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"He answered with good-humour, that my conjecture was not absolutely without some foundation, and that he would own to me as a private man, that it was not easy for him to forget the ill-usage and injustice he had met with from our Nation at the time of making the last Peace, and he then enumerated particulars. I replied, that it was not candid to impute to the Nation the faults of private Men who were then unhappily Ministers; that there was now a fixed and settled Administration, whose way of thinking and acting was very different from that of their Predecessors; that whilst your Lordship was at the head of it, he could reasonably have no sort of diffidence; that the Triple alliance proposed was a favourite measure of your Lordship's, which you had much at heart, for preserving the public tranquillity, and for uniting the interests of the King with those of his Prussian Majesty.

"The King of Prussia answered, I have a very high opinion of Lord Chatham, and great confidence in him; but what assurances can you give me that he has power, and will continue in Office? I replied, I had not the least doubt of either, as your Lordship was now the darling of the King and People. His Prussian Majesty said, that does not agree with my accounts from England. I assured him of the truth of what I had advanced, and that I believed the contrary reports had been raised by your Lordship's enemies. He said he wished it might be so, but till he saw more stability in our Administration he did not choose farther connexions; and he concluded by adding, I have spoke to you with freedom as a private man, and expect, upon your honour, that you will not make a bad use of it; which I am sure of not doing in communicating this to your Lordship only, and desiring at the same time the most perfect secrecy.

"I own the King of Prussia's conduct amazes me. I had hopes a little reflection would have shewn him his real interest, but vanity and caprice are often too strong for reason; and to these motives I ascribe the Answer he has given to the King's salutary Proposal, for I do not even suspect his having Views to an Alliance in another Quarter. If he is cool to our Nation, He has the French in abhorrence and contempt, of which he makes no secret. His Plan seems to be (if he has any) to stand unconnected upon his own Bottom, which experience might have taught him, is far from being a safe one."

We rise from the study of these very interesting volumes with renewed gratitude to the learned Editor, and new wishes that he may speedily continue his researches and selections. Where we differ with him, we have frankly stated our dissent; but of the usefulness of his labours, there can be but one opinion. We still observe many verbal inaccuracies-and could easily fill no small space with proofs of the transcriber's ignorance of the language of the times, and of the Editor's want of skill or diligence in correcting him. If he himself disdains the obscure labour of such a correction, we would earnestly advise him to submit his future selections to the revisal of some more exact and minute antiquary.

ART. IX. Report of the African Institution for 1827. 8vo. Hatchard. 1827.

TH HE great field of Colonial Policy offers few matters to our view, more important at all times, but in the existing posture of affairs more peculiarly pressing upon our attention, than the situation of the people of colour. Those unfortunate persons form a very numerous class of our fellow subjects; and their industry and general good conduct render them still more worthy than their numbers to attract our notice. They are highly important in respect of wealth; and they suffer under privations entailed upon them by no fault of their own, but arising from the crimes and follies of others, and affixed to their colour by the decrees of colonial wisdom and humanity. Dr Lushington, the able, enlightened, and honest friend of oppressed men, of what colour soever, has lately added to the very great obligations he had before conferred upon the cause of justice and sound policy, by bringing before Parliament and the country this interesting subject, in a speech replete with enlarged views, animated by a spirit of true philanthropy, and tempered by an extraordinary portion of moderation. The same question which Dr Lushington so ably raised in the Commons, was afterwards most admirably stated in the Lords, and with great effect, by Lord Harrowby, President of his Majesty's Council. That enlightened, accomplished, and virtuous nobleman, has always approved himself the firm and powerful friend of the oppressed negro, in all the situations where his eminent talents have been exerted. We shall proceed, without further preface, to state the case which so lamentably adds one to the numberless examples heretofore gi ven of the unfitness of West Indian Legislators to discharge their high functions, and of the absolute necessity which exists for the prompt and efficacious interference of the mother-country, in order to preserve her colonial empire from all the worst mischiefs that can result from power abused on the one hand, and vengeance long deferred and signally exacted on the other.

The important island of Jamaica was conquered from Spain during the brilliant period of the Protectorate, in the year 1655. Charles the Second, soon after his restoration in 1661, granted the island a charter, under which the House of Assembly was constituted. By that document, it is solemnly declared, that "the children of subjects of England, to be born in Jamaica, "shall, from their respective births, be reputed to be, and shall "be, free denizens of England, holding the same privileges, to "all intents and purposes, as the freeborn subjects of England;"

-a superfluous grant, it is true, because, long before the Restoration, at the accession of the King's grandfather to the English Crown, the general principle had been solemnly recognised by the Judges in the famous case of the Post nati, (commonly called Calvin's Case,) that all persons born within the King's allegiance are natural-born subjects of the English Crown. Nevertheless, to remove all doubts, the grant is thus expressly made to all persons, without distinction of colour or race, and by the self-same instrument which constituted the Jamaica Legislature a lawful body.

Nothing appears to have been done against these rights during the reigns of Charles, James II., and King William; but, as if the good Queen Anne's time were fated to be in all parts of the world, America as well as Ireland, and to all subdivisions of persons, mulattoes as well as Catholics, the era of disqualification, either for opinions which they should not, and for complexion which they could not, change, in 1711 an act was passed, (10. Ann. cap. 4.) excluding from all public offices all persons of colour, Indians, and Jews. In 1733 this policy was further followed up by the act 6. Geo. II. disqualifying all persons of colour not in the fourth degree from the negro stock, from voting at elections. Previous to this period, a custom had been introduced of rejecting the evidence of coloured people against whites in every case; but it was doubted whether or not they could bear witness against one another. This doubt was solved in 1748, by the 21. Geo. II. cap. 7. which legalized the customary exclusion of coloured evidence in all cases against whites, but let it in as against each other.

