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107 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


therefore I am often obliged to let prudence get the better of my feelings, till I have a proper opportunity of indulging them-

 Just after these people left me, two Preachers from Shelburne, one of whom was my steady friend David George came to pay their respects to me, and although it was eleven at night, they took a boat from the vessel which brought them from thence, on purpose to see me as soon as possible
-It distresses me beyond measure to see the gratitude of the generality of these unfortunate people-

 December 10th - Received a great deal of Company-Called upon Mr. Kelley Keeper of Newgate, respecting a child of Prince Murrays, did all in my power for the poor man-Delivered to the Secretary of the Province a list of the remainder of the Free Blacks, who gave in their names to go with me, the form of which was like the preceeding-Visited the different Barracks-Several applications were made to me for clothes; upon a rough calculation there appears nearly 300 people almost naked- Was pleased to find that some of the people detained for debt at Shelburne had been relieved by the Comrades, who had a little property-As it is my intention to pay their debts, and to clothe all who are in real want, I am obliged to be careful in giving them any kind of intimation of it, as it might induce some to sell what clothes they had, and others to contract debts, as well as occasion people to be more active in bringing actions against them-

 I mean to fix upon a day for a general muster, when I intend to gain a complete history of the whole, and shall do it in such a way as will ensure to me that most accurate information, without giving them the least reason to believe I intend to relieve them-I have been so cautious on this head, that I have never mentioned my intentions to any one except Mr. Hartshorne, not even to a friend going to fetch the people from Shel burne, fearing the consequence-I have publicly thanked all those, who ad~anced money to their comrades, and have desired them to deliver to Ine their receipts, that I might endeavour to make the people pay them, whenever they were able after their arrival at Sierra Leone-

 Visited all the ships to expedite the equipment, and to see that the work going on was properly done-Called upon a Mr. Hughes in the Dockyard, to endeavour to persuade him to give up Ceasar Smith's child who had three years to serve, before the time she was bound for, was expired, but to no effect-

 To all probability this child will be sold for a slave at the expiration of her apprenticeship, in consequence of not having father or Mother, or any relation left in the Province-

  I saw Mrs. Hughes, and solicited her in the most affecting way to induce her to give up the child-I called upon her as a mother, and described the distressed state of Smith's whole family at the thought of leaving the girl behind, and brought to her recollection the circumstances which occasioned the child to be indented for five years, which happened in con-

 

104 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


-sequence of Smith's family having lost all they had in the world, by house being burnt down, that the poor Mother was constantly in about her child, and I therefore hoped she would feel the case, as if it her own & do as she would be done by; but could not make the least impression. Called upon Mr. Wallace and requested to know the me used for measuring the ships, also the quantity of provisions allowe each individual daily specifying the kind and to let me see them I informed him that two or three of the vessels from Shelburne, had 5 with only two day's provisions, & the people had been on board, five mentioned this to him, that he might not pay for five-I requested also he would fix a day for Mr. Hartshorne & myself to inspect the provis for the voyage, and also to procure fresh beef for the whole during stay at Halifax; I desired him also to procure more stores for the Barra ordered the baggage vessels from Shelburne, to haul alongside the wharf adjoining the store house, inhabitated by the Shelburne people, that might be discharged before night-Reminded Mr. Wallace to think of people at Preston, and also desired him to engage more vessels immediately- Dined at Mr. Hartshorne's with the Salt Fish Club, many of them t declared that the Free Blacks were as well used as the Whites; the majority of the company against them I promised to convince them to the contrary if they would attend me any day next week-Wickham who returned afternoon from Shelburne informed them, that it was out of his powe describe the misery he had seen during the last fortnight, and he ashamed of the conduct of the White inhabitants in general-

 December 11th - Mr. Wickham breakfasted with me this morning he recommended a young man to me qualified for Chief Mate of a whose appointment I procured-

 Several people called upon me of every description-I was not well this morning which prevented me from going to Church-At 3 in the afternoon visited all the Barracks, found about a Sixth of the people very nice & clean, and the rest as neat as they could be-Went up to the top of the Sugar House Barracks, which contained 200 of the Free Blacks wheri found my friend David George preaching, and I never remembered to have heard the Psalms, sung so charmingly, in my life before; the generality the Blacks who attended, seemed to feel more at singing, than they did Prayers-I left them sooner that I wished, fearing that David George, he had seen me might have been confused, but I have too good an opin~ of him to think that the presence of any one, would in the least deter him from offering up his praises to his Creator-

