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THE LOYALISTS AND SLAVERY.   2t

officer in command.' Throughout the Revolutionary war the presence of the large slave clement proved an aid to the British and a corresponding embarrassment to Washington and his generals. General John A. Logan has asserted that " the half a million of slaves, nearly all of them in the Southern States, were found to be not only a source of weakness, but through the incitements of British emissaries a standing menace of peril to the slaveholders." " Thus it was," adds Gen. Logan, "that the South was overrun with hostile armies, while in the North—comparatively free from this element of weakness—disaster after disaster met them.'

At the termination of the war the two thousand escaped slaves in New York were seized with consternation in con-sequence of a rumor that they—some of whom had been with the British for three or four years—were to be delivered up to their former owners. Terrible confirmation of the rumor seemed to be afforded by the presence in New York of slave-owners from Virginia, the Carolinas and other parts of the South, who were known to be seizing their former slaves in the streets and even to be dragging them from their beds. To allay this terror, the British Commander-in-chief, Sir Guy Carleton. issued a proclamation guaranteeing their liberty to all slaves who. when taking refuge within the British lines, had formally claimed the protection publicly offered by British commanders. To a demand by Washington for the restoration of all fugitives to their former owners, Sir Guy, through-out whose whole career moderation, justice and prudence, as well as genius, can everywhere be recognized, replied, declining to violate faith with the Negroes, more especially as it " would be delivering them up, some possibly to execution and some others to severe punishments " ; and

t gee paper read by Jonas Howe, St. John, N. B.. several years ago. '" Magazine of American History." VoL ts, p. g7.


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