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The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus by American Anti-Slavery Society

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inconceivable harm in Jamaica, in alienating the affections of her
people, and creating discord and disaffection, should at once cease.
Thank God! it is now nearly at an end, and we trust that Jamaica will
enjoy that repose, so eagerly and anxiously sought after, by all who
wish the Island well."

These facts come down upon the question of the safety of an _immediate_
emancipation with an _a fortiori_, a _much more then_. For it is
admitted on all hands that the apprenticeship had "alienated the
affections of the people;" they were in a state less favorable to a
quiet sequel, than they were before the first of August, 1834, yet the
danger was not thought of. The _safety_ was an argument _in favor_ of
emancipation, not _against_ it. The raw head and bloody bones had
vanished. The following is a fair exhibition of the feeling of the most
influential planters, in regard to the _safety_ of the step.

From the Barbadian, May 9, 1838.

HOUSE, APRIL 24TH, 1838.

The Lord Bishop rose and spoke as follows:

"_Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Council_,

'I was informed yesterday that, during my absence from this island, the
members recorded their opinion as to the expediency of absolutely
abolishing the apprenticeship in August, 1838. I am most anxious to
record my entire concurrence in this resolution, but I wish it to be
understood that I do not consider the measure as called for by any
hardships, under which the laborers in this island are suffering--nor
from the want of any essential comfort--nor from the deprivation of any
thing, which a laborer can fairly claim from his master; still I do
express my concurrence in the resolution of the board, and I do so on
these grounds: that I am satisfied the measure can be safely carried in
this island, and if safely, then I feel justly; for I consider the very
important interests which are involved in the measure. I must confess,
too, that I am unwilling the Barbados should be behind any other island,
especially in a measure which may be carried both safely and justly, and
where its example may be of such beneficial consequence. I am just
returned from visiting the Northern Islands of the Diocese. I have gone
over every part of Tortola, and though it is far more fertile than the
Off Islands, yet even these are sufficiently productive for the laborer
to raise the lesser and necessary provision of life,--and yet with these
islands in their very face, the Legislature of Tortola has passed the
act of abolition. Some of the proprietors were opposed to it, but they
have now given up their opposition; and I heard, whilst in Antigua, not
only that the act had passed, but that on the day of its passing, or the
following day, some of the leading proprietors rode through the island,
and were met by the people with expressions of the utmost gratitude,
regarding the act as a boon granted to them by their masters. At Nevis
the act has passed. At St. Christopher's the council are in favor of its
passing, and with Nevis emancipated in its vicinity, there is little
doubt but the Act must pass. At Montserrat also it has passed. At
Antigua, which I visited last year, I found that every thing was
proceeding quietly and regularly. I found too, the planters in high
spirits, and some estates, which had been given up, restored; and the
small patches and tenements of the free people, commencing last year,
now in a very satisfactory state of cultivation. It is possible, indeed,
that these last mentioned, unless the population is proportionably
increased, may affect the cultivation of the larger estates, but there
they are, and flourishing, as I have described, whilst I was in the
island. A contiguous, though abandoned estate was purchased by Sir Henry
Martin for about 9,500 _l._ currency, being 3,000 _l._ more than he had
offered a few years previously. To compare Barbados with any other
island, either as to population, wealth, or state of agriculture, is
unnecessary. I have seen nothing like the commercial activity which I
saw in the streets yesterday, except at St. Thomas; and I feel,
therefore, on all these grounds, that the act may be passed safely and
justly. At the same time I am not unmindful or insensible to the state
of public opinion in the mother country, nor to the many new and
harassing annoyances to which the proprietors may be exposed during a
protracted continuance of the apprenticeship. I request that my full
concurrence in the resolution of the council, may be accorded on the
minutes of this day's proceedings.'"

Such is the testimony of a witness in no wise warped by prejudice in
favor of the anti-slavery party.

The debates which took place in the legislatures of both Barbados and
Jamaica, are full of similar testimony, uttered by men every way
qualified to bear witness, and under influences which relieve their
testimony from every taint of suspicion.

In the legislature of Jamaica, on the question of a Committee to bring
in a Bill, Mr. GOOD remarked, "He could say that the negroes from their
general good conduct were deserving of the boon. Then why not give in
with a good heart? why exhibit any bad feelings about the matter? There
were many honorable gentlemen who had benefitted by the pressure from
without, who owed their rank in society and their seats in that house to
the industry of the negroes. Why should they now show a bad heart in the
matter?--Nine tenths of the proprietors of this island had determined
upon giving up the apprenticeship. Hundreds of thousands were to be
benefited--were to take their stations as men of society, and he hoped
the boon would not be retarded by a handful of men who owed their all
to slavery."

Mr. Dallas said,--"_The abolition of the remaining term of
apprenticeship must take place; let them then join hand and heart in
doing it well, and with such grace as we now could. Let it have the
appearance of a boon from ourselves, and not in downright submission to
the coercive measures adopted by the British Parliament_."

After a committee had been appointed to prepare and bring in a Bill for
the abolition of the apprenticeship, a member rose and proposed that the
28th of June should be its termination. We give his speech as reported
in the Jamaica papers, to show how fanatical even a slaveholder
may become.

"On the members resuming their seats, Mr. HART proposed that it be an
instruction to the committee appointed to bring in the bill or
abolishing the remainder of the apprenticeship, to insert a clause in
it, that the operation of that bill should commence on the 28th of June,
that being the day appointed for the coronation of the Queen. _He felt
proud in telling the house that he was the representative of the black
population. He was sent there by the blacks and his other friends_. The
white Christians had their representatives, the people of color had
their representatives, and _he hoped shortly to see the day when the
blacks would send in their own representatives_. He wanted the thing
done at once, Sir, said the honorable member waxing warm. It was
nonsense to delay it. It could be done in three lines as he said before,
dele 1840 and put in 1838. That was all that they had to do. If it were
possible, let the thing be done in two words. He went there to do his
duty to his constituents, and he was determined to do so. His black
friends looked up to him to protect them--and he would press his motion
that all the apprentices in the island should be _crowned_ on the 28th
of June. (Thundering roars of laughter.) He was as independent as any
honorable member, and would deliver his sentiment, without caring who
were and who were not pleased. He was possessed of property in
apprentices--_he had an estate with nearly two hundred negroes, that he
was determined to crown on the 28th of June_. (Increased roars of
laughter in the house, and at the bar.) He would not be laughed down.
His properties were not encumbered. He would not owe anything on them
after they were paid for, and that he could do. (Loud laughter.) He was
determined to have his opinion. As he had said before, the 28th day of
June being fixed for the coronation of all the negroes in the island,
that is the day they ought to be released from the apprenticeship.
(Thundering and deafening roars of laughter). (Here the honorable member
was told that the Queen was to be crowned on that day.) Ah, well, he had
made a mistake, but he would tell the house the truth, _he had made up
his mind to give his apprentices freedom on that day, but he did not
wish to do it without his neighbors doing the same, lest they should say
he was setting a bad example_. He would press his motion to a division.
It had been seconded by his honorable friend on his right.--(Aside,
"Good, didn't you promise to second it?") The honorable member then read
his motion, and handed it up to the clerk."

The "mistake" of this liberal descendant of Israel, which excited so
much merriment was, after all, not a very unfortunate one, _if_ the
"crown" of manhood is more important than that of monarchy. The members
objected to so near an approach to _immediatism_, not, however, be it
remarked, on account of the unfitness of the apprentices, (slaves) but
their own convenience. Among those who replied to Mr. Hart, was Mr.
Osborn, of unmingled African blood, born a slave, and who, we are
informed, was a successful competitor for the seat he now occupies
against the very man who formerly claimed him as property. Mr. Osborn
and his partner Mr. Jordon were editors of the Jamaica Watchman, and had
contended manfully for liberty when it was a dangerous word. Mr. Osborn
said:--"He was astonished at the galloping liberality which seemed to
have seized some honorable members, now there was nothing to contend
for. Their liberality seemed to have outrun all prudence. Where were
they and their liberality when it was almost death to breach the
question of slavery? What had become of their philanthropy? But no, it
was not convenient then. The stream was too strong for them to resist.
Now, however, when the question was finally settled, when nothing
remained for them to do, it was the time that some honorable gentlemen
began to clamor their liberality, and began a race who should be the
first, or who should have the honor of first terminating the
apprenticeship. He hoped the motion would be withdrawn, and the
discussion put an end to."

What had become of the visions of blood and slaughter? Could there be
more impressive testimony to the safety of Emancipation in all, even the
worst cases?

We might add to this testimony that of the universal newspaper press of
the British West India colonies. We have room, however, to select only
from a few of the well known opponents of freedom.

"We seriously call upon our representatives to consider well all the
bearings of the question, and if they cannot resist effectually these
encroachments of the Imperial Government, adopt the remaining
alternative of saving themselves from an infliction, by giving up at
once and entirely, the bone of contention between us. Thus only shall we
disarm, if anything in reason or in nature can, our enemies of their
slanderous weapons of offence, and secure in as far as possible, a
speedy and safe return of peace and prosperity to the "distracted"
colony.--Without this sacrifice on our parts, we see no shelter from our
sufferings--no amelioration of present wrongs--no hope for the future;
but on the contrary, a systematic and remorseless train laid for the
ultimate ruin of every proprietor in the country. With this sacrifice
which can only be to any extent to a few and which the wisdom of our
legislature may possibly find out some means or other of compensation,
we have the hope that the sunshine of Jamaica's prosperity shall not
receive any farther diminution; but shall rather dawn again with renewed
vigor; when all shall be alike free under the protection of the same
law, and the same law-givers; and all shall be alike amenable to the
powers that punish without favor and without affection."--_Jamaica

"There is great reason to expect that many Jamaica proprietors will
anticipate the period established by the Slavery Abolition Act for the
termination of the apprenticeship. They will, as an act of grace, and
with a view to their future arrangements with their negroes, terminate
the apprenticeship either of all at once, or by giving immediate freedom
to the most deserving; try the effect of this gift, and of the example
afforded to the apprentices when they see those who have been discharged
from the apprenticeship working on the estates for wages. If such a
course is adopted, it will afford an additional motive for inducing the
Legislature to consider whether the good feeling of the laboring
population, and their future connection with their former employers, may
not be promoted by permitting them to owe to the grace of their own
Legislature the termination of the apprenticeship as soon as the
requisite legislation for the new state of things has been
adopted."--_Jamaica Despatch_.

Of such sort as this is the testimony from all the Colonies, most
abundantly published in the Emancipator and other abolition papers, to
the point of the _safety_ of entire Emancipation. At the time when the
step was taken, it was universally concluded that so far from being
dangerous it promised the greatest safety. It would not only put an end
to the danger apprehended from the foreign interference of the
abolitionists, but it would _conciliate the negroes_! And we are not
able to find any one who professes to be disappointed with the result
thus far. The only evil now complained of, is the new freemen do not in
some instances choose _to work_ on the _terms_ offered by the planters.
They have shed no man's blood. They have committed no depredation. They
peaceably obey the laws. All this, up to the latest date, is universally
admitted. Neither does any one _now_ presume to prophesy anything
different for the future.


