1. England's Share in the Slave-Trade.

(From Lecky, A History of England in the Eighteenth Century.)

"By the Treaty of Utrecht the slave-trade was, as it were, established, and became a central object of English policy. From this date I am afraid we took the leading share, and stained ourselves beyond other nations in the monstrous and enormous atrocities of the slave-trade."   Seeley,
The Expansion of

Of all the many forms of suffering which man has inflicted upon man, with the exception of war, and, perhaps, of religious persecution, the slave-trade has probably added most largely to the sum of human misery, and in the first half of the eighteenth century it occupied the very foremost place in English commerce. The first Englishman who took part in it appears to have been John Hawkins, who sailed in 1562 with three ships to Sierra Leone, where he secured some 300 negroes, whom he transported to Hispaniola. The traffic in human flesh speedily became popular. A monopoly of it was granted to the African Company, but it was invaded by numerous interlopers, and in 1698 the trade was thrown open to all British subjects. It is worthy of notice that, while by the law of 1698 a certain percentage was exacted from other


African cargoes for the maintenance of the forts along that coast, cargoes of negroes were especially exempted, for the Parliament of the Revolution desired above all things to encourage the trade. Nine years before a convention had been made between England and Spain for supplying the Spanish West Indies with slaves from the Island of Jamaica, and it has been computed that between 1680 and 1700 the English tore from Africa about 300,000 negroes, or about 15,000 every year.

The great period of the English slave-trade had, however, not yet arrived. It was only in 1713 that it began to attain its full dimensions. One of the most important and most popular parts of the Treaty of Utrecht was the contract known as the Assiento, by which the British Government secured for its subjects during thirty years an absolute monopoly of the supply of slaves to the Spanish colonies. The traffic was regulated by a long and elaborate treaty, guarding among other things against any possible scandal to the Roman Catholic religion from the presence of heretical slave-traders; and it provided that in the thirty years from 1713 to 1748 the English should bring into the Spanish West Indies no less than 144,000 negroes, or 4,800 every year, that during the first twenty-five years of the contract they might import a still greater number on paying certain moderate duties, and that they might carry the slave-trade into numerous Spanish ports from which it had hitherto been excluded. The monopoly of the trade was granted to the South Sea Company, and from this time


its maintenance, and its extension both to the Spanish dominions and to her own colonies, became a central object of English policy. A distinguished modern historian, after a careful comparison of the materials we possess, declares that in the century preceding the prohibition of the slave-trade by the American Congress, in 1776, the number of negroes imported by the English alone, into the Spanish, French, and English colonies can, on the lowest computation, have been little less than three millions, and that we must add more than a quarter of a million, who perished on the voyage and whose bodies were thrown into the Atlantic.

These figures are in themselves sufficiently eloquent. No human imagination, indeed, can conceive, no pen can adequately portray, the misery they represent. Torn from the most distant parts of Africa, speaking no common language, connected by no tie except that of common misfortune, severed from every old association and from all they loved, and, exchanging, in many cases, a life of unbounded freedom for a hopeless, abject, and crushing servitude, the wretched captives were carried across the waste of waters in ships so crowded and so unhealthy that, even under favourable circumstances, about twelve in every hundred usually died from the horrors of the passage. They had no knowledge, no rights, no protection against the caprices of irresponsible power. Difference of colour and difference of religion led their masters to look upon them simply as beasts of burden, and the supply of slaves was too abundant to allow the


motive of self-interest to be any considerate security for their good treatment. Often, indeed, it seemed the interest of the master rather to work them rapidly to death and then to replenish his stock. All Africa was convulsed by civil wars and infested with bands of native slave-dealers hunting down victims for the English trader, whose blasting influence, like some malignant providence, extended over mighty regions where the face of a white man was never seen.

Dean Tucker, in a pamphlet published in 1785, has devoted some remarkable pages to the English slave-trade. No man living, he says, could sincerely approve of the slave-trade as it is actually conducted, and he declares that 'the murders cormmitted in the course of it, reckoning from the beginning of it to the present hour, almost exceed the power of numbers to ascertain. Yet', he continues, 'reason and humanity recoil in vain. For the trade in human blood is still carried on not only with impunity but also with the consent, approbation, and even assistance of the British Legislature', and it is never likely to be suppressed, till it is proved that slavery is economically wasteful, and that sugar can be produced more cheaply by free labour.

