29 FEBRUARY 1840, Page 16


MR. TURNBULL began in 1837, and completed in 1839, a Transat- lantic tour of considerable extent ; embracing the West Indies British and.Foreign, part of' the mainland of the Southern continent, the United States, and British America. The volume before us contains only a section of that tour ; being confined to the author's observations in Cuba, his investigations into its history and condi- tion, with a vast mass of information and suggestion relative to the slave-trade, of which that great Spanish settlement is well known to be one Of the principal seats.

So far as industry and the power of acquiring and imparting in- formation are concerned, Mr. Temsnera, is well fitted to travel. Like his namesake, whose work on Austria we lately noticed, he is a man of large experience, good connexions, and is well ac- quainted with foreign society. He possesses classical reading, which he has no objection to show by quotations ; and he is a ju- dicious and indefatigable inquirer both from books and men. A zealous opponent of slavery, he had also an immediate object of inquiry; • but probably his ardour in the cause may have somewhat affected both his observations and conclusions.

Though Mr. Tensnera. travelled in Cuba, his book is not alto- gether a book of travels, but of the results which travel leads to. Starting from Jamaica in a Government steamer, which seems to have been despatched to Santiago for the accommodation of Mr. TURNBULL and some Jamaica people, and to have been detained there in like manner that the English Consul might have a plea- sant day with his friends, the tourist observed the town, visited the copper-mines in the neighbourhood, and then sailed for Havana. Here he occupied himself in a similar way ; seeing the lions of the capital, making inquiries of official men, and taking excursions through the island. Of these excursions the accounts are very scanty : which is to be regretted, for Mr. TURNBULL is a pleasant describer, the manners and scenery of Cuba are well worth describing, and no conclusions drawn from reading or discourse can compare with the freshness of original observation—not to say that much of what he does might have been done elsewhere. He need not have travelled to Cuba to give the history of the island, which fills the last hundred pages of his work. The elaborate and curious statistics on the slave-trade and the mode in which the business is carried on, though animated by a mind which has drunk knowledge from the fountain, consist chiefly of facts derived from Parliamentary papers. The statistics of Cuba itself; though not very readily ac- cessible in England, exist in public documents, and might therefore be procured without crossing the Atlantic. All these things indeed are well done : they furnish a great deal of information relating to the island, and bear, as we have said already, proofs of an original knowledge, and not of mere compilation. We only regret that more matter of a living character had not been introduced, such as the following pleasant sketches.


The wheels of the rolante are placed so wide apart that it is next to impos- sible to overturn it, even in ruts where an ordinary carriage would disappear. The wheels themselves are always at least six feet ; and some that I have mea- sured have proved even seven feet in diameter. The shafts are proportionably long; indeed so long, that it second horse might be placed between the croupe of the first and the body of the carrias.e. The body is suspended on C springs, also very wide apart ; and is bung so lowbetween the shafts that the heads of the travellers are always a foot or two below the level of the upper section of the wheels.

In the city of the Havana there is a police regulation, directing that no more than one horse shall be attached to these carriages, whether public or private, within the walls; but in the country, of course, such a regulation would be impracticable. One out-rigger is always added to the left, on which the calesero is mounted, instead of riding the shaft horse, as is the invariable custom in the Havana. Where the roads are worse than usual, or where more state is thought necessary, a second out-rigger is attached on the right hand side. The quitrin is a mere variety of the volante, the one having a fixed and the other a moveable top. The ealesero, particularly in towns, is usually dressed in a very smart livery, resembling, in some degree, the gayest of the French postilions ; but, instead of his enormous boots, wearing long black gaiters, with silver buckles to his shoes, the buckles of the harness being often of the same precious metal. This system of three horses abreast is that usually adopted by the native gentry of the island of St. Domingo. In that island, even in their heaviest field waggons, a leader is never to be seen ; although it is not uncommon in the plains of the Cul de Sac, or Leogane, to find two horses or mules attached to the pole of a two-wheeled waggon, with a bar like that of a curricle across, and an out-rigger on either side, making in all four animals abreast.


