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is the plan for amalgamating the two races, which has been so philosophically proposed in the Wesminster Review; and which could never have entered the head of any one who was not utterly ignorant and inexperienced on the subject. It is as impracticable, because it is equally repugnant to the feelings, as the scheme said to have been suggested by a distinguished French traveller in this country, of rendering the male portion of the blacks physically incapable of propagating their race. Did not this ingenious reviewer know, that his government, great as is its influence over the minds of the Hindoo, and unlimited as is its power, has never been able to do away the prejudices of caste, and make a Brahmin marry with a Soodra, though they are of the same race, religion, and manners ? Verily, his notable plan of reconciling differences, might be exercised to great advantage in his own country. There is certainly field enough; and if the Dissenters complain of test and corporation Acts, they have nothing more to do to relieve themselves, than to turn Church of England men. If the Catholics of Ireland are subject to grievous disabilities, they may remove them by embracing the Protestant religion. Nay, there is a yet shorter and simpler process of attaining the same object; and that is, by some dozen or two individuals in either house of Parliament, saying aye instead of no, and the work is done. Yet simple and easy as is this process, those who are thus disfranchised, have been in vain seeking relief for the last forty years, and scem as far from attaining it as ever, although, too, their object has the countenance and support of a large majority of the wisdom and talents of the nation in its favour—while that of amalgamation has not the approbation of a single individual in the slaveholding country, or perhaps of any one who has ever lived in it. We know of nothing to match the ingenuity and efficacy of this plan, but that of Captain Bobadil for defeating an entire army with five-and-twenty men.

When such crude and flimsy schemes of reform are brought forward by sensible men, it shows how utterly incompetent it is for those to give wholesome counsel in the case, who have no personal acquaintance with the subject. It is as if a physician were to prescribe in a case in which he had no knowledge of the patient, and had never witnessed either the exhibition of the remedy or the symptoms of the disease. These propositions have been mentioned, merely as examples of the incapacity of any others to prescribe a remedy for slavery, except those who feel its inconveniences, and whose knowledge of the opinions, feelings, and habits, both of the blacks and the whites, will give them the best chance of devising a remedy that is adapted to existing circumstances.

We claim to have derived what we know on this subject, from personal observation; and we propose to lay the opinion which


we have formed from that observation, before our readers, by exhibiting a parallel between the state of slavery in the United States and the West Indies; in which we shall briefly consider the condition of the slaves—the effects of slavery on the whites, both moral and political—and the practicability of a remedy.

There is much truth in the following remarks of our author, on the misconceptions which prevail with regard to slavery in the West Indies; and they are not inapplicable to many portions of the United States. "There are many in this country, (meaning England] and by no means in the lowest stations, who never hear the subject mentioned, but they have before their minds, chains, dungeons, scourging, maiming, wounding, and death. To their terrified imaginations it appears the land of horrors, where cruelty sits in brief authority, and the oppressed drag out a gloomy life in groans and tears, without any of the comforts of existence, and of course, without manifesting any signs of enjoyment.” Even where these exaggerated pictures of the sufferings of the slave, do not present themselves to the fancy of the inexperienced, these naturally judge of it by putting themselves in the place of the sufferer, and estimate his feelings by imagining what their own would be in a similar situation, without recollecting that those who are born slaves, grow up with ideas and sentiments accommodated to their situation, and that much of what is most painful or humiliating to men born free, is not felt by the slave to be any evil at all. We will however proceed to our parallel, by a brief notice of a few leading topics.

Food and clothing.-Mr. Barclay thus sketches the houses and mode of life of the slaves in Jamaica:

"The most common size of the negro houses is twenty-eight feet long, by fourteen broad. Posts of hard wood about nine feet long, or seven above ground, are placed at a distance of two feet from one another, and the space between is closely wattled up and plastered. The roof is covered with the long mountain. thatch, palmeto-thatch, or dried guinea-grass, either of which is more durable than the straw-thatch used in this country. Cane tops are also used for the purpose, but are not so lasting. To throw off the rain, the thatch is brought down a considerable distance over the walls, which in consequence look low, and the roof high. The house is divided into three, and sometimes four apartments

. The room in the middle, occupying the whole breadth of the house, has a door on each side, to admit a circulation of air. This is the sitting apartment, and here the poorer class make fire and cook their victuals; the more wealthy have a separate kitchen at a little distance. The smaller houses have the sitting room in one end, and two sleeping apartments in the other.

