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144

BURNING MEN IN ARKANSAS-SCENE IN GEORGIA.

of New York are good specimens of a slave's home. That any southern man should ever represent the condition of the colored people at the North as worse than that of the slaves at the South, I am perfectly astonished. With the condition of the colored people in several of the northern cities I am well acquainted, by personal observation and by report. I am considerably acquainted with it in many others, and I hesitate not to say, that the condition of free people of color in every northern city, is far superior to that of the slaves in the southwest.

But, dear sir, I have not yet come to the bad part of slavery. What you have heard as yet is tolerably goodcomparatively. It is in the intellectual and moral condition of slaves that you behold the most hideous features of slavery. On the plantation where I now reside, there are about 100 persons above the age of twelve years, not a soul of whom can read or write. The same is the case with a large proportion of the plantations throughout the country. I am perfectly safe in saying that, including house servants and all, both in town and country, there is not one in fifty of the slave population of the southwest that can read or write. Their ignorance on all subjects, especially moral and religious, is astonishing and deplorable. May the Lord bless your efforts to bring the slaves of the South into as happy a condition as the “free laborers of the North.”Letter to Rev. J. Leavitt.

Burning men in Arkansas.-The slave William, who murdered his master some weeks since (Huskey), and several negroes, was taken by a party a few days since, from the sheriff at Hot Spring, and burnt alive! yes, tied up to the limb of a tree, a fire built under him, and consumed in slow and lingering torture !

The circumstances of this criminal outrage are aggravated by the fact, that the evidence against the negro was of such a character, that there was no chance of his escape from a just expiation of his crime by law.Arkansas Gazette.

Scene in Georgia.-On the morning of the execution, my master told me and all the rest of his people, that we must go to the hanging, as it was termed by him as well as others. The place of punishment was only two miles from my master's residence, and I was there in time to get a good stand near the gallows tree; by which I was enabled to see all the proceedings connected with this solemn affair. It was estimated by my master, that there were at least fifteen thousand people present at this scene, more than half of whom were blacks; all the masters for a great distance round the country having permitted or compelled their people to come to this hanging

Billy was brought to the gallows with Lucy and Frank; but was permitted to walk beside the cart in which they rode. Under the gallows, after the rope was about her neck, Lucy confessed that the murder had been designed by her in the first place, and that Frank had only perpetrated it at her instance. She said she had at first intended to apply to Billy to assist her in the undertaking; but had afterwards communicated her designs to Frank, who offered to shoot her master, if she would supply him with a gun, and let no other person be in the secret. sermon was preached by a white man under the gallows, which was only the limb of a tree, and afterwards an exhortation was delivered by a black one. The two convicts were hung together ; and after they were quite dead, a consultation was held amongst the gentlemen, as to the future disposition of Billy, who, having been in the house where his master was murdered, and not having given immediate information of the fact, was held to be guilty of concealing the death ; and was accordingly sentenced to receive five hundred lashes. I was in the branches of a tree, close by the place where this court was held, and distinctly heard its proceedings and judgment. Some went to the woods to cut hickories, whilst others stripped Billy and tied him to a tree. More than twenty long switches, some of them six or seven feet in length, had been procured; and two men applied the rods at the same time, one standing on each side of the culprit; one of them using his left hand. I had often seen black men whipped, and had always, where the lash was applied with great severity, heard the sufferer cry out and beg for mercy; but in this case, the pain inflicted by these double blows of the hickory was so intense, that

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Billy never uttered so much as a groan; and I do not believe he breathed for the space of two minutes after he received the first strokes. He shrunk his body close to the trunk of the tree, around which his arms and legs were lashed; drew his shoulders up to his head like a dying man, and trembled, or rather shivered, in all his members. The blood flowed from the commencement, and in a few minutes lay in small puddles at the root of the tree. I saw flakes of flesh as long as my finger fall out of the gashes in his back; and I believe he was insensible during all the time that he was receiving the last two hundred lashes. When the whole five hundred had been counted by the person appointed to perform this duty, the halfdead body was unbound and laid in the shade of the tree upon which I sat. The gentlemen who had done the whipping, eight or ten in number, being joined by their friends, then came under the tree, and drank punch until their dinner was made ready, under a booth of green boughs at a short distance.

