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Manuel Pereira by F. C. Adams

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"Oh yes," replied the young man, "we'll take care of the little
fellow, and see him sent safely back," and took leave, promising to
have another interview in the afternoon. About twelve o'clock a
negro boy came to the vessel with a tin pan covered with a towel,
and presenting it to Cesar, for "massa cap'en and buckra boy." Cesar
brought it aft and set it upon the companion. It contained some
rice, a piece of bacon, corn-cake, and three sweet-potatoes.

"Coarse fare, but I can get along with it. Come Tommy, I guess
you're hungry, as well as myself," said the captain, and they sat
down, and soon demolished the feast of Southern hospitality. About
five o'clock in the evening, the young man not making his
appearance, the Captain sent Tommy ashore to inquire for him at the
house, telling him (in order to test their feelings) that he could
stop and get his supper. Tommy clambered ashore, and up the bank
wending his way to the house. The young man made his appearance,
offering an apology for his delay and inattention, saying the
presence of some very particular friends from Beaufort was the
cause. "My father, you are aware, owns this vessel, captain!--You got
a good dinner, to-day, by-the-by," said he.

"Yes, we got along with it, but could have eaten more," rejoined the

"Ah! bless me, that was the nigger's fault. These niggers are such
uncertain creatures, you must watch 'em over the least thing. Well
now, captain, my father has sent you five dollars to pay your
passage to Charleston!"

"Well, that's a small amount, but I'll try and get along with it,
rather than stop here, at any rate," said the captain, taking the
bill and twisting it into his pocket, and giving particular charges
in regard to taking care of the boy. That night, a little after
sundown, he took passage in a downward-bound coaster, bid a long
good-by to the Edisto and Colonel Whaley's plantation, and arrived
in Charleston the next night. On the following morning he presented
himself to the agents, who generously paid him, all his demands, and
expressed their regrets at the circumstance. Acting upon the smart
of feeling, the captain enclosed the five-dollar bill and returned
it to the sovereign Colonel Whaley.

The Savannah Republican, of the 11th September, says-"We have been
kindly furnished with the particulars of a duel which came off at
Major Stark's plantation, opposite this city, yesterday morning,
between Colonel E. M. Whaley, and E. E. Jenkins, of South Carolina."
Another paper stated that "after a single exchange of shot, * * * *
the affair terminated, but without a reconciliation." The same
Colonel Whaley! Either 'of these journals might have give
particulars more grievous, and equally as expressive of Southern
life. They might have described a beautiful wife, a Northern lady,
fleeing with her two children, to escape the abuses of a faithless
husband-taking shelter in the Charleston Hotel, and befriended by
Mr. Jenkins and another young man, whose name we shall not
mention-and that famous establishment surrounded by the police on a
Sabbath night, to guard its entrances-and she dragged forth, and
carried back to the home of unhappiness.



THE Captain of the Janson had settled his business, and was anxious
to return home. He had done all in his power for Manuel, and
notwithstanding the able exertions of the consul were combined with
his, he had effected nothing to relieve him. The law was imperative,
and if followed out, there was no alternative for him, except upon
the ground of his proving himself entitled to a white man's
privileges. To do this would require an endless routine of law,
which would increase his anxiety and suffering twofold. Mr. Grimshaw
had been heard to say, that if an habeas corpus were sued out, he
should stand upon the technicality of an act of the legislature,
refuse to answer the summons or give the man up. No, he would
himself stand the test upon the point of right to the habeas corpus,
and if he was committed for refusing to deliver up the prisoner, he
would take advantage of another act of the legislature, and after
remaining a length of time in jail, demand his release according to
the statutes. So far was Mr. Grimshaw impressed with his own
important position in the matter, and of the course which he should
pursue, that he several times told the prisoners that he should be a
prisoner among them in a few days, to partake of the same fare.

Judge Withers, however, saved him the necessity of such important
trouble. To those acquainted with Judge Withers it would be needless
to dwell upon the traits of his character. To those who are not, we
can say that his were feelings founded upon interest-moving in the
foremost elements of secession-arbitrary, self-willed, and easily
swayed by prejudice-a man known to the public and the bar for his
frigidity, bound in his own opinions, and yielding second to the
wishes and principles of none-fearful of his popularity as a judge,
yet devoid of those sterling principles which deep jurists bring to
their aid when considering important questions, where life or
liberty is at stake-a mind that would rather reinstate monarchy than
spread the blessings of a free government. What ground have we here
to hope for a favorable issue?

Thus when the consul applied for the writ of habeas corpus, the
right was denied him, notwithstanding the subject was heir-inherent
to all the rights of citizenship and protection, which the laws of
his own nation could clothe him with. To show how this matter was
treated by the press-though we are happy to say the feelings of the
mercantile community are not reflected in it-we copy the leader from
the "Southern Standard," a journal published in Charleston, the
editor of which professes to represent the conservative views of a
diminutive minority. Here it is:--"CHARLESTON, APRIL 23, 1852.
"Colored Seamen and State Rights.

" Our readers have not forgotten the correspondence which some time
since took place between His Excellency Governor Means and Her
British Majesty's Consul, Mr. Mathew. We published in the Standard,
of the 5th December last, the very temperate, dignified, and
well-argued report of Mr. Mazyck, chairman of the special committee
of the Senate, to whom had been referred the message of the
Governor, transmitting the correspondence. In our issue of the 16th
December, we gave to our readers the able report of Mr. McCready, on
behalf of the committee of the other house, on the same subject.

