by many a Eu- 
ropean countess ? These, however, were nothing 
in my eyes, while here was my own beloved Zillah 
herself, though considerably wasted and worn out, 
yet to all appearance in good health. Need I say 
that my delight far surpassed my amazement, and 
this delight was heightened by the idea, which 
instantly flashed across my mind, that as I was 
in favour with my master, and had plenty of cash 
in his hands, to procure my Zillah's freedom, all 
would be right. Mr. Thomson remained silent for 
some minutes ; but as soon as my wife and I had 
composed ourselves a little, came forward and con- 
gratulated me on my happiness. " Why, Zamba, 
this is quite a romance : it surpasses anything I 
have ever seen in a theatre. I shall instantly talk 
to Mr Naylor, and get him to make some arrange- 
ment with the captain regarding your wife ; for if he 


gets time to know your whole history, he will, no 
doubt, enhance her value to an exorbitant pitch." 

Having arranged a few matters then, Mr. Thomson 
told me to remain and comfort poor Zillah, whilst he 
would inform Mr. Naylor regarding the affair, and he 
would also go home and send down one of the 
wenches (young negro females in Charleston are 
always styled wenches, — girl is the more genteel ap- 
pellative of young white females) with a few clothes 
for Zillah. In about an hour Mr. Naylor made his 
appearance, and said, "Now, Zamba, it will be in 
my power to reward you for your fidelity as 
a servant hitherto, and for your humanity in 
saving Mr. Thomson, when in danger of being 
drowned, or devoured by sharks. I shall go on 
board, and can, I should think, easily make a bargain 
with the captain, for your wife." He then went 
on board, and in a few minutes sent for me; he 
wished, as he said, to make the bargain in my pre- 
sence. After a short discussion, and having told 
the captain a little of my history, and said more in 
my favour than I deserved, a bargain was struck for 
three hundred and fifty dollars, hard cash. Need I 
say with what delight I witnessed and experienced 
all this. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to Mr. 
Naylor and Mr. Thomson, and, above all, with deep 
gratitude to the Great God, who had brought about, 
in such an unexpected way, my most sanguine wishes. 

Mr. Naylor then told me to convey Zillah home, 
and he would make some arrangements with Mrs. 
Naylor to have her accommodated: " In fact," said 

zillah's kindness to her companions. 175 

he, after taking a good view of my wife, " I think, 
Zamba, that Mrs. Naylor will take her to wait upon 
herself. I am pleased with her appearance so far, 
and have no doubt she will soon learn to be a clever 

Zillah, before she left the shed, pointed out to me 
two or three women who had done all in their power 
on the voyage, to console and comfort her ; and be- 
seeched me to do something for them if I could. I 
was glad to find Zillah was still my own kind-hearted 
and grateful girl ; and, at the sale, which took place 
in two days afterwards, by means of Mr. Thomson's 
influence, we managed to have these women, all of 
them, sold as domestic servants in the city : be- 
sides this, I made them a present of some useful 
clothing in the name of Zillah, who had the pleasure, 
years and years afterwards, of meeting frequently 
with her fellow-voyagers. In the fulness of my 
heart, I also gave a small handkerchief, or some 
trifle, to every woman who came in the Hunter, and 
a piece of tobacco to every male slave who could 
use it. 



Zamba and Zillah reunited — Tidings of home — Zillah's account of her 
capture — Native missionaries needed for Africa — Zamba instructs 
Zillah — Penalties for teaching a negro to read — Arrival of Zamba's 
brother-in-law — Zamba and Zillah freed by their master — Zamba 
a shopkeeper. 

When Zillah arrived, she could only speak a few 
words of English ; Mrs. Naylor was pleased with 
her, however, and under the government of such a 
mistress, she soon became very serviceable in her 
department, and could make herself understood in 
English. She was allowed to take up her residence 
in my little room, and I may say that I was now 
as completely happy as man can be upon earth. 
It may be imagined that after the first flurry of my 
meeting with my wife was over, I should inquire for 
my mother and the rest of my family. In a few 
words, I learned, that my poor mother had died, 
partly of a broken heart on my account, about six 
months previously ; but that all of my sisters were 
well, and my two brothers-in-law were carrying on 
the government of my kingdom with much satis- 
faction to my subjects. 

zillah's account of her capture. 177 

As to herself, Zillah informed me that after I had 
left her, she felt lonesome indeed, and day by day 
wandered hither and thither, especially by the banks 
of the river, often gazing to the westward, as if she 
would hear or see something of me. They did hear 
at last, by a round-about way, that I had been 
cheated by the captain, and left in Charleston : 
although totally ignorant of geography, yet Zillah 
could recollect the name Charleston well enough, 
and that Charleston was in America. Even after she 
had given up all hopes of ever seeing me, she still 
continued to keep a look-out upon the river ; and, 
being about a mile from her home one day, quite 
by herself, she observed a large boat rowing down 
the river, close to the side where she walked. 

At last the boat put into a small cove a few hun- 
dred yards from, her ; and some of the men, who 
were white, came ashore. She then observed two of 
them walk straight into the country; but when they 
had proceeded about a quarter of a mile in that 
direction, they struck off at a right angle, and com- 
menced running, as if chasing each other in diver- 
sion. They then took a turn about, as if to the 
river, and immediately made towards her. One 
came up on each side, and seizing her by the wrists, 
one of them drew a cutlass, and made signs, by 
pointing to her mouth, and then to her breast, that he 
would kill her if she screamed. 

They then dragged her towards the boat, in which 
were about a dozen white men and a few blacks, 
put her in, and pushed off to the middle of the river; 



and by hard rowing were not long in reaching their 
ship, which lay at anchor in the river. 

As soon as poor Z ill ah was in the boat, some of 
the men attempted to take the bracelets and ear- 
rings from her ; but were instantly checked by a man 
who seemed superior to the rest. She was no sooner 
on board the ship than the same person took her 
down to the cabin, where the Captain sat smoking ; 
and here poor Zillah was speedily stripped of all her 
ornaments, pearl necklace included. She was then 
without ceremony huddled down to the hold, and 
for many days endured great hardships. 

Whilst at sea she suffered much from sickness ; 
but when able to keep her feet was allowed to be on 
deck for an hour or two every day. Here she could 
make out, by the little English she understood, that 
the ship was bound for Charleston. She felt quite 
delighted at this, and her spirits rose thenceforth, as 
she had some little hopes that she might meet with 
me. The result was as I have already narrated ; and 
shows that although Providence may seem at the 
time to be working quite in opposition to our dear- 
est hopes and wishes, yet that oft in its mercy it 
brings about, in a wonderful and mysterious way, 
the very thing we had desired ; thereby inculcating a 
lesson of patience and submission under every seem- 
ing disappointment. 

Having now obtained the dearest object of my 
affections, I gave up all idea of ever visiting Africa : 
although at times my conscience whispered me that 
I, who had so largely partaken of the mercy of God, 

zamba's thoughts of his countrymen. 179 

and had my* eyes opened to the light of the Gospel, 
should act in some effectual manner, so that my poor 
blinded brethren in Africa might also in some degree, 
through my means, have an opportunity of knowing 
the one true God. My conscience, I say, told me, 
that I ought to forego my own comfort and conve- 
nience, and that I should at all hazards return to 
Africa and impart to my fellow-men all that I knew 
about the Bible and a Saviour. These reflections 
often yet prey upon my mind ; for I am fully con- 
vinced that the civilization and christianization of 
Africa, will yet be mainly effected through the 
means and exertions of Africa's own children, or 
their descendants. 

The climate of the greater part of Africa is an in- 
superable bar to the exertions, however well meant — 
I mean, to the effectual and extensive exertions — of 
white men. How many enterprising and noble- 
hearted Europeans, especially Englishmen, have be- 
come victims to the climate of Africa! It is truly a 
melancholy circumstance to contemplate. Consider, 
for instance, the colony of Sierra Leone, which was 
established as a means of introducing civilization and 
Christianity into Africa. In the space of fifty years, 
it has, I understand, cost the Government of Britain 
between eight and nine millions of pounds sterling, 
and the lives of about twenty-five thousand white 
men, military and civil ; and the actual benefit which 
has accrued to Africa is comparatively nothing. 

Let Britain establish a few colleges or schools in 
some of the West India islands ; let her then procure 



natives of Africa, either from our colonies or from 
Africa itself, and give these natives a fair education, 
such as will befit them to civilize and Christianise 
Africa in their native tongue ; let them, then, be de- 
spatched to Africa, not by ones or twos, but by 
scores, and let them have the means and knowledge 
for establishing trade with the various African chiefs ; 
and I will venture to say that in this way more good. 
will be effected in behalf of Africa, and a greater 
bar thrown in the way of the slave-trade by the 
expenditure of one million, than by all that the nine 
millions expended on Sierra Leone has yet done ; 
and this without risking the life of one Englishman. 
I am too old now to attempt to do anything myself; 
but I hope my advice, although only that of a poor 
old African, may cause wiser heads to think on 
the matter. 

Having now my wife to comfort me, I applied my- 
self with more vigour than ever to my duties at the 
store ; being determined to prove to my master that 
there is both honour and gratitude in a negro bosom. 
I applied myself also most closely to my education, 
and now felt it my duty to instruct Zillah. This was 
a task in which I had tenfold delight; and giving 
her instructions, as far as my own feeble light would 
admit of, in regard to the Bible and her Maker, was 
also a most agreeable employment. I also took her 
to church with me ; and she very readily took up the 
English tongue, and seemed very eager to acquire 
a knowledge of religion. 

About a year after Zillah's arrival an occurrence 


took place in regard to ray own acquirements, which 
I must not pass over. One afternoon, when there 
was nothing particular for me to put my hand to in 
the store, I had taken up a newspaper, and was 
reading my way through it as well as I could ; keep- 
ing myself, however, rather in a quiet part of the 
store. I had placed the paper on the top of a 
large packing-box, and while spelling over it, a 
Colonel Morgan, who dealt with my master, and 
owned a plantation about twenty miles from town, 
happened to stray in ; and in looking through the 
store for some goods of a particular description 
which he wanted, he came close upon me. I heard 
him instantly exclaim — and he was a gigantic, rough- 
looking fellow, with a voice like a speaking-trumpet 
— " Ha ! what the devil is this ? How do you come 
to read the papers, boy 1 How do you happen to read, 
I say ?" I looked up very calmly and meekly, as I 
thought, and answered, " I was taught, sir." — " You 
were taught, were you, you black rascal ! and who 
taught you, pray ? If I knew the scoundrel I would 
break his bones." — " The person who first taught 
me to read," said I, " is out of your reach at pre- 
sent, Colonel; and, surely, I am doing no harm, 
sir." — " Do you bandy words with me, you infernal 
black dog?" said the gallant Colonel; " take that 
and be d — d !" he then let fly at me with a great 
heavy stick which he carried ; but, luckily, I was 
in time, and dodging my head escaped his friendly 
salute. The stick, however, made a deep mark on 
the edge of the box, showing the good-will with 


which the blow was given ; and proving, also, that 
hard and thick as African skulls generally are, had 
my head caught it, it would doubtless rather have 
discomposed me. 

The noise which the noble Colonel made, at- 
tracted the attention of a number of people who 
were about the store at the time ; and Mr. Naylor, 
who was writing at his desk, came forward, and in- 
quired what was the matter. " Matter," answered 
the Colonel, " why are not you a fine fellow to be 
one of the authorities of the city, and teach your 
cursed negroes to read ? Don't you know, as well 
as myself, sir, that you incur a penalty of one hun- 
dred pounds by instructing a black fellow to read ?" 
— " Just speak a little slower, Colonel," said Mr. 
Naylor. " In the first place, sir, it was not I that 
taught that boy to read ; he could read English, sir, 
however it may surprise you, before he left Africa ; 
and farther, although there is a law forbidding ne- 
groes to be instructed, I am not aware that there is 
any law forbidding them to read anything that comes 
in their way after they can read ? And let me tell 
you, Colonel, that had you injured that boy (who is 
my property, look you) with your stick, I should 
have made it cost you much more than the penalty 
you talk of. I take it very ill, sir, that you should 
lift your hand to any person, white or black, in my 
stove; and I will just advise you as a friend, Colo- 
nel, to command your temper a little." An old 
Scotch merchant, a very wealthy man, who dealt 
much about the store, here interposed his word. 


** Dear me, Colonel, man ; what 's the matter wi' 
ye? Ye think, nae doubt, ye are amatig yere nee- 
gurs at hame just now: ye may kick and stiike 
them as ye please, an' no ane to interfere wi' ye ; 
but I think ye shouldna meddle wi' your neighbour's 
property, ye '11 get yourself into a scrape may be.'' 
" Ah ! so you must poke in your word," said Mr. 
Niven ; " why it ? s all owing to you foreigners that 
we have so much trouble with our infernal neegurs ; 
you are continually exciting them to rebel in one 
way or other." — c: Foreigners ! gude feth, my braw 
Colonel, if it were na for foreigners, such as I 
am, ye wad craw less cruse ; if we didna tak the 
cotton an' rice aff your hands, ye wad hae naething 
to eat but Indian corn an' alligawtors ; no, nor a 
pair o' hale breeks to your hinderlands." A great 
number of customers, both Jews and Gentiles, 
had by this time gathered round the disputants; 
but this speech of the old Scotsman, turned the 
laugh so much against the gallant Colonel, that he 
thoug-ht fit to retreat, growling vengeance against 

d d neegurs and foreigners. 

The ship Hunter, in which Zillah had arrived, 
was preparing to return to Congo, and it was under- 
stood that she would be a regular trader between 
that river and Charleston. I got acquainted with 
the steward, who was a countryman of my own, and. 
who had actually this last voyage been up at my 
native town, and had seen and conversed with my 
brothers-in-law ; I, therefore, ventured to entrust him 
(and he faithfully kept his trust) with a small trunk 


containing a few presents to my friends. It was 
of no use to write a letter, as none of them would 
have been the wiser ; but I sent a verbal message, 
informing them how Zillah and I were situated. 

