Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, May 06, 1789, Image 1
No. VII. SKETCH of the POLITICAL STATE of j america _ NUMBER IV. rf HAT temptation to fraud atid fubte.fuge, I which the currency of a fluctuating medium rented had a visible effedt upon the morals of community, and tended to destroy that recip rocal confidence, between the individual members 1 vh forms the great prop and cement of all io is ever productive of vice and immorality, by pre iudicin' the habits, and corrupting the manners of Si • perhaps the reafonin- is no further true than by opening a wider field for exertion, and <!reater opportunity for the display of the powers of the mind, the latent feeds of vice are in vibr ated and the prolific foil which covers them being loosened, they spring into view i Habits of dilfi pa- ion naturally arise in armies, and among la. ge collections of men, which the vigour of military discipline is sometimes unable to controul ; and which in a country, whose citizens are alio sol diers are easily introduced among the great mass of the people. This was peculiarly the situation of America ; and that indolence and machvity, succeeded enterprise and exertion, which bu: ill become a young country, just emerged f rom a long and expensive war ; and under the necessity of ob taining future support by her own indultry, and without the a rich parent. _ . Conrnon danger no longer operating to direct the views, and draw the exertions of her levcral States to one common centre, a ciLivrciit lcene 10011 opened to our view: The recommendations of Cougrefs having loft the support of that zeal and enthusiasm, which had ever given them the force oflavv, soon fervedonlyto present repeated proofs of its declining power: The clangor of the trumpet, and the din of arms, had deprived molt of the States of an opportunity to form those plans of ci vil policy, which require mature reflexion, and a tranquil mind ; and languor and indecilion became the charaderiftic marks of their future delibera tions ; and the influence of those eternal rules of luftice, which do honor to a people, daily became more faint and-weak, till the opposite principle in many instances, prevailed, and to do the molt wrofig became the greatest object of emulation : For want of that protcct ion and encouragement, Which is derived from the foftering hand of a good o-overnment, our citizens were obliged to resort to the dominions of our late enemies, to pursue those plans of buiinefs, and obtain that support which their own country denied them. The blo'od of tiiofe heroes, who"had fallen martyrs to freedom, grew pale to the imagination ; and the exprellive tear of the widow and the orphan, no longer com municated emotion : The wretch, cripled in the service of his country, was reproached for com plaining ; and the foreign and domestic creditor, Called in vain upon our Gratitude, our Justice and Humanity- America, blush at the recital! Our Ca-fars and Catatines watched, with an eager eye, an opportunity to seize on the liberties of their country ; and fell anarchy, with all her train of concomitant evils, began to stalk with gigantic ltrides over these confederated republics, and they were alarmed by all those convulsions and agita tions, which like the fulpliureous fermentations in the bowels of the earth, frequently threaten adif ibludort. Unhappy for America, the toobenevolenta pre emption upon the disposition of foreign powers, prevented her feeing fufficiently seasonably, the effedts of their baneful policy, while too ftronga reliance on her own virtue—a supposed competi tion of interelts between the States, and inexperi ence in the condutft of national affairs, rendered the eftablilhment of necessary regulations, of a general nature, impoflible to be effected : While only reasoning upon the fubjecft, and not till an al most total decay of trade—want of employment among her mechanics, and a general poverty of her citizens, had taken place, could she be prevail ed upon to adopt those measures, and pursue those principles, on v'.iich her future prosperity and happiness evidently relied. AMERICANUS. (To 6, continued.) Anecdote «/Crom well. WHEN Cromwell was in Scotland with his troops, lie went out one morning to fee the country with only a few guards : a Scotch soldier, thinking to make himfelf remarkable by doing some great deed, fired at him from behind a dyke ; but having milled his aim, Cromwell's guards were going to seize andkill him. " Let him alone," said Crom well (no way difconipoled,) and darting a look at the fellow—•' You lubberly rascal, if any of my soldiers had miffed fucha mark, I would have tied him up to the halberds." From SATURDAY, May 2, to WEDNESDAY, May 6, 1789; ON SLAVERY. EXTRACT FROM "AMERICAN ESSAYS. EVERY man in the United