صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

your promise, you insert the following

[ocr errors]

sion. The phraseology throughout is foreign. No native of the Sandwich Islands would have any idea of going through four operations. They never speak of a king as the head of a nation, a general as the head of an army, or a father as the head of a family.

Had Boki wished

to describe Mr. Bingham as (we should say) the head of the mission, he would have called him the chief of the mission. The facts of the letter contradict themselves. Boki, with his brother, Karaimoku, exercises the supreme authority in the islands; and if it had been his desire that Mr. Bingham should have left the islands, his command would have been sufficient to have enforced, at any time, compliance with his wishes. The orthography, in many instances, is certainly such as Boki would not employ. Had he written the letter, he would surely have spelt his own name correctly, according to the orthography established by the printing-press in the islands, yet in the last paragraph of the copy sent to England, with a sight of which I have been favoured, Mrs. Boki's name is spelt Bockey. Besides this incorrectness, here are two letters, viz. c and y, introduced, which do not exist in their language. In the next line, Boki's own name is spelt Boke, but in your Review both these names are altered, and appear as if they had been properly written Boki.

"In addition to the above brief statement of the evidence, that the letter was neither written nor dictated by Boki, I have evidence on his own testimony, dated only three months before the letter is said to have been written. I have also letters of a later date from missionaries and chiefs, containing very different statements. Boki, in his last letter to me, under date of October 1825, observes, All is smooth and straight here, I am making myself strong in the word of God. Turned have the chiefs to instruction. I speak unto them and encourage them concerning the word of God, that it may be well with our land.'

6

[blocks in formation]

note:

"We have received a letter from Mr. Ellis (the missionary), in which he tells us that the Letter from Boki,' quoted in the last page of our last number, is a forgery. In answer to this, we can only assure Mr. Ellis that the letter certainly did come from the Sandwich Islands; that its genuineness neither has been, nor is, doubted, either by the officer of the Blonde who received it, or by his captain; and that the gentlemen of that ship generally concur in stating the tenour of the letter to be in perfect accordance with the sentiments which Boki was in the habit of expressing to them while they were in his society. We can easily believe that Mr. Boki may not have been in the habit of writing, or even of speaking his mind quite so openly-to Mr. Ellis.'

"In this note you repeat the original injury, and conceal from your readers that Mr. Ellis's letter was chiefly a contradiction of the misrepresentations contained in your own article. You re-assert that the letter said to be written by Boki, came from the islands, which had not been disputed; and that its genuineness was not doubted by the person who received it. All this, sir, is nothing to the purpose. Why did you not lay before the publie Mr. Ellis's objections to its genuineness? Candour and justice required this. Your readers would then have instantly perceived that Boki could not have written the letter which has been palmed on the public as his; and that Mr. Ellis's simple statement completely exposes the fraud which must have been practised by some designing individual.

"Here I might properly rest the defence of the missions in the Pacific, against the charges which you have brought for ward. The testimony of Mr. Ellis, in point of truth, will, by all impartial men, be considered as at least equally deserving of regard with that of Captain Beechey; and as it respects the means of knowing the real state of the facts, the two witnesses will not admit of being compared together. But, as the opportunity is presented, it may be proper to enter into some details respecting the propagation of Christianity in the islands which have called forth these remarks; and to notice many things which Mr. Ellis's letter passes

over.

[ocr errors]

We shall not be able to follow Mr. Orme through all these items; but we recommend those of our readers who may be inclined to build their opinion. upon the assertions of the Quarterly Re view, to read the book for themselves, We may extract a few particulars i another Number. In the mean time w conclude with the following attestation t the character of these calumniated mis sionaries, which we copy from the New

York Observer, and which is in perfect consonance with numerous other docu

ments:→→→

"It is well known to our readers, that among the sailors who visit the Sandwich Islands, English as well as American, there are many vicious men who are violently opposed to the American

