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sidered, as preparatory only to general emancipation. We will not answer in the words imputed to Mr. Huskisson, that this is an end which every good man ought to wish for, perhaps to look "to;" but we will say, that, although it ought to be held steadily in view, it ought not to be contemplated as the main question at present. We have hitherto looked upon self-emancipation and manu-mission as means of improvement; but we have no doubt, as the improvement proceeds, they will become much more frequent. Perhaps a fund might be created to accumulate against a general redemption of the slaves after due preparation. Perhaps, the proposition for making all Negroes free who should be born after a certain time, might, after due improvement, be carried into effect. After all, so much must depend upon the difference of the colonies, the change in produce, and other circumstances, that we look upon it as a waste of time to decide the point at present.

"One word before we have done, on the position of the great parties to this question, the Government, the abolitionists, and the colonists.

The Government has wisely refrained from agitating the question of direct interference; for, although the statute of William III. declares, that "all laws in "practice in any of the plantations repug"nant to any laws in this kingdom relative "to the said plantations shall be void," and, although parliament, by a much later statute*, has only yielded up its supremacy in internal taxation, as if reserving all other authority-the terms of the commissions by which the local legislatures were created, are so strong, and the forbearance of the mother-country has been so uniform, that it might be doubtful, whether, in point of law, the latter possess the right to interfere or not. Experience, besides, has shewn us, that discussion between powerful bodies upon such cobwebs, necessarily leads to the worst kind of issue-the trial of force. The Jamaica legislature went so far as to say, that they would not "submit to the degra"dation of having their internal concerns "regulated by the Commons of Great Bri"tain." This is indisputably an idle menace in the present situation of the islands; as the whites could neither resist the force of the Government, nor their own slaves, if that force were with

*18 Geo III.

drawn. Still, idle as such proceedings are, accident might, under the circum stances, lead to an employment of the public force against the whites, and it is easy to foresee, that such an unfortunate step would be fatal to the tranquillity of the slaves. I It is, however, clear, that a third party should step in between the planters and the slaves; for so long as labour is extracted by the whip, the latter must be more or less ill-used. But we are inclined to think, that a considerable portion of the blacker imputations in this respect are usually founded upon, or at best concluded from, a few bad cases. There can be no question with impartial men, that the Colonial Governments have effected considerable improvements in the condition of the slaves, which are quite inconsistent with the general disposition to barbarous practices, with which the white inhabitants are charged. It is not very long ago, that magistrates, and other petty officers in this country, were habitually guilty of the most flagrant abuses ;* but these abuses are now much lessened, although the authority of the magistrates has been since enormously extended. The general improvement by which this change has been effected, has, no doubt, reached the slave owners. The interference we should counsel, would be to appoint governors, and other officers of resolute character, in whose prudence both the colonists and the Government might confide, and not such inefficient men as are now delegated, who, for the the most part are intriguing military offi cers, or judges and lawyers, whose calibre of intellect unfits them, even for the more moderate stations at the English bar. The conduct both of the governor and chief judicial officer of Demerara, in the affair of Smith, the missionary, affords a striking illustration of the necessity of such measures; for, whilst they permitted the most outrageous injustice against that individual, they incurred the universal dislike, and contempt of the colonists, for their imbecillity. The sense which the colonists have of their own helplessness, and which is manifested so strongly in their terrors at the conduct of the abolitionists, must, if managed by such authorities as we recommend, secure their ultimate acquiescence in proper improvements.

With respect to the abolitionists and the colonists, we hardly know whe 4 P

ther most to blame the frantic eagerness with which the former have pushed for ward their views of emancipation, or the rage and obstinacy with which the latter have resist d every plan for amelioration. The former will make no allowance for the terrors of the latter, who alone are exposed to danger and loss; whilst the latter will make none for the abolitionists, whose feelings are harrowed up by occurrences, which cannot fail to attract the keenest sympathy of educated Europeans. Hence it is, that on a subject, in which both parties appel to religion, humanity, and justice, language is in habitual use, which would disgrace two hostile clans of barbarians.

INDIA.-I. Burmese War.-II. Deccan Prize Money.-III. Hindoo Widows.

The next topic was the removal of British subjects from India; returns of which removals from the year 1784 to the last session were called for by Mr. Hume, and ordered by the house. He particularly adverted to the removal of Mr. Buckingham and Mr. Arnot, but no steps were taken in that business.