States, who is tolera bly acquainted with the hillory of the late war, cannot be ignorant that many of the citizens ot the Southern States, whose property principally consists in Slaves, have greatly and glorioully clii tinguijhed rhemfelves during the war, in every s.c!t, quality, and principle, that conllitutes a true Pa triot : Let not the citizens therefore of the north ern States prel'ume to cenliirc those deferring pa triots, or vainly arrogate to themselves superior virtue,merely because from local,or Ovher adventi tious circumstances, they have never owned a llave. And now that those plundered Exiles are return ed to their ravaged, ancj ruined pofteiTions, and are gathering the poor scanty leavings of a cruel, ra pacious enemy, can any man, without a blufb, ex press a wish, to fee those worthy fellow-citizens itripped of the poor remains of their once affluent fortunes, or even talk of the future surrender of their slender gleanings, without proposing, or ra ther providing an ample recompence ? As 1 am not individually interested in favor, or againll Slavery, farther than I consider it the cause ot my fellow men—fo not having maturely considered the fub jecft, I do not conceive myfelf qualified, at present, to treat upon it so amply as its importance feenls to require, and/hall therefore only venture a few cursory observations. In defence of Slavery, it has incontrovertibly the faniftion of numerous precedents, as it clearly ap pears from sacred and profane history, to have been authorized and pracflifed from the earliell ages, and by the greatest nations, of which we have any accurate knowlege : The Egyptians, Phenicians, • Jews, Babylonians, Persians, Creeks, and Romans, are recorded to have had large pof fefiions infiaves : Athens, in the zenith of her glory, contained only twenty one thousand citizens, and four hundred thousand slaves * In th j moit tlourifli ing periods of Rome, there was a still greater pro portion of Haves, and fame individual citizens of Rome were said to have poflefled thirty thousand flaves.\ . When it is also considered, that the native sub jects of Africa, as far as we are at present acquaint ed with the hillory of that country, hold their lives and property, in general, at theabfolute will and difpolal of their Princes, or Chiefs, and there fore may be said to be born slaves. We may rationally conclude, without supposing any natural inferior ity, us some have lately fretsnded, can more easily brook aftate of Slavery, thro any other nation we are at present acquainted with ; anc j when we fee, or hear of whole hecatombs facrificed to the pride, or offered to the manes of some Afri can Despot, and at the fame time view the situation of slaves in general in the United States of Ameri ca, it Would seem, by a fair comparison, that the state of those Slaves was greatly meliorated by an exchange of mailers : With these, let us at the fame time compare the present slate of the poor in the populous towns and cities of Europe, where paflengers are continually Ihocked with the light of thoufauds of wretches, fuperanuated—difeafed without shelter—without food—without cloaths without a friend—and without a MAS TER, to whom they can look up, or on whom they have a rightful and legal claim for protection and support ; thus destitute and forlorn, the situation of the Slave appears comparatively enviable ; for as among rude and ignorant nations, age is generally more ref pedted than amongthe more poliflied part ot man kind, so the old and decrepit slave, on a planta tion, seldom wants any comforts, which are in the power of his children (who are rarely fepera ted from him) or his felloW-flaves to bellow. But when I review the acftions of that race of Demi-Gods on earth, the almost adorid citizens of Rome, I cannot but exclaim, with no small de gree of indignation, what were they > A race of Tyrants; of Mailers: Their boasted FREE Go vernment ! What was it ? A scene of Ihocking, difgraceful, degrading tyranny, and oppression : Where even their Mechanics, and Laboiers, weie denied the common privileges of men, and in many refpeifts less regarded than the brute creation : And where the wealthy is said to have fed the fiflies in his ponds v>ith the jtejh of his slaves : When I return from contemplating this horrid scene, and survey the no less pitiable condition ot the wretched Slaves at this present day, in the Eng lifh and Dutch colonies, where I behold a petty ty rant of ah Ovfcrfeer, lording "it over his fellow-crea- NOTES. * At'nenaus, lib. 6, cap. 20. + Ibid. t Vedius Pollis—Donat. ad Terentii Phorir.: Ast 2. Scene I. See oblervations concerning the diftinftion Of ran!; sin tociety. B; John Miuaf, Esq. page 2cS ; inf.Ctr lures, with whips oj scorpions, and w:th rods of iron ; glutting by ttirhs