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encouraged by this impunity, she was immediately dispatched for an-other cargo of Africans, and was returning with them to the Isle of Bourbon, when she was detained by the Menai. A variety of other proofs will be found in the Appendix, of the pertinacity with which the slavetrade is prosecuted under the French flag, as well as of the impunity with which its prosecution is commonly attended. The directors would. more particularly refer to the letter of a merchant of Nantes, in which he openly proposes to his correspondents a participation in a slaving adventure, and to the fact mentioned by the captain of Le Succes, that at one time twenty-four ships were fitting out at that place for the prosecution of this odious commerce. Even if the penalty of confiscation, (the only one which attaches to the violation of those laws,) were more frequently enforced than it is, it would do little to arrest the progress of this trade, while the risk of capture and condemnation is so small as to be easily insurable. At present, the rate of insurance does not exceed 15 or 20 per cent., while the gains of the trade are proved to amount to from 200 to 400 per cent.-The Report then details the unsuccessful effort of the Duke de Broglio in the French Chamber of Peers, last March, to render the laws of France more efficacious against this trade; but the greatest success was anticipated from the diffusion of information upon the subject on the Continent. Most flattering allusions were also made to the conduct of the United States of America, which had made this traffic piracy; and a reference is made to a very elaborate opinion pronounced by Judge Van Ness in one of these cases, which deserves to be recorded. He intimated, that even if this ship and cargo, taken under the Spanish flag, had not been proved to be American property, he would have held that the demand of restitution by the Spanish claimant ought to be rejected, on the ground that the trade, being pronounced illegal, and even criminal, by the municipal laws of Spain, and the property being liable to confiscation in the courts of his own country, no Spanish subject could have a right to claim restitution in the courts of the United States. He even went so far as to suggest whether a much broader principle might not now be fairly applied to cases of this descriptionwhether, that is to say, this species of commerce ought not to be regarded as having altogether ceased to be juris gentium, and to be treated therefore as wholly out of the safeguard of the law of nations. Another very important document has reached the directors from the United States. It is the Report of a Committee of the House of Representatives in their last session, relative to the mutual exercise of the right of search, by Great Britain and America, with a view to the suppression of the slavetrade. This Committee gave a very clear opinion in favour of the exercise of this right. The Report also states the conclusion of a treaty between Governor Farquhar and the King of Madagascar, for the abolition of the slave-trade on that island; and states that Governor Farquhar has been indefatigable in his efforts to suppress the slave-trade in the adjacent seas; and he appears to have succeeded in preventing any importation within the limits of his own government. At the very time that the Board was engaged in a correspondence with the Court of Directors of the East India Company, to induce them to employ their influence with the Imaum of Muscat to put an end to the slave-trade, so extensively
carried on at Zanguebar, and had the satisfaction of obtaining the prompt and cordial concurrence of that distinguished body, Governor Farquhar, by a singular and gratifying coincidence, was occupied in addressing the Governor-General of India and the Imaum of Muscat to the same effect. The Report concludes thus:
"Under these circumstances, they shall exceedingly regret the opening of a free intercourse between the West India colonies and foreign states, unless it be made a substantive part of the measure, that register actnot merely a nominal and delusive, but an efficient register act-shall exist in every colony to which the proposed boon shall be extended. While the sugars of the West Indies are protected in their monopoly of the home market by a high duty, not merely on foreign sugars, but on the sugars grown in our own East Indian possessions, thus giving a decided and exclusive preference to the produce of cultivation by slave labour over that produced by free labour,―the least that can be wished, if not demanded, is, that no means should be omitted which afford a likelihood of effectually preventing the clandestine introduction of slaves into our colonies, or their clandestine removal to the more productive colonies of foreign nations."
Lord CALTHORPE rose to propose the motion of thanks to the Directors of the African Institution. He lamented the inadequate manner in which the efforts of the abolitionists were supported by foreign powers; but he anticipated a more favourable result from the constitutional Governments of the Continent.
Lord NUGENT, in seconding the Motion, animadverted in severe terms upon the odious traffic of the slave-trade, and expressed a hope that the time was not far distant, when, by the common co-operation of all civilized Governments, a termination would be put to the depredations of that monster of all mankind-the trader in human flesh.
