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has increased 14,000, or confiderably above one-third. if we look farther back, it will appear, that the increase had been almost equally rapid from the establishment of the African trade in the year 1730; and even from the beginning of the prefent century.'
One in 27 is the yearly proportion of deaths in Leverpool; and 27 years are of courfe the expectation or share of life due, to each perfon born in that place. From a table containing the number of inhabitants at intervals of ten years, from 1700 to 1770, it appears, that the town has doubled its inhabitants. in about 25 years, and has at prefent upwards of fix times the number which was in it at the beginning of this century.' And from another table of deaths it is inferred, that, as far as the obfervations of one year may be allowed to extend, not half the inhabitants in Leverpool die under five years old: whereas in London and fome other large towns, more than half die under three years old: that one in about 15 lives to be upwards of 70 years of age; that women live longer than men, 45 women` having died upwards of 70, and only 30 men; that married women live longer than single women; and that the proportion of males to females who have died under ten years old has been as 15 to 14.'
Our Readers, who have attended to this fubject, will fee, that the above obfervations confirm the principles advanced by Dr. Price in his late excellent publications; and by reasoning from which, he has fo happily fucceeded in refcuing numbers. from difappointment and ruin.
The progrefs of commerce in the town of Leverpool, which is pursued in the fixth chapter of this hiftory, is no lefs furprifing than that of population. In the year 1565 there were in this port only 12 fmall veffels manned by 76 men; but it appears from a lift of the fhips belonging to this place continued down from 1709 to 1772, that in the year 1771 the number of fhips was no less than 323, the whole amount of which was 35,586 tons. The increafe of trade may be obferved likewife in the vast increase of the dock duties. From Midfummer 1751 to Midfummer 1752, these produced only 1776 l. 8 s. 2 d. whereas from 1771 to 1772, they amounted to 45544 5s. 4d. In order to give the Reader an idea of the present state of trade in its feveral branches in Leverpool, a particular account is here added of the imports and exports for one year, viz. from the 1st of January 1770 to the 1ft of January 1771.'
We fhall take no notice of the other chapters of this work, which contain a defcription of the public ftructures and inftitutions, with the internal police and other particulars belonging to this town.
REV. Sept. 1774.
To the whole is annexed a map, very accurately conftructed, exhibiting an actual furvey of the environs of Leverpool for five miles round, the Exchange being the center; and of courfe including no less than 50 fquare miles. The Editor concludes with informing the Public, that a plan for the Hiflory of Lancafhire has been drawn up, and fome materials for the purpose collected, by a gentleman who has abilities every way equal to the undertaking;' and we heartily join with him in wishing, that a design so useful may not fail for want of the requifite affiftance.'
For SEPTEMBER, 1774.
Art. 13. Thoughts upon Slavery. By John Wefley, A. M. 8vo. Hawes in Lamb Street, Spital-Square. 1774
HAT one rational being fhould be claimed by another as his
like a or a
and that he should beget children folely for his master's profit, by adding to his perfonal chattels are tenets fo repugnant to all principles of humanity, according to British ideas, that the flave trade. has often been feverely cenfured among us both in a moral and legal view. The advocates for flavery, indeed, are chiefly those who are mediately or immediately biaffed by intereft to defend it; or who, by refidence in our Plantations, have loft thofe honeft tender feelings that prompt us to do as we would be done by.
What the apologists for flavery reft on, as their ftrongest plea, is that of expediency, according to prefent circumstances; but is not this calling afide all diftinction between right and wrong, and betraying the cause of humanity altogether into the iron hand of violence, which is first to decide who is to be mafter and who is to be slave? And does not this as fully juftify a Barbary corfair, as a Jamaica planter, with all his brutal agents in the African trade? Let us attend to what Mr. Wefley offers on the fubject.
