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28 w h o could be p u n i s h e d as for a c r i m e for the fulfilment of his religious d u t i e s , or t h e satisfaction of his domestic affections, from w h o m a n o t h e r m a n could by l a w t a k e his wife, or his children, or t h e fruits of h i s toil. B u t if a n y one n o w - a - d a y s does d o u b t t h a t w h a t m i g h t h a p p e n b y l a w w a s c o m m o n in fact, we can o n l y refer h i m to t h e evidence before the C o m m i t t e e s on S l a v e r y of both H o u s e s of P a r l i a m e n t in 1 8 3 3 . W e will h e r e m e r e l y give one testimony and one fact. T h e M a r q u i s of Sligo, himself a J a m a i c a proprietor, and for a time g o v e r n o r of t h e island, t h u s writes to Sir Fowell B u x t o n : — "In reply to your inquiries, •whether my opinions on slavery had undergone any change while I was in Jamaica, I beg to say that when I went out there, I thought that the stories of the cruelties of the slave-owners, disseminated by your society, were merely the emanations of enthusiastic and humane persons — rather a caricature, than a faithful representation of what actually did take place. Before, however, I had been very long in Jamaica, I had reason to think that the real state of the case had been far understated, and that I am quite con­ vinced was the fact."* O u r readers will m o s t of t h e m r e m e m b e r what m a n n e r of stories of cruelties t h e A n t i - S l a v e r y Society did disseminate, a n d will, w e t h i n k , h a r d l y need further testimony as to the details of the system. T h e n , as r e g a r d s its general result, w e h a v e this one d a m n i n g fact : t h e slave population of eleven of t h e W e s t - I n d i a n Colonies was in twelve y e a r s d i m i n i s h e d full 1 0 per cent. — in J a m a i c a , the diminution b y d e a t h , i n d e p e n d e n t of m a n u m i s s i o n , was a b o u t 1 3 per cent., or from 3 4 6 , 1 5 0 in 1 8 1 7 , to 3 0 7 , 3 5 7 in 1 8 3 2 . t T h i s fact, w h i c h is p r o v e d by the official registry of slaves in both y e a r s , is confirmed b y t h e statistics of special estates ;+ a n d t h a t it w a s n o t o w i n g , as is sometimes said, to excess of males in consequence of t h e previous slavet r a d e , is clear ; for the s a m e statistics p r o v e t h a t while this m o r t a l i t y w a s g o i n g on, t h e females were generally, as t h e y are n o w , in excess of the males. § A n d bad as was the condition of t h e slaves p h y s i c a l l y , m o r a l l y it was w o r s e ; t h e most d e g r a d i n g licentiousness w a s t h e r u l e , a n d chastity a n d m a r r i a g e t h e exception. A l m o s t every w h i t e m a n in a u t h o r i t y k e p t a b l a c k o r a coloured mistress ; a n d it is a fact clearly p r o v e d , t h a t m a r r i a g e w h e n desired b y the negroes, w a s n o t seldom disallowed by the m a n a g e r s , | | a n d w a s a l m o s t i n v a r i a b l y dis* "Memoirs of Sir T. F. Buxton," p. 386. + See Parliamentary Return in Appendix to Buxton's Memoirs, + See, for example, Statistics of the Seaford Estates, as laid before the Lords' Committee in 1832. § Statistics above quoted. See also Sir T. F. Buxton's Speech, "Memoirs," p. 269. || Dr. King's "Jamaica," p. 47.

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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