TO MY MOTHERLAND.
not of the same character as the American institu¬
tion, there being but little disparity between the
condition of the master and that of his slave, since the
one possesses almost every advantage accessible to the
other. Slaves are often found filling the most exalted
positions: thus at Abbeokuta all the king's chief
officers are his slaves, and they are among his most
confidential advisers. On certain state occasions, one
or other of these slaves is often permitted to assume
in public the position of the king, and command and
receive in his own person the homage and respect due
to his master. So in Ilorin, Dungari, the prime minis¬
ter of the king, daily sits in the market-place to re¬
ceive the homage of the populace intended for the
king, and yet Dungari, really the most important per¬
sonage of the kingdom, and in rank even above the
king's own sons, is a slave. Instances of this kind
might be afforded almost indefinitely.
Slaves are procured chiefly by conquest, sometimes
in warfare as justifiable and even more so than the
wars waged among civilized nations; at other times
predatory, and undertaken solely for their capture.
Not a few incur slavery as a penalty for crime. Some
are sold to defray either their own debts, or it may be
the debts of others for which they have become lia¬
ble ; and frequently children are kidnapped and sold
away into distant parts.