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the puny, yet wicked efforts of his op- Drake, and Taylor, the result of which was, pofers-he reminded him of his language that the latter gentleman declared, that on that night, that no consideration of (as his proposed end was answered in the private emolument or revenue, ought to acknowlegement that the measure thould lánction a system, the process of which not be permanent, if sufficient reasons was marked with every species of crimi were produced to the contrary, and by the nality. These words might be applied to likelihood of the committee's being inthe bufiness now before the house; and he stituted) he would withdraw his motion. called on the right hon. gentleman to make In consequence of which the bill passed a his words good.
committee. The chancellor of the exchequer said, The most important business that was that the finance system of the current year, agitated in the house of commons, after the of which the present lottery made a part, Easter Recess, was that of the Slave Trade, had been determined on by the house, and on Wednesday, April 25, when Mr. the bills for the repealed taxes had been Dundas, in consequence of the late depassed : it was, therefore, a matter almost cision of the house, for the gradual aboliof impossibility to think of infringing on tion of that trade (See page 289) rose, it, by relinquishing the present lottery. and submitted to the committee his first With respect to the permanency of the resolution, . That it shall not be lawful to measure, he had heard noihing to induce import any African
negroes into any Brihim to relinquish it. The circumstances tish colonies, or plantations, in ships of the nation were notoriously fuch as re- owned, or navigated, by British subjects, quired every nerve to strengthen its as any time after the first day of January finances. A lottery had often been proved 1800.. a resource equally certain and agreeable to Lord Sheffield supported the motion, the multitude. The evils complained of and the whole plan of the right hon. gendid certainly exist; but therr he mould tleman, which was calculated for the good observe, that it was not from the lottery, of the country, by getting rid of a ques. but from illicit modes of railing money tion, the discussion of which could tend by unprincipled adventurers, equally in- only to bring us to the brink of the most jurious to the lottery itself and to the dreadful calamities. It was his wish to people.
abolish the trade, by adopting such reguHe was of opinion such regulations lations as would speedily do away the nemight be adopted as would do all those cessity of the trade; and such regulations, away ; the late exertions of government he was of opinion, were to be found in againıt those offenders had been of much the right hon. secretary's plan: with him eitect, particularly the punithment of the he agreed in the policy of inducing the publiniers of illegal proposals. Gentle- colonial assemblies to co-operate, being men would see the necessity of proceeding convinced, that, without their assistance, with the committee; the more so, when our exertions would have no effect. they considered, that the bargain for the Lord Mornington, considering the trade lottery was already cloted, and the deposits as he did, to be a trade of iniquity, and made; the glaring impropriety of re- admitting of no compromise between right tracting from which must be evident. and wrong, could not agree to the moHowever, he thought that a committee to tion as it now stood. It was a relief to inquire into the evils attending the draw- the house, and to himself, that they were ing might be instituted with good effect; now spared the disagreeable necessity of but the reasons must be very ítrong in- entering into those painful tales of blood deed, to make him entertain the idea of and mitery, which the trade had given xelinquishing such a beneficial measure as rise to ; because the house, having heard a permanent resource.
them on a former night, had pas sentence Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Windham were on the trade, by resolving that it ought to fer a total abolition of a lottery, except in be abolished. They had resolved that it cases of extreme neceflity. Mr. Fox was ought to be abolished, having been conof the fame opinion, but imagined it was vinced, upon full enquiry and discusfion, expedient that the present one fnouid be that it was inhuman and unjust : the only proceeded with.
question then, for decision, was, how long A conversation then ensued between the ought that inhumanity and injustice to be chancellor of the exchequer, and Mr. Fox; prolonged ? How long were they to conwhich was followed by one beiween Meftis. iime that which they had condemned? Thornton, Pulteney, Lambton, Foxy. It had been again, and again argued
against the immediate abolition, that the crease of their numbers by encouraging trade would be carried on by other na- population, the hardships of those already tions ; but, even wěre that granted, he in a state of slavery would be increased; a should contend that no political expediency short time allowed for the abolition would could warrant that trade being carried on induce the islands to prepare for events; by this country, which the house and the in three years, he thought they might nation had condemned as unjust and make every necessary preparation : an iniquitous. The magnitude of our crime earlier period he considered neither for the in carrying on the trade was greater in advantage of the negroes in our islands, proportion, than the crime of any other nor for those who might be brought down country that carried it on, we having to the coast of Africa for sale ; he objected commenced it, and carried it on to the therefore to the amendment, but would greatest extent: having acknowledged the give his assent to any bill for the abolition trade criminal, we should be the first to taking place in three years., give it up; should any other nation
pur Colonel Phipps observed the strange inlue it, he should lament that they had consistency of those, who, condemning planted in their bofom that enormous evil the trade as unjust, had stomach enough which we had wisely rid ourselves of. to digelt its continuance for one, two, cr Were we rancorous enough to desire to three years. He wished to ask, whether, revenge ourselves upon an enemy, he without further information, they were knew not of an evil more fatal than the ready to overturn the resolutions already present that we could impart to them; but come to by the house, upon full enquiry, in our abandoning the trade, he trusted that the trade should be gradually abcthe example of a great nation, in the zenith lished ? He reprobated the petitions as unof her power, eminent in commerce, and worthy notice. He concluded by objectdistinguished for liberty, would convince ing to fixing any definite time for the abo. the world that the true principle of com- lition, approving of the plan of the right merce, the medium through which power, hon. secretary, in other respects, for an liberty, and eminence were to be obtained, dopting such resolutions as might lead was honour and honesty. Upon these safely to the abolition, by destroying the grounds he concluded by moving an neceffity, amendment, to substitute the words first Mr. Ryder said, that he was in a situa. day of January 1793,' inft:ad of the words 'tion which he hoped many other gen:le• first day of January 1800.'