He has collected from various writers, a good hiftorical account of our modern negro flave trade, with defcriptions of the country and inhabitants from whence they are brought; the methods by which they are procured, together with the ufage on their paffage, and in the Plantations where they are finally fold and fettled. Mr. Wefley thus fums up the teftimonies he has confulted on the general character of the native Africans. Upon the whole therefore the negroes who inhabit the coaft of Africa, from the river Senegal to the fouthern bounds of Angola, are fo far from being the ftupid, fenfeless, brutish, lazy barbarians, the fierce, cruel, perfidious favages they have been defcribed, that on the contrary, they are reprefented by them who had no motive to flatter them, as remarkably fenfible, confidering the few advantages they have for improving their underftanding as indufirious to the highest degree, perhaps more fo than
any other natives of fo warm a climate: as fair, juft, and honeft in all their dealings, unlefs where Whitemen have taught them to be otherwife and as far more mild, friendly, and kind to ftrangers, than any of our forefathers were. Our forefathers! Where fhall we find at this day, among the fair-faced natives of Europe, a nation generally practising the juftice, mercy, and truth, which are found among thefe poor black Africans? Suppofe the preceding accounts are true (which I fee no reafon or pretence to doubt of) we may leave England and France, to feek genuine honefty in Benin, Congo, or Angola.'
It appears more than probable that the good qualities here attributed to the native Africans are dealt with too liberal a hand, in order to dress them up and mortify us by the contraft; but what then? If the negroes do not deferve fo agreeable a character, will it follow that we have a right to drag them away from the places of their nativity across the ocean into perpetual flavery? Others again hardly allow them any pretenfions to rationality, in order, by their disgustful reprefentations, to palliate as much as poffible the injurious treatment of them. Nevertheless thus much may be fafely afferted, that whatever they are naturally, we induftriously cultivate their worst qualities, where we trade with them for flaves; to qualify them for the deteftable employment of kidnapping their more innocent countrymen within land,
We have often been publickly informed how the ships are supplied with these poor Africans, and therefore need not repeat the schemes of violence and treachery recorded by the prefent Writer. Two inRances however produced by Mr. Wefley, will give us a lively idea of this infamous traffic.
• The first is taken verbatim from the original manufcript of the
furgeon's journal. "SESTRO, Dec. 29, 1724. No trade to-day, though many traders came on board. They informed us, that the people are gone to war within land, and will bring prifoners enough in two or three days; in hopes of which we stay.
"The 30th. No trade yet: but our traders came on board today, and informed us the people had burnt four towns: fo that tomorrow we expect slaves off.
"The 3ft, Fair weather: but no trading yet. We fee each night towns burning. But we hear, many of the Seftro men are killed by the inland negroes: fo that we fear this war will be unfuccesful.
"The 2d of January. Laft night we faw a prodigious fire break out about eleven o'clock, and this morning fee the town of Seftro burnt down to the ground." (It contained fone hundred houses.) "So that we find their enemies are too hard for them at prefent, and confequently our trade fpoiled here. Therefore about feven o'clock we weighed anchor, to proceed lower down."
The fecond extract taken from the journal of a furgeon, who went from New York on the fame trade, is as follows: "The commander of the veffel fent to acquaint the King, that he wanted a cargo of flaves. The King promiled to furnish him, and in order to it, fet out, defigning to furprize fome town, and make all the people prifoners. Some time after, the King fent him word, he had
not yet met with the defired fuccefs: having attempted to break up two towns, but having been twice repulfed: but that he still hoped to procure the number of flaves. In this defign he perfifted, till he met his enemies in the field. A battle was fought, which lafted three days. And the engagement was fo bloody, that four thousand five hundred men were flain upon the spot." Such is the manner wherein the negroes are procured! Thus the Chriftians preach the gofpel to the Heathens !'
While the negro merchants at London, Brifol, and Liverpool, thus raife ample fortunes with honour and reputation, the horror of the means is hid from us by the remoteness of the fcenes of action; as particulars feldom reach us except by accident. But with what indignant fmiles ought we to receive the narration of internal wars in Africa, when urged to excufe our purchafing the prifoners; who we are told would otherwife be all killed! It may be charitably hoped that none of the fubfcriptions fo liberally offered for the fupport of the Bill of Rights, have been taken from purfes filled by fupporting the wrongs of flavery.
