Слике страница
PDF
ePub

committee on Indian affairs, to tees, to retard the progress of busiwhom the Creek controversy would ness, by protracted debates, and be necessarily referred, was com- proposed amendments, so as to preposed of those, who sustained the vent the passage of many important governor of Georgia in his extra- bills. In many instances, these ordinary course ; although when the amendments entirely defeated the treaty against which they had re- bills. The judiciary bill was deported, came before the senate to stroyed by an amendment, which be ratified, the members who made the house deemed inadmissible ; the majority of that committee, were and the bankrupt law was laid upon found in a minority of 7 against 30. the table, in the senate, because too

Committees thus selected, neces- much of the session had been consarily, brought in reports unfavora- sumed by previous debates, to perble to the measures supported by mit the consideration of that imthe friends of the government, and portant subject. The same cause whilst these reports gave authority, prevented the departure of the comand an extensive circulation to the missioners to Panama, in time to principles of the opposition; the attend the first session of that consenate was compelled, either to gress ; but the evils, which might reverse them, or to place itself in have followed from this omission, opposition to the other branch of were averted, by the comity of the the legislature.

powers there assembled, in adjournThe inconvenience of this state ing the congress, to meet the winof things, induced the senate, atter following, at Tacabaya. the latter part of the session, to By the course which the oppositake from the vice president, the tion adopted, public attention was power of appointing the committees. strongly attracted to the proceedIt was, however, too late to remedyings of the two houses of congress, the evils which had been produced and though some pride was felt at by the attitude, that the senate had the talent displayed, on both sides, been forced to assume, with respect the general impression, was, that of to the executive, as well as the mortification and disappointment. popular branch of congress. Al. While some speeches manifested though the opposition, which before both thought and eloquence; the the end of the session, had taken a greatest portion evinced bad taste, decided character, did not form a and unsound argument. The manmajority of that body ; still it was ner, too, in which the opposition strong enough, especially when sup- attacked the administration, disported by the reports of the commit- played an exasperated feeling, in which the community did not sym- high moral and intellectual characpathize, and a general suspicion ter. It was composed of men of a was felt, that its leaders were actu- grave age, chosen by the state ated by private griefs, and that the legislatures, and holding their offipublic interests were neglected, in ces independent of the immethis earnest struggle for power. diate impulse of popular feeling,

The pride of the country, too, had and a proportionate degree of rereceived a deep wound, in the pros- gret was felt, at the loss of intration of the dignity of the senate. fluence which was produced by the This body had always before, pre- occurrences of the session. The served a high character for dignity session closed to the general satisand talent. Whatever was thought of faction of the country ; and with an its political sentiments, or the effect universal wish, that the next session of its votes, no one questioned its might be devoted to business.

CHAPTER VI.

WEST INDIES.-European Colonies.-British West Indies.-Order

in Council.- Proceedings in JamaicaCuba-Political ConditionGovernment.-Hayti-its Government-French Ordinance-Nature of it-Accepted by Boyer-Loan--Disturbances-- State of Hayti.

We have already stated at large, their situation was capable of bein the introductory chapter, that ing changed for the better, withonly half a century has elapsed, since out invasion of the rights of prothe history of America was nothing prietors, or endangering the tranbut the history of European colonies. quillity of the colonies, the British Now but a small portion of the ministry, in 1823, proposed cerworld, either in extent, in wealth, tain measures for that purpose ; in value, or in population, is de intending to operate upon the pendant upon any foreign state. negroes gradually, and opposed On the continent of America, to the wild schemes of precipiwe have all shaken off the fet- tate emancipation, urged by some ters of transatlantic rule, save the short sighted zealots. In Greinhabitants of the small remaining nada, St. Vincent's, and St. ChrisBritish possessions at the north, topher's, the suggestion of the and of the still smaller European ministers were respectfully receidependancies within the tropics. ved; but in Dominica, Tobago, Omitting these, because, present- Barbadoes, and Jamaica, the coloing few independent political facts nial legislatures manifested sympfor our consideration, we shall toms of opposition to the wishes confine ourselves, in this chapter, of the government. It was, thereto the most important of the Westfore, deemed best to try the plan in India islands, including Hayti. one of the conquered colonies, they

In order to understand the ques- being exclusively under the control tions concerning the condition of of the crown. Trinidad was fixed upnegroes, the principal subject of on for the experiment. Accordingly, agitation in the BRITISH WEST an order in council was issued,March INDIEs, it is necessary to advert to 10th, 1824, containing a mass of the famous order in council, de- regulations for the slave population signed for the improvement of their of that island;' and which may black population. Believing that be taken, as exhibiting a correct

idea of the system contemplated fications, in all civil actions not affor the others.

fecting the interest of his master, By this order, a person was to and in all criminal cases not reachbe appointed protector of the ing the life of a white person. slaves, who should act as the guar- The humane regulation of this dian of their welfare, as for in- new Code Noir, extended to Destance, in suits wherein they were merara, Berbice, and St. Lucie, interested. All markets were to as well as Trinidad. Mr. Canning be discontinued on Sunday; and declared it to be the intention of no slaves to be employed in la- government, to extend their plans bor, between sunset on Saturday of improvement to the other and sunrise on Monday. No fe- colonies ; not precipitately, nor by males were to be flogged in any force; but by the slow and silent case; and the punishment of whip- course of temperate, but authoritaping males was confined, to cases tive admonition. of an offence committed; being With such enlightened views, forbidden, as an inducement to la- have the ministry commenced. bor; and strict regulations were pro- Many difficulties, however, stand vided, to prevent abuse in the em- in the way of effectually introducing ployment of whipping, as a punish- the contemplated reforms. In Eng. ment. To encourage marriages, land, all practicable plans of imit was ordered, that under suitable provement are liable to be defeatrestrictions, they should be solemn- ed, on the one hand, by the uncalized in the forms of religion; and culating zeal of men, who seem to that in making sales of slaves, hus- be utterly regardless of the properband and wife should not be se- ty and lives of the whites, in their parated from each other, nor from ardor for the good of the blacks , their children. Various facilities and on the other, by the friends of were established, for enabling slaves the West Indians, and by the to accumulate property; and as a West India proprietors residing in consequence, a slave was authori. England. sed to purchase his own freedom, A majority of well informed peror that of his wife, child, sister or sons, who are unprejudiced in the brother; and if he and his master question, see the desirableness of could not agree on the price of his elevating the condition of the emancipation, the protector was blacks, not merely on the score of to arbitrate between them. Final- considerations of humanity; but ly, the oath of a slave was made for the preservation and security admissible, subject to certain quali- of the colonies themselves. Fifty

« ПретходнаНастави »