Outside the Moro Castle we found the Grande Antilla under sail, and ready to prosecute her voyage. She had been built only a year before at Malta, under the eye of her present commander; and in point of accommodation and equip- ment, she would stand a favourable comparison with the best of the old sailing- packets between Liverpool and New York. Unfortunately fur us, the best places were preoccupied by the seventy and odd passengers we found already on board; but, after all, we had little reason to complain of the cabin provided for us; and if one must be confined in a crowded ship where so many person acrifices are always required, I should certainly prefer, after a good deal of ienee, to travel with Spaniards than with the people of any other nation o he face of the earth. I make this statement advisedly, in spite of the considerable deduc- tion arising from the fact, whirls it would be unfair to withhold, that every in- dividual on board, man, woman, and child, used tobacco incessantly, in every form but the abominable one of chewing and its concomitant expectoration—au atrocity reserved for our brethren of North America. The married ladies, ss. venal of them the wives of officers of some rank in the army, smoked openly and undisguisedly, preferring in general that strong sort of tobacco which is made up into cigars in the form called the Long Tom, some five or six inches in length. The young ladies make their maiden essay with the cigarillo, which consists of a very small portion of the much cherished weed, of the mildest pos- sible flavour, wrapped up in paper prepared for the purpose, by dipping it in a solution of alum just strong enough to prevent it from bursting into flame, or wasting away faster than the semipulverized tobacco contained in it. It is but fair to add, that in the first circles at the Havana, as at the court of her Ca- tholic Majesty, ladies, 'young or old, of the highest rank, are as free from this indulgence as in other parts of the world. The Mexican ladies are evidently more devoted to this habit than their fair sisters of the Peninsula. But although I have travelled over Old Spain, from the one end of the country to the other, and, during a residence there of some fifteen months, have lived on terms of intimacy with many of the kind-hearted inhabitants, I certainly never had the chance to be involved in clouds of smoke so dense as in the cabin of the good ship the Grande Autilla. The fare en board was, of course, exclusively Spanish ; more decidedly an, indeed, than any thing I had ever met with in Europe. Their favourite condiment, the garlic, prevailed in almost every dish, so that it required us to make interest with the Cabo de Coeina to avoid the daily pollution. In the French West India colonies the language of navigation is exclusively English ; although, except in what relates to nautical allisirs, the seamen, 'White, Black, or Brown, speak no language but their own. In former times, when the proud armadas of Spain were to be found in every sea, our sailors did not disdain to borrow such words of the vocabulary of their most powerful rivals as best suited their purpose. The word avast, for instance, is evidently a mere corruption of the Spanish word hush?, or vosffi, which, when repeated rapidly, produces the selfsame sound. EilgiiSli words, of' modern application to naval affairs, are to be heard on board the ships of every nation, such as the esp.! in taking the time from the chronometer, so admirably suited, horn the sudden compression of the lips, to effect its purpose promptly.

socuay IN CUBA.

The distinction of ranks among the various classes of society is as carefully kept up in Cuba as in the most aristocratical countries of the Old World. The first includes the resident grandees of Spain, of whom there are about thirty, the Titulos of Castile, resembling as nearly as possible the anomalous rank of Baronet its England, and the Bacendados, or landed gentry of the is- land. Next after them come the Empleados, UP civil functionaries in the pub. lie offices, of whom, at the Havana alone, there are said to be 1,000; and on the same level with these gentlemen may be placed the officers of the army and navy. The merchants, Spanish, Creole, or foreign, hold only the third Once in the order of precedency. After them come their clerks, French, English, North American, or German ; such of them as conic from Spain being chiefly Gadi- tanos. Retail merchants and shopkeepers hold a still lower station ; they come in general front the Canaries, Catalonia, Biscay, or North America. The Gallegos, like our own Irish labourers, occupy the lowest place in the social scale; the Coloured and Negro race being tabooed altogether. The emigrants from Old Spain and the Canaries, but especially the Catalans and Gallegos, with their descendants, may be considered a permanent addition to the population ; lint foreigners, who generally come as clerks and depart as merchants, take root but rarely.


