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any time, any of those stipulations have been violated by the unruly and piratical subjects of those states, immediate reparation has always been'made. The British consuls residing at their ports have invariably been respected above those of any other power; though we have heard, indeed, that one of our consuls at Tangier once wrote to the British admiral commanding at Gibraltar, requesting that a longer flag staff might be sent him to erect before his door, and stating that the consular influence in the dominions of Morocco depended chiefly on the length of his pole.
Captain Croker, however, seems to have discovered, on his short visit to Algiers, sufficient grounds to justify our going to war with those 'detestable pirates," infidels,’and other hard names by which he is pleased to call them. We think differently, and that his charges against them do not afford a justifiable cause of war: they are as follow.- Some Christian slaves were taken by two Algerine pirates which presumed to carry English colours, and, by so doing, decoyed these unhappy beings within their reach! Others • had actually been made slaves while under English passports, and for the very purpose of supplying our armies with grain. And lastly, ships belonging to the natives of Ponza were taken by the Algerines, though they were furnished with English passports, and had permission to wear the British flag :' and he could state, he says, many other cases in which the honour and the faith of the British nation have been most notoriously insulted by those detestable pirates, such as treating the passports of her governors with contempt, &c.' We are willing to suppose that Captain Croker wrote his letter while on shore at Algiers, when his feelings for the misery of his fellow creatures got the better of his judgment; for wë can hardly think that an officer, in command of one of His Majesty's ships of war, can be ignorant that every maritime power in Europe sanctions its officers in presuming to carry any colours they please: they may decoy, but not fight under false colours; and we dare say that Captain Croker had at that moment a set of colours of all nations on board his ship, supplied by his superiors. He is equally informed, we doubt not, that the only passport mentioned in the several treaties, which have been renewed over and over, is of that particular kind known by the name of a Mediterranean pass;' that, by special stipulation, such pass shall be óunder the hand and seal of His Majesty, or whomsoever he shall appoint to be the lord high admiral, or to execute the office of lord high admiral;' that it shall be of a particular form; and that it shall be given only to the subjects of our sovereign lord the King, and to no foreigners.' And, in order to prevent abuses or fraudulent transfers of such pass, the owner or master of such vessel is bound, in the penalty of five hundred pounds, to return the said pass within three years to the lords commissioners of the Admiralty. ll, therefore, the Barbary powers are fully justified in carrying false colours by the common usages of war, neither are they guilty of any insult to the honour and faith of the British nation, in dis. regarding the passports of governors or consuls, given to foreign vessels, or even to vessels belonging to British subjects; and we confess, we are greatly surprised that any consul or governor should venture to give any such passports, in direct violation of treaties, and thereby endanger the lives, liberty, and property of those who are credulous enough to trust to them.
2. Whether the cause of humanity would be benefited by direct hostilities on our part, and whether we should be justified on that ground in joining the holy league,' is a part of the question in which we cannot hesitate to give our decided negative. If any difference of opinion existed with regard to the policy of abolishing the negro slave trade, there was none as to the justice of the measure. England was deeply concerned in that odious traffic, and it was fitting therefore that England, whose regard for justice and love of liberty have always stood pre-eminent among nations, should be the first to set the example; to do all in her power to heal the wounds which she had contributed to inflict. It makes nothing against the justice of the measure, that the result of the abolition has not answered the sanguine expectations of its warmest advocates; that Africa in consequence thereof has made no progress in civilization; that the slave trade is still carried on in full activity and with increased energy, the only difference being in that of the local market; that, instead of the negro slaves being marched from Bambarra, Tombuctoo, and Houssa, to the mouths of the Senegal and Gambia as heretofore, they are now taken the readier route to those of the Benin, Bonney, Calabar, and Camaroon rivers; where, instead of being put on board a well-regulated English slave ship, regulated by law,and navigated bymen notwholly insensible to the claims of humanity, they are now at the mercy of an unfeeling set of brutes, and stowed away into small miserable foreign hulks like so many bottles in a wine binn.* These con
* This is no vague assertion. Captain Fisher, of His Majesty's ship Bann, captured in March last off Prince's Island, a Portuguese brig, on her passage from Camaroon to Babia, of 120 tons burden, with nearly 600 slaves on board, in violation of the treaty. In the short run of eighty leagues, thirty negroes had died, and as many more were in a dying state: and it could not be doubted, that had she próceeded on her passage to Babia at that sickly season, when heavy rains and violent tornadoes are almost incessant, the whole must have perished. By removing a great part of them into the Bann, by wholesome food, cleanliness, and medical aid, the disease was subdued; but before the ships could reach Sierra Leone, forty-three had died on the passage. It is a fact, that in the month of May last, upwards of sixty foreign armed vessels under the Spanish flag, from the Havannah, arrived at the mouths of the above-mentioned rivers, solely for the purpose of taking in slaves.