"We have now to call the attention of the public to the fact, that
the practical issue has been made, by which the validity of the laws
in regard to colored seamen arriving in our port is to be submitted
to the judicial tribunals of the country. For ourselves we have no
fears for the credit of the State in such a controversy. The right
of the State to control, by her own legislation, the whole
subject-matter, can, as we think, by a full discussion, be
established upon a basis which, in the South at least, will never
hereafter be questioned. If there be defects in the details of the
regulations enacted, the consideration of them is now precluded,
when the issue presented is the right of the State to act at all
times in the premises.

"The writ of habeas corpus was applied for before Judge Withers,
during the term of the court which has just closed, by the British
consul, through his counsel, Mr. Petigru, in behalf of one Manuel
Pereira, a colored sailor, who claims to be a Portuguese subject,
articled to service on board an English brig driven into this port
by stress of weather; the said Manuel Pereira being then in jail
under the provisions of the act of the legislature of this State,
passed in 1835, emendatory of the previous acts on the subject.
Judge Withers, in compliance with the requirements of the act of
1844, refused the writ of habeas corpus, and notice of appeal has
been given. Thus is the issue upon us.

"We have but one regret in the matter, and that is that the case
made is one where the party asking his liberty has been driven into
our harbor involuntarily. Great Britain, it is true, is the last
power which should complain on this account, with her own example in
the case of the Enterprise before her eyes; but we do not, we
confess, like this feature of the law. We have no doubt, however,
that this fact being brought to the notice of the executive, he will
interfere promptly to release the individual in the present case,
provided the party petitions for the purpose, and engages at once to
leave the State. But we shall see nothing of this. Mr. Manuel
Pereira, like another John Wilkes, is to have settled in his person
great questions of constitutional liberty. The posterity which in
after times shall read of his voluntary martyrdom and heroic self-
sacrifice in the cause of suffering humanity, must be somewhat
better informed than Mr. Pereira himself; for we observe that his
clerkly skill did not reach the point of enabling him to subscribe
his name to the petition for habeas corpus, which is to figure so
conspicuously in future history, it being more primitively witnessed
by his 'mark.'"

An appeal was taken from this refusal, and carried before the appeal
court, sitting at Columbia, the capital of the State. How was this
treated? Without enlisting common respect, it sustained the opinion
of Judge Withers, who was one of its constituted members. Under such
a state of things, where all the avenues to right and justice were
clogged by a popular will that set itself above law or justice,
where is the unprejudiced mind that will charge improper motives in
asking justice of the highest judicial tribunal in the country.

In the year 1445, a petition was presented, or entered on the rolls
of the British Parliament, from the commons of two neighboring
counties, praying the abatement of a nuisance which promised fearful
interruptions to the peace and quiet of their hamlets, in
consequence of the number of attorneys having increased from eight
to twenty-four, setting forth that attorneys were dangerous to the
peace and happiness of a community, and praying that there should
be no more than six attorneys for each county. The king granted the
petition, adding a clause which left it subject to the approval of
the judges. Time works mighty contrasts. If those peaceable old
commoners could have seen a picture of the nineteenth century, with
its judiciary dotted upon the surface, they would certainly have put
the world down as a very unhappy place. The people of Charleston
might now inquire why they have so much law and so little justice?



AFTER remaining nearly three weeks in close confinement in a cell on
the third story, Manuel was allowed to come down and resume his
position among the stewards, in the "steward's cell." There was a
sad change of faces. But one of those he left was there; and he,
poor fellow, was so changed as to be but a wreck of what he was when
Manuel was confined in the cell.

After little Tommy left, the Captain deposited a sum of money with
the jailer to supply Manuel's wants. The jailer performed his duty
faithfully, but the fund was soon exhausted, and Manuel was forced
to appeal to his consul. With the care for its citizens that marks
the course of that government, and the characteristic kindness of
its representative in Charleston, the appeal was promptly
responded to. The consul attended him in person, and even provided
from his own purse things necessary to make him comfortable. We
could not but admire the nobleness of many acts bestowed upon this
humble citizen through the consul, showing the attachment and faith
of a government to its humblest subject. The question now was, would
the Executive release him? Mr. Grimshaw had interposed strong
objections, and made unwarrantable statements in regard to his
having been abandoned by his captain, the heavy expenses incurred to
maintain the man, and questioning the validity of the British
consul's right to protect him. Under the effect of these
representations, the prospect began to darken, and Manuel became
more discontented, and anxiously awaited the result.

In this position, a petition was despatched to the Executive, asking
that the man might be released, on the faith of the British
Government that all expenses be paid, and he immediately sent beyond
the limits of the State.

