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negroes who had voluntarily accompanied him in a different manner from his prisoners of war. On his arrival at Hispaniola, he disposed of the whole cargo to great advantage, and endeavored to inculcate on the purchasers the same distinction in the treatment of them which he had himself observed. But he was now unable to limit the consequences of his perfidy. The Spaniards considered all the Africans as slaves of the same condition, and treated them all alike. The success of Hawkins excited universal interest in England. At first, the nation was shocked with the inhuman aspect of the trade. Queen Elizabeth sent for Hawkins, and declared to him “ that if any of the Africans were carried away without their own consent, it would be detestable, and would call down the vengeance of Heaven upon the undertakers.” Hawkins assured her that in no expedition in which he should have the command, should any of the natives be carried away without their own consent, except prisoners of war. He declared that he considered it an act of humanity to transport men from a state of heathenism to the enjoyment of the blessings of civilized society, and of the Christian religion. The queen appeared to be satisfied with his statements, and dismissed him with the assurance, that while he and his associates acted with humanity and justice, they should enjoy her protection. In his next voyage, he met with an English ship of war, which joined itself to the expedition, and accompanied him to the coast of Africa. The natives had now become reserved and jealous of his designs. The crew of the ship of war, observing the hesitation of the Africans, began to deride the gentle methods of proceeding which Hawkins had adopted, and were not able to perceive the moral difference between calm treachery and undisguised violence. Hawkins cited the instructions of the queen and the dictates of conscience in vain. His men, after several unsuccessful attacks, in which many of them lost their lives, completed their cargo.* Hawkins was rewarded, on his return, for the supposed benefit which he had conferred on his country, by the addition of a crest to his coat of arms, consisting of sa demi-Moor, proper, bound with a cord,”—a fit emblem. In his third expedition, having attempted to carry on a contraband trade with the Spaniards, his small fleet was attacked by an overpowering force, and
* Grahame's History of the United States of North America, vol. i. p. 22.
nearly destroyed. After undergoing great hardships, he reached home in January, 1568.
In 1620, a Dutch ship, from the coast of Guinea, having sailed up James river, in Virginia, sold a part of her cargo of negroes, about twenty in number, to the planters.* These were the first slaves introduced into the territory of the United States. The apology which probably misled the understandings of the purchasers was this—the negroes who were first brought to Virginia, were enslaved before they came, and by the purchase of the colonists were delivered from the hold of a slave-ship and the cruelty of the Dutch. When slaves were neither numerous nor formidable, they appear to have been kindly treated, and their masters perhaps intended to emancipate them at some convenient season. The laws, however, which were enacted before the close of the century, were oppressive and sanguinary. It seems that Indians were also enslaved. By an act passed in 1679, for the better encouragement of soldiers, it was declared that " what Indian prisoners should be taken in a war in which the colony was then engaged, should be free purchase to the soldiers taking them.” In 1682, it was enacted, that “ all servants brought into Virginia by sea or land, not being Christians, whether negroes, Moors, mulattoes or Indians, except Turks and Moors in amity with Great Britain, and all Indians which should thereafter be sold by neighboring Indians, or any : other trafficking with us, as slaves, should be slaves to all intents and purposes." These acts, so far as the Indians were concerned, were virtually repealed in 1691. Together with many solemn denunciations and penal enactments against 6 travelling on the Sabbath, profane cursing, or profanely getting drunk,” it was enacted that a slave committing a capital crime should be tried by commissioners named by the governor, without the intervention of a jury, and that the death of a slave occasioned by the correction of a master should not be accounted felony, “ since it cannot be presumed,” says the act, “ that prepensed malice, which alone makes murder felony, should induce any man to destroy his own estate.”
Slavery seems to have been established in Maryland from its earliest colonization. An act of the assembly of 1639, describes the people to consist of all Christian inhabitants,
* Beverley's History of Virginia.
slaves only excepted. This is the more remarkable as that State was settled by Roman Catholics, who, for the sake of their faith, had incurred exile from their native country. The unlawfulness of slavery had been solemnly declared by the pontiff, whom the papists regard as the head of their church. Pope Leo the tenth said, that “ not only the Christian religion, but nature herself cried out against a state of slavery.” In 1663, the following act was passed. “ All negroes or other slaves within the province, and all negroes and other slaves to be hereafter imported into the province, shall serve durante vita ; and all children born of any negro or other slave, shall be slaves as their fathers were for the term of their lives.” Slavery was introduced into the Carolinas in the autumn of 1665, by Sir John Yeamens, who came from Barbadoes with a number of emigrants, and settled on the southern bank of the Cape Fear river. In the constitution which was framed by the celebrated John Locke, and which consisted of one hundred and twenty ponderous articles, it was declared that “every freeman of Carolina, possesses absolute power and authority over his negro slaves, of what opinion or religion soever." This singular regulation has little apology, for there were no negroes in the province at this time, nor long after, except the few whom Yeamens had brought from Barbadoes. In 1723, the population of South Carolina amounted to 33,000, including 18,000 slaves. The demand for slaves was increased by the increasing cultivation of rice, which was thought too laborious for European constitutions; and the slave-ships of Great Britain encouraged the demand by the readiness with which they supplied it.* In the patent granted to the proprietors of Georgia, by George II. it was declared that “ all persons born within the said province, and their children and posterity, are free denizens as if they had been born in any of his majesty's dominions.” In January, 1735, it was ordered by the king in council, that no person under any pretence whatever, should hire, keep, lodge, board, or employ a negro, except on special leave of the trustees. A compliance with these regulations was rendered very difficult by the proximity of South Carolina and Florida, in both which territories slavery was allowed. In 1747, though slavery was not formally introduced, yet the spirit of the prohibition had been
* Grahame, vol. i. page 178.
