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or fish boiled with their vegetables, which they season highly with pepper. Those in better circumstances live in a very comfortable manner; and all of them have it in their power, from the abundance of excellent vegetables which the soil yields, to subsist plentifully. They receive from their masters a weekly allowance of salted herrings; but there are few of them who depend solely on this supply of animal food. They rear abundance of poultry, hogs, goats, &c. but they are not allowed to keep horses and cattle. The common dress of the men is an Osnaburgh or check frock, and Osnaburgh trowsers, with a coarse hat, but no shoes; so little are these in fashion among the negroes, that they are seldom worn, even when they dress out the most gaudily in other respects, nor are they usually worn even by gentlemen's servants. The common dress of the women is an Osnaburgh or coarse linen shift, a petticoat made of various stuff, according to their taste and circumstances, and a handkerchief tied round their heads. Both men and women are also provided with great coats (or crookas, as they call them) of blue woollen stuff. There are times, however, when the latter appear tricked off in all the expensive finery of gay and gaudy apparel, as will hereafter be described. The annual allowance of clothing which they receive from their owners, is as much Osnaburgh as will make two frocks, and as much woollen stuff as
will make a great coat; with a hat, handkerchief, knife, and needles and thread to make up their clothes. This specific quantity an owner is obliged by law to give to his slaves, and many humanely allow them more.
Besides a small garden attached to his house, the negro has a ground of a quarter or half an acre, according to his industry, which is the principal means of his support. But many negroes support themselves otherwise; as by fishing, collecting and selling wood, grass, &c. and such as are tradesmen, by the sale of various articles which they make,
General character of the negroes-Various tribes of them that come to the West Indies. -Toussaint L'Ouverture.-Anecdotes of their sagacity, fidelity, and acuteness of feeling, &c.
THE negroes are crafty, artful, and plausible; not often grateful for small services; but frequently deceitful and over-reaching; of a more mild and pacific disposition than the NorthAmerican savage, and more timid and cowardly; not so easily roused to fierceness and revenge; but, when once these passions are awakened, equally cruel and implacable: they are avaricious and selfish, obstinate and perverse, giving all the plague they can to their white rulers; little ashamed of falsehood, and strongly addicted to theft. Some of these dispositions doubtless originate in, and are fostered by, the nature of their situation and treatment; and would probably spring up in an European breast, if sunk and degraded by a state of servile bondage. The negro has, however, some good qualities mingled with his unamiable ones. He is patient, cheerful, and commonly submissive, capable, at times, of grateful attachments, where uniformly well
treated, and kind and affectionate towards his kindred and offspring. The affection and solicitude of a negro mother towards her infant, is indeed ardent even to enthusiasm. The crime of infanticide, so shocking to nature, so horrible in idea, yet unfortunately not unknown to nations calling themselves civilized, was perhaps never heard of among the negro tribes; and yet it is said, that, prompted by avarice, the African father will sometimes sell his children to the Europeans! It is not an easy matter to trace with an unerring pencil the true character and dispositions of the negro, they are often so ambiguous and disguised; and there will occur examples that bid defiance to analogy. The dispositions of some are a disgrace to human nature; while others there are whose good qualities would put many of their rulers to the blush. It is at least incumbent on the latter to distinguish between those opposite characters, and while they are under the painful necessity of restraining the former by correction, they ought to foster and encourage the latter by every kindness and reasonable indulgence. It is also to be observed, that there is a marked difference in the dispositions of the different tribes of Africans who are imported into this country. The Eboe is crafty, / saving, and industrious, artful and disputative in driving a bargain, and suspicious of being overreached by others with whom he deals. The
Eboe may be called the Jew of the negro race, though they themselves say that they are like the Scotch; a very large proportion of which nation reside in this part of the world, and generally succeed, by their diligence, their perseverance, their economy, and industry, in their respective pursuits. The Coromantee is fierce, savage, ✔ violent, and revengeful. This tribe has generally been at the head of all insurrections, and was the original parent-stock of the Maroons. The Congo, Chamba, Mandingo, &c. are of a more mild and peaceable disposition. The Mandingoes are a sort of Mahometans, though they are too ignorant to understand any thing of the Alcoran, or of the nature of their religion. Some of them, however, can scrawl a few Arabic characters, but without understanding, or being able to explain, much of their meaning. Probably they are scraps from the Alcoran, which they have been taught by their imans, or priests. The Creole negroes are, of course, the descendants of the Africans, and may be said to possess in common the mingled dispositions of their parents But they affect a greater degree of taste and refinement than the Africans, boast of their good fortune in being born a Creole, and the farther they are removed from the African blood, the more they pride themselves thereon. There is a variety of shades between the black and the white; as Sambos, Mulattos, Quadroons, and