Referring to the state of the slaves, he asserts that it is a notorious and incontrovertible fact 'that the English planters in general (doubtless there are exceptions) treat their slaves, or suffer them to be treated, with a greater degree of inhumanity than the planters of any other European nation.' He ascribes this 'excess of barbarity' partly to the fact that the English planters have more slaves


than those of any other nation, and therefore think it necessary to protect themselves by a greater severity from combinations or revolts, but partly also to the large amount of self-government the English colonies enjoy. 'The English planters are more their own masters, their own lawgivers in their assemblies; also the interpreters, the judges (as jurymen) and the executioners of their laws, than those of any other nation. The very form of the English constitution, originally calculated for the preservation of liberty, tends in this instance to destroy it. Consequently the English planters can indulge themselves in a greater degree of passion and revenge than would be permitted under the absolute governments of France, Spain, Portugal, or Denmark.'  

The horrors of the slave-trade at last began to touch the conscience of the English people, and Pitt vehemently and eloquently urged as a moral duty its abolition. For some years, at least, he was undoubtedly sincere in doing so. Wilberforce was one of his most intimate friends, and it was Pitt who recommended him to undertake the cause of abolition. When Wilberforce was struck down by serious illness in 1788, Pitt promised that if the illness ended fatally he would himself undertake the cause. He supported with all his influence the inquiry into the abuses of the trade and the Act of 1788 for mitigating the hardships of the Middle Passage. He himself introduced a motion for abolition; advocated immediate, as distinguished from gradual abolition, and spoke repeatedly in a strain of the highest eloquence on the subject.


Nothing could be more liberal, more enlightened, more philanthropic, than the sentiments he expressed, and his speech in 1792 was perhaps the greatest he ever delivered. But Thurlow, Dundas, and Lord Liverpool in his Cabinet were advocates of the slave-trade, and they were supported by the King. The French Revolution and the insurrection in St. Domingo cooled the public feeling on the subject, and Pitt's zeal manifestly declined. He never, it is true, abandoned the cause; he spoke uniformly and eloquently in its favour, but he never would make it one on which his ministry depended. He suffered Dundas to take a leading part against the abolition. He suffered the cause to be defeated year after year by men who would have never dared to risk his serious displeasure, and he at the same time exerted all his influence with the abolitionists to induce them to abstain from pressing the question.

This, however, was not all. From the beginning of the war, the complete naval ascendency of England almost annihilated the slave-trade to the French and Dutch colonies, and when those colonies passed into the possession of England the momentous question arose whether the trade which had so long been suspended should be suffered to revive. It was in the power of Pitt by an Order of Council to prevent it, but he refused to take this course. It was a political and commercial object to strengthen these new acquisitions, and as they had so long been prevented from supplying themselves with negroes they were ready to take more than usual.


The result was that, in consequence of the British conquests and under the shelter of the British flag, the slave-trade became more active than ever. English capital flowed largely into it. It was computed that under the administration of Pitt the English slave-trade more than doubled, and that the number of negroes imported annually in English ships rose from 25,000 to 57,000.

This continued without abatement for about seven years. The cause of abolition had lost much of its popularity, and in 1800, 1801, 1802, and in 1803, Wilberforce thought it wise to abstain from bringing it forward in Parliament. In 1804, however, it was determined to renew the struggle, and circumstances had become in some respects more favourable. The Irish members, introduced into Parliament by the Union, were strongly in favour of the suppression of the slave-trade, and a few of the West Indian planters, fearing the competition of the lowly acquired colonies, began to desire its suspension. In July 1804, Wilberforce, encouraged by some favourable divisions in the House of Commons, desired to bring in a resolution forbidding any further importation of slaves into the conquered colonies, but Pitt prevented him from doing so by engaging to issue a royal proclamation for that purpose. For more than a year, however, and without any real reason being assigned, the fulfilment of this promise was delayed, and during that delay thousands, if not tens of thousands, of negroes were imported. It was not until September 1805 that the promised Order of Council was is-


sued which first seriously checked the trade, by forbidding English ships to bring slaves into the Dutch colonies.