On the one topic of the industry of the Emancipated people, the West
Indian papers give the most conflicting accounts. Some represent them as
laboring with alacrity, diligence and effect wherever anything like an
adequate compensation is offered. It is asserted by some, and not denied
by any authorities that we have seen, that the emancipated are
industriously at work on those estates where the masters voluntarily
relinquished the apprenticeship before the first of August and met their
freed people in good faith. But most of the papers, especially in
Jamaica, complain grievously that the freed people will work on no
reasonable terms. We give a fair specimen from one of the Jamaica
papers, on which our political editors choose most to rely for their

"In referring to the state of the country this week, we have still the
same tale to tell of little work, and that little indifferently done,
but exorbitantly charged for; and wherever resisted, a general "strike"
is the consequence. Now this, whatever more favourable complexion the
interested and sinister motives of others may attempt to throw around
it, is the real state of matters upon nine-tenths of the properties
situated in St. James's, Westmoreland, and Hanover. In Trelawny they
_appear_ to be doing a little better; but that only arises, we are
confident from the longer purses, and patience of endurance under
exorbitant wages, exhibited by the generality of the managers of that
parish. Let them wait till they find they can no longer continue making
sugar at its present expensive rate, and they will then find whether
Trelawny is substantially in a better condition than either of the other
parties."--_Standard, quoted in the Morning Journal of Nov. 2_.

This is the "tale" indeed, of a great part of the West India papers,
sung to the same hum drum tune ever since the first of August; and so
faithfully echoed by our own pro slavery press that many of our
estimable fellow citizens have given it up that the great "experiment"
has turned out unfavorably, and that the colored population of the West
Indies are rapidly _sinking_ from the condition of _slaves_ to that of
idle freemen. Were we all in a position perfectly disinterested and
above the peculiar influence of slavery, we might perhaps consider these
complaints as asking for, rather than against, the character of the
Emancipated and the cause of freedom, inasmuch as they prove the former
slaves to have both the discretion and the spirit which should
characterise freemen. But to the peculiar optics which abound in these
United States it may be necessary to show the entire picture.

To prove in the first place the general falsehood of the complaints
themselves it is only necessary to advert to recent official documents.
For our present purpose it will be sufficient to refer to Jamaica. The
legislature was convened on the 30th of October and addressed by the
Governor Sir Lionel Smith in a speech of which the following extract
pertains to our subject:--

_"Gentlemen of the Council, Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House
of Assembly,_

The most important event in the annals of colonial history has taken
place since last I had the pleasure of meeting the legislature of
this Island; and I am happy in being able to declare that the
conduct of the laboring population, who were then the objects of
your liberal and enlightened policy, _entitles them to the highest
praise, and amply proves how_ WELL THEY HAVE DESERVED _the boon
of freedom._

It was not to be expected that the total extinction of the
apprenticeship law would be followed by an instantaneous return to
active labor, but feeling as I do the deepest interest in the
successful result of the great measurement now in progress, I
sincerely congratulate you and the country at large, on the
improvement which is daily taking place on the resumption of
industrious habits, and I TRUST THERE IS EVERY PROSPECT OF

Such is the testimony of a Governor who is no stranger in the West
Indies and who was put in the place of Lord Sligo as more acceptable to
the planters. But what said the House of Assembly in reply?--a House
made up chiefly of attornies who had more interest than any other men in
the continuance of the old system and who, as will presently be shown,
were not unwilling to have the "experiment" fail? They speak as

_"May it Please your Excellency,_

We, her Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, the Assembly of
Jamaica, thank your Excellency for your speech at the opening of
the session.

The House join your Excellency in bearing testimony TO THE
PEACEABLE MANNER in which the laboring population have conducted
themselves in a state of FREEDOM.

It certainly was not to be expected that so great a change in the
condition of the people would be followed by an immediate return to
active labor. The House, however, are willing to believe that some
degree of improvement is taking place, and they sincerely join in
the HOPE expressed by your Excellency, that the agricultural
interests of the Island may ultimately prosper, by a resumption of
industrious habits on the part of the peasantry in their new

This settles the question. Those who will not be convinced by such
documents as these that the mass of the Emancipated in Jamaica are ready
_to do their part_ in the system of free labor, would not be convinced
if one rose from the deed to prove it.

We are now prepared to investigate the causes of the complaints, and
inquire why in numerous cases the negros have refused to work. Let us
first go back to the debates Jamaica Legislature on the passage of the
Emancipation bill in June, and see whether we can discover the _temper_
in which it was passed, and the prospect of good faith in its execution.
We can hardly doubt that some members, and some especially from whose
speeches on that occasion we have already quoted, designed really to
confer the "boon of freedom." But others spoke very differently. To
understand their language we must commence with the Governor's speech at
the opening of the session:--

_"Gentlemen of the Council,

Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the Assembly,_

I have called you together, at an unusual season, to take it to your
consideration the state of the Island under the Laws of
Apprenticeship, for the labouring population.

I need not refer you to the agitation on this subject throughout the
British Empire, or to the discussions upon it in Parliament, _where
the honourable efforts of the ministry_ were barely found sufficient
to preserve the original duration of the Laws, as an obligation of
the National faith.

I shall lay before you some despatches on this subject."

* * * * *


_General agitation and Parliamentary interference have not, I am
afraid, yet terminated._

_A corresponding excitement has been long going on among the
apprentices themselves,_ but still they have rested in sober and
quiet hopes, relying on your generosity, that you will extend to
them that boon which has been granted to their class in
other Colonies."

* * * * *

_"Gentlemen of the Council,

Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the Assembly,_

In this posture of affairs, it is my duty to declare my sentiments,
and distinctly to _recommend to you the early and equal abolition of
the apprenticeship for all classes._ I do so in confidence that the
apprentices will be found worthy of freedom, and that it will
operate as a double blessing, by securing also the future interests
of the planters.

I am commanded, however, to inform you that her Majesty's ministers
will not entertain any question of further compensation. But should
your views be opposed to the policy I recommend, I would entreat you
to consider well _how impracticable it will become to carry on
coercive labor_--always difficult, it would in future be in peril of
constant comparisons with other colonies made free, and with those
estates in this island made free by individual proprietors.

As Governor, under these circumstances, and I never shrink from any
of my responsibilities, _I pronounce it physically impossible to
maintain the apprenticeship with any hope of successful agriculture._

* * * * *

"_Gentlemen of the Council,

Mr. Speaker, and gentlemen of the Assembly._

Jamaica, is in your hands--she requires repose, by the removal of a
law which has _equally tormented the laborer, and disappointed the
planter_--a law by which man still constrains man in unnatural
servitude. This is her first exigency. For her future welfare she
appeals to your wisdom to legislate in the spirit of the times, with
liberality and benevolence towards all classes."

* * * * *

When such a man as Sir Lionel Smith pronounced it no longer practicable
to carry on coercive labor, he must have been a bold as well as a rash
planter who would venture to hold on to the old system under Lord
Glenelg's improvement Act. Accordingly we find some of the staunchest
advocates of slavery, men who had been fattening on the oppression of
the apprentices up to that moment the first, and the most precipitate,
is their proposals of abolition. Mr. Hyslop, Mr. Gay and others were for
acting at once on the Governor's speech without referring it to a
committee. The former said: "He believed that a proposition would be
made to abandon the apprenticeship from the 1st of August, _but he would
say let it be abandoned from Sunday next_. He would therefore move that
the speech be made the order of the day for tomorrow."

Mr. Guy said:--

"The Governor's speech contained nothing more than what every Gentlemen
expected, _and what every Gentlemen, he believed, was prepared to do. In
short he_ would state that _a bill had already been prepared by him,
which he intended to introduce tomorrow, for the abolition of the
apprenticeship on the 1st of August next_."

Both these gentlemen are well known by the readers of Jamaica papers as
obstinate defenders slavery. The latter was so passionately devoted to
the abuses of the apprenticeship that Lord Sligo was obliged to dismiss
him from the post of Adjutant General of militia. In the ardor of his
attachment to the "peculiar institution" of getting work without pay, he
is reported to have declared on a public occasion, that the British
ministry were a "parcel of reptiles" and that the "English nation was
fast going to the dogs." In another part of the debate:--

"Mr. Guy hoped the house would not _go into a discussion of the nature of
the apprenticeship_, or the terms upon which it was forced us by the
government. All that he knew about the matter was, that it was a part
and parcel of the compensation. Government had so declared it. In short
it was made law. He could not help believing that the Hon. member for
Trelawny, was arguing against the dictates of his own honest heart--that
he came there cut and dry with a speech prepared to _defend the

Mr. Barclay, to whom, some years ago, the planters gave a _splendid
service of plate_ for his ingenious defence of slavery against the
terrible pen of JAMES STEPHEN, said "it appeared to be the general
feeling of the house that the apprenticeship should be done away with.
Be that as it may, he was free to say that in that part of the island he
was from, and certainly it was a large and wealthy district, the
apprenticeship system _had worked well_, and all parties _appeared_
satisfied with it. He denied that there existed any necessity to disturb
the working of the system, it would have _gradually_ slided into
_absolute freedom if they were permitted to regulate their own affairs_,
but the government, or rather, _the people of England, had forced on the
predicament in which they were placed_. The ministry could not help
themselves--They were driven to violate the national compact, not in
express words, it is true, but in fact. It was, however, the _force of
public opinion that operated_ in producing the change. They were placed
in a situation from which they could hardly extricate themselves.--
_They had no alternative, he was afraid, but to go along with
the stream_."

Mr. Hamilton Brown, who at the commencement of the apprenticeship came
into a Special Magistrate's court and publicly told him that unless he
and his colleagues "_did their duty by having recourse to a frequent and
vigorous application of the lash, there would he rebellion in the Parish
(of St. Ann's!) in less than a month, and all the responsibility of such
a calamity would rest on their shoulders_"! discoursed in the following
manner. "It was always understood, for the apprenticeship _had become
marketable_. Properties had been bought and sold with them, their time
had been bought by others, and by themselves."

"He had no hesitation in saying, that the statements which had been made
in England against the planters _were as false as hell_--they had been
concocted here, and sent home by a parcel of spies in the island. They
were represented as a cruel set of men, as having outraged the feelings
of humanity towards the negroes, or in matters in which they were
concerned. This was false. He did not mean to deny that there were a
_few instances_ of cruelty to the apprentices, but then those were
_isolated cases_, and was it not hard that a hue and cry should be
raised against the whole body of planters, and all made to suffer on
account of those _few_. He would say that there was a greater
disposition to be cruel to the negroes evinced _by young men arriving in
this island from England, than by the planters. There was, indeed, a
great deal of difficulty in restraining them from doing so, but the
longer they lived in the country, the more kind and humane they became_.
The negroes _were better off here than many of the people of Great
Britain_, and they would have been contented, had it not been for the
injudicious _interference of some of the Special Justices_. Who had ever
heard of negroes being starved to death? Had they not read accounts in
the English papers of men destroying their wives, their children, _and
afterwards themselves_, because they could not obtain food. They had
been grossly defrauded of their property; and after doing that, it was
now sought to destroy their constitutional rights. He would repeat, they
had been grossly defrauded of their property." [Here is the true
slaveholder, logic, chivalry and all.]

