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him; one of the complainants refused, and not without reason, to state her case to Mr. C. Jackson, until he compelled her by threats of punishment. Upon hearing her narrative, he wrote to the Clerk of the Peace, directing him to summon a council of protection, and which was to meet on any day that may be most agreeable to Mr. Jackson. "I have, further," observes Mr. Jackson, "to remark, that the charges preferred by the above slaves are vexatious and frivolous." A council of protection was accordingly summoned by a third justice, Mr. Hyslop, and Dr. Palmer was required to attend it. Dr. Palmer, having brought the case under the notice of Lord Belmore, the Governor of Jamaica, answered this summons, by requesting that the meeting might be delayed until the Governor's opinion should be known, and at the same time complained of the extraordinary conduct of Mr. Jackson, in thus transferring the case from the cognizance of himself to that of a junior magistrate who was the brother of the accused party. His request was overruled, and the council met on the 11th of June, when he made a motion for an adjournment of the proceedings, but his motion was overruled, by the unanimous voice of the whole body, who then proceeded to investigate the complaint.

On the examination "much was stated of the insolence of these women, and of the gross impropriety of their language, and much respecting the habitual humanity of the accused parties; but to the specific imputations of cruelty, no defence was made or attempted."

"The Council of Protection decided that there was not sufficient grounds for a prosecution; that neither the letter nor the spirit of the law had been infringed; that in cases of confinement, the duration of the punishment was not limited by law, the owner being bound only to shew that proper support had been given. They however felt bound to declare that, notwithstanding the aggravated insults so repeatedly offered by the complainants, it would have been desirable that a less protracted punishment had been resorted to by the parties accused, or that they, on finding that confinement had not the effect intended, had brought the slaves to trial before a competent tribunal."

The comments of Lord Goderich on these proceedings are highly creditable to him as a man and as a British states

man:

“The preceding recital,” says his lordship, "scarcely admits of any commentary in that measured tone which it is on every account so desirable to observe in an official communication of this nature. A series of the most revolting outrages on humanity were admitted without reserve, or tacitly acknowledged. A perseverance for several months together in cruelties of the most scandalous character, on the persons of a young woman and of her mother, were unhesitatingly avowed.One of the offenders was the chief magistrate of the district, the other was that magistrate's wife. A case more urgently demanding the most rigorous enforcement of the law, or appealing more strongly to the compassion and indignation of all who heard it, could scarcely be imagined. Yet what was the result? One magistrate, the brother of the criminal, declared the complaint 'frivolous and vexatious.' Four other magistrates, members of the Council of Protection, dismissed it with a sentence full of harsh expressions respecting the conduct of the injured party, and with language towards the offenders conveying nothing more than the most gentle, and even respectful dissent from the soundness of the judgment exercised by them on the occasion.

"The crimination of these unfortunate women, for the use of insolent and indecorous language, scarcely merits serious notice.-Here was a mother compelled to witness the scourging of her daughter with instruments of punishment at once painful and degrading. The mother was then herself subjected to a chastisement attended with every circumstance of suffering and indecency; and was addressed by a lady in Mrs. Jackson's rank of life in terms too gross for repetition. Culpable as the words extorted by such shameful conduct may have been, the apology was such as should have silenced the re

proaches of the owners. With such a domestic example, what decorum could be expected from an ignorant negress? With such a provocation, what self-government could reasonably be anticipated from a mother? No condition of life ought to have repressed those emotions with which a parent must witness the infliction on her offspring of such great and unmerited suffering."

After this characteristic decision of the "Council of Protection," the Governor (much to his credit) ordered the AttorneyGeneral to prefer a bill of indictment

against the Jacksons; and the result (scandalous indeed, but not extraordinary, nor without numerous precedents) was "that the Grand Jury ignored the bill."