But we must return and take leave of Captain Thompson, before we
receive the answer to the petition. The day fixed for his departure
had arrived. He had all his papers collected, and arose early to
take his accustomed walk through the market. It was a little after
seven o'clock, and as he approached the singular piece of wood-work
that we have described in a previous chapter as the Charleston
Whipping-post, he saw a crowd collected around it, and negroes
running to the scene, crying out, "Buckra gwine to get whip! buckra
get 'e back scratch!" &c. &c. He quickened his pace, and, arriving
at the scene, elbowed his way through an immense crowd until he came
to where he had a fair view. Here, exposed to view, were six
respectably dressed white men, to be whipped according to the laws
of South Carolina, which flog in the market for petty theft. Five of
them were chained together, and the other scientifically secured to
the machine, with his bare back exposed, and Mr. Grimshaw (dressed
with his hat and sword of office to make the dignity of the
punishment appropriate) laying on the stripes with a big whip, and
raising on tip-toe at each blow to add force, making the flesh
follow the lash. Standing around were about a dozen huge constables
with long-pointed tipstaffs in their hands, while two others
assisted in chaining and unchaining the prisoners. The spectacle was
a barbarous one, opening a wide field for reflection. It was said
that this barbarous mode of punishment was kept up as an example for
the negroes. It certainly is a very singular mode of inspiring
respect for the laws.

He had heard much of T. Norman Gadsden, whose fame sounded for being
the greatest negro-seller in the country, yet he had not seen him,
though he had witnessed several negro-sales at other places. On
looking over the papers after breakfast, his eye caught a flaming
advertisement with "T. Norman Gadsden's sale of negroes" at the
head. There were plantation negroes, coachmen, house-servants,
mechanics, children of all ages, with descriptions as various as the
kinds. Below the rest, and set out with a glowing delineation, was a
description of a remarkably fine young sempstress, very bright and
very intelligent, sold for no fault. The notice should have added an
exception, that the owner was going to get married.

He repaired to the place at the time designated, and found them
selling an old plantation-negro, dressed in ragged, gray clothes,
who, after a few bids, was knocked down for three hundred and fifty
dollars. "We will give tip-top titles to everything we sell here
to-day; and, gentlemen, we shall now offer you the prettiest wench
in town. She is too well-known for me to say more," said the
notorious auctioneer.

A number of the first citizens were present, and among them the
Captain recognised Colonel S--, who approached and began to descant
upon the sale of the woman. "It's a d--d shame to sell that girl,
and that fellow ought to be hung up," said he, meaning the owner;
and upon this he commenced giving a history of the poor girl.

"Where is she? Bring her along! Lord! gentlemen, her very curls are
enough to start a bid of fifteen hundred," said the auctioneer.

"Go it, Gadsden, you're a trump," rejoined a number of voices.

The poor girl moved to the stand, pale and trembling, as if she was
stepping upon the scaffold, and saw her executioners around her. She
was very fair and beautiful-there was something even in her graceful
motions that enlisted admiration. Here she stood almost motionless
for a few moments.

"Gentlemen, I ought to charge all of you sevenpence a sight for
looking at her," said the auctioneer. She smiled at the remark, but
it was the smile of pain.

"Why don't you sell the girl, and not be dogging her feelings in
this manner?" said Colonel S--.

Bids continued in rapid succession from eleven hundred up to
thirteen hundred and forty. A well-known trader from New Orleans
stood behind one of the city brokers, motioning him at every bid,
and she was knocked down to him. We learned her history and know the

The Captain watched her with mingled feelings, and would fain have
said, "Good God! and why art thou a slave?"

The history of that unfortunate beauty may be comprehended in a few
words, leaving the reader to draw the details from his imagination.
Her mother was a fine mulatto slave, with about a quarter Indian
blood. She was the mistress of a celebrated gentleman in Charleston,
who ranked among the first families, to whom she bore three
beautiful children, the second of which is the one before us. Her
father, although he could not acknowledge her, prized her highly,
and unquestionably never intended that she should be considered a
slave. Alice, for such was her name, felt the shame of her position.
She knew her father, and was proud to descant upon his honor and
rank, yet must either associate with negroes or nobody, for it would
be the death of caste for a white woman, however mean, to associate
with her. At the age of sixteen she became attached to a young
gentleman of high standing but moderate means, and lived with him as
his mistress. Her father, whose death is well known, died suddenly
away from home. On administering on his estate, it proved that
instead of being wealthy, as was supposed, he was insolvent, and the
creditors insisting upon the children being sold. Alice was
purchased by compromise with the administrator, and retained by her
lord under a mortgage, the interest and premium on which he had
regularly paid for more than four years. Now that he was about to
get married, the excuse of the mortgage was the best pretext in
the world to get rid of her.

The Captain turned from the scene with feelings that left deep
impressions upon his mind, and that afternoon took his departure for
his Scottish home.

Time passed heavily at the jail, and day after day Manuel awaited
his fate with anxiety. At every tap of the prison-bell he would
spring to the door and listen, asserting that he heard the consul's
voice in every passing sound. Day after day the consul would call
upon him and quiet his fears, reassuring him that he was safe and
should not be sold as a slave. At length, on the seventeenth day of
May, after nearly two months' imprisonment, the glad news was
received that Manuel Pereira was not to be sold, according to the
statutes, but to be released upon payment of all costs, &c. &c., and
immediately sent beyond the limits of the State. We leave it to the
reader's fancy, to picture the scene of joy on the reception of the
news in the "stewards' cell."