set at nought in numberless instances. Negroes were hired in some cases for one hundred years. Habersham, who succeeded Whitefield in the care of the Orphan House, having experienced many difficulties in procuring white servants, at length employed negroes. The emigrants from Germany and the Highlands of Scotland, were earnest in their opposition to its introduction. A clergyman, by the name of Boltzius, honorably distinguished himself by writing a warm remonstrance to George Whitefield. This celebrated preacher advocated the expediency of introducing slaves on account of the practical difficulties experienced in the want of them, and from the superior opportunities which this country presented over Africa, for their instruction in Christianity.* So great was the excitement on account of the supposed hardship of not being permitted to hold slaves, that the proprietors at length summoned a convention to consider the subject. In 1747, twenty-three delegates met in Savannah, and opened the door to the unrestrained introduction of slaves, with the proviso, more honored in the enactment than in the observance, that the slaves should be educated and religiously instructed, and should not be punished with inhumanity. Lady Huntingdon stocked a large plantation for the support of the Orphan House.t
By his acquisition of the Delaware territory, it is probable that William Penn, on coming to the possession of his American domains, found the system of negro slavery already established within them. During his first visit, it appears that a few negroes were imported into Pennsylvania, and were purchased by the Quakers as well as by the other settlers. While the scarcity of laborers enforced the temptation to this practice, the kindness of Quaker manners, contributed to soften its evil and veil its iniquity; and it was not till the year 1688, that the repugnance of slavery to the tenets of Christianity, was first suggested to the Pennsylvanians by the emigrants, who had resorted to them from Germany. In compliance with a suggestion of the Germans, a resolution declaratory of the inconsistency between slavery and Christianity, was passed in the same year by the annual meeting of the Quakers of Pennsylvania. In 1696, they repeated their former declaration, adding to it an earnest admonition to the members of their society to refrain from all farther importation of negro slaves. On his second arrival in the country, Penn, perceiving the evils which had resulted from the institution, presented two bills to the assembly for regulating the morals and punishments of the slaves. One of them was rejected, and the other adopted. At the same time, by his ecclesiastical authority, Penn introduced several provisions into the discipline of the Friends, which were very salutary in their effects on the negrocs. A sense of what was due to this injured class of men, was thus gradually cherished in the general body of the inhabitants of Pennsylvania, and which obtained for the slaves a treatment far more equitable than they enjoyed in any other colony. Notwithstanding the encouragement afforded by the British government to the importation of negroes into all the American settlements, the slaves in Pennsylvania never formed more than a very insignificant fraction of the whole population of the province. Slavery acquired a firmer hold in Delaware. At what precise period, and by what class of persons, slavery was introduced into New Jersey, it is difficult to determine. The Quakers, as in Pennsylvania, became proprietors of slaves. As early as 1696, the members of the sect in both provinces, united in an effort to stay the further importation of slaves.
* The infirmity of human nature was never more impressively exhibited than in the conduct of John Locke, George Whitefield, and Lady Huntingdon, in behalf of slavery. The loftiest and holiest human minds are sometimes the dupes of the most miserable sophistry.
t See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i.
In the State of New York, slavery was introduced at an early period. By a law, passed in 1702, slaves were forbidden to meet together in greater number than three, except when assembled for labor. Masters were enjoined by law to baptize their slaves, and encouraged to do so by a provision that their baptism should not entitle them to freedom. Manumission was discouraged by a heavy fine. Slaves were disqualified from bearing evidence against any persons but slaves, and no negro, Indian, or mulatto, though free, could possess lands or hereditaments. By an act passed in 1702, and confirmed in 1708, a reward of twenty shillings was offered to every Christian, and half that sum to every Indian and slave, for killing a wolf in the provincial territory. In 1712, there was a very formidable insurrection of slaves in New York city. It is horrible to look back on the details and results of the trials. A number of these unhappy men were burned at the stake! Nineteen in all were executed. VOL. I.