The defence of the settlers of Honduras against the unjust and unfounded representations of Colonel George Arthur, late superintendent of that settlement: Principally contained in his Correspondence relative to the condition and treatment of the slaves of Honduras, 1820-1823, and printed by order of the House of commons, 16th June, 1823

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Printed by A. Aikman, Jun., 1824 - Social Science - 101 pages
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Page 2 - I was called upon to make some observations upon the extreme inhumanity of many of the lower class of settlers residing in the town of Belize towards their slaves; and as it appeared to be an evil greatly increasing, I submitted at the same time the total inadequacy of the courts of this settlement to check this vicious disposition. " In my report to your Lordship of the 16th May last, No.
Page i - Whate'er th' expanded heart can wish; when they, Accepting the reward, neglect the duty; Or worse, pervert those gifts to deeds of ruin : Is there a wretch they rule so mean as they ? Guilty, at once, of sacrilege to Heaven, And of perfidious robbery to men But hark ! methinks I hear a plaintive voice Sigh thro' the vale, and wake the mournful echo.
Page 19 - WITHOUT FIVE MINUTES HESITATION THE PRISONER WAS ACQUITTED ! !" Again, on the 28th September 1821, Colonel Arthur writes : " On the llth instant, I received the enclosed report, No. 1, from the officer of police, stating the illegal punishment he had been required, by Mr. Bowen, a magistrate, to inflict on one of his slaves ; and also detailing a most severe punishment which he had in part carried into effect at the instance of the Bench, but with the further execution of which he hesitated to proceed,...
Page 13 - ... apprehended by the officer of police, handcuffed, shackled, and loaded with an enormous cattle-chain, in the very dwelling of this magistrate, I need not in this dispatch enlarge upon. If the enormity against the poor female was no violation of the law, this of course could not be deemed illegal. " The slaves in this country have, for some time past, appeared to require no incentive to agitate their already irritated minds ; and therefore to quiet in some degree the alarm which will no doubt...
Page 99 - Hence arose difficulty and disappointment to the regular troops, who being under arras, and anxious to proceed with all expedition, suffered delay from want of the necessary boats and craft to embark in. As soon as I saw seventeen craft of different descriptions, having on board two hundred men, set off with orders to rally round the Merlin, I immediately joined them in hopes of assisting Capt.
Page 100 - We have every reason to believe that the enemy suffered much in the action of the 10th, as well in killed and wounded, as in the hulls and rigging of the vessels engaged ; and I am happy to inform your lordship, that we had not a single man hurt, and that no injury was done to any of our vessels deserving of notice. " It would be unjust, my lord, to mention the names of any officers, either of the military or militia, on account of any particular service performed by them, for the conduct of all...
Page 61 - The prisoner admitted, indeed voluntarily bore testimony to, the uniform excellent conduct of the poor slave for many years, and stated that the circumstance for which she had now chastised her was the only misconduct of which she had ever been guilty. " The Bench, which was composed of four magistrates, in charging the jury, in no way whatever adverted to the dreadful instrument with which the punishment had been inflicted ; to the poor slave's ear having been cut through ; to the frightful blows...
Page 101 - I could no means act. I ordered three of our armed vessels to annoy them in their endeavours, which succeeded so far as to occasion their removal at dark, and a small channel they had marked by driving down stakes was also taken up by our canoes. "I now clearly saw that their next effort would be to get possession of St. George's Key, from which place (only nine miles from Belize...
Page 61 - On proceeding to the dwelling of Miss Duncannette Campbell, I found the slave Kitty at the foot of a bed, with a pair of handcuffs on, and chained round the legs with a double padlock ; the chain was bound round so close that she could not stand or move. I saw a cut upon the left ear, and many stripes upon the back ; her face also bore visible marks of whipping, and there was a bruise under her eye. I tried to lift her up, but she could not stand; she •informed me that she had been in this situation...
Page 62 - I should otherwise have been disposed to have done, from the impression that two of the magistrates (it being their first year in office), might have acted without consideration, under the influence of Mr. Bowen, who, as an older magistrate, was well acquainted with the laws and customs of the court ; and to whom, from his well-known character, I could have no hesitation in referring the whole matter, although it was difficult in such a case officially to attach the blame where I felt it ought to...

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