his avarice, cruelty and luff ; "with every other hateful pajfion, in wanton, vile exafi, upon those paflive, injured, and defencelefs victims, my foul recoils at the word SLAVERY ; and while I pity the ignorant savage tyrants of Africa, I can not forbear execrating the more enlightened, but more barbarous tyrants in America. Yet these men will pretend to own a comrnonFather of all Man- ■ kind, and ihamelefily deny that we are brethren ; and they have the prefuinptionto affect to believe that the great ft archer of hearts pays a particular rei pecito the colour of the Skin. But it mult be allow ed, that in all focietifes, fubordinanon and fervi. tude are in some degree neceflary—Thefe natural ly imply superiority and power : Power therefore cannot be supposed in itfelf unjust, but only the abuie of that poTrcr : A f. equent change, or rota tion of property, occasioned by the introduction of Commerce into many of the European States, has greatly checked this wanton exercise, or abuf'e of' power; and in many of those States, has by de crees, totally abolished that villanage which exit ed in the primitive ages. Yet, as in all civilized Urates, an cxcefs of poverty will be the inevitable lot of some, it may therefore naturally be expect ed, that the poor in general will experience a cer iain degree of dependence, and servility. And as is not in the power of laws effectually to shield every individual from every species of oppreiiion, so it is to be expected that some masters will mal treat their slaves, and some of the rich will dppreis the poor ; if the state of the poor may be supposed in some respects preferable to that of the Aiiican' Slaves, yet I am of opinion, that in other respects it mayfometimcs be lei's eligible, unless we ffioula allow an equal degree of sensibility to mankind in every state and condition, which opinion I can not think, .either reason, experience, or common observation will warrant : Be that as it may, all Europe evinces, that where there are no Black men, there mull be white men to do the menial, and other servile offices requiiite in society ; or in other words, where there are no black /laves, there must be white slaves. But as slavery, however con venient, or even just, may not appear perfectly compatible with the opinions of Americans, as ad vocates for certain natural inalienable rights e qually appertaining to all mankind, so it may b£ presumed, there are few owners of slaves, who V/ould not freely make a large discount, in order to exchange that species of property, for such as would be more consonant to their feelings, anu principles. But in what manner those slaves when manumitted, are to be supported, is a matter or vast importance t6 be previously considered, and adjuftecl; which will I fear be found to be at tended with insurmountable difficulties, for how ever strange it may appear, it is nevertheless true, as has been proved in various iuftances, thatthere will be but a small proportion of the whole num ber of slaves, who will be able to provide for them selves, and therefore unless retaken into the fame, or limilar service, and'ftate, will become a griev ous burthen to the community ; which in addition, to the present numbers unemployed in America, and the price that justice will require to be paid to the owuers for their manumiflion, will be proba bly more than we iliall speedily be able to oear. E. C. Mr. Fenno, AS many person-: are hot poflefled of any just ideas of the origin of those enormities, which have been perpetrated in the East-IndieS by Englilh ad ventures, the following, taken from an Europeari publication, may be fatisfattory to some of your readers, as it has been to E. Z. 7'he Origin end Progress of the British Power and Oppression in ludia. DURING the time of the Mogul government, the Princes of that race, who omitted nothing for the encouragement of commerce in their .domini ons bestowed very large privileged and immuni ties on the English Eaft-Inuia company, exempted them from feverstl duties to which their natural born fubjec'ts were liable. The company's duftrtut or paflport, secured to them this exemption at all the custom-houses and toll bats of the country. The company not being able, or not chufing to make use of their privilege to the full extent to which it might be carried, i idulged their servants with a qualified use of their paflport; under which, and in the name of the company, they carried on a private trade, either by themselves or in society with natives ; and thus found a compenfktion fov the scanty allowances made to them by their mas ters in England. As the country government was at that time in the fulnefs of i.s strength, and this immunity existed by a double connivance, was naturally kept within tolerable limits. PRI'CE SIX r EJi CE .