Of all the new enjoyments of which the knowledge is acquired by a visit to the intertropical regions, those that reach us through a sense which in the Old 'World is productive of as many painful as uleasurable emotions are, in my opi- nion, the most exquisite. Without leaving Europe, a traveller may learn how delightffil it is to take Lis early walk in au orange-grove during the season when the trees are in bloom ; the gardens of the Turneries may give him a fhint idea of it just before the ancient denizens of the oranyerie have been despoiled of their crop of blossoms that the distiller may convert them into crange-flower water. But the fragrance of the Tuilleries is as inferior to that of the Moorish gardenia of the Mazer at Seville as these last, with all the care bestowed on them, are excelled by some neglected orange-grove in Cube or St. Domingo. Nor is the rich frugranee of the orange-grove to be com- pared for a moment with the aromatic odours of a coffee plantation, when its hundred thousand trees have just thrown out their unrivalled display of jeans. mine-like flowers, reminding you of what you may have read in Eastern fable of the perfumes of Araby the Blest.

Slavery and the slave-trade was the main point of Mr. TERN• num.'s objects of inquiry, and on which he expends a great deal of indignation ; winding up with a plan for its abolition to rival Mr. litestoses. We must, however, observe, that, with one exception, the specific facts he adduces scarcely support his declamations. His statement as to the mortality of Negroes and the num- bers of Negroes native-born is in a measure self-contradictory. If the mortality be limited to certain sugar-plantations, we neither wish to excuse nor extenuate the filet, supposing it be one ; but there are unhappily many other species of labour besides sugar- planting which grievously shorten life. Has Mr. T unanum. never heard of lead-works, or of certain branches of the cutlery trade? Does he ever read of the mortality of our troops on tropical stations? Is there no alleged mortality, and cruelty too, in tine factory sys- tem? And what are they all put together to the mortality and wretchedness of prostitution ? Do we allege these linings to cri- minate a class of well-meaning but ill-judging meddlers, who either forget these evils altogether, or oppose legislat ive interference, when, as it is said, it interferes with their own profits ? Quite the contrary. We merely adduce them to show what evils prevail under every existing social sj stem ; and that the men who are the most vehement about matters of which they know little or nothing, are content, in questions where they have full knowledge, to eschew the violence of legislative enactment and trust to the ;low operation of time and opinion. It may be said, indeed, that Negro slavery is brought about

by force, the other willingly ; but we suspect that the arts which cajole a White man into the bondage of the army and a Black one into that of the slave-dealers are pretty much alike, and that all

the other classes obey a social necessity as stern as that which impels the Negroes of Africa.

The confessed and undeniable evil in the slavery of Cuba is the disproportion of the sexes. The census gives it in the ratio of

183 males to 103 females ; but Mr. TURNBULL insinuates that this is untrue. There seems no doubt that on some estates the women are very few, and on several there are none. In justice to the Spaniards, however, it should be said that this prac-

tice seems to Obtain amongst the newly-arrived planters ; the Americans haying reached a bad eminence in all that concerns slavery. The specific instances of cruelty that fell under Mr.

TURNBULI:S observation merely amount to seeing a gang indiscri- minately beaten for going to sleep on the road ; and some persons in the stocks, who looked very wretched and complained of cold,— as if Cuba were the only place in the world where the poor were half-naked and cold in prison. The horrors of the slave-market Mr. TURNBULL frankly confesses rather arose from association of ideas than actual misery.