Mr. Hume also made a motion on the subject of the mutiny of the Indian troops in November 1824, but as this was mixed up with a call for certain despatches of Lord Hastings in 1819, and with remarks on the Burmese war, and more particularly as the official accounts of the mutiny had not then arrived from India, the motion was rejected,

I. THE most important part of the discussion was that which regarded the causes and conduct of the Burmese war, and as this is likely to attract considerable attention in the next session, we shal present a brief statement of the merits of the question,

The eastern frontier of Bengal is a line of impenetrable forest and hills extending for nearly five degrees of latitude. In all this space there are but three known

further east. The first and northernmost

By a recent statute*, parliament is constituted almost the exclusive instrument of control over those who administer the affairs of India. It is not our purpose on the present occasion to inquire into the efficiency of the check thus established, though it may fairly be doubted, whether the laborious duty of a regular and search-points of communication with the nations ing supervision is likely to be fulfilled by a numerous body, collectively under no responsibility for any neglect of such duty, and individually having no interest in the performance of it. In point of fact, except when the case of an individual has been agitated, the removal of a public functionary, or some immediately exciting matter of comparatively

narrow interest,-the mention of Indian affairs in parliament has seldom gone beyond a desultory conversation. The financial accounts of India, though exhibited annually, elicit no kind of observation; and the legislative enactments of the three presidencies have never yet been

alluded to in the House.

The first subject brought forward last session, was a bill for regulating the salaries of the judges in India. As we have discussed the subject of judges' salaries at some length in another article, it will not be necessary to repeat here the observations which may be found in that article, and which are applicable to Indian as well as to English judgest.

53 Geo. III. c. 155.

+ See post, Law: Salaries of the Judges and Police Magistrates.

is by the valley of the Brahmapootra, in latitude 26° north, which is known as the country of Assam. The river is navi. gable for several hundred miles before it enters Rungpoor, the north easternmost district of the British possessions, and the valley is fruitful, though rather unhealthy. Soorma, in latitude 25° north, known by The second is by the valley of the the name of the Kachar country, which is contiguous to the district of Sylhet on one side, and is bounded on the other by the mountains of Kossye. This river is likewise navigable beyond the British frontier, though very inferior to the Brahmapootra in size and consequence. There is no third opening until we come to the sea-coast, at the southern extremity of Chittagong, in latitude 21° north. that of Arracan or Rykhung, from which The British boundary here touches on it is separated by a navigable river called

the Nâf.

The reigning dynasty of the Burman empire commenced with Alompra, who flourished about the middle of the last century; and the Burmese have ever since been a conquering nation. They reduced Arracan in 1783, forcing the bulk of the

population of the Moghada or Mugrace, to take refuge within the Company's possessions. The Nâf was then, and has on several occasions since, been recognized as the mutual boundary. At the mouth of this river there is an alluvial island covered for the most part with jungle, and separated from the promontory of Teknaf, which forms the northern bank, and on which the Company have long had a thana or police-post, by a fordable channel. The main stream, which is navigable for vessels of considerable burthen, and nearly a mile wide, divides the island from Mungdoo, the extreme northern post of the Burmese in Arracan. This island is called Shahpooree, and has never yielded any thing except fire-wood. The Burmese preferred a claim to it as theirs by long established right; but the island was never inhabited, or otherwise occupied. The British officers denied this right, and claimed the island for the Company, resting their claim partly on the position of the island, which by the law of alluvion would make it theirs, and partly on the assertion, that it had always been considered as theirs, and had been included in their maps and territorial surveys. The case was referred to the Supreme Government, when Mr. Adam determined to maintain the British right. He addressed a letter to the Arracan - authorities, stating this resolution, and at the same time ordered the island to be occupied by a party of the local corps, stationed for civil duties at Chittagong. Thus matters stood upon Lord Amherst's arrival. The Burmese officers, without answering the letter, sent messages to the police officer of Teknâf, requiring him to withdraw the detachment, and threatening to employ force for its removal. No attention being paid to these threats, the Burmese on the 24th of September, 1823, landed on Shahpooree in a night attack, and drove away the party stationed there, with the loss of several lives.

