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who obey her every nod, serve as a foil, or back ground, which, by drawing a contrast, greatly enhances her charms. The female slaves performing every menial and almost every household service, she has on this account much leisure for the decoration of her person. She is also at her ease, and acquires all the tenderness of frame which forms the delicate lady. Here also, as in some other places, the society of the two sexes is strictly regulated. Private interviews are guarded against with the most jealous care. The suitor must announce the object of his first visit, and the courtship must proceed under the eye of a parent, or of some other confidential person. In this happy seclusion from the scandalous affairs of the world, it is only through the medium of a female negro secretary that evasions can be conveniently practised when sentiment prevails over prudence. (Married ladies also are relieved from the drudgery of giving suck to their own children. It sometimes happens that the infant boy entertains a stronger affection for his black nurse than for his white mother; and that his affection for the sooty hue may not be altogether effaced in maturer life. If the feeling is not directly conducive to the happiness of slaves, it has, at least, a tendency to abate prejudices arising from their colour.
How far parental prerogative applies to intercourse between young people of different colours, I am not prepared to say; but the great numbers of mulattoes to be seen furnish sufficient evidence to preclude all indiscreet inquiry on this very delicate point. One striking fact is not to be omitted. An instance of a semi-coloured person whose origin is derived from a white mother, is exceedingly rare.
You have frequently heard the adherents of an illiberal faction pouring out a copious torrent of invective against the American people, and their democratic form of government, on account of slave-keeping. Such declamation must proceed from ignorance of the history of this country, or from a degree of malignity, ill calculated to promote the national character of Britain, or the reputation of the system they adore. It is for these people to be told a few facts, or to keep them in recollection, if they knew them previously. Thirteen North American provinces were once British colonies, principally settled by a British people. These colonies, like others subject to the same parent country, were, at an early period, the resort of English slave traders, who introduced a large proportion of African captives amongst the white population. The colonists soon became sensible of the moral evil, or of the future consequences to be derived from the cupidity of the inhuman sellers, and the indolence of unprincipled buyers amongst themselves. So early as the year 1703, the colony of Massachusetts (only seventyfour years after its first settlement, and probably a much shorter time after the first introduction of slaves) imposed a tax to prevent further importations. The same settlement made attempts to prevent the import altogether in 1767 and 1774. Previous to the year 1772, no less than twenty-three acts were passed by the legislature of Virginia, for applying taxes to the trade, with a view to its restriction. In 1772, Virginia petitioned the throne on the same subject; but obtained no redress. Several other colonies made remonstrances at different times; but were repressed by the opposition of British Governors. In these days the grand discovery that taxation and representation ought to
be inseparable, was first discussed between governors and the governed. A doctrine so appalling to privileged orders was not to be adopted merely because it was sanctioned by reason. War, the last reasoning of Tory ministration, was resorted to, -a war which terminated in the best soldiers of the old world throwing down their arms before the husbandmen of the new. The Americans, no longer the vassals of England, were at liberty to pursue an independent course of policy. The subject of negro slavery engaged their attention at an early period; but, unhappily for the new government, their territory was overspread with an unfortunate race, who, by education, habits, and resentment of former injuries, were the enemies rather than the members of the social compact. In this state of affairs, an immediate emancipation would have tolerated a free communication of hostile feelings amongst a people whose antipathies were as universal as their colour. In 1780, the State of Pennsylvania, although then occupied in the struggle for independence, passed an act for gradual manumission. Subsequently the whole country, north of Virginia, consisting of eight States, has either effected the total extinction of slavery, or obtained the very near prospect of it. In 1787, a law was passed, prohibiting slave-keeping in the vast tract of country north of the Ohio, and east of the Mississippi. By these means the United States have, in thirty-eight years, almost produced a total liberation of negroes, over half their jurisdiction,a progress vastly more rapid than England made in the introduction of a similar system of release, in her dependencies. It is unnecessary to enter here on the spirit and tendency of British domination in every quarter of the globe. If the contrast between the policy of the governments of the Unit
ed States and England is not sufficient to restrain antijacobin tongues within the bounds of decorum, the common interest of their faction may, perhaps, be a stronger inducement to silence, as the subject affords a most striking example of popular representation operating as a most admirable corrective of an abuse that has grown up under the fostering care of aristocracy.
December 19. The inauguration of the professors of the university of Lexington occasioned much stir to-day. They paraded the streets accompanied by music, the students, and a numerous assemblage of the people, I witnessed a similar procession at New York; and am told that this practice is usual at the commencement of college sessions in America.
Another musical practice gained ground here some time ago. A newly married couple procured a band of instrumental musicians to play before their house on the evening of their marriage day. In a late instance a great number of boys procured small conical tubes of tinned iron, and joined in the concert, by blowing vehemently. The disconcerted performers were overpowered by a more intense sound, and desisted. No fair bride of Lexington has been since greeted by a serenade. This is one of the few instances where the manners of this country are not to be traced to British origin; but seem to be formed on the model of the true Castilians.
December 24. Left Lexington. On this occasion I was the only passenger in the mail coach, Clear frosty weather allowed the sides of the car. riage to be kept open, so that I enjoyed a view of the country. The expedition in travelling is great, considering the badness of the roads. The land that was beautifully verdant a short time ago, is
now withered by the cold. No green herbage is
to be seen.
A part of the country by Licking River is hilly, poor, and almost covered over with detached pieces of limestone. The clearing of this land waits for a more dense population than the present. In the spots where the woods are cut down, crops of Indian corn are repeated without intermission. Economical agriculture has no place here. The rude implements are left to rot in the field; and the scythe allowed to hang on a tree from one season to another.
December 25. The coach stopped at Washington, from seven o'clock, last night, till three this morning. It overset on my way hither, and though I received no injury, I resolved upon going no further with that vehicle in the dark, and over such bad roads. About five o'clock I was awakened by the firing of guns and pistols, in celebration of Christmas day. I heard no one speak of the nature of the event that they were commemorating. So universal was the mirth and conviviality of the people, that I could not procure a person to carry my portmanteau to Limestone. It remained for me to stop all day at Washington, or sling my baggage over my own shoulders. I preferred the latter alternative, and proceeded on my way.
At Limestone, negroes and boys continued their firing till late in the afternoon.-Every sort of labour without doors was suspended.
A watermark on the beach showed that the Ohio had lately risen to the height of fourteen or fifteen feet. It had now subsided to half that quantity, and had more than a third part of its surface covered with ice, in brisk motion downwards.
December 26. Two large family boats (tied end to end) were about to leave Limestone for Cincin