siderations weigh not a straw against the justice of the measure, though they may be considered as some drawback on the policy of it; but it is not to be endured that the accredited agents of Spain and Portugal, or those who affect to be so, should presume to say that because England abolished the Negro slave trade, it is her duty to put an end to the slavery of the Whites :--that she should embroil herself in hostilities, and fight the battles of those grateful nations, in the north of Africa, that they may undisturbedly carry on the Black slave trade in the south! Others, too, who never vented a murmur against the tyranny of Bonaparte, are now eagerly croaking and clamouring against England for not dealing out the blow against those pirates of the sea.' If England is to be constituted pirate-taker-general, she had better commence with the Malays and Ladrones of China, who plunder her ships and murder her subjects; the Barbary states do neither.
Certainly, if the quantum of individual misery was to determine the propriety of the measure, the abolition of white slavery would naturally obtain the preference over that of the blacks. Christian slaves, from their education and habits, are more the objects of commiseration than the ignorant and unreflecting Negro; and the sufferings of a Cervantes within the walls of an Algerine dungeon, may be supposed to outweigh the mental misery of a whole cargo of Negroes-yet Cervantes, after five years of slavery, does not, in " The Captive's story,' inspire his readers with any great degree of horror at the treatment of Algerine slaves. Neither has Sir Sidney Smith, in his endeavours to exeite a general feeling of hatred in the powers of Europe against the Barbary States, succeeded in bringing forward any thing very atrocious : his documents besides consist chiefly of anonymous declamation, and unauthenticated assertion. There is, however, a Mr. Melchior Debrie, who styles himself. Knight of St. John of Jerusalem,' who recounts the sufferings which he underwent in Tunis, and which are the more extraordinary, considering the value set upon him by the Bey,-namely, one hundred slaves, or one hundred thousand francs: but we suspect the Knight to have been his own appraiser.
* I saw (he says) two nephews of the Bey put in chains by his orders, These unfortunate young men, confined in a dismal and loathsome prison for several years, partly in consequence of the horrid treatment they endured, and partly in consequence of unwholesome food and infectious air, had lost the human figure and appearance. I fancy they are still present to my sight-their eyes were ferocious, their colour livid their beards reached to their waist, their arms were withered, their nails indurated, and formed like the claws of feline animals ;--- in short, they were seemingly no longer of the human species, VOL. XV. NO. XXIX.
• One day I was ordered to throw to them their portion of black bread; I had scarcely time to withdraw—they darted at me, howling and roaring more hideously than wild beasts. The sight harrowed up my very soul, and chilled my blood in my veins.'