Notwithstanding these serious disabilities, the mixed race grew rapidly in numbers and in wealth; for it was found by the House of Assembly in 1762, that property of between L.200,000 and L.300,000 in value, including four estates, had devolved to them by devise and bequest at different times. Men's affections, not to mention their feelings of justice, towards the innocent offspring of their love, lawful or illicit, were found not to obey exactly the dictates of West Indian policy; and legislative measures were required to force them into courses more congenial to the savage spirit which presided over those councils. The Assembly, accordingly, which derived its own existence and authority entirely from the same charter that gave the mulattoes all the rights of English subjects," to all intents and purposes, from the dates of their respective births," passed a law, restraining their power of taking, by devise or bequest, to the value of L.2000 currency, and limiting their power of purchasing landed property to the same inconsiderable sum.

In 1713 the first attempt was made to exclude mulattoes

from all employment on plantations, by a general act, which, being transmitted to England, was refused the Royal assent; and thus began the system of annual bills, to defraud the Crown of its negative voice. Each bill bound the planters, under severe penalties, to fill every situation in their employ with a white person. Those bills continued up to the last year, when the Governor refused his assent to the deficiency law, because it contained provisions of peculiar hardship respecting the absen


In all this history of exclusion and disqualification, it is cheering to meet with one exception. After the Maroon war in 1796, when the men of colour had distinguished themselves, so as to extort the unqualified approbation of the Assembly, and to command the hearty gratitude of the whole community, a bill was passed, allowing them to give evidence against white persons, in cases of assault upon the witnesses themselves! It graciously pleased those lords of the world to decree that the race, so nearly allied to themselves by blood, and to whose gallantry and faithful attachment they owed their existence, should no longer be kicked and beaten like dogs, without redress; but the privilege of giving evidence was strictly confined to the case of the person himself who was assaulted; and no mulatto could call another as his witness, if tried for any offence. These restrictions, and all others on the evidence of free people of colour, were done away in 1813; and in 1816 they were permitted to navigate their own vessels coastwise, which, ever since 1712, had been prohibited, by a law requiring vessels of a certain burden to be manned by whites. They were now also allowed to drive carts and hackney coaches, a right formerly withheld by the same spirit of curious and niggardly legislation. The restrictions upon bequests and devises were also repealed in 1813.

There still remain, however, the most grievous of all the disabilities under which the coloured race have been laid. They cannot exercise the elective franchise; they are excluded from all offices and places of trust; and, worse than all, they cannot serve in any case upon juries. Let us for a moment consider the effects of these disqualifications.

The mulattoes are subject to the laws made by the House of Assembly. By those laws they are regulated, governed, and taxed. But, rich and accomplished and intelligent as many of them are, they can neither sit in that house, nor exercise their voice in saying who shall sit there; nor in any way lift that voice, as free men should do, in any other than the notes of suppliant petition. And to whom is the unchecked dominion confided over this race of men, who must have no voice, either direct or indirect, in the councils that are to rule their destiny? To a

rival colour; to a hostile caste; to the men who have created all these disabilities, in order to exclude them; to those who prove, by the very act of engrossing all the power over the degraded race, that they hate and fear them, and feel their subjection as necessary for their own security and ease. Let Christian people make the case their own, according to the favourite maxim of their religion-the maxim so often quoted, and so seldom followed. How would the people of England like to be ruled and taxed by a parliament all Irish-still more, by one all French or all American? But that bears a faint semblance to our case. Peace and fashion may reconcile us to Frenchmen; our interest, the fear of losing Ireland, and having England crippled, may even reconcile us to Irishmen; and the interests of trade may • almost make us friends with the Americans. But between the people of colour and their representatives and rulers, there is no common tie, except that of humanity, which is outraged by the one party, and only remembered in the other, to show that it exasperates all animosities, and that cattle would be better treated than human beasts of burden. The hand of Providence has stamped on the oppressed a mark that cannot be effaced, and the Ethiopian must be washed white before his lot in being subject to the hostile caste can become so gentle as the case we have been supposing, of the English nation ruled by an American parliament, chosen in America, and not in England.

The exclusion from all places renders the deprivation of the elective franchise still more severe. The mulatto only feels the ruling powers, by coming in contact with his natural enemy; he only sees the constituted authorities of his country, when he looks at the hostile colour. Power is never mitigated by kindred feelings; on the contrary, it is exasperated by the instinctive sense of natural diversity, by all the factitious prejudices of customs and laws, and by all the feelings of fear which tyranny creates at once for its own augmentation, and its own punishment.

But look to the worst of all these disabilities. Whatever mulatto comes into a court of justice-a court by outward form resembling what elsewhere are courts in which justice presideshe comes among judges and jurors who are his natural enemies and oppressors. He is injured in his person, he is despoiled of his property, he is restrained of his liberty by a white man; his child or his wife is taken from him; his feelings are outraged; his sense of honour-for all our cruelty has not rooted all sense of honour from the dingy bosom-his sense of honour is wounded-a sense the more exquisite that it has survived every effort of his oppressor to extinguish it. In mockery, he is bid to bend

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