Considering the nature of the quarrel, and the worthlessness of the object in dispute, it might have been wise to have sought to explain away the affront, and to have aimed at procuring some such compromise as would have prevented an open rupture: the more so, as it appears, that the Burmese would have been satisfied at one time with an engagement from us not to occupy the island of Shahpooree, and that they would probably



have engaged not to occupy it themselves. But it seems pretty clear, that whatever might have been done on this part of the frontier, matters must still have been brought to a rupture with the Burmese at other points, and therefore that concession might only have operated as encouragement to the assailants. We allude to the Kachar dispute, which was briefly as follows: Muneepoor is the capital of that part of Kossye which borders on Kachar, and, through it, lies the direct route from Umerapoora to Assam. In 1773 it was conquered by the Burmese, but their tenure was always precarious, the inhabitants flying to the hills and fortresses, and at different intervals recovering their capital. About 15 years ago, that is in the time of Lord Minto, the Muneepooreans being pushed to the south east, indemnified themselves at the expense of their western neighbours of Kachar, who being a race of pusillanimous Bengalees, under a Raja without energy, resources, or influence, were easily reduced to subjection. Raja (Govind Chundur) took refuge within the Company's possessions, where after much indecision as to whether or not he should be supported in an attempt to recover his territory, he was finally allowed an asylum, on the condition of not disturbing the peace of the frontier. Until 1820, Kachar was with Muneepoor, under the joint authority of the hereditary enemies of the Burmese, and in that year the power was in the hands of two brothers, Chorjeet and Marjeet, with their cousin Gumbheer Singh. In that year, however, the Burmese sent a larger force than usual, under a general called Mengee Maha Silooa, and he, after reducing Muneepoor, prosecuted his conquests into the eastern parts of Assam. The three Muneepoor chiefs, yielding to circumstances, retired: Gumbheer Singh to the mountains; and the two brothers into Kachar: but availing themselves of the absence of the Burmese in Assam, they united shortly after, and recovered Muneepoor. They did not, however, hold it long, for a yet larger army, under the victorious Mengee Maha Bandoola, retook Muneepoor, and then advancing into Assam, completed the conquest of that valley, and defeated its Raja, Chundur Kunt, in a battle fought almost in sight of the British post at Jugeegopa, on the Brahmapootra.

The Burmese, be it observed, are not content with taking the revenues, and conducting the administration of the countries they subdue. This is a refinement of European warfare. Less civilized nations always aim at the extermination of their enemies: such at least is the invariable policy of the Burmese. This system had begun to operate in Assam in 1822 and 1823. The population was retiring in masses before their conquerors within the British frontier, and although military posts were established at Jugeegopa and Gwalpara for their protection, these were insufficient to prevent repeated violations of the frontier, by parties of Burmese who came in search of the property or persons of the refugees. As yet, the Burmese had neglected Kachar, deeming it part of Bengal, and respecting it apparently on that account. The Supreme Government, however, disquieted by the recent successes of this nation in Assam, resolved to make their stand on the Kachar rather than on their own immediate frontier. The Burmese had no claim whatever to that territory, while Marjeet and Chorjeet were both anxious to place it under our protection, and the exiled Raja was no less solicitous to see it rescued from such a race of conquerors. Under these circumstances Kachar was declared under protection, and an asylum given to Chorjeet and Marjeet*. In the meantime, as was expected, the Burmese their inveteracy against the Muneepooreans, sent another expedition for their extirpation, and appeared in Kachar on the Assam route, as well as on the direct road from Muneepoor, claiming, not possession of that country, but that the persons of these refugees should be given up to their vengeance. This demand they declared themselves prepared to enforce by an immediate appeal to arms, and by following their enemy even to the further end of Hindostan if necessary. Thus, without any reference on the part of the Burman leaders to the dispute about Shahpooree, matters were unavoidably brought to the issue of direct hostility with the British troops advanced to the frontier in this quarter. The first gun

was fired by the Burmese on the 17th of January, 1824, while the Supreme Government were waiting a reply to the letter addressed to Umerapoora, complaining of the outrage at Shahpoorce of the preceding September.

It seems manifest from the above statement, that Lord Amherst was dragged into the war by a train of events to which no prudence and no gubmission on his part could have given another turn. We might support this conclusion, were it necessary, by an appeal to the subsequent conduct of the Burmese on the Arracan frontier; for they not only rejected every offer to negociate their differences there, but shewed a settled determination to maintain their pretensions at all hazards, and committed various acts of a most unfriendly character in prosecution of this determination.

