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imagining flavery to be difavowed by the Alcoran Are not the two precepts, to quote no . more, "Mafters, treat your flaves with kindnefs-Slaves, ferve your masters with cheerfulness and fidelity," clear proofs to the contrary? Nor can the plundering of infidels be in that facred book forbidden? fince it is well known from it that God has given the world, and all that it contains, to his faithful Muffulmen, who are to enjoy it, of right, as faft as they can conquer
it. Let us then hear no more of this deteftable propofition, the manumiffion of Chriftian flaves, the adoption of which would, by depreciating our lands and houses, and thereby depriving fo many good citizens of their properties, create univerfal difcontent, and provoke infurrections, to the endangering of government, and producing general confufion. I have, therefore, no doubt that this wife council will prefer the comfort and happinefs of a whole nation of true believers, to the whim of a few Erika, and difmifs their petition."
The refult was, as Martin tells us, that the Di van came to this refolution: "That the doctrine, "that the plundering and enflaving the Chriftians " is unjuft, is at beft problematical; but that it "is the intereft of this state to continue the prac"tice, is clear; therefore, let the petition be rejected."- And it was rejected accordingly.
And fince like motives are apt to produce, in the minds of men, like opinions and refolutions, may we not venture to predict, from this account, that the petitions to the parliament of England for abolishing the flave trade, to fay nothing of other legiflatures, and the debates upon them, will have a fimilar conclufion.
March 23, 1790.
OBSERVATIONS ON WAR:
BY the original law of nations, war and extirpation were the punishment of injury. Humanizing by degrees, it admitted flavery inftead of death: a farther ftep was, the exchange of prifoners inftead of flavery: another, to respect more the property of private perfons under conqueft, and be content with acquired dominion. Why fhould not this law of nations go on improving? Ages have intervened between its feveral fteps. but as knowledge of late increases rapidly, why fhould not thofe fteps be quickened? Why fhould it not be agreed to, as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter the following defcription of men fhould be undisturbed, have the protection of both fides, and be permitted to follow their employments in fecurity? viz.
1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labour for the fubfiftence of mankind.
2. Fishermen, for the fame reafon,
3. Merchants and traders in unarmed fhips, who accommodate different nations by communicating and exchanging the neceffaries and conveniencies of life.
4. Artifts and mechanics, inhabiting and working in open towns.
It is hardly neceffary to add, that the hofpitals of enemies fhould be unmolefted-they ought to be affifted. It is for the intereft of humanity in general, that the occafions of war, and the inducements to it, fhould be diminifhed. If rapine be abolished, one of the encouragements to war is taken away; and peace therefore more likely to continue and be lafting.
The practice of robbing merchants on the high feas-a remnant of the antient piracy-though it be accidentally beneficial to particular perfons, is far from being profitable to all engaged in it, or to the nation that authorises it. In the beginning of a war fome rich fhips are furprized and taken. This encourages the firft adventurers to fit out more armed veffels; and many others to do the fame. But the enemy at the fame time become more careful; arm their merchant fhips better, and render them not fo eafy to be taken: they go alfo more under the protection of convoys. Thus, while the privateers to take them are multiplied, the veffels fubject to be taken, and the chances of profit, are diminished; fo that many cruises are made wherein the expences overgo the gains; and, as is the cafe in other lotteries, though particulars have got prizes, the mafs of adventurers are lofers, the whole expence of fitting out all the privateers during a war being much greater than the whole amount of goods
Then there is the national lofs of all the labour of fo many men during the time they have been employed in robbing; who befides spend what they get in riot, drunkenness, and debauchery; lofe their habits of induftry; are rarely fit for any fober bufinefs after a peace, and ferve only to increase the number of highwaymen and houfebreak
Even the undertakers who have been fortunate, are, by fudden wealth, led into expenfive living, the habit of which continues when the means of fupporting it ceafe, and finally ruins them: a juft punifhment for their having wantonly and unfeelingly ruined many honeft, innocent traders and their families, whofe fubftance was employed in ferving the common intereft of mankind.
IMPRESS OF SEAMEN.
Notes copied from Dr. Franklin's writing in pencil in the margin of Judge Fofler's celebrated argument in favour of the IMPRESSING OF SEAMEN (published in the folio edition of his works.)
UDGE Fofter, p. 158. "Every Man."The conclufion here from the whole to a part, does not feem to be good logic. If the alphabet should fay, Let us all fight for the defence of the whole; that is equal, and may. therefore, be juft. But if they fhould fay, Let A B C and D go out and fight for us, while we stay at home and fleep in whole fkins; that is not equal, and therefore cannot be juft.
Employ."-If you please. The word fignifies engaging a man to work for me, by offering him fuch wages as are fufficient to induce him to prefer my fervice. This is very different from compelling him to work on fuch terms as I think proper.
Ib. This fervice and employment, &c."These are falfe facts. His employments and fervice are not the fame.-Under the merchant he goes in an unarmed veffel, not obliged to fight, but to transport merchandize. In the king's fervice he is obliged to fight, and to hazard all the dangers of battle. Sicknefs on board of king's fhips is alfo more common and more mortal. The merchant's fervice too he can quit at the end of the voyage; not the king's. Alfo, the merchant's wages are much higher.
ль: "I am very fenfible, &c"-Here are two things put in comparison that are not comparable: viz. injury to feamen, and inconvenience to trade. Inconvenience to the whole trade of a nation will not justify injuftice to a fingle feaman. If the trade would fuffer without his fervice, it is able and ought to be willing to offer him fuch wages as may induce him to afford his fervice voluntarily.
Page 159." Private mischief must be borne "with patience, for preventing a national cala"mity."-Where is this maxim in law and good policy to be found? And how can that be a maxim which is not confiftent with common fenfe? If the maxim had been, that private mischiefs, which prevent a national calamity, ought to be generously compenfated by the nation, one might understand it but that fuch private mifchiefs are only to be borne with patience, is abfurd!
Ib. The expedient, &c. And, &c." (Paragraphs 2 and 3).-Twenty ineffectual or inconvenient schemes will not juftify one that is unjuft. Ib. Upon the foot of, &c."-Your reasoning, indeed, like a lie, ftands but upon one foot; truth upon two.
Page 160. "Full wages."-Probably the fame they had in the merchant's fervice.
Page 174. "I hardly admit, &c." (Paragraph 5).-When this author fpeaks of impreffing, page 158, he diminishes the horror of the practice as much as poffible, by prefenting to the mind one failor only fuffering a " hardship" (as he tenderly calls it) in fome" particular cafes" only; and he places against this private mischief the inconvenience to the trade of the kingdom.-But if, as he fuppofes is often the case, the failor who is preffed, and obliged to ferve for the defence of trade, at the rate of twenty-five fhillings a month,