The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 827 pages of information about The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839).

The second effect which I experienced was, that from this time I could never get any one to come forward as an evidence to serve the cause.  There were, I believe, hundreds of persons in Liverpool, and in the neighbourhood of it, who had been concerned in this traffic, and who had left it, all of whom could have given such testimony concerning it as would have insured its abolition.  But none of them would now speak out.  Of these, indeed, there were some, who were alive to the horrors of it, and who lamented that it should still continue.  But yet even these were backward in supporting me.  All that they did was just privately to see me, to tell me that I was right, and to exhort me to persevere:  but as to coming forward to be examined publicly, my object was so unpopular, and would become so much more so when brought into parliament, that they would have their houses pulled down, if they should then appear as public instruments in the annihilation of the trade.  With this account I was obliged to rest satisfied; nor could I deny, when I considered the spirit, which had manifested itself, and the extraordinary number of interested persons in the place, that they had some reason for their fears; and that these fears were not groundless, appeared afterwards; for Dr. Binns, a respectable physician belonging to the religious society of the Quakers, and to whom Isaac Hadwen had introduced me, was near falling into a mischievous plot, which had been laid against him, because he was one of the subscribers to the institution for the abolition of the Slave Trade, and because he was suspected of having aided me in promoting that object.

CHAPTER XVIII.

[Sidenote:  Hostile disposition towards the author increases, on account of his known patronage of the seamen employed in the Slave Trade; manner of procuring and paying them at Liverpool; their treatment and mortality.—­Account of the murder of Peter Green; trouble taken by the author to trace it; his narrow escape.—­Goes to Lancaster, but returns to Liverpool; leaves the latter place.]

It has appeared that a number of persons used to come and see me, out of curiosity, at the King’s Arms tavern; and that these manifested a bad disposition towards me, which was near breaking out into open insult.  Now the cause of all this was, as I have observed, the knowledge which people had obtained relative to my errand at this place.  But this hostile disposition was increased by another circumstance, which I am now to mention.  I had been so shocked at the treatment of the seamen belonging to the slave-vessels at Bristol, that I determined, on my arrival at Liverpool, to institute an inquiry concerning it there also.  I had made considerable progress in it, so that few seamen were landed from such vessels, but I had some communication with them; and though no one else would come near me, to give me any information about the trade, these were always forward to speak to me, and

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