Mr. Frater said, among other things, "He knew that it might be said the
bill (Lord Glenelg's) did not go to the extent of freeing the
negroes--_that we are about to do ourselves_, but he would ask whether
we were not _driven into the difficulty_ by which we are now surrounded!
Had we not been brought into this _alarming position_, into this
_exigency_, by the conduct of the British Government. _Why do we not
tell the English nation frankly and candidly, that they agreed to give
the planter six years' services of their apprentices, as a part of the
compensation, and if they desired to do away with it, that we must be
paid for it_, otherwise we will NOT ANSWER FOR ANY CHANGE, FOR ANY EVILS
WHICH ARE LIKELY TO ENSUE. Why did the government force such an
obnoxious bill upon us? They had in substance done this, they refused to
annul the apprenticeship themselves, it is true, but said, we will place
them in a situation that will compel them to do it themselves. He must
say that the Government had acted _cowardly and unjustly_, they had in
substance deprived them of the further two years' services of their
apprentices, agreeably to the compact entered into, upon a pretext that
we had not kept faith with them, and now tell us they will give us no
compensation. He hoped the allusion to it in the address would be

We beg the patient attention of the reader to still more of these
extracts. The present state of things in Jamaica renders them very
important. It is indispensable to a correct judgment of the results of
the experiment to understand in what temper it was entered upon by the
parties. Nothing can show this more clearly or authoritatively than the
quotations we are making. We find another little torrent of eloquence
from the same Mr. Hamilton Brown above quoted. He and several other
gentlemen rose to reply to the statements of Richard Hill, a friend of
freedom, and Secretary of the Special Magistracy.

Mr. Brown--"Mr. Chairman, I am on my legs, Sir. I say that we have to
thank the Special Justices, and the _private instructions_ which they
have acted upon, _for all the evils that have occurred in the country_.
Had they taken _the law_ for their guide, had they acted upon that, Sir,
and not upon their private instructions, _every thing would have gone on
splendidly_, and we should have done well. But they had _destroyed the
negroes with their instructions_, they had _given them bad advice_, and
_encouraged them in disobedience to their masters_. I say it, Sir, in
the face of this committee--I would say it on my death-bed tomorrow,
that if the Stipendiary Magistrates had _done their duty_ all would have
gone on well, _and I told his Excellency that he might then have slept
on a bed of roses_."

Here was one of the abolishers of the apprenticeship who held that more
flogging would have made it work more "splendidly." Mr. Hugh Fraser
Leslie, who the February before had, in his place in the Assembly,
denominated the anti-slavery delegates assembled in London, as "a set of
crawling wretches;" "the scum and refuse of society." "The washings and
scrapings of the manufacturing districts," &c. &c. now delivered himself
of the following:--

"_He would ask any man in the house, nay, in the country, whether the
house had any discretion left to them in the steps they were about to
take_? Could it be denied, that they were driven to the present
alternative? Could they any longer say they were an independent
legislature? It would be preposterous--absolutely absurd to entertain
any such idea. The apprenticeship had been _forced upon the country_ as
a part and parcel of the planters' compensation--it had been working
well, and would insensibly _have slided into a state of absolute
freedom, had the masters been left alone to themselves. It is now
utterly impracticable to continue it_. A most obnoxious measure had been
passed by the British parliament, and sent out to this country to be
promulgated by the Governor as the law of the land. The functions of the
legislature were put in abeyance, and a British act _crammed down their
throats_. It could not be denied that they were now under a military
Government. _He was only sorry that the thing had not been more honestly
done_; in his opinion, it would have been better for all classes, for
then the government would have taken all the responsibilities which
might attend the sudden change they had driven the house to make, and
find the means of conducting the affairs of the country into a peaceable
and successful state. _Let any person look to the excitement which at
present prevailed throughout the country, couple that with the speech
which had been delivered by the Governor, and say if it was any longer
practicable to carry one the system of apprenticeship_. With respect to
the doctrine which had been broached, that the apprenticeship was not a
part and parcel of the compact between the government and the planters;
that they (the planters) did not possess an absolute but an incidental
right to the services of their apprentices, _he confessed he was at a
loss to understand it_, he was incapable of drawing so nice a
distinction. He repeated, the government and nation had made the
apprenticeship a part of the consideration of the abolition of slavery,
and having placed us in a situation to render its continuance
impracticable they were bound in honor and common honesty _to compensate
us_ for the two years."

Once more, and we have done. Mr. Berry said,

"He did not think that because the Governor said they were not entitled
to compensation, that therefore they should give up the claim which they
unquestionably had upon the British nation for further compensation. He
would contend also, that the apprenticeship was one part of the
consideration for the abolition of slavery. He had heard it remarked
that the apprenticeship must cease, but it ought to be added that they
were compelled--they were driven to put an end to it by the Government,
though they were convinced that neither party was at this moment
prepared for immediate abandonment. The Governor, in his opening speech,
had told the house that from the agitation at home, and the
corresponding agitation which at the present moment prevailed here, it
was physically impossible to carry one the apprenticeship with advantage
to masters and labourers. He would take leave to remark, that the
apprenticeship _was working very well_--in some of the parishes had
worked extremely well. Where this was not the case, it was attributable
_to the improper conduct of the Special Justices_. He did not mean to
reflect upon them all; there were some honorable exceptions, but he
would say that a great deal of the ill-feeling which had arisen in the
country between the masters and their apprentices, was to be traced to
the _injudicious advice_ and conduct of the special Justices."

Such were the sentiments of by far the majority of those who spoke in
the Assembly. Such, doubtless, were the sentiments of more than
nine-tenths of the persons invested with the management of estates in
Jamaica. What, then if we had heard that nine-tenths of the emancipated
had refused to be employed? Could that have been counted a failure of
the experiment? Was there any reason to believe that the planters would
not resort to every species of oppression compatible with a system
of wages?

Before proceeding to the question of wages, however, we invite the
reader to scan the temper and disposition of the parties of the other
part, viz., the laboring population. Let us observe more carefully how
_they_ behaved at the important period of


Two of the sturdiest advocates of slavery, the _Jamaica Standard_ and
the _Cornwall Courier_, speak as follows:--

The _Standard_ says--"On Tuesday evening, (July 31), the Wesleyan, and we
believe, Baptist Chapels, (St. James') were opened for service--the
former being tastefully decorated with branches of the palm, sage, and
other trees, with a variety of appropriate devices, having a portrait of
her Majesty in the center, and a crown above. When we visited the
Chapel, about 10 o'clock, it was completely full, but not crowded, the
generality of the audience well dressed; and all evidently of the better
class of the colored and negro population. Shortly after, we understand,
a very excellent and modern sermon, in all political points, was
delivered by the Rev. Mr. Kerr, the highly respected pastor. The
congregation was dismissed shortly after 12 o'clock; at which hour the
church bell commenced its solemn peal, and a few noisy spirits welcomed
in the morning of Freedom with loud cheers, and planted a huge branch,
which they termed the "Tree of Liberty," in the center of the two roads
crossing the market square."

Again the _Standard_ observes, "The long, and somewhat anxiously
expected jubilee of Emancipation has arrived, and now nearly passed
over, with a remarkable degree of quiet and circumspection. Of St.
James's of course, we speak more particularly,--St. James's, hitherto the
most reviled, and most unwarrantably calumniated parish, of all the
parishes in this unfortunate and distracted colony!"

The _Cornwall Courier_ says, "The first of August, the most important
day ever witnessed in Jamaica, has passed quietly as far as actual
disturbance is concerned."

The _Jamaica Morning Journal_, of whose recent course the planters
should be the last to complain, gives more particular information of the
transition in all parts of the island. We give copious extracts, for to
dwell upon such a scene must soften the heart. It is good sometimes to
behold the joy of mere brute freedom--the boundings of the noble horse
freed from his stable and his halter--the glad homeward flight of the
bird from its cage--but here was besides the rational joy of a
heaven-born nature. Here were 300,000 souls set free; and on wings of
gratitude flying upwards to the throne of God. There were the gatherings
in the public squares, there were the fireworks, the transparencies, the
trees of liberty and the shouts of the jubilee, but the churches and the
schools were the chief scenes, and hymns and prayer the chief language
of this great ovation. There was no giving up to drunken revelry, but a
solemn recognition of God, even by those who had not been wont to
worship him. His temples were never so crowded. His ministers never so
much honored. We give the picture in all its parts, faithfully, and as
completely as our information will enable us to do.

August 2.

"In this city, the day has passed off in the way in which such a day
ought to pass off. With glad hearts and joyful lips, the people have
crowded the temples of the living God, and poured out their praises and
thanksgivings for the great benefits they had received at the hands of a
beneficent Providence. That they will continue to deport themselves as
dutiful subjects, and good men and women, we have no doubt. From the
country we wait with anxious hopes to hear that everything has gone off
with the same peace, and quiet, and order, and regularity which have
prevailed here, and especially that the people have returned to their
labor, and are giving general satisfaction."

From the same.

Among the various ways of interesting the minds of our newly
enfranchised peasantry on the 1st of August, was that of planting a Palm
tree emblematical of liberty, and commemorative of its commencement in
this island. Both in Kingston and in Liguanca, we understand, this
ceremony was performed by the schools and congregations of the "London
Missionary Society." The following hymn, composed by Mr. Wooldridge, for
the purpose, and committed to memory by many of the children, who were
treated with cakes and lemonade.

Appropriate sermons were preached, both morning and evening, by the Rev.
Messrs. Woodbridge and Ingraham, and in the evening a Temperance Society
was formed for the district of Liguanca, when several signed the pledge.

The thorny bush we'll clear away
The emblem of old slavery--
Let every fibre of it die,
And all its vices cease to be.

Let indolence, deceit, and theft,
Be of their nourishment bereft,
Let cruel wrong now disappear,
And decent order crown each year.

PROCEEDINGS AT TRELAWNEY.--A correspondent in Trelawney writes. The
first of August was observed by the people so decently and devoutly, and
with such manifestations of subdued, yet grateful feeling, that they
appeared more like a select class of Christians celebrating some holy
day of their church, than a race but recently converted from idolatry,
and who were just emerging from the pollutions and degradation
of slavery.

TREAT TO THE CHILDREN.--The most interesting and truly exciting scene of
all in Trelawny, was the spectacle of some hundreds of happy children
dining. This feast for them, and for all who had hearts that could
sympathise with the happiness of others, was provided by the Rev. Mr.
Knibb. Similar scenes were enacted in the rural districts. The Rev. Mr.
Blyth had, I believe, a meeting of his scholars, and a treat provided
for them. The Rev. Mr. Anderson had a large assemblage of his scholars
at the school-house, who were regaled with meat, bread, and beverage,
and also a large meeting of the adult members of his Church, to every
one of whom, who could, or was attempting to learn to read, he gave a
book.--[HE GAVE A BOOK.]

