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TO THE EDITOR.
USTICE to my political principles require that I fhould trouble you with a few obfervations on the criticifm, inferted in the laft number of your Review on my Travels in Trinidad. The author of it, if I am not mistaken, is one of the party, whose infamy I have fo fully detected, fo amply expofed, and dragged before a British public, arrayed in all their native turpitude. I am told by this Critic (if I may fo call him) that my conduct in this inftance, is not only culpable, but "presumptive and ignorant," for not having" committed to the flames the manufcript" of the volume, which charges Col. Picton and his fatellites, with fome of the heaviest crimes the laws of England have the power of punishing, and, that what I have done in the caule of oppressed humanity, will exist as a monument of my folly and indiscretion!" It may fo, but I am certain I thall never repent the voluntary fhare I have taken, in reprefenting the political grievances of the oppreffed inhabitants of Trinidad, which I expect, will ere long, become the fubject of Parliamentary inveftigation; when the horrid fcenes that were acted in that colony, will be fully and fairly elucidated, and a proper example made of its delinquents. I am not afhamed to tell the world, that I enjoyed a great fhare of the friendship and confidence of General Touffaint, who was facrificed by the duplicity of that cold blooded mifereant, Le Clerc. I would. have fhared the fame fate, but for the fortunate circumstance of His Majefty's fhip Cerberus, then commanded by the brave and diftinguifhed offcer, Capt. Macnamara, arriving at Cape Francois the fame evening I was to have been arrested, who generously protected me from the fangs of the blood hounds of France. The American Conful, Mr. Lear, from what cause I know not, thought it proper to denounce me to Le Clerc, faying that I had been General Touffaint's princpial adviser, who had acted entirely by my advice, in deftroying all the Seaport-towns. Being apprifed of Le Clerc's intentions, I efcaped on board the Cerberus, and communicated my fears to Capt. Macnamara, who next morning had an interview with Le Clerc, the refult of which, was, that Mr. Lear was ordered to leave the Colony in twenty-four hours. Notwithstanding my having gained this point, and a ftrong affurance of protection from Le Clerc, I knew that I was not for a moment safe, prudence, therefore, urged me to comply with Capt. Macnamara's advice leave the ifland, which I did, and returned to the United States. Finding that Trinidad had been finally confirmed to this country, and had long. an anxions wish to vifit it before I returned to England, I made up my mind of embarking for it by the first convenient vellel, but in the mean, I amufed myfelf in writing against Le Clerc, for his duplicity towards the virtuous Touffaint, entitled " Letters from the Ruins of Cape Francois," published in the New York Daily Advertiser, and were highly approved of, by the friends of this country, though ftigmatized by the jacobin papers of that Continent; as the production, of a British fpy. These letters were regularly tranfmitted to Le Clerc: and I have the fatisfaction to fay, that they (if I am rightly informed) contributed to break his heart; therefore, my pen drove from this world one of the revolutionary monsters of regicide France.
On my arrival in Trinidad I purfued, with ardour, an anxious enquiry into the conduct of the delinquents of that colony, the refult of my Jabo
rious investigation is fully and accurately detailed in an octavo volume now before the public, who will no doubt judge of the purity of motives, emanating alone from a love of justice; even at the rifk of my life, with out the profpect of any further reward, than the pleafing reflection of hav ing performed my duty to an oppreffed portion of my fellow subjects! It has been vainly and conftantly urged, by thefe delinquents, as a plea for those wanton feverities I have recorded, that the Colony was a "prey to disloyalty and insubordination ; - -The feeds of civil commotion had struck wide and deep, and every nerve of jacobinism was exerted, to wrest the possession from the controul of legitimate authority;The French declaration of the Rights of Man, and the whine and cant of Methodistical reformers about negro slavery, had poisoned the minds of the inhabitants, who again spread the contagion among the soldiery and the negroes :—— -The spirit of disorder was widely disseminated; troops in the garrison repeatedly evinced a disposition to insubordination, and unhap pily requiring the most summary examples of punishment."
