“It is generally that as early as 1442, the Portuguese accepted some negroes from the Moors, as a ransom for Moorish captives. These were reduced to servitude, and their value rose so rapidly that in a few years upwards of thirty ships were fitted out for importing negroes.”
“In 1502, the Spaniards began to employ African slaves in the mines of Hispaniola, the island now called St. Domingo, or Hayti; and in 1517, Charles V. of Spain, at the solicitation of a Roman Cardinal, (Las Casa,) granted his panted for the importation of four thousand slaves annually into Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Poro Rico.”
“The first enslaved Africans were introduced into this country by the Dutch in 1620 and were landed and disposed of, (20 in number,) at Jamestown, the first settlement in Virginia.”
“They were subsequently introduced in great numbers by the English, but not without the serious remonstrance of the colonist. They even proceeded so far as to present, in 1772, to George III. a petition, praying that the introduction of slaves might be discontinued. They speak in strong and decisive language:
“We are encouraged to look up to the throne and implore your Majesty’s paternal assistance in averting a calamity of a most alarming nature. The importation of slaves into the colonies from the coast of Africa, hath long been considered as a trade of great inhumanity, and under its present encouragement, we have too much reason to fear, will endanger the existence of your Majesty’s American dominions.”
Mr. Burke, in a speech on American conciliation, says,
“her refusals to deal any longer in the inhuman traffic of human slaves, was one of the causes of the quarrel with Great Britain.” And it is much for the credit of the framers of our Declaration of Independence, that among other grievances set forth in that memorable manifesto, it is declared that the king had violated our rights by “prompting our negroes to rise in arms against us –those very negroes, whom, by inhuman use of his negative he has refused us permission to exclude by law”
“This generous feeling at length died away, and the ships of the north and south have vied together in the odious practice of importing slaves into the United States.”
ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE.
“As early as 1792, Sweden passed laws prohibiting the importation of slaves into her borders after 1803. In 1807, the governments of Great Britain and the United States passed similar enactments, to take effect after March 1808. But these were nearly a dead letter until it was further declared, afterward, that the Slave Trade is piracy, and that those proved to be engaged in it shall suffer death.”
SLAVE TRADE STILL CARRIED ON EXTENSIVELY AND WITH GREAT CRUELTY.
“In defiance of all laws enacted, it is estimated that not less than 50,000 Africans were, during the last year, (1831,) carried into foreign slavery. During the months of February and March of the same year, 2,000 were landed on the island of Cuba.”
“Two English vessels, the Fair Rosamond and Black Joke, tenders of the Dryad frigate, cruising off the coast of Africa, captured three slave ships which had originally eighteen hundred slaves on board. The Fair Rosamond first captured a vessel with 106 Africans, shortly after saw the Black Joke in chase of two others: she joined the pursuit, but the vessels succeeding in getting into the Bonny river where they landed 600 slaves before the pursuers could take possession of them. They found on board only 200 Africans, but understood that the crew had thrown overboard 180, chained together, and four only out of the whole, were picked up and delivered from a watery grave.”