AT ST. ELIZABETH.--At the hour of 10, A.M., there was about 3000 persons
assembled at Crosmond, when the clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Hylton, proposed
an adjournment from the Chapel to the shade of some wide-spreading trees
in the common pasture, whither the happy multitude immediately
adjourned. The morning service of the church having ended, the Rev.
Gentleman preached a most impressive sermon from the 4th chapter of
Zech. 6th verse--"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith
the Lord of Hosts"--In his application, he took a brief review of the
history of the island--the conquest by the Spanish--the extermination by
the Indians--and the consequent introduction of the negroes from Africa.
He then adverted to the several insurrections that had taken place
during the period since the conquest by the British, to the last general
rebellion in 1832, in which both himself and many present were deeply
interested. Having shown that all these insurrections had been
suppressed, and had come to nought, he proceeded to point out how
through Divine providence Mr. Wilberforce was raised up to advocate the
cause of the oppressed African, and since that period, step by step,
various privileges had been quietly conceded to the colored race, until
the final consummation by the Legislature, in abolishing the last
vestiges of slavery on the 1st of August, 1838.

The Rev. Gentleman's honorable mention of Mr. Wilberforce appeared to be
deeply felt and acknowledged by all around. After the service was
concluded, the assembled multitude gave three hearty cheers for Queen
Victoria, and three for Lord Mulgrave, the first _free Governor_ that
ever came to Jamaica.

A more decent, orderly, and well-behaved assemblage could not be seen in
any part of the world. The people have indeed proved themselves worthy
of the "_great boon_" conferred upon them.

AT PORT MARIA.--The first of August passed off happily and peaceably.
The people felt deeply the great blessing that had been conferred on
them, and behaved uncommonly well. All the places of worship were
crowded; indeed, thrice the number would not have contained those who
attended, and many of whom could not be accommodated.

From the Cornwall Chronicle of Aug. 4.

Nothing could give a fairer and fuller confidence in the character of
the negroes than their conduct on so joyous and trying an occasion, as
what they have exhibited during the brief period of their political
regeneration. It may be considered as an earnest of their future
peaceable demeanor; the disbelief of the sceptic will thus be put to the
blush, and the apprehensions of the timid allayed. The first of August
has passed, and with it the conduct of the people has been such as to
convince the most jealous, as well as the most sanguine of the evil
prognosticators, that they are a good and trust-worthy people. There is
no doubt but that this day will be held for ever as a sacred
anniversary--a new Pentecost--upon which they will render thanks for the
quiet "possession of their Canaan"--free from all political oppressions,
and that they can suffer only from the acts of their own indiscretion.
If ever they were placed in a favorable situation which they could
improve, it could not have been equal to the present.--The exercise of
moderation, however, is now most required, and will be greatly
appreciated to themselves at a future time.

conduct of the people in this district generally,
is such as to entitle them to the highest commendation.
Well knowing the inconvenience to
which their masters' customers would be otherwise
reduced from a want of food for their horses
and cattle, they voluntarily went out to work on
the second day, and in some instances on the following,
and supplied the usual demand of the
market, presenting their labor thus voluntarily
given as a free-will offering to their employers.
Comment on such conduct world be superfluous.
The late apprentices of Jamaica have hitherto
acquired honors,

Above all Greek,
Above all Roman fame.

So far as they are concerned, the highest expectations
of their friends have been more than
realized. Let the higher classes universally but
exhibit the same dispositions and conduct, and
the peace and prosperity of Jamaica are for ever

Morning Journal of August 4.


Up to the moment when the post left Morant Bay, the utmost tranquillity
prevailed. In fact, from the quiet of the day and the circumstance of
droves of well-dressed persons going to and from the Church and Chapels,
I was occasionally deluded, says a correspondent, into the belief of the
day being Sunday. The parish Church was crowded, and the Rector
delivered a very able and appropriate address. The Methodist and
Independent Chapels were also filled. At both places suitable sermons
were preached. At the latter, the resident minister provided an ample
second breakfast, which was faithfully discussed under the shade of a
large tent purposely erected for the occasion. The Rev. Mr. Atkins,
Wesleyan Minister, has proceeded from this place to lay the foundation
stone of a chapel this afternoon, (1st August) at Port Morant, in which
important service he will be assisted by Thomas Thomson, Esq., Church
warden, and Alexander Barclay, Esq., Member for the parish. It is
expected that many thousand spectators will be present at the
interesting ceremony. From all I have been able to learn the changes
among the labourers on the estates in this quarter, will be very
limited, these people being apparently satisfied with the arrangement
for their continued domicile on the respective properties.

Another correspondent writes--"we are very quiet here. The day has
arrived and nearly passed off, and thank God the predictions of the
alarmists are not fulfilled. The Chapels were quite full with a great
many persons in the yards. The Independents are just sitting down to a
feast. The Rector delivered a sermon or rather a string of advices and
opinions to the labouring population, the most intolerant I have heard
for a long time. This parish will, I am quite certain, enjoy in peace
and quietness this happy jubilee."


We learn from this parish that the Churches and Chapels were crowded
many hours before the usual time for beginning service. Several thousand
persons remained outside the respective places, which were much too
small to afford the accommodation. Every thing was quiet and orderly
when the post left.

Says the Jamaica Gazette of Aug. 4th, a paper of the Old School--"In
spite of all the endeavours of a _clique_ of self-interested agitators,
clerical humbug and radical rabble, to excite the bad passions of the
sable populace against those who have been the true friends of Colonial
freedom, and the conservators of the public peace and prosperity of the
country, the bonfire, bull-roast, and malignant effigy exhibited to
rouse the rancor of the savage, failed to produce the effect anticipated
by the projectors of the _Saturnalia_, and the negro multitude fully
satisfied with the boon so generously conceded by the Island
Legislature, were in no humor to wreak their wrath on individual
benefactors, whom the envy of party spirit had marked out as the victims
of truth and independence.

We are happy to give our meed of praise to the decent and orderly
conduct of the sable multitude, and to record that it far excelled the
Loco Foco group of bullies and boasters in decency of propriety of
demeanor. A kind of spree or scuffle took place between donkey-driver
Quallo and another. We don't know if they came to close fisti-cuffs, but
it was, we are assured, the most serious affray on the Course."

The following is the testimony borne in regard to Barbados.

_From the Barbados Liberal, Aug. 4th._


"It gives us great pleasure to state that, so far as our information
from the country extends, this day was observed in a manner highly
creditable to our brethren. We never ourselves anticipated any riotings
or disorder on the part of the emancipated. A little exhilaration
begetting a shout or two, would not have surprised us; but even this, we
are happy to say, made no part of their manifestation of joy. The day
was spent in quiet piety! In heartfelt, soul overflowing gratitude to
their heavenly Father, whose divine agency had raised up friends in
their necessity, and brought their great tribulation to an end, they
crowded at an early hour to the several churches and chapels, in which
their numbers could scarcely find turning room, and then quietly and
devoutly poured forth their souls in prayer and praise and thanksgiving!
No revellings, no riotings, no drunkenness, desecrated this day. We have
heard from five parishes, and in none of the five have we heard of a
single convivial meeting. From church and chapel they went to their
homes, and eat their first free dinner with their families, putting to
shame the intolerant prejudices which had prepared powder and balls, and
held the Riot Act in readiness to correct their insubordinate notions
of liberty!"

From the New Haven, Ct., Herald.

_"Barbados, Aug. 2, 1838_

Yesterday's sun rose upon eight hundred thousand freemen, on whom
and their ancestors the badge of slavery had rested for two hundred
years. It was a solemn, delightful, most memorable day. I look upon
it as a matter of exceeding thankfulness, that I have been permitted
to be a witness to it, and to be able to speak from experience and
from observation, of the happiness to which that day has given
birth. The day had previously been set apart by proclamation of the
Governor, "as a day of devout thanksgiving and praise to Almighty
God for the happy termination of slavery." The thanksgiving and
praise were most truly sincere, heartfelt and general. It was an
emancipation not merely of the slave but of the proprietor. It was
felt as such; openly acknowledged and rejoiced in as such. Never
have I witnessed more apparently unfeigned expressions of
satisfaction than were made on that day by the former owners of
slaves, at the load of which they had been relieved.

I do not wish to be understood as asserting that previous to the
working of emancipation, the slave proprietors wished the abolition
of slavery. Far from it. But having, though unwillingly, been made
witnesses of the operations of freedom; and having themselves tasted
of the previously unknown satisfaction of employing voluntary and
contented, because _free_ laborers; their minds became enlightened,
softened, changed: and from being the determined opposers, they
became themselves the _authors_ of complete emancipation. I know not
in what terms to describe to you the emotions excited by passing
through the streets of this populous town on that memorable morning.
There was a stillness and solemnity that might be felt. It was
caused by no display of force, for none was to be seen. Here and
there a policeman going his usual rounds, but not a soldier, nor the
slightest warlike preparation of any kind to strike the eye, or
overawe the spirit of disorder.

The spirit that seemed to fill the entire population was eminently
the spirit of peace, good will, thankfulness and joy too deep, too
solemn, to allow of any loud or noisy demonstration of it. Of
course, all stores, shops and offices of every kind were closed. So
also were all places of amusement. No sound of revelry, no evidences
of nightly excess were to be heard or seen. I do not say too much
when I assert that the reign of order, peace, and sobriety,
was complete.

To give eclat to an event of such importance, the Governor had
ordered one company of militia to attend with him at the cathedral.
It is an immense building, and was crowded in every part of its
spacious area, galleries and aisles, with a most attentive
assemblage of people, of all colors and conditions. Several
clergymen officiated, and one of them at the opening of the services
read most appropriately the 58th chapter of Isaiah. Imagine for a
moment the effect in such an audience, on such an occasion, where
were many hundreds of emancipated slaves, of words like these:--"Is
not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bonds of
wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go
free, and that ye break every yoke?" The sermon by the Bishop was,
as might have been expected on such an occasion, interesting and
impressive. He spoke with great effect of the unexpected progress of
freedom, from island to island, from colony to colony, until, with a
solitary exception, upon that day the stain of slavery was
obliterated forever from every British possession. The progress of
education, the gradual reformation of morals, and the increasing
thirst for religious instruction, were all dwelt upon with great
force, and the glory of all ascribed, as was most fit, to the Great
Giver of every good and perfect gift. It was an occasion rich with
happy emotions, and long to be remembered as a bright and beautiful
spot in the pathway of our earthly pilgrimage.

The close of the day was not less auspicious than its commencement.
In company with Mrs. H., I drove through several of the principal
streets, and thence through the most public thoroughfare into the
country; and no where could aught be seen to mar the decent and
truly impressive solemnity of the day. There were no dances, no
merry-making of any sort; not a solitary drunkard, not a gun fired,
nor even was a shout heard to welcome in the newborn liberty. The
only groups we saw were going to or returning from the different
chapels and churches: except in a few instances, where families
might be seen reading or singing hymns at their own dwellings.

And now, sir, having arrived at the long looked for consummation of
all the labors and prayers of the friends of the slave for so many
years, as I cast my eye around this _land of liberty_, how many
thoughts crowd my mind? I ask myself--is it indeed finished? And are
there none to lament the downfall of time-honored, hoary-headed
slavery? Where are the mourners? Where are the prognosticators of
ruin, desolation, and woe? Where are the riots and disorders, the
bloodshed and the burnings? The prophets and their prophecies are
alike empty, vain, and unfounded, and are alike buried in oblivion.