men might be in, namely, that of feeling Mr. Beaufoy observed, that the noble himself, from conviction, . impelled to å lord had argued, that no compromise was recantation of those opinions which into be made with injustice; but, he feared, duced him on a former night to vote for we were compelled by a power too great the gradual, in preference to the total abo. to be contradicted, to compromise in- lition of the llave trade. By putting an justice ; for what right had we, should end to it immediately, the planters would the slave trade be abolished, to hold in be compelled by absolute necessity to treat bondage 400,000 human beings, already their flaves with care and tenderness; but Ilaves in our islands ? The length of their by fixing no definite period, no abolition oppression did not warrant the continuance would be come to at all. He reprobated of it. The house had resolved, that the the attack made on the petitions, contendtrade ought to be abolished: the only quef- ing that every person in the kingdom was tion for confideration then was, what, on interested in the quellion, as Englishmen, the whole cafe, was the best mode to be as freemen, and as Chriftians. adopted to put an end to it? Our an Mr. S. Thornton faid, that no regucestors, at a period when they boasted of lation would meet the evil, or effect the their being enlightened, when they con- abolition, and any length of time given tended for their liberty and religion, to the trade, would serve but as a fpur tu trampled on liberty, and on the just cruelty. dietates of religion, in carrying on a trade Mr. Este insisted that the immediate which they had left a dreadful legacy to abolition could no: be come to without the present generation, a legacy which it inhumanity; and in proof of this asserwas our duty to get rid of with as little tion, he referred to the evidence before mischief as possible : to an immediate abo- them, by which it appeared, that Naves lition he could not, however, allent; for, were brought for sale from the interior of by such abolition taking place, before the Africa, and, if not fold, murdered. iftands had made preparation for an in- What then, he asked, if the abolition
should be immediately put an end to, was be called upon for indemnifying those to become of those daveo, so brought for whom it ordered to cease from the comSale ?
mission of crimes. He knew that the Mr. W. Smith observed upon the man- country was with those who were eager ner in which the petitions had been treated for the abolition, in the exertions to obby an hon. gentleman (col. Phipps) and tain which they were determined to perfift argued for the respect due to them, coming until they obtained success. To the adas they did from respectable cities and vocates for the continuance of the trade he towns, plainly demonstrating the sense wished to make one appeal; he had a and unaniinity of the people to be against right to desire, every gentleman to ask the continuance of the Nave trade. The himself, if his own wife, his child, relacity of London, notwithstanding, every tive, or acquaintance, were among the exertion to prevent it, had petitioned; number of those unhappy thousands whom Norwich, and nearly every great manu- their ruthless decision of this night might facturing city and town in the kingdom, dooin to perpetual slavery and misery, had petitioned, and in Scotland there was whether they would give their vote for but one opinion. The trade in slavery, other than an instant abolition ? He called he said, had been condemned by the house, upon them, as they valued the honour of and he should have considered it hardly their country, respected justice, and paid possible that any man could stand the ad attention to every feeling of the heart that vocate for its continuance, upon the prin- ennobled man, to vote for the abolition. ciples of humanity, had he not long been Mr. Windham said, that the question convinced that there was some mischievous had been rightly considered as the cause of principle, some infernal spirit, interwoven nations; they had considered themselves within it, which perverted the understand- called upon to put an end to a system of ings of men of sense, and corrupted the oppression and guilt, in which they had morals of the ignorant. By the evidence taken too great part. He wished again to it appeared that the llave trade had ren call their attention from every confideradered Africa one vast scene of warfare and tion of expediency, to the discharge of the desolation; that it was rendered a wilder- duty they owed to justice and honour; ness, in which the inhabitants were wolves they had no option left them any morc to each other ; that the assertion of the ex- than they had to commit robbery and ported negroes being convicts was adding murder : it was a trade which could no insult to cruelty and oppression; who longer be borne with. He wished them then could defend such a trade upon the, to recollect the section of a Nave ship; to principles of humanity ? Was it humane consider that, independent of the unto keep a continent in warfare? Was it fortunate wretches being torn from their humane to keep it a wilderness, in which country and connections, they were cramits inhabitants were rendered wolves to med together with galling chains; that each other? Was it humane to continue they were thrown into a situation in which a system of fraud, robbery, and blood- every horror, every disease, slavery, and thed ? It was absurd to talk of regulations, death, were mixed up, and thickened, by and restricting the importation to ages and the wickedness of those who were execradescriptions, when every Nave captain that ble enough to conduct the trade ; that had been examined had uniformly declared all the horrors of the damned were heaped it to be one of the principles of the trade, upon the heads of innocent men ; and that to ask no questions relative to the Naves it was not to one