The Marquis of LANSDOWN proposed the second Resolution, which was declaratory of the abhorrence of the Society at the manner in which the slave-trade subsisted. He lamented the indisposition which was manifested by foreign powers to take the only step that could reuder the ubolition effective, namely, by making the traffic piracy. He congratulated the Meeting upon the great example set in this respect by the United States of America, whose Government took the proper attitude that it became freemen to assume in the cause of freedom. The Noble Marquis then referred to the efforts of the Duke de Broglio (whom he was proud to call his friend), in France, and to the recent establishment of a Society in that country, having the same object in view as the African Institution. He fully concurred in the necessity of exciting public opinion to a detestation of this traffic on the Continent, by publications demonstrating its impolicy and inhumanity. When public opinion was enlightened, much might then be done. The only reason he had ever heard urged in France against the enactment of severer measures to enforce the abolition was, that the country was not yet ripe for such severity, and that neither judges nor juries would be found to execute such enactments. There would soon, he trusted, be an end to that argument. But, at present, it was lamentable that the science of the application of capital, which, by insurance, guarded the enterprising trader, and averted from
him ruin and loss, was in France perverted to the iniquitous purpose of securing the inhuman slave-trader from the penalties of a daring infraction of the laws of his country. The Noble Marquis condemned, in the warmest manner, the continuance of this detestable traffic.
Mr. WILBERFORCE, in seconding the declaratory Resolution, deeply regretted the necessity which existed of enlightening the public mind of France respecting the odious nature of the slave-trade. Fifteen years ago, when their illustrious Chairman had joined in the formation of this Society, they vainly thought the question of abolition was set at rest, and that nothing remained but to secure the co-operation of the other powers to execute the prohibitory laws enacted against the crime. Though their anticipation had not been fulfilled, they had yet done much, and had earned that reward which all good men were sure to meet without reference to the success of their benevolent efforts. Independently of the moral necessity for the continuance of their labours, they should never forget that they owed Africa a weighty reparation for the deep injuries which they had inflicted on her unhappy children, and could never stop until they had repaired the evils they had committed. The honourable gentleman then took a retrospective glance at the progress of their labours; at the advances they had made since the time when the unhappy Africans were declared, even by some historians, to be an inferior class of human beings, not to be classed in the same scale with others. He particularly eulogized the Society of Friends for their uniform efforts in the cause of the abolition-efforts which, he said, had compelled them to violate the modesty of their own feelings, to act in opposition to the principles by which they regulated their conduct, and come forward to assist in the holy work, in open day, in conjunction with their brethren of different religions. He also said that, to the honour of Ireland, her ports had never been defiled by the vessels of this odious traffic-a fact which gave that generous and gallant nation an additional claim in this hour of her calamity to the relief of this country. It was a humiliating fact, that England had, in the slave-trade, been pre-eminent in guilt; but it was consolatory to know that she was also foremost in repentance. So completely had England formerly identified this traffic with her trade, that even when she abandoned it, other nations fancied that it was for the purpose of carrying into effect some new commercial speculation. He then congratulated the Society upon the accession of the Duke de Broglie and his friends, who were among the most intelligent and distinguished characters in France, and whose efforts would, no doubt, produce the best results. He adverted, in flattering terms, to the success which had, after a lapse of years, attended the colonization of Sierra Leone at first the prospect had been discouraging,—so it always was in the history of such improvements. The colony of Virginia, one not undertaken by needy speculators, but at the suggestion of the wisest of men-of Lord Bacon, and partly formed under the eye of Sir Walter Raleigh; three times was the colony of Virginia attempted, and as often abandoned, until at length a final trial was made, and complete success attended it. The Honourable Member eulogized in the highest terms the services of Sir George Collier, and the naval force under his command on the coast of Africa, and remarked that the first intimation
of making the slave-trade piracy had a very singular origin. It arose. from a treaty made by the son of a very old friend of his, Lieutenant Thomson, R. N., with a people in the Arabian Gulf, who consented to denounce the slave-trade as piratical, although he (Mr. Wilberforce) was afraid they were themselves little better than pirates.
