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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 occar 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 whoni 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 or ancestors. 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 svhite; as Sambos, Mulattos, Quadroons, and Mestees, beyond which last the distinction of colour is lost. This mixed race will be spoken of in a subsequent chapter.
The negroes, though so rude and ignorant in their savage state, have a natural shrewdness and genius, which is doubtless susceptible of culture and improvement. Many of them are wonderfully ingenious in making a variety of articles for their own use, or to sell to others; and such as are properly brought up to any trade, shew a skill and dexterity in it but little inferior to the civilized European. Their ideas only want a proper clue to exhibit an equal degree of acuteness and discrimination. In reckoning numbers, they are peculiarly puzzled, being obliged to mark the decimals as they proceed on. Some author mentions a nation who were so barbarous and stupid, that they could not reckon beyond the number four! The negro can go far beyond this ; indeed, give him time, and he will, by a mode of combination of his own, make out a pretty round sum ; but he is utterly perplexed by the minuter combinations of figures according to the European system of arithmetic.
By way of illustrating what has been said of the favourable part of the character of the negro, a few facts and anecdotes may not be improper. These may convey a more correct opinion on the subject than volumes of observations. The negro forms a considerable portion of the human race,
and whatever relates to him must therefore be interesting.
It has been said, that though the generality of the negroes appear to be strangely stupid and perverse, yet there are some who are susceptible of all the advantages of culture and instruction. The author has known many, whose ingenuity as mechanics was astonishing; and others, whose sagacity and discriinination (without the aid of acquired information) could hardly be surpassed, without such aid.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, the celebrated St. Domingo chief, received, it is said, the benefit of a tolerably liberal education, being sent by his master, who was fond of him, when very young, to France for that purpose.
Toussaint had the reputation of an excellent general, legislator, and politician. He was brave, resolute, and prompt, in all his measures. He was obliged (perhaps against his inclination, but this cannot be vouched for) to employ severe measures in order to keep his banditti in order and subjection. This ban. ditti had recently emancipated themselves from the yoke of European masters, and they required a resolute and prudent hand to direct and govern them : this task Toussaint had to perforin. Captain Rainsford, an officer of the British army, offers a handsome testimony in favour of his character. Captain Rainsford was taken prisoner on his passage to join his regiment at Martinique;
carried to St. Domingo, and sentenced there to death, on suspicion of being a spy. Toussaint, by his humane and friendly interference, saved him; and afterwards behaved towards him as a generous enemy ought to do. The Captain, in speaking of his benefactor, says, “ he was a man of general humanity, great suavity of manners, and possessing uncommon discernment.” It is said of Toussaint, that his gratitude towards his quondam master, impelled him to continue remitting to him annually, while his power lasted, a moiety of the produce of his estates in St. Domingo. Whatever fate may have befallen this man on his going to France, certain it is that his talents and influence might have been more effectually employed than legions of troops, to have restored that valuable colony to its foriner masters; and he might doubtless have been won over by kindness and favour, to employ himself in this undertaking.
Many indeed are the examples which are given us of the gratitude and attachment of the negro
These are far from being surprising. On the contrary, nothing is more easy than for a humane master to attach to him, by ties of gratitude, a slave of good dispositions whom he is in the habit of employing near his person, where a reciprocity of indulgence and fidelity between them, must in course produce that effect. But hoi seldom will it happen, that two such shall