It is probable that the real explanation of the conduct of Pitt is to be found in his desire to subordinate the whole question to commercial and military considerations during a dangerous and exhausting war, and also in his uniform and characteristic desire to avoid all questions which might bring him into collision with the King, outrun public opinion, or embarrass or imperil his political position. The fact, however, remains that for seventeen years after the most powerful minister England had ever known had branded the slave-trade as immoral and detestable, and had advocated its immediate abolition, it not only continued without restraint, but also enormously developed. There is probably little or no exaggeration in the statement of a most competent authority on the question, who has declared that 'an impartial judgement must now regard the death of Mr. Pitt as the necessary precursor of the liberation of Africa', and has added that, 'had he perilled his political existence on the issue, no rational man can doubt that an amount of guilt, of misery, of disgrace, and of loss would have been spared to England and to the civilised world such as no other man had it in his power to arrest.'

At length Pitt died and Fox arrived at power, and he at once made the abolition of the slave-trade a main object of his policy. The war was still raging. The King and royal family were still hostile, and, like Pitt, Fox had opponents of abo-


lition in his Cabinet; but, unlike Pitt, he was so earnest in the cause that his followers well knew that he would risk and sacrifice power rather than not carry it. The change produced by this persuasion was immediate. A measure, introduced by the Attorney-General in his official capacity, was speedily carried, forbidding British subjects from taking any part in supplying foreign powers, whether hostile or neutral, with slaves. The employment of British vessels, seamen, and capital in the foreign slave-trade was absolutely prohibited. No foreign slave-ship was allowed to be fitted out in British ports, and the Order of Council which had been issued preventing the importation of negroes into the Dutch settlements was ratified and extended. Another Act, designed to prevent any sudden temporary increase of the British slave-trade that might arise either from the restriction of the foreign trade or from the prospect of the speedy suppression of the British trade, forbade the employment in the traffic of any British shipping not already engaged in it. A resolution, moved by Fox, was then carried through both Houses, pledging Parliament to proceed with all practicable expedition to the total abolition of the British slave-trade, and an address was presented to the King requesting him to negotiate with foreign powers for the purpose of obtaining the total abolition of the slave-trade. Fox died almost immediately after, but Lord Grenville, who succeeded him, lost no time in fulfilling the pledge, and the measure which Pitt during so many years had refrained from car-


rying, was carried in 1807, with little or no difficulty, by one of the weakest ministries of the nineteenth century.


2. English Atrocities in Jamaica (1865).

(From Mc Carthy, A History of Our Own Times.)

"A sad and shocking narrative. The history of this generation has no such tale to tell where any race of civilised and Christian men was concerned. Had the repression been justifiable in all its details; had the fearful vengeance taken on the wretched island been absolutely necessary to its future tranquillity, it still would have been a chapter of history to read with a shudder."   Mc Carthy, ibid.

Demosthenes once compared the policy of the Athenians to the manner in which a barbarian boxes. When the barbarian receives a blow his attention is at once turned to the part which has got the stroke, and he hastens to defend it. When he receives another blow in another place his hand is there just too late to stop it. But he never seems to have any idea beforehand of what he is to expect or whither his attention ought to be directed. The immense variety of imperial, foreign, and colonial interests that England has got involved in compels a reader of English history, and indeed often compels an English statesman, to find himself in much the same condition as this barbarian boxer. It is impossible to know from moment to moment


whither the attention will next have to be turned. Lord Russell's Government had hardly come into power before they found themselves compelled to illustrate this truth. For some weeks there was hardly anything talked of, we might almost say hardly anything thought of, in England, but the story of the rebellion that had taken place in the island of Jamaica, and the manner in which it had been suppressed and punished. The first story came from English officers and soldiers who had themselves helped to crush or to punish the supposed rebellion. All that the public hero could gather from the first narratives that found their way into print was, that a negro insurrection had broken out in Jamaica, and that it had been promptly crushed; but that its suppression seemed to have been accompanied by a very carnival of cruelty on the part of the soldiers and their volunteer auxiliaries. Some of the letters sent home reeked with blood. Every writer seemed anxious to accredit himself with the most monstrous deeds of cruelty. Accounts were given of battues of negroes as if they had been game. Englishmen told with exulting glee of the number of floggings they had ordered or inflicted; of the huts they had burnt down; of the men and women they had hanged. "I visited," wrote an English officer to his superior, "several estates and villages. I burnt seven houses in all, but did not even see a rebel. On returning to Golden Grove in the evening, sixty-seven prisoners had been sent in by the Maroons. I disposed of as many as possible, but was too tired to continue


