Page images
PDF
EPUB

No. 104.—J. H. Lance, Esq. to Mr. Secy. Canning.—(Rec. Mar. 17.) SIR, Surinam, January 27, 1823. I have the honour to inform you that I arrived here on the 7th instant. In obedience to your commands I waited on Mr. Lefroy, and shewed him my Commission; I was introduced by him to the Netherland Commissioners, and to the Governor, before whom I this day took the requisite Oaths, in the form prescribed; and I am now prepared to act in the discharge of my duties as Commissioner of Arbitration, on the oc

currence of any Case by which they may be called into exercise. I have the honour to be, &c.

The Right Hon. George Canning. J. H. LANCE.

CORRESPONDENCE of the Colonial Office with the British Colonial Authorities, relative to the Slave Trade.

Presented to Parliament, July, 1823.

No. LIST. 1822. 1. Sir Charles MacCarthy to Earl Bathurst, Sierra Leone .... 10th Mar. 493 2. Sir Charles MacCarthy to Earl Bathurst, Sierra Leone .... 19th June 493 3. Sir Charles MacCarthy to Earl Bathurst, Cape Coast Castle, 22d May 497 4. Sir Charles MacCarthy to Earl Bathurst, Sierra Leone .... 21st June 497 5. Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Earl Bathurst, Sierra Leone .... 26th June 498 6. Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Earl Bathurst, Sierra Leone...... 3d Aug. 499 7. Sir Charles MacCarthy to Earl Bathurst, Sierra Leone.... 26th Sept. 503 8. Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Earl Bathurst, Sierra Leone .... 22d Oct. 506 9. Earl Bathurst to Lieut.-Govt. Beard and Major-General Murray ......... Downing Street, 30th Aug. 50s 10. Lieutenant-Governor Beard to Earl Bathurst.......................... Berbice ..... ... . . 23d Oct. 508 11. Lieutenant-Governor Murray to Earl Bathurst. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Demerara ....... 24th Oct. 512 12. Lieutenant Governor Beard to Earl Bathurst.............. - - - - - - - - - - - - Berbice ..... ... 19th Nov. 512 13. Lieutenant-Governor Beard to Earl Bathurst. . . . . . . . . . - - - - - - - - - - - - .... Berbice ........ 24th Nov. 513 14. Lieutenant-Governor Beard to Earl 1823. Bathurst. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Berbice .......... 16th Jan. 514 15. Earl Bathurst to Lieutenant-Governor Murray..... - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Downing Street....7th May 516 1822. 16. Sir R. T. Farquhar to Earl Bathurst.... Mauritius ........ 23d Oct. 515 17, Sir R. T. Farquhar to Earl Bathurst... Mauritius........ 6th Nov. 515

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

No. 1.-Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Earl Bathurst.

My Lord, Sierra Leone, March 10, 1822. I have the honour to inform you, that Commodore Sir Robert Mends, commanding the Squadron on this Coast, who had been detained by contrary winds for a long period in Europe, arrived here on the 18th past. I received by him the New Charter granted by our Most Gracious Sovereign for the Colony and its Dependencies, and I had the same proclaimed with all possible solemnity on the 29th past. Sir Robert Mends on his passage to this, visited the River Gambia, and it affords me the most heartfelt satisfaction to state, that he speaks in very favourable terms of the Navigation of that River, and the flourishing condition of the Trade at Bathurst. In consequence of the information he obtained of the manner in which the Slave Trade was carried on at the Portuguese Settlements of Cacheo and Bissago, Sir Robert sent his boats for the purpose of searching these Rivers; they returned here on the 2d instant only, with a Portuguese Schooner taken near Cacheo, having on board 175 Slaves. The Depositions of the Crew fully prove that the Governor of Bissago shipped a number of these Slaves on his own account; many of them were from the banks of the Gambia. I propose embarking to-morrow to proceed to the Gold Coast in obedience to your Lordship's Instructions, and shall avail myself of such opportunities as may offer to report my proceedings. I regret exceedingly, that from the long detention of the Iphigenia it was not in my power to do so before. I have, &c. Earl Bathurst, K.G. C. MAC CARTHY.

No. 2.-Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Earl Bathurst.

