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CH A P. seizure of each other, is the very lesson daily taught the
Africans by the Europeans, who discourage no violence or
as far as the Directors are informed, are not accustomed
475. Another proof of the danger, with which the slavefeized &fold. trade threatens any neighbouring colony, is afforded by the
Some of the firit colonists
Some time before the establishment of the present Company, a British Nave-faca C HA P.
XI. tor, then in S. Leona river, but lately removed, seized five of the first colonists, on the ground of his having been wronged by one of their body, somewhere at a dis- SIERRA LEO tance on the coast, where he was navigating a vetel belonging to this Nave-fa&ior, who said the country law warranted this mode of redress. But he afterwards was induced to release three of them, thinking the other two, on consideration, afforded that recompense for his loss which was proper, on the principles of African justice. These two men, it was admitted, had no connection with the defaultér, nor any means of catching him (for he had run from the ship, when she was some hundred miles from the colony) and whose only crime was that they had formerly lived in the same town with him. Yet they were kept in chains, by this British flave. trader, and then sold to a slave-captain, who was on the point of failing; when a Mahometan chief, who happened to come from the interior country, took com- Exemplary passion on them, advanced about £ 50 ster. for their redemption, and sent them humanity of home. The same chief having lately sent a favourite free boy, with a message to a faltor to whom he was in debt, the boy was seized by way of
payment. The chief, half distracted, came to S. Leona, and endeavoured to trace the child from factory to fa&tory. At length he called at Freetown, mentioned his present pover. ty, and the affliction which had brought him to the coast, and modestly asked for the £ 50 which he had formerly paid for the redemption of the two freemen of Granville town. The governor and council very carefully investigated the case, and found the main facts were precisely as has been stated. The £ 50 were repaid to the chief, by the Company, in consequence of this investigation. 476. The Directors have reason to think that several One of the
firit colonists others of this first unprotected colony, were sold and carri. turns kided off. One is believed to have been kidnapped by a
napper, neighbouring black trader; and another turned kidnapper himself. But the natives, whom he had seized and sold, were recovered by the Company's intervention, and the kidnapper was corporally punished. Some are also said to have been sold, for crimes charged against them. But all these incidents (except the detection and punishment of the kidnapper) happened before the formation of the present colony.
477. The insecurity of travellers, by preventing a free communication with the interior country, is another hin
travellers, from Dave
vents inland intercourse, &c.
CHA P. drance to the views of the Company. This opens a wide
field for reflection. It appears, from many recent investigations, that the people of the coast, are far more barbarous
than those of the interior; that, while the population toInsecurity of wards the fea, is very thin, and the intercourse dangerous,
there are found farther inland, many confiderable towns, trade, pre
some of which, in the very heart of Africa, are supposed to carry on much internal trade, and to have made no small progress in civilization.
The interests of the Company, therefore, and the benefit both of Africa and Europe, render some connection with the interior of this vast continent, a desirable object. But here again, the flave-trade banefully interposes. The general insecurity, anarchy and drunkenness which it hath introduced; but, above all, perhaps, a dread of the machinations of the slave-traders, who, by a chain of factories, have much influence in the interior, and, by their almost entire empire of the coast, may be considered as holding the key of Africa—these circumstances formidably obstruét every liberal attempt to discover and introduce, a mutually advantageous intercourse
with the interior of Africa. exemplified 478. The proprietors are already informed ($ 400) that,
in the very infancy of the colony, the Company's mineralunhappy case ogist attempted to penetrate into the country round S. Le
He was a man who to some impatience, joined a very ardent mind, a love of knowledge, and great personal respectability, and professional experience. He went out to extend his discoveries, having voluntarily offered his fervices to the Company, taking no salary, but simply stipulating, that, if any profits should arise from his researches, he should have the share which mineralogists are commonly allowed, and that the Company should pay the ex
in Mr. Nor. denskiold's
penses of his passage, and living, at S. Leona.-This first CHA P
479. It appears then, that the chief sources of the slave- Sourcesofthe trade are debts, wars, crimes and kidnapping. Debts, in
recapitulated. this case, may not, on the first view, appear very dreadful; Debts, but the preceding facts put together, exhibit such a scene of wickedness and misery, as a slight investigation would not have suggested. If an African contract a debt, an
CHA P. other person commonly pays the penalty, and the slave
trader carries off a wife or a child of the debtor, or perhaps an inhabitant of the same town, or some stranger who had sought protection there. In one case, as has been shown, a child is torn from it's father by a debtor, and the Navecaptain fails, before the parent can bring a substitute, ($ 459.) A wife is sold by her husband, for a debt, and is seen weeping in a slave-ship, for her infant left behind, ($ 467.) A free boy, sent with a message, is seized for his principal's debt, and is carried off, before he can be redeemed, (§ 475.) Among other colonists who were captured, two are sold for the debt of a townsman, who runs away from his captain, on another part of the coast, ($ 475.) -In other views, the custom of selling men for debt, appears still more dreadful. The slave-traders appear to encourage the chiefs to contract debts, for the sake of the consequent right of seizure. The very large credits, which, being incompatible with ordinary commerce, seem peculiar to the slave-trade, form, perhaps, one of it's main pillars ; for some facts that have appeared at S. Leona, unequivocally shew, that liberal credit legalizes all kinds of enormities. It serves equally to subject a country to a slavefactor, or to secure dispatch to a llave-lhip. By these credits, the mulatto trader acquired his power over the chiefs, and depopulated the whole country around him, without violating the customs of Africa, or forfeiting his character, as a "good man and man of humanity,” ( 468.) It is plain, that slave-captains, coming to trade on the coast, may make the same use of this system of credit. By distributing part of their goods among the chiefs, they establish a claim to seize both them and their people; and, if their crews be strong enough ($ 469) they need not wait long for their car