after dark. On the morning of the 24th, I started for Morant Bay, having first flogged four and hung six rebels. I beg to state that I did not meet a single man upon the road up to Keith Hall; there were a few prisoners here, all of whom I flogged, and then proceeded to Johnstown and Beckford. At the latter place I burned seven houses and one meeting-house; in the former four houses." Another officer writes: "We made a raid with thirty men; flogging nine men and burning their negro houses. We held a court-martial on the prisoners, who amounted to about fifty or sixty. Several were flogged without court-martial, from a simple examination." Then the writer quietly added: ''This is a picture of martial law. The soldiers enjoy it; the inhabitants here dread it. If they run on their approach, they are shot for running away." It will be seen that in these letters there is no question of contending with or suppressing an insurrection. The insurrection, such as it was, had been suppressed. The writers only give a description of a sort of hunting expedition among the negro inhabitants for the purpose of hanging and flogging. The soldiers are pictured as enjoying the work; the inhabitants, strange to say, are observed to dread it. Their dread would seem to have been unfortunate, although certainly not unnatural; for if they ran away at the approach of the soldiers, the soldiers shot them for their want of confidence. It also became known that a coloured member of the Jamaica House of Assembly, a man named George William Gordon,


who was suspected of inciting the rebellion, and had surrendered himself at Kingston, was put on board an English war vessel there, taken to Morant Bay, where martial law had been proclaimed, tried by a sort of drumhead court-martial, and instantly hanged. 

Such news naturally created a profound sensation in England. The Aborigines' Protection Society, the Anti-Slavery Society, and other philanthropic bodies, organised a deputation, immense in its numbers, and of great influence as regarded its composition, to wait on Mr. Cardwell, Secretary for the Colonies, at the Colonial Office, and urge on him the necessity of instituting a full enquiry and recalling Governor Eyre. Mr. Cardwell suspended Mr. Eyre temporarily from his functions as Governor, and sent out a Commission of Enquiry to investigate the whole history of the rebellion and the repression, and to report to the Government. The Commission held a very long and careful enquiry. The history of the events in Jamaica formed a sad and shocking narrative. The history of this generation has no such tale to tell where any race of civilised and Christian men was concerned. Had the repression been justifiable in all its details; had the fearful vengeance taken on the wretched island been absolutely necessary to its future tranquillity, it still would have been a chapter of history to read with a shudder. It will be seen, however, that excesses were committed which could not possibly plead the excuse of necessity; that some deeds were done which most moralists would say no human authority could warrant, or human peril justify.


Jamaica had long been in a more or less disturbed condition; at least it had long been liable to periodical fits of disturbance. What we may call the planter class still continued to look on the negroes as an inferior race hardly entitled to any legal rights. The negroes were naturally only too ready to listen to any denunciations of the planter class, and to put faith in any agitation which promised to secure them some property in the land. The negroes had undoubtedly some serious grievances. They constantly complained that they could not get justice administered to them when any dispute arose between white and black. The Government had found that there was some ground for complaints of this kind. In 1865, however, the common causes of dissatisfaction were freshly and further complicated by a dispute about what were called the "back lands". Lands belonging to some of the great estates in Jamaica had been allowed to run out of cultivation. They were so neglected by their owners that they were turning into mere bush. The quit-rents due on them to the Crown had not been paid for seven years. The negroes were told that if they paid the arrears of quit-rent they might cultivate these lands and enjoy them free of rent. Trusting to the assurance given, some of the negroes paid the arrears of quit-rent, and brought the land into cultivation. The agent of one of the estates, however, reasserted the right of his principal, who had not been a consenting party to the arrangement, and he endeavoured to evict the negro occupiers of the land. The negroes


resisted, and legal proceedings were instituted to turn them out. The legal proceedings were still pending when the events took place which gave occasion to so much controversy. On October 7, 1865, some disturbances took place on the occasion of a magisterial meeting at Morant Bay, a small town on the south-east corner of the island. The negroes appeared to be in an excited state, and many persons believed that an outbreak was at hand. An application was made to the Governor of Jamaica, Mr. Edward John Eyre, for military assistance. He despatched a small military force by sea to the scene of the expected disturbances. Warrants had been issued meanwhile by the Custos or chief magistrate of the parish in which Morant Bay is situated, for the arrest of some of the persons who had taken part in the previous disturbances. When the warrants were about to be put into execution, resistance by force was offered. The police were overpowered, and some were beaten, and others compelled to swear that they would not interfere with the negroes. On the 11th the negroes, armed with sticks, and the "cutlasses" used in the work of the sugar-cane fields, assembled in considerable numbers in the square of the Court House in Morant Bay. The magistrates were holding a meeting there. The mob made for the Court House; the local volunteer force came to the help of the magistrates. The Riot Act was being read when some stones were thrown. The volunteers fired, and some negroes were seen to fall. Then the rioters attacked the Court House. The volun-