This is rant that would scarcely be tolerated in a boardingschool novel : let us look to facts; and we shall find that both the ill treatment, and the number of Christian slaves, have been egregiously exaggerated. By the · Narrative,' we are informed that the slaves at Tripoli are chiefly Maltese, old and infirm; and it is a great alleviation to our feelings, on their account, to see them easy and well dressed; and so far from wearing chains, as captives do in most other places, they are here perfectly at liberty.' (p. 241.)—Mr. Macgill says, that slaves in Tunis are not ill treated, they are either kept about the houses of their masters in a domestic capacity, or put out to work at such trades as they have been accustomed to; and they are seldom punished, unless they have committed some offence. Many are employed in the gardens of their masters, and some are permitted to serve in the houses of Christians, who are employed in the service of the Bey. If sick, an hospital is provided for them. They are well fed, though not sumptuously; and they are clothed, particularly if they belong to affluent persons, sometimes even in a rich and gaudy style." (p. 80.) As to slavery in Morocco,' (says Col. Keatinge, a gentleman we do not profess always to understand,) as it is redeemed from afar, when occasion calls for it, so it is very slightly inflicted when at hand. As to any labour undergone, it does not deserve the name.'-(p. 250.) Lempriere, a more intelligent traveller in Morocco, says, “To the disgrace of Europe, the Moors treat their slaves with humanity, employing them in looking after their gardens and in the domestic duties of their houses. None of these accounts (with the exception of Macgill's) are drawn from ephemeral visiters.
There can be no doubt, however, that the Christian slaves are subject to much harsh treatment, and especially in Algiers: but no Englishman has been made a slave; and before we go out of the way to seek for objects of misery abroad, it would be wise and humane to relieve those which we have at home. One would think that the general distress in the agricultural and manufacturing classes ; the state of the poor--the prisons—the hospitals and mad houses ; would supply us with abundant objects to relieve the plethora of philanthropy with which we seem to be bursting; but the truth is that with all our humanity, we are a strange anda whimsical people --at the moment it is avowed that the churches of the metropolis are insufficient to hold one-twentieth part of the inhabitants, we are subscribing money to build a church for the Danes at Copenhagen,
In one respect the situation of the Christian slave is preferable to that of the negro; he is not deprived of hope; his deliverance depends entirely on his friends or his country; his ransom is seldom, if ever, refused : it is, in fact, the great object of his capture and detention; and if it be degrading in those who submit to it, and inhuman in those who demand it, both parties may plead the ancient example of Europe, where it was adopted, no doubt, with the view of mitigating the horrors of war; and if, in later times, the practice has been discontinued, it was not humanity but poli-cy that dictated the measure. In a country where murder may be compensated by a pecuniary fine, and where the price of blood is fixed, it was natural that the prisoner should also have his price; and we confess ourselves to be among the number of those who should lament any measure that would deprive the captive of the benefit of ransom.
The abolition of Christian slavery in Morocco, by the present Emperor, so far from being any alleviation to suffering humanity, has proved most fatal to the unfortunate shipwrecked mariners on that coast. The Arabs finding them no longer of any value, instead of taking them as before to court, where they received so much a head, now put them to death, or march them into the interior, and sell them as slaves to their countrymen; and the robbers of Algiers, Tunis, or Tripoli, are not likely to treat their captives with more humanity when no longer saleable.
The greatest number of slaves, taken by the Barbary powers of late years, consists of Sardinians, Neapolitans and Sicilians; who, on their part, he it remembered, make slaves of the Africans whenever they can take them. An exchange of prisoners is seldom effected; for the Moors, though they hold themselves far superior to Chris tians, generally demand two, and sometimes four or five Mahomedans for one Christian; their great object being, in fact, to obtain money for their ransom. It is thus in the power of the government to which the unfortunate captives belong, or of their friends, almost at any time, to procure their release; and it is obviously the interest of those who hold them, to preserve rather than destroy them. But Mr. Macgill asserts, that the King of Naples adds insult to the misery of those who ask his interference! • If an unfortunate female throw herself at his feet, in behalf of the father of her family in slavery,' he is said to answer by demanding, “if she cannot find another husband as good as he ? And an unfortunate husband, imploring the ransom of his wife, is answered in the same unprincipled manner, • What! are women so scarce in my
dominions ? This atrocious charge, fabricated in utter ignorance of the character of the prince whom it so wantonly calumniates, is daringly circulated against him at a moment when he has just completed the ran.