 Gave relief to some people in distress Dined with Mr. Wallace, much conversation respecting our business, begged him again to take the ships immediately; he informed me that the Council had ordered a vessel to sail from hence immediately to bring all those from Shelburne who were left behind-As two poor families, whom I had met by chance at Port L'Herbert, were not yet arrived, and as the vessel which sailed I night, received orders not to bring one family more, unless there was a

 

105 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


probability of her reaching this place, by the 25th of this month, I did everything in my power to hasten the embarkation of those who were left at Shelburne, by writing to Major Skinner, respecting the whole, and saying it was my particular wish to have the two families attended to sent up to me, and that I had sent him two pounds; to be given to one of the men who had five children, and one pound to the other, who had only one child, to relieve them if they were determined to remain in this country, or on the other hand, to assist them in coming here, if they had the least inclination-

 I likewise wrote to the Major respecting other people, who had left their clothes & c behind-Spent the evening with Mr. Hartshorne, and received many complaints respecting the manner the people had been sent from Shelburne-

 Finding from the number of the applications constantly making to me from individuals, that it prevented me from paying proper attention to objects of more consequence, I this evening, appointed Thomas Peters, David George, & John Ball to superintend the whole, & to communicate to me their wants and complaints, desiring them to inform the people at the different Barracks, not to come to me with their particular complaints, but to inform me through them-

  December 12th - Several people were with me till ten o'clock- Breakfasted with Captain Rogers -He promised his men should make me some Sky Rockets False Fire Muskets, Cartridges & c, & c-

 We afterwards waited upon Mr. Morden about the Guns & ammunition-Wrote the following letter, and sent it by the vessel & ordered for Shelburne, to bring the remainder of those left there-

 

Halifax December 12th 1791-

Dear Sir

I received your favour by Mr. Wickham, for which I am much obliged There are two families now at Shelburne for whom I feel deeply interested, viz: Thomas Shepherd & John Martin-I understand the latter set off for Liverpool, in the hopes of joining Wickham and trusting that his wife & children would follow in the Deborah; he has not arrived at Halifax, & Wickham informs me his wife would not come with him, because she did not know where her husband was gone- If John Martin should now be at Shelburne with his family, I have paid into Mr. Wallace's hands for his use either to enable him to join me, or to do him some little good, if he be determined to remain in this Province, two pounds Currency -If he should not be at Shelburne, he in all probability, will endeavour, to reach this place by land, and therefore I think it would be best to send his wife & children to Halifax, if she should have a desire to come-After her arrival here, should her husband not be in this town, I shall advise her to go back

 

106 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


to Shelburne in hopes of seeing him there-If her husband should be in Halifax I shall not take him without his wife & family, and shall give him his passage to Shelburne to join her-

 With respect to Thos Shepherd, if I mistake not he has only a wife & daughter-I have paid into Mr. Wallace's hands for their use one pound currency, either to enable them to come to Halifax, or to give them some little relief, if they should have a desire to stay at Shelburne-

 Wickham has just informed me that John Martin is in debt, and that Mr. McCloud says he is indebted to him near £7-Martin has kept an account against Mr. McCloud, which I shall send you, & you will be the best judge how to proceed- Mr. Richardson of Port L'Herbert told Wickham, strictly speaking, he believes Mcloud has not that claim upon Martin, which he has demanded, this I tell you for your own information, and should not wish McCloud to know that Richardson said so, as it might occasion a quarrel between him & his neighbours-

 I have received a letter from the following people telling me they wish to embark for Sierra Leone, and will be ready in twelve hours, after they are informed that a vessel is equipped to re-to receive them viz, Andrew Egar, Dan Moore, Nath Turner , Absalom Dixon Wm Huston, Ahey a Sawyer, Nero Montague, Cudjo a Pioneer, and William Ash -

 I shall send you this letter, and you will be good enough to send them, with those of whom you have given a list to Mr. Wallace-

 I have written a letter to Moses Kelly from Thos Godfrey, desiring him to send different articles belonging to hirn, which he was obliged to leave behind, & should therefore teem it a favour if you will forward it to him at Birchtown-

 I am sorry to give you so much trouble, but I cannot avoid it, as I am so much interested in the happiness of the poor Blacks-

