British Empire
Living in the British empire - Africa
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Extract from an Admiralty document of 1850 on ways to stop the slave trade
(Catalogue ref: ADM 7/606)
Although I appear to give the natives yet uncontaminated by civilized vices a very good character, it is extremely difficult to convey a correct idea of what they are. They have been so variously described, too. Though I have lived among them for fifteen years, the greater part of that time was spent not knowing well what to make of their many wonderfully good actions, and many extraordinarily bad ones. Probably the truth is, that they are neither the guileless, unsophisticated sons of nature of the philosophers, nor the compounds of treachery, sensuality, laziness, and cruelty of other writers, but a strange mixture of good and evil, as man appears to be everywhere else.
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