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character of charges, will extinguish the present technical distinction between legal and equitable assets. By rendering the real estate liable, in the second degree, and in aid of the personal, to the payment of debts of every description, we shall avoid the complicated and costly process of marshalling assets in equity. The co-operation of the two measures, with the assistance of some secondary ones, about to be proposed, will clear the way to a simple and just system for the distribution of assets.'
We have already noticed our author's important distinction between active, or operative, Trusts, and those which are merely passive or nominal. The latter, as we have seen, he means to abolish--the former to regulate; first by authorizing the delegation of trusts, so as to invest the delegate with the whole actual disposition and management of the lands, and with the receipt of the rents and profits during a prescribed period; and secondly, by directing, that the actual purpose of disposition, management or receipt, so far as regards the corpus of the property, shall be expressed in the instrument by which the trust is created; leaving the application only of the rents and profits at liberty to be declared by any separate instrument. The professed object of this provision is to prevent a relapse into nominal trusts, and to imprint on the face of assurances, their real character; an object which he further aims at in the articles on Registration.
The next article directs that, in all dealings of the trustee respecting the trust property, its produce and the application of it, bis receipts and other acts, shall be as valid as of a beneficial owner.' Its object is to correct a vicious doctrine in equity which constantly contravenes the intention of the parties, by depriving a trustee, in most instances, of the power to exercise a most important part of his trust, namely, to receive and give a discharge for the produce of the fund. The ill consequences of this rule are forcibly depicted.
After adverting to the very defective state of the actual laws on the subject of registration, and the mischievous doctrine of equitable, or constructive, notice, the author shows, that the expediency of either enrolling, or registering the substance of all assurances for the protection of alienees and incumbrancers against latent dispositions, has been long recognized.—He then discusses the much agitated question whether enrolment at length, or registration of the substance be preferable. Against the former are objected, the disclosure of private transactions, and the expense attending it. In favour of the latter, it is urged, that while it avoids these objections, at the same time in stating the instrument, the parties, the land affected, and the general character of the interest disposed of, every circumstance necessary for
of ebony wood; the cargo which I give you being well chosen, and as advantageous as possible. I hope that you will bring back one, at your return, tbat will answer our expectations. I do not wish to have billets either too large or too small, but particularly sound.
* You will return to Martinique, Pointe des Salines, at the second landing at the sea-shore; taking care not to pass “ Pointe Dunkerque, ” so as to expose yourself to the sight of the marine.
• You will land the things with which you may be loaded ; at your arrival you will find orders for you to follow in the continuation of your voyage. Wishing you a fortunate and quick return, I am, &c.
And under the annexed instructions for the captain and crew is the following memorandum:
“As to the choice of the return cargo, it is expressly recommended to the captain and to his officers, if there is opportunity of choosing, not to embark any other " balles" or " ballots" (females or males, we suppose) than those that weigh from ten to twenty arabas, (years of age) of which the two-thirds to be in “ ballots,” and the other third in « balles ;” it: being expressly agreed, that if there are any « balles” or “ ballots” found among
under ten or above twenty arabas, the captain's allowances
upon each of the “ balles” or “ ballots” are to be reduced one half, the same for any that may be damaged, otherwise than by the chances of the voyage.'- Parliamentary Papers, Class A.
Next to the French slavers in point of numbers, and fully equal to them in atrocious conduct, are the Portugueze, whether on the west or the east coast of Africa. Since the separation of his European and American dominions, Don Pedro of the Brazıls has more than supplied the place of his late father in Portugal as to the slave-trade. Portugal' (well şays one of the papers before us)
still remains a melancholy exception to the concurrent authority of the rest of Europe. She alone, of civilized nations, continues to class the purchase of our fellow-creatures among the ordinary modes of lauful commerce.' Her conduct is mean as well as wicked: for while she has consented to abolish the trade to the northward of the line, and to carry it on to the southward only, nineteen-twentieths of the slaves carried to the Brazils are actually shipped to the northward of the line. To vessels there filled, in point of fact, the captures, by our ships of war, are chiefly confined. The Brazilian slaver clears out for Molembo, for which place he has an imperial license; but he well knows there are no slaves to be had at Molembo; he creeps therefore along the coast from the southward till he reaches Biafra or Benin, keeps a false log, and having entered one of the rivers, takes in his cargo of slaves, generally got ready for his immediate reception of them. It was precisely in this way that Portugal herself evaded the stipulations of the treaty and carried on the illegal trade. So far, in fact, are the Portugueze from having the least feeling of respect for public PP2
is usually termed, a radical reform—and, no doubt, those sug. gestions go to subvert some established principles, as well as a multitude of (what are too often mistaken for principles) established forms and ordinances. But, although forms and principles are frequently confounded by ignorance, and still more frequently by prejudice or interest, nothing is of such vital importance in all legislative discussion, as that care, amounting even to jealousy, should be taken to extricate the subject from so grievous an error as that which would elevate the petty couceros of clerks and notaries to a level with the great landmarks of law, the constituted bulwarks of civil liberty and religion. The true question is, whether, consistently with the preservation of these landmarks, and with the security of their deferees, the proposed system is practicable;--and we see nothing in the outline presented to us, to convict it of impracticability—we see nothing even to induce us to question, whether the facts bear out the author's repeated assertions—that, to at least a considerable ertent, the laws of property may be reformed without innovating: and that, where innovation or abolition is thought to be necessary, the proposal is sanctioned in most instances by prior legislative changes, of the same or a greater extent, and in the rest, by justice, or obvious expediency.