We conclude without farther comment, with the following observations of Lord Goderich, on this deplorable, but (in our opinion) not "unfortunately timed "

case:

"This occurrence is no less unfortunately timed than it is melancholy. At the very moment when the West India body are complaining, not perhaps with out some justice, of the indiscriminate and violent reproaches with which they have been assailed, is brought to light this extraordinary circumstance, that one magistrate perpetrated, and five others concurred to screen from punishment, offences against two helpless females, of the most revolting and unmanly character. With the utmost anxiety to protect the colony and its inhabitants from all calumnious imputations, what power of performing that duty with effect is left to myself and others, when the magistracy and official guardians of slaves betray so flagrant a disregard of their domestic and public duties? With what reason or plausibility can it be alleged that the slaves of Jamaica have no need of additional protection, when, in a case so outrageous as the present, the Council of Protection would neither prosecute nor even censure the criminal, and the Grand Jury would not entertain the indictment?" Anti-Slavery Record, pp. 18—22.

It is due to Lord Goderich to say that he appears to have done his duty. He directed the governor instantly to dismiss the brothers Jackson from the magistracy, and to proceed against Jackson and his wife by a criminal information. So far, well; but it is not probable that any court in Jamaica will so act as to make the proceedings other than a mere mockery of justice. Indeed, when the whole frame of society in Jamaica is considered, as evinced by their subsequent conduct, little good can be expected from these isolated notices of individual oppression, we cannot say checks on individual oppression, for the two unfortunate females are left at the mercy of the Jacksons, who have the irresponsible power, by the last slave code, of in

flicting on them thirty-nine lashes at one time without any new cause of complaint. Take another instance of the the slaves in Jamaica :kind of justice that is administered to

The premises of a Mr. Edie are entered for burglarious purposes by two thieves. He desires his slave Thomas to take his loaded gun and scare them away. The slave fires, and kills one of them. He is tried for the act, found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to hard labour in the workhouse for twelve months, and to be flogged with thirty-nine lashes, at going in, and at coming out. The master who had ordered his own slave to take his loaded gun to scare the burglars away, is the witness whose evidence convicts him. It was quite dark when the shot was fired, and it seemed to have been fired at random, though it produced such fatal effects. "The court before passing sentence took occasion to observe, that they considered the owner as much to blame in directing a slave to use a gun for the purpose of driving away others, on which account they would endeavour to make him suffer by the sentence to be pronounced on the slave." That is to say, the court punishes the master, by inflicting a year's hard labour in the workhouse on the slave; thus depriving him of the slave's services for that time; and also by lacerating the slave's flesh with the cart whip, so as to prolong the period of his unprofitableness to his master. Such are the notions of jusWatchman, of the 10th Oct. 1829. tice which prevail in this British colony.—

An act of greater injustice cannot be conceived, as the 47th clause of the slave code of 1817 specially screens the slave from punishment, "if he shall assault or offer any violence unto or towards any white person or persons of free condition, provided such assault or violence be by the command of his, her, or their owners, overseers, &c. in the lawful defence of their owners' persons or goods. But, mark the equity of this very clause: it makes a slave liable to a penalty of death if he only strike a white person in his own defence, whatever may have been the provocation.

That these cases are not to be viewed as isolated instances of injustice, as

exceptions to the general treatment of slaves, Mr. Jeremie's work affords appalling proofs. The facts which he has adduced throw considerable light upon the working of the colonial system; they occurred chiefly, though not exclusively, at St. Lucia, where he held the office of chief justice or first president of the royal court. He arrived at St. Lucia in February, 1825, about eight months after Mr. Barclay had left Jamaica to calumniate the Anti-Slavery Society in this country, and to delude the good people of England by fascinating descriptions of the happiness, increased intelligence, and morality of the slaves in Jamaica. We call the reader's attention to dates, that he may compare the dates of the facts with the periods of which the apologists of West India oppression profess to write, From Mr. Barclay's own statement, it appears that he went to Jamaica in 1803, and returned from it in 1824; between these two dates is, therefore, the period of which he writes. Mr. Jeremie, immediately upon his arrival in St. Lucia, procured the most respectable information, and made a tour of the island, that he might ascertain, de visu, what was the actual condition of the slaves. The result of the information thus obtained, and of the tour was, "that he conceived what had been alleged of the general cruelties of slavery was a downright misrepresentation; and this opinion was laid upon the tables of Parliament in the subsequent year." Are we then to be surprised that naval officers of rank have returned from the West Indies with erroneous notions of the condition of the slaves, and in entire ignorance of the working of the West India system, when a man of Mr. Jeremie's intelligence, and whose high official situation gave him means of information not possessed by others, after a twelve months' residence and endeavours to procure the best information, arrived at an erroneous conclusion? But Mr. Jeremie had soon reason to change his

opinion; and, with a candour that does him honour, he has fearlessly avowed it, with the stubborn facts that forced the conviction on his mind of the error of the opinion he had transmitted to government.