Well, the Hunter sailed away, and in the course 
of eight months what was my surprise one day 
when my brother-in-law Pouldamah entered the 
store. We instantly recognised each other; and as 
soon as I was satisfied that he had come as a free 
passenger, and had made a cautious arrangement 
with the Captain to take him back to Africa, my joy 
was great indeed. He told me that he could enjoy 
no rest or peace until he could ascertain my real 
situation. The Captain of the Hunter, whose name 
was Toomer, was not a bad fellow on the whole 
(although the reader will possibly recollect that he 
deliberately robbed poor Zillah of her jewels), and 
having done a good deal of business with him he 
made a bargain to go with him as passenger, and 
upon being landed safely again at his own village 
he became bound to pay the Captain thirty doubloons ; 
and Bollah, my other brother-in-law, witnessed and 
guaranteed the bargain. Pouldamah then whispered 
me quietly that he brought a few barrels of bees'- 
wax, a few large pots of honey, and a few elephants' 
teeth with him; and says he, in my ear, " Zamba, 
I wish to have my small cargo ashore as quickly 
as possible, and secured snugly with you, as one of 
the honey-pots is much more valuable than the 
Captain or any of his men imagine." I instantly 
procured a dray, and went along with my friend, and 

- f - - 


speedily had all secured in Mr. Naylor's premises. 
On arriving at home, Pouldamah selected one of the 
honey-pots, and going up to my bed-room I found on 
examination that my considerate relation had placed 
a bag with a hundred doubloons, and another with 
ten pounds of gold dust at the bottom of the pot. 

I appreciated his prudence, but could not help 
saying, "Why, my dear Pouldamah, had Captain 
Toomer but guessed the contents of this pot, decent 
fellow as he may be, considering his profession, 
I rather fear he would have played Captain Winton 
with you." 

I can hardly express how delighted I felt at seeing 
Pouldamah, and although I was by no means in want 
of the money, I could not but feel very grateful. As 
I could not properly accommodate Pouldamah in my 
own small room, and did not wish to intrude too 
much on my master's condescension, I procured him 
comfortable lodgings in the house of a coloured friend; 
and here Pouldamah resided during five months : the 
ship requiring thorough repairs, and the Captain 
having fallen sick, caused this delay. Pouldamah 
could already speak some English ; but during his 
stay in Charleston, I gave him a lesson almost every 
evening, and I engaged a clever mulatto friend, who 
devoted several hours every day to his instruction. 
Before he left Charleston he could read the Bible 
pretty correctly, though slowly, and could also 
manage to scrawl a few lines, so that I could 
understand him. I made up a handsome assortment 


of goods for him, and at length, with many tears, he 
parted with Zillah and myself. 

When the Hunter returned, he sent me a letter 
as evidence that the Captain had dealt honourably 
with him, and I occasionally heard from him and 
of him for many years ; but for these last fifteen 
years I have heard no intelligence whatever from 
Congo. -I trust, however, that Pouldamah made good 
use of the knowledge he acquired in America, and 
that even now his posterity are deriving benefit from 
his enterprise. 

Matters continued to go on smoothly with me and 
Zillah. We were as happy, I believe, as any couple 
in America. She brought me no more children, so 
we contented ourselves with one another as well as 
we could. I placed the gold Pouldamah brought 
me (and he assured me that he had a large quantity 
at home, but I told him I was quite satisfied, and 
would have him run no more risk in bringing or 
sending it to America) in Mr. Naylor's hands ; and 
now it might be said I had a fortune. Mr. Naylor 
dealt with me like a true gentleman. I was allowed 
many perquisites about the store, and was in fact as 
much indulged as if I had been his own son. 

In 1807, Mr. Naylor had regular free papers made 
out for Zillah and me ; but as long as he remained 
in Charleston he allowed us to remain with him. 
At length, when he gave up business and went 
to reside in another State of the Union, in 1819, 
he had a regular account-current made out for me 


from the commencement ; allowing both Zillah and 
myself annual wages, and calculating interest upon 
the money he held for me to a fraction, and fairly 
and finally paid me over every cent of what was due. 

My gratitude to Mr. Naylor and his family can 
only cease with life itself; and I can assure the 
reader, that in recording the virtues of white men, 
I derive ten times more satisfaction, than in dilating 
upon their failings and vices. 

In 1819, I took a small shop, and continued for 
some years to carry on a limited trade; more for the 
sake of keeping myself in employment than for 
the sake of gain. For the last twenty years I have 
lived very quietly and retired, and spent much of 
my time in perusing the works of the " mighty 
dead." I also devote a little of my time and means 
in alleviating the distresses of others. 

And now should the time and labour which I have 
expended, and mean yet to expend, in making the 
wrongs of my fellow-countrymen known to Euro- 
peans, and to those noble-hearted Republicans of 
America who really are free and consistent, and who 
are willing that the bonds of slavery should be 
broken — should my exertions, I say, come to any 
account, then shall I reckon these the happiest and 
the best spent moments of my life. I have antici- 
pated my history here somewhat ; but, as already 
mentioned, I have no regular plan laid down, and 
just write what comes uppermost. 



Zamha ancT Zillali join a Methodist Church — Their reception by two 
Ministers — Zamba and Zillah married — Zamba loses his White 
Friend — Captain Winton in Distress — Is relieved by Zamba — 
Wiuton killed in a Duel — A Carolinian Duellist. 

I had now been a regular attendant at a Methodist 
chapel for nearly four years, and for the last twelve 
months had been accompanied by Zillah, as often 
as her duties to her mistress would permit. She 
had by this time made considerable progress in read- 
ing, and could get tolerably well through a chapter 
in the Testament, and understood pretty well what 
was spoken from the pulpit. It was now hinted to 
me by some coloured members of the congregation, 
that we should both of us wait upon the minister, 
and apply to be admitted as church members ; and, 
further, that it would raise us in the estimation of 
our brethren to have our marriage celebrated ac- 
cording to the Christian form. 

It is well known to most people, that ministers 
in the Methodist body are almost continually shifting 
from one station or chapel to another. Our clergyman 
at this time was a Mr. Gorman, a powerful preacher; 


but by many thought rather bigoted and narrow- 
minded. However, we ventured to wait upon him, 
although I confess that I was under considerable 
trepidation regarding the way in which I guessed he 
would question me. 

" Well, Zamba," said he, " one of the elders has 
spoken to me regarding you, and gives you a good 
character, and allows that you are a very regular 
church-goer ; but you must not think that your good 
deeds, or anything that you can do, will advance 
you one step nearer to the kingdom of heaven ; you 
must look upon yourself as a sinner damned to 
eternal perdition thousands of years before you were 
born. All men fell in Adam, and all of woman 
born are from their infancy prone to evil, and nothing 
else than children of the devil. How do you think, 
Zamba, that you can be saved from the wrath of 
God ? " 

" I believe, Massa," said I, " that in Jesus Christ 
alone all men shall be saved. I read in the Bible 
that as in Adam all sinned, so in Christ shall all be 
made alive." 

" You have said so far well, Zamba," answered 
he ; " but the words of Scripture must oft be taken 
in a limited sense. You surely do not believe that 
all men will be saved ? " 

" I cannot tell, Massa, exactly how that is ; but 
does it not say that Christ is the propitiation for our 
sins, and not for our sins only, but for the whole 
world ; and it is said that God will never require 
what he never gave. I should be grieved to think 


that many of my countrymen who have lived peace- 
ably, and done good to all around them, as I know 
some have done, should be damned to all eternity, 
when it was not in their power even to hear of 

" Zamba, Zamba," said he, u as long as you 
think and believe in this way I cannot admit you as 
a member of Christ's church : you are yet in the gall 
of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity. You 
must go home and pray that your eyes may be 
opened to the truth." 

" Hear me, Massa, if you please," said I. " Do 
you condemn me for saying that I hope some of my 
poor innocent countrymen may be saved 1 Does not 
the Bible tell us to have charity for all men, and to 
pray for all men ?" 

" It does not matter, Zamba," said he ; "I fear 
some one has been putting erroneous notions in your 
head. I tell you that, all men — all men whatsoever, 
I say — are naturally and necessarily children of the 
devil, and heirs of God's wrath ; and until they are 
renewed in the image of Christ, and sprinkled with 
his blood, they can have no hope — no title to hope 
for salvation. I suppose it will be useless to ask 
your wife any questions at present; so go home and 
pray, and read your Bible, and come back in three 
or four months, and we shall see then how your soul 

I then left the clergyman rather disheartened and 
downcast, I confess; and I could not, for my life, 
see how charity for my poor blinded countrymen 


could be a barrier in the way of my own salvation. 
Mr. Gorman was, however, removed to a station in 
the country about two months afterwards, and a new 
minister was appointed to our chapel. 

After hearing him for three or four Sabbaths, I 
was so much pleased, and I hope edified, by his dis- 
courses, that I ventured again to risk an examination, 
and called upon Mr. Willison. 

He received me in a much more sympathizing and 
kindly manner than his predecessor had done. The 
very tones of his voice thrilled encouragement to my 
heart ; and after a few questions, nearly to the same 
purpose as those put by Mr. Gorman, and which 
I answered in the same candid manner, and nearly to 
the same effect, he said, " Zamba, I cannot blame 
you for wishing well towards your poor benighted 
brethren in your own land ; but you see very plainly 
from the Bible, that there is none other name given 
under heaven whereby men shall be saved, but the 
name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I dare not, however, 
as a minister of the blessed Jesus, who himself, 
while upon earth, preached and practised love and 
charity to all men, without exception, put limits to 
bis atonement. What he never gave, he never will 
require; and you will observe that Jesus himself 
said, that in the day of judgment it would be more 
tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, and, conse- 
quently, for such places as poor benighted, neglected 
Africa, than for such as had the benefit of the Gos- 
pel and rejected it. And you will also observe, 
Zamba, that when some of the disciples asked their 


Master, whether many would be saved, he told them, 
as much as to mind particularly their own salvation, 
and leave the rest with God, to whom all things are 
possible; and, finally, Zamba, shall not the Judge 
of all the earth do right ? Strive ye, Zamba and 
Zillah, and pray without ceasing, that your own souls 
may be enlightened in the first place, and pray 
frequently for all men upon earth. Do your duty to 
all and to each other as far as in you lies, and 
believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be 

Having put a few questions to Zillah, which she 
answered in a natural and simple manner, consider- 
ing her opportunities as yet, he said it would be cruel 
in him any longer to debar us from coming to the 
table of the Lord ! Shortly after this, in the presence 
of a few friends, we were regularly joined in wedlock, 
and at the same time admitted to partake of that bread 
which is unto Everlasting Life, and of which who- 
soever eateth shall never die. I now felt pleased and 
gratified (I hope without pride) that poor Zillah and 
I were members of a Christian community, and mem- 
bers of Christ's body. 

Nothing remarkable occurred with me for a consi- 
derable time. In the year 1807, the yellow fever 
raged to a great degree, and to my inexpressible 
grief I lost my excellent friend Mr. Thomson. The 
yellow fever is a great scourge to the Southern States 
of America. It is supposed by some to arise from 
the putrid exhalations of decayed vegetable matter in 
the low, swampy, country; and by others it is sup- 


posed to be imported from other parts, — such as the 
West India Islands, especially Cuba, and South Ame- 
rica. — It is very fatal, at all events, in its effects, 
amongst the white inhabitants, especially strangers. 
Upon an average, I believe that seventy or seventy- 
five die out of every hundred who are affected by it, 
and it gives very little time of preparation for death. 
Mr. Thomson was attending his duty in the store in 
the morning ; but after breakfast complained of a 
pain in the forehead and in his back. In an hour or 
two he was obliged to betake himself to bed. Mr. 
Naylor requested me to wait upon him, and medical 
aid was instantly procured ; but the fearful malady 
made such rapid progress, that he died the third 
morning, and was consigned to parent earth in the 
afternoon of the same day. — Corruption makes such 
rapid progress in this climate, and especially in cases 
of yellow fever, that there is a necessity for almost 
immediate interment. Poor Mr. Thomson was sensi- 
ble nearly until the last struggle, and about two hours 
previously, when the black vomit had attacked him, 
he knew that all was over. 

" Zamba," said he ; " poor Zamba, I am sorry to 
leave you. But all men are born to die; and if my soul 
is found in Christ, which I humbly hope is the case, 
it is perhaps much better to go away in my youth, 
than to remain to combat with a cruel world, and 
after all, perhaps, go -astray, and depart from the 
Saviour. I am convinced that finally everything that 
happens upon earth must be for the good of man. But 
I feel faint, Zamba, and can only say that I wish you 



well. Go on as you have done, and I hope we shall 
hereafter meet in a land of light and glory — of love 
and peace, where no sorrow enters, and where God 
shall wipe away all tears — where there are no tyrants 
and no slaves — where Europe's pale sons and the sable 
sons of Africa, are alike welcome — where, in short, all 
is light, and where darkness and sin are for ever un- 

He spoke only a few broken sentences after this, 
and when he drew his last sigh, I felt for the time as 
if I were alone in the world. Peace to thy soul, my 
noble-hearted friend ! Though nearly two score years 
have rolled over my head since I saw thy mild eyes 
close in death, often and often does old Zamba, heave 
a sigh for the warm-hearted and youthful Scotsman. 

I now felt the absence of Mr. Thomson as a deep 
and irreparable loss : but being engaged busily in the 
store from morning; till ni«;ht, and having mv faithful 
Zillah to console me, time, that soother of grief, by 
degrees reconciled me to my loss. 

In the following year, an incident occurred which 
showed that sooner or later, Providence will not suffer 
the wicked to go unpunished, and verifying also the 
proverbs, " Easy got, soon gone," and " What comes 
by the wind, goes by the water." 

