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compellable to receive, instead of the persons of the slaves. Of the ten slaves who had been taken from on board, four, on account of peculiar circumstances, were unconditionally liberated, with the consent of the Native Chiefs. Governor Ludlam's proposal was accepted, with respect to the remaining six, who were children: and they were accordingly bound as apprentices; two of them to Mr. Alexander Smith, two to Mr. George Nicol, and two to Mr. James Reid. They were thus rescued from the miseries of the Middle Passage, in a vessel the hold of which was not more than three feet and a half in height, and on board of which, though only forty-nine tons burthen, were actually stowed sixtyfour slaves.' Special Report. P. 42.
Although we fully approve of the summary justice inflicted upon the American Captain on account of the kidnapped natives, yet we confess that we cannot at all see by what right Mr. Ludlam seized upon the persons of the ten slaves. But let us observe what follows:
"One hundred dollars, indeed, were paid to the Native Chiefs, for the redemption of each of these six children, who became the apprentices of the persons paying the money, being bound to them by regular indentures, under the guardianship of the Governor and Council, and under the full protection of British Law. And this transaction-in the strictest sense of the word, a redemption of natives of Africa out of slavery to be made free-is proved by his own examination, in January 1814, to be the same which Mr. Thorpe would stigmatise as the slave trade! The Directors cannot dismiss this case, without calling upon the meeting to consider the fair inferences to be drawn from such facts being made the ground of such an accusation." Special Report. P. 45.
Now really this does appear to our plain understandings very much like a sale. These poor wretches were not liberated at the public expence, but were bought by private individuals; in their labour therefore and in their persons these individuals had a property. If this be not slavery, we must confess that it is very much like it. Upon the great and leading distinction between an apprenticeship in these cases, and in England, we shall enlarge hereafter.
But what better evidence could Dr. Thorpe have desired to substantiate his charge, than what we find a few pages on in this very Special Report, in the words of Governor Ludlam:
"I do not urge all this as meaning to contend that slaves were never allowed to be purchased, or as I must call it redeemed in this colony."
* "Two of these, from their very diseased state, could not have survived their miseries, had they remained in the vessel,"
Thus then it clearly appears, not from the evidence of Dr. Thorpe, but of Governor Ludlam, that under the name of redemption, slavery was allowed in the Colony of Sierra Leone.
Dr. Thorpe next alledges, that in Governor Ludlam's last administration, two cargoes of slaves, taken from the Americans, were publicly sold at twenty dollars a-head. Let us first examine the defence of this transaction in the Special Report.
"Certain Negroes, in number 167, taken by his Majesty's ship Derwent, Captain Parker, in two American vessels, trading for slaves contrary to the laws of the United States, were brought to Sierra Leone in March or April 1808. No Vice-Admiralty Court had yet been instituted, nor had the Orders in Council respecting captured Negroes reached the Colony. But these Slaves having been brought to Freetown by Captain Parker, it became necessary for Governor Ludlam to provide for them, even though they had not yet been "condemned to his Majesty's use." The case was perfectly novel. Governor Ludlam had no precedent, nor any analogy to guide him, in the course he should pursue, excepting the provisions of the Abolition Act of 1807; and he therefore, humanely and pardonably at least, determined on proceeding according to the spirit of that Act, which enacts that Slaves taken under it, and condemned to his Majesty, shall either be enlisted into his Majesty's sea and land forces, or bound apprentices for a term of years; and that certain bounties on such slaves shall be payable to the captors, according as the case may be. Adhering to the spirit of this enactment, Governor Ludlam took forty of the ablest men into the service of Government, providing them with proper food and cloathing, and promising them their full liberty at the end of three years. The remainder, consisting of eighteen men, fourteen women, and ninety-five children, he proposed to place as apprentices among the Colonists of Sierra Leone, for periods varying according to the age of the parties;-persons of eighteen years old and upwards being bound only for three years, and those who were less than eighteen being bound for a proportionably longer time. Public notice of his purpose having been given, 355 applications were immediately made. Many of these applicants Mr. Ludlam knew to be utterly unfit, from their poverty or their profligacy, to have natives entrusted to them as apprentices; but he conceived that almost all, if not all, those who were most objectionable would be cut off at once by a measure which would appear impartial, and could therefore give no offence. He required that every one whom he permitted to receive any of these natives as apprentices should pay twenty dollars for each; and he resolved that this sum should be given to the captors, in lieu of the bounty of forty pounds for each man, thirty pounds for each woman, and ten pounds for each child, which they would have received from Government, had there been a Court of Vice-Ad
miralty in the Colony, in which the captives could have been prosecuted to condemnation.
"He deemed it reasonable in itself, and strictly conformable with the principles of the Abolition Act, which allowed a bounty to all captors of Slaves regularly condemned, that the captors in this case should derive some benefit from the seizure they had made; and as the Slaves had not been regularly condemned in any Court of Vice-Admiralty, the captors, he conceived, could have no claim to the remuneration held out by the Act.
"In requiring this payment, however, Mr. Ludlam's main object appears to have been not to reward the captors; that was merely incidental; but to select the masters. In this point of view, the plan perfectly succeeded: more than two hundred applications were immediately withdrawn; and Governor Ludlam then placed the captured Negroes among those who remained, and who were the most respectable of the Colonists, telling them distinctly, that as soon as indentures could be prepared, the natives would be bound to them in the usual form, under the guardianship of the Governor and Council. The nature of apprenticeships was well understood by the Settlers. Many of their own children were apprentices: and as to possessing any other right over those natives, than that which sprung from the known relation of master and apprentice, no idea of the kind appears for a moment to have been entertained; and if it had, the operation of the laws relative to apprentices, which were the laws of England, would doubtless have corrected it." Special Report. P. 49.