The proof of all this reft wholly on mere palpable affertions. It is a well known fact, and I can prove it by the concurrent teftimony of many refpectable gentlemen from Trinidad, who are now in London, that the Colony was not in any one inftance, fince it was conquered in 1797, a prey, either to difloyalty or infubordination, not even among the foldiers and negroes; and, therefore, your Critic affertions is as infamously falle as the whole is unfounded. I now call upon, and dare him to come forward (not like a cowardly affaffin) and prove in an open and manly manner to the people of England, what he fo very malignantly alledges against the dutiful and loyal inhabitants, foldiary, and opprelled negroes of Trinidad. We are both of us now before the public, therefore an ample opportunity is here opened to himself, and the reft of the delinquents, to clear themselves of the heavy charges I have brought against them, all which I pofitively affirm came to my knowledge whilft I was in that illand, whether in "shreds and patches from itinerant politicians," does not by any means diminish their authenticity. In regard to truth, it makes no difference to me, whether I receive it from either a lord or a beggar. I have already ftated the reasons why Col.Fullarton withdrew himself from the Commiffion, one of which was, that he could not confiftently with his own character, act with a man who? had been guilty of fo many outrages; and until Colonel Picton cleared himfelf of the horrid charges brought against him, by the greater portion of the inhabitants; there could be no intercourfe till his Majefty's pleasure was known; independent of that the duties of his Commiffion required his abfence from the feat of Government. This Critic infinuates fome other motive, and wishes the world to believe, that there was fome fecret underftanding between the Colonel and myfelf, which is as great a falfhood as he could utter.- He lays "for reasons unknown to us, and which a future day must develope, the first Commissioner separated himself from his colleagues, and left the island; but Mr. M'Callum remained behind, no doubt with the purest motives to correct the evils of its administration! He is not the only unaccredited agent who kas assumed to himself the important task of Government mending; and we shrewdby suspect, that the business is not new to him. B. G. Picton and Commodore Hood seem to have entertained the same opinion; as the sequel will prove. The " fequel". as he calls it, proves only a negative! It is true I remained behind, but what of that? I was not in Colonel Fullarton's fuit, he had, therefore, no knowledge of me whatever, than as a traveller, and during the time I was
in the Colony, I only visted him twice, I wish I had oftener; but my time was otherwife engaged in obtaining ufeful information. There is, however, an artful malignity conveyed in this infinuation-“ Mr. Mac Callum mained behind." The delinquents with it to be underfood, that I remained behind at the Colonel's request to foment difturbance, if that is their meaning, I can only tell you, Sir, that it is falfe, as well as that of my being a government mender-.Infinuations of this nature, are too contemptible to be noticed by any man of common fenfe, for calumny is ever the revenge of a coward; and concealment his defence.
At the time it was attempted to force me to enlift in the volunteer corps, the Colony was, as it had hitherto been fince it was conquered by the British arms; in a profound ftate of tranquillity and fecurity, the mother country was at the fame time, at peace with the whole world; no invafion; no internal commotion, neither dreaded nor expected:-Hence Commiffioners Picton and Hood, had no excufe-no right, either human or divine, to warrant them in compelling me, as a mere tranfitory perfon, to enlist in any one corps whatever. His Majefty is not invested with fufficient power to compel his fubjects, to enroll themfelves in a volunteer corp, or corps, in the time of profound peace; therefore he cannot give it to his delegates :-In forcing me to enlift, was merely a pretence, they were well aware that I understood the nature of the British Conftitution better than to fuffer fo daring an encroachment on my liberty, but nevertheless, they thought it a glo.ious opportunity, in the way of oppreffion, to feize my papers, and if poflible to deftroy the records of their own infamy. They were, however, thank 'heaven! difappointed, and for their difappointment, I was doomed to a rigorous confinement, in a loathfome dungeon, where poifon was artfully administered by the monfter Valot, and was, in a state of the most excruciating torture dragged ignominioufly by an unfeeling band of negro foldiers, through the streets of Port of Spain to Commodore Hood's house, and by way of refinement in the art of oppreffive cruelty, they even denied me medical aid;-But your Critic fays, it "does not appear that during his confinement he experienced, or suffered any privation of a rigorous or unfeeling na
Had I tranfgreffed against the laws of the Colony, why were not the commiffioners liberal enough, to give me a fair and honourable trial? If there was not law enough in the Colony competent or applicable to my cafe, was it not their duty to fend me to England to be tried? No, Sir, they knew I was innocent, and under the fhield of innocence I now appeal to juftice. But they bafely took the law in their own hand, and banished the only perfon exifting, who had it in his power to proclaim their infamy to the world. They fondly expected, by transporting me to America, in a veffel having the yellow fever on board, that I would oblige them, in making my exilt to another world:God, however, preferved me to fcourge my oppreffors, the delinquents of Trinidad, and bring them to the bar of juftice.
A long and painful illness (in confequence of the poifon which was adminiftered to me by the tool of ill-delegated power) neceffarily detained me in exile. As foon as my health was perfectly restored, I returned to England, and finding on my arrival, that Colonel Picton was not brought to trial, nor any likelihood of it, I came forward boldly, and fingle handed to accufe him, fimilar to Cicero in the cafe of Verres, the old delinquent of Sicily.
Pray, let me afk your Critic, what affimulation is there between Colonel Johnstone's and Colonel Picton's cafe, unless, indeed, that Major Gor don came forward to accufe the one, and 1 came forward to accufe the other, for according to the laws of England, there must be an accufer. It is the opinion of many high and diftinguished characters in this country, that had Mac Callum died in America, Colonel Picton would never be brought to trial." The reason why he has not been brought to condine punishment, is yet referved for me to elucidate, which I fhall certainly perform in my next volume. I have heard of grants of land, made to two noble Lords (one a certain delinquent Lord) with no other view than to fcreen Col. Picton and his panders.
