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PITT, William the Younger



Speech on a motion for the abolition of the slave trade: in the House of Commons, on Monday the second of April, 1792


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On board a ship, lying at Port Maria, in Jamaica, I saw another scramble in which, as usual, the poor negroes were greatly terrified. The women in particular, clang to each other in agonies scarcely to be conceived, shreeking through excess of terror, at the savage manner in which their bruta purchasers rushed upon, and seized them. Though humanity, one should imagine, would dictate the captains to apprize the poor negroes of the mode by which they were to ve sold, and by that means to guard them, in some degree, against the surprise and terror which must attend it, I never knew that any notice of the scramble was given tot hem. Nor have I any reason to think that it is done; or that this mode of sale is less frequent at this time, than formerly.

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I know of no evil that ever existed, nor can imagine any evil to exist, worse than the tearing of seventy or eighty thousand persons every year from their own land.

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