ihip alone they were caloffered them for fale; but if it was ad- led on to give their fanction, but to Aeets, mitted that the age of Naves might be for thus wafting over the Atlantic, carascertained, and that conviéts should no goes, of human misery. Every moinent longer be taken, what would that regula- we shortened the trade, we cut off a motion be, but a transfer of cruelty from the ment of cruelty and bloodihed ; -every guilty and the aged, to the innocent and argument that could be advanced was in young. He sincerely hoped that the time support of instant abolition. was now arrived, when the bloody flag The chancellor of the exchequer, Mr. of oppreffion, which had long been Áying, Fox, and Mr. Wilberforce folio ved for should give way to that of justice and the amendment. Mr. Drake, and fir peace. In answer to what had been ad- James Johnstone, were for a short period vanced of the right to indemnify those who to be allowed to enable the islands to premight suffer by the abolition, he faid he pare for the abolition.
Mr. kcretary faw no right whatever that the houfe should Dundas spoke against the amendnient; 7
after which the house divided, ayes 109, By lengthening the period, the house hoes 158; majority 49 against lord Morn- would not encourage à system of blood ington's amendment.
and rapine, but would render the cure The question was next put for the ad- morè certain. He trusted that the amendjournment of the debate, and carried by a ment would be rejected, but said he would division of ayes 165, noes 97; majority vote for the abolition taking place in 1796, 88.
on condition that the other propofed reOn Friday, the same subject was re- strictions on the trade should be abandona sumed, when lord Mornington rose and ed. He quoted Mr. Burke's opinion, said, though he had not had the good for that erecting places of worship would best tune, on a former night, to succeed in tend to reform the negroes; and expressed his proposed amendment, by introducing a hope, that during the period of carrying the year 1793, instead of that of 1800, on the trade, endeavours would be made, he should not think he discharged his both in the islands and in Africa, to civia duty, did he not again attempt to bring lize the negroes, by religion; and conthat within as short a period as was pof- cluded by again declaring it to be his opi. fible, which he had been defeated in his nion, that immediate abolition could proattempt immediately to abolish. It was duce neither good to our illands, nor to his intention, before he sat down, to pro. Africa. pose to substitute 1795, instead of the year The chancellor of the exchequer rose in 1800; in doing this, however, he did opposition to the arguments advanced by not act up to his own principles; for he his right hon. friend (the speaker) againit could not think of the continuance of the the amendment of the noble lord. The trade for a single hour without horror. more the question was considered, and the He then went into argument to prove, more time the house had for reflection, the that the time to which his amendment more would it be seen that the subject lay would extend the trade, would be fully in a narrow compats. The house had fufficient to enable the islands to adopt such condemned the trade, its expedience was measures as were best calculated to pro- therefore totally out of the question, and mote population, and to try such experi- the only thing which the house was now ments as had a tendency to lefsen the ne called to decide upon was, in which way cessity of employing negroes. He con- could they most speedily and effectually cluded by moving the amendment accorda get rid of that which was so disgraceful to ingly,
the nation, and which every man should Mr. Addington, the speaker, having feel himself repugnant to support. His voted for the gradual abolition of the right hon, friend's argument, that a cone trade, felt it his duty to state to the house tinuance of the trade till the year 1796 his opinion upon the propositions for care would be favourable to Africa, was una Tying the gradual abolition into effect. tenable; for what rational hope was it He admitted that the period between the possible to entertain, of attempts to civiresolution for abolishing the trade, and lize the inhabitants of that country at the carrying that abolition into effect, was to moment that we were carrying into her be considered a dreadful one. The justice bosom every evil and every crime? of the trade he had never contended for, Could the inhabitants of Africa be ine but he had admitted it to be completely duced to believe that we were come seriabandoned : he felt, however, for the ously to beseech them to abandon barbajustice due to the planters, and to every rism, and a trade of blood, when for person whose property was embarked in three years we should continue to take the the trade. He was convinced, that if we natives in barter? The idea of an interloit fight of the interest of the planters, mediate civilization was contradictory: our attempts at an abolition would be in- the total and immediate abolition was the effectual : in withing to pay attention to only preliminary to the civilization of Atheir interest, however, he wished not to frica : the best way to get rid of their ha. oppose policy to justice, but to procure the bit of selling each other, was removing greatest good he had it in his power to ac our habit of buying. The proposition complish. The question was not between for extending the trade to a year or two blood and gold, but whether allowing a longer, if it were a matter of common incertain time for the abolition of the trade; tereit; might be admitted; but the present would not more effectually obtain the ob- was not a question of common interest, he ject of the majority of the house, than the would not therefore admit of the comproFesolving upon an immediate abolition. mife of a year to convince the planters of.