Scarcely was this opinion transmitted, (says Mr. Jeremie,) and the new slave fore him with a collar rivetted round his law promulgated, than a negro came beneck, from which projected three prongs of about ten inches each in length, and at the end of either of those prongs were inserted three smaller ones about an inch long, and these were attached to a chain, reaching to fetters joining round his ancles. His back and limbs were wealed this collar was kept on him by day and by from neck to foot, and he declared that night; that he worked with it in the field; and on his return was immured in a solitary cell; and that this course had been practised for some months in order to prevent his running away, the crime with which he was principally charged.-This might, however, be a solitary instance.

officer

A commission of three gentlemen of reputed humanity, namely, an holding the situation of Procureur du Roi, or official protector of slaves, together with the commandant of the quarter in which the plantation was situated, and the commandant of the neighbouring quarter, were sent out to investigate the affair. These gentlemen returned with a written report, wherein not a word of the mitted that there were three other men, negro's statement was shaken. They adat the time, on the estate, with collars of the same description, and that those collars were in use in the country.

The Procureur du Roi added, that the collars in use were not quite so heavy; but the commissioners, apparently with a view of settling that point, had weighed heavier than usual. The report also stated, the collar, and affirmed that it was not that there was a woman covered with sores, who was found in chains, and who had been so chained for nearly two years; and yet the commissioners reported that the estate was well managed, and that the arrangements were good!-This was not at a remote period, but in the year 1826.

A proclamation was issued against these collars. What followed? Scarcely two months afterwards, reports were

spread of discontent and actual mutiny, of so serious a nature, having broken out on the same estate, that the principal officers of government were directed to investigate the matter anew. The result was, that in lieu of the collar, the following punishment had been used. The women were hung by the arms to a peg, raised so high above their heads that the toes alone touched the ground, the whole weight of the body resting on the wrists of the arms or the tips of the toes.-The report of a mutiny was mere invention. This torture was also put down, one of the offenders fined, and the other imprisoned. But what was the third expedient adopted? The field-stocks, an invention forwarded from Trinidad, and which was actually legalized by the regulations drawn up by myself-so little aware was I of the severity of the punishment; indeed my attention was first drawn to it by a planter himself. The field-stocks, are in short, or at least may be rendered, nothing less than the most cruel picketing. They are in the shape of a pillory, the hands of the slave are inserted in grooves, which may be raised to any height above the head, and the feet are inserted in other grooves at the bottom of the instrument, the toes alone being made to touch the ground: the body is thus suspended in mid-air, its whole weight resting on the wrists and

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Well may Mr. Jeremie inquire, "What has humanity gained?" Were it not for the unimpeachable veracity of the narrator, we might suspect an anachronism, and that he was relating events that had occurred before the year 1788, as nothing was then advanced more revolting to humanity than the facts brought to light by Mr. Jeremie, facts more recent than the date of the first edition of Mr. Barclay's book. Neither does it appear that any of the ameliorating laws have thrown a sufficient fence round the sacredness of the life of the slave to afford it adequate protection from the

violence of the master. On this point let us again hear Mr. Jeremie :—

About the time that the negro presented himself with the collar, the writer was presiding in court, when a case came on in appeal, which had commenced some years before. It was a demand by a manager against a proprietor for wages.

The proprietor pleaded, as a set-off, the value of two slaves killed by the overflogging of the manager. The account ran thus. After several items of very trifling amount, for soap, candles, money advanced on account, &c., were the two following, by far the largest.

"No. 19. For the value of John the cooper, flogged to death by you, and then buried in the cane piece, 400 dollars !"

"No. 21. For the price of the negress Mary Clare, who died by bruises received from you, 300 dollars!"

The manner in which the presumed murderer treated this was as followsbeing extracted from the judicial proceedings.