We shall not notice a sort of legal objection taken by the Special Report, that this transaction happening after the 1st of January, 1808, is not to be laid to the charge of the Company, as it cannot be denied, that no virtual transfer of the Colony had then taken place, or that the administration was not at that time, bona fide, in the hands of the Company and its officers. We cannot, however, forbear noticing a sort of evasion, which we are sorry to see in such a Report as this. In p. 45, it is asserted, that the Directors having examined the Registers of Apprenticeships in the Colony, find them to be on the first of January, 1808, the day of the nominal transfer of the Colony to the Crown only thirty-eight. From which the reader is led to suppose, that this apprenticeship, as it is called, is an affair of no magnitude. Now the Report ought in justice to have stated, that before the actual surrender of the Colony to the Crown, the number of apprentices had, by the very transaction we have recorded, been increased, according to their own account, to one hundred and sixty five. But to return to the transaction. If this be not a sale, we should wish to be informed in the name of common
sense what is. We really cannot but concur with Dr. Thorpe in his representation of the case.
They say it was a novel case; novel indeed, for when vessels are carried to places where there is no Vice-Admiralty Courts, to try them, it is the practice to dispatch them to proper places for adjudication. Surely these vessels should have been sent to Barbadoes or England, and the slaves landed and taken care of until an account was received of their condemnation or liberation. Captain Parker, (who captured these vessels and slaves) was at friend of the Company's Directors; something was to be made for him; and accordingly without any trial the whole was sold for the benefit of the captors! Was not this unpardonable? Then they affirm the Slaves were not sold; I may be mistaken-but the Slaves were driven to a public market, they were publicly cried for sale, through Freetown, by the town crier, they were exposed at a public auction, there was a seller, a buyer,-a price paid-the article purchased-delivered and carried away-yet this was no sale! Mr. Nylander, Mr. Hamilton, and Mr. Vanneck, were offered some, but declared they would not buy Slaves; Mrs. Forbes purchased two, and on leaving the Colony, she asked Governor Ludlam whether she might sell them? he answered she might,'— and accordingly she did sell them again for the same price, twenty dollars each, which was about the price of such slaves in the adjacent rivers." Dr. Thorpe. P. 30.
Even Mr. Macaulay, in a private letter to Mr. Ludlam thus expresses himself. "The twenty dollars ought not to have been given to the captors. It ought to have formed a fund for the benefit of the negroes themselves. It tells ill, because it looks something like a sale." Proceedings were instituted in the Vice-Admiralty Court of Sierra Leone, to which documents Dr. Thorpe refers for a confirmation of the fact. Let us now examine the answer given to this challenge by the Special Report. ✩
"The proceedings which were instituted in the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone respecting these one hundred and sixty'seven captives, with the view of establishing the strange allegation of their having been sold by Mr. Ludlam as slaves, and to which proceedings Mr. Thorpe refers, as his proof, appear to have been, Indeed, most extraordinary. Mr. Thompson, the then Governor, was also at once Prosecutor, Judge, and Counsel. A number of witnesses were subjected to examinations, and cross-examinations, all conducted by himself; and to this body of what is called evidence, were subjoined several letters of Mr. H. Thornton and Mr. Macaulay, (some brief extracts of which appear in Mr. Thorpe's pamphlet) as proving that these one hundred and sixty-seven natives of Africa, were sold, dealt with, and treated as slaves by
the Sierra Leone Company and their agents. The whole forms a singular mass of heterogeneous materials, and manifests an entire disregard of the plainest rules of evidence, law, and equity." Special Report. P. 55.
The reader will form his own ideas on the validity of this defence. And here we shall take leave of the Sierra Leone Company, and of their management of the infant colony, which appears to have been attended with a more than ordinary share of disaster and misery. Against any men of such high honour and distinguished reputation as the Directors of this Company, we would not for a moment be supposed to prefer any charge, but that of efforts ill directed, and confidence inisplaced. From all the concurrent testimonies which we have examined, it appears too plainly, that in point of morals, of cultivation, of order, and of religion, the Colony was in the lowest possible state. On all these accounts we conceive the blame to rest not upon the Directors, but upon their agents, many of whom appear to have practised, unknown to their masters, every species of extortion and fraud. But we are unwilling any longer to expend our time upon a system which is now no more, we would rather direct the attention of the reader to another, which springs up instantaneously from its ashes, the African Institution. The Directors of the old Company appear to have passed into the new association, with Mr. Z. Macaulay their Secretary and managing Agent. A few names of much respectability were added to the list, and a Royal Duke, supported by rather a strangely assorted body of Vice Presidents, became Patron and President.
Before, however, we enter upon the affairs of this new Society, our attention will be called to Mr. Z. Macaulay, their former Secretary, but now a Director. This gentleman is introduced to our notice first by the charges of Dr. Thorpe, and secondly by a letter which he has lately published in his own defence. The principal allegations of Dr. Thorpe against this gentleman are upon the score of rapacity and ambition. The answer to these is contained in the letter above-mentioned, which reflects much credit on the ingenuity of the author. This gentleman often speaks of the private sacrifices which he has made in the cause of injured Africa, and of the time which he has expended as gratuitous Secretary to the Institution. These sacrifices, however, Dr. Thorpe supposes to have been not altogether such unprofitable speculations. Let us hear, however, Mr. Macaulay in his own defence:
"Dr. Thorpe affirms also, that I had nearly a monopoly of the trade of the Colony. I utterly deny it. I never have had, nor