The consul lost no time in arranging his affairs for him, and at
five o'clock on the afternoon of the 17th of May, 1852, Manuel
Pereira, a poor, shipwrecked mariner, who, by the dispensation of an
all-wise Providence, was cast upon the shores of South Carolina, and
imprisoned because hospitality to him was "contrary to law," was led
forth, pale and emaciated, by two constables, thrust into a closely
covered vehicle, and driven at full speed to the steamboat then
awaiting to depart for New York. This is but a faint glimpse, of the
suffering to which colored stewards are subjected in the Charleston

There were no less than sixty-three cases of colored seamen
imprisoned on this charge of "contrary to law," during the calendar
year ending on the twelfth of September, 1852. And now that abuses
had become so glaring, a few gentlemen made a representation of the
wretched prison regimen to his Excellency, Governor Means, who, as
if just awoke from a dream that had lasted a generation, addressed a
letter to the Attorney-General, dated on the seventh of September,
1852, requesting a statement in regard to the jail-how many
prisoners there were confined on the twelfth day of September, under
sentence and awaiting trial, the nature of offences, who committed
by, and how long they had awaited trial; what the cost of the jail
was, how much was paid by prisoners, and how much by the State, &c.
&c. In that statement, the number of colored seamen was, for reasons
best known to Mr. Grimshaw, kept out of the statement; so also was
the difference between thirty cents and eight cents a day, paid for
the ration for each man. The real statement showed a bounty to the
sheriff of fourteen hundred and sixty-three dollars on' the
provisions alone-a sad premium upon misery. Now add to this a medium
amount for each of these sixty-three sailors, and we have between
eight and nine hundred dollars more, which, with sundry jail-fees
and other cribbage-money, makes the Charleston jail a nice little
appendage to the sheriff's office, and will fully account for the
tenacity with which those functionaries cling to the "old system."

We conclude the bills by giving Manuel's as it stands upon the
books:--"Contrary to law." British brig "Janson," Capt. Thompson.
For Manuel Pereira, Colored Seaman. 1852. To Sheriff of Charleston

May 15th. To Arrest, $2; Register, $2, $4.00" "Recog., $1.31;
Constable, $1, 2.31" "Commitment and Discharge, 1.00" "52 Days'
Maintenance of Manuel Pereira, at 30 cents per day, 15.60

$22.81 Rec' payment, J. D--, S. C. D. Per Chs. Kanapeaux, Clerk.

This amount is exclusive of all the long scale of law charges and
attorney's fees that were incurred, and is entirely the perquisite
of the sheriff.

Now, notwithstanding that high-sounding clamor about the laws of
South Carolina, which every South Carolinian, in the redundance of
his feelings, strives to impress you with the sovereignty of its
justice, its sacred rights, and its pre-eminent reputation, we never
were in a country or community where the privileges of a certain
class were so much abused. Every thing is made to conserve popular
favor, giving to those in influence power to do what they please
with a destitute class, whether they be white or black. Official
departments are turned into depots for miserable espionage, where
the most unjust schemes are practised upon those whose voices cannot
be heard in their own defence. A magistrate is clothed with, or
assumes a power that is almost absolute, committing them without a
hearing, and leaving them to waste in jail; then releasing them
before the court sits, and charging the fees to the State; or
releasing the poor prisoner on receiving "black mail" for the
kindness; giving one man a peace-warrant to oppress another whom he
knows cannot get bail; and where a man has served out the penalty of
the crime for which he was committed, give a peace-warrant to his
adversary that he may continue to vent his spleen upon him. In this
manner, we have known a man who had served seven months'
imprisonment for assault and battery, by an understanding between
the magistrate and the plaintiff, continued in jail for several
years upon a peace-warrant, issued by the magistrate from time to
time, until at length he shot himself in jail. The man was a
peaceable man, and of a social temperament. He had been offered the
alternative of leaving the State, but he scorned to accept it. To
show that we are correct in what we say respecting some of the
Charleston officials, we insert an article which appeared in the
Charleston Courier of Sept. 1, 1852:--[For the Courier.]

"Many of the quiet and moral portion of our community can form no
adequate conception of the extent to which those who sell liquor,
and otherwise trade with our slaves, are now plying their illegal
and demoralizing traffic. At no period within our recollection has
it prevailed to such an alarming extent; at no period has its
influence upon our slave population been more palpable or more
dangerous; at no period has the municipal administration been so
wilfully blind to these corrupt practices, or so lenient and
forgiving when such practices are exposed.

* * * *

"We have heard it intimated that when General Schnierle is a
candidate for the mayoralty, they are regularly assessed for means
to defray the expenses of the canvass. Instances are not wanting
where amounts of money are paid monthly to General Schnierle's
police as a reward for shutting their eyes and closing their lips
when unlawful proceedings are in progress. We have at this moment in
our possession a certificate from a citizen, sworn to before Mr.
Giles, the magistrate, declaring that he, the deponent, heard one of
the city police-officers (Sharlock) make a demand for money upon one
of these shop-keepers, and promised that if he would pay him five
dollars at stated intervals, 'none of the police-officers would
trouble him.' This affidavit can be seen, if inquired for, at this
office. Thus bribery is added to guilt, and those who should enforce
the laws are made auxiliaries in their violation. Said one of these
slave-destroyers to us, 'General Schnierle suits us very well. I
have no trouble with General Schnierle'--remarks at once repugnant
and suggestive. * * * We are told by one, that Mr. Hutchinson, when
in power, fined him heavily (and, as he thought, unjustly) for
selling liquor to a slave; hence he would not vote for him. An
additional reason for this animosity toward Mr. Hutchinson arises
from the fact that the names of offenders were always published
during that gentleman's administration, while under that of General
Schnierle they are screened from public view. On any Sunday evening,
light may be seen in the shops of these dealers. If the passer-by
will for a few moments stay his course, he will witness the ingress
and egress of negroes; if he approach the door, he will hear noise
as of card-playing and revelry within. And this is carried on
unblushingly; is not confined to a shop here and a shop there, but
may be observed throughout the city. The writer of this article,
some Sundays since, witnessed from his upper window a scene of
revelry and gambling in one of these drinking-shops, which will
scarcely be credited. A party of negroes were seen around a
card-table, with money beside them, engaged in betting; glasses of
liquor were on the table, from which they ever and anon regaled
themselves with all the nonchalance and affected mannerism of the
most fashionable blades of the beau monde.