One afternoon who should I see enter the store and 
inquire for Mr. Naylor, but my old acquaintance, 
Captain Winton : but in appearance and habiliments, 
alas ! how fallen. He plainly perceived me, but 
went to the back part of the store where Mr. Naylor 
was at his desk, and I could perceive that he re- 


ceived a parcel of money from him. He repeated 
his visits several times, but I could perceive that 
although Mr. Naylor always gave him more or less, 
it was in the way of charity. Mr. Naylor, by-the-by, 
was a very benevolent man ; I have seen him give 
a person in distress again and again a twenty dollar 
note, and more than once, fifty dollars. The captain 
seemed now terribly chop-fallen ; he had a most de- 
bauched look, and was generally half-seas over. He 
still kept up a swaggering appearance, however. I 
soon learned, on inquiry, that he had entered into 
some speculations in the north, which had turned 
out very unsuccessful, and that finally he had fallen 
in with gamblers and sharpers, and, to use an 
American expression, had got close-shaved. He had 
now come to try his luck upon a venture, at the 
cards and dice, in the south. I may inform the 
reader that I really felt sorry for him : but I rather 
fear that there was so much of the old Adam in my 
heart, as created a certain degree of satisfaction, or 
— (I am rather at a loss to find a proper word to ex- 
press my feelings,) a sort of calmness or composed- 
ness in my breast when I reflected on the ways of 
Providence. About a month after his first appear- 
ance, one afternoon while I was engaged at some 
business on the wharf next to our store, Winton came 
up to me and said, " Well, Zamba, how do you get 
on? I hear that you are getting rich. I hope you 
haven't forgot old friends. Why man, Zamba, I 
am mighty particularly hard up for a ten dollar bill 
to-night, suppose you advance me so much; I shall 

o 2 


repay you first chance I have." I looked very calmly 
at him and said, "Why, Captain Winton, I am sorry 
you have managed so badly with the money you had 
of me. I do not wish to insult a man in distress, but 
of all persons in the world, I never thought you would 
have applied to me for money." " Oh ! well, well, 
Zamba, it is an old story now. But the fact is, I was 
under a strong temptation, and you must allow that 
in my situation, some persons would have treated 
you worse — ay, left you without a rag to your back, 
or a cent in your pocket : and, besides, you must 
admit that I procured you a good berth, and a good 
master." " Well," said I, " Captain, as things have 
turned out, I owe you no grudge; and to convince 
you that I am profiting by my instructions in Chris- 
tianity, which enjoins me to return good for evil, if 
you meet me here to-morrow afternoon, I shall bring 
you what you are in want of- and in the mean time 
here is all the change I have upon me." I handed 
him a dollar and a half, and he actually dropped a 
tear on my hand as he shook it, and said " Zamba, 
you're a noble fellow. If certain white men I have 
lately dealt with, had such hearts as you, I should 
not be in this condition to-night." The next day I 
met him and handed him a doubloon, which quite 
astonished him; and in about two weeks afterwards 
I gave him another, but recommended him to try 
and get some employment. 

After this I saw him no more until the following 
circumstances occurred a few weeks afterwards. Mr. 
Netylor had a summer-house in Sullivan's Island, to 


which he frequently resorted to enjoy the sea-breeze, 
and freer exercise than the city afforded ; and I 
generally accompanied him to carry his gun or um- 
brella. One morning he went out about six o'clock, 
and I followed him of course. He took the direction 
to the north-east part of the island, where there was 
a small natural plantation of myrtles and other trees, 
and as we approached this spot, we observed thirty 
or forty men crowded together, and in a few seconds 
heard the report of two fire-arms. We were only an 
instant in being up with the group, and lo ! here 
lay poor Captain Winton on the ground in the 
pangs of death. My master and I tried to hold up 
his head a little ; and he turned his eyes upon us, 
and seemed to know us, but gave only a shiver or 
two and all was over. He was shot clean through 
the body. His antagonist was standing by, very 
coolly wiping his pistol, and most of the others 
seemed to look upon the matter as nothing ex- 
traordinary. Mr. Naylor was one of the magistrates 
of the city, and the fellow who shot Winton, being 
informed of this by one of the by-standers, instantly 
hurried off with a companion or two. 

To show the systematic way in which duels are 
sometimes conducted in Carolina, 1 may mention that 
poor Winton's second stooped down, and examining the 
wound, remarked, as calmly as if he had been looking 
at a scratched finger, " A d — d good shot, by G — !" 

I assisted with some others in carrying the lifeless 
clay to the hotel in which Winton had lodged whilst 
livino - ; and in the afternoon he was interred in the 


burying-ground on the island, attended by a few 
heartless strangers. On inquiry, I found that a dis- 
pute about some game at cards the previous evening 
was the origin of the quarrel ; and of thus causing 
one hardened sinner to hurry another, without a 
minute's preparation, into the presence of a God who 
has said, " Thou shalt do no murder." At one period 
this circumstance would have afforded me, I am sorry 
to say, a secret satisfaction ; but now I was inclined 
more to sorrow than anger. 



Description of Charleston — Negro Incendiaries — Traits of Slavery — 
Gardens and surrounding; Country — Extraordinary escape — The 
Wilds of Carolina — An Inn in the Woods — Sporting in the Forest 
— A Negro Patriarch. 

I have brought my personal narrative nearly to a 
conclusion; but I crave to be indulged in making 
a few observations, and relating a few anecdotes 
regarding the moral and physical condition of Caro- 
lina. I am aware that the southern States of America 
have not been so minutely described by travellers as 
the northern, and therefore the more readily assume 
the task. 

The city of Charleston was founded about the year 
1666, and is situated upon a peninsula, or neck of 
land, bounded on the south by the river Ashley, and 
by the Cooper on the north. These two rivers, which 
are less than a hundred miles in length, and only 
rank as sixth or seventh rate rivers in America, unite 
at the city, and form an estuary or frith, which leads 
easterly to the Atlantic, about ten miles distant. 
The north side of this estuary, where it joins the 


ocean, is bounded by Sullivan's Island; and the 
south side by John's Island and part of the mainland. 
There is a sand-bank or bar across the mouth, caused 
by the rolling of the Atlantic and the sand brought 
down by the rivers. This bar shifts frequently, and 
is at times very dangerous to vessels. It has been 
said, however, that it serves as a protection to the 
city from hurricanes, which generally come in this 
direction; and it is most assuredly a safeguard against 
any foreign enemy, as no vessel larger than a 36-gun 
frigate can cross the bar, and even then with diffi- 
culty, at spring-tides. On this part of the American 
coast, the tide rises and falls only about six feet. 

There is a fort on Sullivan's Island, and one on the 
opposite island, also another nearer the city ; but 
some of these are now dismantled of their cannon. 
There are some very heavy guns in Fort Moultrie on 
Sullivan's Island; and, during; the revolutionary war, 
the British, who had intruded so far with a few 
frigates, actually came off second best in the affair. 
They succeeded, however, two years thereafter, in 
storming and taking the city, which was almost 
burned to the ground : but whether by the British or 
the Americans themselves does not appear clearly. 
The Americans at this time, to confess the truth, 
were very harshly treated by the British ; and had 
they only evinced one-tenth part of that sympathy 
for the welfare and interests of their black brethren, 
which just and consistent men, struggling for 
their own freedom and rights would have done., 
I should consider them as martyrs and heroes in the 


cause of liberty. But when they only fought and 
bled for a part of the population of America, leaving 
the others in hopeless chains, I can only say, alas ! 
for poor human nature. Many hundred of Caro- 
linian patriots were at this time confined in close and 
crowded prison-ships, lying in Charleston harbour 
during the sickly season, and perished in a most 
pitiable manner in sight of their own fire-sides. 
There are some few aged people yet surviving in 
Charleston, who remember these things, and who 
shrink with abhorrence at the name of a British 
soldier — and no wonder. 

Charleston is built partly of brick, but mostly of 
wood. Some of the brick houses are three or four 
stories high, and very handsome and substantial ; 
though the hus;e wooden houses, with the elegant 
piazzas and balconies all gaily painted, are much 
more showy. The streets run mostly at right 
angles, and some of them are very broad and airy. 
There is generally a foot-pavement at each side, 
made chiefly of brick j the middle part for carriages 
is nothing but the bare soil or sand, excepting a few 
of the principal business-streets, which are paved in 
the middle with whinstone from New York or Scot- 
land : this was done at great expense. Many of the 
streets are planted with fine shady trees along the 
edge of the pavement, looking very pleasant, and af- 
fording protection from the powerful rays of the 
sun. Several of the principal churches and other 
public buildings were erected during the British 
sway, and are some of them handsome and solid 



edifices. Upon the whole, Charleston is one of the 
handsomest cities in the Southern States. 

Charleston has unfortunately, like all cities built 
chiefly of wood, suffered greatly from fire. More 
than once since I resided in it, at least one-half 
cf the city has been completely destroyed, within 
twenty-four hours ; and I am quite aware that most 
of these fires have originated from the prevalence of 
slavery. Revenge is one of the strongest passions 
which can affect the human mind ; especially the 
mind of a man who has received no education, and 
who is daily subjected to degradation, insult, and 
tyranny. Numbers of poor infatuated blacks have 
suffered on the scaffold in Charleston for incen- 
diarism ; and in many instances the poor wretches 
have confessed with their dying breath that they had 
no particular object in raising a fire, but merely 
to cause a stir, and in some cases to be revenged on 
massa for some trifling matter. I have said, and will 
yet make it more clear, that the white lords of the 
creation do not enjoy their privilege of trampling 
upon the African race, either with honour or ease. 
During a whole winter, I have known the alarm of 
fire to be given almost every night, and sometimes 
four or five times in a night, and always more or 
less damage done. Let the reader reflect what a 
melancholy state of things must exist in a city, 
where not only firemen and fire-engines must be 
called into service almost nightly, but where again 
and again loaded cannon with their attendant artil- 
lerymen, have to be planted at the corners of streets, 


ready to vomit death and destruction on that portion 
of the community who are by law and custom so 
cruelly oppressed, that no faith or trust can be placed 
in them. Were the poor blacks but allowed their 
rights as men and reasonable beings, they would, 
be the very first to use their utmost endeavours to 
quench any accidental conflagration ; but, as matters 
now stand, the majority of negroes seem actually to 
enjoy an extensive fire, delighted that they can give 
their white masters so much trouble and vexation. 

Charleston has also suffered much from hurricanes. 
I recollect one in September 1822, which was truly 
awful ; it left the city next morning in as ruinous 
and roofless a state as if it had undergone a regular 
bombardment, and many valuable lives were lost. 
To give the British reader an idea of the force of the 
wind, I can assure him that I have seen large trees 
broken off about four feet from the ground, as cleanly 
and evenly as if cut asunder by a saw. The very 
orick pavements were in some places torn up, and a 
hole left large enough to hold a wagon. Much 
damage, as a matter of course, was done to the 
shipping, and several vessels were seen outside the 
bar bottom upwards. 

Some of the churches in Charleston are very hand- 
somely fitted up inside, and to the credit of all deno- 
minations be it said, one side of the gallery is in all 
cases appropriated to the use of white strangers, and 
the other half to negroes. 

In Charleston there has been always a handsome 
and commodious theatre, and during the winter 


season this house of vanity is much better filled 
and frequented than any of the churches ever are. 
I never had the honour, however, of being within the 
door of a theatre, so I can give no description of 
what is inside ; for, by law, no negro or coloured 
person can be admitted to the theatre in Charleston : 
there is generally at the foot of the play-bills — • 
" N. B., No coloured persons or dogs can be ad- 
mitted." Mr. Thomson informed me that he be- 
lieved negroes were debarred from entering such 
places for this reason, that in some of the plays acted 
black men or women held too conspicuous and too 
exalted a position. Does not this display something 
akin to fear on the part of the whites ? 

Charleston contains about 40,000 inhabitants, 
whereof only three-eighths are whites ; the re- 
mainder are blacks and coloured persons, of whom 
about 3000 are free : but their freedom amounts, in 
reality, to little more than mere exemption from per- 
sonal violence. They cannot, it is true, be sold on a 
table like a piece of linen or cotton, but they 
hardly possess one privilege over the merest slave, 
although some of them are very wealthy. I knew 
one very intelligent coloured man who petitioned the 
legislature for leave to keep his carriage : but no, it 
Would not do. He was permitted, however, to keep 
a drosky, or something of that sort, but not a four- 
wheeled coach. 

With regard to mulattoes, I have seen individuals 
sold at Vendue who were two or three shades whiter 
than mulattoes — whiter, indeed, than many native 


Carolinians ; but who had, as it was expressed by 
their proprietors, " a drop of the devil's blood in 
them." I saw a little boy and girl of nine or ten, 
years of age, sold one day, who were exceeding fair 
and beautiful ; they might, indeed, have travelled 
through old England without suspicion of being 
allied to Satan by blood. They were purchased by 
their own mother ; and in this one case I was much 
gratified to observe that intending purchasers who 
were present, on being apprised of the state of the 
matter, kept rather aloof, and offered no opposition 
to the poor mother, who, consequently, obtained her 
own children at a very moderate price. 

In Charleston, all white men above eighteen and 
under forty-five years of age (with certain exceptions) 
are required to turn out as militia men. There ace a 
few uniform companies, gaudy and showy enough in 
appearance, but who would cut a sorry figure before 
a regular British regiment. The majority turn out in 
their every-day clothing, and present rather a motley 
group ; they serve, however, to keep a rabble of poor 
unarmed negroes in awe. At a review of the Char- 
leston forces I have seen a whole company or two 
stand out of line, and describe a complete semicircle, 
in order to avoid standing in a part of the field which 
was somewhat wettish. Notwithstanding all that 
their officers could say or do, none of them would 
budge an inch. 

