On the flogging of women (ca. 1827)
No. 21 of the Anti-slavery Reporter contains some
particulars of the Jamaica Debate on Lord Bathurst's
proposition for "the abolishing of the driving whip, the
regulation and record of punishments, and the abolition
of female flogging."
It was not even proposed, that driving in the field,
or the flogging of females should be abolished; but
merely that the cat should be substituted for the both to coerce labour, and to inflict punishment;
and that in the whipping of women there should be no
The clause for substituting the cat for the cart-whip
was negatived by a majority of 28 to 12 as was that
for prohibiting the indecent exposure of women.
However painful to the feelings the knowledge of these
proceedings may be, it is better they should be known
and reprobated, a view to their suppression, than
perpetuated to future generations by a weak of truth.
How much is it to be wished that the planters who
thus voted for the flogging of women could be induced
to peruse the following lines:-1
Bear'st thou a man's, a Christian's name;If not for pity, yet for shame.Her tender form may writhe and bleed,But deeper cuts thy barbarous deedThe female's modest pride.
Sin first by woman came;- for thisThe Lord hath marr'd her earthly bliss,With many a bitter throe;But mercy wrath, and scornthe wretch who adds a thornTo heaven-inflicted woe.
Thine infancy was lull'd to restOn woman's nurturing bosom ,Enfolded by her arm;Her hand upheld thy tott'ring pace;-And Oh! how deep the foul disgrace,If thine can work her harm!
Hush not they nature's conscious pleaWeak, helpless, succourless, to theeHer looks for mercy pray;He who records each lash, will rollTorrents of vengeance on thy soul!-Oh! fling that scourge away.