 Wishing you every earthly blessing and with my most
respectful compliments, to Mrs Skinner, and the Ladies,

 I am dear Sir, your most
Obliged & obedient Servant
John Clarkson

 

107 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


 Major Skinner-

 Wrote the following note to Mr. Wallace

 Mr. Clarkson presents his compliments to Mr. Wallace, and will be much obliged to him if he will send him as soon as convenient, the Ratio & kind of provisions issued out to every individual, Man, Woman, & Child, each day, because he intends to divide them into Messes, where every Man will know the proper allowance due to his Mess, and if particular days are fixed for serving out the provisions, Mr. Clarkson will appoint proper people to receive and distribute them accordingly, by this arrangement, great confusion wiH be prevented- Halifax December 12th 1791

 Visited the different Barracks, Another party of Men arrived from Shelburne-and as the Barracks called the Sugar House, were to small to contain them, and as the people there were uncomfortable, I employed myself all the morning in endeavouring to get another house-

 I was much surprised to find that Mr. Wallace had taken up the Somerset and Prince William Henry,' when better vessels were in the Harbour, and particularly the former vessel as I had all along objected to her-

  I felt extremely angry with him and expressed myself accordingly- I again urged him to take up more vessels, that Government might not be imposed upon, by being obliged to take them after the people arrived, and told him that I should report all the people from Shelburne & Annapolis, ready to embark in eight days-I particularly asked him to fix a day for me to inspect the provisions, telling him that if I should find them decayed, or not proper for use, (provided I had not seen them myself before I left this place) I should at the back of the Certificate I was to give as a dis charge to each Captain, specify the quantity bad of every kind-I again reluested that I might be informed of the method used for measuring the ships- Went on board the Lucretia to hasten the workmen-

 As the Council had told me & Mr. Hartshorne, that they intended to furnish all those who were distressed, with clothes, as soon as we could inform them of their situation, and finding that if we waited till the account could be made out which could not be till the latter end of the week, many individuals would suffer greatly for want of covering, I was determined to write the President, begging him to order a certain number of Shifts, shirts, petticoats, jackets & c, to be got ready immediately, for more than half the people from Shelburne are entirely naked-I did this, that we might not be detained for those articles, which were absolutely necessary for us to take, for every day we stay here after the 20th inst. will be at least an additional £100 to Government-

 Came home at 4 o'clock, extremely ill with anxiety & fatigue-It is

 

108 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


impossible to describe my situation every day-There are not less 800 souls of every description here under my particular care, who cor me for all their trifling wants, in spite of the regulations I have made prevent it, and perplex me more in giving answers, to each, than any of the business-

 Went out this evening for the first time by the advice of the Doctor & Mr. Hartshorne to the house of a private friend to divert my thoughts and relax myself from the fatigues of the day

 December 13th - As it rained very hard this morning, I employed myself at home arranging my papers, and preparing to take a general muster of all the people at two walked out, & gave several orders respecting the people's comfort in the different Store Houses, and others on board the different Ships, Moved near 200 out of the Sugar House, into a Store House which we obtained yesterday so that now we may be said be extremely comfortable-Two or three old people are very ill, whom I am afraid we shall lose before we quit Halifax-Dined at home and received several visits-

 At six Mr. Wickham called me-We went to the Barracks, where we found the people at Prayers. The Preacher Moses Wilkinson is blind: during this man's discourse, I felt frequenfly distressed for him, feelings were so exquisite and he worked himself up to such a pitch that I was fearful, something would happen to him-The Congregation appeared very attentive & the discourse tended to glorify God, and to point ou men the sure & certain road to eternal happiness-

 Bought 150 shirts which I mean to stow away with Osnaburgh sufficient to make as many trousers to distribute to those who may stand most to need. Not a soul is acquainted with this in Halifax, except Hartshorne, for I want Government to give these people as much as intend, and then when we get into warm weather, their rags and old clothes I mean to throw overboard, to prevent infection, and make them a present of those, in lieu-

Wrote the following letter to the President of the Council-

Sir/

 From the relative situation we are placed in, with respect to the Free Blacks, we think it our duty respectfully to represent to you Sir, the misera- plight a great number of them are in, for want of clothes, several of them are literally naked, and to request that you will take the same, into your immed iate consideration, and afford such relief, as to you may appear necessary & proper-We are further induced to make this application from the late Governor, having signified

 

