By Nathaniel Weyl
Publication through Nathaniel Weyl, William Marina
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Extra resources for American Statesmen on Slavery and the Negro
61. , 349. AMERICAN STATESMEN 36 those, who are held in servitude. But, as this is a subject that has never employed much of my thoughts, these are no more than the first crude ideas that have struck me upon the occasion. This remarkable letter concluded with some comments about the way in which the enemy was waging war. "Sir Guy Carleton is using every art to soothe and lull our people into a state of security," Washington wrote. "Admiral Digby is capturing all our vessels, and suffocating as fast as possible in prisonships all our Seamen, who will not enlist into the service of his Britannic Majesty; and Haldimand, with his savage allies, is scalping and burning on the frontiers.
The African Slave Trade Opposition to the African slave trade was more deep-seated than to slavery itself. Delegates who were willing to compromise on toleration of domestic slavery regarded the international slave trade as a moral enormity and an abomination. It was deemed an incitement to tribal warfare over half of Africa, which had turned "man-stealing" and murder into a vast industry. The horrors of the Mid-Atlantic Passage on slave ships had been widely publicized and were well known to many of the delegates.
The "particular circumstances" which would induce Washington to buy more slaves were matters of convenience and good farm management. Knowing much more about farming than Benjamin Franklin, Washington did not agree that chattel slavery was uneconomic. On June 18, 1792 he wrote: 19 Mazyck, Washington, p. 92, citing Cloquet, Recollections of the Private Life of General Lafayette, I, 144-45. ), The Diaries of George Washington. 1748-1799 (Boston, 1925), II, 379. 41 Ford, Writings, XI, 62. On Slavery and the Negro 43 High wages is not the worst evil attending the hire of white men in this country; for being accustomed to better far than, I believe, the labourers of almost any other country, add considerably to the expense of employing them, whilst blacks, on the contrary, are cheaper, the common food of them (even when well treated) being bread made of Indian corn, butter-milk, fish (pickled herrings) frequently, and meat now and then; with a blanket for bedding.
American Statesmen on Slavery and the Negro by Nathaniel Weyl