their interest ; for he did not under fand trade, we should continue it to the fach complimenting away the lives of thou- fice of fourteen or fifteen thousand lives. fands of our fellow-creatures for the inte Sir Edward Knatchbull was against the rest of any men. We had no right to amendment, which, if negatived, he would, tudy the interest of the planters by com- he said, move an amendment to the origipromising away the peace of that quarter nal motion to introduce the year 1796, inof the globe which had been too long mic stead of 1800. ferably afflicted by our barbarity, and The question was then put, and the kept back from that constitution to which committee divided, ayes 130, noes 161 ; the would otherwise have reached. He majority 31 against the amendment. wished gentlemen to recollect that by the Sir Edward Knatchbull then moved his regulations they had adopted for the Mid- amendment to substitute 1796, instead of dle Passage, they had soothed their con 1800. sciences in the belief that they had taken A short debate ensued, in which Mr. away a ch ef sting from the trade ; in that Pitt, Mr. Fox, Mr. Dundas, and M. however they were deceived, for the pa- Addington spoke ; after which the compers on the table proved that the mortality mittee again divided, and carried the in the Middle Passage was still above ten amendment, ayes 151, noes 132 ; maa per cent that of those that were landed, jority 19, for abolishing the trade on the one-third died in seasoning. By every Ist of January 1796. thousand taken from Africa, you render The same day, in the house of lords, ed thousands in Africa miserable : they when the order of the day was read for were taken away unjustly, and their mi- the second reading of the libel bilt, lord fory extended to their relatives. Evils of Kenyon moved two questions to be put to the greatest magnitude were spread by us the judges, the fubltance of which was, throughout the country: every hundred whether, in a criminal prosecution, where we took added to the bloody catalogue of no evidence was adduced for the defendour crimes. Nearly five hundred out of ant, the criminality charged went to the every thousand of those unfortunate hu- jury? and whether the inuendoes, conman beings, torn from their native coun- tained in the record, and their truth and try, were sacrifices to an untiinely grave; falsehood, went to the jury? The idea to and the remainder, who unhappily fur- be inferred from the discussion of these vived, were doomed to perpetual slavery, points went to determine the grand querand to carry about with them the sad re- tion, whether the fact and the law commembrance of their injuries, and the taints bined together come within the province of infection which rendered them burdens of a jury? to themselves and to the land in which Lord Stanhope said, this was not the they existed. The feeds of pestilence and stage in which he should deliver his sentiof insurrection were imported in every ne ments at large on the subject ; but thus gro landed in our islands ; every argu- much he should advance, that the proment of policy, therefore, as well as juf. position, as far as he could judge, were tice, went to the instant abolition ; but if not those that the state of the cafe required. that was impossible, let us not unnecessa. He should, however, the next day the rily prolong that which we declare to be subject came under consideration, point against our inclination and duty. out to the learned lords what the law and
Colonel Tarleton refifted the amends the constitution were. ment, as proposing an abolition sudden, Lord Loughborough held it as a clear violent, and ruinous.
matter of law, and as the true principles The master of the rolls and lord Car, of the constitution, that the law combined hampton spoke against the amendment. with the fact should go to the jury; and
Mr. Wilberforce declared, that the pe- to support this he adduced fome incontroriod had long fince arrived when the abo- vertible arguments, as well as the decisive lition ought to have taken place, and authority of lord chief justice Vaughan. when it might, as it now would, with He drew a fine distinction between thecivil perfect safety to our islands, and to the and the criminal law, stating how far the interest of the planters. Not having been matter of law and fact in the one, differed able to obtain an earlier period for the froin the law and fact in the other. In abolition, he gave his fupport to the civil cases, if the judge cred, there was amendment.
relief by arrest of judgment and new trial ; Mr. Fox was for the amendment, con- but in criminal process for a libel, the tending that every year we continued the matter was decisive. A jury, when sworn,