To the EDITORS of the

Inserting the following in your impartial Paper, will oblige
Your’s &c.
Bristol, Feb. 23, 1790.


The West-Indians say, that the Cultivation of their Islands cannot be carried on without Negroes.

The Coast of Africa is the only Place from whence they can obtain a Supply.

They say … All moral and commercial Writers confirm their Principle; and it is an unavoidable Consequence from the Premises, that,

Therefore, the West-Indian Islands and this Part of Africa are linked together by Nature, in a State of mutual Dependence.

If it is to be asked, Wherein are the West-Indians serviceable, in Return, to the Africans? … they answer, By instructing them in Morality, Civilisation, and Religion.

Naturam expellas furcâ, tamen usque recurret.
[You may drive nature out with a pitchfork, but she will keep coming back]

Hence is deduced the following Corollary:

Any attempt to impede or interrupt this Arrangement of Nature, and stop this Current of mutual Benefits, must be vain and fruitless: as the ordinations of Nature, sooner or later, burst all Barriers, and triumph over every Opposition of wild Theory or Interest: And, as Morality and Religion are concerned, every Measure, which limits the Extent of their Influence, is wicked; and if these be used as a Pretext, to the original Wickedness is superadded Hypocrisy.

To this full Extent do the Principles … (and every candid Person will receive them as just, till proved to the contrary) … laid down by the West-Indians, and other Dealers in ‘Slaves and Souls of Men’, [1] go.

Perhaps, some Advocate for the Abolition of the Slave Trade answers:

‘We receive you upon your Principles; and, as Nature hath established such a Bond of Union between your Islands and Africa, containing in its Texture both Morals and Physics, you have, in the first Place, less Reason to be alarmed at our foolish Efforts for its Abolition. … Secondly, We think it very ridiculous in you to prosecute your Trade in Negroes with so much Labor, when nature propels them to you without any; … it is absurd to be precipitating a Cataract, fanning the Wind, or heating Fire. … Thirdly, our Abolition of the Slave trade is not an abolition of this Bond of Union; but an Abolition of your Absurdity, in drawing to you an heavy Machine, up Hill, which would lightly, by your Confession and Principles, roll to you, with self-impelling Powers, down Hill; for if the Negroes will come to you from Africa, without any efforts of treachery, Paltrooning, or brutal Force, on your Parts, I know of no Clause in the proposed Bill to chain them to their native Spot. If you refuse to obtain them by fair Means and thus easily, and prefer Force and Labor, it can only be for this Reason, that you are Epicures in Assassination and Oppression: Or, if you try to avoid this conclusion, by denying, your Principles, you are so far from deserving to have your pretended Rights attended to, (contrary to the Maxim that, He who will have Equity, must do Equity [2] ) that you should be rooted from Society.

I express myself thus plainly, that I may give the whole extent of the Argument, and shew you where you are steering; for I know, that, however you may be misled by a mistaken Self-interest, the majority of you deserve a different Character. I am serious and sincere; yet, I think it not a light Thing against you, that, when the Ferocities of the Trade are laid open, you can pause for a Moment, much less take the decided Part you do, against the Abolition.’

With respect to the Branch of your Corollary which talks of Morality and Religion, and of their being made a Pretext, were I to pursue the Retort, it would be to the fatigue of the dullest Imagination, and the weakest Head, in England.