teers were few to number, and were easily over-powered; the Court House was set on fire; eighteen persons, the Custos among them, were killed, and about thirty were wounded; and a sort of incoherent insurrection suddenly spread itself over the neighbourhood. The moment, however, that the soldiers sent by the Governor, at first only one hundred in number, arrived upon the scene of disturbance, the insurrection collapsed and vanished. There never was the slightest attempt made by the rioters to keep the field against the troops. The soldiers had not in a single instance to do any fighting. The only business left for them was to hunt out supposed rebels, and bring them before the military tribunals. So evanescent was the whole movement that it is to this day a matter of dispute whether there was any rebellion at all, properly so called; whether there was any organised attempt at insurrection; or whether the disturbances were not the extemporaneous work of a discontented and turbulent mob, whose rush to rescue some of their friends expanded suddenly into all effort to wreak old grievances on the nearest representatives of authority.

On October l3, the Governor proclaimed the whole of the county of Surrey, with the exception of the city of Kingston, under martial law. Jamaica is divided into three counties; Surrey covering the eastern and southern portion, including the region of the Blue Mountains, the towns of Port Antonio and Morant Bay, and the considerable city of Kingston, with its population of some thirty thousand. Middlesex comprehends the central part of


the island, and contains Spanish Town, then the seat of Government. The western part of the island is the county of Cornwall. At this time Jamaica was ruled by the Governor and Council, and the House of Assembly. Among the members of the Assembly was a coloured man of some education and property, George William Gordon. Gordon was a Baptist by religion, and had in him a good deal of the fanatical earnestness of the field-preacher. He was a vehement agitator and a devoted advocate of what he considered to be the rights of the negroes, and was in constant disputes with the authorities, and with Governor Eyre himself. He had come to hold the position of champion of the rights and claims of the black man against the white. He was a sort of constitutional Opposition in himself. The Governor seems to have at once adopted the conclusion urged on him by others, that Gordon was at the bottom of the insurrectionary movement.

We have mentioned the fact, that in proclaiming the county of Surrey under martial law, Mr. Eyre had specially excepted the city of Kingston. Mr. Gordon lived near Kingston, and had a place of business in the city; and he seems to have been there attending to his business, as usual, during the clays while the disturbances were going on. The Governor ordered a warrant to be issued for Gordon's arrest. When this fact became known to Gordon, he went to the house of the General in command of the forces at Kingston and gave himself up. The Governor had him put at once on board a war steamer, and conveyed to Morant


Bay. Having given himself up in a place where martial law did not exist, where the ordinary courts were open, and where, therefore, he would have been tried with all the forms and safeguards of the civil law, he was purposely carried away to a place which had been put under martial law. Here an extraordinary sort of court-martial was sitting. It was composed of two young navy lieutenants and an ensign in one of her Majesty's West India regiments. Gordon was hurried before this grotesque tribunal, charged with high treason, found guilty, and sentenced to death. The sentence was approved by the officer in command of the troops sent to Moraut Bay. It was then submitted to the Governor, and approved by him also. It was carried into effect without much delay. The day following Gordon's conviction was Sunday, and it was not thought seemly to hang a man on the Sabbath. He was allowed, therefore, to live over that day.

On the morning of Monday, October 23, Gordon was hanged. He bore his fate with great heroism, and wrote just before his death a letter to his wife, which is full of pathos in its simple and dignified manliness. He died protesting his innocence of any share in disloyal conspiracy or insurrectionary purpose.

The whole of the proceedings connected with the trial of Gordon were absolutely illegal: they were illegal from first to last. It is almost impossible to conceive of any transaction more entirely unlawful. Every step in it was a separate outrage on law. The act which conveyed Mr. Gordon from the protection of civil law to the authority


of a drumhead court-martial was grossly illegal. The tribunal was constituted in curious defiance of law and precedent. It is contrary to all authority to form a court-martial by mixing together the officers of the two different services. The prisoner thus brought by unlawful means before an illegal tribunal was tried upon testimony taken in ludicrous opposition to all the rules of evidence. Such as the evidence was, however, compounded of scraps of the paltriest hearsay, and of things said when the prisoner was not present, it testified rather to the innocence than to the guilt of the prisoner. By such a court, on such evidence, Gordon was put to death.