Charleston covers a large extent of ground in 
proportion to its population. There are many fine 
gardens in the rear of the houses, adorned with 


orange, fig, peach, and other trees, and flowers of 
various scent and hue, which I am not botanist 
enough to describe. One splendid shrub, called the 
magnolia, flourishes in great perfection ; and I have 
seen a species of small rose, called the multiflora, 
spreading over a fence to the extent of perhaps thirty 
feet by six or eight, and in all that space you could 
hardly have put down your finger without touching a 
rose. Kitchen vegetables are very difficult to rear in 
or about Charleston, and consequently the price is 
high, though a supply of cabbages, onions, &c. is 
received by almost every vessel coming in from the 
northern states. Nearly thirty years ago I saw a 
single cabbage (but it was very large) sell for 
eighteenpence sterling; and a quarter dollar was 
common enough for one. The public markets in 
the city are very commodious, and cleanly kept. 
These consist of a range of sheds, supported on pil- 
lars, and provided with tables, hooks, &c. at each 
side, running up the whole length of Market Street. 
There is a carriage-way betwixt these sheds and the 
houses at each side, so that a busy scene is oft pre- 
sented in this street. Large flocks of turkey buz- 
zards, and a species of vulture of a most hideous 
appearance, parade up and down this street through- 
out the day, picking up all kinds of offal. They may 
be styled the city scavengers, and are protected by 
law ; a fine of 5/. being imposed on any person who 
kills one of them. These birds regularly leave the 
city every evening before sunset, and cross the Ashley 
River to the woods, where they roost, and come 


back in the morning as regularly as an organized 
body of men could do. It is curious to see the poor 
things on a cold day huddled in crowds around the 
chimney-tops for the sake of a little warmth. 

The environs of Charleston present few agreeable 
walks ; at least not such as I have seen by the river 
side in my native land, or as I have heard are to be 
enjoyed in great perfection in Britain : there is no such 
thing as a walk on the flower-enamelled velvet lawn. 
To attempt a walk by the banks of either the Ashley 
or Cooper rivers, you would find yourself up to the 
middle amongst reeds and mud. 

Charleston lies upon a perfect level, and the coun- 
try for 100 or 120 miles from the coast does not 
rise 20 feet above tide water. In all that region, not 
a rock, nor a stone so large as a man's head is to be 
found. Beyond this, the land rises apace, and at 
200 miles distance from the Atlantic the ground is 
about 800 feet above sea-level. It here presents a 
beautiful variety of hill and valley, and sparkling 
mountain-stream, and is deemed quite healthy. Far- 
ther back, the land becomes still more elevated, 
and is in many districts peopled with not a few 
bears, wolves, panthers, &c. : but the inhabitants 
do not suffer great annoyance from the ferocity 
of these denizens of the forest, which must in 
general be sought after before they are met with. 
There are, however, even in the most cultivated parts 
of the low country, serpents of a dangerous and 
troublesome description, and in the rivers there are a 
considerable number of alligators. 


I shall here relate a circumstance which I witnessed, 
although aware that some of my readers will think 
I am dealing in the marvellous : but I am only re- 
lating the truth. Mr. Naylor and his wife, accom- 
panied by a young lady of about twenty, and a gentle- 
man, left the city in their carriage upon a visit to an 
estate in the upper country near Columbia, and took 
me with them. When we had proceeded about sixty 
miles, which was not till the second day of our 
journey, we halted about noon by the road-side, to 
take some refreshment, as is usual in this country 
even with people of the greatest wealth. The car- 
riage was drawn up near the edge of a clear stream 
which crossed the road with a gentle ripple; for 
there was a trifling descent in the ground at this 
spot. Mr. Naylor and his wife were walking about ; 
the young gentleman was washing his face in the 
brook, and the young lady had seated herself under- 
neath a steep bank. While the coachman was busy 
with his horses, and I was employed in spreading a 
cloth on the ground and setting out the refresh- 
ments ; the young lady called out in a faint voice, 
" Look here ! but for God's sake do not stir or 
speak — one of you." Being all of us within thirty 
yards of her, we perceived to our horror and dismay 
that an immense black snake at least eight feet in 
length, and as thick as a man's arm, had fairly 
twisted itself round the poor girl's waist, and again 
bringing its head under her arm, was actually moving 
its head from side to side, and gazing in her face. 
The 3/oung lady remained perfectly still, but was 


pale as a corpse, while the snake continued for about 
two minutes to play or amuse itself in this manner. 
The lady still kept her eye upon it; and at length, 
to our infinite surprise and relief, it gently unwound 
itself and glided away amongst the bushes. Some 
of us were for pursuing it; but the young lady 
begged of us to let it alone, as she had received no 
harm. We were all much astonished at the circum- 
stance, and were at a loss whether most to admire 
the gentleness of the reptile, or the courage and 
presence of mind of the lady. The snake was not of 
a poisonous nature, but being of the constrictor 
species, was of such a size that, had it been so 
disposed, it could in spite of our interference, have 
crushed the poor girl in a fearful manner. 

In this excursion, the scenery was rather of a mo- 
notonous character : after leaving the city there was 
little variety. Immensely tall and slender pine-trees 
lined each side of the road, which consisted of the 
bare sand, into which the carriage-wheels sometimes 
sank from six to twelve inches, which made the pace 
very heavy and slow. In general, we appeared to be 
travelling through an interminable and gloomy lane, 
and but for the occasional tinkling of the bells of the 
wagoners' whom we met, and the chirping of birds by 
the wayside, the dullness would have been intolerable : 
at least to towns' people, who delight in a bustle. 
Here and there we came to a cleared spot ; but these 
clearances, in proportion to the land in a state of 
nature, were " few and far between," as some Eng- 



lish poet says the visits of angels are to this poor 
fallen world of ours. 

The first night we put up at a tavern about forty- 
miles from Charleston, kept by a widow, who owned 
some land, and about twenty or thirty negroes, and 
seemed a very pleasant woman. There were a few 
strangers in the house, else I should have imagined 
we were altogether out of the world, the situation of 
the house was so sequestered. About ten acres im- 
mediately around it were cleared ; but the prospect 
in every direction was bounded by trees of a hundred 
and fifty feet high, forming, as it were, a sombre 
wall, enclosing us on every side. I measured some 
pine-trees lying on the ground, and found them to 
be one hundred and seventy feet in length, but not 
more than two feet in diameter at the thickest end. 
About sunset, it was curious to observe the various 
kinds of domestic animals arrive from their feeding 
place. First came a few cows with a bull at their 
head, at whose neck hung an old bell ; next a flock 
of sheep led by a ram, who had two plates of old 
iron jingling at his neck ; a flock of goats followed ; 
then a herd of swine ; and lastly, a whole squad of 
turkeys, geese, cocks and hens. The commotion and 
confusion of sounds that the poor creatures kept up, 
until admitted to their respective pens, was quite 
a contrast to the previous silence, and recalled to 
my mind the words of Scripture, " The ox knoweth 
his owner, and the ass his master's crib." 

This being the first night I had slept in the coun- 
try since I had been in America, everything seemed 


strange, and I could obtain little rest, but lay listen- 
ing to the noise of crickets and insects of va- 
rious kinds, the croaking of millions of bull-frogs, 
the hooting of owls and other night birds, and the 
incessant, yet pleasing, note of the Whip-poor- 

Two or three parties of wagoners encamped for 
the night about two hundred yards from the house, 
and I amused myself with watching their proceed- 
ings. They loosed their horses in a twinkling, fas- 
tened them to the wagons, and provided them with 
corn and water. In a few minutes afterwards a large 
quantity of wood was cut down, and in less than no 
time, as one might say, they had a fire blazing large 
enough to roast an ox; a large kettle was boiling 
for coffee, and a frying-pan with a handle five feet 
long, was hissing and frizzling with good solid bacon. 
One of the waggoners came into the tavern after 


supper, and got a large bottle filled with whisky, 
and soon afterwards I noticed that they all lay 
down on the ground in their great-coats, with their 
feet towards the fire, having two or three large dogs 
for sentinels. 

At this period, there was an immense traffic upon 
this road betwixt Charleston and the upper country ; 
and many thousands of bales of cotton, and other 
produce, were brought down to the city in wagons. 
I have seen two hundred wagons in one morning- 
arrive in King-street ; but of late years, since steam- 
boats and railways have come into operation, there is 
hardly a wagon to be seen, and the country roads 

p 2 


are consequently almost as lonely as an African 

About a hundred yards in rear of the inn here, 
there was a row or street of rude wooden huts for 
the negroes to reside in. I went into several, and 
found from the conversation of the inmates that they 
were tolerably comfortable, and by no means hard 
worked. There are not, however, many proprietors 
in Carolina so humane and indulgent as Mrs. Kin- 
non was. 

I found here an elderly negro man busily employed 
in erecting a little frame-house, much superior to the 
others. His mistress had supplied him with boards 
and a few other necessary articles ; and he had 
managed, with a little assistance from a fellow- 
servant and his own children, to cut down trees of 
a fitting size, and with his axe and saw and a few 
old chisels, had squared and formed all that he wanted 
in the way of joists, rafters, lintels, &c. The building 
was about twenty feet by twelve, and about eight high, 
with a regular sloping roof. He was putting shingles 
on the roof the night I saw him. These are flat 
slips of board about eighteen inches long, by five or 
six inches in breadth, and serve the same purpose as 
slates or tiles in more civilized countries. Poor old 
Jem had no nails to fasten them on with, and was doing 
it in his best way with wooden pins; indeed he had 
put the frame of the house together, and even boarded 
it, all with wooden pins. He had left openings for 
windows and a door, but said that he would be rather 
at a loss for hinges and some other articles of iron. 


He seemed very proud of bis new building, and I had 
the satisfaction of making him perfectly happy, as he 
said, by promising to send him a box next week, 
with a few pounds of nails, some hinges, a lock or two, 
and (what to him seemed better than all) two or 
three dozen small panes of glass. These articles only 
cost me about four dollars in all, and I sent them out, 
as promised, by a wagoner who passed that way, in 
about ten days thereafter. So assiduous was old 
Jem in his work, that when I saw him he was labour- 
ing by the light of a small fire; which some of his 
children kept burning brightly a few yards off, 
by means of chips, branches of trees, but especially 
by immense fir-cones which they procured in the 
surrounding forest. Some of these cones were as 
large as a seven-pound sugar-loaf, and being full of 
resin or pitch, burned with a clear and strong light. 
Jem was an African as well as myself, but from 
another part of the coast. He acknowledged to me 
that, slave as he was, he preferred the life he now led 
to what he could recollect of Africa ; for, said he, " I 
am now good Christian, and go every day to meet- 
ing, which is three miles off; and although there 
is much cowskinning on some of the neighbouring 
estates, there is none of the continual murdering 
and fighting and burning as used to go on with my 
tribe and their neighbours in Angola. If I could 
only read Bible I should be so happy." 

The next morning I was up with the dawn, but so 
tall were the trees all round this little farm, that we 
did not see the jolly face of the glorious sun until he 


was more than an hour above the horizon. About 
seven o'clock, a white man, carrying an immense 
turkey-cock over his shoulders, came in from the 
woods. " Mrs. Kinnon," said he, laying down his 
game in the piazza, " I must have an extra glass of 
bitters this morning. I have brought you a forty- 
pounder, I calculate; but I have had a long dull 
night of it waiting for this big fellow." The size and 
beauty of this bird was astonishing. I took it up by 
both legs, and when I held it up in front higher than 
my face its head lay on the ground. Its plumage 
was really splendid ; its legs were about as thick as 
the wrist of a boy of twelve years old ; and its spurs 
were at least four inches long. We guessed its 
weight to be over 40 lb. ; and the man who shot 
it, assured me that lie had killed turkeys in Caro- 
lina which weighed close upon 60 lb.; he had 
shot the hen only a few days previously. The 
way he did was this : he went to the haunt of the 
birds the evening before, and kept up a calling or 
gobbling noise similar to what is made by these 
birds, so as to keep his prey near to him all night ; 
and as soon as daylight enabled him to spy the 
bird perched upon a tree, he took aim with his rifle, 
and brought it down with a single ball. He in- 
formed me that deer were tolerably plentiful, and 
that there was occasionally a sprinkling of wolves. 
Then pointing out to me two tremendous dogs, which 
were terribly marked and cut about the head; 
" These," said he, " are powerful critters, but a wolf, 
such as I never saw before, engaged with both of 


them about three weeks ago, and had I not inter- 
fered with my rifle, I rather guess that my two 
good dogs would have been regularly done up. 
The critter was a strapper, I tell you ; he measured 
nearly seven feet including the tail." 

As my master did not order his carriage till ten 
o'clock, I had time this morning to look about me 
a little. Seeing an old black man in a corn-field 
close by the house — and hearing him, too, for he 
made the forest re-echo with a shrill scream every 
half minute or so — I asked who he was. The people 
told me it was old Monday, and that he was 104 
years old. On going up to him, I could see that he 
was indeed a patriarch: his hair was white as snow, 
and not a tooth was left in his head ; he held a long 
staff in his hand, and kept up an incessant noise and 
screaming to frighten the birds, as I understood; 
he had an old pair of Osnaburgh trousers on, and an 
old bluejacket, but neither shirt nor anything else. 
He appeared to be in his dotage, and I could make 
out little of what he said; but I found that he had 
come from Guinea when about twenty years old. 
I offered him a small piece of silver money; he 
looked at it and then returned it to me, shaking his 
head; but betook a stump of a tobacco-pipe from 
his pocket and pointed to the bowl of it, which was 
empty. There was no mistaking this language, so I 
pulled out a good junk of tobacco and gave it to him. 
He then seemed to meditate a little. There were no 
lucifer-matches in America in those days, but I had 
a powerful burning-glass in my pocket, and as the 


sun is always strong in Carolina, I had his pipe 
blazing for him in no time. He seemed quite 
petrified at what I had done, and eyed me rather 
suspiciously at first, but presently puffed away most 
vigorously. Poor old Monday ! thinks I ; what a te- 
dious and dreary pilgrimage you must have had. Surely 
the grave will be indeed a bed of rest for you, and the 
God of mercy and of love will never require such an 
account from you, as from those who have all their 
days lived in ease, and had every opportunity of 
moral and intellectual culture! 