"This may not be a 'desecration of the Sabbath' by the municipal
authorities themselves, but they are assuredly responsible for its
profanation. Appointed to guard the public morals, they are
assuredly censurable if licentiousness is suffered to run its wild
career unnoticed and unchecked. We do not ask to be believed. We
would prefer to have skeptical rather than credulous readers. We
should prefer that all would arise from the perusal of this article
in doubt, and determine to examine for themselves. We believe in the
strength and sufficiency of ocular proof, and court investigation.

* * *

"We are abundantly repaid if we succeed in arousing public attention
to the alarming and dangerous condition of our city. * * * Let
inquiry be entered into. We boldly challenge it. It will lead to
other and more astonishing developments than those we have revealed.




WHEN we left Manuel, he was being hurried on board the steamship, as
if he was a bale of infected goods. Through the kindness of the
clerk in the consul's office, he was provided with a little box of
stores to supply his wants on the passage, as it was known that he
would have to "go forward." He soon found himself gliding over
Charleston bar, and took a last look of what to him had been the
city of injustice. On the afternoon of the second day, he was
sitting upon the forward deck eating an orange that had been given
to him by the steward of the ship, probably as a token of sympathy
for his sickly appearance, when a number of passengers, acting upon
the information of the clerk of the ship, gathered around him. One
gentleman from Philadelphia, who seemed to take more interest in the
man than any other of the passengers, expressed his indignation in
no measured terms, that such a man should be imprisoned as a slave.
"Take care," said a bystander, "there's a good many Southerners on

"I don't care if every slaveholder in the South was on board,
holding a knife at my throat; I'm on the broad ocean, where God
spreads the breezes of freedom that man cannot enslave," said he,
sitting down beside Manuel, and getting him to recount the details
of his shipwreck and imprisonment. The number increased around him,
and all listened with attention until he had concluded. One of the
spectators asked him if he would have something good to eat? but he
declined, pulling out the little box that the consul had sent him,
and, opening it before them, showed it to be well-stored with little

The Philadelphian motioned that they take up a subscription for him,
and almost simultaneously took his hat off and began to pass it
around; but Manuel, mistaking the motive, told them that he never
yet sought charity-that the consul had paid him his wages, and he
had money enough to get home. But if he did not accept their
contributions, he had their sympathies and their good wishes, which
were more prized by him, because they were contrasted with the cold
hospitality he had suffered in Charleston.

On the morning of the twentieth he arrived in New York. Here things
wore a different aspect. There were no constables fettering him with
irons, aggravating his feelings, and dragging him to a miseerable
cell overrun with vermin. He had no scientific ordeal of the
statutes to pass through, requiring the measure of his form and
features; and he was a man again, with life and liberty, and the
dark dread of the oppressor's power far from him. He went to his
comfortable boarding-house, and laid his weary limbs down to rest,
thanking God that he could now sleep in peace, and awake to liberty.
His system was so reduced that he was unable to do duty, although he
was anxious to proceed on his way to join the old owners, but wanted
to work his way in the capacity of steward. Thus he remained in New
York more than four weeks, gaining vigor and strength, and with a
lingering hope that he should meet his little companion.

On the twenty-first of June, being well recruited, he sailed for
Liverpool, and after a remarkably calm passage of thirty-four days,
arrived in the Mersey, and in forty-eight hours more the ship was
safely within the Princess' Dock, and all hands ready to go on
shore. In the same dock was a ship taking in cargo and passengers
for Charleston, South Carolina. Manuel went on board, and found, in
conversation with the steward, that she had sailed from that port on
the 23d of May. A short conversation disclosed that they had been
old shipmates from the Thames, on board of the Indiaman, Lord
William Bentick, and were on board of that ship when an unfortunate
circumstance occurred to her on entering a British North American
port, many years ago. Here they sat recounting the many adventures
through which they had passed since that period, the ships they had
sailed in, the sufferings they had gone through, and the narrow
escapes they had had for their lives, until past midnight. Manuel
wound up by giving a detailed account of his sufferings in

"What!" said the steward of the Charleston ship, "then you must have
known our cabin-boy, he belonged to the same vessel!"

"What was his name?" inquired Manuel.

"Tommy Ward! and as nice a little fellow as ever served the cabin;
poor little fellow, we could hardly get him across."

"Gracious! that's my Tommy," said Manuel. "Where is he? He loves me
as he does his life, and would run to me as a child would to its
father. Little as he is, he has been a friend through my severest
trials, and a companion in my pleasures."

"Ah, poor child! I'm afraid you wouldn't know him now. He has
suffered much since you saw him."

"Is he not aboard? Where can I find him?" inquired Manuel, hastily.

"No, he is not aboard; he is at the hospital in Dennison street. Go
there to-morrow, and you will find him."