"The observation on one of these claims will do for both. And we tell the defendant that the plaintiff might have expected objections, as this would cause a delay in the payment (of his wages ;) but he was far from anticipating a payment in this coin. It is not the manager that is to bear the loss of negroes employed by the defendant. If the latter had rights to exercise in this respect he could long since have made use of them. This kind of speculation is new, but it

will not take. The two articles we therefore object to, still more decidedly than to the rest: they amount jointly to 700 dollars."

The pleadings on the other side, which were also produced in the cause, were in the same strain of disgusting levity. The proprietor reminded the manager that the coin was not so bad, for the latter seemed to have forgotten his note of hand for 300 dollars given to indemnify him for the loss of the woman. This he produced, undertaking at the same to prove the other case; and among the papers was an affidavit from the overseer of the estate, who, in the most distinct manner, corroborated both the charges. With these papers before him, the judge of first instance discussed the proofs as mere matter of account; he admitted that in which the note had been produced, but stated that the other was not satisfactorily made

out, and the 300 dollars only were deducted from the wages.

The case was re-argued and re-heard on appeal, in the same indifferent manner, and the manager and the first judge dying in the course of the proceedings, it was deemed too late to push the point further. That two men should venture thus to traffic in murder, is in itself an awful circumstance; but even this is outdone by the calm indifference with which the pleadings, the account itself, the very judgments, prove the case to have been contemplated. Then who was this proprietor? He was the writer's predecessor in office; chief justice of the colony; who held a seat in the Royal Court, on the first trial; and in the interval had attained the Presidency: and in this office had been permitted to continue for thirteen years, during which this cause was under public discussion. Nor was he at length removed, except on a subsequent application of the first President, for other offences connected with slavery.-Such was the protection and justice meted out to slaves, by both courts, and by nearly all the higher authorities.

A few months subsequently, a planter, in consequence of a private dispute, denounced a neighbouring planter as guilty of having murdered no less than six or eight of his slaves, in as many years. The proper officers went down to investigate the matter, and brought up a report which was clearly evasive and unsatisfactory. They were sent again-again came the same unsatisfactory report. At length enough appeared to compel a regular legal investigation, and steps were taken for the purpose. But the alarm produced was inconceivable. Every means which could be devised were resorted to, though in vain, to stop the proceedings. These means were such as to stagger and surprise me. I knew they must proceed from a powerful motive; but was still unconvinced, though the cases previously mentioned contributed much to strengthen my conjectures. At last I inquired for precedents, and understood that there was one instance of an acquittal. I sent for the papers-the date was remote, as the trial was in 1808, and the events had taken place some time before. But the papers were valuable from that very circumstance, being dated at a time when there were not those motives for concealment which now existed, and all the proceedings being in writing, the original

working of the system was completely developed. It doubtless by no means followed, that because this system was replete with horrors some thirty years since, it had remained unmitigated; but having ascertained what the system had been, it will be shewn subsequently that, such as it had been, so, in all its principal features, it continued.

This case, like that then before the court, embraced several charges of murder; but it is not this fact alone which could weigh with me: such actions might be committed any where. It was the working of the system that struck me most forcibly. The following is a question put to the prisoner:

“ 2. Did he not propose to one of the negroes, named Vincent, to run the negress, Babet, through with a bayonet, and did not this negro refuse because she was his godmother; and did he not, in order to escape from the threats of the accused (his master) fly to the woods?

"Answer (by prisoner.) Every body knows him well enough to be aware that he had sufficient authority over his slaves not to be obliged to capitulate with them on such a proposition; and he does not know that the negro Vincent ran away."

Thus did the master express his surprise, not at his being accused of having ordered a godson to murder his godmother, but at the improbability of the son's refusing to obey him. Where could this man have lived

Nor is this the tithe of what appears of an equally atrocious character. But to continue with the development of the system: this case further shews in what a position a magistrate placed himself who should attempt to discharge his duty faithfully! The judge was himself a slaveholder, and much respected by the whole of the leading proprietors; but he had dared to entertain a prosecution for maltreating slaves. He was, therefore, as has since occurred, compelled to descend from his seat and defend himself. He did so effectually, as was also the case on a subsequent occasion; but the charge against him, and his reply, give no small insight of the condition of these communities, as shewn by the opinions both of prisoner and judge.

One of the charges against the judge, by the prisoner, was as follows: Yet, since you are a judge, it would have been very easy for you to find subjects to try, for similar offences. You might have

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