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establishment. Things were wasted, and want was sometimes felt where there ought to have been plenty. Even the horses came in for an ample share of neglect : and, in a word, nothing received its proper attention. To dwell in this state, was impossible; especially, as it affected the daily comfort and happiness of my wife. Threatening had been so often tried, that it was found to be productive of mischief rather than good. On one or two occasions, I took a stick and tried whether a few stripes from that would not have a beneficial influence on this lad, and put the other servants somewhat on their guard. I was, however, deceived; for no one paid any serious regard to this, and we began to despair. Many times I saw Mrs. C. insulted, and did myself put up with language from the domestics, which I should not think of submitting to in this country, no, not for an hour. In this state things remained till March 13, 1820, that is, rather more than two years and a quarter after we took up our abode on Mr. Hibbert's estate. On the morning of this day, John was so extremely outrageous, that I felt myself under the necessity of putting him into the overseer's hands, intending that he should confine him for a few hours, and then give him ten or twelve lashes. He, however, made both feet fast in the stocks, and kept him in that situation from about one o'clock in the day till the next morning, when he took the poor boy out and gave him a terrible whipping. * I was not present on the occasion, and was never able
Mr. C. evidently mentions it as a reproach to the overseer, that (according to custom) he deferred the punishment till next morning. He says, he intended the overseer should confine John a few hours, and then give him ten or twelve lashes.— Did he write a note to this effect? or did he in any way express this intention ? Petty delinquents are often sent to the stocks under a threat of pavishment, and liberated the next morning, after a night's confinement — would it be too much to suppose, that the overseer might expect, or at least think it probable, that the clergyman would before morning relent, and forgive his servant ?
It is proper to mention, that I never was in that part of the island where Mro C. resided, and have no knowledge of any of the parties ; nor have I ever seen any of their publications but the pamphlet before us.
to ascertain what number of stripes he received. The overseer went far, very far beyond my directions, and John was, in consequence, sadly overpunished. This I always maintained upon the estate, as Mr. Oates, the attorney, well knows. After this, John conducted himself rather better for a short time, but again became refractory. I again remonstrated with him, but to so little effect, that I was obliged to change him. He was sent into the field to work with the gang, in which situation he remained when I left the island.' p. 59.
Now, on this narrative, I beg the reader to remark, that Mr. Cooper's authority extended over only a few domestic servants who have but little labour to perform; and are always selected from the more intelligent and best disposed of the people on the plantation. Yet this man, who raises his voice against the iron system, the odious and despotic principles of the colonists, and the tremendous authority exercised by the overseers over the slaves, in the management of John and a few others, found it necessary (after reasoning with them, and threatening till threatening had become productive of mischief rather than good) to take a stick, and try whether a few strokes with it would not have a beneficial influence! But no; remonstrances, threats, the stick itself failed ; and Mr. C. handed . poor' John over to the overseer to try the beneficial influence of the driver's whip. He got a terrible whipping. Of course the minister was not to blame for this. Oh dear no; the overseer, he
· deferred the flogging · till next morning; and went far, very far beyond
• his directions. It was all in vain, however; for • John again became refractory.' Again, Mr. C. remonstrated with him, and ultimately sent him to the field to work before the driver. Such was the conduct, as told by himself, of this Unitarian clergyman, who, on his return to England, came forward as the accuser of the whole white population of Jamaica. I do not say, nor suppose, that John did not deserve punishment, though what his offence was, further than that he was
outrageous, it is impossible to ascertain from the above artful narrative, in which the faults and misconduct of the whole domestics are told, in a manner to make them appear John's faults, or at least to justify the punishment inflicted on him. He was the only slave, Mr. Cooper tells us, ever punished with the whip by his orders: on how many he tried the · beneficial influence of the stick,' is not mentioned.
In the country parts of Jamaica, throwing down or leaving the silver spoons, where they are usually taken to be washed, on the grass-plot before the door of the dwelling-house, is a very common piece of carelessness, a thing which I have seen a hundred times ; waste of provisions, or making free with what has been on the master's table (which I presume is what the gentleman calls waste) is also a very common thing, I may say the custom of the country, for the house servants on a plantation consider it all the property of their master, and think it not very unreasonable that they should
partake, with the white people, of massa's pigs and poultry, or that their poultry should partake with the white people's horses of massa's corn.* But whatever cause the Reverend Gentleman had for his severity, and, as I said before, I doubt not but he may have had sufficient cause, it is surely strange that so very much blame should attach to the managers of plantations, who have hundreds of turbulent people to keep at harder duty, because they cannot do it without a power of inflicting corporal punishment, when even the Rev. Thomas Cooper, with all his reasoning with them, his remonstrating with them, his calling them to account again and again, and threatening them, — with all the patience and long-suffering for which he, deservedly no doubt, takes credit to himself, could not manage a few domestics without beating them with a stick, and sending them to be flogged.
From the yet rude state of the negroes, more than from the system of slavery, some degree of arbitrary power in punishing them is absolutely necessary, to preserve that order and subordination which is essential to the welfare of all classes; but
Negroes who have the superintendance of the proprietors', attorneys', or overseers' horses, invariably keep a good stock of poultry, the feeding of which costs them little or nothing. The horses are fed at a trough, fixed in the open yard, generally in front of the dwelling-house, and in tossing about their heads to drive away the flies, they scatter a deal of the large Indian corn among a swarm of poultry, which attends as regularly as the horses. What a stock of poultry you have got! is the usual observation of a stranger to the overseer : he is told that not one of all he sees belongs to the estate ; that they are all the property of the domestic slaves, and are frequently parchased from them, when the plantation fowl-house cannot supply the table or the sick-house.
in the exercise of that power, law and custom have established certain regulations well understood, one of which is, that a white man must never, with his own hand, inflict punishment on a slave. Mr. Cooper, I doubt not, may have often seen delinquents whipped in Jamaica; but I doubt much that he ever saw a white man, except himself, beat a slave with a stick, or punish him with his own hand. To do this is considered in the highest degree disgraceful; and (as appearing to proceed from passion) is felt even by the slaves as more injurious and more degrading to submit to, than a regular, though severer punishment, by the hand of a slave. Were a book-keeper on any plantation I am acquainted with to try the beneficial influence' of a stick on a negro, he would be instantly dismissed. But for a clergyman to beat his servant with a stick, and send him to be flogged by the driver! No wonder, as he himself says, the other servants were surprised; no wonder, as Mr. Oates says, such conduct created an extraor
dinary sensation, and left on the minds of the 'negroes a very unfavourable impression of him.
One would wish to believe that this must be a singular case, but unfortunately we have another of even more recent date, and told upon the most undoubted authority, that of the Rev. Mr. Bickell, who tells it of himself, anticipating, no doubt, that some one else, as in the case of Mr. Cooper, would tell it for him.
• I had once occasion,' says the Reverend Gentleman, 'to