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Diary Extracts: Race

Extract 1: Account of the inhabitants of Fernando Po
Extract 2: Account of the Morant Bay Rising in Jamaica
Extract 3: Account of the "Bulldog" affair in Haiti

(All extracts taken from GB 0240 FA/67/3)

Extract 1: Account of the inhabitants of Fernando Po

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Transcription

 

[p 39]
August 4th 1858 Contd
Island of "Fernando Po"

                                         ..... The residences of
the principal colonists are situated along the front
of the bank above alluded to, fronting the harbour;
The native town is invisible from the Ships being
a little behind the brink of the bank. (It is a mistake
to call it “a native town” as it is nearly entirely occupied
by African Colonists from Sierra Leone)
The real natives of the island are called “Boobies” for
what reason I do not know, but they are undoubtedly the
wildest and most uncivilized specimens of the human
race to be met with along the West Coast of Africa:
they are, I believe, pretty harmless, but can never be enduced
to allow any white person to settle amongst them, at the approach
of whom they always retire farther into the bush: their persons
present a most disgusting aspect; their faces are so scarified
as to resemble close quilting, their hair or wool is rubbed thickly with
red clay so as to resemble a great mass of berries at a little
distance and on this they (the men) generally wear a small grass plaited
hat with a wide overhanging rim and a number of cock’s
feather stuck in it as ornaments; the rest of their body is
generally daubed over with a similar kind of clay
and commonly bears marks of scarification, though less
than in the face, and is entirely naked excepting a
small piece of calico or matting from an inch to
five or six inches wide round the loins &c. The principal
boobies – male and female – wear strings of small shells and
bits of couries round their necks and wrists. The more they
can display, the greater is the evidence of their rank.
There is no difference between the dress of the men
and women excepting that the latter is less frequently
seen wearing a hat and seldom exceeds an inch
in the breadth of her loin-cloth.
The man usually have a piece of cord or matting
tied around the upper part of each arm, and
beneath this on the right is inserted a knife and on the left

[p 39]

extract page 39

[p 40]

a clay pipe. The natives in the neighbourhood of
Clarence town trade with the colonists, bringing in supplies
of Yams, Bananas, fowls &c;
Limes, Oranges, Bananas &c grow abundantly on the island
but are difficult to obtain in consequence of the apparent
lazy habits of the Sierra Leone Colonists, and the antipathy
the natives have to trading with Ships.....

[p 40]

extract page 40


Extract 2: Account of the Morant Bay Rising in Jamaica

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Transcription

 

[p 293]
[October 23 1865]

.....
2.30. P.M. HM Troop Ship “Urgent” came
in. Brings news that the negroes of
Jamaica have risen against the whites
and a pressing demand for all the
troops that can be spared as well as
all available ships of war. All the
2nd West India Regt present and two
Companies of the 3rd Buffs are ordered to
embark immediately. The Urgent
is coaling with all despatch.
Accounts from Jamaica show a long
list of “whites” cruelly butchered.
We are to proceed to Dominico In the morning
to meet Sir Leopold McClintock
Went on shore to the Ice house in the Evg.
.....

[p 293]

extract page 293

[p 294]
[October 29 1865]

 

 

 

 

.....
6.AM. entered and lay to under steam in
Morant Bay – Jamaica – Found here
the Gun Boat “Onyx” Lieut. Brand in
command. This officer came on board
and reports the Insurrection crushed.....

