Punch,  44 (1863), 111.

A Royal Letter—The King of Dahomey and Sir Joshua Jebb

Dahomey R U J. Jebb U


Letter, Spoof


Crime, Morality, Medical Treatment

    Presents spoof correspondence between King Glele of Dahomey, who perpetuated the West African nation's notorious slave trade, and the surveyor-general of prisons, Joshua Jebb. The king tells Jebb ('Medicine Man') that his sympathetic modes of treating 'Grabbers' have not 'arrested' their moral 'disorder', and explains how people within his 'dominions' prefer 'some prompt and easy means of stopping the malady'. Gele welcomes any of Jebb's patients to Dahomey, where they will benefit from increased 'circulation'. In reply, Jebb acknowledges his correspondent's sympathy and explains that while his patients need a 'salubrious place of retreat', the climate of Dahomey would be too warm for individuals as 'morbidly sensitive as the Grabbers'. In a postscript, Jebb presents the reasons why his friend 'Sir George' (a reference to the Home Secretary George Grey) does not think transporting the patients to Dahomey will be a good idea.

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