Mr. Wefley gives us a very affecting account of the miferies thefe poor wretches undergo in their paffage from Africa to the Weft Indies (during which great numbers often perifh) as well as after they are landed, in what is termed feafoning. The treatment of the furvivors on the plantations they are employed to cultivate, is well known to be bad enough at the beft, and really fhocking when wanton feverity is under no other check than intereft, which would fuffer by the incapacity or death of a wretch that cost a few pounds! They will certainly fare better or worfe according to the natural dif pofition of their matters, which is of itfelf a poor dependence to reft upon and it is from this circumftance that we have fuch different accounts of the fituation of negroes in our iflands; particularly by Mr. Wesley in this pamphlet, and by the author of the History of Ja maica lately published But as they have defcribed with different intentions, they probably copied, the one from the fairest, and the other from the fouleft originals. Mr. Wefley is however fupported by our knowledge of human nature, which is never backward in the full ufé of exceffive power. The murder of flaves, is by our plantation laws punished only by a pecuniary fine, and Mr. Wesley, who is no ftran-. ger to America, tells us of one gentleman who thought proper to rcaft his flave alive!
While the cruel treatment to which the negroes are fubjected, is a known fact, beyond all poffibility of denial, the beft of ufage mu, in an impartial view, be pronounced a very imperfect reparation for the crime of ravishing them from their deare connexions, their property, and their country; unlefs, indeed, we kindly take upon us to determine for them, in defiance of their own feelings, that it is better for them to labour in our grounds, under the lath of the whip, than to live quietly at home, according to their natural inclinations.
This pamphlet contains many facts on good authority, or as good as could be found; for we are lefs acquainted with the interior of Africa, than of any other quarter of the globe; and the Writer has made many pertinent obfervations, into which we cannot enter, bot
which do honour to his humanity: the more fo, as the fubject is treated in a liberal manner, without being debafed by any peculiar tincture, which was perhaps to be apprehended.
Art. 14. A Supplement to Mr. Wefley's Pamphlet, intitled, Thoughts upon Slavery. 8vo. 2 s. Reynell. 1774
Wit and humour are fadly profituted when employed to glofs over a bad cause; and they must have callous hearts indeed who can turn the fufferings of the injured into a jelt. We have, it is true, an arch commentator on Mr. Welley before us; but though the argumentum ad hominem may be fuccefsfully used in fome cafes, yet on a ferious fubject it is both impertinent and ungenerous to go beyond the premises to attack a man where he did not offend. This officious wag ought to have confidered that Mr. Wesley was treating on the equity of converting the human fpecies into an article of trade; all he had to fay on the fubject was fully before him in the pamphlet ; the author was not dictating to us from his roftrum in the Foundery; nor had his commentator any right to drag him to it. But Mr. Welley having quoted two exaggerated accounts of Africa, which, whether true or falfe, cannot juftify the negro traders; our commantator is fo eager in tealing him on his religious principles, that he totally overlooks the only queftion he ought to have difcuffed: nor is this done without defign; for his principal aim is to lead his readers totally away from it, by feducing them to laugh at a Me. thodit. Had we been fo enfnared, we thould fummarily have pronounced this commentator an able antagonist, who had laid Mr. Wesley fprawling; but rifum teneatis amici, our Author may be a very clever fellow, Mr. W. may be an enthufiaft in his religious principles, he may be accufed of contradictions, the negroes may be as ftupid as he pleafes; but all this will not prove that the tyrannic dominion we affume over them is either confitent with religion or humanity. His reductio ad abfurdum, at the end, of abandoing all our plantations, is unworthy of notice.
Art, 15. An Appeal to the Public; ftating and confidering the Objections to the Quebec Bill. Infcribed and dedicated to the patriotic Society of the Bill of Rights. 8vo. Is. Payne. 1774. This Appeal to the Public appears in the form of an intended parliamentary fpeech. which the Writer tells his patrons, in an ironical dedication, he only wanted a feat in the Houfe of Commons to qua lify him to deliver. The Quebec act is well defended, though on principles to which thofe who have attended to the difputed merits of it, are already no trangers.
Art. 16. The Hiftory of Arfaces, Prince of Betlis. By the Editor of Chryfal. 12mo. a Vols. 6s. bound. Becket. 1774.
A romance, rather than a novel. It is a kind of political fiction, fubjected to the feverelt laws of morality. It affords not one foft fcene of love; one fentiment of loofe defire; outrageous virtue is never gratified with anecdotes of private fcandal; nor licentioufneís flattered with the facred name of liberty.'-We may still farther justly characterize this piece in the words of th ingenious writer's preface :—' Arfaces is not a mere moralift, or held up as a pattern of perfection