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a man without a trial, in a time of profound tranquillity, (for I believe Pieton himself, if préssed, will not assert there was a trial). Where is the justice of the country? Where are those rights which Britons have vainly called their own? On whom ought the weight of due punishment to fall most heavily ---On the wretch who dared to defy the laws of God and man, or on them who dared to support him in his atrocities, by the strong arm of power? But, if the reverse be true, which for the honor of Messrs. Pitt, Dundas, and others, I sincerely hope is the case, how must all honest minds abhor the tyrant who could wantonly commit so flagrant an act, and then aggravate his crime by a false and wicked libel on his Majesty's government.
I have been imperceptibly led to this digression, which, however, is not altogether foreign to the subject, as it displays the violence and cunning of the character I am attempting to delineatė. To return-Mr. Higham repaired to his house, and received from all who had spirit enough to'avow their principles, the strongest testimonies of pleasure at his release. Here it was expected the Governor's resentment would have stopped; but he had yet a step farther to proceed, which he fancied would complete his mean triumph, but which eventually served to expose the violence of his character, and rouse the indige nation of the inhabitants. In the next Saturday's newspaper (the Trinidad Weekly Courant), a paragraph ap. peared, stating that Messrs. Shaw and Higham, of the First Battalion of Royal Trinidad Militia, had been dismissed by order of his Excellency the Governor for seditious conduct! On the appearance of so infamous a paragraph, many of the inhabitants testified their indignation by very strong expressions, which were industriously reported to the Governor. Several respectable merchants
offered to subscribe to prosecute him, and numbers wrote home to their friends strong letters, expressive of their detestation of the tyrant's conduct. These symptoms of indignation alarmed the Governor, and he prevailed on some of his friends to certify in the public papers that they had no concern in any prosecution against him. Was ever Governor reduced to so pitiful a situation as to publish, in his own government, certificates that the inhabitants were not actually employed in prosecuting him? Notwithstanding all these violent measures, Messrs. Shaw and Higham were not in the least intimidated--they boldly informed the Governor's flatterers that they were determined to expose his conduct : and publicly, on all occasions, they declared their firm reliance on the justice of their cause, and the protection of his Majesty's goveminent: they transmitted a statement of their ease to the Hon. Thomas Erskine, who gave his opinion jointly with Mr. Stephen, in which, though they do not encourage: these injured gentlemen (as they denominate Messrs. Shaw and Higham), to expect effectual redress by any ace; tion at law, they give it as their opinion, that the conduct of these gentlemen was influenced by loyalty, and a warm attachment to the constitution of their native country, that the conduct of the Governor was an abuse of power ; and that an humble petition to the King would tend to prevent similar abuses of power in future cases. Messrs. i Shaw and Highaim also furnished statements to govern-. ment; and it is not an improbable conjecture, that the earnest manner in which they repeated their claims for redress, may have at least awakened the attention of ministers to the situation of affairs in Trinidad. The other day they presented, in person, a strong memorial to Gen. Grinfield, exposing Picton's conduct, and daring him to a proof of any transaction of their's to which
seditious conduct could in any way be applied. Gen. Grinfield laid this memorial before Governor Picton; and he, with a cowardice equal to his former violence, shrunk from the investigation, and suffered such strong charges to be preferred against him with impunity. Whatever the event may be;-whether those gentlemen who have thus suffered in the public cause at Trinidad, are ever to be redressed or not, time can only determine: but, at all events, they will have the satisfaction of knowing that they acted as became Englishmen, on a trying occasion, and that their conduct has secured them the approbation of every independent and unbiassed man in the colony.
Picton's aversion to Lawyers and Literary Mer---The bar
banishment of Russel Minchin, Esg. 4 Barrister, the supposed Author of a Placard, reflecting on Pictan's Calumnies--The Placard answered by a sanguinary Proclamation—The Author narrowly watched-Reflec
his perilous Situation- A Specimen of General Picton's Billinsgate Elocution, particularly in the Case of Judge NihelmMr. Nihel abused, and dismissed from his Office-John Black promoted Picton's congratu, latory Address to Black-An Introduction to Black's Character --The ultimate Cause of Judge Nihel's Susz picion elucidated—The oppressive Case of Mr. J. B.D. Savignor displayed-A Summary of a few of the sports attributed to Picton, &c, &c.
Head-Quarters, PUERTO PZ Espana, Mar 1803. DEAR SIR,
The ghost of Wall would have given Governor Picton less uneasiness than the appearance of either an English lawyer or an English traveller ; he was therefore in constant dread of being visited by them: and as he hated all lawyers, whether English or Spanish, he consequently spared no pains to hunt almost every one of them out of the settlement. The reason he as
signed for this part of his conduct was, " that lawyers were like carrion-crows, who flocked round carcases and corruption.” Soon after Tobago was ceded to the French, Russell Minchin, Esq. a barrister, who had been practising at the bar in that island, came here; but as Picton could not endure lawyers, he, without any ceremony, contrived to have him incarcerated, and sent him out of the island; or, in the language of the law, transported Mr. Minchin without the necessary formalities of it.
It would be deemed highly improper if I should hold back circumstances that occurred to facilitate the illegal banishment of Mr. Minchin. Believe me, I have no wish to misrepresent the actions of the Ex-Governor: on the contrary, I shall record them only as I find the impartiality of my witnesses, without paying the least regard to the virulence of those who bear him enmity.
A placard, of which the following is a copy, was found one morning, posted against the sentry-box at the King's wharf. Mr. Minchin, (for what cause I know not) was suspected to have been the author, but, whether he was or not, he deserves credit for his boldness in speaking the truth, in the very worst of times. “ Sanguinary punishments corrupt mankind. The ef: fect of cruel spectacles on the minds of the populace, is the distruction of all tender emotions. It is more calculated to ercite disgust than terror :-It creates indifference, rather than dread:~It operates on the lower orders of society as an incentive to practices of torture; and for the purposes of revenge, whenever they have the power of exercising the cruelties they have long been instructed in.--HUMANITAS."
The forcible degree in which the above placard operated on Picton's nerves, may be ascertained from