In all the filets connected with the existing slave-trade the author is sometimes at issue with others, and now and then with himself. Mr. BUXTON estimates the annual importations into Cuba at 40,000 : Mr. Tuassnuse, with more probability, at 23,000. He expresses an opinion that slaves are still landed on the coasts of the Southern provinces of the United States : but all reason is against this unsupported assertion ; the price of a slave at Ha- vans being from 300 to 320 dollars, at New Orleans from 800 to 1,000. Two societies have discontinued insuring slavers, though at a premium of from 25 to 40 per cent.; whence he concludes the seizures arc in that proportion : but one of the Directors gave him the true reason—the transaction was illegal, the slavers were a set of rascals, and the Company constantly called upon to pay losses which they believed had never accrued, but being a debt of honour, the essence of the transaction was to pay upon demand. 'Three things only seem perfectly clear—that the lowest profit is 100 per cent., that one successful voyage out of three will remunerate the speculators, and that the more strenuous the endeavours to put down the trade the more the horrors of the middle passage are increased.

The operation of the slave-trade upon all within its vortex is strikingly instanced. English officials, nay some of the very Judges of the basil of Mixed Commission, employ slaves, and at the Brazils it is alleged actually turn planters. How thoroughly the system pervades the whole of society, it may almost be said the whole world, it may be worth while to instance.

s I believe it is perfectly understood, that every foreign merchant at the Ha- vana, and at the other seaports of the island, has an interest more or less direct in the maintenance of the slave-trade; as if striving to prove how nearly they could approach the limit of the law without an actual infringement of it. Quinn props rut crimen sine CrillthiC. There are some merchants, however, who un- happily do not content themselves with that indirect interest which arises from the ordinary commercial profit on the goods they may sell, but who actually agree to furnish an outward-bound slaver with supplies for the coast of Africa, on the condition of receiving payment on the usual credit for the prime cost of the goods, while his mercantile profit is made to depend on the return of the ship, and the success of the homeward voyage. In this way the spirit of gaming which uniformly pervades these slaving transactions may he safely indulged in, at least without any obvious pecuniary risk ; and in filet it isnot difficult, from the vast variety of shapes that the trade has assumed, br is person on the spot either to steep himself to the eyes in the ahominstione [dill° traffic, or stealthily draw off a more moderate portion of the polluted etc. am. It grieves me to the heart to be compelled to add that some of ono. ow,. esantrymen are tempted by the monstrous profits to enter move or less deerlv into the speculations. I think I shall never forget the tell-tale countenance of a simple Irishman at the Havana, when, perhaps for the fast time, his ettention was drawn to the cri- minal nature of the enterprise in which he had indirectly engaged. Having made some money by keeping a retail shop for the supply of the shipping in the harbour. he had been induced to engage in a speculation of this sort, by which he expected to double or treble his ordinary profits. His answers to any in- quiries having produced an exclamation which was not, perhalls, over courteous, he asked in a tone of alarm, " -Why, what barns is there in it ; what risk do I run?" To which the prompt reply was given by a countryman of his, who happened to he with me at the time, " Only the risk of being hanged if ever your set your foot in Ireland again."

There is another class of our countrymen, however, who have much more to answer fiw than this poor Irish shopkeeper in their wholesale disregard of the first principles of humanity. 1 fear it is not to he doubted, that there are men of large capital in the British metropolis wino lay out their money at the large interest which the slave trader can afford to pay; and it is within my know- ledge that certain individnals of immense wealth, who, altlin,ugh beading a foreign patronymic, are to all intents and purposes British sajects, who, not content with risking their money to secure this high rate of interest, have ac- tually stipulated on hemming sleeping partners in one of the most notorious slaving-houses at the Havana, the better to enable them, as they fbndly ima- gine, to bring their French and Spanish partners to account.

