try, he filled a government situation and was dependant for
his present subsistence, and for his future prospects in life,
upon the Ministry of the day.
The tract above mentioned as having lately been printed
in Philadelphia, was from the pen of the excellent Anthony
Benezet, a brother in heart and in deed of Granville Sharp.
On 9th May, the trial of Somerset's case, was resumed.
Mr. Mansfield conducted the defence. He contended,
that " If Somerset was a man—and he should conclude him
one, till proved otherwise—he could not be a slave in Eng¬
land. The dispute," he said, " was between one human
creature and another, the master and the negro, whether
the latter was entitled to the important rights which nature
had given him. To the charge that he was a slave, the
negro might very well answer, ' True, I was a slave ; torn
from my mother's arms, I was put in chains on board a
British ship and carried to America—I was there placed
under a master, from whose tyranny, I could not escape :
if I had attempted it, I should have been exposed to the
severest, punishment; and never from the first moment of
my life to the present time, have I been in a situation to
assert the common rights of mankind. I am now in a
country where the rights of liberty are known and regard¬
ed ; and can you tell me the reason, why I am not to be
protected by those laws ?' To have such a question an¬
swered," continued Mr. Mansfield, "consistently with those
laws, seems to me impossible—for, on the contrary, he is
as fully and clearly entitled to the protection of those laws,
as any one who now hears me."
At the end of Mr. Mansfield's speech, the case was ad¬
journed to the 14th May.
Mr. Hargrave then proceeded with the defence.
" If," said he, "the claim of Stewart over Somerset, be
here recognized, domestic slavery, with its horrid train of
evils, may be lawfully imported into this country, at the
discretion of every foreigner or native. It will come, not
only from our own Colonies, but from Poland, Russia,
Spain and Turkey—from the coast of Barbary ; from the
eastern and western coasts of Africa ; from every part of