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:mdingthe enormous exportation human beings being stopped, .ey have still their helots: these •e Jv enrroes who are slaves either om being taken in war, from eing insolvent debtors, from Living lost their personal liberty : play, or from being sold by ieir parents. As to malefactors nd rebels, they are uniformly old to Europeans.
The Negroes, therefore, work nly the auriferous sands and the gneiss or schistous beds and i.iiiks of granite, which constisute he base of their mountains, and vhich being friable are easily dug nto. If they attack the sides, :hey dig a fosse in the first place ,ilace from twenty to thirty feet in depth, on an indeterminate breadth, until they begin to be alarmed for the crumbling down of the earth; the gold, as being heavier than quartz, schorl, and feldspar, the constituent principles of primitive granite, ■ has been deeper seated in their common fall: they begin to find it, however, at the depth of three feet: they had no idea of using props of wood until they were taught by Europeans, and nothing in the world could induce them to maUe a Tegular pit, or bury themselves under ground. In proportion as they advance in the work, the lumps are put into pouches fbxed round their waists, and some miners get very rich, as they only pay the king a fixed and daily allowance In 1790, the king of Assianti had six hundred slaves at work for him, each of whom engaged to supply him with half an ounce per diem, and some of them had so much good sense as to form a sort of company, and throw
into a joint stock the fruits of their labours. The earth thrown up during the digging is laid ia heaps on the edges of the fcsse, where other miners, their wives and children, receive it in bags and carry it to the nearest river on their heads, for the Xegiw never carries any thing on his back. They wade into the river up to the middle, and then dexterously dipping in their bags, they wash and shake its contents, so as to make the gold full to ihe bottom: they then pour off the sand and earth, and the gold-dust remains.
As to the gold-finders on the banks of rivers and the sea-shore, they are less fortunate in their researches,and it isgenerallywoincn who are thus employed. They conduct themselves precisely like the mountaineers, who in their turn are more fortunate than those on the sea-shore: the latter collect in bags the sand thrown up by a tempest, and act precisely like tlie former by washing, &c. In general the price of gold is fixed in Africa, and never fluctuates: inEurope it is supposed to yield 2i» percent, profit.
But it is not so considerable now as it has been; for several African princes more powerful than others, and anxious to secure a monopoly, have compelled the weaker to renounce all searching for gold. Thus the sovereign of Akim, who lias been conquered by the king of Assianti, dares not any longer work his rich mines: they used to furnish upwards of 80 ounces of gold per week to the coast, i. e. nearly 6000 ounces of gold per nnnuni.
From what has been said, it ia
not to be wondered that the English have attached much importance to exploring the interior of Africa; and without admitting all the reports on the subject to be true, it cannot be doubted that the precious metal is very abundant, and that the mines may still be considered as virgin mines, never having been visited by Europeans.
In the year 1S00 a Society was formed in France for exploring Africa, and it soon consisted of 300 persons: but it received no encouragement from the Government, and fell to pieces. For my part, I had quitted it previously, on being appointed mineralogist to the voyage round the world under Captain Baudin.
Certainly, if France will consent to abandon for ever the odious slave trade, our august sovereign will have it in his power not only to promote greatly the welfare of liis own country, but the peace and tranquillity of Africa. There exists no country in the world so susceptible of general cultivation: we know that certain districts in Africa are fertile in corn, and grain of every kind grows there intermixed with sugar canes lately introduced, and which protect the grain from hail. The plants of India, Europe, America and Australasia, or the fifth portion of the globe, will flourish there in perpetual spring, and the animals of all climates can be easily naturalized. The Negroes, ■whose respect for the Whites is extreme, notwithstanding what they have suffered from them, will cheerfully give up their fields to be cultivated by us. Hands, servants, and even slaves will not
be wanting; and this will be t true method of preventing' the»« nations from massacring their prisoners of war, as the king of Dahomet does at tbe present moment. May our feeble voice on this subject reach the- emr «f royalty!
ACCOUNT OF MURRAY'S ISLANDS ON THE EAST COAST OF TEKSA AU5TRAL1S.
