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10 CHAP. I.

H I S T O R Y

O F

fome meafure, the feverity of their laws: thus, in the cafe laft mentioned, the univerfal abhorrence which would have attended an enforcement of the penalty, made the law a dead letter. I t was the fame with the Roman law of the Twelve Tables, by which a father was allowed to inflict the punifhment of death on his own child:—manners, not law, prevented the exertion of a power fo unnatural and odious. BUT the circumftance which contributed moft to afford the coloured people of St. Domingo protection, was the privilege they poffeffed of acquiring and holding property to any amount. Several of them were the owners of confiderable eftates ; and fo prevalent was the influence of money throughout the colony, that many of the great officers in t h e adminiftration of government fcrupled not fecretly to become their penfioners. Such of the coloured people therefore as had happily the means of gratifyingthe venality of t h e i r f u p e r i o r s , were f e c u r e e n o u g h in t h e i r perfonsj although the fame circumfiance made them more pointedly the objects of hatred and envy to the lower orders of the whites. THE next enflaved negroes, and loweir, clafs of people in the French iilands were the negroes in a fíate of flavery ; of whom, in the year 1789, St. Domingo contained no lefs than 480,000. It was in favour of this clafs that Louis XIV. in the year 1685, publimed the celebrated edict, or code of regulations, which is well known to the world under the title of the Code Noir; and it muft be allowed, that many of its provifions breathe a fpirit of tendernefs and philanthropy which reflects honour on the memory of its 6 author 5

An historical survey of the french colony in the island of St. Domingo comprehending a short account  

Auteur. Edwards, B. / Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles e...

An historical survey of the french colony in the island of St. Domingo comprehending a short account  

Auteur. Edwards, B. / Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles e...

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