missionaries, and to the work of refor

mation which has been produced by their
labours, because of the obstacle it pre-
sents to the gratification of their unhal-
lowed appetites. We are sorry to per-
ceive that the editor of the Enquirer, of
this city, and of the Quarterly Review, of
London, bave lent their columns to the
dissemination of misrepresentations and
calumnies proceeding from such a source.
The American missionaries are personally
and thoroughly known to thousands of
our most respectable citizens, and enjoy
their entire confidence. The leaders
of
the mission are ordained ministers of the
Gospel, of distinguished piety, and had
received before they left this country, as
thorough a classical and theological edu-
cation as is enjoyed by the clergy in the
most enlightened districts of our country.
Those who know them will require no
vindication of their character; to others
we recommend the following statement,
made by Capt. M. Sayre, of the ship
Marcus, who arrived a few days since at
Sag Harbor from his second voyage to the
Pacific Ocean, and authorised the publica-
tion of it in the Sag Harbor Watchman.
Capt. Sayre, says the Watchman, who is
a gentleman of intelligence and observa-
tion, and whose veracity may be relied
on, visited the Sandwich Islands on both
his voyages; and on his last voyage he
spent several weeks on those islands, and
took great pains to ascertain the real
character and conduct of the American
missionaries, from their enemies as well as
friends; and he says that their conduct,
instead of being, as the Enquirer states,
⚫ mischievous,' and excessively absurd
and outrageous,' has been in his opinion,
moderate, firm, dignified, mild, and Chris-
tian; and that the censures which have
been passed upon Mr. Bingham, either
in those islands or in this country, have
generally come from the enemies of reli-
gion, and ought to be viewed by the
public as gross calumnies, originating
almost exclusively from a spirit of hosti-
lity to the missionary cause. And with
regard to the natives being required to
attend church five times every day,' and
being forced to spend all their time in
preaching, praying, and singing,' nothing
of the kind occurred during his stay on
the islands, neither could he learn that it
had ever been done. There had, how-
ever, been some irregularities and incon-
sistencies in the meetings conducted by
the natives, which had been spoken of as
such, and corrected by the missionaries

all which might very naturally be ex

pected among an unenlightened people. The truth is, the short time which they are in the habit of devoting to religious duties, instead of interfering with their secular concerns, makes them more regular and diligent in their attention to business. Although it is stated that provisions are so extremely scarce, that not long since the king sent to beg a little bread of the American consul,' yet we are assured by our informant, that ten ships can now obtain supplies on the island of Oahu, where one could not before the arrival of the missionaries. That class of the community particularly devoted to books and instruction, were formerly an idle train, who followed the king from place to place, and spent their time in foolish plays and games. We are further informed by Capt. Sayre, that the missionaries, instead of attempting to force the darkest and most dreary points of Puritan discipline upon the simple-minded islanders, instruct them in the simple, plain, practical truths and precepts of the Gospel; and their efforts, instead of

tending as fast as possible to lay waste the whole countty, and plunge the inha bitants into civil war and bloodshed,' have an influence directly the reverse. Capt. Sayre had considerable conversation with Gov. Adams, of Owhyhee, an intelligent and observing man, who informed him that he had never been able to discover any thing in the missionaries, and particularly in Mr. Bingham, at variance with their profession; and that their instruction was good and calculated to make them more happy and peaceable, and it had produced these effects, so far as they had been influenced by it, throughout the islands. Gov. Adams further observed, that the natives were not required to neglect their land, but were taught to be industrious. The governor appeared to be decidedly in favour of the missionaries, notwithstanding the influence of some American residents and an English consul to draw off his attention.

"As to Boki, we are informed, that since his return from England, where he derived little or no advantage in regard to religion and morality, he has been a very suspicious character. Till quite recently he has done much for the missionaries, but has now taken a different stand, declaring that the great men of England gamble, and spend their time in play, &c.; and that he may do the same with equal propriety; and that he does not wish to be subject to the moral instruction of the missionaries. Those acquainted with the indefatigable pains taken by foreigners who are hostile to the missionary cause, to draw him away from good instruction, will not be surprised at the bold step which he has taken. His authority, however, is limited, and causes but little fear among the missionaries. Capt. Sayre informs us that the chiefs generally are decidedly moral, friendly to the mis

sionaries, and many of them profess religion; and that this is the great cause of the opposition from foreigners. They are disturbed and restrained in their unlawful and licentious courses; and it is very natural to suppose that the restraints thus imposed upon their wicked indul

gences by the light of civilization and Christianity, diffused among the natives by the missionaries, would awaken the hostility of the unprincipled and profligate to the cause of religion, and occasion the missionaries themselves to become the objects of their hatred and vituperation."

VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.:

FOREIGN.

PORTUGAL.-The emperor Don Pedro has placed Don Miguel at the head of the government, to administer the affairs of the kingdom according to the provisions of the charter. Don Miguel is, however, so much opposed to the new constitution, that it seems doubtful what line of conduct he will adopt. If he should be induced, as well he may be, especially after witnessing the fatal example of the king of Spain, to yield up his early prejudices to a wise and enlightened policy, thus consulting not less his own interest than the interests of his country at large, Portugal will long have to rejoice at the accession of such a mediating and healing influence. But should he persist in his opposition to a constitutional government, we see no alternative but either an abrogation of the charter, or a fierce and long-continued struggle between the hostile parties in the state, each side perhaps encouraged by foreign countenance, and which, terminating as it may, either for liberty or despotism, must in the mean time inflict upon the country all the horrors which attend a protracted civil discord.

