But we cannot attain to a just conception of the aggregate of evil and suffering produced by this gigantic outrage upon human rights, nor of the loss of life attendant thereon, without considering, first, the mode in which slaves were supplies to the European traders; secondly, the manner i which they were transported to their destination, and thirdly, the result, especially in its influence on population in the slave colonies.
As to the two first subject, the report of the Lords of Council unimpeachable testimony furnishes many suggestive particulars. It is proved, in the first place, that the sources slaves were obtained on the African coast were:
First. As prisoners of war.
The evidence as to this source of supply was obtained from almost all the witnesses who had visited the African coast.
Major-General Rooke said: "When a ship arrived to purchase slaves, the King of Derneh sent to the chiefs of the villages in his donimions to send him a given number; but if they were not to be procured ion this requisition, the King went to war till he got as many as he wanted." During his stay at Goree of four of five months he heard of two battles being fought for slaves. a
Captain T. Wilson, employed on the business of Government in 1783 and 1784, states as to the Kingdom of Derneh: "When they were at war they made prisoners and sold them, and when they were not at war they made no scruple of taking any of their own subjects and seeding them, even whole willages at once. * * * He has been told that the King of Derneh can bring 70,000 or 80,000 men into the field." a
Captain Hills: "There was scarcely an evening in which he did not see people go out in war dresses to obtain slaves from the neighboring villages." This was at Goree. b
"The manner in which Sir George Yonge understood that slaves became so is, first, as prisoners of war,a nd these, he thinks, are the greatest number." This was in Senegal and Gambia, " but the same account was given to him all along the coast." c
The Rev. Mr. Newton: "The greater number of slaves are captives made in war." d
Mr. Dalrymple says: "One of the modes of making slaves adopted by the kings and great men is by breaking up a village; that is, setting fire to it and seizing the people as they escape. This occurs
products of slave labor, as appearing in the annals of English commerce, seem to prove beyond a doubt that even the estimate of Raynal is langer that the reality." (Bancroft's History of the United States, Vol. 3, p. 412.)
Raynal's estimate, thought too low by Hune, is 9,000,000 up to 1776, and, as the exportations averaged about 80,000 a year from 1776 to 1788, that would give 1,000,000 more bringing his calculations up to 10,000,000 if extended to 1788. But our setimsate as above, up to that year, is but 8,400,000; that is, upward of 1,500,000, or just ncroft thinks that we shall not err much if in the century previous to 1776 we assume the number imported by the English to have been 3,000,000. But the Commission have assumed the total imported by all nations in the two centuries preceding 1788 to have been 8,000,000. Bancroft estimates importation in a single century by one nation only at 3,000,000. We estimate importation in two centuries by all nations at 8,000,000. The probability will be conceded that the former estimate is at a higher rate in preparation that the latter.
a Lords of Council Report, Part I, Sheet G.
b Report cited, Part I, Sheet G.
c Report cited, Part I, Sheet H.
d Lords of Council Report, Part I, Sheet I.