After dinner, Billy, who had been groaning on the ground where he was laid, was taken up, placed in the cart in which Lucy and Frank had been brought to the gallows, and conveyed to the dwelling of his late master, where he was confined to the house and his bed more than three months, and was never worth much afterwards, while I remained in Georgia.

Certainly those who were hanged well deserved their punishment, but it was a very arbitrary exercise of power to whip a man until he was insensible, because he did not prevent a murder which was committed without his knowledge; and I could not understand the right of punishing him because he was so weak or timore ous, as to refrain from a disclosure of the crime the moment it came to his ears.

Life of Charles Ball.

19

THE AFRICAN CHARACTER.

MUNGO PARK.

I was fully convinced, that whatever difference there is between the negro and the European, in the conformation of the nose, and the color of the skin, there is none in the genuine sympathies and characteristic feelings of our common nature.

[At Sego, in Bambarra, the king, being jealous of Mr. Park's intentions, forbade him to cross the river. Under these discouraging circumstances, he was advised to lodge at a distant village ; but there the same distrust of the white man's purposes prevailed, and no per. son would allow him to enter his house. He says,] I was regarded with astonishment and fear, and was obliged to sit all day without food, under the shade of a tree. The wind rose, and there was great appearance of a heavy rain, and the wild beasts are so very numerous in the neighborhood, that I should have been under the necessity of resting among the branches of the tree. About sunset, however, as I was preparing to pass the night in this manner, and had turned my horse loose, that he might graze at liberty, a woman, returning from the labors of the field, stopped to observe me. Perceiving that I was weary and dejected, she inquired into my situation, which I briefly explained to her; whereupon, with looks of great compassion, she took up my saddle and bridle and told me to follow her. Having conducted me into her hut, she lighted a lamp, spread a mat on the floor, and told me I might remain there for the night. Finding that I was hungry, she went out, and soon returned with a very fine fish, which being broiled upon some embers, she gave me for supper. The women then resumed their task of spinning cotton, and lightened their labor with songs, one of which must have been composed extempore, for I was myself the subject of it. It was sung by one of the young women, the rest joining in a kind of chorus.

The air was sweet and plaintive, and the words literally translated, were these :

“ The winds roar’d, and the rains fell ;
The poor white man, faint and weary,
Came and sat under our tree.
He has no mother to bring him milk;
No wife to grind his corn.

CHORUS.

“Let us pity the white man;
No mother has he to bring him milk.

No wife to grind his corn.” Trisling as this recital may appear, the circumstance was highly affecting to a person in my situation. I was oppressed with such unexpected kindness, and sleep fled from my eyes. In the morning,

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I presented my compassionate landlady with two of the four brass buttons remaining on my waistcoat; the only recompense I could make her.

[At Kamalia, he recovered from a fever, which had tormented him several weeks. His benevolent landlord came daily to inquire after his health, and see that he had every thing for his comfort. Mr. Park assures us that the simple and affectionate manner of those around him contributed not a little to his recovery. He adds,] thus was I delivered, by the friendly care of this benevolent negro, from a situation truly deplorable. Distress and famine pressed hard upon me; I had before me the gloomy wilderness of Jallonkadoo, where the traveller sees no habitation for five successive days. I had observed, at a distance, the rapid course of the river Kokaro, and had almost marked out the place where I thought I was doomed to perish, when this friendly negro stretched out his hospitable hand for my relief. Mr. Park having travelled in company with a coffle of thirtyfive slaves, thus describes his feelings as they came near the coast : * Although I was now approaching the end of my tedious and toilsome journey, and expected in another day to meet with countrymen and friends, I could not part with my unfortunate fellow-travellers,doomed as I knew most of them to be, to a life of slavery in a foreign land, --without great emotion. During a peregrination of more than five hundred miles, exposed to the burning rays of a tropical sun, these poor slaves, amidst their own infinitely greater sufferings, would commiserate mine, and frequently, of their own accord, bring water to quench my thirst, and at night collect branches and leaves to prepare me a bed in the wilderness. We parted with mutual regret and blessings. My good wishes and prayers were all I could bestow upon them, and it afforded me some consolation to be told that they were sensible I had no more to give.