Scenery of South Carolina — Cotton and Rice Plantations — American 
Treatment of Black and Red Races — Character of the Carolinians — 
Slave-Dealers and Slave-Breeders — Conduct of Carolinian Ladies to 
Negro Slaves — Atrocities of Carolinian Planters. 

As we proceeded further up the country, the ground, 
although still elevated only about twenty or thirty 
feet above the sea-level, swelled here and there into 
gentle undulations, which broke in some measure the 
monotony of a dead level. The grand and prevailing 
feature in all American scenery is trees : mostly pine, 
in this part of the country, interspersed with hard- 
wood trees of various descriptions, chiefly oak ; and. 
these generally have a very venerable appearance, 
owing to the immense quantities of a kind of creep- 
ing moss, hanging from their branches in festoons. 
A great quantity of this moss is dried and beaten 
with sticks, when it assumes the appearance of black 
horse-hair, and is made use of in stuffing chairs, sofas, 
mattresses, &c. It forms, indeed, a regular trade in 
Charleston; great quantities being annually shipped 
for the north. 


We passed, in our journey, many fields of cotton. 
I have a few words to say on this subject, which may 
be interesting to the people of Britain, who have 
brought the manufacture of this article to great per- 
fection, and carry it to such an amazing extent. 

There are two kinds of cotton cultivated in Ca- 
rolina: the black-seed, or long-staple, sometimes 
called sea-island, which grows best on rich low lands, 
•near the coast, and is of a finer quality than can be 
got in any other part of the world ; and the green- 
seed, or short-staple, called upland, generally, and 
which goes often in Britain by the name of Bowed 
Georgia: for what reason I know not. 

Cotton is usually planted in the month of March, 
but I have several times witnessed a black frost, as 
late as the 20th April, which so completely blighted 
the young cotton plants, then about three or four 
inches high, that the whole field had to be planted 
over again ; which, of course, caused an exceeding 
late harvest. The seeds of cotton, which are about 
the size of peas, but of an oblong shape, are planted 
(after the ground has been perfectly prepared, of 
course,) three or four together in one hole, in rows 
about four feet apart, and the same distance between 
every hole. Soon after the young plants come up, 
the weakest are pulled up, leaving one at the dis- 
tance, as I have said, of every four feet. When full- 
grown the plant is four or five feet high, with a beau- 
tiful blossom, and afterwards a pod about as large as 
a walnut; this, when ripe, bursts open in three or four 
divisions, and the cotton then appears. A field of it, 


in this state, looks very fine. As soon as the cotton 
is fairly ripe, it is gathered by negroes — men, women, 
and children — who are generally required to collect a 
certain quantity each day. They carry a small bag 
or pocket in front of them, into which they put the 
pods, as they go along, picking them off the stems. 
The cotton and seeds adhere together, so that it takes 
about four pounds of pods thus collected to produce 
one pound of clean cotton. The Sea-island cotton 
is very easily cleaned ; the wool being stripped off 
the seed, readily and smoothly, by means of two 
rollers about an inch in diameter, moving in opposite 
directions, and driven by a treddle, like the wheel 
of a lathe. The green seed, however, adheres most 
tenaciously to the wool, and until a machine was in- 
vented, some fifty years ago, the planters were at 
great trouble and expense in cleaning their cotton. 
The machine to which I allude, is called the cotton- 
gin, and was invented by a person of the name of Eli 
Whitney, who, at the time, was tutor in a gentleman's 
family, in Georgia. After many trials it was brought 
to perfection ; but Mr. Whitney, like many other me- 
chanical inventors and benefactors of mankind, was 
very unhandsomely treated by those who reaped the 
benefit of his labours. Before his death, however, he 
received some very considerable compensation for his 
invention. The principal part of the cotton-gin, con- 
sists of a roller six or eight inches in diameter, and 
about three feet long, upon which are fastened forty 
or fifty small circular saws, which turn round in a 
frame furnished with as many crevices or grooves as 


there are saws. In front of these chinks is a small 
trough, into which the cotton and seeds, as they come 
from the bush, are placed ; and as the roller turns 
round, the cotton is drawn through the chinks by 
means of the teeth of the saws, leaving the seeds in 
the small trough. At the under side of the row of 
saws, another roller is placed, and upon this roller a 
number of strong brushes, made of stout bristles, are 
fastened, corresponding in number and position to the 
small saws, and turning in an opposite direction, with 
many times the velocity of the saw-roller. This, con- 
sequently, sweeps the wool clean from off the teeth of 
the saws, thereby causing them, as they turn to the 
upper side, to be ready again to seize a fresh quantity 
from out the trough or feeder. This machine is set 
in motion by human labour, or by horse power; and 
it is really a most ingenious piece of mechanism. 

In the low country of Carolina, an immense quan- 
tity of rice is grown. In some parts of the world, 
this grain is, I am aware, cultivated upon hills or 
rising grounds ; but in Carolina it requires to be 
done upon a perfect level, so that the field may be 
occasionally overflowed with water, to the depth of 
a few inches ; which is done for the purpose of de- 
stroying weeds. Under the influence of a powerful 
sun, this practice naturally produces what is called 
marsh miasma, which engenders fevers of a dan- 
gerous nature : fatal, indeed, to white men in most 
cases ; and even negroes, in some seasons, suffer 
greatly from it. 

Europeans have scarcely any idea of the low lands 


of Carolina. What would they think of travelling 
through endless and almost impervious woods, where 
the air is in a state of stagnation ; and where, in 
some seasons, stagnant water lies upon the ground 
in most parts to the depth of twelve or eighteen 
inches? Even so early as the month of April, I 
have been in a part of the country about fifteen, 
miles south-west of Charleston, and observed that in 
driving along the public road, where it led through 
a swamp, the white passengers in a carriage were 
obliged to apply a handkerchief to their noses, so 
noxious and intolerable was the effluvium. 

Carolina will continue to suffer from periodical 
fevers until the low countryis cleared of trees, 
the swamps drained, the present system of rice- 
planting put an end to, and the country generally 
cultivated. All this can only be effected through the 
instrumentality of negroes ; and, as I shall hereafter 
show, it may be done in the course of years by free 
negroes ; but never under the system of hopeless 

I may here observe that the whole of the land yet 
cultivated in Carolina is trifling in proportion to its 
extent. South Carolina contains nearly 28,000 square 
miles, or nearly the same extent as Scotland ; and the 
population, white and black, bond and free, is not 
much over 600,000. Of these there are yet a few 
thousands of native Indian Americans; but the white 
man is fast driving these aboriginal proprietors of the 
soil to the far West ; and in a few years hence a 


native Indian will be a rarity on the east of the 

The Americans excuse themselves for their treat- 
ment of the Indians, by alleging that as the Indians 
do not cultivate the soil, it therefore belongs to those 
who will. The American Government annually pays 
several hundred thousands of dollars to certain Indian 
tribes, as compensation-money ; but the " truck sys- 
tem," as it is called in England, is in operation, and 
the poor simple Indians are paid in blankets, mus- 
kets, gun-powder, fire-water, &c, at a profit of 200 or 
300 per cent. The Americans bind themselves to pay 
great part of the Indian pension-money for ever; but 
I rather guess that Jonathan will take it into his 
head to repudiate on this score, long before the end 
of the present century. But indeed it is thought by 
many judicious men, that ere that period elapses 
there will be very few of the red men left to trouble 
their white oppressors. 

It was never my fortune to fall in with many 
Indians together ; I have only seen a few stragglers, 
who come to Charleston now and then ; and these 
(with the exception of a few chiefs, who have occa- 
sionally visited the city on their way to see their 
" great father" at Washington) were by no means 
fair samples of their countrymen. Going about from 
one grog-shop to another, both men and women were 
usually in a state of oblivion from the time they 
entered Charleston, until their departure. Some of 
the chiefs I have seen were very noble-looking men, 


and wore splendid and gaudy dresses. The Indians, 
by-the-by, affect to look upon the negro race with 
sovereign contempt. 

I shall now return to the city, and take the liberty 
of passing a few remarks on the moral character of 
the Carolinians. Should these remarks ever reach 
the eye of a Carolinian, he will probably, without 
thinking, exclaim, " What, you neegur ! do you pre- 
sume to animadvert upon the character of free-born 
Republicans ? You stab us in the dark, you black 
rascal ! Come forward in open day and let us know 
your name, and what you are, and we shall soon 
refute the scandalous lies which you dare to tell 
about us, while you remain hidden in your hole like 
a venomous spider." " Yes, massa ! Just so. Hear 
the poor black fellow one word. Let me share the 
privileges which, as a freeman, you possess yourself; 
and grant me a safe conduct to any public place in 
Carolina, or any of the slave states. Guarantee to 
me protection from all violence to my person, or 
damage to my property ; and last, though not least, 
giant me the privilege of the public press, and I am 
ready to come forward. But until you do this, I 
shall remain unknown, and take the advantage of 
spreading the truth in regard to slavery and all that 
pertains to it, by means of the British press ; which 
it is beyond your power to control." 

The Carolinians have been described by some of 
their northern brethren as proud, overbearing, quick- 
tempered men ; exceedingly vain, extravagant, licen- 
tious, and fond of gambling ; but, at the same time, 


hospitable, generous, warm-hearted, and not without 
animal courage. I shall not attempt to analyze their 
characters, or reconcile seeming contradictions, but 
will be content to relate a few anecdotes. 

I will allow that, during the season of sickness, the 
people of Charleston have, again and again, displayed 
much kindness and sympathy to strangers; both in 
regard to the opening of their purse, and personal at- 
tention. I have known ladies of delicacy and refine- 
ment go from house to house, administering to the 
wants of the distressed with their own hands ; and in 
the event of fire (which, as already observed, is a very 
frequent disaster here), their generosity has, in many- 
instances, been most nobly displayed towards the suf- 
ferers. In their domestic virtues also, in many in- 
stances, both male and female Carolinians are beautiful 
examples of love and unity ; and in some families 
their kindness and sympathy extends even to their 
black dependants : white ladies, with their own hands, 
administering medicine and cordials to the sick 
negroes. Perhaps some English abolitionist may ob- 
serve, " Oh ! they were afraid of their property ; it was 
no genuine pity for their negro, but merely the fear 
that death would deprive them of so many hundred 
dollars." This consideration might operate a little, 
but in most cases, I am convinced, that the true milk 
of human kindness prompted them to these labours of 
love. I could expatiate at considerable length upon 
the acquirements, and the natural virtues of the ladies 
of Carolina in general, and I have pleasure in bearing 
testimony to their many amiable qualities ; and also, 

a 'cute slave-dealer. 225 

as far as a man of my colour may be permitted to 
judge, as to their personal beauty. But with all this 
there is still this one " damning spot," to disfigure and 
blotoutmanyvirtues: viz.,theircruel prejudice against, 
and too oft cruel treatment of, black people. To their 
honour, however, I must repeat the remark that I 
have often heard made here, that there has hardly 
ever been a single case of a native-born white lady of 
Charleston descending so low as to join the degraded 
class of " women of the town." These unhappy crea- 
tures come down in crowds from the northern cities at 
the commencement of every winter, and return on the 
approach of the sickly season. It is, however, neither 
my province nor my desire to enlarge on this subject. 
The love of money, that " root of all evil," often 
leads men in this place, who are, otherwise, possessed 
of sense and feeling, to do many things derogatory to 
their characters, and very humiliating to contemplate. 
I knew one old gentleman who owned property to the 
amount of half a million dollars, and who, neverthe- 
less, for many years, had a peculiar satisfaction in 
purchasing at Vendue what he called " bargains," or 
"job lots," in the shape of negro women. These he 
would take home to his wife, an old Scotch lady, and, 
under her instructions, they became, in a few years, 
servants of the first class — as cooks or laundresses ; 
and when they had been thus accomplished, old Mr. 
Lamp carried them down again to Vendue, and there 
they were sure to command large prices, in the pro- 
portion of at least three to one for his outlaid money. 
"Mr. Lamp! Mr. Lamp!" his old wife would ex- 



claim, "really it is most annoying that I have no 
sooner got proper cooks than off you hurry them to 
auction." " Well, well, my dear ! you know you are a 
very clever woman, and you would tire for want of em- 
ployment if I did not oblige you in this way. I shall 
try and get you a fresh young girl or two next week, so 
say no more about it. You see it is always turning 
over a few hundred dollars." 

I was also acquainted with a Mr. Dunnam, a boot 
and shoe maker, who made a regular traffic of breed- 
ing negroes, and had hardly ever less than fifteen or 
twenty negro children swarming in his back yard. 
He was a shrewd judge of the value of this peculiar 
kind of property. I remember his purchasing a negro 
girl, named Sally, about twenty years of age, with a 
child at her breast, in the year 1811, when prices were 
dull, for 350 dollars only. Sally soon found a hus- 
band among Mr. Dunnam's shoemakers; and by the 
year 1818, Sally had become the mother of five fine 
children; when as negroes were then selling at an ex- 
travagant price in consequence of the very high rates 
of cotton and rice, the knowing boot-maker brought 
the whole family to the Vendue table. I witnessed 
the sale personally, and can assure the reader that 
they brought 530 dollars a head, or, in all, 3180 dol- 
lars ! Such enormous profits on the raising of negroes 
certainly offer a great temptation to men whose god 
is money. 

It is still more to be deplored, that the love of 
mciiey should operate so powerfully upon the mind 
of woman, as to destroy that natural delicacy of feel- 


ing which is one of the brightest ornaments of the 
softer sex. I was standing one day at the door of a 
grocery, in East Bay Street, when two white ladies, 
finely dressed, walking on the pavement, came up 
while a young black woman was conversing with 
me; the elder of the ladies stopped, and, drawing my 
female friend aside, asked her to whom she belonged. 
" I belong to nobody, ma'am," said the young wo- 
man, dropping a courtesy; "I do be free woman, 
ma'am." " Oh ! very well, my good girl — never mind ; 
I only thought you looked as if you would breed well !" 
The white ladies then went on their way. Is any 
comment here necessary ? 