SPAIN.-The king continues his crusade against his ultra-royalist subjects, whom, however, he has vanquished in several skirmishes,and,as he states,reduced to submission; though he is still on his march, and accounts continue to arrive of partial contests, which do not quite dove-tail with his majesty's veni, vidi, vici details. We are happy however, for the sake of our common humanity, in whatever cause engaged, to find that he is more liberal in his amnesty to these super-royal rebels than he has ever been to the abettors of the late Constitution; and that he forbids every kind of taunt, whether by word or gesture, to those who lay down their arms and return to their allegiance. He is stated also to have summoned to his presence, the chief ecclesiastical authorities in the disturbed districts, and to

have held them responsible for the good conduct of their faithful children, who wished to be more kingly in their notions than the king.

GREECE AND TURKEY.-The timely interposition of the Christian allies has, we rejoice to learn, prevented the meditated attack of the Egyptian fleet, under the Pacha Ibrahim, upon Greece; and the last reports state, that the Turkish government has shewn an inclination to accept the offered mediation for arranging the affairs of Greece upon a just and honourable basis. Negotiations are stated to be in progress for the accomplishment of this most desirable object.

DOMESTIC.

There is no immediate domestic intelligence which requires our notice, but our slave colonies still continue to be subjects of powerful, though distressing interest. Our readers will recollect that, in the session of 1826, Mr. Canning in the house of commons, and Lord Ba thurst in the house of lords, stated that bills for the amelioration of the state of slavery, grounded upon the Trinidad Order in Council, would be sent out to the governors of the West-India colonies for the consideration of the legislative bodies; which government had trusted would be attended with a successful result; but if otherwise, it would be for the imperial parliament to consider what measures would be expedient to carry the intentions of government into effect. The proposed enactments, and the reception they have met with from the colonial legislatures, are contained in a bulky folio presented to parliament at the close of the last session, when it was too late for the legislature to take the matter into consideration. A lucid, and sufficiently copious, analysis of these papers has just been given to the public, (see our List of New Publications,) to which we would strongly direct the attention of those of our readers who are interested in the details of this great question. Our own notice of it must

be very brief; but we will give, from the above analysis, a few illustrations, sufficiently characteristic to enlighten them upon the whole subject.

It is necessary to remind our readers, that the Trinidad Order in Council itself, which is made a sort of standard for the amelioration of slavery throughout the colonies, is far from embodying all that his Majesty's Government at first held out to the expectation of parliament and the public, and much farther still from embracing all that the exigencies of the case demanded. It comprises no provisions whatever either for the education or religious instruction of the slaves. It does not abolish Sunday markets, but continues to sanction then. It does not allow to the slave, as was stipulated, equivalent time, in lieu of Sunday, for raising food and for marketing. The evidence of slaves is not admitted, without such limitations as almost to destroy the efficiency of the measure. The slave continues debarred, under heavy penalties, from raising or vending any article of exportable produce. The separation of families by sale is not prohibited, except in the single case of judicial sales. Slaves may still be sold detached from the estate to which they belong. No record, as respects arbitrary punishments by the master, is required, except in the case of plantation slaves. The protector of slaves himself may hold personal slaves to any amount in his own, and slave plantations in every other colony; and the assistant protectors may possess slaves, whether predial or domes tic, without any limitation. And besides these deviations from the course which it was originally proposed to pursue, there are some other points materially affecting the happiness of the slave, which are wholly omitted. One is, that the hours of labour are not fixed; another, that the order sanctions the cruel and unjust principle of authorizing the infliction of severe corporal chastisement on the complaining slave, who, under all his disadvantages as a witness, shall not have proved the truth of his complaint. To which we may add, that however excellent may have been the intention of the framers of the regulations in the Trinidad Order, respecting manumission, they have failed in guarding them from most enormous abuses. The colonial appraisers have found a way, at no greater expense than a false oath, of defeating the object, by affixing upon the slave a preposterous nominal value, which no man in the colonies would for a moment think of giving for him. CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 310.

Yet, imperfect as are these regulations, in what manner have the colonists acted upon them? In what spirit have they responded to the most solemn wishes and remonstrances of the British Government and Legislature? to the unanimous voice of their countrymen at home, and the still louder voice of common humanity? To answer this question, we refer to the parliamentary documents above alluded to; or, as these are voluminous, and in comparatively few hands, to the abovementioned analysis of them. We can, however, answer it in one sentence; for some of the islands have done nothing, literally nothing; others have done next to nothing, having made a shew of legislating, but with a very scanty measure of substantial and efficient improvement; and others have done worse than nothing, for they have added contumely to defiance; they have spurned and scouted the suggestions of his Majesty's Government, and heaped every species of ridicule and contempt upon their authors and abettors. The analysis gives the details in the alphabetical order of the islands. First there is Antigua, respecting which we learn that its legislature have done nothing. Then follow the Bahamas, which have rejected all the eight bills proposed by his Majesty's Government, and passed one bill of their own. We give, as a sample of Bahama legislation, negative and positive, one specimen of their reasons for rejecting Lord Bathurst's bills, and one of the provisos of their own. With respect to the punishment of female slaves, they deem it impracticable to substitute any other mode, as proposed in Lord Bathurst's bills, in the place of flogging ; for, say they, all intelligent slave-owners hold, that females generally require more frequent corporal correction than males. So much for rejection; now for ameliorative legislation. vides, that henceforward women are not to be stripped and flogged in the presence of any males, except the person or persons ordering the punishment, and the person or persons inflicting the same! Next follows, alphabetically, Barbadoes; which has passed, not the eight reprobated colonial-office bills, but some of their own; offering a few minor improvements, but retaining the essential atrocities of the system. They have refused, for example, to abolish the use of the whip in the field, and the flogging of females, or to confer on slaves a right of property. The power of summary punishment by flogging, "the Assembly considers to be inseparable from a state of 40