109 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


to us, it was his intention to afford such clothing as was necessary for the preservation of their lives-  We are Sir &c.
J Clarkson ) Agents to the ( Sierra Leone Company
L Hartshorne)
The Honble Richard Bulkeley President of the Council-

 December 14th - As usual received a great deal of Company-At eleven went to the Annapolis Barracks & began to take a general muster of the people there, from thence called upon Mr. Wallace and found he had engaged two or three vessels, in my opinion, not calculated so well as others, in the Harbour, and stated candidly to him my feelings on the subject, declaring that as I had embarked in the business from motives of conscience, and as I was fully acquainted with the instructions of Government relative to my mission, I was determined to reprobate any transaction, which did not appear agreeable to the spirit, of the instructions sent out by the Secretary of State-This put Mr. Wallace into a most violent passion, and caused him to make use of language, highly unbecoming, but too contemptible for me to take any notice of to him, I soon after left him and waited upon the Attorney General & Mr. Putnam and consulted with them, what I had best do, to induce him to become more pliable; they advised me to lay the business before the Council tomorrow-

  I was so much fatigued and so very ill with anxiety, that I was obliged to go to bed, for two hours after dinner, but as I had promised the people in the Annapolis Barracks to call and finish taking down their names this evening, I did not like to disappoint them, and therefore got up at the appointed time, but was so ill, that I could only make them an apology for not performing my promise, I did this to convince them that it was my wish to be punctual, and that therefore I should expect the same fnom them besides, I told them that if I ever promised, I was sure to keep my word, let what would happen except indisposition
  In the evening Mr. Putnam and Mr. Wickham called upon me, had a short conversation with them, afterwards wrote letters to Mr. Thornton, by the way of New York-

 Received the following letter from the President of the Council in answer to our letter of the 13th instant-

Gentlemen/

 I have received your letter concerning clothes for the Black people who shall be in want of them, and I am to acquaint you that Mr. Wallace has already had directions in regard to it.

I am Gentlemen
Your most obedt servant
Richard Bulkeley-

 

110 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


December 14th 1791-

Wrote the following note to Mr. Wallace-

  Mr. Clarkson begs leave to inform Mr. Wallace, that the vessel which brought stores from Government is under no engagement whatever, that she is a vessel of 256 Tons (Register) and in his opinion better calculated to carry the Free Blacks from hence to Sierra Leone than any vessel in the Harbour (unengaged) that she will certainly sail from hence in the course of 36 hours, if she should hear of a freight- Mr. Clarkson cannot help mentioning likewise, the number of Free Blacks, now in Halifax and the neighbourhood, and those expected in the course of 24 hours viy, 521 Shelburne, 99 Annapolis & Dighy, and 220 Preston & Halifax- These are below the real number, besides Mr. Hartshorne has by this nights post received information from Annapolis that better than 200 are now on their way from that place, these added to the number sent from Shelburne will amount to more than eleven hundred Souls-Mr C is convinced he shall be able to report to the President of Nova Scotia that twelve hundred will actually embark, should all the vessels arrive that he has received account of; this makes him rather un easy, fearing Mr. Wallace will not be able to procure vessels to carry the whole, at the Tonnage allowed by Government, and Mr C mentions it, that proper steps may be taken accordingly


Mr. Wallace
Decr14th 1791


Dec 15th Wrote the following note to the President of Council-

Mr. Clarkson presents his most respectful compliments to Mr. Bulkeley and will esteem it a favour if he will allow him the honour of paying his respects to him previous to his attending the Council-

 Thursday morning December 15th 1791 - At eleven called him by appointment, and stated to him the behaviour of Mr. Wallace. seemed much hurt and greatly surprised, and requested me to write a letter on the Subject and he would lay it before the Council

 I told him I had no other view in my application to him than to expedite the business I was upon, with the greatest dispatch & frugality to Government, and with strict justice to all parties, that I was ready to receive & forgive every insult offered to me, sooner than that the business should be delayed, and as Mr. Wallace had taken up nearly all the ships and had bought up provisions from probably 20 different people, I should

 

111 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


be sorry to have anything done that might irritate him, and probably induce him to give me his resignation, that he was a man of business, and calculated, for what he had undertaken to perform, and all I requested was that he should not take offence at questions, I felt it my duty to put to him, when I was to have all the trouble & anxiety attending the wants and comforts of 1200 people, in a Country far distant from the probability of succour of any kind-Therefore suggested to him the propriety of having some kind Tribunal appointed to expedite the business, to attend to the general embarkation, and to be always ready for all parties to refer to, who might feel, it necessary to ask for explanations &c-

