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SAlVftJEL BERNARD, ESQUIRE'S, SPEECft TO HIS EXCELLENCY COLONEL MOLESWQRTlt*
ON HIS APPROVING THE
ASSEMBLY'S CHOICE OF HIM FOR THEIR SPEAKER.
May it please your honour,
THE approbation these gentlemen give to the past assembly, and the same you are pleased to pay to the former governors, makes me their speaker.
This being the sirst time, since his majesty's happvaccession to the crown, that we have met in a body, I esteemed it our obligation thus publicly to make prosession of our duty and loyalty to his majesty before your honour's representation, and that our joys cannot beexpresled for his peacesul possession of the throne of his royal progenitors; maugre some clouds which (ince rose, but were soon dissipated by the divine blessing, on his arms, to convince those that are not both obstinately and wilsully blind of the truth of that scripture, that saith, by him kings reign, that though the sun set, yet might no obscurity follow, but what tended to the surther illustration of of his glory, and his being the more immediately under the protection of heaven.
The late severe accident of the rebellion of our slaves might easily make us inser the occasion of our calling, as well to redress the past as obviate any surther evils of that nature, the reasonableness of it is but too apparent; I cannot but hope for a hearty union in all to do our own buiiness; tve know that our lives and iortunes, and of those that is most dear unto us, are all concerned, and such interest seldom sails to speak the truth plainly to us; and indeed in this case I may sasely say, falus populi ought to be, if not prima et Juprcma lex, which if well conlidered we shall easily evade the character lixed on those that provide not for their samilies. We need not doubt your concurrence, you are so well known to us all, and have for so many years given Inch continued proofs of year
candour, candour, we may expect all things from you that conduce to his majestyV service, and,the good of this island.
Lastly, sir, 1 am in the name of these gentlemen to crave the preserva* lion of their usual priviledges, freedom of debate, and access to youif person, to prevent misconstructions; and to your former private savours add this public one, your pardon of me, their speaker, whose brevity eught to have compounded for his ill oratory.
COLONEL MOLESWORTH'S SPEECH
T O T H E.
ASSEMBLY OF JAMAICA.
.•«.,. -• *
THE chief occasion of my calling you together at this time is, to advise with you in a matter that is certainly of very high importance unto us, and therefore it was no sooner in my power, lo to do, than 1 resolved on it: It is how to secure ourselves and estates (by some better provision than any hitherto made) against the barbarous treachery of our own slaves, to keep them in due order and subjection, as to render them truly serviceable unto us, and us sase with them; in case of any sudden insurrection, to be provided with such ready means for their reducing as may not only serve to effect it speedily, but discourage all others from joining with them or attempting the like by their example; the methods' whereof are reserred to you.
It is but,tfl(o well known unto most of you, what abundance of trouble and charge a sew of these desperate villains have lately given us, besides the bloody mischiefs committed on many poor samilies, which, though sar short of what common same hath rendered it, yet might have been much more, had their courage been equal to their agility of body and the opportunities they had for it. But God Almighty Was pleased to restrain them, whose goodness we can never sufficiently acknowledge in it.
I mall not need to tell you what endeavours were used by the government for the suppressing that unhappy rebellion, under the disadvantageous circumstances of no money, and crippled power over the militia, they were too notorious to want desence, and not enough successsul to merit praise; though, God be thanked, there are great hopes that we (hall never more be troubled with that enemy.
What I have more particularly to recommend to you is, that you would take care to repay the money borrowed and expended upou that occasion:
To To gratify the services of such poor men as to their extreme detriment have been commanded out in parties, without any pay or other consideration than what depends upon you: To reinstate such others in their settlements as have been driven from them, and consider how to secure them there for the suture, in case of like accidents: To pay the little scores your parties have run into the poorer fort of planters tor provisions, when they could not he othervvile supplied: To consirm the rewards promised by the council, and order performance where it is due: To enlarge the oflicers power over the militia at all such times: And, surther, to provide a certain sund for the answering all such emergencies as may hereafter happen.
I have ordered the receiver-general to have all his accounts ready fof your perusal, that you may see the Hate of the revenue, and be entirely satissied that the monies appointed for the forts have been duly applied, according to the direction of the act. The fortisications themselves thew it as well as the accounts declare it.
The captain of the fort hath order also to insorm you, if you desire it, how he is provided with all forts of stores and ammunition, whereof I doubt not but he will give you such an account as you will be very well pleased with.
And now, gentlemen, being met together, I have one thing more to recommend to you by special direction from his majesty's command, which still is for our advantage; that you will prepare an act for the ascertaining the servitude of the rebels lately sent from England for ten years, according to the consideration of their pardons, and take care to prevent all clandestine releasements or buying out of their time; to the end that their punishments, after so great a mitigation, may yet in some measure be anlvverable to their crimes.
It behoves us also to consider that the act for governing our slaves hath not palled the royal ast'ent, as the rest of our body oi laws have done, though we have hitherto been permitted the use of it; yet hath it be -n postponed for no other reason than because his majesty and couneil do not think the penalties therein mentioned to be sufsicient for the wanton and wilsul effusion of human blood, and therefore you are to think of some other expedient.
You win rTo well also to consider the solicitors shall be supplied their charges borne, and the clerks paid, when the laws you now make shall be sent home for the royal consirmation; besides intervening accidents that require a constant llock in their hands, as other plantations have, the whereof you may regulate as you think sit.
I know you all tobe too wise for me'to think you into anything I would have you do, and I believe you too prudent to be talked out of what you •ought to do, and do not at all doubt but that there are some who would be glad to sec or make divisions amongst us (there seems to have been pains taken for it), but good patriots know how to govern themselves on such occasions, and wisdom is ever to be justisied by her children.
Let it suffice that I can say for myself, I neither desire or expect any thing from you, that I have been known amongit you twenty years, that 1 am one of you, and that my interest Hands upon the same f mndatioo with yours; and therefore can luve no design in what I now offer, but wherein I must be equally concerned with you in the event.
Gentlemen, and brother planters, I have now put a sair opportunity into your hands of doing yourselves good; if you make a right use ot it, I fhall be very glad of the part I bear with you in it, but, if you fall into wrong measures, to the frustrating of the happy occasion now offered, it will rise up in judgment against you, together with all the lad conserences that may happen to attend it.
After you /hall have proceeded to a sull resolution of the matter recommended unto you, and shall have any surther to propose from yourselves, I shall readily entertain it as sar as may be censistent with my duty.
I say let his prerogative and royal order be ever sacred to you, and theft jou need but tell me what you wo*ld iiave ave to do9 #f#