Although The Number Of Slaves In The Brazils Is Very Great, There Is
Nowhere Such A Thing As A Slave-Market.
The importation of them is
publicly prohibited, yet thousands are smuggled in every year, and
disposed of in some underhand manner, which every one knows, and
every one employs.
It is true, that English ships are constantly
cruising off the coasts of Brazil and Africa, but even if a slaver
happen to fall into their hands, the poor blacks, I was told, were
no more free than if they had come to the Brazils. They are all
transported to the English colonies, where, at the expiration of ten
years, they are supposed to be set at liberty. But during this
period, their owners allow the greater number to die - of course, in
the returns only - and the poor slaves remain slaves still; but I
repeat that I only know this from hearsay.
After all, slaves are far from being as badly off as many Europeans
imagine. In the Brazils they are generally pretty well treated;
they are not overworked, their food is good and nutritious, and the
punishments are neither particularly frequent nor heavy. The crime
of running away is the only one which is visited with great rigour.
Besides a severe beating, they have fetters placed round their neck
and feet; these they have to wear for a considerable period.
Another manner of punishment consists in making them wear a tin
mask, which is fastened with a lock behind.
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