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after this rencontre they arrived at Kingston
Jamaica, when eight men-of-war came alongside
taking from them every man and boy
they had on board, and raising reflections in
the Captain's mind as to the relative cruelty
of slavery and impressment. The most
desperate engagement that the Captain was
perhaps ever engaged in was on the night of
the first of December, eighteen hundred and
six, by mistake with two British men-of-war.
He was hailed by these vessels in English,
but he had his doubts, as he knew that
French cruisers had a trick of hailing British
ships in their own language when they
thought deception would answer their
purposes. He, therefore, calmly replied, "No
one shall bring us to in these seas in the
night." Then addressing his men in a spirited
manner, he prepared for action ; and for six
hours they fought between two heavy fires,
with their masts and rigging shot away, with
five blacks killed and numbers wounded, and
nearly all the men more or less disabled.
After a most gallant, although mistaken
defence, which continued until the break of day,
when he was knocked down senseless by a
splinter, they were obliged to surrender, and
they then discovered the error they had all
committed. The damage done to the slave-
ship and the two men-of-war was nearly
equal, and also the loss on both sides.
Captain Crow was in great distress of mind and
body, expecting to be blamed by his owners
for rashness in entering upon the unfortunate
engagement ; but to his relief he received
a certificate from the commander of her
Majesty's sloop Dart, the principal of the
men-of-war, to the effect that he had defended
his ship in a running action in a most gallant
manner from what he supposed were the
attacks of two French cruisers from Cayenne,
and did not give up till his rigging and sails
were nearly cut to pieces, and several of his
people wounded. Six of these people, I may
add, afterwards died.

His character, compounded of kindness and
courage, was well known to the blacks. One
Sunday morning when he landed at Kingston,
Jamaica, he found a number of his old black
shipmates, all neatly dressed, waiting on the
wharf to receive him. Some of them took
hold of his hands, and the general expressions
of welcome and good will were, "God bless
massa! How massa do dis voyage! We
hope massa no fight 'gen dis time." While
this conversation was going on, a negro said
in joke: "Who be dis Captain Crow, you all
sabby so much?" and his black friends
replied: "What dat you say, you black negro?
Ebery dog in Kingston sabby Captain Crow,
and you bad fellow for no sabby him." They
then fell a-beating him with so little ceremony,
although in fun, that the Captain had
to interfere.

In all emergencies he did his duty. On one
occasion, when a fire raged on board, within
three feet of the powder-magazine, he went
below with great courage and presence of
mind, and, by his exertions and example,
succeeded in extinguishing the flames. When he
returned on deck the blacksboth male and
femaleclung around him in tears ; some
taking hold of his hands, some of his feet, and
all with much earnestness and feeling, thanking
Providence for their narrow escape.

On another occasion, when he went to
Kingston, he received another very gratifying
proof of the affection of his old black friends.
A great number came on deck, dressed in
their best, and crowding round him with
gestures of respect, exclaimed: "God bless
massa! how poor massa do? Long live
massa, for he do fight ebery voyage!" Many
of these negroes had been with him in one
or other of his privateer actions, and though
his attention to them, when on board, was no
more than he considered proper and humane,
he was deeply affected by this mark of
grateful remembrance from poor creatures
whom he had brought from their homes on
the coast of Africa. The women were neatly
dressed in calicoes and muslins, their hair
was tastefully arranged, and they wore long
gold earrings. The men appeared in white
shirts and trowsers, and flashy neckcloths,
with their hair neatly plaited. The whole
were at once clean and cheerful, and it
gladdened the Captain's heart to see them.
When they left the ship he distributed
amongst them a sum of money, and they bade
him good-bye with hearts full of thankfulness
and joy.

When I call up the form of the stout,
one-eyed, courageous, kind-hearted, old slave-
captain, doing all he can to prevent savage
sacrifices of human life by the natives on the
African coast, writing from slave-ports
fatherly, Christian, and affectionate letters to
his son upon his entrance into life, and advising
him to steer clear of Lord Chesterfield
and his maxims, standing up boldly and
kindly for the character and intellect of the
poor enslaved African, and working practically
for his comfort, even in administering
a false and pernicious system; jumping
overboard at the risk of his own life to save a
slave from drowning, and being at heart a
thorough abolitionist, and not a mere
transferrer of the accursed trade from good hands
to bad,—I give him a hearty shake of the
hand even across half a century of time.


WHILST I was at Agra,* a distinguished
military officer of high rank, who had just
been appointed as a member of the Council,
passed through the station on his way to the
seat of government, Calcutta. It was
supposed that this general officer would, on the
first vacancy, become Deputy-governor of
Bengal; and, of course, the society of Agra
was resolved to do him honour. It would
* See Number 406, page 64.