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Thus, it must be manifest to every one, that your tale cannot possibly be true. But, if it had been so, do
you conceive, Sir, that the planters in that, as well as in all the islands where the story would have been told, would not have taken warning from this man's fate, and have treated their negroes with humanity, especially when the example of Mr. Mapp was before their eyes, the value of whose estates, you say, were fo much augmented, as well as the number of his negroes, by a contrary conduct. I fear, however, that your panegyric as much exceeds the fober bounds of truth, as your account of Mr. M.Mahon's cruelty. Why Thould the negroes be excused from labour from eleven o'clock to three, if, as you say, “ extreme heat does not incommode them?”—but, as I am less desirous of finding errors in your eulogy than in your satire, I will forbear examining critically into the truth of this anecdote. Sorry, however, am I to say, that when I was at Barbadoes sometime about the year 1780, I saw Mr. Mapp's estates, which were very fine ones, dismantled and desolate. The negroes having been sold, the boilers, stills, &c. taken away from the sugar works, and even the very tiles taken off the buildings, and sold to satisfy the creditors of those estates; the land of which was divided amongst them in small parcels; the greater part of which remained totally uncultivated,
I flatter myself, Sir, I have shewn that the natural increase of the negroes, already in the islands, will not be adequate to the cultivation of them ;-I will now beg leave to shew you, why I am apprehensive they hardly ever will. Of the flaves annually brought off the coast, not so much as a third part arę females, and
amongst them many are past child bearing. This disproportion of males to females, you must naturally see, will prevent any considerable increase, and occasion a new fupply to be wanted.
The small number of females occasions them to be strongly solicited, in consequence of which many of thein prostitute themselves. But, generally, when a planter purchases more young women than men, and preserves that superiority in the number of females over the males upon his estate, the increase is proportionable ; few people, however, are in circumstances so easy as to be able to wait the slow, but natural improvement, of their fortunes, by these means; they prefer supplying themselves with full grown male slaves, from whom they may expect more immediate unremitting labour, than from young females, who, as I have before mentioned, do very little work when advanced a few months in their pregnancy, and much less than inales, while they are nursing their children; and they have a custom amongst them, of not weaning them for two or three years, which occasions even the breeding women to have fewer children than might otherwise be expected.
If, Sir, I have, and I believe I have, proved, that the natural increase of the negroes in the islands are not, nor will be sufficient for the purposes of their cultivation, other arguments than thofe of private interest may be brought against the abolition of this accursed traffick. I have shewn that this commerce was permitted, and even authorized, by the Deity, and that it is no where censured either in the Old, or, to the best of my recollection, in the New Testament. It appears
that the possession of slaves, bond men and bond maids, was considered as a blessing by the antient patriarchs ; and that the Deity has been pleased to point out to his chosen people, of whom they are to purchase them.Why have you ventured to declare this traffick accursed? Would it not better have become one of the ministers of the gospel to have said, with Balaain-“how fhall I curse what God hath not cursed ?"
You say, Sir, you have not knowingly exaggerated, or misinformed the person you address, intentionally.”. That your account of Mr. M‘Malon's cruelty, which I have remarked on, is violently exaggerated, I believe I have made very apparent. That the information you have given the fociety in the Old Jewry, is not true, in scarcely any of its particulars, is what I shall proceed to Thew. If you are in your conscience satisfied, that the other exaggerations and misinformations which I shall convict you of, have not been knowingly and intentionally published by you,-I congratulate you thereon.
A necessary degree of caution indeed, a very little attention to your own account, if you had bestowed it, would have prevented your publication, and saved me the trouble, and you the displeasure, if you should feel any of this address. .
" Even extreme heat,”
66 does not incommode the negroes, nor are they fo liable as the white people to the disorders of warm climates, when their blood is not impoverished by extreme labour, fcanty or unwholesome diet. In the West Indies, and in the fouthern colonies of North America, they will be full
of health and vigour, at those feasons when the whites
I beg to be permitted a candid examination of the affertions contained in the foregoing paragraph; first observing, that, if negroes are not incommoded with the heat, they are much better adapted to the cultivation of the lands in the West Indies than white people, w!!o certainly are. That negroes are not so liable to the disorders of warm climates, as the whites, I cannot allow. The lepra Grecorum, the lepra Arabum, the yaws, the black scurvy, a species of the King's evil, are all disorders of warm climates, with which the whites are no where affected. (At Barbadoes indeed, a species of that frightful disorder the Elephantiasis is not uncommon, even among the most opulent and respectable white inhabitants, as well as amongst the negroes, both male and female. These disorders the negroes bring with them from Africa to the islands; as far as my observation extends, none of these disorders, except the yaws, are contagious, and therefore it is very rare to find even any of the creole negroes affected with any other of them. With respect to the other disorders of warm climates, fevers and agues, swelled legs and jaundiced faces,--you acknowledge the whites are affected with them, when the negroes are full of health and vigour. You imply strongly, also, that those disorders are occasioned by scanty and unwholesome diet, and from the blood being im. poverished by extreme labour.
In this representation of facts, I intirely agree with you; but what conclusion will every man of candour and common sense draw from these premises? That the negroes are well nourished with plenty of wholesome food, and that their labour is moderate ; but that, . on the contrary, the whites are obliged to labour above their strength, and have neither a sufficient quantity of food, nor of a good quality. That the fact is so, let any one, who has ever been at Barbadoes, determine. The number of poor white people there, who are either unable, or unwilling, to work, exceed belief; and the miserable appearance they make, without shoes or stockings, with their ulcerated legs and jaundiced faces, sufficiently proves, how much their interest impels the people of that INand, to cherish and take care of their negroes, beyond what their humanity leads them to; to relieve the distreffes of their poor helpless white neighbours. They really seem, from that part of their conduct, to have no more compaflion, or humanity, than so many parish officers in England.
You infinuate, Sir, that the negroes, in Barbadoes, (for it is clear to me, from your letter, you have no knowledge of any other colony) are afflicted with flow fevers and dyfenteries. I reply to the first part of the insinuation, that the fact is otherwise. They are very little subject to flow fevers : The fevers which moft generally attack the negroes, in that island, are highly inflammatory,
They are indeed, sometimes, in the rainy season, affected with dysenteries and other putrid disorders ; owing, as well to the state of the atmosphere, at that season, as to the irregularity of the negroes lives.