The fast-sailing clippers which are now used in the trade are built at Baltimore ; the goods which buy the Negro in Africa, the shackles which fetter him on the middle passage, the implements, Vic. which enable him to be set to work, are furnished by Great Britain; and perhaps the wife and daughters of some ardent Abo- litionist, dressed out to attend an Anti-Slavery meeting, arc finely clothed in some preparations of cotton, the product of the Negro's labour. If, as our traveller seems to think, people are to be punished fbr indirect participation, we wonder where he will stop. According to Mr. Tuiusnum., the object of the Spanish Govern- ment in encouraging the slave-trade is purely political they wish to secure the obedience of Cuba by a population which shall ren- der a large standing army necessary. The Creoles, on the other hand, ardently wish lbr independence under the guarantee of France and England ; and desire the abolition of the trade, which, if true, may be attributed to their wish to obtains a monopoly of labour against new comers. It is, however, gratifying to observe, that the three of opinion is operating even in Cuba. The cha- racter of the sale-advertisements is much improved. Questions are proposed and discussed by societies respecting the means of substituting some other mode of cultivation, which have elicited a plan for an immigration from the Canary Isles, and many curious facts. It appears that the Negro cannot endure an artificial heat like the European, and is inefficient as a stoker to a steam-engine: it is said that Spanish blood can bear the tropical climate as well as Black.

The prize essay of Don Pedro Jose Muffles, which was crowned by the Royal Patriotic Society with the patent of mein de merito, contains many in-

teresting suggestions as to the substitution of the labour of White freemen for that of Negro slaves. He contends that the extreme cheapness of African labour is the sole cause why the White inhabitants of the West Indies have by mere disuse and want of exercise lost a large proportion of their physical force. He denies, however, that this debility, arising from inaction, is so general as it is commonly supposed to be. The young men horn and bred in the interior districts of the island are so well formed and robust as to be able to withstand the extreme heat of the dog-daysand the cold of winter, which is not unknown in Cuba, with no other covering but the light linen vest which they wear all the year round. Front suns to sun these men will make a journey of twenty leagues on fbot, without being worn out by the heat or impeded by the sud- denly-swollen rivers, and with no encouragement to proceed but their cup of coffee and their cigar. Their dress is a linen shirt and pantaloons, a straw hat, and shoes of the untanned leather of the country. They carry besides, a hammock and a single change of dress, which, with a sword and a long knife at their girdle, completes their equipment. When surprised by nightfall they enter the nearest thicket and hang their hammock between two trees; where after smoking their cigar they sleep soundly till awakened by the songs of birds, the cry of wild animals, and tire other sounds which serve in a thinly- peopled country to intimate the approach of day. Yet these men show no signs of weakness, and live to good old age. Oct such grounds Sefior Morillas

concludes that the young men of the Havana need nothing but the habitual exercise of their muscular powers to enable them to rival in activity the Peon de tierra dentro.

Mr. TURNBULL'S picture of the present mode of endeavouring to abolish the slave-trade is any thing but satisffictory, after the millions we have squandered upon that object. We have men- tioned that some of the persons charged with protecting the Afri- cans are implicated in the employment of slaves, either from a social necessity or the temptation of gain. Unless in the clearest cases, the decision of the Mixed Commission Court is according to the nation of the Judges, and not to the rights of the case. The Judges and votes being equal, the next step is to choose arbi- trators; but their numbers being equal too, and the decision being also according to nation and not to justice, the method of the French Judge in RABELAIS is openly resorted to. " The dice-box is produced; the learned Judges tireut is la courte paille ; or Dame Fortune is appealed to by some other form of lottery, to deter- mine which shall arbitrate, the Spaniard or the Englishman, between their dissident chiefs."

A receiving-vessel is now stationed at Havana for the adjudi- cated Negroes : but till lately at Cuba, as still at the Brazils, the freed Negroes have been apprenticed, in Cuba for seven years, in the Brazils for fourteen; during which period they were worked out, and if not released by death, thrown upon the public, the planter not being bound to maintain them.

"Until the total suppression is finally achieved, it is not to be doubted that seizures will be made by our cruisers, that sentences of condemnation will be pronounced by the several courts of Mixed Commission as well as by our own Courts of Admiralty, and that numerous captives will remain for disposal, if not for prompt emancipation.