WE are sorry, that having traced the details of our narrative as
they occurred, without adding for dramatic effect, we are
constrained to conclude with a picture at once painful and harrowing
to the feelings. We do this that we may be sustained by records, in
what we have stated, rather than give one of those more popular
conclusions which restore happiness and relieve the reader's

Manuel retired to his berth, full of meditation. His little
companion was before him, pictured in his child-like innocence and
playfulness. He saw him in the youthful zeal and freshness of the
night when he brought the well-laden haversack into his dreary cell,
and which kind act was repaid by a night of suffering in the
guard-house. There was too much of life and buoyancy in the picture
his imagination called up, to reconcile the belief that any thing
serious had befallen him; and yet the man spoke in a manner that
aroused the intensity of his feelings. It was a whisper full of
fearful forebodings, and filled his mind with anxious expectation.
He could not sleep-the anxiety of his feelings had awakened a
nervvous restlessness that awaited the return of morning with

Morning came. He proceeded to the hospital and rang the bell. An
aged gentleman came to the door, and to his questions about Tommy
being there, answered in the affirmative, and called an attendant to
show him the ward in which the little sufferer lay. He followed the
attendant, and after ascending several flights of stairs and
following a dark, narrow passage nearly to its end, was shown into a
small, single-room on the right. The result was suggestive in the
very atmosphere, which had a singular effect upon the senses. The
room, newly-whitewashed, was darkened by a green curtain tacked over
the frame of the window. Standing near the window were two
wooden-stools and a little table, upon which burned the faint light
of a small taper, arranged in a cup of oil, and shedding its feeble
flickers on the evidences of a sick-chamber. There, on a little,
narrow cot, lay the death-like form of his once joyous companion,
with the old nurse sitting beside him, watching his last pulsation.
Her arm encircled his head, while his raven locks curled over his
forehead, and shadowed the beauty of innocence even in death.

"Is he there? is he there?" inquired Manuel in a low tone. At the
same time a low, gurgling noise sounded in his ears. The nurse
started to her feet as if to inquire for what he came. "He is my
companion-my companion," said Manuel.

It was enough. The woman recognised the object of the little
sufferer's anxiety. "Ah! it is Manuel. How often he has called that
name for the last week!" said she.

He ran to the bedside and grasped his little fleshless hand as it
lay upon the white sheet, bathing his cold brow with kisses of
grief. Life was gone-the spirit had winged its way to the God who
gave it. Thus closed the life of poor Tommy Ward. He died as one
resting in a calm sleep, far from the boisterous sound of the
ocean's tempest, with God's love to shield his spirit in another and
brighter world.


IN a preceding chapter, we left the poor boy on the plantation of
Colonel Whaley, affected by a pulmonary disease, the seeds of which
were planted on the night he was confined in the guard-house, and
the signs of gradual decay evinced their symptoms. After Captain
Williams--for such was the name of the captain of the Three
Sisters--left the plantation, no person appeared to care for him, and
on the second day he was attacked with a fever, and sent to one of
the negro cabins, where an old mulatto woman took care of him and
nursed him as well as her scanty means would admit. The fever
continued for seven days, when he became convalescent and able to
walk out; but feeling that he was an incumbrance to those around
him, he packed his clothes into a little bundle and started for
Charleston on foot. He reached that city after four days' travelling
over a heavy, sandy road, subsisting upon the charity of poor
negroes, whom he found much more ready to supply his wants than the
opulent planters. One night he, was compelled to make a pillow of
his little bundle, and lay down in a corn-shed, where the planter,
aroused by the noise of his dogs, which were confined in a kennel,
came with a lantern and two negroes and discovered him. At first he
ordered him off, and threatened to set the dogs upon him if he did
not instantly comply with the order; but his miserable appearance
affected the planter, and before he had gone twenty rods one of the
negroes overtook him, and said his master had sent him to bring him
back. He returned, and the negro made him a coarse bed in his cabin,
and gave him some homony and milk.

His hopes to see Manuel had buoyed him up through every fatigue, but
when he arrived, and was informed at the jail that Manuel had left
three days before, his disappointment was extreme. A few days after
he shipped as cabin-boy on board a ship ready for sea and bound to
Liverpool. Scarcely half-way across, he was compelled to resign
himself to the sick-list. The disease had struck deep into his
system, and was rapidly wasting him away. The sailors, one by one in
turns, watched over him with tenderness and care. As soon as the
ship arrived, he was sent to the hospital, and there he breathed his
last as Manuel entered the sick-chamber. We leave Manuel and a few
of his shipmates following his remains to the last resting-place of


SINCE the foregoing was written, Governor Means, in his message to
the Legislature of South Carolina, refers to the laws under which
"colored seamen" are imprisoned. We make the subjoined extract,
showing that he insists upon its being continued in force, on the
ground of "self-preservation"--a right which ship-owners will please
regard for the protection of their own interests:--