(From Captain Flinder's Voyagt.J
Finding by the latitude that we had been set considerably to the north, and were out of the parallel of Murray's Islands, I tacked to the S. S. W.; and at two o'clock, the largest island was seen bearing S. 38° W. about five leagues. Soon afterward, a reef came in sight to the south-east, extending in patches toward the islands: and presently another was distinguished to the westward, from the mast head, which took nearly a parallel direction, the passage between them being about four miles wide. We steered along the lee side of eastern reef, at the distance of a mile, with soundings from 19 to24 fathoms, coral sand, until four o'clock; the reef then trended more southward, and we edged away for the islands, of which Mr. Westall sketched the appearance. At half past five, the largest island bore S. 36* E. to 28 W., one mile and a half; and there being more reefs coming in sight to the westward, the anchor was immediately let go in SO fathoms, coarse sand and shells. The north and east sides of the island arc surrounded by a reef,
vnlcti may probably include the -wo smaller isles on its southvest side; but it is totally unconnected with the reefs to the north;ast. These appear to be a northern continuation of the vast bank, _>n the outside of which the Pandora sailed as far as 11$° south, and in the chart of Captain Edward*" track, published by Mr. Idairymple, it is marked as surrounding the islands; whereas it is at least four miles distant from the reef which probably does surround them.
A number of poles standing up in various places, more especially between the islands, appeared at a distance like the masts of canoes, and made me apprehend that the inhabitants of the Strait had collected a fleet here; but on approaching nearer, the poles were found to be upon the reefs, and were probably set up for some purpose connected with fishing. We had scarcely anchored when between forty and fifty Indians came off, in throe canoes. They would not come along-side of the •hip, but layoff at a little distance, holding up cocoa nuts, joints of bamboo filled with water, plaintains, bows and arrows, and vociferating tooree-! tooree! and mammoosee! A barter soon commenced, and was carried on '»■ this manner: a hatchet, or other piece of iron (tooree) being held up, they offered a bunch of green plantains, a how and quiver of arrows, or what they judged would be received in exchange; signs of acceptance being made, the Indian leaped over-board with his barter, and handed it to a man who went down the side to him; and receiving hi* hatchet, swam hack to the canoe. Some deliver
ed their articles without any distrust of the exchange, but this was not always the case. Their eagerness to get tooree was great, and at first, any thing of that same metal was received; but afterwards, if a nail were held up to an Indian, he shook hii head, striking the edge of his right hand upon the left arm, in the attitude of chopping; and he was well enough understood.
At sunset, two of the canoes returned to Murray's I sland, paddling to windward with more velocity than one of our boats could have rowed; the third set a narrow, upright sail, between two masts in the fore part of the canoe, and steered north-westward, as I judged, for the Darnley's Island of Captain Bligh.
I did not forget that the inhabitants of these islands had made an attack upon the Providence and Assistant in 1792 (Introduction, p. xxv); nor that Mr. Hampton had some people cut off at Darnley's Island in 1793 (p. xxxiv— xxxLx). The marines were therefore kept under arms, the guns clear, and matches lighted; and officers were stationed to watch every motion, one to each canoe, so long as they remained near the ship. Bows and arrows were eontamed in all the canoes; but no intention of hostility was manifested by the Indians, unless those who steered for Darnley's Island might be supposed to go for assistance.
We did not get under weigh in the morning, until the sun was high enough for altitudes to be taken for the time keepers. .Soon after daylight, the natives were with us again, in seven canoes; some of them came under the
stein, „ stem, and fifteen or twenty of the people ascended on board, bringing in their hands pearl-oyster shells and necklaces of cowries; with which, and some bows and arrows, they obtained more of the precious tooree. Wishing to secure the friendship and confidence of these islanders to such vessels as might hereafter pass through Torres' Strait, and not being able to distinguish any chief amongst them, I selected the oldest man, and presented him with a handsaw, a hammer. and nails, and some other trifles; of all which we attempted to show him the use, but I believe without success; for the poor old man became frightened, on finding himself to be so particularly noticed.
At this time we began to heave short for weighing, and . made signs to the Indians to go down into their canoes, which they seemed unwilling to comprehend; but on the seamen going aloft to loose the sails, they went hastily down the stern ladder and ship's sides, and shoved off; and before the anchor was up they paddled back to the shore, without our good understanding having suffered any interruption.