“Behind the house is the garden, filled with plantains, ochras, and other ve. getables, which are produced at all seasons. It abounds also with cocoa-nut and calabash trees. A good cocoa-nut will be a meal to a man, and boiled among the sugar (which the negroes frequently do), would be a feast to an epicure. It contains also about a pint of delicious juice, called cocoa-nut milk;' the leaves, which are thick, and twelve or fifteen feet long, are shed occasionally all the year round, and not only make excellent fuel, but are sometimes used for thatch. The nut also yields oil for lamps, and the shell is made into cups. Thus one trec affords meat, drink, fuel, thatch, oil for lamps, and cups to drink out of! No


wonder it is so great a favourite, that every negro village looks at a distance like a cocoa-nut grove. This singularly valuable and beautiful tree, (the fibry part of which is, in the East Indies, manufactured into ropes and clothing), serves also another purpose: from its great height, and perhaps in some degree from the pointed form of its leaves, it is very liable to be struck by lightning, and it affords, near a house, the same protection as a metallic conductor. Many a headless trunk stands a memento of violent thunderstorms. But though thus liable to be blasted, and occasionally rent by the electric fluid, it is never shivered or thrown down; and its slim elastic stem bids defiance to the utmost fury of the hurricane. Blossoms, ripe fruit, and green, are to be seen upon it at all seasons of the year, and it thrives in the most indifferent soils.

The calabash tree produces a large fruit, not eatable, but nevertheless valu. able, as the skin of it is a hard and solid substance, like the shell of a nut, and when scooped out, answers the purpose of holding water, or, cut across the middle, makes two cups or dishes. Every negro has his calabash, and many have them carved with figures like those which are tattooed on the skins of the Africans. They are used to carry out their breakfast to them when at work in the

and from their lightness and strength, are preferable for this purpose to almost any other kind of dish. Tin pans, however, are sometimes used. In the garden too, and commonly under the shade of the low outbranching calabasha tree, are the graves of the family, covered with brick tombs.

“They have also their hogsties: poultry houses are not wanted; the chickens are carefully gathered at night, and hung up in baskets, to preserve them from the rats. The fowls lodge at all seasons in the trees about the houses. The premises belonging to each family are commonly surrounded with a fence; their provision grounds are generally at some distance.

“The furniture in the negro houses of course varies very much according to the industry or otherwise of the family. Some of the Africans have no idea of domestic comfort, and are so improvident that it is utterly impossible to make them comfortable. They will sell their very clothes to buy rum, nay, the pot given them to cook their victuals in; and I have known several instances of their pulling down and burning the very wattling of the houses provided for them, rather than take the trouble to collect fire-wood, although in abundance almost at their doors. With these nothing can be done; but their number is now small. The ordinary class of negroes have fixed beds, covered with deal boards and mats, on which they sleep under a single blanket or sheet, which is all that the climate requires. The rest of their furniture consists of a trunk or chest to hold their clothes, a small cupboard for their cups and dishes, iron pots, and tin pans for cooking, a plain deal table, bench, and a few chairs. The more wealthy, of which the number bas increased much during the last ten years, sleep on beds filled with the dried leaves of the plantain tree, used also by the free people of colour : and the whole of their furniture, as I have before observed, is such as would astonish an English visitor, who, seeing it, would not easily believe him. self in the house of a slave."

For such of our readers as have not travelled south of Pennsylvania, we state, that the houses of the negroes on the farms and plantations in Virginia and the adjoining states, are usually built of logs of timber, and are from twelve to sixteen feet square, and though rude and unseemly, they are very comfortable both in summer and winter; the large logs of which they are made, being better nonconductors than brick or stone. Every family inhabits one of these houses, to each of which is attached a small

a garden, that furnishes them with beans, cabbages, potatoes, melons, and other esculent vegetables. On a large estate, their houses are placed near each other, on some spot contiguous to a good spring, so as to form a small village, in which there is com


monly as much real enjoyment, and far less misery, than the labouring class of any country enjoy.

In consequence of the abundance and cheapness of provisions in our country, they are better fed than are, probably, the peasantry of any country. In the western states, and that part of the middle states which lies, above tide water, the slaves have a liberal supply of animal food, it being furnished them once or twice a day. In the country nearer the coast, the supply is more scanty, but the difference is compensated by the ease with which they can procure fish, oysters, or crabs. They every where are allowed to rear poultry-and can vary their diet by the savoury flesh of squirrels, rabbits, and opossums, which they are expert in catching, and the hunting of which on moonlight nights, constitutes one of their favourite amusements.

In the article of diet, the slaves of the United States must have the advantage over those of the West Indies. But the great variety of fruits and esculent vegetables which tropical climates produce in such profusion, is more suited to the human appetite there than mere animal food. In clothing, the difference between them is not material. In both countries it is comfortable, though coarse, and in sufficient quantities. But there is nothing in which their condition has been more improved than in this. It is far more rare to see them in rags now than it formerly was, and

many who had shoes only in the winter months, now wear them all the year. The ordinary allowance to slaves on the estates, by the owners in the southern states, is two suits a year.