"I feel it my duty to call your attention to certain proceedings
which have grown out of the enforcement of that law of our State
which requires the Sheriff of Charleston to seize and imprison
colored seamen who are brought to that port. You will remember that
the British Consul addressed a communication to the legislature in
December, 1850, on the subject of a modification of this law. A
committee was appointed by the House and Senate to report upon it at
the next session of the legislature. These committees reported
adverse to any modification. On the 24th March, 1852, Manuel Pereira
was imprisoned in accordance with the law alluded to. The vessel in
which he sailed was driven into the port of Charleston in distress.
This was looked upon as a favorable case upon which to make an
issue, as so strong an element of sympathy was connected with it.
Accordingly, a motion was made before Judge Withers for a writ of
'habeas corpus,' which was refused by him. These proceedings were
instituted by the British Consul, it is said, under instructions
from his government, to test the constitutionality of the Act. I
think it here proper to state, that Pereira was at perfect liberty
to depart at any moment that he could get a vessel to transport him
beyond the limits of the State. In truth, in consideration of the
fact that his coming into the State was involuntary, the Sheriff of
Charleston, with his characteristic kindness, procured for him a
place in a ship about to sail for Liverpool. Early in April, Pereira
was actually released, and on his way to the ship, having himself
signed the shipping articles, when, by interposition of the British
Consul, he was again consigned to the custody of the sheriff. A few
days after this, the British Consul insisted no longer on his
detention, but voluntarily paid his passage to New York. This was
looked upon as an abandonment of that case. The statement of Mr.
Yates, together with the letter of the British Consul, are herewith

"While these proceedings were pending, the Sheriff of Charleston had
my instructions not to give up the prisoners even if a writ of
habeas corpus had been granted. I considered that the 'Act of 1844,'
entitled, 'An Act more effectually to prevent negroes and other
persons of color from entering into this State, and for other
purposes,' made it my duty to do so.

"On the 19th May, Reuben Roberts, a colored seaman, a native of
Nassau, arrived in the steamer Clyde, from Baracoa. The Sheriff of
Charleston, in conformity with the law of the State, which has been
in force since 1823, arrested and lodged him in the district jail,
where he was detained until the 26th of May, when, the Clyde being
ready to sail, Roberts was put on board, and sailed the same day.

"On the 9th of June, a writ in trespass, for assault and false
imprisonment, from the Federal Court, was served upon Sheriff Yates,
laying the damage at $4000.

"The Act of 1844, I take it, was intended to prevent all
interference on the part of any power on the face of the earth, with
the execution of this police regulation, which is so essential to
the peace and safety of our community. Had the legislature which
passed it ever dreamed that the sheriff was to be subjected to the
annoyance of being dragged before the Federal Court for doing his
duty under a law of the State, I am sure it would have provided for
his protection. As no such provision has been made for so unexpected
a contingency, I recommend that you so amend this Act of 1844, that
it may meet any case that may arise.

"It is certainly wrong to tolerate this interference with the laws
enacted for the protection of our institution. In the general
distribution of power between the Federal and State Governments, the
right to make their own police regulations was clearly reserved to
the States. In fact, it is nothing more nor less than the right of
self-preservation-a right which is above all constitutions, and
above all laws, and one which never was, nor never will be,
abandoned by a people who are worthy to be free. It is a right which
has never yet been attempted to be denied to any people, except to

"The complaint against this law is very strange, and the attempt to
bring us in conflict with the General Government on account of it,
is still more remarkable; when, so far from its being at variance
with the laws of the United States, it is only requiring the State
authorities to enforce an Act of Congress, approved February 28th,
1803, entitled, An Act to prevent the importation of certain persons
into certain States, where, by the laws thereof, their importation
is prohibited. By referring to this Act, you will see that the
plaintiff in the action alluded to was prohibited by it from
entering into this State. I deem it unnecessary, however, to enter
fully into the argument. If any doubt should be entertained by you,
as to its constitutionality, I beg leave to refer to the able
opinion of the Hon. J. McPherson Berrien, delivered at the time he
was Attorney-General of the United States, which I herewith send

"On the subject of the modification of this law, I am free to say,
that when Her B. M.'s Government, through its consul, made a
respectful request to our legislature to that effect, I was anxious
that it should be made. It was with pleasure that I transmitted his
first communication to the last legislature. I would have made a
recommendation of its modification a special point in my first
message, but that I thought it indelicate to do so, as the matter
was already before the legislature, and committees had been
appointed to report upon it. Another reason for the neglect of this
recommendation, was the then excited state of party politics, which
might have precluded the possibility of a calm consideration of the
subject. But for the proceedings instituted in the premises, I would
even now recommend a modification of the law, so as to require
captains to confine their colored seamen to their vessels, and to
prevent their landing under heavy penalties. For while I think the
State has a perfect right to pass whatever laws on this subject it
may deem necessary for its safety, yet the spirit of the age
requires that while they should be so formed as to be adequate to
our protection, they should be at the same time as little offensive
as possible to other nations with whom we have friendly relations.
But since an attempt has been made to defy our laws, and bring us in
conflict with the Federal Government, on a subject upon which we are
so justly sensitive, our own self-respect demands that we should not
abate one jot or tittle of that law, which was enacted to protect us
from the influence of ignorant incendiaries."

We are under many obligations to Governor Means for his remarks upon
this subject. We esteem his character too highly to entertain an
idea that he would knowingly make an incorrect statement; but, with
a knowledge of the facts, we can assure him that he was misled by
those whom he depended upon for information. And also, though his
name deserves to stand pre-eminent among the good men of Carolina,
for recurring to that frightful state of things which exists in the
Charleston prison, that he did not receive a correct statement in
regard to it. In this want, his remarks lose much of their value.
Subjects and grievances exist there which he should know most of,
and yet he knows least, because he intrusts them to the caretakers,
who make abuses their medium of profit.

Under the influence of that exceedingly suspicious, and yet
exceedingly credulous characteristic of a people, few know the power
that is working beneath the sunshine of South Carolina, and those
who do, stand upon that slaveworn ostentation which considers it
beneath notice.