[p 294]

extract page 294

[p 295]

He states that up to this time 1200 rebels
have been shot or hanged. He himself
has hanged 83, being President of the local
Drum head Court Martial, and, amongst
the number Mr Gordon, a member of Parliament
    Lieut. Brand is pretty well known as a
person of a most curel disposition in
all cases, but, has a particular aversion
to the Black Race, therefore, those unfortunate
rebels are still more unfortunate in
the judge appd to try them. He will
however do good by striking a terror that
a more humane man would fail to do
His usual programme is to flog the
culprits first and hang them afterwards
The very first case executed was at
Port Morant and by Lt Brand personally.
    The Govr went down to this place in
the Onyx with a few troops and soon
after landing discovered one of the
ringleaders in the late massacre and
made a prisoner of him. He then
sent a message to Lt Brand to say
that he had not rope on shore nor had
he any means of disposing of the
prisoners, but, if he would oblige him
it would be well. The Lt no sooner got
the message than he landed in a dingy
with two boys and the gun boats signal
halliards. He then forced the nigger
to wheel a cart under the branch of a
tree – made him stand on it – fastened
“the noose” – threw the rope over the branch –
made it fast – and – lastly dragged away
the cart from beneath the wretch.
    Being a tall man and the branch yielding
to his weight his toes touched the ground
His noble executioner seeing this walked
up to him – put his Revolver to one eye
and shot a ball through his head;- a
soldier present, then, unnecessarily,

[p 295]

extract page 295

[p 296]

put another bullet through his chest.
Since this Execution from 8 to 14 or 20 are
usually strung up together after getting
their flogging. I think all are treated
with disgraceful and barbarous cruelty
Surely hanging ought to be enough!
Lt Brand has hanged two women (who
no doubt deserve death from their acts: one
of them disemboweled Baron Kepenfelt;) and
holds the wedding ring of one (which has
‘the names’ engraved inside) as a kind of
trophy.....

[p 296]

extract page 296


  

Extract 3: Account of the "Bulldog" affair in Haiti

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Transcription

 
[p 298]
[October 29 1865]
.....
It is stated that an English ship (steam)
was proceeding with arms &c - &c for the
legitimate Republican govt of “Hayte”
While off Cape Haitien and before reaching
President Jeffrards territory a steamer
was sent out by the rebels who hold
5 or 6 forts in and about the town of Cape
Haitien. This steamer fired on the
English vessel. “The Bulldog” being near
steamed between the two vessels. The
rebel steamer then closed with the
“Bulldog” and threated to fire into her
- the nigger Captain at the same time swearing
that he would shoot Capt. Wake of the B.D.
with his revolver. The latter told him
he would board the merchant steamer
and find if she had a right to fly the
English flag, and, if so that he would
not allow her to be interfered with, but
if otherwise, that he would hand her over
to him. The Haitien Rebel then swore
he would board the steamer as well as
Capt. Wake – that he had as good a right &c
and made some hostile advances when he
was told by Capt. Wake that if he did
not immediately steam to distance from
both vessels he would capture him.
    The fellow then steamed off 7 or 8 miles
and Capt Wake in the mean time boarded
the merchant steamer – He found her
to be in English vessel. He then

[p 298]

extract page 298

[p 299]

told her to proceed to her destination and that
he would protect her which she did.
Soon afterwards the Haitien bore down
towards “the Bulldog” and ran into one
of her Paddle Boxes but being a small thing
did no damage. The fellow again
threatened Capt. Wake and the ship with
his mighty ship and self and became most
abusive &c. Hereupon Capt. Wake again
ordered him to go to a distance from the
ship or he would capture him which he
again did. The Bulldog then convoyed
the merchant vessel keeping between
the Haitien and her; at last the Rebel
Commr gave in and returned to his
anchorage. Next day “the Bulldog”
went in to arrange affairs: a boat was
sent on shore to communicate with the
Authorities (a consul and the Rebel General)
but was prevented landing. The Genl
himself threatening to shoot the officer
if he attempted to land but was treated
in the same way. He pulled of a
short distance from the shore and
demanded to see the British Consul
which also was refused. He also at the
same time (I think) demanded that the
Refugees 30 in No whom the consul afforded
protection to should be delivered to him. This
of course was refused.
Capt. Wake then returned to his ship: in
the mean time the consul had managed
to get off from the shore privately.....

[p 299]

extract page 299


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