Imatges de pÓgina
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purchased a property in him, and this he valued in the same manner, He then added the two rents together, making so many days' work altogether, and estimated them in the current money of the time. Having done this, he fixed the daily wages or pay to be received by the copyholders for the work which they were to do. They were to work 260 days in the year for him, and to have 48 besides Sundays for themselves. He reduced these days' work also to current money. These wages he fixed at such a rate, that “ they should be more than equivalent to the rent of their copyholds and the rent of their personal services when put together, in order to hold out to them an evident and profitable incentive to their industry.” It appears that the rent of the tenement; half an acre, was fixed at the rate of 31. currency, or between forty and fifty shillings Sterling per acre, and the wages for a man belonging to the first gang at 7d. currency, or 6d. Sterling per day. As to the rent for the personal services, it is not mentioned.

• With respect to labour and things connected with it, Mr Steele entered the following among the local laws in the court-roll of the tenants and tenements. The copyholders were not to work for other masters without the leave of the lord. They were to work ten hours per day. If they worked over and above that time, they were to be paid for every hour a tenth part of their daily wages, and they were also to forfeit a tenth for every hour they were absent or deficient in the work of the day. All sorts of work, however, were to be reduce ed, as far as it could be done by observation, and estimation, to co? quitable task-work. Hoes were to be furnished to the copyholders in the first instance; but they were to renew them, when worn out, at their own expense. The other tools were to be lent them, but to be returned to the store-keeper at night, or to be paid for in default of so doing. Mr Steele was to continue the hospital and medical attendance at his own expense as before.' pp. 34, 35.

The delight with which we naturally dwell on the details of so interesting a process, as the moulding of a whole community by one man's judgment and humanity, upon the most profound views of human nature, and the most accurate knowledge of past experience, must plead our excuse for entering into these particulars of the experiments. We now hasten to the results. In 1788, before the third and last step had been made, he thus expressed himself respecting the success of the two first operations.

A plantation,' says he, of between seven and eight hun• dred acres has been governed by fixed laws and a Negro-court for about five years with great success. In this plantation no overseer or white servant is allowed to lift his hand against a Negro, nor can he arbitrarily order a punishment. Fixed

laws and a court or jury of their peers keep all in order (without the ill effect of sudden and intemperate passions. And in 1790, when the final change had been in operation for

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a year, he wrote to his friend, coadjutor, and editor, Dr Dickson, that his copyholders had succeeded beyond his expecta«tion.' He lived only till the next spring.

• He had accomplished all he wished,' says Mr Clarkson, and he died in

the year 1791, in the ninety-first year of his age, at a patri“archal age, no doubt;' but not, we will add, more full of years than of glory.

That he reaped the imperishable reward of his singular virtue, no one can doubt; but it is an important, as well as an agreeable circumstance, that he suffered no loss even of worldly gain, by the hazard he encountered for the good of mankind. He expressly describes his operations as having conduced to his profit: By an accurate statement in the work before us, it appears, that he was a gainer in various respects, besïde the obvious one of voluntary labour being more productive than forced. And from his own accounts it is shown, that he actually increased the net gains of his estate threefold during the period of his experiments. Well may we say, with his able and worthy friend, Dr Dickson, that to advance above three hundred field Negroes, who had never before moved without the whip, to a state nearly resembling that of contented, honest, and industrious servants; and after paying for their labour, to triple in • a few years the annual net clearance of the estat:', are great * achievements for an aged man, in an untried field of improve'ment, preoccupied by inveterate vulgar prejudice.'

Justly estimating the importance of this last topic, as likely to be very great in the eyes of mankind, Mr Clarkson enters at considerable length into the proof that slave labour is far less beneficial than the work of hired servants. We are precluded by our limits from following his argument, further than to insert, as a specimen, part of his proofs from the evidence of different witnesses, but especially of Mr Botham, a gentleman well qualified to discuss the question, as he was for many years employed in sugar concerns, both in the East and West Indies.

• It is surprising, when we look into the evidence examined by the House of Commons on the subject of the Slave Trade, to find how httle a West Indian slave really does, when he works for his master ; and this is consessed equally by the witnesses on both sides of the question. One of them (Mr Francklyn) says, that a labouring man could not get his bread in Europe if he worked no harder than a Nem gro. Another (Mr Tobin), that no Negro works like a day-labourer in England. Another (Sir John Dalling), that the general work of Negroes is not to be called labour. A fourth (Dr Jackson), that an English labourer does three times as much work as a Negro in the West Indies. Now, how are these expressions to be reconciled with the common notions in England of Negro labour? for “ to work like

a Negro" is a common phrase, which is understood to convey the meaning, that the labour of the Negroes is the most severe and intolerable that is known. One of the witnesses, however, just mentioned explains the matter. “ The hardship,” says he,“ of Negro fieldlabour is more in the mode than in the quantity done. The slave, seeing no end of his labour, stands over the work, and only throws the hoe to avoid the lash. He appears to work, without actually working.”

