The exploit of the slaves under the intrepid Madison Washington is a guarantee of what can be done by colored Americans in a just cause, and foreshadows that a brighter day for slaves is at hand. Endowed with patriotism, led on by Washington, these slaves on board the American slaver brig Creole, Captain Ensor, put their trust in God and their own valor, to gain the boon every man desires to have--freedom. Success was their reward. We shall briefly sum up the whole matter in this way: the American slave trade is still carried on, unblushingly, to a considerable extent at the seat of the general government, and the States located South of the government in the face of the Congress of the United States, has of the various departments, attached to the government, foreign ministers and other high functionaries of emperors, kings and princes of European monarchical governments, locate[d near] the National Court in Washington.
It was on board one of the regular sailing packets, on a voyage coastwise by sea, from a neighboring city, not very far from the District of Columbia, bound to New Orleans, that a superb brig, commanded by an experienced and skilful captain, well manned with subordinate officers and seamen, on an outward bound voyage to New Orleans, was taken possession of by the slave passengers on board, who were going to be sold in a more profitable market, to the dealers in human commodities; but, thanks to Him who watches over the destiny of the poor slaves as well as over the abundance of tyrants, these slaves on board the Creole were men of common sense, endowed with the principles of our fathers of '76, who could not remain slaves whilst an opportunity presented itself for them to strike an effectual blow for liberty. The blow was given, headed by Madison Washington, the champion of the slaves, and they were instantly metamorphosed into free men, who steered their course for Great Britain's protection. In two days after the mutiny on board, the American slaver Creole, the heroes, in command of their vessel, arrived safe in the British province of Nassau, near Providence, where they claimed and received protection of the provincial authority of England, Queen Victoria.
Hear what the celebrated philanthropist, Dr. W. E. Channing, says of the praiseworthy conduct of these self-emancipated slaves, whose action on this occasion would be creditable to the gallantry of any people in defence of their liberty: "It appears that the brig Creole, of Richmond, Virginia, Ensor master, bound to New Orleans, sailed from Hampton Roads, with a cargo of merchandize, principally tobacco and slaves, about one hundred and thirty-five in number. On the evening of the 7th Nov. some of the slaves rose upon the crew of the vessel, and murdered a passenger named Hewel, who owned some of the negroes, wounded the captain dangerously, and the first mate and two of the crew severely. That the slaves soon obtained complete possession of the Brig, which under their protection was taken into the port of New Providence, where she arrived on the morning of the 9th of the same month. That at the request of the American Consul at that place, the Governor ordered a guard on board to prevent the escape of the mutineers, and with a view to an investigation, which was accordingly made by two of the magistrates. An examination also took place by the Consul. That on the report of the magistrates, nineteen of the slaves, imprisoned by the local authorities as having been concerned in the mutiny and murder, and their surrender to the Consul, to be sent to the United States for trial for these crimes was refused on the ground that the Governor wished to communicate with the government in England on the subject. That through the interference of the colonial authority, and even before the military guard was removed, the greater number of the slaves were liberated, and encouraged to go beyond the power of the master of the vessel or the American Consul, by proceedings which neither of them could control."