I will just give one or two more examples. " But 
how did you become acquainted with these private 
scenes, Mr. Zamba ?" some reader may ask. "Some 
of them through the intervention of Zillah ; who, like 
the rest of her sex, was fond of a bit of gossip with 
her sister waiting-maids." One of these told her that 
when waiting on her voting mistress, a Miss Treu- 
man, in her bed-chamber, where also one or two of 
the young lady's sisters were present, Miss Treu man 
would lean back in her chair and say, " Now Dinah, 
come hither and rub my legs." Dinah forthwith 
kneeled down on the floor ; and having pulled off the 
young lady's stockings, commenced in as gentle a 
manner as possible to manipulate the limbs of this 
Carolinian beauty for she really was a beauty : at 
least in outward appearance. " Rub a little harder 
now, Dinah ; ah ! that's a good wench, just so : ah ! 
that'll do. Now, you black devil, have you scratched 

q 2 


me? If you scratch me as much as a pin's point I 
shall have you regularly cowskinned in the morning." 
" Beg pardon, missy," said poor Dinah, " I not 
scratch missy legs for de world." — " Well, just be 
careful now, wench, for you know that there is venom 
beneath the nails of you black heathens." When 
Zillah related this little incident to me, I could not 
but laugh ; and I have since wondered much whether 
duchesses and countesses in England cause their wait- 
ing-maids to rub their legs before going to bed. 

I have a more serious tale now, however, to relate. 
I was taken by my master one day to assist in serv- 
ing at a large dinner-party, at which he was a guest. 
As the chief servant of the house was carrying into 
the dining-room a large crystal epergne, loaded with 
jellies, custards, syllabubs, &c, he most unfortunately 
stumbled, and the whole concern was smashed to 
pieces. I could observe all that passed, as I was 
at the moment standing at the sideboard ; and poor 
Tom was by no means to blame, for the large' epergne 
that he carried prevented his seeing a stool which 
one of the host's children had left in the way. The 
gentleman of the house was a very fine man, and 
attempted to pass off the matter with a laugh ; but 
I could observe the mistress of the house turn pale 
as a corpse, whilst her eyes flashed like those of a 
tigress : though in a short time she appeared more 
composed, and all went on quietly until the guests 
retired. I learned, however, that no sooner was the 
house clear of strangers than Mrs. Alderton made her 
appearance in the kitchen — where poor Tom, assisted 


by his fellow-servants, was busily employed in clean- 
ing and clearing away matters — and broke out most 
furiously. " You abominable, infamous neegur ! to 
break my epergne, which* cost ninety dollars. But 
you shall pay for it, you black brute you." And 
here she attacked poor Tom with a pair of iron tongs, 
laying on with all her might and regardless of where 
she struck him. She would most probably have put 
it out of Tom's power to break any more crystals in 
this world, had not her husband interfered. Nothing, 
however, could ever pacify this vindictive lady ; and 
after Tom had endured for some months the most 
brutal usage, his master, for peace's sake, and out of 
humanity, sent him to the Vendue table. 

I feel no pleasure in recording such savage cruel- 
ties perpetrated by the white ladies of Carolina ; but 
truth ought not to be concealed, if the making known 
of that truth should in any way hereafter tend to 
ameliorate the unhappy condition of domestic slaves. 
Nor can I pass over the opinions and sentiments of 
a young lady of Charleston, in regard to the punish- 
ment of negroes at the time of the insurrection in 
1822. Her father, a Mr. Wiggins, being one of the 
city authorities, his opinion had considerable influ- 
ence. One morning, at the time of the trials, as Mr. 
Wiggins rose from breakfast, Miss Lydia followed 
him to the door and said, " Dear pa, I tell you what 
you should do with these horrible wretches of negroes, 
who designed to murder us all. I would have a 
large brander (gridiron) made, pa, and chain every 
soul of them upon it, and then kindle a fire under- 


neath. Do you not think it an excellent plan, pa? 
Do recommend it to the judges." Mr. Wiggins, 
who had more humane feelings within his breast than 
his delicate and lovely daughter, replied, " Hush ! 
hush ! Liddy ; you are going too far. I don't like to 
hear such talk from you ; it does not become you at 
all. Go to your room quickly, and read your bible." 
This fair daughter of the American Republic — accom- 
plished, refined, and elegant — who would have turned 
aside to avoid treading upon a worm, utters in cold 
blood a proposal which the Inquisition, in the height 
of its power, could hardly have surpassed ! This is 
only another proof that the existence of slavery, in 
any country, debases and degrades the oppressor, in 
a moral sense, even more than it does the poor 
trembling slave. 

I might fill a large volume with the deliberate 
murders, rapes, and other outrages upon humanity, 
which have been practised by Carolinians and other 
slaveholders against their helpless victims ; but I will 
only give an instance or two. A Mr. Wilkins kept 
an inn, within twenty miles of Charleston, who was 
a wealthy man and fond enough of money ; but 
when his passions obtained the mastery over him — 
and that was every day, almost every hour — he acted 
more like an incarnate devil than a human being. 
It was well known to many — indeed it was a matter 
of public notoriety — that he had killed several of his 
slaves, by usage of the most revolting nature. On 
one occasion it happened, that having stripped two 
of his slaves — one of them a woman — nearly naked, 


he lashed them ferociously with a horsewhip ; to 
escape from this cruel chastisement they broke loose 
from him, and making for a wooden bridge which 
was within a hundred yards of the house, leaped into 
the river and were speedily drowned, or devoured by 
the alligators. Their inhuman persecutor, thinking 
only of his loss, said, (i D — them ! but I gave 
them a handsome walloping first! They may go to 
hell ! I don't mind a few hundred dollars, when I get 
satisfaction for it." 

About ten miles from town, one Captain Gullan 
had an estate, upon which were about fifty negroes; 
and amongst them was a very handsome young mar- 
ried woman, named Juno, who had taken the captain's 
fancy: and he, too, be it observed, was a married 
man. The captain had first attempted, by what his 
brother white men here call fair means — that is, by 
the offer of a little favour or indulgence, or a few 
dollars — to seduce poor Juno; but she resisted all 
the overtures of the white libertine. The captain, 
however, would not be thus repelled, but persecuted 
her from day to day. One evening, after her field- 
task was over, he paid her a visit in her little hut ; 
her husband being present, and their only child, an 
infant. " Juno, I wish to see you this evening at 
the house," said the captain ; " you will call up after 
dark. My wife is in town at present, and I wish you 
to come particularly; so do not disappoint me, or, by 
the Lord ! I shall make it a bad business for both 
you and Billy here." Poor Billy sat apart, and 
never opened his lips ; but Juno, clasping her hands 


together, said, imploringly — " Do, dear massa, ex- 
cuse me — do, for God's sake, excuse me. I know 
you want me for no good. Oh ! dear massa, haven't 
you a dear, sweet, good lady of your own ? Why 
will you take trouble for a poor negro woman ? I 
will serve you night and day : but do not ask me 
to be faithless to my poor Billy." — " Hold your jaw 
now, you neegur," said he, " and give me none of 
your sermons. Come up as I bid you." But Juno 
held out, and did not go to the house. So the fol- 
lowing day Captain Gullan came down on horseback 
to Juno's hut, early in the morning, just as the 
negroes were standing at their doors, preparing to go 
to their task in the field. He called out, and the 
woman came to the door with her husband. "Come 
this way, Juno," said the captain, and whispered some- 
thing in her ear. At this the poor woman renewed 
her supplications that he would let her alone. "Take 
that, then, you d — d neegur," said he — " and that" 
cutting her over the head and shoulders with his 
horse-whip. " By God ! I shall make you obey 
me/' Billy rushed between his wife and her brutal 
assailant, holding up his hands to ward off the blows 
from her, and crying out — " Do, for God's sake, 
massa, let us do our work in peace, and let poor 
Juno alone !" — " Do you dare to lift up your hands 
and attempt to resist me, you infernal black dog?" 
said the captain. " Take that, and be d — d ; " and 
he drew a pistol from his pocket, and shot poor Billy 
through the heart. The whole of the negroes around, 
at this horrible deed, set up a shout of horror ; and, 


as chance would have it, at this moment two of the 
neighbouring planters made their appearance quite 
unexpectedly. " Why, captain," said one of them, 
" what is all this? You really have gone too far, I 
expect;" and stooping down to the now dead negro, 
he added, " why, you have killed one of your best 
negroes ! God bless me, captain, do you know what 
you have done?" — "Done!" said the murderer, 
quite coolly ; " yes, I know what I have done. Do 
you think I would allow a cursed negro to lift his 
hand to me, and not make him pay for it? I was 
only acting in self-defence." — " Massa ! massa!" 
exclaimed some of the negroes, " poor Bill only held 
up his hands to save Juno." — " Peace ! you con- 
founded rascals," cried the captain ; and riding 
amongst them, he struck right and left with his 
whip, and dispersed them. He then returned to his 
two white neighbours, and said — " Did not both of 
you see that black rascal with his hands uplifted to 
me before you came forward ? " — " Why, captain, I 
believe I did see him with his hands up," said one; 
"but I question if it was to strike you. I think you have 
been too rash ; and I can tell you, captain, that I do 
not envy your position any how." The captain then 
threw down a few dollars on the ground, and said to 
the poor bereaved widow — " There, Juno, you may 
tell the gang that no work need be done to-day. 
You can send for some rum to treat them, and get 
Bill buried." He seemed a little softened ; but he 
rode back to his own house with his two friends, and 
no more was heard of the matter. This murder, like 


many others perpetrated on black people in Carolina, 
remains unpunished to this day. 

The humane reader will now probably inquire — 
" Is there no law to punish a white man who deli- 
berately murders a negro?" I answer that I have 
heard some talk of such a law existing in Carolina, 
which awards the punishment of death in such cases ; 
but I boldly ask, and without fear of contradiction, 
" Has it ever been known in Carolina that a white 
man was brought to the gallows for murdering a 
black V It cannot be denied that hundreds, nay 
thousands, of such murders have actually been com- 
mitted. But how is the murderer to be convicted? 
When a white man deliberately murders a black, he 
takes especial care that he does not do so in the pre- 
sence of a white man ; but should he commit the 
crime before ten thousand blacks, their evidence is 
of no avail. I may even add, that the murder of 
negroes is actually permitted by law; for I have 
Charleston papers in my possession in which there 
are advertisements by white slave-owners, offering a 
reward for a certain runaway negro, in these words — 
" Ten dollars will be given to any person bringing 
the said runaway alive to the subscriber; or, one hun- 
dred dollars for his head." If this be not murder, 
what is it ? And though it may not be directly 
sanctioned by law, the practice is too common and 
open to be considered illegal. 



Negro conspiracies against the Whites — anecdotes of Negroes. 

While speaking of such dreadful subjects, I may as 
well in this place say a few words regarding the negro 
conspiracy which came to light in 1822. Like 
almost all conspiracies, it was discovered by one of 
the conspirators themselves ; from whose evidence 
(for the evidence of a black man against individuals 
of his own colour, is quite valid in law here) it ap 
peared that on a certain Sabbath afternoon, as soon 
as the bells commenced rinsing for church, the 
whole of the conspirators, who expected to be joined 
by every able black man in the city, were to com- 
mence a massacre of every white male in the city, 
leaving the white ladies as partners to the con- 
querors. It was also said that every black female 
was to be murdered at the same time : but this, I 
conceive, however, to have been an invention of the 
white men, so as to cast more odium on the con- 
spiracy. One thing is certain, that I had no notion 



of this affair ; my black brethren knew that I was 
well enough off, and, of course, never thought of 
dragging- me into the business. The man who in- 
formed on his fellow-conspirators, did so, on account 
of his master, it was said : he wished to have his 
master exempted from the general slaughter ; but 
his comrades, not consenting to this, he, out of 
gratitude for former kindness, " peached." The 
conspirators had been in the habit of meeting in a 
certain place in King Street, where they concocted 
their plans, and initiated new members, with many 
strange oaths and ceremonies. The leading men 
in this conspiracy were mostly mulattoes, men of 
talent and education ; and who, in any other country, 
would have been hailed as patriots. I must 
allow that their schemes were most bloody and 
savage: but what could be expected under such 
oppression and tyranny. On a certain day they 
were arrested, to the number of several hundreds, 
in a most quiet and cautious manner : with hardly 
any stir indeed. The most of them were legally 
(in a nominal sense) tried, a great number con- 
victed, and about forty were hanged : twenty-two 
on one gallows, the first day, and a few now and 
then immediately thereafter. They all exhibited 
much courage and calmness at the last; and several, 
with the rope round their necks, addressed their 
fellow blacks who were present, beseeching them 
to be true to the cause of freedom, and never to 
cease conspiring against their white tyrants, until 
their purpose would be accomplished, which it sooner 


or later could not fail to be. Two of the most 
noted who suffered, were named Telemaque Vesey 
(commonly called Denmark Vesey) and Gullah 
Jack (Angola Jack). Denmark was a very clever 
and accomplished fellow. Four negroes were re- 
spited on one of the execution-days at the scaffold, 
and received a solemn promise that their lives would 
be spared, provided they made a full confession ; 
but after they had confessed, it was decided by 
their white masters, that the things which they had 
divulged were of such a dreadful nature, and so 
deeply implicated these negroes, that they were unfit 
to live ; so, a few days afterwards, they were again 
taken out and executed. This signal proof of the 
bad faith of the white men of Carolina, will not 
soon be forgotten by the negroes. 

Since that period, several conspiracies of a less 
extensive character have come to light ; and there 
is little doubt, that, although the flame of liberty 
is for the present smothered : it will break out some 
day with a fearful explosion, unless, indeed, some 
conciliatory measures are resorted to in behalf of 
the oppressed negro. For my own part, I most 
earnestly deprecate having recourse to physical force; 
and I hope to make it clear, (that unless the whites 
should be for ever blind to their own interests) 
slavery may be totally abolished in the United 
States, in a gradual and unobjectionable manner; 
without detriment to any one, and so as to secure 
happiness, honour, and security to all, both black 
and white. 