The proof of thefe grants has been deftroyed, along with other papers. Notwithstanding, I can call upon five Members of Parliament to prove the tranfaction, and I now pledge myfelf to the public to give a fair and candid history of the influence; which Colonel Picton commands.
With regard to the charges I have brought forward against the notorious delinquents of Trinidad, they may publifh what they please against me, I have truth on my fide, and will confound their mifreprefentations. They dare not meet me on equal ground, with the facred armour of truth, becaufe they poffefs only the perishable weapons of falfhood. They well know, that a plain tale, every word of which, is marked with the strong emphafis of fincerity, will carry conviction to every impartial reader; for truth, if we efteem it at all, is as impenetrable as adamant; and as lafting as the world. PIERRE F. McCALLUM.
Great Russell-street, Bloomsbury,
14th January, 1806.
ON FRIENDLY SOCIETIES.
TO THE EDITOR.
I WAS extremely concerned at an obfervation which fell from your pen, demonstrative of your unfavourable opinion of FRIENDLY SOCIETIES in general, in the courfe of your review of Mr. Rofe's pamphlet On the Poor Laws, and on the Management of the Poor, &c." which occurs at page 158 of your Magazine for June, 1805. In mentioning the circumftance of Mr. Role having" recommended, at the clofe of his obfervations, a more favourable attention to friendly focieties, &c." you are pleased to add: "If he [Mr. Rofe] had feen fo much of Benefit Societies as we have, he would, we incline to believe, think very differently of them.* And to corroborate this opinion, you immediately add: "If he [Mr. Rofe] will apply for information on this fubject, to acting magiftrates in the metropolis, he will learn that, there at least, fuch locieties are the fources of endless contention, imposition, and fraud." I repeat once more, Sir, that I am truly concerned that your expe
*This arguing generally against the use of thefe Societies from the abuse of them is what I did not expect to find in your review. I think them capable, when well managed, of producing manifold advantages.
rience of the effects of friendly focieties in the metropolis fhould have induced you to form fo bad an opinion of them; and that you thould deem it neceffary to make that opinion public. I will take the liberty, Sir, of giving you my reafon for the regret which I have expreffed, and which I really feel; and then will flate the reafon of my having formed a different opinion of thefe inftitutious.
I am a confiant fubfcriber, and as conftant a reader of your miscellany, and to the juftice and propriety of your fentiments I very generally agree. I know that your magazine and review has a very wide circulation, and that as it is calculated only to please loyal men, and the most virtuous and useful members of fociety, the effect which the fentiments it contains may have upon fuch perfons, is, in my humble opinion, of the utmost importance. In particular, Sir, the unfriendly fentiment which you have expressed towards thefe friendly societies, may have very injurious effects upon them. It may, and it must have thefe ill effects, if it turns the minds of feveral perfons against them who are at prefent confiderably bialled in their favor.
You inform us, Sir, that the evils of which you complain, exift, to your own knowledge, in the metropolis; and, I cannot doubt, that you have fuffi cient reafon and juft ground for the character you have given of them. The obfervations, however, which I have had the opportunity of making of the effects produced in the country by thefe focieties are of a very different nature; and confequently lead to a very different conclufion, that of making me the warm friend and very sincere advocate of them. Since a very early pe riod of the year of 1793, I have been almoft conftantly refident in this place; and previous to my coming here feveral years, and at the prefent moment, a friendly society exifts here upon a pretty large fcale for a country village. It contains about 120 members, who receive the benefit of the fands of the fociety in the events of accident, ficknefs, or old-age, and the fum of five pounds to bury each of the members, when called upon to quit this earthly feene for a more enduring and perfect one. There are several of the principal farmers of the parish, and of the neighbouring gentry, who are honorary members, and declare on their admittance, that they will not draw upon the funds at any time. Thefe laft form the committee which manages the funds of the fociety, and they manage them with the greatest uprightnefs, impartiality and honour. Other parishes befides this, are permitted to enrol their parishioners as members, on fubfcribing to the rules established by the fociety, and faithfully conforming to them. For great and heinous offences members may be expelled the fociety, for fmaller offences they are punished in a lefs fevere manner. "Contention, imposition and fraud,” in our fociety have never been heard; and the mode of managing the bufi hefs of it, makes this a very difficult, I had almost said, an impoffible thing. As an effective bar to contention, the bufinefs is managed by indepeudent members, who have no kind of intereft whatever in any mattter that is brought forward, and no other object in view, than the promotion of happinels and extenfion of relief to the poor members, in the event of any of the contingencies taking place which have been mentioned. No one can be relieved from the funds of the Society, without having first obtained a certificate` under my hand, if a parishioner of mine, or if not, of the clergyman of the parith where the applicant refides, of his really being in fueh a fituation as to be intitled, by the rules of the Society, to relief. This provifion hath hitherto, in the cafe of our Society effectually prevented