the night was clear and moonlight we walked late upon deck, when,
true enough, we saw little boats laden with negroes pulling in
shore. An officer, indeed, came from the fort to inquire into the
doings of this suspicious craft; but the owner seemed to afford him
a satisfactory account, for he left the ship, and the slaves
continued during the whole night to be quietly and undisturbedly
smuggled in as before.
On the morning of the 4th of January, as we sailed past the vessel,
we beheld a great number of the poor creatures still standing upon
the deck. Our captain inquired of the slave-dealer how many slaves
he had had on board, and we learned with astonishment that the
number amounted to 670. Much has already been said and written upon
this horrible trade; it is everywhere execrated, and looked upon as
a blot on the human race, and yet it still continues to flourish.
This day promised to turn out a very melancholy one in many
respects. We had hardly lost sight of the slaver before one of our
own crew had nearly committed suicide. The steward, a young
mulatto, had contracted the bad habit of indulging too much in
liquor. The captain had often threatened to punish him severely,
but all to no purpose; and this morning he was so intoxicated that
the sailors were obliged to lay him in a corner of the forecastle,
where he might sleep himself sober.