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127 from interrupted labour. I shall be told that we paid exorbitant wages, and that the work was such as suited the taste of the negroes, from its nature and novelty. True, we paid 2s. per diem, but we took care to accompany it with strict and constant supervision, and we found our account in substituting the pickaxe, shovel, and the wheelbarrow, for the worn-out hoe and little wooden bowl, whereby we secured the removal of ten cubic yards of earth as the daily task, and for which we would have to pay something like 3s. 6d. in England. I cannot well imagine what there was in either the nature or novelty of the work to make it more inviting than the labour on an estate, or on their own provision grounds. The only coercion we used, was the certainty of dismissal for absence, and we found it work well." T r u e , this letter w a s written in 1 8 4 6 , b u t w e k n o w of n o t h i n g w h i c h h a s since h a p p e n e d to alter the capabilities of the n e g r o , or to m a k e it less likely t h a t he w o u l d give good w o r k for fair w a g e s ; t h o u g h w e do k n o w , t h a t t h e " i n a b i l i t y " to p a y t h e latter h a s been v a s t l y increased b y t h e calamitous results of t h e S u g a r A c t . M r . S m i t h p r o v e d his faith in his o w n observations b y himself investing capital in 1 8 4 6 in J a m a i c a estates ; a n d t h o u g h , in 1 8 5 2 , h e declares t h a t this investment h a s been a loss, h e distinctly ascribes this loss to t h e fall of price consequent on t h e S u g a r B i l l . I n the s t a t e m e n t of facts, signed by himself a n d his t w o co-delegates, w e find it stated, it is t r u e , t h a t the " f r e e p o p u l a t i o n " of J a m a i c a " i s impelled b y none of t h e o r d i n a r y motives to i n d u s t r y ; " b u t , w h y ? because it h a s to c o m p e t e with t h e C u b a n planter, w h o s e slave-labour costs w h a t in w a g e s w o u l d be e q u a l to 4 d . or 6 d . a-day ; t e r m s on which no free l a b o u r e r in " J a m a i c a can b e expected to m a i n t a i n himself a n d his family decently a n d honestly, a n d at the same time l a b o u r fairly a n d r i g h t e ously for his e m p l o y e r . " * H i t h e r t o , o u r readers will observe, w e h a v e v i e w e d E m a n c i p a t i o n almost solely in its c o m m e r c i a l aspects, and in t r y i n g the p h i l a n t h r o p i c e x p e r i m e n t h a v e confined ourselves to M r . C a r l y l e ' s test of s u c c e s s , — its capability to " a i d in b r i n g i n g forth t h e nobler p r o d u c t s " of t h e soil. Y e t t h e destiny of m a n , t h o u g h h e be a n e g r o , m a y i n c l u d e o t h e r objects besides the s u p p l y of a g r o c e r ' s s h o p ; a n d as even t h e field-hand h a s h e a r t , h e a d , a n d soul, it m a y be worth w h i l e briefly to consider h o w far their p r o d u c t s h a v e been m a d e m o r e or less noble b y the change. A v e r y few words will suffice for t h e social position of t h e slave. T h e t i m e is now p a s t w h e n E n g l i s h m e n required to be convinced t h a t t h e condition of that m a n could not be c h a n g e d for t h e worse, w h o b y law h a d neither p r o p e r t y , n o r citizenship, n o r family, n o r religion, * Parliamentary Return : Sugar Growing Colonies (Jamaica), p. 307.

British philanthropy and Jamaica distress. Reprinted from the «  Westminter Review »  

Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane. Ville...

British philanthropy and Jamaica distress. Reprinted from the «  Westminter Review »  

Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane. Ville...

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