238 a negro's retaliation. 

I will now relate an anecdote or two of a more 
pleasing nature. I mentioned in a former part, that 
black people were compelled to give way in the 
streets for a white, even of the lowest and most de- 
graded class. There was an elderly white man, a 
very ill-tempered fellow, who walked about a good 
deal, and took a peculiar delight in chastising any 
unfortunate coloured person he met with, who did not 
instantly get out of his way. He always carried a 
huge stick over his shoulder, and whenever he met 
with a negro, male or female, who did not in a 
twinkling scamper off the pavement, down came the 
cudgel upon their crown with right good will. IMovv 
there was a negro carpenter, a big jolly fellow, with 
whom this spiteful old white man came in contact 
several times ; and as the big carpenter did not so 
readily make way as the old gentleman thought 
proper, he applied his stick more than once to the 
jolly carpenter's upper story: or at least aimed at 
him. It happened that the carpenter met his white 
enemy almost every morning at the breakfast hour, 
in a retired part at the north end of East Bay 
Street; so one morning he watched cautiously, and 
although there were black people in plenty within 
view, by good luck there was not a solitary white. 
There had been a good deal of rain previously, and 
the middle of the street was a perfect puddle; so 
when the carpenter came near his old friend, he stept 
off the footpath, and then turning quietly round, he 
lifted the old fellow by the neck and the heels, as 
one would do an infant, and, carrying him delibe- 


rately over to the deepest part of the puddle, softly 
and cautiously laid him down upon his back in it, 
and then took to his heels. Either through fear 
or policy, or perhaps from a feeling that he had 
been acting too much the tyrant, the redoubtable 
white man with the cudgel was much more cautious 
and peaceable in his walk thereafter; and Big Bob 
the carpenter, was much applauded by all his 
coloured acquaintances, and even many white gentle- 
men laughed at the exploit. 

Let me relate another anecdote, in which I was one 
of the actors myself. I was sent, one day, to the store 
of a Mr. Landen, to arrange some goods which were 
to be sold by auction in one of the floors of a large 
building; and I was assisted in performing this duty 
by a tine negro lad, of about fifteen, named Peter. 
While Peter was employed in turning over some 
boxes of muslin, a young white gentleman (oh, how 
much is this word misapplied and abused in every- 
day life !) entered, and, going up to Peter, gave him 
a switch over the back with a cane, saying, " You 
blasted neegur ! is that the way to place a box — with 
the marked end down?" Peter looked up, and said, 
" Stop, Massa Halsey ; you always abusing me for 
nothing. I shall tell Mr. Landen."—" Tell the d— 1, 
you black thief 1" retorted Halsey; again attacking 
poor Peter, who made his escape behind some bales. 
A chase commenced, the white youth giving Peter 
a blow as often as he could reach him ; at length 
the poor negro, bursting into tears, exclaimed, " My 
God ! if I were but white for one half hour, I would 


repay you, Massa Halsey." This only exasperated 
the white gentleman still more, and I could refrain 
no longer. Being aware that all the clerks were up 
stairs, I went and shut the door, and coming up to 
Mr. Halsey, said, in a firm voice, " I tell you what, 
young gentleman, you are very wrong to strike that 
poor boy, and it shows you are a coward at heart; 
for you know well that he dare not return your blows 
unless at the peril of losing his right hand." At this 
the young white puppy lifted his cane, as if to strike 
me ; but I stopped him by saying, " Now, Mr. Halsey, 
take care what you are about; I am Mr. Naylor's 
property, and if you do strike me, you shall pay 
dearly for it. And now, as there are no white people 
to witness against me, I shall give you a lesson for 
once." So saying, I seized him by the shoulders (I 
did not strike him), and shook him so very heartily — 
for I was a pretty stout fellow at that time — that, 
when he could get breath, he whined and prayed 
for mercy. At last I desisted, and taking him in 
my arms, placed him gently upon a bale of carpet- 
ing, to recover his wind and compose himself. He 
was so ashamed and crest-fallen, that I don't think 
he ever mentioned the story to any one. 

Although the blacks are looked down upon with so 
much contempt in general, yet I have seen at least 
one instance, where the talents of a negro were 
brought into public requisition ; no less an honour 
being conferred upon him than " Master of Cere- 
monies" at a grand ball given by the St. Andrew's 
Society, which numbered among its members many 


of the first merchants in the city. I accompanied 
my master thither, and was allowed occasionally to 
peep in at the door. The ball was held in a splendid 
hall, well lighted up, and the floor was chalked at an 
expense of thirty dollars. The American eagle, sur- 
rounded by stars (I really forget whether the stripes 
were depicted or not) and other ornaments, formed 
the centre; and all around it the Scottish thistle dis- 
played its prickly beard. There was a great assem- 
blage of beauty and fashion, sprinkled with a little 
republican pride and arrogance; but the principal ob- 
ject of attraction to me was old Joe, the master of 
the ceremonies. Joe was a complete negro — none of 
your half-and-half breed, but a genuine son of 
Africa. He was nearly sixty years of age, but still 
an erect, handsome-looking fellow ; and he was 
dressed in white kerseymere breeches, white silk 
stockings, a white vest, and blue coat with gilt but- 
tons: his feet were cased in red morocco pumps, and 
his hair, which required no curling-irons, was well 
powdered. He displayed a flashy gold chain round 
his neck, and at his watch hung half a dozen large 
seals ; whilst an elegant silver-topped cane was his 
wand of office. Joe stood in great dignity at the 
end of the room, and arranged the whole business of 
the evening — placing the dancers in their proper sta- 
tions, directing the musicians, introducing ladies and 
gentlemen to each other; and, in fact, as I was in- 
formed by people more versant in high life than 
myself, performing the character he represented with 
credit to himself, and satisfaction to all concerned. 



It was curious to see Joe stamping with his foot, and 
bawling out, " Now, Missy Foot, this way if you 
please; right hand to Massa Starky, cross over den, 
and sachee dere. Now, Missy Lemraan, hands across, 
and set to Massa Suydam." Long before the ball 
was finished, the feet of the dancers had quite oblite- 
rated the American eagle; but the Scottish thistle 
still remained, to the evident satisfaction of some hot- 
blooded republicans. I thought to myself, that by 
granting to negroes more liberty, and more indul- 
gence in trifling matters, the whites would more 
securely bind them to allegiance than by everlasting- 

I will now relate a couple of anecdotes that will, 
I hone, reflect honour upon the black race, and no 
discredit to the white persons concerned. There was 
an elderly Scotsman who kept a small grocery store 
in Market-street, and carried on considerable traffic 
with black people. He had been formerly very ex- 
tensively engaged in commerce, but had met with 
many misfortunes; and to add to his mishaps, he was 
attacked by a slow fever, in the summer of 1809. 
He struggled against it as long as he could, and 
having no assistant in his little business, at last be- 
came so weak, that he could not rise from bed to 
take off the shutters from his windows. In this 
emergency, without a white friend to help him, a 
negro woman, named Hagar, who kept a stall for 
kitchen herbs in the market, opposite the Scotsman's 
door, and who had often bought and sold with him, 
came, like a good Samaritan, to his aid : she made 


the sick stranger's bed, cooked any little victuals he 
could take, made gruel and other messes for him, and 
gave him herb drinks of her own composition as me- 
dicine. She nursed and attended upon him several 
hours every day for about six weeks, and at length. 
had the satisfaction to see her patient once more get 
up and open his own windows. Some years after- 
wards this Scotsman had a large business going on 
in the foreign trade, and was greatly elevated above 
the rank of a grocer; but he never passed through 
the market without stopping to say a few words 
to old Hagar, and many a little present did he give 

One Sabbath afternoon I was walking; through 
Boundary-street, in the upper part of the city, and 
perceived thirty or forty boys and young men, of all 
colours, gathered together at one side of the street, 
and occasionally shouting and laughing. On coming 
closer I discovered a white man, dressed in light 
clothing, such as mechanics generally wear, sitting 
on the ground. He was very much intoxicated, and 
had tripped over a hillock of rubbish, in which were 
some broken bottles, and was severely cut about the 
legs and ankles, which were bleeding profusely. Just 
at the moment I got into the crowd, he was stooping 
his head down, and sucking one of his ankles, repeat- 
ing to himself " American blood for ever will reign, 

you d d rascals ! " He then looked up to those 

who surrounded him, with his face besmeared with 
blood and dust, like his clothes. I had seldom seen 
such a revolting picture of intoxication. I felt much 

B 2 


for the poor man, but was quite at a loss how to assist 
him; when at this moment an old negro man and his 
wife came out from a small wooden house adjacent, 
and upon learning what was the matter exclaimed, 
" Poor buckrah ! Gar Amighty ! he die there — he 
bleed to death. Come, boy," said he to me, tl help 
me to carry the poor man, and I shall give him a 
corner to lie down, till he get sober." I was quite 
glad to hear the old man say so, and turning to some 
of the negro boys, I said, " Now, my boys, I would 
advise you to be off, as fast as you like, or I shall 
give one or two of you something that you will not 
like; and, as for you, young gentlemen," said I, turn- 
ing to the lordly part of the mob, " 1 hope you will 
leave the poor man. I should think that you have 
been sufficiently amused for one Sunday afternoon." 
The biggest boys muttered something about " black 
rascals," but dispersed speedily. We now had the 
drunken and bleeding man conveyed to old Jacob's 
dwelling, and I assisted in washing the poor fellow, 
and managed to bind up his wounds. As soon as he 
came a little to himself, he seemed quite cast down, 
and muttered many thanks. " Who the devil would 
have expected this from niggers?" said he to him- 
self. " Well, anyhow, I shall likely be better to- 
morrow ; and they shant lose by it." In the mean 
time, old Mary made a cup of coffee for their guest; 
and pointing out a mattress on the floor of a small 
closet, their only other apartment, said that buckrah 
would be welcome to stay till the morning. I then 
left them, saying, I would call next day. I did so ; 


after breakfast, and found that the white man had 
been down at his lodging, and had returned in a 
better dress, and to show his gratitude, he handed 
the old couple ten silver dollars. Old Isaac refused 
to take them at first, and said he did such things for 
the love of God, and would find his reward hereafter; 
but the white man insisted, and old Isaac put the 
coins in his pocket, saying, " Very useful things, 
them same dollars; don't find them every day. Many 
thanks to you, massa buckrah!" The man was a 
carpenter, doing a pretty good piece of business, not 
an habitual drunkard; but had fallen in with some 
rascals at a tavern, who he believed had put poison 
in his drink, as he had never in his life been so over- 
taken before, — and I often saw him afterv/ards. Old 
Isaac sold a few hucksteries in his little dwelling, 
and he told me, " Old Mary and self contrived to live 
somehow; God only knows how, sometimes." I had 
the satisfaction, without detriment to myself, to as- 
sist him somewhat in his little trade, by advancing a 
few dollars; and the grateful carpenter called upon 
him repeatedly, and never did so without bringing 
some little present in his pocket for old Mary. Such 
incidents reflect honour on human nature; and sure 
am I, that I have as much pleasure in recording the 
virtues, or amiable points of character in the white 
race, as in my own. 




Zamba's Plan for the Gradual Extinction of Negro Slavery in the 
United States. — Advantages of Free over Slave Labour. — Dangers 
from the Separation of Free and Slave States. — Zamba's Appeal 
to the British Nation. — Conclusion. 

I cannot better conclude this narrative than by 
submitting certain propositions to the General Go- 
vernment of the United States ; and, if facts and 
figures carry any weight with them, those whom I 
take the liberty of addressing must be wilfully and 
obstinately blind to common sense and justice should 
they not admit that, at least, my arguments are 

I would observe, in the first place, then (although 
I am aware that it will be displeasing to many honest 
abolitionists both in Britain and America, and also 
to many of my black brethren), that emancipation 
should be gradual, both for the sake of master and 
slave. It may be urged that Britain granted freedom 
all at once to the slaves in her colonies; but it must 
be borne in mind that many thousands of these slaves 
had had the benefit of education for many years pre- 
viously ; and, further, that the few years of appren- 


ticeship served as a kind of modification between 
abject slavery and absolute freedom. I mean that, 
in some measure, it prevented any ill consequences 
arising from too sudden a change in the condition of 
so many thousands of men. I am aware, while ad- 
dressing the General Congress of the United States, 
that it is not in their power to emancipate the slaves 
of Carolina or Georgia, as the laws of each State can 
only be altered by its own individual legislature. But 
J will suggest a very simple plan, by following out 
which, negro emancipation may be gradually, yet 
certainly, brought about. T hardly know whether it 
ought to be matter of joy or grief to abolitionists, 
that the General Congress has lately shown its deter- 
mination to perpetuate slavery more than ever. I 
understand that it lately passed a bill declaring that 
no petitions in favour of abolition would be allowed 
to be placed on the table of the House of Represen- 
tatives; and further, in admitting Florida lately as a 
new State, it was on the express condition that the 
State of Florida should at no future period grant 
emancipation to her slaves. Now that the states are 
about including Texas in the Union, and stretching 
out their hand towards Oregon, they will no doubt 
stipulate for the same conditions. How it is that 
the anti-freedom party have obtained such an ascen- 
dency in the House, I know not. Do the white men 
of America really imagine that the black race will 
never obtain their just rights? that they will^'or ever 
submit to be oppressed and trampled upon? The 
negroes of America are rapidly increasing in num- 


bers; the present slave population of the United 
States may be reckoned at 2,800,000, and the free 
black population at 600,000. A large proportion of 
able-bodied men are included in this number — men 
who, by a very little discipline and with proper arms, 
would be found no contemptible soldiers; and who, 
if once aroused in the cause of personal freedom, 
would lay down their arms only with their lives. 
Such a number of robust men, brooding under a 
sense of the wrongs inflicted on them for a long- 
series of years, residing in the heart of any common- 
wealth, and with so many opportunities of retaliating 
upon their oppressors in case of an invasion, is not to 
be contemplated without apprehension. For my own 
part, I am most decidedly opposed to all physical 
force ; — but what is the opinion of one, or a few, to 
that of millions of my oppressed race? 