 The President, Mr. Bulkeley, promised he would attend to my suggestions, and after paying me many compliments, he said, he was convinced, and he knew it to be the opinion of the whole Province, that I had con ducted myself through out the whole business with the greatest candour and propriety &c-he begged me to be ready, and he would send for me when they were all met in Council- I cannot help mentioning every particular, as I know this business must be attended with an immense expence, and people at home, may think that I have been enticing these people to leave the Province, therefore I feel it right to record the opinions of leading men, as a justification of my Conduct-

  Having quitted Mr. Bulkeley, I met the Attorney General and Dr Halliburton going to the Council-I informed them of the nature of my interview with the President, and requested them to speak to Mr, Wallace privately on the subject and endeavoured to impress upon them what it was necessary for him to know-

 The Council met, and everything was conducted there in the manner I wished-As soon as they broke up the Attorney General was desired to wait upon me & Mr. Wallace singly to inform us of the resolutions the Council had taken-He afterwards told me that the whole Council com mended my behaviour throughout and condemned Mr. Wallace's warmth- I am glad I occasioned this little bustle, as it was necessary and will tend greatly to forward the business, and that in a way consistent with the orders from Government-Soon after the Attorney General left me, I received the following Minute of Council-

The Council December 15th 1791.

 The Council advised that Messrs Brymer, Cochrane, and Blowers, be a Committee to inspect the embarkation of the Black people, and their accommodation on board the vessels, and to expedite with all convenient speed their departure, while the season remains favourable, and to provide what allowance of clothing, it may be necessary to afford such as are destitute-

By order of the Council

James Gautier, Clerk,

 

112 CLARKSON'S MISSION TO AMERICA 1791-1792


Believing that everything was now put in a fair train, for bringing the business to a speedy & happy conclusion, all parties concerned, were requested to meet the new Committee, at Mr. Brymer's house-

 On Mr. Wallace entering the room, I met him at the door, and shook him by the hand, and afterward addressed the whole of my conversation to him in the same free way I formerly did, and after inquiring into the state of the business at large, and every necessary order having been given to expedite the work, in every department, I took my leave of the Committee, but not before I had spoken my mind freely to the Speaker the House of Assembly concerning a report, which he and some Gentlemen of this place, have been busy in circulating, viy, that an Epidemic disorder prevailed amongst the Blacks assembled here, and that they intended set fire to the town-

Dined with Mr. Hartshorne, and as I felt much fatigued both in body mind I indulged myself, in taking tea, and spending the evening at Mr. Blowers', where I met a very pleasant Lady party

 December 15th - Breakfasted with Mr. Hartshorne-At 9 visited the different Store Houses containing the Free Blacks, and made myself acquainted with the quantity of luggage belonging to each family, with the situation of each as to the clothing &c-This I did in such a way as enabled me to come at the truth without giving any one the least suspicion that was my intention to give them a single article of clothing-I desired the whole, to have all their things packed up, by Monday next, and to put cross upon the Chest belonging to each family, which contained their clothing, because I would give orders for all those with crosses upon them, to be stowed away, so as to be easily got at every week or fortnight as cumstances might occur, desiring at the same time, all those who had changes of clothes, to take them out of their box and keep them in a bag so as to cause as little trouble as possible during the voyage-

  Finished taking an account of 300 this morning, afterwards attended by Messrs Hartshorne & Wallace, inspected into the beef & pork contracted for the use of the voyage; it appeared very good, but had not time to at the whole-Gave several orders respecting the shipping-Plagued death with the numberless complaints-Dined at Dr. Alimans, drank tea & spent the evening with Dr. Hall iburton-Came home and employed writing till one in the morning-

 December 17th - Inspected into the remainder of the Beef breakfasted with Mr. Hartshorne- A schooner arrived from Annapolis with 80 people on board provided places to receive them, and gave orders for their landing immediately-finished taking an account of all the Annapolis people-Gave about colours for signal painting Guns, putting the provisions on board different vessels Secured the vessel which brought stores from Government (the Eleanor) which I had pointed out to Mr. Wallace-Employed running about to settle disputes, making calculations respecting those who