British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

of every opportunity of promoting the religious and moral improvement of the slaves, and to make such meliorating enactments as may be consistent with their happiness and the general safety of the colony; that under the critical circumstances in which the colony is now placed by reason of the late proceedings in the British Parliament, the House think the present moment peculiarly unfavourable for discussions which may have a tendency to unsettle the minds of the negro population, which the House have the greatest reason to believe is at present perfectly quiet and contented. . . .

Resolved, nem. con.--That this House cannot contemplate without sensations of astonishment and the most serious apprehension, the measures which have been adopted by the Commons House of Parliament in their unanimous vote of the 15th May last; as if the machinations of a powerful and interested party were not sufficiently active for the work of destruction, the sanction of ministerial authority has been made subservient to their views, and a decree has gone forth whereby the inhabitants of this once valuable colony (hitherto esteemed the brightest jewel in the British Crown) are destined to be offered a propitiatory sacrifice at the altar of fanaticism. . . .

Resolved, nem. con.--That this House, impressed with a due sense of their own dignity, and the integrity of the colonial character, set at nought the malicious and unfounded aspersions which have been cast upon the inhabitants of Jamaica. Proud of their attachment to His Majesty, His family and Government, devoted to the interest of those they represent, and alive to the impulse of humanity, the House need no Pharisaical dictator to prompt them to the discharge of their duty, but will, if left to their own guidance, steadily pursue the line of conduct which comports with the loyalty of their feelings, their regard to the safety, honour, and welfare of the island, and the peace and happiness of their fellow-subjects and dependants.


31
CAPE COLONY: GOVERNOR LORD CHARLES SOMERSET TO LORD BATHURST, 1 February 18241

MY LORD,

I have had the honour to receive your Lordship's Dispatch of the 10th of August last No. 73, and it is with deep regret that I remark your Lordship's displeasure upon my having issued the Proclamation for bettering the condition and treatment of the Slaves in this Colony on the 18th March 1823. . . .

It is now necessary for me to explain to your Lordship the inducements I had to issue the Proclamation previous to submitting it for

____________________
1

C.O. 48/62. Printed in R.C.C., vol. xvii (1903), pp. 42-44.

-566-

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