Mr. BROUGHAM proposed a Resolution expressive of the gratification of the Society at finding the slave-trade made piracy by the United States of America. In doing so, he was grieved to say, that instead of being assembled, as they had hoped, this day to witness the consummation of their fiftee years' labours in enforcing the act of abolition, they had now the mortication to find a new series of troubles rising to their view, from a singular combination of unhappy circumstances. As long as their own laws had to be watched over to be enforced-as long as their own colonies declined to give their own slaves the equal benefit of the law, and withheld from them every thing which was not extorted from the masters, by the necessity of fostering the slaves now risen in price, if that degraded epithet must still attach to human beings-as long as other nations refused to redeem their own plighted promisesso long the African Institution must obviously and necessarily have much to accomplish. It would seem, from the interesting Report which had been read, that the history of the chief countries of Europe, since the peace, exhibited nothing but a series of pledges given to be forfeited -opportunities of benefiting mankind only afforded to be scandalously thrown away-chances held forth to the nations of the world, but cast aside, of recovering themselves, and of gaining imperishable renown. He looked with indignation at the contrast presented to these nations by the United States of America, and the still greater contrast presented by the republican subjects of a free country, in the performance where they had not promised so much, to those regal Governments which had promised so much and performed so little. Too much could not be said of the labours of the Society of Friends, who had been forcibly compelled, by the greatness of their own doings, to encroach upon that meekness of habit which uniformly induced them to
"do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame,"
and forced them to receive that public approbation from their fellowsubjects which they were the first to earn, but the last to claim. There were, however, some of the foreign Governments who resembled the Society of Friends; but it was only in this one habit-that they made no claim for the approbation of mankind. If they were slow in claiming, they took especial care to be also slow in deserving-their modest and retired habits were never broken in upon by the applause of suffering humanity; they kept the left-hand in entire ignorance of what was doing by the right; and, to obviate the possibility of a charitable exposure, they took particular care to keep both hands idle. These Governments stood wholly without excuse; and he would press upon their Governments, if they could hear him—he would press upon their people, through whom those Governments must, sooner or later, hear it-that vain will be their plea of England's example of indifference to this traffic for a series of years, even if that plea were stronger than it can be pretended
VOL. I. NO. II.
to be. True it is, that this is the fortieth year since the wrongs of Africa first caught the attention of the English ear. At that time a small Society, (principally from among the Society of Friends,) six in number, of whom alone George Harrison was the survivor, met in conclave upon this traffic. True, their conclave was as secret in its deliberations as were other congresses that had since assembled, though composed of very different members, influenced by very different feelings, and having very different objects to promote. This Society sought information respecting the traffic; they were followed by Thomas Clarkson, and, treading on his heels in the great work, came his Hon. Friend (Mr. Wilberforce), who had rendered his name illustrious by his services in this holy cause. And yet, notwithstanding the great exertions of such men, twenty-five years elapsed from the beginning to the conclusion of their efforts, so far as the passing of the abolition act. Why did he refer to these facts? First, that they had to take to themselves the deep shame of allowing so many years to elapse in the progress of such a question; and next, to discourage despair, under any present circumstances, by showing, that in whatever cause a free and enlightened people resolve to embark, success must ultimately attend their struggle. It was not one year before their final triumph, that after the question of abolition was carried in the Commons, it was flung out in the Lords. He referred to these facts to discourage despair, not to vindicate foreign powers, or allow their plea of the example of England. When the subject was first taken up in England, it was new; its details and atrocities were unknown; the effect of measures was untried: but would it be contended that the powers of the Continent could plead that ignorance? Had they not had the benefit of the progressive experience of England? They might, indeed, have come into the discussion at the eleventh hour; but they did so with all the advantage of hearing the ten hours' previous debate, and acquiring all the experience of the past to regulate their decision. They must start, therefore, with us at the present time; and not flatter themselves with the delusive hope, that either among the wise or the good men of future times, they would stand justified in a delay, which in the case of England was without defence, but which in their case would be utterly without palliation.-The Honourable and Learned Gentleman then pronounced a warm panegyric upon the example set by the United States of America, in making the slave-trade piracy, and upon Mr. Randolph's great efforts in promoting that act.
The Rev. JoHN CUNNINGHAM Seconded the Motion in an eloquent speech, which we regret our limits will not enable us to give. He strongly recommended that for the purpose of replenishing the funds of the Society, its basis should be extended, so as to make the question a religious as well as a political one.
Mr. RANDOLPH (the distinguished American) then rose to return thanks for this mark of respect towards the United States of America. He said that, after the eloquence which had already been displayed upon this great subject, it would be an act of presumption scarcely excusable in any stranger, but unpardonable in him, to intrude his unpremeditated expressions upon them, after the able speeches which they had not only heard but felt. He was, however, impelled by a double motive, which