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ing into the city in June, retire to the mountains, or to the springs of Ballston and Saratoga, in the state of New-York, where a large concourse of persons assemble from every part of the United States and from Canada, and by the reciprocation of civilities, and a better acquaintance with each other, gradually lose their sectional and colonial prejudices. Although these springs are from a thousand to fifteen hundred miles from the Southern States, the inhabitants of Georgia and Carolina speak of them with as much familiarity as our Londoners speak of Bath or Cheltenham. Some of the planters spend the hot months on Sullivan's Island, at the mouth of the bay, where even strangers may generally remain with impunity. When those who decide to spend the summer in the city are once settled there, it is considered in the highest degree hazardous to sleep a single night in the country. The experiment is sometimes made, and occasionally with impunity: but all my informants concurred in assuring me that fatal consequences would generally be expected; and a most respectable friend told me, that if his family suspected him of such an intention, they would almost attempt to prevent it by actual force. The natives, however, may pass to and fro between the city and Sullivan's Island without risk. Of late years it has been discovered that there are certain healthy spots, even in the country, during the most sickly months. These are in the pine barrens at a distance from the swamps. To be safe in them it is necessary that the land be as barren as possible, and that not a
tree be cut down except to leave room for the house. Even a little garden it is considered would entail some risk. I saw several of these retreats, which are occupied by the overseers of plantations.
The preceding remarks respecting liability to sickness, apply to the natives, who, you are aware are generally exempt after the age of from ten to fifteen years from the yellow or stranger's fever, their apprehensions being confined to what they term the "country fever," and "fever and ague." With regard to the yellow fever, I understand that, generally speaking, the probabilities would be greatly against a stranger escaping its fatal effects, who should remain in Charleston or Savannah during the sickly season.
There are two points connected with the yellow fever here, which are subjects of animated, and sometimes angry controversy: 1st, Whether it is contagious; and, 2d, Whether it is imported, or originates at home. With regard to the first point, I believe the negative is supported by the best authority. A most intelligent friend told me that he had slept in the same bed with a person who had the fever in the stage of black vomit, without suffering: and, Dr., who lived in Sir William Jones's family in India, informed me that he was in Philadelphia, under Dr. Rush, I think in 1798, and attended the hospital where upwards of 5000 patients were admitted, whom he visited daily, and that he never took the fever; that he once saw a young man swallow, with impunity, a tea-spoonful of black vomit, and take
arge quantities out of the stomachs of those who had died, and rub it over his arms, and that he had seen the patients eject it in large quantities on the nurses. With respect to the origin of the fever, I believe the weight of authority, both in numbers and respectability, is strongly against the idea of its being imported; but here I am on delicate and uncertain ground.
In passing through Charleston, at present so animated and gay, and with a climate at this season so delicious and so pure, it is melancholy to think of the stillness and desertion which will soon pervade its streets, when the heats will almost suspend all intercourse among the natives, and when the stranger who has been so rash as to remain in this infected region, will move with fearful and trembling steps, his imagination filled with apparitions of "the pestilence that walketh in darkness," and his heart sickened with the "destruction which wasteth at noon-day." Having visited Cadiz and Lisbon, you are no stranger to the melancholy feelings excited by a view of the graves of our countrymen who have fallen victims to an epidemic on a foreign shore.
"No voice well known, through many a day,
But the real plague-spot of Charleston, is its slave population; and the mixture of gaiety and splendour with misery and degradation, is too in
congruous not to arrest the attention even of the superficial. It always reminded me of the delicate pink peach-blossoms which surround the black hovels of the slaves on the plantations.
I shall never forget my feelings on being present for the first time, at the sale of human flesh, which took place here in a public street through which I was passing the other day. Turning from a fashionable promenade, enlivened by gay parties and glittering equipages, I came suddenly in sight of at least 80 or 100 Negroes sitting on a large heap of paving-stones; some with most melancholy and disconsolate faces, and others with an air of vacancy and apathy, apparently insensible to what was passing around them. Several merchants and planters were walking about, examining the unhappy creatures who were to be offered for sale. A poor woman, apparently about 28 years of age, with a child at her breast, her two little boys from four to six years old, and her little girl about eight, composed the first lot. They were mounted on a platform, (with the auctioneer,) taking hold of each other's hands, and the little boys looking up at their mother's face with an air of curiosity, as if they wondered what could make her look so sad. The mother then spoke a few words in a faltering voice to the auctioneer, who repeated them aloud, in which she expressed a strong desire to be purchased by some one who lived near Charleston, instead of being sent to a distant plantation. They were then put up like cattle, with all the ordinary auction slang, and finally knocked down at 350
dollars round. As soon as they came down from the platform, many of the Negroes crowded around the mother, inquiring if she knew who had bought her, or whither she was going: but, alas! all that she knew of her future destiny was, that a new owner had obtained possession of her and her offspring for 350 dollars each. I could not stay to see the repetition of the hateful process on the person of a field-labourer, who composed the next lot, and who appeared depressed and dejected beyond what I had conceived. The melancholy feelings with which I quitted this scene were not diminished by the reflection, that it was my country which first transported the poor African to these western shores; that it was when they were the shores of a British colony that slavery was first introduced, by British ships, British capital, and with the sanction and encouragement of a British parliament. Would that I could forget that in a single year (1753) no less than 30,000 slaves were introduced into America by a hundred and one vessels belonging to Liverpool alone; and that the efforts of many of the American states to abolish the importation of slaves, were long defeated by the royal negative which was put on those acts of the colonial legislature which had for their sole object the extinction of the slave Trade; and that Burke was but too well justified in stating in parliament, that “the refusal of America to deal any more in the inhuman traffic of Negro slaves, was one of the causes of her quarrel with Great Britain!" Would that I could forget that if America has still her slave