My Lord, Sierra Leone, June 19, 1822. Having frequently with heartfelt sorrow deemed it my duty, in the situation I have the honour to hold, to report to your Lordship the horrid cruelties inflicted on the unfortunate Africans, daily torn from their Native Country by Subjects of civilized European Powers in amity with our Most Gracious King, in defiance of the laws and repeated declarations of their own Sovereign, I again beg leave to solicit your attention to the same painful subject. Since I transmitted to Mr. Goulburn (on the 14th January) Memoranda of the information I had obtained on the Traffick in Slaves, carried on this Coast, from the period of Commodore Sir George Collier's return to Europe, the French Brig of War L'Huron, Commodore Mauduit du Plessis came into this Harbour from a cruise to leeward. 1 received that Officer, who commands the Squadron of small Vessels of War employed between Senegal and Goree, and on occasional Cruises along the Coast, with that politeness due to his rank, and the friendly relations subsisting between our respective Countries; and learnt from him with equal regret and surprise, that, having proceeded as far as Grand Bassa, he fell in with and visited several Wessels under the French Flag, which he had strong grounds to suspect were employed in the Slave Trade, but that he did not detain any, as from his instructions he was not authorized to seize any Vessels but such as had Slaves on board; that he was particularly anxious to take in water and other articles he required, in order to resume his Cruise of the Gallinas, as he feared that two French Vessels he had left there, and who had landed their Cargoes, might take advantage of his absence to embark their Slaves and proceed to their destination. Commodore Du Plessis arrived at Sierra Leone on the 1st February, and sailed again on the 9th or 10th on his Cruise off the Gallinas; he appears a zealous Officer, and anxious to display his zeal in the cause of humanity, I therefore do not entertain any doubt of the correctness of what he stated; yet I can only reconcile this very extraordinary circumstance with the sentiments expressed by M. Le Baron Portal, late Minister of Marine, to whom I had the honour of being introduced by His Majesty's Ambassador Sir Charles Stuart, and with whom I had three or four audiences on the subject of the Slave Trade in December 1820, and February and March 1821, to some misunderstanding with respect to the English Laws, in supposing that the same Instructions were issued to the Naval Officers with regard to their conduct to Foreign Vessels, and towards any British Vessel which might be found employed in that criminal Traffic. M. Le Baron Portal frequently said to me, (to the best of my recollections, M. Le Baron Pasquier, then Minister for the Foreign Department, made the same declaration in my presence to Sir Charles Stuart,) that Instructions to the same purport had been transmitted to the French Cruisers on this Coast for the seizure of French Vessels, as he (Le Baron Portal) understood were given to British Cruisers; that His Most Christian Majesty's Government acted with the utmost good faith, and were desirous to put a stop to that infamous Trade. It is well known that according to our Laws any British Wessel fitted or employed in the Slave Trade is equally liable to condemnation, and the Person engaged in that Traffic subject to the same penalties, whether there are Slaves on board or not, and that of course His Majesty's Officers would lawfully detain such a Vessel and prosecute her and the Crew. It is true, that in the Treaties with the Sovereigns of Spain, Portugal, and The Netherlands, it has been determined that no Vessels should be liable to detention but such as had actually Slaves on board: it does

[graphic]

not belong to me to make any observations upon the criminal advantage taken by Wessels bearing the Flag of those Nations, of the wording of that Article, which in open day, and contrary to the spirit of the Treaties, carry on this Traffic. As there cannot be any plea urged to prevent the seizure of French Wessels by their own Navy, I am led to hope, that if the circumstances under which the Slave Trade is now carried on under the French Flag, were stated to the Ambassador of His Most Christian Majesty now in London, his high sense of honour would soon rectify an omission which I suppose to have been unintentional; and when it is considered, that by enforcing the same Laws towards their own Vessels which have been so honourably carried into effect by Great Britain, since the Abolition of the Slave Trade, one Brig of War will do more essential service in one Cruise as far as the Equator, than twenty times the number of Wessels cruising with inefficient Instructions, I cannot but believe that the suggestion may appear worthy of consideration. I have not heard at Cape Coast that the Huron had been met with by any of our Cruisers or Merchant Vessels since she left Sierra Leone. The inclosed Memoranda will prove that the Wessels under French Colours now carry on the Traffic fully armed, and that they have been guilty of acts, if not Piratical, in firing on the Boats of His Majesty's Cruisers, at least very nearly as atrocious. The number of Slave Vessels taken and examined since the arrival of Commodore Sir R. Mends, will convey full information as to the extent of that Traffic; and I beg leave to observe, that the Case of the Conde de Villa Flor, seized near Bissao, which fully establishes that Signor Andrade, the Governor, had shipped a number of Slaves on his own account, can merely be considered as an additional proof of the incorrigible perversity of the Portuguese Officers on this Coast; that I have received repeated reports of the Governors of Bissao and Cacheo having full Cargoes of Slaves in irons ready for all purchasers; that the Traffic is carried on openly at the Cape de Verd Islands, St. Thomas, and Princes. The appointment of a Consul to reside at the Bissaos for a few years, might operate as a check to these nefarious transactions. I have, &c. Earl Bathurst, K.G. C. MAC CARTHY.

(Inclosure.)—Memoranda of Vessels employed in the Traffick in Slaves, visited or detained by His Majesty's Cruizers on the Coast of Africa,

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »