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• In the mean time I wrote the following letter to Messrs. Passalage and Son.
“ GENTLEMEN, “ BEING informed by Mr. Lolkens, the administrator of the estate Fauconberg, that you are the present proprietors; and being under great obligations to one of your mulatto slaves named Joanna, who is the daughter of the late Mr. Kruythoff, particu. larly for having attended me during my sickness; I in gratitude request of you, who are her masters, to let me purchase her liberty without delay: which favour shall be ever thankfully acknow. ledged, and the money for her ransom immediately paid, by
“ Captain in Colonel Fourgeoud's
“ Corps of Marines."
• This letter was accompanied by another from my friend Lolkens, who much cheered my prospects by the assurance of success.
I now introduced Joanna to her new habitation, where the plantation slaves, in token of respect, immediately brought her presents of cassada, yams, bananas, and plantains, and never two people were more completely happy. Free like the roes in the forest, and disencumbered of every care and ceremony, we breathed the purest ether in our walks, and refreshed our limbs in the limpid stream; health and good spirits were now my portion, while my partner flourished in youth and beauty, the envy and admiration of all the colony.
• Colonel Fourgeoud, after a fruitless and disastrous campaign, was obliged to put his troops into quarters at Magdenberg. About 200 men were sent down in barges to be stationed on differents parts of the river Pirica. Some landed at the Hope to refresh, and behaved so very disorderly, as to oblige me and my officers to knock them down by half dozens, to keep the peace till they departed the same day, after which I dispatched a tent-boat with eight oars to row the commander-in-chief with some of his favourites to Paramaribo.
• The first object which attracted my compassion during a visit to a neighbouring estate, was a beautiful samboe girl of about eighteen, tied up by both arms to a tree, as naked as she came into the world, and lacerated in such a shocking manner by the whips of two negro-drivers, that she was from her neck to her ancles literally dyed over with blood. It was after she had received 200 lashes that I perceived her, with her head hanging downwards, a most affecting spectacle. When, turning to the overseer, I implored that she might be immediately unbound, since she had undergone the whole of so severe a punishment; but the short answer which I obtained was, that to prevent all strangers from interfering with his government, he had made an unalterable rule, in that case, always to double the punishment, which he instantaneously began to put in execution: I endeavoured to stop him, but in vain, he declaring that the delay should not alter his determination, but make him take vengeance with double interest. Thus I had no other remedy but to turn to my boat, and leave the detestable monster, like a beast of prey, to enjoy his bloody feast, till he was glutted. From that day I determined to break off all communication with overseers, and could not refrain from bitter imprecations against the whole fraternity. Upon investigating the cause of this matchless barbarity, I was credibly informed, that her only crime consisted in firmly refusing to submit to the loathsome embraces of her detestable executioner. Prompted by his jealousy and revenge, he called this the punishment of disobedience, and she was thus flead alive.
• At my return to the Hope, I was accosted by Mr. Ebber, the overseer of that estate, who with a woeful countenance informed me he had just been fined in the sum of 1,200 florins, about 100 guineas, for having exercised the like cruelty on a male slave; with this difference, that the victim had died during the execution. In answer to his complaint, so far from giving him consolation, I told him his distress gave me inexpressible satisfaction.
“This Ebber was peculiarly tyrannical; he tormented a boy of about fourteen called Cattedy, for the space of a whole year,
by flogging him every day for one month; tying him down Hat on his back, with his feet in the stocks for another; pulting an iron triangle or pot-hook round his neck for a third, which prevented him from running away among the woods, or even from sleeping, except in an upright or sitting posture; chaining him to the landing-place, night and day, to a dog's kennel, with orders to bark at every boat or canoe that passed for a fourth month; and so on, varying his punishment monthly, until the youth became insensible, walking crooked, and almost degenerated into a brute. This wretch was, however, very proud of his handsomest slaves, and for fear of disfiguring their skins, he has sometimes let them off with 20 lashes, when, for their robberies and crimes, they had deserved the gallows. Such is the state of public and private justice in Surinam. The wretch Ebber left the Hope upon this occasion; and his humane successor, a Mr. Blenderman, commenced his reign by flogging every slave belonging to the estate, male and female, for having over-slept their time in the morning about 15 minutes.
The reader will, no doubt, imagine, that such cruelties were unparalleled; but this is not the case, they were even exceeded, and by a female too.