"According to the old system, these unfortunate captives, although nominally free, were instantly 'hurried into an abyss of misery more deplorable and more desperate than that of the regularly imported African ; who, if his lot be cast in Cuba, is destined within ten years to die of excessive labour, starvation, and the lash, that the people of Russia and the toited States, the chief purchasers of the produce of that island, may drink their coffee, and sweeten it more cheaply. If emancipated at the Havana, the scot of one of the Mixed Commis. 0.011s, they were humeri:: handed over to the Spanish authorities who hired them out for seven years to the best bidder. The necessary consequence was, that thc, party who engaged their services had not even an interest in keeping them alive alter the lapse of that period, and lay under no obligation, either legal or conventional, to support them when dieabled by sickness or accident. The very name by which the unhappy survivors are distinguished has thus become a term of reproach ; and if you ask your pampered household'slave at the Haulm who some wretched creature may be that has appealed to you for charity, he will answer you with a sneer, that he is an English " Emancipado." All those who outlived this first term of apprenticeship fell back into the bands of the local authorities, who did not scruple to hire them out for a second period of seven years, in the course of which their condition was as hopeless, and their daily and nightly toil as totally unrequited as before.

"Oa the departure ()I' Captain-General Taeon, he caused a memoir to be pub- lished in defence of the measures of his administration ; but as the stnct cen- sorship of tine press was interposed to prevent the circulations of any answer to it, the laudatory statements it contains are not entitled to much attention. Governer 'fawn was accused of deriving a rich revenue, not merely from the contraband importation of slaves, but from the disposal of the services of such as had been liberated under the judgments of the Courts of Mixed Commission. At first it was understood that these Emancipados were not to be sent out of the Havena, in order to afford them a better chance of acquiring sonic of the elements of civilization during the period of their apprenticeship; and I have been assured that this rule was enforced during the administration of Vices and Iticafort. When Tacon assumed the administration, their numbers had be- come so great, or the temptation of profit was so powerful, that the old rule was abandoned, and the poor Emaucipados were sold to the highest bidder. The regular price obtained, as I have been assured on good authority, was from three to six ounces of gold for women, and from six to ten ounces for men; and these prices having acquired a certain fixed character, although low when


d with the value of the contraband article, it was timed to be at once a sailing of time, and a source of patronage to the Captain-General, to transfer them in masses to some favoured individual, who derived a handsome profit by disposing of them in detail. These particulars would no lour tar have tiny pre- sent interest, and inielit be consigned to the care of the historian, if it were not for the fact that the .aine monstrous abuse of the word "emancipation" pre- vails to this day at Rio de Janeiro, where the so-called apprenticeship is made to extend to fourteen years in place of seven."

Such are some of the results of attempting to effect changes by act of Parliament, in a state of society too backward to receive them. But, through Mr. TURNBULL is sharp and unsparing in his criticism on others, we do not know that his own plan is very prac- ticable. It is this. The slave-trade being

abolished, no newly- imported Negro can lawfully be held in bondage. Let Spain, therefore, says Mr. TURNBULL, be required (by Lord CLARENDON, on account of his wonderthl ability and his popularity amongst Spaniards) to extend the jurisdiction of the Mixed Commission Court, and to give it the power of freeing every Negro whose master cannot show that he possessed him at least before the new powers were granted to the tribunal. If this plan could be executed, it would no doubt cripple, and, as far as Cuba was concerned, probably destroy the slave-trade; but at what an expense! If the law were to operate, every Negro must have the power of bringing his owner into court to prove his ownership : and here would arise a state of confusion analogous to that of questioning all the titles of Eng- land, with a suspension of all profits during the litigation. But putting aside this difficulty, or rather this confiscation of property, how is the project to be effected? Spain is not likely to consent ; for, says Mr. TURNBULL, destroy the importation of slaves and her possession of Cuba is gone. Even if she acquiesced, how is the law to be executed ? The Governor and officials derive a great part of their income from the slave-trade ; the landed and shipping interest depend upon it for their livelihoods. " Every foreign merchant," according to our author, " has an interest more or less direct in the maintenance of the slave-trade ; " and some of the persons paid by this country to suppress it take a share in its profits. How then could such a law be worked—especially when the ultimate court of appeal is the dice-box ?