Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, May 06, 1789, Image 1

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    No. VII.
j america _
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
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;
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-
* 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.