"A Mrs. S--lk---going to her estate in a tent-barge, a negro woman, with her sucking infant, happened to be
passengers, and were seated on the bow or fore-part of the boat. The child crying, from pain perhaps, or some other reason, could not be hushed; Mrs. Sulk--r, offended with the cries of this innocent little creature, ordered the mother to bring it aft, and deliver it into her hands; then, in the presence of the distracted parent, she immediately thrust it out at one of the tilt-winylows, where she held it under water until it was drowned, and then let it go. The fond mother, in a state of desperation, instantly leapt overboard into the stream, where floated her beloved offspring, in conjunction with which she was determined to finish her miserable existence. In this, however, she was prevented by the exertions of the negroes who rowed the boat, and was punished by her mistress with three or four hundred lashes for her daring temerity. VOL. I.
Colonel Fourgeoud moved on the 20th, with all the troops, from Magdenberg, in order to establish his head-quarters nearer the infirmary. His army being in a very sickly condition, he fixed upon the estate called New Rosenback, situated between the Hope and the hospital, for his encampment.-Thither I immediately repaired, to pay my respects to the chief; when I saw the remainder of his miserable army landed, and received a detail of the campaign. I told of captain Fredericy's being wounded; one man lost by neglect, and another cut and disarmed; the captives running away, chains and all; the hero scoffed at, and ridiculed by his sable enemies: that a sick marine was left to die or recover by himself; and that one of the slaves, by bad usage, had his arm broke. These were the particulars of the last campaign. But I must mention the humanity of a poor slave, who, at every hazard, deserted Fourgeoud to attend the dying marine; and having performed the last sad office of friendship, returned to receive his punishment, but to his infinite surprize was pardoned.
* In justice to colonel Fourgeoud I must say, that upon such expeditions, and in such a climate, many of these accidents cannot be prevented; and that while he killed his troops by scores, without making captures on the enemy, he nevertheless did the colony considerable service, by disturbing, hunting, and harassing the rebels, and destroying their fields and provisions. For, it is certain, no negro will ever return to settle in those haunts from which he has been once expelled.
« On the 21st, several officers came to visit me at the Hope, we were very happy, and my guests perfectly satisfied with their entertainment. But on the morning of the 22d my poor Joanna, who had been our cook, was attacked with a violent fever; she desired to be removed to Fauconberg, there to be attended by one of her female relations, which I complied with. Bat on the evening of the 25th she was so extremely ill, that I determined to visit her myself, but as privately as possible, as Fourgeoud was to visit me at the Hope the next day; for his satirical jokes upon such an occasion I could very well dispense with ; and I knew the most laudable mo
tives were no protection against the ungovernable sallies of his temper.
• However difficult the undertaking, as I had to pass close to his post, I like another Leander was determined to cross the Hellespont; of which having informed my friend Heneman, I set out about eleven at night in my own barge, when coming opposite to New Rosenback, I heard Fourgeoud's voice very distinctly, as he walked on the beach with some other officers, and immediately the boat was hailed by a sentinel, and ordered to come ashore. I now thought all was over; but, persisting to the last, I told the negroes to answer Killestyn Nova, the name of an adjoining plantation, and thus got leave to proceed unmolested. Soon after I arrived safe at Fauconberg, and found my dearest friend much better.
• But on the 26th, in the morning, mistaking the day-light for moon-shine, I overslept myself, and knew not how to return to the Hope, as my barge and negroes could not pass without being well known to the colonel. Delay was useless; so out I set, trusting entirely to the ingenuity of my slaves, who put me ashore just before we came in sight of the headquarters; when one of them escorted me through the woods, and I arrived safe at the Hope. But here my barge soon followed under a guard, and all my poor slaves prisoners, with an order from Fourgeoud for me to flog every one of them, as they had been apprehended without a pass, while their excuse was that they had been out a fishing for their massera.
• Their fidelity to me upon this occasion was truly astonishing, as they all declared they would have preferred being cut in pieces, rather than betray the secrets of so good a master. However, the danger was soon over, as I confirmed what they had said, and added, that the fish were intended to regale the hero ;, after which I made a donation of two gallons of rum among my sable privy-counsellors. This passage, however trifling, may serve as a sample not only of European weakness, but of African firmness and resolution.
· Notwithstanding my preparation, still colonel Fourgeoud did not visit me on the 27th, but the next morning Joanna arrived, accompanied by a stout black, who was her uncle,