During the passage, which lasted seven weeks, Newton had ample opportunity of ascertaining his situation. The master invariably treated him with kindness and consideration; and before the voyage was completed, he treated him as if he were his own son. Jackson lost no opportunity of annoying or insulting him; but the support of his patron indemnified Newton for the conduct of the first mate, and he resolved to take no notice of that which could not well be prevented. On their arrival at Barbadoes, Mr Berecroft went on shore to the house of the consignee; and then it was that the malignity of Jackson broke out in all its violence.
The brig had discharged her cargo, and was lying in Carlisle Bay, waiting for the sugars which were to be shipped for Liverpool. One morning, when Newton, who for some time had submitted to the tyranny of Jackson without complaint, was standing at the main hatchway, giving directions to the men below, who were arranging the dunnage at the bottom of the vessel, the first mate came on deck, and watching his opportunity, staggered, with a rope in his hand, against Newton, as if by accident, so as to throw him over the coombings. Newton, who would have immediately fallen to the bottom of the hold upon the ballast at the risk of his life, suddenly seized hold of the first mate, not in sufficient time to recover his own balance, but so firmly as to drag Jackson with him; and down they were both precipitated together. The first mate, having hold of one of the ropes leading down the mainmast, clung fast to save himself, and in so doing also broke the fall of Newton; but the weight of their bodies dragged the rope through Jackson’s hands, which were lacerated to the bone. Neither party was much hurt by the fall; so that the treachery of Jackson recoiled upon himself. After this specimen of animosity, which was duly reported to Mr Berecroft, on his return on board, by the seamen, who detested Jackson and anything like foul play, his protector determined that Newton should no longer be subjected to further violence. At the request of Mr Berecroft, Newton was invited to stay at the house of Mr Kingston, the gentleman to whom the vessel had been consigned—an offer which was gladly accepted.
Newton had not been many days on shore, when Mr Kingston, who had taken a strong interest in him, proposed, in answer to many of his questions relative to the slave trade, that they should make a party to visit a plantation, the proprietor of which had been a resident since his youth, and judge for himself as to the truth of the reports so industriously circulated by those who were so inimical to the employment of a slave population.