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CH A P. Africa for a supply of labourers, in form of slaves. Here
commenced the Slave-trade, that scourge of the human race,
5. Without undervaluing the West Indian sugar colotheir import- nies, we may venture to observe, that their importance, nay,
according to the planters themselves, their very existence,
ance from Africa.
islands *. But the very vicinity of Africa, which should C HA P. have recommended it to the Europeans, may have operated to it's disadvantage; for mankind generally set the greatest value on things distant and difficult to be obtained. Diftance, like a fog, confuses objects, and lends them a magnitude that does not belong to them; and thus fascinates and milleads men of warm imaginations, often to their injury, sometimes to their ruin.
6. But the slave-trade, as carried on in Africa, not only Opposition of impedes the progress of the natives in the arts of industry and planters. and peace; but also now prevents the European merchants concerned in it, or in the sugar colonies, from countenancing the colonization of that continent, from an ill founded apprehension, that such new establishments may interfere with those in the West Indies. It is indeed well known, that the Sierra Leona Company experienced very great opposition from the selfish and ungenerous African traders, and West Indian merchants and planters. In justice, however, to several of the more liberal individuals of those bodies, we must observe, that, disregarding vulgar prejudices, they saw no cause of alarm from such establishments. They probably considered, that self-interest is always, in the end, best promoted by liberality; and that as all the cotton pro
* l'oyages from England to the nearest of the West Indian islands are performed, on an average, in about thirty day's; to the most diftant, in about six weeks---A voyage to Sierra Leona occupies about twenty days; but Mr. Falconbridge once arriv. cd there from England in seventeen days. Voyages home both from Africa and the West Indies, are longer than those to them, from the opposition of the trade winds; and homeward bound ships from Jarnaica, St. Domingo, Cuba, and the Ba. hamas are farther interrupted by the gulph stream...-In 1782, a French frigate arrived at Senegal from Brest in thirteen days, and returned in fifteen.-.-The Chevalier de Boufflers told me that he arrived at Senegal from Havre in twenty days, and that the vessel returned to Havre in the saine time.
C HA P. duced in the British islands is quite inadequate to the de
mand of the British manufacturers, so the consumption of
present system, be profitably extended.
jections which ought to be answered.—First, They fear
may be said, corrupted the aborigines of North America, though neither party dealt in slaves.” This is unfortunately true ; but it is equally true that this corruption was the work of European traders, and not of European farmers. Thegenius of commerce unfortunately prevailed, more than it ought to have done, in the first establishment of the European colonies, in the new world. Of the consequences of this unhappy ascendancy of commerce over agriculture, many
melancholy instances might be given, were this a proper C H A P. place. Suffice it to observe, what will scarcely be denied, that the object of the European traders in America (as traders) was not to civilize the natives; but, like the white flave dealers in Africa, to turn their rude propensities for European liquors, gunpowder and baubles, to their own immediate profit, without looking forward to the advantages, to legitimate commerce, which, sooner or later, would have resulted from their civilization. Nor have governments seemed to be sufficiently sensible of those advantages; for while they strictly regulated the commerce of their subjects with civilized nations, they left them to push their trade with the uncivilized in any direction, and by any means, their own blind avarice suggested. Hence followed “ deeds unjust-even to the full swing of their lust." In the Portuguese colonies, indeed, of Grand Para and Maranhao, a Directorio was established in 1758, for regulating the dealings of the whites with the native Indians, who are there described as “ uncivilized and ignorant,” and “ universally addicted to debauch in liquors, furnished them by the whites.” It does not appear what effect these regulations have had in eradicating the evil habits which had been previoufly fostered in the Indians by the Portuguese pedlars. But they have, in some degree, civilized the native Africans in their settlements on the coast; and the progress of the Jesuits in Paraguay clearly proves that uncivilized nations may be improved, instead of being debauched, as hath too often happened, by an intercourse with the Europeans.
8. Secondly. It is objected, that “ Colonies in Africa would prove the means of perpetuating, and not of destroying the slave-trade.” This objection would no doubt have fome force, if commerce, and not cultivation, were to be
C HA P. the primary object of such establishments; or even if culti
vation were to be carried on by human labour only, unal-
9. Another objection is “ That the defence of colonies in
10. It seems unnecessary to say more in this place, to satisfy objectors who, upon the whole, wish to promote the civilization of Africa, if they clearly saw how it could be effected: for one great end of this work is, to remove their conscientious scruples; most of which, however, appear to me to deserve attention, more on account of their motives, than of their strength.