Amusements. -Here there is a wide difference in the kind of recreation enjoyed by the slaves in the United States and the West Indies, but probably not much in the degree:- .

“The day on which the last of the canes are cut down upon a sugar planta. tion, flags are displayed in the field, and all is merriment. A quart of sugar and a quart of rum are allowed to each negro on the occasion, to hold what is called CROP-OVER, or harvest-home. In the evening, they assemble in their master's or manager's house, and, as a matter of course, take possession of the largest room, bringing with them a fiddle and tambourine. Here all authority and all distinction of colour ceases; black and white, overseer and book-keeper, mingle together in the dance. About twenty years ago, it was common on occasions of this kind, to see the different African tribes forming each a distinct party, singing and dancing to the gumbay, after the rude manners of their native Africa; but this custom is now extinct. Following the example of the white people, the fiddle, which they play pretty well, is now the leading instrument; they dance Scotch reels, and some of the better sort (who have been house servants) country-dances. Here the loud laugh, and the constant buzz of singing and talking, bespeak their enjoyment, and the absence of all care about the present or future ills of life.

“Such dances were formerly common, or I should rather say universal, at Christmas; but of late years have much gone out, owing to an idea impressed on the minds of the negroes, principally I believe by the missionaries, that the season ought rather to be devoted to religious exercises. It is now considered more becoming to attend the places of worship, or to have private religious parties among themselves; and in passing through a negro village on a Christmas night,


it is more common to hear psalm-singing, than the sound of merriment. The young people, however, still indulge in some amusements on this occasion, one of which may be worth describing. The young girls of a plantation, or occasionally of two neighbouring plantations leagued, form what is called “a sett.' They dress exactly in uniform, with gowns of some neat pattern of printed cotton, and take the name of Blue Girls, Yellow Girls, &c., according to the dress and ribbon they have chosen. They have always with them in their excursions, a fiddle, drum, and tambourine, frequently boys playing fifes, a distinguishing flag which is waved on a pole, and generally some fantastical figure, or toy, such as a castle or tower, surrounded with mirrors. A matron attends, who possesses some degree of authority, and is called Queen of the Sett, and they have always one or two Joncanoe-men, smart youths, fantastically dressed, and masked so as not to be known. Thus equipped, and generally accompanied by some friends, they proceed to the neighbouring plantation villages, and always visit the mas. ter's or manager's house, into which they enter without ceremony, and where they are joined by the white people in a dance. Some refreshment is given to them, and the Joncanoe-men, after a display of their buffoonery, commonly put the white people under requisition for a little money, to pay the fiddler, &c. ' A party of forty or fifty young girls thus attired, with their hair braided over their brows, beads round their necks, and gold ear-rings, present a very interesting and amusing sight, as they approach a house dancing, with their music playing, and Joncanoe-men capering and playing tricks. They have generally fine voices, and dancing in a room they require no instrumental music. One of their best singers commences the song, and unaccompanied, sings the first part with words for the occasion, of course not always very poetical, though frequently not unamusing; the whole sett joins in the chorus as they mingle in the dance, waving their handkerchiefs over their heads. All is life and joy, and certainly it is one of the most pleasing sights that can be imagined.”

There is nothing exactly correspondent to this, among the slaves of Maryland and Virginia, or that savours so strongly of their African origin. Their amusements are pretty much of the same character as those of the whites. These are, dancing, music, and hunting or fishing; and some of the occupations of husbandry are to them occasions of festivity and merriment. In “pulling fodder,” that is, stripping the Indian corn of its blades, and in gathering the grain itself, they join in rude songs, which are made by some improvisatore of the company. But the favourite occasion for these “corn songs,” is at their shucking matches, when as many of the negroes of the adjoining farms as choose to attend, meet at the fodder-stack, and pass more than half the night in singing, drinking, and in the easy operation of ridding the ears of the Indian corn of their natural covering. Indeed, they are characterized by nothing more than by their lightheartedness and cheerful tempers, whether it proceed from natural temperament, or be the effect of plain wholesome diet, and moderate exercise, -or because their minds are relieved from the corroding cares of providing for the future-or whether it is produced by all these together. They are thought to have good ears for music, as well as a lively relish for it; but their performances, in this way, are commonly confined to the fiddle or the fife-the Banja, which they brought from Africa, bas been almost forgotten, with the Obeah and Joncanoe-men. In the entertainments of the household slaves, and those who live in the towns, they

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