DECLINE OF SLAVERY. 91
to this cause that wills probated in Halifax and some other counties towards the close of the century contained so many items of enfranchisement. Thus Richard \\'enman of Halifax, in September, 1781, arranges to "give unto my Negro named Cato his liberty" and to " hereby release him from all idea of slavery, if he will faithfully serve my said daughter, Elizabeth Susanna Pringle, two years, and not otherwise". In February, 1784. Charles Montague, of Halifax, says in his will : " I have only one Negro, named Francis. He is to have his freedom". The will of Anne Cosby, eldest daughter of William \\'inniett and widow of Maior Cosby. drawn up in Annapolis in 1788, has this item : I do also give and devise to my black woman named Rose, a Mulatto girl named Agatha, and to my black man named John Bulkely, to each and every one of them their full freedom and discharge from all servitude as slaves from the day of my decease for ever". Under somewhat similar circumstances, in May, ,;87, Margaret Murray, widow, of Halifax, devises: " I do manumit my two Negro women, Marianne and Flora, and also my Negro boy Brutus when
the West Indies to the annual meeting of the Evangelical Alliance. And vet this young man—Edward Fraser, the son of a Scotch father and a Mulatto slave mother, was, when Bishop Inglis approached him in Bermuda, himself a slave, unable to make any change in his position without permission from his master. That such a man could be held as personal property", in common with " goods and chattels", and subject to all the accidents of fortune or impulses of another, made slavers, mild as in the main it was in Bermuda, appear a hideous fact. Such ownership seemed, from a Christian point of view, a dark crime. Keenly enough were his limitations felt by the young man himself. He was not ungrateful for kindness received, for he wrote the managers of the Missionary Society, " Obliged in gratitude as I am, I know not how to excuse a willingness to leave my master and his family until your verdict makes my call to higher duties unquestionable"; vet at the same time he added that the very thought that he was a slave often Caine over him as a "mildew and a frost He "could not think freely", his " mind was in bonds". Even when he had been accepted conditionally as a candidate for the ministry his name could not appear with the names of other young men in published official documents. This "story of a crime" had happily a termination creditable to all concerned. At the request of the Missionary Society, the owner, Mr. Iightbourn, gave young Fraser his freedom and forwarded to the Secretaries a cenihcate of manumission which did honor to the freed-man while reflecting credit upon himself.