There is no evidence that slaves are bred for sale. The concurrent testimony is against it.
There is abundant testimony in proof that as to negroes offered for sale as slaves and rejected by the slave-dealers on account of their state of health or otherwise, their fate was usually a sad one. Even delay in the market often cause their death.
The Rev. Mr. Baggs said "he had proof that when marauding parties come with their booty in slaves to the coast and find no vessels, they kill the slaves because of the expense of sending them back." a
Mr. Falconbridge, a slave-trader, said "he had seen slaves who were offered for sale and refused cruelly beaten." b
Mr. Penny, who had made even voyages as captain of slavers, deposes: "He has been repeatedly informed that slaves brought for sale, and rejected by the slave-dealers on account of disease or otherwise, are destroyed as not worth their food." c
Sir George Yonge 'saw a beautiful child, about five years old, brought from the Bullam shore, opposite Sierra Leone. As the child was too young to be an object of trade, the persons who had him to sell gave him no food and threatened to throw him into the river. Sir George, to save his life, offered a quarters cask of Madeira for him, which was accepted; brought him to England and made a present of him to the Marquis of Landowne. He understood this child had been kidnaped." d
Mr. Arnold, surgeon on board a slaver, testified:
One day a woman with a child in her arms was brought to us to be sold. The captain refused to purchase her, not wishing to be plagued with a child on board. So she was taken back to shore. On the following morning she was again brought to us, but without the child and apparently in great sorrow. The black trader admitted that the child had been killed in the night to accommodate the sale. e
What a lifting of the veil upon a terrible series of atrocities is there even in these brief extracts, coldly and dispassionately worded as they are! For what a catalogue of crimes were they responsible who sent slavers to the African coast? What wars have they not stirred up? What murders instigated? What temptations have they not presented to the cupidity of savage sovereign and subject alike? If the King of Dahomey or some other royal barbarian perverted criminal law to obtain convictions as a source of revenue; if a black trader put to death the infant that the mother might be salable, who were the tempters to such acts? Who the original authors of this wickedness? The horrors of the middle passage were surpassed by those that necessarily preceded it.
The ministers of the British Crown cannot be accused of sentimentalism. They are no declaimers; no propagandists; no extremists in speculative philanthropy. Their humanity is tempered with moderation and suggested by official evidence. Yet with what prhey labored even to the present day, after themselves abolishing the slave-trade in 1807, to procure its subsequent abolition by all civilized nations. Within twenty- five years, to wit, between 1818 and 1842, they concluded twenty- three treaties on the subject-with Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Austria, Prussia, Naples, Tuscany, Sardinia, the Hanse Towns, the United States, Hayti, Texas,
a Lords of Council Report, Part I, Sheet N 5.
b Report cited, Part I, Sheet M.
c Report cited, Part I, Sheet I.
d Lords of Council Report, Part I, Sheet H.
e Lords of Council Report, Part I, Sheet N 4.