Mr Botham, after stating generally that better and cheaper sugar is made in the East by freemen, than in the West by slaves, proceeded to make a comparison between the agricultural system of the two countries. “ The cane was cultivated to the utmost perfection in Batavia, whereas the culture of it in the West Indies was but in its infancy. The hoe was scarcely used in the East, whereas it was almost the sole implement in the West. The plough was used instead of it in the East, as far as it could be done. Young canes there were kept also often ploughed as a weeding, and the hoe was kept to weed round the plant when very young; but of this there was little need, if the land had been sufficiently ploughed. When the cane was ready to be earthed up, it was done by a sort of shovel made for the purpose. Two persons with this instrument would earth up more canes in a day than ten Negroes with hoes. The cane-roots were also ploughed up in the East, whereas they were dug up with the severcst exertion in the West. Many alterations,” says Mr Botham, “ are to be made, and expenses and human labour Jessened in the West. Having experience ed the difference of labourers for profit and labourers from force, I can assert, that the savings by the former are very considerable.

• He then pointed out other defects in the West Indian management, and their remedies. “ I am of opinion,” says he, “ that the West Indian planter should, for his own interest, give more labour to beast and less to man. A larger portion of his estate ought to be in pasture. When practicable, canes should be carried to the mill, and cane-tops and grass to the stock, in waggons. The custom of making a hard-worked Negro get a bundle of grass twice a day should be abolished, and, in short, a total change take place in the miserable management in our West Indian Islands. By these means, following as near as possible the East Indian mode, and consolidating the distilleries, I do suppose our sugar-islands might be better worked than they now are by two-thirds, or indeed one half of the present force. Let it be considered how much labour is lost by the persons oversecing the forced labourer, which is saved when he works for his own profit. I have stated, with the strictest veracity, a plain matter of fact, that sugar-estates can be worked cheaper by freemen than by slaves.

• Mr Botham's account is confirmed incontrovertibly by the fact, that sugar made in the East Indies can be brought to England (though it has three times the distance to come, and, of course, three times the freight to pay), and yet be afforded to the consumer at as cheap a rate as any that can be brought thither from the West.'

The propositions submitted to the Parliament of the nation, by the enemies of Negro slavery, seem to us to be decidtuiy recommended by these facts; because a better system of management, ending in emancipation, is thus proved to be beneficial to masters as well as to slaves. The manner in which the change is to be effected, requires a separate discussion. The observations and the facts which we have now laid before the reader, form the groundwork of the argument. We shall, at an early opportunity, proceed to show their practical application. But little harm can befall this important question from the delay, because the preceding details contain by far the greater part of the discussion. The absurdity of the clamours raised against British interference, whether as regards the risk of exciting Negro insurrection, or the pretended rights of the colonial bodies; the ease with which the degrading treatment of slaves, like cattle driven by the whip, may be altered; the safety with which their evidence may be admitted in courts; the imperative duty of at all events emancipating after-born children, and the advantages of this measure to their owners; and the nugatory and delusive support given to the question last Session by the Government, will form the subject of our next article.

ART. VIII. Travels through Denmark, Sweden, Lapland, Fin

land, Norway and Russia. By the late E. D. CLARKE, LL.D. London. 1823.

THE
The spirit of enterprise and research, which distinguished

the character of the late Dr Clarke, are well known to all who have perused his Travels; and it would be uncandid in the highest degree not to allow that he has made a very considerable addition to the knowledge we previously possessed of the countries which he visited. His style is lively and animated; his narrative abounds with passages of great feeling and eloquence; and in his powers of description, he has been surpassed by few of his tribe. Though a copious and familiar writer, he seldom detains the reader by observations relating to trivial matter, or by personal details of an uninteresting nature. When his subject leads him into an examination of the antiquities of Palestine, Greece, Asia Minor, and Egypt, his disquisitions display considerable learning; and if we are sometimes compelled to question the justness of his conclusions, it is im,

possible not to admire the spirit and ingenuity with which he supports them. From the peculiar situation of Europe for some time previous to the overthrow of Buonaparte, many of our countrymen directed their attention to parts of the East; and those who have followed the steps of Dr Clarke, have borne willing testimony to the general truth and fidelity of his statements. Some prejudices, indeed, were excited by the appearance of the first volume, which contained an account of the manners and character of the Russians; but these soon subsided; and the opinion of the public was declared in the most favourable manner. Three editions in quarto were printed in England, and the same number in America; and Dr Clarke had the satisfaction of receiving from persons who had resided in Russia, or visited different parts of that country, letters in which the accuracy of his accounts was confirmed.

We learn from the Preface to this volume, that the author was unable to complete it during his lifetime. Twelve chapters had been prepared, and printed under his inspection before his death; the rest are composed from the observations contained in his Manuscript Journals, and from remarks found also among his papers, communicated by his friends who had visited the North of Europe. It commences with an account of Christiana in Norway, and presents us with a picture of the state of society in that city, and of the manners of its inhabitants; and with some particulars respecting the commercial and agricultural resources of the country. The reception of strangers by the Norwegians is of the most hospitable kind; there is no part of Europe, where more sumptuous or more varied entertainments are given, than in Christiana; but some practices noticed by Dr Clarke, and which are observed to prevail even in the first circles of society, such as marking the points of a game at cards with chalk upon the table, smoking, and spitting on the ground, indicate a slight degree of barbarism, and want of refinement and delicacy. It must, however, be observed, that the last of these habits, the most offensive of a'l, is common in a country which boasts of its peculiar civilization and knowledge of the arts of life. As there is no market in Christiana, a necessary part of the economy even of the first houses, consists in providing, at a particular season, stores for the whole year's consumption. The great preparation is made in autumn; and the slaughter of cattle in the month of October is astonishing. Some of the meat is salted, the rest is dried. The English language is generally understood; and the dresses of the females in the best society are English. From the number of servants, the largeness of the establishments, and

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