We now come to the second question; as to the manner in which the war has been conducted. It is clear, that the only legitimate aim of measures to be undertaken against a horde of barbarians, like the Burmese, is, first, self-defence, and secondly, security against a repetition of violence. Conquest and the acquisition of territory ought not to be the motive for hostilities, except as conducive to this second end: the most sanguine politician could never dream that the future profit to be obtained from such a nation would ever repay the outlay reinquisite to achieve the conquest.

*The asylum must have been afforded at any rate, so that it was merely a question when the government should step in between the Burmese and their prey, whether before or

after the loss of Kachar.

On first hearing of the attack on Shahpooree, Lord Amherst and his council appear to have felt much indignation. An immediate expedition to Arracan was resolved upon; ships seem absolutely to have been taken up; and a commander + was even named for the enterprise. The object of this, was, to impress the enemy with respect for our power, and to frighten them into concession. However, the plan was relinquished as suddenly as it had been adopted, and in the midst of the preparations for its execution. It was resolved, instead, to send a few companies of regular troops to re-occupy Shahpooree, and to prefer a written complaint against the frontier officer in a letter to Umerapoora, so as to give the opportunity of disavowal, before making the case a matter of peace or war with the Burman nation. This plan was adopted in

+ Col. M'Creagh, H. M. 13th Lt. In.

Then the rain, the bad quarters, and insufficient supplies, produced extreme unhealthiness, and a great mortality ensued. The very means of defence at home being crippled, in order to send out this expedition, the enemy were invited to attempt our frontier, where a disaster was experienced, most alarming to the safety of our Indian empire.

All these consequences ensued from the unfortunate time chosen for fitting out this expedition to Rangoon all these consequences might have been foreseen; and it was not too much to expect of the Supreme Director. of the affairs of the nation in India, that he should have had the knowledge and good sense to anticipate them.

October, 1823. No answer having been | were to be furnished from Bengal, and returned from Umerapoora by the begin- that their transmission (from the monning of March, 1824, a formal manifesto soon being adverse) must be difficult, and declaration of war was then pub-irregular, and inordinately expensive. lished in the gazette. But hostilities had already commenced on the Kachar frontier, and Shahpooree proving too unhe thy for a post, our troops had been withdrawn, when the Burmese re-hoisted their flag there with much parade; in fact there had been war since January, and in the delay of the proclamation, the season for military operations was allowed to draw to a close. War, however, being thus declared in the beginning of March, it is by the measures then taken, that Lord Amherst's fitness for his station must be judged. Information was sought in all quarters, and an officer was summoned to Calcutta, who had been twice to Umerapoora, and twice to Rangoon. This was Major Canning, who gave his counsel some time in the beginning of March. Up to this date the Supreme Government had no thought of an expedition to Rangoon; the Major however had no sooner reached the presidency, than without consultation with the commander in chief, who was on a tour of inspection to the west, expresses were sent to Madras, to urge the instant embarkation of 10,000 men thence, for Rangoon, while 3,000 were immediately put on shipboard for the same destination, from Bengal. The hurry with which this expedition was determined upon, is a peculiar feature of the case. The resolution was even more sudden than that before adopted and abandoned, in regard to Arracan. The reins of government seem to have been abandoned to Major Canning, and the nation has been led into a set of measures which, so far as we see at present, can only end in a war of extermination and conquest.

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The undivided responsibility for the Rangoon expedition lies now on Lord Amherst. The Major, who advised it, is dead; the only member of council who participated in the determination, is out by rotation; and the Commander-in-chief of Bengal, who was absent from Calcutta at the time of the expedition, has evidently never concurred in the measure, if he did not oppose it.

The operations against Assam, and for the expulsion of the Burmese from Kachar, were indispensable for security and self-defence, and need no comment. The expedition sent in the following season against Arracan, was likewise a necessary effort to redeem the loss of character sustained on that frontier; but the bulk of this force should have been withdrawn upon its success before the commencement of the rains. Of the expedition to Rangoon, however, with all its consequences, the reduction of Martaban and Mirgui, with the places on the Tenasserim coast, and the subsequent advance and establishment of the force at Prome, we see but one issue a war of extermination with the Burmese nation, and the aggrandizement of our empire india, by the retention of every inch o. e territory. The end with a view to which the war should have been undertaken, has thus been quite lost sight of for operations, which, though at the lowest estimate they have cost several millions sterling, were not necessary for the mere purpose of producing such an impression on the

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