1. It must be admitted, that the statute of 12 Car. 2. introduced a much more extensive abrogation of the then existing law as to tenures, than any thing which Mr. Humphreys proposes ; and that also at a far greater gratuitous sacrifice on the part of the feudal lord, than any to which his patriotism is by the present measures subjected.
2. The statute of 27 Hen. 8. was intended to abolish uses, by investing them with the character of legal estates; and this would have been the actual consequence, but for the narrow construction put upon it by judicial interpretation.
3. This false principle of interpretation gave room to the revival of uses in equity, under the name of trusts; which would not now have existed, had the intention of the legislature been properly seconded. In those anomalous characters of passive or nominal, trusts are peculiar to the jurisprudence of this country. Indeed it is not less surprizing than true, nor less true than, mortifying to vational pride, to discover, that many of the boldest measures proposed by Mr. Humphreys for our adoption, as improvements in the English laws of property, have already been carried into operation, and are now the established law of so many states infinitely below us in the scale of political greatness and moral excellence.
of these four charnel-houses, the men's slave-room was only two feet seven inches high ; in the second, two feet; and, in the third, two feet three inches. It is stated that in some of these vessels were fierce dogs of the blood-hound species, trained to sit watching over the hatches during the night, lest the wretched beings below, driven to desperation, should make any attempt to reach the region of purer air.
But the heart sickens over such details. What the sum of human misery must amount to during the passage across the Atlantic in the ships that escape, we can only forın some idea from the state of the few that are captured—for very few indeed they are, compared with those that elude our cruizers. The number of vessels brought for adjudication at Sierra Leone in the year *1824, as stated by the Commissioners, amounted only to six, out of which the number of slaves emancipated was 1,245. The total number of cases adjudicated since the establishment of the Mixed Commission is stated to be fifty-two; and the total number of slaves emancipated up to the 1st of January, 1825,–5,160. In the year 1825 they report the condemnation of six ships having on board 1,660 slaves.
But bodily suffering in these floating dungeons of filth and corruption of disease and death-is but a part-perhaps a small part—of the misery which the ill-fated African is doomed to undergo. If we allow him to possess but a small portion of the common feelings of our nature, we may imagine the mental agony which must attend the eternally recurring recollection of that moment when he was brutally snatched away from friends, family, and dearest connections, to be crammed into the hold of a slaveship; his cruel lot still further embittered by that dreadful state of suspense and anxiety, which a total ignorance as to his future fate must unavoidably produce.—Major Denham has taught us how sword and fire are let loose upon harmless and peaceable villages for the sake of seizing and carrying off the unoffending inhabitants, 'even far in the interior of Africa, where, contrary to what is observed in most regions, the natives are more civilized than those nearer to the sea-coast; how wars are multiplied upon wars merely because those of the vanquished that escape butchery are slaves,all this in order to satisfy the greedy and rapacious cravings of the native slave-dealers, who are again tempted and urged by the European traffickers.
Here then, on the coast of devoted Africa, is scope enough for the exercise of our humanity. Here is the favourable climate and the fertile soil, on which is nourished and propagated that condition of slavery which we are so anxious to abolish-here is the root; and in vain should we cut down the tree, while the root is
suffered to remain; young scions will shoot forth with fresh vigour, as we have seen them do in the course of the last twenty years. If we really wish to abolish slavery, we must first eradicate the source and origin, the feeder and the nourisher, of it. Yet those who would be thought the most zealous advocates for meliorating the condition of the African, who are most sensitively alive to every thing that interferes with his happiness and comfort—those, iş short, at whom the South Carolina resolution points, loudly as they exclaim for the emancipation of our negroes, which would probably tend to their destruction, are wholly silent as to the brutal and inhuman proceedings by which thousands of the same race are still daily brought into the condition of slaves; so that if it were not for the African Institution, (whose means of doing service to the cause are but limited,) we shouid not hear one syllable about all this disgraceful and detestable traffic, except through the channel of parliamentary papers, annually presented by Mr. Canning—to whom the poor African is more indebted for his persevering efforts to shame the remaining traffickers in human beings out of their pursuit, than to all those pretenders to humanity,
whose indiscreet interference is calculated scarcely less surely to aggravate his sufferings than to injure our colonists, our commerce, and our empire.
England has done much towards effecting the total abolition of the slave-trade; but she must yet do more. The
government has honestly and zealously performed its part, and the persevering and indefatigable exertions of the officers of our cruizers, and their humane endeavours to alleviate the sufferings of the unhappy beings which fall into their hands, are above all praise. At the risk of life and fortune they shrink not from the grateful task of giving liberty to the slaves; but the traffickers are frequently too cunning for them; and the law, as it now stands, affords—to the French in particular--a loop-hole for escape from their own cruizers, and a prohibition against capture on the part of ours. The slave-ships of Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands, are the only ones subject to capture; but the slavers of France are not even contented with being permitted to carry on their trade with impunity; they have sometimes the audacity to treat our officers with a degree of insolence and defiance which nothing but the strictness of their orders, as the Frenchmen know full well, would prevent them from chastising on the spot.
* This,' says Commodore Bullen, ‘points out, under what painful circumstances a British officer can attempt to perform his duty to his country, when he is liable to the grossest insults from a set of wretches
, engaged in this most inhuman and infamous traffic, who know and feel they are protected and encouraged by their government.'