Slave Ships and Slaving

Slave Ships and Slaving

Slave Ships and Slaving

Slave Ships and Slaving

Excerpt

"Next to a pirate give me a slaver," said the boy. A sky pilot in charge of a bethel in a far eastern port, finding that prayers, sermons and psalms were not sufficient to keep his sea-faring flock on the course he wished them to steer, reinforced his efforts with moral stories, which he read to them when the day drew towards those hours during which "Himself" of the lower regions is said to be most active. Instead of his reinforcement having the desired effect, he was grieved to see his congregation soon reduced to a penniless few; the rest he had good reason to fear were frequenting those haunts from which he had wrought to keep them. The poor padre, at last realizing that he was losing ground in his fight with evil, sought the advice of an ancient seafarer, who, when he heard of the sort of stories the parson had read to his brother seamen, said, "Parson, read 'em yarns about pirates, slavers and highwaymen and you'll soon have a full bethel."

Although pirates, slavers and highwaymen were what in our childhood we would have described as "naughty, wicked, bad men," kindly Time having clothed those lewd fellows with a mantle of romance they but ill deserve, we now love to read of their destructive adventures.

There is no record of either pirates or highwaymen ever having been regarded as persons following an honest calling; whereas, the slave trade, until the early part of the nineteenth century, was a perfectly legitimate business and those engaged therein were considered as respectable as any other traders. Man, being by nature a slaver, it is quite probable that in those far-away days when he carried a lanyard fast to his stern, some unfortunate animal was forced to carry the end of it for him, when he was making a passage.

The Spaniards, ten years after their discovery of the West India isles, sent out negro slaves to do the hard work in their new possessions for which the original inhabitants were found to be unfit. Al-

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