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and vicinity, signed by upwards of 100,000 persons, moved a series of resolutions for the speedy termination of the apprenticeship, supporting them by a speech worthy of his brightest fame, and whose immediate publication produced a deep impression upon the country. I cannot forbear quoting the closing paragraph of the peroration.
Said Lord Brougham :
“So now the fullness of time is come for at length discharging our duty to the African captive. I have demonstrated to you that everything is ordered—every previous step takenall safe, by experience shown to be all safe, for the longdesired consummation. The time has come, the trial has been made, the hour is striking : you have no longer a pretext for hesitation, or faltering, or delay. The slave has shown, by four years' blameless behavior and devotion to the pursuits of peaceful industry, that he is as fit for his freedom as any English peasant-aye, or any lord whom I now address. I demand his rights ; I demand his liberty without stint. In the name of justice and of law, in the name of reason, in the name of God, who has given you no right to work injustice, I demand that your brother be no longer trampled upon as your slave! I make my appeal to the Commons, who represent the free people of England, and I require at their hands the performance of that condition for which they paid so enormous a price—that condition which all their constituents are in breathless anxiety to see fulfilled! I appeal to this House. Hereditary judges of the first tribunal in the world, to you I appeal for justice! Patrons of all the arts that humanize mankind, under your protection I place humanity herself!
To the merciful Sovereign of a free people, I call aloud for mercy to the hundreds of thousands for whom half a million of her Christian sisters have cried aloud ; I ask that their cry may not have risen in vain. But first I turn my eye to the Throne of all Justice, and devoutly humbling myself before Him who is of purer eyes than to behold such vast iniquities, I implore that the curse hovering over the head of the unjust and oppressor be averted from us—that
that your hearts may be turned to mercy and that over all the earth His will may at length be done.”
On the 29th of March, Sir George Strickland brought forward a motion in the Commons, for the termination of the apprenticeship on the 1st of August following. Ministers resisted, and it was lost. While the motion was pending, two large anti-slavery conventions met in London, and soon afterwards five thronged meetings were held in Exeter Hall, in whose proceedings Brougham, Buxton, O'Connell, and other distinguished men, played a prominent part. The obstinate course of the Cabinet had not only exasperated public opinion at home, but had produced a feverish excitement amongst the apprentices in the Colonies.
In the midst of this furious contest, whose issue was shrouded in darkness, light suddenly broke in from an unexpected quarter.
Lo! a ministerial dispatch, dated the very day after the November convention met, appeared in the West India newspapers, addressed to the Colonial Governors, in which Lord Glenelg informed them that agitation had again commenced, and would no doubt go on as before, and urging them to impress on the Legislatures the necessity of doing for themselves, and in season, what the people of England were seeking to compel the Parliament to do for them. Thus the Cabinet, while presenting a bold front at home, was saying its life by indirectly and secretly doing the work Abolitionists were forcing it to perform.
Simultaneously with the arrival in England of the journals containing copies of the dispatch, came the news, that the two small islands of Montserrat and Nevis had yielded to the ministerial solicitation, and resolved to emancipate their apprentices on the 1st of August. Other small islands soon copied their example. Barbadoes, with her 83,000 apprentices, followed in the train. Then came Jamaica, with her 330,000. This settled the question. Other Colonies now gave way, and ministers pledged themselves that all should be completed by the appointed day. It was done—the Cabinet averted an inglorious defeat—the planters escaped a hurricane of violence in a dark night of negro insurrection-and, on the first day of August, 1838, the friends of emancipation assembled in all parts of the Empire, to render thanksgiving to God for the final overthrow of British negro slavery.
The great work of 1834 and 1838, which we have hastily scanned, was accomplished by the People, and not by the Government; by the Democracy, as distinguished from the Aristocracy--the latter moving only when impelled by the former. Of political parties, the large share of Abolitionists came from the liberals. Of religious sects, the most active were the Friends, the Baptists, and the Independents. The cry occasionally heard in this country, that the abolition of West India Slavery was intended to be an indirect blow at American republicanism, is the shallow cant of owlish ignorance or demagogical hypocrisy. The Englishmen who bore a prominent part in the Abolition cause, generally admire our free institutions, and are now efficient laborers in those reforms which aim to cripple the power of the privileged orders, to prevent class legislation, and to secure the equal rights of the masses of their countrymen.
The conduct of the emancipated negroes during the last ten years has justified the eulogium pronounced upon them by Lord Brougham, in the last of the two quotations from him. The magistrate has driven out the overseer; the school has taken the place of the whipping-post; the press has supplanted the tread-mill. It is said that the large landed estates are diminishing in value ; that the quantity of sugar, coffee, and rum, annually produced, decreases; that the negroes are reluctant to labor upon these large properties, preferring to set up little shops, or work at trades, or cultivate small grounds on their own account. In the mass of conflicting testimony, it is difficult to get at the precise facts. I presume that, to a large extent, these reports are true. Monopolies in the flesh of man, and in the soil he tills, are at war with Nature and with God. If they have been long continued, a change will
produce some bitter fruits. But they will be the growth of the evil rather than the remedy. The tropics belong to the colored race.
The Saxon must abandon the West Indies. His huge landed estates must inevitably continue to diminish in value till they are broken up into small freeholds, each being cultivated by its individual owner. Such a consummation will be deprecated only by those who believe that the chief end of poor men, in hot climates, is to work as daylaborers, on small wages, for bloated capitalists, in the production of large quantities of cotton, coffee, sugar, and rum.
Notices of some Prominent Abolitionists-T. Fowell Buxton-Zachary
Macaulay-Joseph Sturge–William Allen-James Cropper-Joseph and Samuel Gurney-George William Alexander-Thomas Pringle-Charles Stuart.-John Scoble—George Thompson-Rev. Dr. Thomson Rev. Dr. Wardlaw-Rev. Dr. Ritchie-Rev. Mr. James-Rev. Messrs. Hinton, Brock, Bevan, and Burnet.
Sir THOMAS FOWELL BUXTON was the Abolition leader in the House of Commons during the Anti-Slavery conflicts of 1832 and 1833. His life is a beautiful illustration of Solomon's saying, “ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." At six years of age, Thomas lost his father, but there was left to him that most valuable of blessings, a vigorous-minded, well-educated, virtuous mother, who watched his young days with pains-taking solicitude. He was naturally of a sportive, roving disposition, and, when at school or college, made rather greater proficiency in the practice of hunting and fishing than in the study of mathematics and the languages. Though his juvenile tastes led him to scatter large quantities of that erratic grain called “wild oats,” the teachings of his mother inclined his maturer years to the cultivation of the more profitable fields of Humanity and Philanthropy. The training of the child was shown in the actions of the man. Mr. Buxton's public life was devoted to meliorating the condition of the unfortunate classes of society. Especially was he the friend of prisoners, criminals and slaves. While a young man, he took a lively interest in Prison Disci