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The pro-slavery argument. Source 3 Transcript
Admiral Fleming, a shrewd and keen politician, has ventured to assert (differing
from Nelson, Rodney, Jervis, Codrington, and a whole host of renowned and
eminent naval commanders) that “the anti-slavery party has produced
such an anodyne and soothing influence on the slaves, as to have preserved
the islands from the effects of their righteous indignation for years past;
and that owing to the efforts of the missionaries, rebellion has been prevented,
pillage restrained, and bloodshed and massacre avoided;” there has,
however, been positive proof in contradiction to his testimony, that the
baptist preachers, and other dissenters from the church, really did poison
the minds of the slaves in the Island of Jamaica, and ultimately wrought
them up to the crime of rebellion, causing great devastation of property
and destruction of life through a considerable portion of that island.
Commodore Farquhar, an authority certainly not less respectable than Admiral Fleming, and who was an eye-witness to the events to which his testimony refers, has recorded it as his solemn conviction, that “the fanatic efforts of the sectarian missionaries were the chief cause of exciting disaffection and revolt amongst the slaves.” And, unhappily, the confessions of many of the misguided culprits at the place of execution, fully confirmed the lamentable fact. I am morally certain, that this bill for the abolition of slavery will be remembered only as entailing misery on the slave, ruin on the master, and a blot on British legislation, unless it be made so far agreeable to the planters, as to induce them to assist in its operation, by doing them the justice of enabling them to hire their own labourers, so that they may reward them according to their respective merits, and not subjecting the present masters to any claims of these half-freed people, who will probably be rendered doubly ferocious by the songs of congratulation which they will be taught by furious sectarian zealots, who are alike enemies to the planters, the altar and the throne.
Commodore Farquhar, who witnessed the events, has said that he believed "the fanatic efforts of the missionaries were the main cause of the revolt amongst the slaves." Many of the slaves who were executed for taking part in the rebellion also said that this was true. I am certain that this bill for the abolition of slavery will be remembered for causing misery to the slave, ruining the master and being a blot on British legislation. The only way to stop this is to make the bill acceptable to the masters so that they help carry it out. They need to be able to hire their own labourers and pay them according to their skills rather than be subject to the claims of the ex-slaves, who will have been stirred up by the sectarian missionaries and who are enemies of the planters, the Church and the Monarchy.
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