Meanwhile the carnival of repression was going on. The insurrection, or whatever the movement was which broke out on October 11, was over long before. It never offered the slightest resistance to the soldiers. It never showed itself to them. An armed insurgent was never seen by them. Nevertheless, for weeks after, the hangings, the floggings, the burnings of houses, were kept up. Men were hanged, women were flogged merely "suspect of being suspect." Many were flogged or hanged for no particular reason but that they happened to come in the way of men who were in a humour for flogging and hanging. Women — to be sure they were only coloured women — were stripped and scourged by the saviours of society with all the delight which a savage village population of the Middle Ages might have felt in torturing witches. The report of the Royal Commissioners


stated that 439 persons were put to death, and that over six hundred, including many women, were flogged, some under circumstances of revolting cruelty. Cats made of piano-wire were in some instances used for the better effect of flagellation. Some of the scourges were shown to the Commissioners, who observe that it is "painful to think that any man should have used such an instrument for the torturing of his fellow-creatures."

When the story reached England in clear and trustworthy form, two antagonistic parties were instantly formed. The extreme on the one side glorified Governor Eyre, and held that by his prompt action he had saved the white population of Jamaica from all the horrors of triumphant negro insurrection. The extreme on the other side denounced him as a mere fiend. An association called the Jamaica Committee was formed for the avowed purpose of seeing that justice was done. It comprised some of the most illustrious Englishmen.

The Report of the Commissioners was made in April, 1866. It declared in substance that the disturbances had their immediate origin in a planned resistance to authority, arising partly out of a desire to obtain the land free of rent, and partly out of the want of confidence felt by the labouring class in the tribunals by which most of the disputes affecting their interests were decided; that the disturbance spread rapidly, and that Mr. Eyre deserved praise for the skill and vigour with which he had stopped it in time beginning; but that martial law was kept in force too long;


that the punishments inflicted were excessive; that the punishment of death was unnecessarily frequent; that the floggings were reckless, and in some cases positively barbarous; that the burning of one thousand houses was wanton and cruel; that although it was probable that Gordon, by his writings and speeches, had done much to bring about excitement and discontent, and thus rendered insurrection possible, yet there was no sufficient proof of his complicity in the outbreak, or in any organised conspiracy against the Government; and, indeed, that there was no wide-spread conspiracy of any kind. Of course this finished Mr. Eyre's career as a Colonial Governor. A new Governor, Sir J. P. Grant, was sent out to Jamaica, and a new Constitution was given to the island. The Jamaica Committee, however, did not let the matter drop there. They prosecuted Mr. Eyre and some of his subordinates, but the bills of indictment were always thrown out by the grand jury. After many discussions in Parliament, the Government in 1872 decided on paying Mr. Eyre the expenses to which he had been put in defending himself against the various prosecutions; and the House of Commons, after a long debate, agreed to the vote by a large majority. A career full of bright promise was cut short for Mr. Eyre, and for some of his subordinates as well; and no one accused Mr. Eyre personally of anything worse than a fury of mistaken zeal. The deeds which were done by his authority, or to which, when they were done, he gave his authority's sanction, were


branded with such infamy that it is almost impossible such things could ever be done again in England's name. The cruelties of that saturnalia of vengeance are absolutely without parallel in the history of our times. The one strong argument for severity, on which so many relied when upholding the acts of Mr. Eyre, is curiously confuted by the history of Jamaica itself. That argument was, that severity of an extraordinary kind was necessary to prevent the repetition of rebellion. Rigour of repression had been tried long enough in Jamaica without producing any such effect. During one hundred and fifty years there had been about thirty insurrections, in some of which the measures of repression employed were sweeping and stern enough to have shaken the nerves of a Couthon and disturbed the conscience of a Claverhouse. The Chief Justice declared that there was not a stone in the island of Jamaica which, if the rains of heaven had not washed off from it the stains of blood, might not have borne terrible witness to the manner in which martial law had been exercised for the suppression of native discontent. The deeds, therefore, that were done under the authority of Mr. Eyre found no plea to excuse them in the history of the past. Such policy had been tried again and again, and had failed. The man who tried it again in 1865 undertook the responsibility of defying the authority of experience, as well as that of constitutional and moral law.

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