The colour of these Indians is a dark chocolate; they are active, muscular men, about the middle size, and their countenances expressive of a quick apprehension. Their features and hair appeared to be similar to those of the natives of New South Wales, and they also -go quite naked; but some of them had ornaments of shell work, and of plaited hair or fibres of bark, about their waists, necks, and ancles. Our friend Bongaree could not understand
any thing of their language, jr did they pay roach attentat him; he seemed, indeed, Miit, his own inferiority, and madrv a poor figure amongst them. lb arms of these people haw Ixt described in the voyage of Capa. Bligh (Introduction, p..aSjJi also the canoes, of which tie it nexed plate, from a drawing fc Mr. Westall, gives a correct * presentation. The two rati' when not wanted, are laid&*z the gunwales; when set Bp,tu stand abreast of each other in£ fore part of the canoe, audsset ed to be secured by one >ei <. shrouds, with a stay from «sr mast head to the other. The i is extended between them; be when going with a side wind, ta lee" mast is brought aft by s hsi stay, and the sail then stand* >• liquely. -In other words, tbo brace up by setting in the bead«: the lee mast, and perhaps thef*' also; and can then lie witiw seven points of the wind, ^ possibly nearer. This was the r mode, so far as a -distant rjf» would admit of judging; but h»» these long canoes keep to tte wind, and make such way as tbe; do, without any after sail, 1 *" at a loss to know.
Murray's largest island is no"! two miles -long, by some'*''1? more than one in breadtb; it" rather high land, and the billii its western end may be seeB frwi a ship's deck at the distance ot eight or nine leagues,, in a cfctf day. The two smaller isles seemed to be single hills, rising »lf ruptly from the sea, and to I* scarcely accessible; nor did *e see upon them any tires, or ode marks of inhabitants. On the show t\ores of the large island were iiuiiy huts, surrounded by palisades, apparently of bamboo; cocoaxut trees were abundant, both on he low grounds and the sides of A\e hills, and plantains, with some other fruits, bad been wrought to us. There were many Indians sitting in groups upon the shore, and the seven canoes •which came otf to the ship in the morning, contained from ten to twenty men each, or together, about a hundred. If we suppose these hundred men to have been one half of what belonged to the islands, and to the two hundred men, add as many women and three hundred children, the population of Murray's Isles will amount to seven hundred; of which nearly the whole must belong to the larger island.
ACCOUNT OF WELLESLKY S ISLANDS ON THE NORTH COAST OF TERRA AVBTSALIS.
(From the same.)
Allen's Isle is between four and five miles in length, and though generally barren, there are bushes and small trees upon it, and some tolerable grass. It is altogether low land; but the south-east end is cliffy, and within two cables length of it there is 4 fathoms; no fresh water was found near the shore, nor any place where casks could be conveniently landed. After taking a set of bearings 1 left the gentlemen to follow their pursuits, and rowed northwestward, intending to go round the Uland; but an impassable reef extended so far out, that the
project was given up; and after taking angles from one of the rocks, 1 went eastward to a smaller island, two miles off, where several Indians were perceived. The water was too shallow for the boat to get near them; but we landed at a little distance, and walked after three men who were dragging six small rafts toward the extreme northern rocks, where three other natives were sitting.
These men not choosing to abandon their rafts, an interview was unavoidable, and they came on shore with their spears to wait our approach. One of us advanced towards them, unarmed; and signs being made to lay down their spears, which were understood to mean that they should sit down, they complied; and by degrees, a friendly intercourse was established. They accepted some red worsted caps and fillets, as also a hatchet and an adze, the use of which being explained, was immediately comprehended. In return, they gave us two very rude spears, and a womerah, or throwing stick, of nearly the same form as those used by the natives of Port Jackson.
The rafts consisted of several straight branches of mangrove, very much dried, and lashed together in two places with the largest ends one. way, so as to form a broad part, and the smaller ends closing to a point. Near the broad end was a bunch of grass, where the man sits to paddle; but the raft, with his weight alone, must swim very deep; and indeed I should scarcely have supposed it could float a maa at all. Upon one of the rafts was a short
2 N net,