During the last war with Britain, there were not 
twenty negroes in Charleston but were daily pray- 
ing that John Bull would land and chastise their 
proud masters ; and they were ready, to a man, with 
such arms as they could command, to turn against 
their oppressors. 

But it is in the power of the Americans to convert 
the whole of their black population into staunch and 
determined defenders of the land in which they live; 
instead of being, as they necessarily must be under 
the present state of things, doubtful and suspicious 
neutrals, at the best, if not covert enemies. 

I shall now, with all deference, propose a plan, by 
which the whole of the slaves in the United States 


may be emancipated, with honour to the whites, and 
without detriment to their purses, in the course of 
twenty-one or thirty years. Congress cannot inter- 
fere with the individual laws of any particular State 
of the Union, and emancipate the negroes of that 
State; but it can pass a law, imposing a tax. Now 
a tax of five dollars per head, annually, on every 
coloured person in America, whether hond or free, 
would effect this happy change in twenty-one years ; 
or, a tax of only three dollars, would bring it about in 
thirty years. At the rate of five dollars per head, 
allowing the money to yield 6 per cent., and calcu- 
lating compound interest (and there is no doubt but 
that in a thriving, enterprising, and rapidly increasing 
country, as America undoubtedly is, money can be 
safely invested, so as to make my calculations good,) 
a five dollar poll-tax on negroes, would produce in 
twenty-one years, 670,000,000 dollars. But to make 
the tax easier to the planters, who must pay for their 
slaves, and to give more time for the gradual ameli- 
oration of the negro's moral condition, I shall go upon 
the three dollar tax. 

But, in postponing emancipation for the long period 
of thirty years, many of my brother blacks may say, 
ee Ay, it is well enough for you, Zamba, to talk in 
this easy way — you who have never fully known the 
wretchedness of slavery ; but for us, to look forward 
for thirty years, is dreadful." I allow it is a long 
period ; but such important changes generally require 
time. Should any abolitionist, black or white, pro- 


pose a more speedy and rational plan, I shall indeed 
feel happy. 

There is no planter who owns one hundred negroes, 
but can easily manage to pay a tax of three hundred, 
dollars per annum ; especially if he reflects what a 
boon it will confer on millions of oppressed fellow- 
creatures ; and finally, that it will all revert to him 
threefold. As for the free coloured people in the 
United States, there are but few of them who could 
not afford three dollars per annum, in such a good, 
cause ; and those who are really very indigent will 
have the emancipation tax paid by some charitable 
brother, who will do thus much for the sake of his 
enslaved brethren. I am convinced, also, that there 
are thousands of white abolitionists in America, who 
would cheerfully, were such a plan in operation, con- 
tribute their mite, and see that the tax would be 
forthcoming for the poorest coloured person in the 
land. And were an appeal made to the negroes' 
friends in other countries, there would be many thou- 
sands of dollars sent annually from the abolitionists 
of Britain, to assist in the good work. Independent 
of all extraneous aid, however, I calculate that three 
dollars per head per annum, would, in the first year, 
yield about ten millions of dollars, at 6 per cent. ; 
and compound interest on this sum, and on ten mil- 
lions additional every year, for thirty years, would at 
the end of that period amount altogether to eight 
hundred and forty-five millions of dollars; or two 
hundred and fifty-three dollars per head, compensa- 


tion money, for each negro slave — man, woman, and 
child, — in the whole of the United States of America. 
This would be more than double the amount of com- 
pensation money given to the planters in the British 
Colonies, for emancipating their slaves : the average 
paid them for 800,000 slaves was twenty-five pounds, 
or one hundred and ten dollars per head. 

I have made my foregoing calculations in round 
numbers, but am very near the truth. It will be seen 
that the whole amount to be paid out as tax, in thirty 
years, for each negro, would only amount to ninety 
dollars, and for this, at the end of the thirty years, 
the planter would receive back two hundred and fifty- 
three dollars, on condition of emancipating his negro. 
In fact, it would be something similar to the invest- 
ment of the money in a savings bank. The result 
would be profitable, and the end attained glorious! 
It may be urged that the number of negroes, in thirty 
years, will have greatly increased. So, also, would 
the annual poll-tax, and consequently the capital and 
interest; thus the one may go to balance the other. 
Would it not be a glorious thing, Oh Americans ! 
that on the 4th July 1876 — on the centenary of your 
own independence — you should be able to celebrate 
the independence and liberty of every living soul 
within the precincts of your vast and beautiful do- 

Were Congress to adopt this plan, I should recom- 
mend, that as soon as the law passed, means should 
be immediately adopted for the education of the 
negroes. Let a few public schools be established in 


towns, and a teacher appointed upon every estate in 
the country, of any consequence. But were the law 
passed, there is no doubt that the means to effect this 
desirable object would be forthcoming. I have no 
ambition to make my fellow-blacks learned men: 
only enable them to read the Bible, and the blessing 
of Heaven will second your endeavours. Let emis- 
saries, or missionaries, be sent among the slaves, to 
explain all that is intended to be done for them, and 
to show them that much will depend upon their own 
orderly and peaceable behaviour ; and being thus 
civilized and instructed by degrees, there will be few, 
indeed, in a state of ignorance, at the end of thirty 
years. I would answer for my brethren that their 
industry, and their gratitude, will be developed in 
proportion as they become enlightened. 

I shall now endeavour to show that, after you have 
emancipated your slaves, you may hire them as free 
labourers with more advantage to yourselves and 
them, than under the present system. I believe that 
on certain estates, for example, the labour of a negro 
for four days in the week will be amply sufficient; 
and supposing you hired them at 25 cents per day, 
that would be 52 dollars per annum. At present you 
value an able-bodied field negro at 500 dollars ; the 
interest on this sum, at 6 per cent., is 30 dollars; and 
you cannot clothe and feed him, and pay for a doctor 
to attend in case of sickness, under 30 dollars per an- 
num at least — making 60 dollars per annum ; so that 
you would save 8 dollars per annum, and have the 
command of the 500 dollars (the first price or cost of 


the negro) to extend your plantation, or otherwise, as 
you chose. Besides, at present you run the nsk 
daily of losing your negro by the hand of death; 
you must also support him in sickness and in old 
age : but, by hiring him as a free labourer, you would 
be free from all this responsibility and loss. 

Allow me to lay before you another calculation, 
which ought to convince any one who is not blindly 
and determinedly prejudiced, of the reasonableness of 
my plan. A planter, who at present has 100 negroes 
on an estate, cannot calculate upon the work of more 
than one-half, after deducting infants, old people, and 
women not in condition to labour; but I shall allow 
that sixty can be reckoned able-bodied. Now, calcu- 
late 100 negroes at 300 dollars per head — that is 
30,000 dollars; this at 6 per cent, interest, is 1800 
dollars. You cannot reckon less than 20 dollars per 
head for food, clothes, and medical attendance, or 
2000 dollars in all ; which, with the 1800 above as 
interest, makes 3800 dollars per annum for the ser- 
vices of 60 labourers. You might hire 60 free 
labourers at 52 dollars per ann. each, or 3120 dollars 
in all ; thereby saving 680 dollars per annum, and be 
clear of all the burdens before mentioned. 

I am, however, making these calculations on the 
supposition that the negro be allowed a small plot of 
ground to raise provisions for himself and family ; for 
there are millions upon millions of acres lying waste 
in Carolina, which, if cultivated, would render the 
country much more healthy. Say that every able- 
bodied negro be allowed five acres; or, where land is 


not so plenty, two or three acres; by devoting his 
own two days in the week to the cultivation of his 
own land, he could raise amply sufficient for all that 
he and his family can consume; and the wages he 
receives would provide clothes, education, and all 
other requisites in abundance. By adopting such 
measures, you would transform the poor, trembling, 
heart-broken, hopeless, ignoranl, and discontented 
slave into a free, brave, happy, intelligent, and pa- 
triotic peasant — ready at all times to defend his 
house and his children, and to follow the (then truly 
free) republican standard of America against every 

Then there would be no aspirations or prayers 
that a foreign enemy might come to their relief; but 
the free and contented negro would identify himself 
with the soil of America, and shed his heart's blood 
in her defence, and in that of his brother freemen, 
■white or black. 

Should Congress, however, be blind to the real 
interests of America, and treat with contempt all 
proposals which have been or may be made by aboli- 
tionists, it will merely hasten the time when a 
separation of the States will take place. The northern 
and the southern, or rather the free and the slave- 
holding States, in their present condition, are an ill- 
matched pair. The free States, in their alliance with 
the slave States, are obliged to submit to many dis- 
agreeables, merely because they are found in bad 
company : they have to share all the obloquy due 
only to slave-holders, without reaping any advantage. 


On the other hand, I must allow that it is quite too 
hard that a Carolinian should have to pay double, or 
perhaps treble, price for a piece of British muslin or 
cotton, merely that manufacturers in the northern 
States may be aggrandized. Supposing, which is by 
no means unlikely, that a separation of the States 
should take place some years hence, how will the 
slave States then be situated? At present the pro- 
portion of whites to blacks, in the whole of the 
United States, is as 15 to 3; but were the slave 
States fairly disjoined from the free, then the propor- 
tion in these slave States, of white men to the coloured 
portion, would only be about as 5 or 5^ to 3. Then, 
in case of a foreign war, would not the danger of the 
slave States — from the disaffected and discontented 
members of their own household, so to say — be vastly 
aggravated ? And, even in time of peace, would not 
the free States stand most convenient as a place of 
refuge to runaway negroes ? The editors of the news- 
papers in Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, and 
other cities in the south, daily publish, without think- 
ing of it, gross and glaring libels on their fellow- 
citizens ; for column upon column of their papers are 
filled with nothing but advertisements for runaway 
negroes. And, in many cases, such outrages upon 
the best feelings of human nature appear, as the fol- 
lowing : — " Dinah: has a mother residing at such an 
estate in the country, and a sister at such another 
place — any white person proving that such have har- 
boured her, will be rewarded, and the parties visited 
with the utmost rigour of the law?' Alas, poor 

256 zamba's appeal to the British nation. 

America ! alas, poor humanity ! A mother, or a 
sister, must undergo the utmost penalty of the law 
for protecting their own flesh and blood ! Yes ! a 
mother, who endeavours to protect her daughter from 
the fangs of a cruel and unrelenting tyrant, must 
suffer the penalty of the law ! How long will a just 
and beneficent God withhold vengeance for such a 
violation of His law ? — " How long, O Lord ! how 

I will now conclude, by addressing a few words to 
the inhabitants of the only truly free country upon 
earth — Great Britain — that country which, even amid 
the din and tumult of war, contrived to find time and 
opportunity to put an end to the African slave-Jrade 
in the first place ; and, latterly, while herself groan- 
ing beneath the burden of a debt which would have 
overwhelmed and annihilated any other European 
nation, nobly and generously devoted twenty millions 
sterling to the emancipation of her slaves in all parts 
of the world. 

In the name of my oppressed race I appeal to you, 
noble and generous Britons, to stretch forth your 
hands, and assist in alleviating our condition. 

You can at least give us your sympathy and your 
prayers ; and, although we cannot ask you to inter- 
pose directly in our behalf, by interfering with the 
Government of America, you can, as individuals, 
and as associations combined for the abolition of 
slavery, address and remonstrate with your brethren 
in America. You can print and circulate pamphlets, 
both in Britain, and America, which, sooner or later, 


may arouse inquiry into the nature and effects of 
slavery amongst those who have hitherto beheld the 
unrighteous institution with apathy ; and the more 
inquiry that is made, and the more that is learned, of 
the real condition of the negroes, the more will 
Christian and human sympathy be awakened in our 

The American Government have declared that they 
will not even receive petitions in behalf of the slave ; 
but although, as public members of Congress, they 
may refuse to listen to our complaints and remon- 
strances, it may be that, as private citizens of America, 
they will not object to peruse arguments and documents 
which may be distributed, in the form of pamphlets, 
over the length and the breadth of the land. We would 
beseech you, then, generous Britons, as you prize and 
appreciate the blessings of liberty yourselves, to listen 
to our prayers. We have no means of petitioning 
directly the Government of America; and, even in 
those states which hold no slaves, there is yet a pre- 
judice against the black race which does not exist 
in Britain. Mr. George Thompson, while visiting 
America, experienced cogent proofs of what I assert. 
All that I ask, in the mean time, is this : that such 
of my readers as may have been interested in the 
facts and observations which I have laid before them, 
and who feel a benign spirit within them whisper 
something in behalf of Africa's sable sons, may exert 
their influence in calling the attention of their friends 
and acquaintances to the subject. I shall wait with 
patience, but with anxiety, to learn what effect, if 


258 zamba's appeal to the British nation. 

any, these pages may produce on the minds of men 
in Britain ; and, if I should succeed in exciting a 
fresh interest in our behalf among the free sons of 
England, there is little doubt but that a similar feel- 
ing will in time extend to this side of the Atlantic. 
Perhaps some member of Congress may be induced 
to deliberate upon and investigate the question of 
slavery in all its bearings, and finally set on foot some 
agitation amongst his friends, to inquire whether or 
not Congress may not have been too rash in prohibit- 
ing the reception of any petition in behalf of slaves. 
" Behold how great a flame a little fire kindleth ! " 
So, let it be hoped that Zamba's humble volume may 
yet advance the cause which he pleads. 

To such of my readers as have gone thus far, allow 
me to return my most grateful thanks ; and, should 
the liberal-minded people of Britain, before whom I 
have ventured to appear, honour me with their ap- 
proval and patronage on this occasion, and should 
circumstances otherwise warrant, I hope to be spared 
long enough to have the honour again to address 

the end. 

London: Printed by Stewart and Murray, Old Bailey. 











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