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[174] the latter a member of the church of Boston, first
Chap. V.}
brought upon the colonies the guilt of participating in the traffic in African slaves. They sailed ‘for Guinea to trade for negroes;’1 but throughout Massachusetts the cry of justice was raised against them as malefactors and murderers; Richard Saltonstall, a worthy assistant, felt himself moved by his duty as a magistrate, to denounce the act of stealing negroes as ‘expressly contrary to the law of God and the law of the country;’2 the guilty men were committed for the offence;3 and, after advice with the elders, the representatives of the people, bearing ‘witness against the
heinous crime of man-stealing,’ ordered the negroes to be restored, at the public charge, ‘to their native country, with a letter expressing the indignation of the general court’ at their wrongs.4

When George Fox visited Barbadoes in 1671, he

enjoined it upon the planters, that they should ‘deal mildly and gently with their negroes; and that, after certain years of servitude, they should make them free.’ The idea of George Fox had been anticipated by the fellow-citizens of Gorton and Roger Williams. Nearly
1652. May 18.
twenty years had then elapsed, since the representatives of Providence and Warwick, perceiving the disposition of people in the colony ‘to buy negroes,’ and hold them ‘as slaves forever,’ had enacted that ‘no black mankind’ should, ‘by covenant, bond, or otherwise,’ be held to perpetual service; the master, ‘at the end of ten years, shall set them free, as the manner is with English servants; and that man that will not let’ his slave ‘go free, or shall sell him away, to the end that he may be enslaved to others for a longer time, shall forfeit ’

1 Winthrop, II. 243, 244, 245.

2 Ibid. II. 379, 380.

3 Colony Records, III. 45.

4 Colony Laws, c. XII

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