And why, in the name of humanity, was not this glorious consummation
brought about ages ago?--Is it because the slaves of 1838 are better
fitted for freedom than those of fifty or a hundred years since? No
one believes it. The only preparation for freedom required in this
island, or any where else, in order to put a peaceful end to
slavery, is the preparation of heart in the slaveholder to grant
deliverance to the captive.

Yours truly,


P.S. August 9th.--All is quiet, and the utmost good order every
where prevails."

To complete the picture we will give two extracts of letters from
eminent Jamaica Attornies to their employers in England, with regard to
the turning out to work. It is remarked by the English papers that the
Attornies generally in writing to their employers adopt the same strain.
They are all doing well on _their_ estates, but hear that the rest of
the island is in a woful condition.--These are the men who are the
greatest, if not the only, losers by emancipation; hence their testimony
is doubly valuable.

From the British Emancipator, Nov. 14.


_Extract of a Letter from an eminent Estate Attorney, in St. Mary's,
Jamaica, dated August_ 24, 1838.

"There was nothing whatever done in this parish, or throughout the
island, for the first two weeks of the month. In this quarter some
estates did a little last week, and have been making more progress
since, but the far greater number have not yet done any work; the
minds of the people are very unsettled, and full of all sorts of
foolish notions, which will continue more or less till we hear of
the home government having accepted and approved of our abolition
bill, and their views with regard to us.

On several of the estates which have wrought, the people have struck
once or twice. We have in this parish ministers of every
denomination, and they are all acting very properly; but they do not
seem to have as much influence as expected; we must _be as
considerate and liberal as possible to secure their confidence_
ourselves. We are in St. Mary's paying the highest rate of wages in
the island; 1s. 8d. currency per day nett, with allowances, are
generally offered; I am giving here, from sheer necessity, 2s. 6d.
currency per day, without charging any rent in the mean time. In the
present state of things when so few estates are doing anything at
all, I have much satisfaction in saying that the people here, on
----, a good proportion of them were at work last week, and I have
now the mill about making sugar, with every probability, I think of
going on satisfactorily; and looking dispassionately at the great
change which has so suddenly taken place, our present difficulties
are not much to be wondered at.

Sunday night, 8th Sept.--The foregoing was written, but too late,
for the last packet; but as another sails to-morrow, I write you a
few lines more. There is, up to this moment, but little material
alteration in the state of affairs generally, certainly none for the
worse. I have made here twenty hogsheads of sugar since the 1st ult.
We are altogether in an uncertain state, but there are more mills
about, and more work doing _in this district than in any other in
the island_, which might and ought to be a feather in the cap of
Maitter, our late stipe. I have no time to say more now, excepting
that, although I am in great hopes that things will soon generally
improve, and am of opinion that our present difficulties are not to
be wondered at, yet our situation is still so critical, that I dare
not venture to hazard an opinion as to the success of the great
experiment, I repeat, however, again, that we have not seen anything
to disappoint or surprise us, bad as many things are."

_Extract of a Letter from an Attorney in St. Mary's, Jamaica, 24th
August_, 1838

"The services of the stipes are much wanting here; I am paying 10s. a
week for first class, 6s. 8d. for second, and 4s. 2d. for third, for
five days work; they say they will not work on Fridays. However, I have
got people at ---- to work today; they are behaving better than most
others. I hope things will now improve; and it is my opinion that good
estates will do, and others will fall to the ground. Old Mr. Tytte is
dead, and his son Alexander made stipe for the district. The Governor's
speech respecting women has done a great deal of harm. None of the women
want to work. If Lord Glenelg had made such a mistake, he would have
heard enough of it. I wish the Government would take it on themselves to
settle the rate of wages, otherwise two-thirds of the estates will be
thrown up before next year; of course I can stand this as well as any.
The ---- people have behaved well: they did every thing I told them;
they are working on piece-work, which is the best plan."

Precisely similar is the testimony of private correspondents and of the
public press so far as we have been able to learn, in all the other
colonies where emancipation has taken place. There is certainly nothing
in all this that indicates a disposition on the part of the emancipated
to throw off the employment of their former masters, but much the
reverse. We may safely challenge contradiction to the assertion, that at
the expiration of the jubilee there were not a set of free laborers on
earth from whom the West India planters could have got more work for the
same money. It may be proper in these days, when the maxims of slavery
have so fearfully overshadowed the rights of man, to say that a man has
a _right_ to forbear laboring when he can live honestly without it--or,
at all events, he has a right to choose whether he will employ himself
or be employed by another. Hence it _may_ turn out that the refusal to
labor, so far as there has been any, only serves to prove the more
clearly the fitness of the laborers of freedom.


It must have been obvious to every man of reflection that in a change so
vast, involving so many laborers, and in circumstances so various, there
would arise almost infinite disputes about the rate of wages. The
colonies differ widely as to the real value of labor. Some have a rich,
unexhausted, and, perhaps, inexhaustible soil, and a scanty supply of
laborers. Others are more populous and less fertile. The former would of
course offer higher wages than the latter, for so sudden was the step
there could be no common understanding on the point. Again, as we have
seen, the planters came into the measure with different views. Some
anticipated the general change, and either from motives of humanity or
policy, or more probably of both, adopted a course calculated to gain
the gratitude and good will of the laborer.--These would offer wages
which the less liberal would call ruinous. Many, and it would seem the
great body of them in Jamaica, yielded unwillingly to superior power.
They saw the sceptre of despotic authority was to be wrested from their
grasp. They threw it down, as one may easily believe, resolved to seize
the best substitute they could. They would infallibly fall upon the plan
of getting the greatest possible amount of work for the least possible
amount of pay. When we consider that even in the oldest, most civilized,
and most Christianized free-labor communities, employers are wont to
combine to keep down the rate of wages, while on the other hand the
laborers throw up work to raise it, we shall not be surprised that there
should be things of this sort in Jamaica, liberty being in the gristle.
The only help for such an evil is, that there is always a rate of wages
which is advantageous to both parties, and things being left to
themselves, it will at last be found.

To the planters and freed-men in settling the question what wages they
should offer and receive, two standards or guides presented
themselves,--1. The rate of wages which had been given in Antigua since
1834. 2. The compensation that had been demanded by the Jamaica planters
themselves, and adjudged by the magistrates, in case of apprentices
buying their own time. Hundreds of planters had declared upon oath what
the time of the apprentice was worth to them. Possibly as sellers, in
the elasticity of their consciences, they may have set a higher price
than they would be willing to give as buyers. In strict honesty,
however, it is difficult to see why labor should not be worth to them as
much in the one case as the other. The rate of wages fixed upon in
Antigua may be seen by a reference to the Journal of Thome and Kimball
to be very inadequate to the wants of the laborer. Free labor is there
screwed down to the lowest possible point. The wonder is that the
laborers should have submitted to such a scale for a moment. But they
had no precedent to guide them, no advisers free from the yoke of the
proprietary, no valuations given by their own masters, and there was
every facility for successful combination on the part of the masters.
They must work for such wages as the masters pleased to offer,
or starve.

Say Messrs. Thome and Kimball--"_By a general understanding among the
planters_, the rate is at present fixed at a _shilling_ per day, or a
little more than fifty cents per week, counting five working days." This
Antigua scale, and not the one they themselves had sold labor by during
the apprenticeship, became at once the favorite with a great part of the
Jamaica and Barbados planters. If they in any cases offered higher
wages, they made it up by charging higher rent for the houses and
grounds, which the negroes had built and brought under culture on their
properties. It was before the first of August that this procedure was
resolved upon by the planters, as we gather from numerous communications
in the papers recommending a variety of modes of getting labor for less
than its natural market value. We select a single one of these as a
specimen, by the application to which of a little arithmetic, it will be
perceived that the employer would _bring the laborer in debt_ to him at
the end of the year, though not a moment should be lost by sickness or
other casualty. The humanity of the document is perfectly of a piece
with that of the system which would civilize mankind by making
merchandize of them.

To the Editor of the Morning journal.

SIR,--Let meetings be held, not only in every parish, but in every
district of a parish, and let all land-owners, &c., agree not to rent
land under L8[A] per acre, and not to sell it for less than double that
sum. Should a few be found regardless of the _general weal_, let the
proprietary, &c. join and purchase such lands, and if otherwise, it is
presumed the dissentients to the measure would be so small as not to
affect in any material degree the _general_ interest, inasmuch as those
who dissented, from the consequent scarcity of land arising from the
measure, would demand a high rental for their land. The _maximum_ system
appears to be preferable to the _minimum_. I have therefore made choice
of it as a stimulus to the laborers to work _at least_ four days or
thirty-six hours in the week to pay for their rent, &c. &c., _or pay 2s.
1d. for every day's absence_; or, if sick, pay up the labor by working
on the Friday, &c., _and Saturday, if needful_. Weekly settlements with
both parties, or _immediate summary ejectment_, if deemed necessary.

[Footnote A: The sums are in the currency of the islands when not
otherwise specified, that is 7s 6d to the dollar.]

L s. d.
Rent of 2 acres of land as a ground for
each able adult, at L5 per acre 10 0 0
Do. of house and garden, from L4 to
L10 per annum, say 6 0 0
_Medical attendance, medicine, &c. &c.,
worth L4 per annum_ 4 0 0
Clothing and Christmas allowance per
annum 1 13 4
21 13 4

Four days' or 36 hours' labor in each
week, at 2s. 1d. per day, or 208
days, at 2s. 1d. 21 13 4
If task-work were adopted, or the day's
labor prolonged to 10-1/2 or 12 hours'
labor, 3 days' or 3-1/2 days' labor
_would suffice_, consequently, the
laborer would have 2 or 3 days
in each week to work for extra
In addition to the above, say pasturage
for a horse, at 4s. 2d. per week per
annum 10 16 8
Pasturage for an ass, at 2s. 1d. per week
per annum 5 6 4
_Run of pasturage and fruit, for a sow,
barrow, or sholt_; IF RUNG IN THE
NOSE, 10_d. per week_; IF NOT RUNG,
1_s._ 8_d. per week; per annum, at
10d. per week_ 2 3 4

The above charges for pasturage might be paid for either _by additional
labor_ or in money, and to a good head-man they might be granted as a
gratuity, and perhaps an additional acre of land allowed him to
cultivate. It would be desirable that the negroes should, when quite
free, work 11 hours per day in the short days, and 12 hours in the
longer ones. I believe the shortest day's labor in England in the winter
months in 10 hours' actual labor, and 12 hours' in the summer, for which
2 hours they are paid extra wages.

_St. Mary's, 8th June, 1838_. S.R.