All the negro nations that fell under my observation, though divided into a number of petty, independent states, subsist chiefly by the same means, live nearly in the same temperature, and possess a a wonderful similarity of disposition. The Mandingoes, in particular, are a very gentle race, cheerful, inquisitive, credulous, simple, and fond of flattery. Perhaps the most prominent defect in their character, was that insurmountable propensity, to steal from me the few effects I was possessed of. No complete justification can be offered for this conduct, because theft is a crime in their own estimation ; and it must be observed that they are not habitually and generally guilty of it towards each other. But before we pronounce them a more depraved people than any other, it were well to consider, whether the lower class of people in any part of Europe, would have acted under similar circumstances, with greater honesty towards a stranger. It must be remembered that the laws of the country afforded me no protection; that every one was permitted to rob me with impunity; and that some part of my effects were of as great value in the estimation of the negroes, as pearls and diamonds would have been in the eyes of a European. Let us suppose a black merchant of Hindoostan had

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found his way into England, with a box of jewels at his back, and the laws of the kingdom afforded him no security--in such a case, the wonder would be, not that the stranger was robbed of any part of his riches, but that any part was left for a second depredator.* Such, on sober reflection, is the judgment I have formed concerning the pilfering disposition of the Mandingo negroes toward me.

On the other hand, it is impossible for me to forget the disinterested charity, and tender solicitude, with which many of these poor heathens, from the sovereign of Sego, to the poor women who at different times received me into their cottages, sympathized with my sufferings, relieved my distress, and contributed to my safety. Perhaps this acknowledgment is more particularly due to the female part of the nation. Among the men, as the reader must have seen, my reception, though generally kind, was sometimes otherwise. It varied according to the tempers of those to whom I made application. Avarice in some, and bigotry in others, had closed up the avenues to compassion; but I do not recollect a single instance of hard-heartedness towards me in the women. In all my wanderings and wretchedness, I found them uniformly kind and compassionate; and I can truly say, as Mr. Ledyard has eloquently said before me—s. To a woman I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. If I was hungry or thirsty, wet or ill, they did not hesitate, like the men, to perform a generous action. In so free and so kind a manner did they contribute to my relief, that if I were thirsty, I drank the sweeter draught; and if I were hungry, I ate the coarsest meal with a double relish."

It is surely reasonable to suppose that the soft and amiable sympathy of nature, thus spontaneously manifested to me in my distress, is displayed by these poor people as occasion requires, much more strongly towards those of their own nation and neighborhood. Maternal affection, neither suppressed by the restraints, nor diverted by the solicitudes of civilized life, is everywhere conspicuous among them, and creates reciprocal tenderness in the child. said a negro to his master, who spoke disrespectfully of his parent, “ but do not curse my mother.” The same sentiment I found to prevail universally.

I perceived, with great satisfaction, that the maternal solicitude extended not only to the growth and security of the person, but also, in a certain degree, to the improvement of the character; for one of the first lessons which the Mandingo women teach their children, is the practice of truth. A poor unhappy mother, whose son had been murdered by a Moorish banditti, found consolation in her deepest distress from the reflection that her boy, in the whole course of his blameless life, had never told a lie.— Travels in Africa.

ADANSON, who visited Senegal, in 1754, describes the negroes as sociable, obliging, humane, hospitable. " Their amiable simplicity,"

* Or suppose a colored pedlar with valuable goods travelling in slave states, where the laws afford little or no protection to negro property, what would probably : be his fate?. ED.

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