"In april 1769, Henry Laurens, one of early America's wealthiest merchants, wrote to Captain Hinson Todd, who was seeking a cargo from Jamaica to carry to Charleston, South Carolina. Laurens was an experienced slave trader and he worried that Todd was not. He therefore cautioned that if the Jamaica merchant "should Ship Negroes on board your Sloop, be very careful to guard against insurrection. Never put your Life in their power a moment. For a moment is sufficient to deprive you of it & make way for the destruction of all your Men & yet you may treat such Negroes with great Humanity." It was an odd but revealing statement. Laurens instructed the captain to treat with "great humanity" the very people who would, given a split-second chance, annihilate him and his entire crew."
~Marcus Rediker, The Slave Ship (p. 35-6)