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[166]

Of Captain Nicholas Brown I should have expected better conduct. It is no worse to fit out piratical cruisers, or to engage in the foreign slave trade, than to pursue a similar trade along our own coasts; and the men who have the wickedness to participate therein, for the purpose of heaping up wealth, should be sentenced to solitary confinement for life; they are the enemies of their own species—highway robbers and murderers; and their final doom will be, unless they speedily repent, to occupy the lowest depths of perdition. I know that our laws make a distinction in this matter. I know that the man who is allowed to freight his vessel with slaves at home, for a distant market, would be thought worthy of death if he should take a similar freight on the coast of Africa; but I know, too, that this distinction is absurd, and at war with the common sense of mankind, and that God and good men regard it with abhorrence.

I recollect that it was always a mystery in Newburyport how Mr. Todd contrived to make profitable voyages to New Orleans and other places, when other merchants, with as fair an opportunity to make money, and sending to the same ports at the same time, invariably made fewer successful speculations. The mystery seems to be unravelled. Any man can gather up riches if he does not care by what means they are obtained.

The Francis carried off seventy-five slaves, chained in a narrow place between decks. Capt. Brown originally intended to take one hundred and fifty of these unfortunate creatures; but another hard-hearted shipmaster underbid him in the price of passage for the remaining moiety. Capt. B., we believe, is a mason. Where was his charity or brotherly kindness?

I respectfully request the editor of the Newburyport Herald to copy this article, or publish a statement of the facts contained herein—not for the purpose of giving information to Mr. Todd, for I shall send him a copy of this number, but in1 order to enlighten the public mind in that quarter.—

G.

The editor of the Newburyport Herald did not comply with this request, not deeming it prudent to offend so respectable and influential a citizen as Mr. Todd by informing his townsmen what manner of freight he authorized his vessel to carry; and it is probable that the fact would have been little known and soon forgotten if Mr. Todd himself had been able to restrain his wrath and

1 Cf. ante, p. 114.

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