We have no interest nor feeling beyond that of humanity, and a right
to expose the mendacity of those who have power to exercise it over
the prisoners in Charleston. That mendacity has existed too long for
the honor of that community, and for the feelings of those who have
suffered under it.

It may be true that this case was considered a favorable one to try
the issue upon, but no elements of sympathy were sought by the
consul. That functionary to whom the Governor has attributed
"characteristic kindness," said, in our presence, and we have the
testimony of others to confirm what we say, that if Judge Withers
had granted the habeas corpus, he would not have given up the
prisoner, but rather gone to jail and suffered the same regimen with
the prisoners. Had he tried the accommodations, he would have found
the "profits" more than necessary to appease common hunger.

The Governor says, "Pereira was at liberty to depart at any moment
that he could get a vessel to transport him beyond the limits of the
State." How are we to reconcile this with the following sentence,
which appears in the next paragraph:--"While these proceedings were
pending," (meaning the action instituted by the consul to release
the prisoner,) "the sheriff of Charleston had my instructions not to
give up the prisoner, even if a writ of habeas corpus had been
granted?" According to this, the sheriff assumed a power independent
of and above the Governor's prerogative. We have attempted to
picture the force of this in our work, and to show that there are
official abuses cloaked by an honorable dishonesty, which dignifies
the business of the local factor and vendor of human property, and
which should be stayed by the power of the Executive.

The singular fact presents itself, that while Judge Withers was
deliberating upon the question of granting the "habeas corpus," the
proceedings pending, and the Governor's instructions to the contrary
before him, the sheriff takes it upon himself to smuggle the
prisoner out of port. Now what was the object of this Secret and
concerted movement? Was it "kindness" on the part of that
functionary, who has grasped every pretence to enforce this law? We
think not. The reader will not require any extended comments from us
to explain the motive; yet we witnessed it, and cannot leave it
without a few remarks.

It is well known that it has been the aim of that functionary, whose
"characteristic kindness" has not failed to escape the Governor's
notice, to thwart the consul in all his proceedings. In this
instance, he engaged the services of a "shipping master" as a
pretext, and with him was about to send the man away when his
presence was essential to test his right to the habeas corpus, and
at this very time, more than two months wages, due him from the
owners, lay in the hands of the consul, ready to be paid on his

The nefarious design speaks for itself.

The consul was informed of the proceeding, and very properly refused
to submit to such a violation of authority, intended to annul his
proceedings. He preferred to await the "test," demanding the
prisoner's release through the proper authorities. That release,
instead of being "a few days after this," as the message sets forth,
was-not effected until the fifteenth of May.

Let the Governor institute an inquiry into the treatment of these
men by the officials, and the prison regimen, and he will find the
truth of what we have said. Public opinion will not credit his award
of "characteristic kindness" to those who set up a paltry pretext as
an apology for their wrong-doing.

If men are to be imprisoned upon this singular construction of law,
(which is no less than arming the fears of South Carolina,) is it
any more than just to ask that she should pay for it, instead of
imposing it upon innocent persons? Or, to say the least, to make
such comfortable provision for them as is made in the port of
Savannah, and give them what they pay for, instead of charging
thirty cents a day for their board, and making twenty-two of that

Had the Governor referred to the "characteristic kindness" of the
jailer, his remarks would have been bestowed upon a worthy man, who
has been a father to those unfortunates who chanced within the turn
of his key.

In another part of his message, commenting upon the existence of
disgraceful criminal laws, the management and wretched state of
prisons, he says, "The attorney-general, at my request, has drawn up
a report on the subject of prisons and prison discipline." Now, if
such were the facts, the reports would be very imperfect to be drawn
up by one who never visits the prisons.

We are well aware that he called for this report, and further, that
the attorney-general, in a letter to the sheriff, (of which we have
a copy,) propounded numerous questions in regard to the jail,
calling for a statement in full, particularly the amount of fees
paid to certain functionaries; those charged to the State, and the
average number of prisoners per month, from Sept. 1851, to Sept.
1852, &c. &c. That letter was transmitted to the jailer-a man whose
character and integrity is well known, and above reproach in
Charleston-with a request that he would make out his report. He drew
up his report in accordance with the calendar and the facts, but
that report was not submitted. Why was it not submitted? Simply
because it showed the profit of starving men in South Carolina

We have the evidence in our possession, and can show the Executive
that he has been misled. We only ask him to call for the original
statement, made out in the jailer's handwriting, and compare it with
the calendar; and when he has done that, let us ask, Why the average
of prisoners per month does not correspond? and why the enormous
amount of fees accruing from upward of fifty "colored seamen,"
imprisoned during the year, and entered upon the calendar "contrary
to law," was not included?

It is a very unhealthy state of things, to say the least; but as the
sheriff considers it his own, perhaps we have no right to meddle
with it.

All this clamor about the bad influence of "colored seamen" is kept
up by a set of mendicant officials who harvest upon the fees, and
falls to naught, when, at certain hours of the day during their
imprisonment, they are allowed to associate with "bad niggers,"
committed for criminal offences and sale. If their presence is
"dangerous," it certainly would be more dangerous in its connection
with criminals of the feared class.

Take away the fees--the mercantile community will not murmur, and
the official gentry will neither abuse nor trouble themselves about
enforcing the law to imprison freemen.


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