Section 10 pro

slavery." Berbice succeeds; and here, his Majesty's Government, having the power in their own hands, have enforced an amended code of slave law; yet how insufficient even this is, may be seen by the enactment which they have allowed to be pressed upon them, that no slave shall be allowed to purchase his freedom without the consent of his owner, unless he can prove that the money for the purpose has been honestly acquired, either by his own earnings, or by bequest or succession; and that he has conducted himself honestly and faithfully for the five preceding years; and that he shall not have been convicted of any crime, or punished by any court or magistrate, for seven years preceding. It would be out of the power of an angel, in a state of slavery, says the analysis, to avoid incurring the fatal disqualification of this code. Suppose a man had been treasuring up his earnings for many years, adding to it any little gifts he might have received, the gifts would vitiate the whole mass, and doom him to perpetual slavery. He must bring nothing to aid the purchase which has not been obtained by bequest or succession, or by his own honest industry. And what is the legal definition of "honest industry," or of " honest and faithful conduct," any failure in which is to be followed by such tremendous consequences? The man is to be retained in slavery, not because he has committed some specific criminal or fraudulent acts, which disqualify him for the possession of freedom, but because he cannot sufficiently prove that his conduct has been honest and faithful (that he has never told a lie, or sucked one of his master's sugar-canes!), during five

years; and that his accumulated earnings, of perhaps twenty or thirty years, have not been tainted by fraud, or contaminated by a gift! Bermuda makes no return. The Cape of Good Hope, having no district legislature, is subjected to an Order in Council closely resembling the Trinidad Code, but with a few exceptions; some for the better, but others much for the worse. Among the latter, we find that the flogging of adult females may still be practised privately, though not publicly; and that children may be sold separately from their parents if above ten years of age (instead of sixteen as in Trinidad), and even under that age, if it can be shewn that it is for the well-being of the children to be so sold! Demerara, though it has no legislature, still continues to ward off as far as possible the plans of government: Dominica has re

jected the eight bills: Grenada has done the same: Honduras sends no return : Jamaica, the largest and most important of all the islands, rejects the eight bills, and substitutes a code of its own, which does not embrace any one of Lord Bathurst's propositions. No protector of slaves has been appointed; no right is given to slaves to purchase their freedom, except with the owner's consent; no legal validity or effect is given to the marriage of slaves; no right of property is conferred on the slave: neither the driving whip, nor the flogging of females, is abolished; nor is any record of punishments required. The old and cruel law is renewed, which enacts, that "any slaves found guilty of preaching or teaching, as Anabaptists or otherwise, without a permission from their owner and the Quarter Sessions," shall be punished at the discretion of any three magistrates, by whipping or hard labour in the workhouse and to this disgraceful clause two new ones are now added. The one enacts, that "whereas the assembling of slaves and other persons after dark at places of meeting belonging to dissenters from the established religion, and other persons professing to be teachers of religion, has been found extremely dangerous; and great facilities are thereby given to the formation of plots and conspiracies; and the health of slaves and other persons has been injured in travelling to and from such places at late hours in the night. All such meetings, between sunset and sunrise, are declared unlawful.". The analysis appends the following notes to this enactment: "What is this but bloody persecution? A Negro is not to teach his fellow to fear God, or to turn from his sins to his Saviour, but at the risk of having his flesh torn by the cart-whip, or being subjected to hard labour in chains, at the discretion of the magistrates. Such is the benign spirit of the legislators of Jamaica towards a population whom they have kept, for ages, in the darkness of heathenism. Nothing can be more untrue than the whole of the preamble. It has not even a shred of evidence on which to rest. The health which suffers nothing from toiling in the field till night-fall, and then collecting and carrying fodder, and, besides this, working hard half of every night during crop, is to be ruined by sitting for half an hour, or an hour, in a house or chapel, to receive religious instruction, or to join in religious worship! The hour, of field labour, in Jamaica are fixed by law, from five in the morning to seven in the evening.

« السابقةمتابعة »