The date should not escape notice. By this plan, for a few petty
indulgences, _all of which were professedly granted in the time of
slavery itself_, the master could get the entire labor of the negro, and
_seven or eight pounds per annum besides_! Some may be disposed to
regard this as a mere joke, but we can assure them it was a serious
proposal, and not more monstrous than many things that the planters are
now attempting to put in practice. The idea of actually paying money
wages was horrifying and intolerable to many of the planters; they seem
to have exercised their utmost ingenuity to provide against so dreadful
a result. One who signed himself an "Old Planter" in the _Despatch_,
before the abolition of the apprenticeship, in view of the emancipation
of the non-praedials which was to take place on the first of August,
gravely wrote as follows:--

"It is my intention, therefore, when the period arrives for any
arrangement with them, to offer them in return for such services, _the
same time as the praedials now have_, with of course the same allowances
generally, putting out of the question, however, any relaxation from
labor during the day, usually allowed field laborers, and understood as
shell-blow--house people being considered at all times capable of
enjoying that indulgence at their pleasure, besides the impossibility of
their master submitting to such an inconvenience.--This appears to me to
be the only mode of arrangement that would be feasible, unless we resort
to money wages, and I should regret to find that such a precedent was
established in this instance, for it would only be a forerunner to
similar demands at the coming period, when the praedials became free."

There were more reasons than one why "money wages" were feared by the
Jamaica planters. A great many estates are managed by attorneys for
absentee proprietors. These gentlemen pocket certain commissions, for
which reason they keep in cultivation estates which cannot possibly
yield a profit under a system of paid labor. They deem it for their
interest to retain their occupation even at the expense of their
employers. Not a few conceive it for their interest to depreciate the
value of property that they may purchase low, hence they deem it good
policy to refuse wages, let the crops perish, and get up a panic. The
documents we shall furnish will be clear on these points. The great
diversity of practice in the planters in regard to wages, as well as the
reasonable disposition of the laborers, is shown by the following
paragraphs culled from the _Morning Journal_ of August 10:--

"ST. DAVIDS.--A gentleman in the management of a property in this parish,
writes in the following strain to his employer--"I have an accession of
strength this morning. The people are civil and industrious. I have
received letters assuring me that the example of the Cocoa Walt estate
people, has been the means of inducing those on other estates to enter
into the terms proposed"--that is 5s. per week, with houses, grounds,
medicines, &c, &c."

"St. Thomas in the East.--The apprentices on Golden Grove Estate, turned
out to work on Monday, but we have not learnt on what terms. At Mount
Vernon, the property of Kenneth McPherson Esq., they turned out on
Tuesday morning to work for five days in the week, at 10d. per day with
houses, grounds, &c."

"Trelawny--A correspondent writes, every thing is quiet, and the people
would go to work if any bargains were made, but I believe throughout the
parish the people were directed to go to work on Monday morning, without
any previous arrangement, or being even told how much they would be
paid, or asked what they expected. On one estate 1s. 8d. with houses and
grounds was offered and refused. Some of the masters are determined, it
is said, to hold out, and will not consent to give more than 1s. 3d. or
1s. 8d. per day."

"St. Johns.--The people in this parish are at work on most of the
estates without any agreement. They refuse the offer of 1s. 01-2d. per
day, but continue to labor, relying on the honor and liberality of the
planters for fair and reasonable pay. If they do not get these in two
weeks, our correspondent writes, there will be a dead stop. The laborers
fix the quantity of work to be done in a day, agreeable to the scale of
labor approved of by the Governor during the apprenticeship. For any
thing beyond that, they demand extra pay, as was usual under
that system."

"St. Thomas in the Vale--No work, we understand, is being done in this
parish as yet. A correspondent states that some of the overseers and
attorneys wish the people to turn out to work without entering into any
arrangements, which they refuse to do. The attorney for Rose Hall,
Knollis, New Works, and Wallace Estates has offered 1s. 3d. per day, out
of which L5 per annum is to be deducted for houses and grounds. The
offer has been refused. The overseer of Byndloss estate required his
people to work without agreeing as to the rate of wages they were to
receive, but they refused to do any thing without a proper agreement."

"St. Mary's--On some estates in this parish we are informed, and
particularly those under the charge of Richard Lewis, Esq. such as
Ballard's Valley, Timperon's estates, Ellis' estates, &c. and of Charles
Stewart, Esq. Trinity, Royal, Roslin Bremer Hall, &c., and also of James
Geddes, Esq., the laborers are getting from 2s. 6d. to 3s. 4d. per day.
The same rates are paid upon many outer properties. On many estates the
people have refused to labor, and urge objections against the managers,
as a reason for so acting. They remain and will engage to labor,
provided the obnoxious parties are removed."

How could the people be blamed for refusing 10d. per day, while on "many
properties" they were getting from 2s. 6d. to 3s. 4d.? Such being also
the valuation which the masters had uniformly placed upon their time
during the apprenticeship?

When the planters found that the free laborers could neither be
prevailed upon to labor for half-price nor be driven to excesses by such
paltry persecution, they turned their wrath, as had been long their
custom, upon the Baptist Missionaries. Upon Mr. Knibb especially they
laid the blame of giving mischievous advice to the peasantry. And for
the obvious purpose of exciting the thousands of people warmly devoted
to him, to acts of violence, they attempted to burn him in effigy and
actually circulated the report that he had been murdered. Thousands of
his people flocked into Spanish Town, threatening to destroy the town if
the report proved true. But on learning its falsity were easily
persuaded to retire, and did so without being guilty of any excess
whatever. Unmeasured and unceasing have been the attacks of the Jamaica
press upon the missionaries. Upon their shoulders has been laid "the
ruin of that fine island."--They have corrupted the peasantry and put it
in their heads to ask more wages than the estate can possibly give. To
determine the value of the testimony of the missionaries in this case it
is important to know the nature of their influence upon the laborers
touching the question of wages. We are happily furnished with the
required information from their own lips and pens in the Jamaica papers.

_From the Falmouth Post._



On Friday evening last we attended the suffield School-room, in this
town, which, at an early hour was crowded with apprentices and head
people, from upwards of twenty properties, who had met for the purpose
of receiving advice from the Rev. Wm. Knibb, and Special Justice Lyon,
respecting the course of conduct it will be necessary for them to adopt,
on taking their stand in society as freemen. Several gentlemen connected
with the commercial and agricultural interests of the parish were
present on the occasion.

The Rev. W. Knibb commenced by saying, that he attended a meeting of a
similar nature at Wilberforce Chapel, on the preceding evening. He had
thought it better to request the attendance this evening of the head
people, who being the more intelligent would be able to explain to
others, the advice which they would now receive themselves. "I am glad,"
said the Rev. Gentleman, "to see so many persons present, among whom I
notice a few gentlemen who are not connected with my church: I am glad
of the attendance of these gentlemen, for what I do, I do openly, and
any one is at liberty to express his opinion at this meeting if he
desires to do so.

You will shortly, my friends, be released from your present state of
bondage; in the course of a very few weeks you will receive the boon of
freedom, and I would therefore impress deeply on your minds the
necessity of your continuing the cultivation of the soil on the receipt
of fair and equitable wages. I am not aware myself of any complete scale
of wages having been drawn up, but I have been on 10 or 12 different
properties, I have conversed with several proprietors, and I am glad to
say that with some of them there appears to be a disposition to meet the
charge fairly and honorably. Those who are more conversant with figures
than I am, will be enabled to show what the owner can afford to give for
the cultivation of his property. In the mean time I would say to you, do
not make any hasty bargain: take time and consider the subject, for it
is one of vital interest and importance to all! If you demand too high a
rate of wages, the proprietors will be ruined; if you consent to take
too low a sum, you will not be able to provide for the wants of
yourselves and families. In making your arrangement, if there be an
attempt to grind you down, resist the attempt by all legal means; for
you must consider that you are not acting for yourselves alone, but for
posterity. I desire to see every vestige of slavery completely rooted
out. You must work for money; you must pay money to your employers for
all you receive at their hands: a fair scale of wages must be
established, and you must be entirely independent of any one. If you
continue to receive those allowances which have been given during
slavery and apprenticeship, it will go abroad that you are not able to
take care of yourselves; that your employers are obliged to provide you
with these allowances to keep you from starvation; in such a case you
will be nothing more than slaves.--To be free, you must be independent;
you must receive money for your work; come to market with money;
purchase from whom you please, and be accountable to no one but that
Being above, who I hope will watch over and protect you!--I sincerely
trust that proper arrangements will be made before the 1st of August.--I
have spoken to nearly four thousand persons connected with my church,
and I have not yet learnt that there is any disposition among them to
leave their present employers, provided they receive equitable wages.
Your employer will expect from you good crops of sugar and rum; and
while you labour to give him these, he must pay you such wages as will
enable you to provide yourselves with wholesome food, good clothing,
comfortable houses, and every other necessity of life. Your wages must
be such as to enable you to do this; to contribute to the support of
your church; the relief of the distressed; the education of your
children, and to put by something for sickness and old age. I hail the
coming of the 1st August with feelings of joy and gratitude. Oh, it will
be a blessed day; a day which gives liberty to all; and my friends, I
hope that the liberty which it will bring to you will by duly
appreciated. I trust I may live to see the black man in the full
enjoyment of every privilege with his white brethren, and that you may
all so conduct yourselves as to give the lie direct to those who have
affirmed that the only idea you have of liberty is that it will enable
you to indulge in idle habits and licentious pursuits. When liberty
casts her benignant smiles on this beautiful island, I trust that the
employer and the laborer will endeavour to live on terms of friendship
and good will with one another.--When the labourer receives a proper
remuneration for his services--when the employer contemplates the
luxuriance of his well-cultivated fields, may they both return thanks to
a merciful God, for permitting the sun of liberty to shine with bright
effulgence! I need scarcely assure you, my friends, that I will be at
all times ready to protect your rights. I care not about the abuse with
which I may probably be assailed; I am ready to meet all the obloquy and
scorn of those who have been accustomed to place the most unfavourable
constructions on my actions. I am willing to meet the proprietors in a
spirit of candour and conciliation. I desire to see you fairly
compensated for your labor; I desire also to you performing your work
with cheerful industry: but I would warn you _not to be too hasty in
entering into contracts_. Think seriously before you act, and remember,
as I have already old you, that you have now to act not only for
yourselves, but for posterity."

We give numerous documents from these gentlemen, as among the best if
not the greatest part of our fellow citizens; we trust their testimony
will be deemed the best that could be offered.


_To the Right Hon. Lord_ GLENELG, &c.

My Lord--We feel assured that no apology is necessary, in requesting
your attention to the subject of this letter. The official connection
which you hold with the colony, together with the peculiar circumstances
in which its newly-emancipated population are placed, render it an
imperative duty we owe to ourselves to lay before you our sentiments.

Having labored in the island for many years, and having been in daily
intercourse with the objects of our solicitude, we do feel devoutly
thankful to ALMIGHTY GOD, that he has spared us to see the
disenthralment of our beloved flocks; while it gives us increased
pleasure to assure your lordship that they received the boon with holy
joy, and that the hour which made them men beheld them in thousands
humbly prostrate at the footstool of mercy, imploring the blessing of
HEAVEN upon themselves and their country, while, during the night and
joyful day, not a single case of intoxication was seen.

To us, as their pastors, they naturally looked for advice, both as to
the labor they should perform and the wages they should receive. The
importance of this subject was deeply felt by us, and we were prepared
to meet it with a full sense of the responsibility it involved, and
happily succeeded in inducing them to accept of a sum lower than that
which the representatives of the landowners had formerly asserted was
fair and just.

We regret to state, that a deep combination was formed by many of these
_middlemen_ to grind the peasantry to the dust, and to induce, if
possible, the acceptance of remuneration which, by affording no
inducement to the peasant cheerfully to labor, would have entailed
pauperism on him and his family, and ruin on the absentee proprietor. It
was to this circumstance, and not in the least to any unwillingness in
the free negro to work, or to demand more for his labor than it was
fairly worth, that for one or two weeks, in some places, the cultivation
of the soil was not resumed. Upon the planting attorneys, so long
accustomed to tyranny and oppression, and armed with a power over the
land which must prove inimical to the full development of the resources
of this valuable colony, the blame entirely rests.

We suppose that your lordship is fully aware, that the laws under which
the laborer is now placed are tyrannical and unjust in the extreme;
laws, we hesitate not to affirm, which are a disgrace to those who
framed them, and which, if acted upon by a local magistracy, will entail
upon the oft-cheated, over-patient negro some of the worst features of
that degrading state of vassalage from which he has just escaped. We
particularly refer to "An Act to enlarge the Powers of Justices in
determining complaints between Masters and Servants, and between
Masters, and Apprentices, Artificers, and others," which passed the
Assembly the 3rd day of July, 1834, while by police acts, especially one
regulating the town of Falmouth, our people will be daily harassed
and annoyed.

We think it right to inform your lordship, that the greater part of
those who hold the commission of magistrates are the very persons who,
by their connection with the soil, are the most unfit, because the most
interested, honestly to discharge their important duties; while their
ignorance of the law is, in too many cases, equalled only by their love
of tyranny and misrule. Time must work a mighty change in the views of
numbers who hold this office, ere they believe there is any dereliction
of duty in daily defrauding the humble African. We cannot but entreat
your lordship to use those means which are in your power to obtain for
the laborer, who imploringly looks to the Queen for protection, justice
at the hands of those by whom the law is administered. We must, indeed,
be blind to all passing events, did we not see that, without the
watchful care of the home government, the country district courts, held
sometimes in the very habitations of those who will have to make the
complaints, will be dens of injustice and cruelty, and that our hearts
will again be lacerated by the oppressions under which our beloved
people will groan.

We beg to apprise your lordship, that we have every reason to believe
that an early attempt will be made to deprive the peasantry of their
provision grounds--that they will not be permitted, even to rent them;
so that, by producing starvation and rendering the population entirely
dependent upon foreign-supplies for the daily necessaries of life, a
lower rate of wages may be enforced. Cruel as this may appear to your
lordship, and unlikely as it may seem, long experience has taught us
that there is no possible baseness of which a slave-owner will not be
guilty, and no means of accomplishing his purposes, however fraught with
ruin to those around him, which he will not employ.

Should the peasantry be thus treated, we shall feel it our duty humbly
to implore that the lands belonging to the crown may be made available
for their use. Your lordship will remember that these ill-treated people
became not the subjects of her Majesty by choice, though they are now
devotedly attached to her government. Their fathers were stolen and
brought hither. On their native shores they had lands and possessions
capable of supplying all their wants. If, then, after having toiled
without remuneration, they are prevented even renting a portion of land
which has hitherto been esteemed as their own, we shall ask, and shall
feel assured that the boon will not be withheld, that her Most Gracious
Majesty will throw open the lands belonging to the crown, where we may
retire from the tyranny of man, and with our people find a peaceful and
quiet home.

Though still surrounded by obloquy and reproach, though the most abusive
epithets and language disgracefully vulgar has been employed to assail
us, especially by a newspaper known to be under the patronage of a
bishop, and in which all official accounts of his diocese are given to
the world, yet we assure your lordship that, in endeavouring to promote
the general interests and welfare of this colony, we shall still pursue
that line of conduct which is the result of our judgment, and in
accordance with the dictates of our conscience.

In no part of the island are arrangements made so fully or so fairly, as
in those districts where our congregations reside, and in no part are
the laborers more faithfully performing their duty. We deeply feel our
responsibility at the present crisis, and pledging ourselves to your
lordship and the British Government by the sacred office we hold, we
assure you that ceaseless efforts shall still be exerted, as they have
ever been, to promote the peace and happiness of those around us.

In the name and on the behalf of our churches, for the sacred cause of
freedom throughout the world, we unitedly implore your lordship to throw
the shield of Britain's protection over those who are just made her
loyal subjects. All they want, and all they ask, is, that, as they are
raised to the dignity, so they may receive all the rights of man, and
that the nation who purchased them from bondage may fully secure to them
that civil and religious liberty, to which both their unparalleled
sufferings and their unexampled patience so richly entitle them.

We cannot conclude this letter, without expressing the high sense we
entertain of the noble and disinterested conduct pursued by his
excellency Sir Lionel Smith, the Governor of this colony. But for his
firmness, Jamaica would have presented all the horrors of a civil war.

Feeling assured that your lordship will give that attention to this
letter which the subject demands, and with earnest prayer that this
colony, now blest with liberty, may exhibit increasing prosperity, we
are, my lord, your most obedient servants, Signed by


Baptist Missionaries, North Side Union.

[On the foregoing letter the _London Sun_ has the following

"Every arrival from the West Indies but strengthens our conviction, that
there never will be happiness, security, or peace for the emancipated
negroes, so long as the administration of the laws, and the management
of the plantations, are continued in the hands of those white officials
whose occupation, previous to the passing of the emancipation act,
consisted in torturing and tormenting them with impunity. They cannot
endure to witness the elevation to the rank of free, intelligent, and
well-behaved fellow-citizens, of a class of beings whom they were
accustomed to treat a myriad of times worse than they did the "beasts
that perish." Having pronounced them incapable of civilization, and
strangers to all the better feelings of our nature, they deem it a sort
of duty to themselves to employ every artifice to neutralize or retard
every measure calculated to ameliorate the moral and social condition of
the negro race. Several of the colonial agents have powerful inducements
to the provocation of some insurrectionary outbreak, on the part of the
colored population. In the first place, such an _emute_ would fulfil
their predictions with regard to the passing the Emancipation Act, and
so establish their reputation as seers; and in the next, it would lead
to the sale of many of the plantations at one-sixth their real value,
and so transform them from agents to principles, as they would not fail
to be the purchasers. That such is their policy cannot, we think, be
doubted for a moment by those who will take the trouble to peruse a
letter addressed by eight Baptist missionaries, long resident in
Jamaica, to Lord Glenelg, which will be found in another part of _The
Sun_. These missionaries, we are assured, are men of irreproachable
lives, of indefatigable Christian zeal, and of conversation becoming
persons whose sacred office it is to preach the gospel of peace. That
their representation will produce a powerful effect upon the minds of
the people of this country, we feel as confident as we do that our
gracious Queen will concede any boon in her royal gift, necessary to the
welfare of her colored subjects."

The following are a series of letters to Mr. Sturge, published in the
British Emancipator for Nov. 28, 1838. The one from a Special Justice
clearly developes the principal causes of the backwardness of the
laborers. The testimony of this letter to some important facts will be
fully confirmed by that of the Governor of Jamaica. The evidence of
extortion submitted by the missionaries is so explicit, that we beg the
attention of the reader to all the details. Remember the experiment
involves the claims of millions to that without which life is little
better than a curse. Every thing hangs on the inquiry whether the
emancipated or their former masters are chargeable with whatever there
is of _ruin_ in the "fine island" of Jamaica. Says Mr. Sturge, in laying
these letters before the public, "it should be clearly understood that
the fee simple of all negro houses in Jamaica is not worth L10 each on
an average, and that their provision grounds have been brought into
cultivation by the negroes themselves in their _own_ time."

Extract of a letter from a Missionary:--

Savannah-la-Mar, Sept. 8, 1838.

MY DEAR SIR,--You are probably aware that the following question has
been submitted by the Governor to the Attorney-General for his opinion:


(No. 844.) King' House, Aug. 27, 1838.

SIR,--I am desired by the Governor to request you will give your opinion
for general publication. 1st. Whether in instances of notices to quit
their houses and grounds, having been served upon the late apprentices,
they are liable to be made to pay rent for the occupation of such house,
during the three months allowed by law?


They are.



We shall soon see the evil effects of this opinion, it being generally
previously understood that the late apprenticed population would not be
liable for rent until the three months had expired, after receiving
notice to quit.

As a specimen of this being made an instrument of great oppression in
the hands of managers of estates, I would state that two notices were
yesterday brought to brother Hutchins for his inspection; one was served
upon David Clarke, a labourer, on King's Valley estate, in this parish.
On the back of the notice to quit was written as under;--

"The rent of your house and grounds is twenty-one pounds six shillings
and eight pence, per annum, commencing 1st of August, 1838, if legal."

(Signed) J. H. JONES.

Mr. Sturge appends the following West India accounts, which be says are
in his possession by which it is evident that the planters are bringing
their laborers in debt to them, by a spirit of shameless extortion.

Charles Duncan to John Dixon, Dr.
1838. Sept. 15. To rent of house
and ground, from 1st of August to
date, 6s. 8d. per week. 2 3 9-1/2
Cr. By balance, five days, 1s.8d. per day 0 8 4
1 15 5-1/2
Charles Brown, to John Dixon, Dr.
1838. Sept. 13. To rent of house
and ground, 6s. 8d. per week,
from 1st Aug, to date. 2 1 10
Charge for running a sow and pigs,
from 1st Aug. to date, 2s. 6d. per
week 0 15 8-1/2
2 17 6-1/2

John Alfred Bullock to John Dixon, Dr.
1838. Sept. 15. To rent of house
and garden, from 1st of Aug.
to date, 6s. 8d. per week, 2 3 9-1/2
Rent of provision ground, 5s. per
week, 1 12 6
Pasturage, two weeks, for an ass,
6s. 3d, per month, 0 3 4
Two hogs, 1s. 8d. per week, 1 1 10-3/4
5 1 6-1/4
Cr. By two days' labour, 1s.
8d. per day 0 3 4
4 18 2-1/3


_Jamaica, Oct. 12th, 1838._

Freedom has brought with it the blessings we anticipated; and as we
progress in civilization we shall all be happier. I have ever been
sanguine as to its beneficial results, and I am not in the least
disappointed. I cannot find language sufficiently strong to express the
commendation due to the negroes for their steady and good conduct since
the 1st of August. Amidst the most trying circumstance, they have
exhibited the greatest forbearance, and placed their whole reliance on
the laws for protection. I am satisfied that no other nation of free men
could conduct themselves so temperately and well, under similar
circumstances; and in my opinion, they have proved themselves infinitely
superior to many of those who so lately exercised almost unlimited
control over them. I declare to you, to see such a mass of persons,
whose morals have been little regarded by those who held them in
slavery, and without education, rise all at once, and express and
conduct themselves so admirably, is wonderful. When seeking redress
before the magistrates for wrongs committed by there former owners they
have maintained more coolness and temper than their more fortunate
brethren, when maters are decided against them. There is a hard struggle
on the part of the pro-slavery faction to compel the negro to work for
little or nothing, in order that the attorneys and overseers may keep
their places as before; and I am informed, by a gentleman whose veracity
is not to be doubted, and who is himself an attorney, that he can still
keep his overseer and merchant as in former days, draw his own
commissions, and send home to his employer a very handsome surplus.
Under such circumstances, well may the friends of freedom cry shame at
the opposition which has for so long a time been thrown in the way of
liberty, by these West Indians of practical knowledge. The facts are,
that the absent proprietors have been led by the advice they have
received from their attorneys; and these have had so many ways of making
more than an honest commission, and have so speedily made their
fortunes, that as long as they could continue slavery, they have exerted
every influence. The overseer was paid, housed, fed, and waited upon,
all at the expense of master and slave, beside; keeping a fine stud of
horses, and as many brood mares at pasture on the property as would
enable him to dispose of seven or eight prime mules annually; and so
long as he drove and tormented the poor negro, and made good crops for
the attorney's commissions, and supplied his horses with corn, these
_little perquisites_ were never discovered. Now the proprietor will
hardly pay for more labor than is absolutely necessary to grow and
manufacture the produce of his estate; and these gentlemen must
henceforth look to their own resources, for the payment of servants to
attend and take care of their own interests and comforts. An overseer's
situation on an estate making 300 hogsheads, was calculated in slavery
to be equal to 2000l. a year. Indeed no man in any town could have lived
in such luxury for that sum. If the proprietor would only come out, and
live prudently, he would save all this by residing on his property,
which he could easily manage by employing, for extra wages, his former
steady head people. _They_, from long residence, know the best manner of
working the land; and, as to the manufacture of sugar, they are the
persons who have _all their lives_ been working at it. The most
important part of an overseer and book-keeper's business was to make use
of their _eyes_. The negro had to make use of his legs, arms and
strength; and, in nine cases out of ten, his brains kept the white
people in their situations, by preventing matters from going wrong.

I perfectly coincide with you, as to the propriety of the negro speedily
becoming possessed of the elective franchise. In Antigua there is very
little more land than is in cultivation for the estates, but here it is
widely different; and they are beginning to settle themselves by
purchasing small lots very fast. At Sligoville there are nearly fifty
new freeholders. The negroes are taught to do this by the perpetual
worry of their employers, threatening to oust them on every trifling
occasion, and withholding part of their wages on the plea of
non-performance of work.--The root of all evil is the Assembly and the
Juries. Nothing requires greater alteration; and I shall never rest,
until I see the black man stand the same chance at the bar of his
country as the white man.--The negroes will not work under their former
hard task-masters. They determinedly resist all solicitations to labor
with those who treated them ill. They say that the pain is gone, but the
mark remains, and I respect them for this proud feeling.

* * * * *

I have come under his displeasure for taking the opinion of Middleton
and McDougal, as to the legality of charging the negro hire for his
house and grounds, for the three months during which the notices to quit
are running.--Had we not taken these opinions, what a fearful state
things might we have been brought to in this country! I am quite
satisfied that no rent could be recovered until the expiration of the
three months, from which time it would commence to run, and the
plaintiff would in law be considered in possession of his lands again,
which, in slavery, he was compelled to give to his slave for his support
and maintenance. He must re-enter before he could demand rent, for it is
impossible for him to prove a contract, or imply one. The negro did not
willingly come from Africa, and occupy his land; he was torn from his
native land, and compelled by his owner, under laws that took his life,
not to quit the land; how therefore can he be considered to have made a
contract, or consented to one?


_Manchioneal, Oct. 9, 1838._

In passing through Hector's River great house yard, in my way to my
preaching spot, I have the most sensible demonstration of the reality of
the political change happily brought about; for that hot-house, in which
I have seen one of my own members in irons for having a bad sore leg,
and in which I have been grossly insulted for daring to go to see my
poor people--that house is _shut up_! Delightful, I assure you, are my
feelings, whenever I go by that place, attached to which, too, was the
old-time prison, a perfect charnel-house.


_Lucea, October 2, 1838._

Unused to acts of justice and humanity, the Planters, in a moment of mad
excitement passed an act to abolish the accursed system of Slavery. The
debates on that occasion proved with what an ill grace they performed
that scanty act of justice, and all experience since that period proves
how bitterly they repent it. It is true, we are not now, as before,
distressed by hearing recitals of barbarous corporeal punishments, and
we are no longer pained by seeing human beings chained to each other by
the neck; but, although cruelty has, to a certain extent, ceased,
oppression has become ten thousand times more rampant than ever. Every
act which ingenuity or malice can invent, is employed to harass the poor
negroes. Prior to August 1st, the planter studiously avoided every thing
like an arrangement with the laborer, and when, on the following Monday,
they turned out to work, the paltry pittance of 12-1/2d. (7-1/2d.
sterl.) was all that in the majority of cases was offered for the
services of an able-bodied negro, although 2s. 6d. per day (currency),
had before been invariably exacted from them, when they were desirous of
purchasing the remaining term of their apprenticeship. Of course, the
people refused to receive so paltry a remuneration for their labour, and
this has laid the foundation for a course of systematic oppression
scarcely conceivable. Notices to quit were served indiscriminately on
every one, old and young, sick and healthy. Medical attendance was
refused, and even a dose of physic from the Estates' hospitals. Cattle
were turned into the provision-grounds of the negroes, thus destroying
their only means of support; and assaults of the most wanton and brutal
description were committed on many of the peasantry. On one estate the
proprietor and his brother assaulted a young man in the most unprovoked
manner. One presented a pistol to his breast, and threatened to shoot
him; while the other levelled a gun at his head for the same purpose.
They were bound over to take their trial at the Quarter Sessions; but
what hope is there in such a tribunal as that, composed principally of
men engaged in the same reckless course, and banded together by mutual
interests? On another estate (_Content_), the attorney ordered the
cattle of a poor man (a member of my Chapel) to be taken up and
impounded. It was done, and the man was obliged to pay 6l. to redeem
them; when, as soon as he carried them back, they were again taken and
impounded. The man has been to my house with his case of oppression, on
my return from Kingston. He states that he exhausted his last farthing
to redeem the cattle the first time, and was also obliged to borrow of
his friends; they have now been impounded five weeks, and unless he can
raise the money to redeem them (upwards of 10l.), they will be sold to
pay the expenses. Thus is an honest and worthy man, in a few weeks,
stripped of every thing which, by years of industry and care, he had
accumulated for the comfort of his old age, or the benefit of his
family. Yesterday a negro came and informed me that the owner of a
property had told him last year, that he must cultivate more ground, so
as to be able to continue possession as a tenant; and now that he has
done so, another person, saying that he had purchased the property, came
a few days ago, and told him that in three weeks he would drive him from
the place. He then ordered a man whom he had with him to climb a
bread-fruit tree, and pull the fruit, which he forcibly carried away to
give to his hogs. But I must forbear: were I to state half the cases of
oppression which have occurred in Hanover since August 1st; I should
require a volume instead of a sheet. I think, however, I have said
enough to prove the bitter and rancorous spirit which at present
animates the planters. Enclosed I send a specimen of another artifice
adopted to harass and distress the negroes. They have adopted the notion
(sanctioned by the opinion of the old Planters' Jackall, Batty, and the
Attorney General), that the people are liable to pay rent for houses and
grounds during the three months' possession to which the Abolition Act
entitled them, and notices have been served on the people, demanding the
most extravagant amounts for the miserable sheds which the people
inhabited. You will perceive that in once case 21l. 6s. 9d. has been
demanded. This conscientious demand was made by John Houghton James,
Executor and Attorney for Sir Simon Clark. Another is from a Mr. Bowen,
of _Orchard_ Estate; and the third from Mr. Brockett, of _Hopewell_ and
_Content_ Estates, the property of Mr. Miles, M.P. for Bristol. Let it
be borne in mind that these shameful and exorbitant demands are not
made, as in England, on the head of the family only, but on _every
member who is able to do the least work_, and even little children have
papers demanding 2s. 4d. per week for ground, although unable to do the
least thing: one of these I also enclose.

Jamaica, ss. Notice is hereby Given, That the sum of eight shillings and
four pence, weekly, will be exacted from you and each of you
respectively, for the houses and grounds at Orchard Estate, in the
parish of Hanover, from August of the present year, until the expiration
of the three months' notice, from its period of service to quit; or to
the period of surrendering to me the peaceable possession of the
aforesaid house and provision grounds.


Dated this 17th day of Sep. 1838.


Here then, my dear Sir, you may perceive something of the atrocious
proceedings in the island of Jamaica. Pray insert these documents in the
_Emancipator_. Let the Anti-slavery friends know the state of things,
and urge them to redoubled diligence. The House of Assembly will meet on
the 30th instant, and then, I fear, dreadful measures will be taken. A
letter from Mr. Harker, of the Jamaica Royal Gazette, about a fortnight
since, addressed to Mr. Abbott, shows what absolute and cruel statutes
they would wish either to act upon, or to make the models of new laws.
Every act must be watched with the most jealous scrutiny. Experience
shows that the planters possess an ingenuity truly diabolical, in
twisting and distorting the laws to suit their own selfish purpose. Our
hope is in British Christians; and we confidently hope every one of them
will feel the importance of increased diligence, lest the great, and
long prayed-for boon of freedom, should become a curse, instead of a
blessing. The papers will inform you of the odium I have drawn on myself
in defending the people's rights. That contained in the great mass, only
provokes a smile. I know that every friend in England will interpret it
inversely. I did feel Mr. ----'s letter in the Falmouth Post, but he
knows his error, and is sorry for it. I could have answered it, but did
not choose to cause a division amongst the few friends of the negro,
when they had quite enough to do to withstand the attacks of
their enemies.


_Spanish Town, Oct. 13, 1838._

The following is one of the seven of the same tenor now in my
possession, which will, in addition to those I forwarded by last mail,
inform you of the cause of the late disinclination of the people in some
districts to labour--which, with so much effrontery, has been proclaimed
through the public Journals here:--

Charles Michael Kelly and Wife, to J.S. Benbow, Dr.

1830: July 14th to Sept. 9th.
1. To the rent of house and
ground on Castle Kelly
plantation, for eight weeks,
at 6s. 8d. per week. 3l. 13 4
2. Richard Kelly and Wife. Same.
3. Elenor Mercer. Same.
4. John Ried and Wife. Same.
5. Mary Ann Christie. Same.
6. Venus Owen (or such like name). Same.


_Savanna-la-Mar, Sept. 17, 1838._

I now, according to promise in my last, send you a few out of the many
cases I am almost hourly troubled with. Some of our would-be great men
are, I am sorry to say, harassing the poor free labourers shamefully;
and should it prove, as I think in some cases it must, of serious injury
to the absentee proprietors, I shall publish the cases of grievance
brought me, together with the names of the estates, owners, attorneys,
overseers, &c., and leave all parties to form their own opinion on
the subject.

Amelia Martin, to Retrieve Estate, Dr.
1838: August 29.
To house and ground, rent at
5s. per week, from 1st August
to date 4_l._ 0 0
[A]Alliac Davis, ground
rent at
10d. per week 3 0
[A]William Davis; ditto
ditto 0 3 4
4_l._ 6 4

Thos. Tats, Esq. is Attorney, and Mr. Comry

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