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CORRESPONDENCE WITH HIS MAJESTY'S
No. 73.-Messrs. Gregory and Fitzgerald to Viscount Castlereagh.
(Received May 4.) MY LORD,
Sierra Leone, 25th February, 1821. We have the honour to notify to your Lordship, that M. de la Figaniere, His Most Faithful Majesty's Commissioner of Arbitration, has this day addressed to us a Letter, a Copy of which is herein inclosed for the information of your Lordship, to acquaint us with his intention of returning to England by the first opportunity, on the ground of ill health. M. de la Figaniere's state of health for some time past has not been good; it has only, however, within these few days been such as to determine him, on the advice of his Medical Attendants, to quit the Colony; he embarks in a Vessel that will convey this Letter to England. We have, &c.
E. GREGORY. Viscount Castlereagh, K.G.
(Inclosure.)-The Portuguese Commissioner of Arbitration to the
British Commissioners. GENTLEMEN,
Sierra Leone, 25th February, 1821. My extreme bad state of health, and the advice of 4 Medical Officers of this Colony, oblige me to leave it as soon as possible: thus I take the opportunity of the Ship Harrison, for England, which will very soon depart.
I do not doubt I shall return and resume again the functions of Commissioner; but should even in Europe my health continue impaired, and not permit me, I have not then the least doubt His Most Faithful Majesty will as soon as possible, have the Vacancy I leave,
I have, &c.
J. C. DE LA FIGANIERE E MORAO. The British Commissioners.
No. 74.-Joseph Planta, Jun. Esq. to the British Commissioners at
Sierra Leone. GENTLEMEN,
Foreign Office, 27th February, 1821. I am directed by Viscount Castlereagh to acquaint you, that the Ambassador from the Court of The Netherlands, has, by direction of his Government, notified to his Lordship, that His Netherland Majesty's Frigate the Melampus, of 350 Men and 44 guns, commanded by Captain Le Man, about to sail for the East Indies, will be provided with a copy of the Treaty of 4th May, 1818, and with the Documents thereto annexed, relating to the repression of the Slave-trade.
I am, &c. His Majesty's Commissioners.
J. PLANTA, Jun.
Note.- A similar Letter was written to the Commissioners at Surinam.
No. 75.-Messrs. Gregory and Fitzgerald to Viscount Castlereagh.
(Received May 22.) MY LORD,
Sierra Leone, 5th April, 1821. We have to inform your Lordship that Don Jozé Camps, on the 24th ultimo, addressed a Letter to the Acting Registrar of the Mixed Commissions, to notify to him, that, owing to the declining state of his health, and the advice of his Medical Attendants, he felt obliged to leave his Station here of Commissioner of Arbitration of His Catholick Majesty, to return to Europe.
We inclose for your Lordship's information, a Translation of M. Camp's Letter to the Acting Registrar.
We have also to inform your Lordship that Mr. R. B. Fitzgerald, Acting Registrar of the Mixed Commissions, whose state of health induced his Medical Attendants, some time past, to advise him to leave the Colony, now returns to England; and that his Honour the Acting Governor, has appointed Mr. James Woods to act as Registrar in his place.
Mr. Woods, from the time of the establishment of the Mixed Commissions, has been attached to them in the capacity of Commissioner of Appraisement and sale, and he has always faithfully discharged the duties of the Situation.
Don Jozé Camps and Mr. R. B. Fitzgerald embark in the Vessel that will convey this Letter to England.
We beg that your Lordship will permit us, in regard to Mr. R. B. Fitzgerald, to say, that we think it due to that Gentleman, to express to your Lordship our satisfaction of the manner in which he discharged the general duties of his Situation, whilst acting as Registrar of the Mixed Commissions; and that he merits the particular approbation of the Commissioners, for his conduct in upholding the respect and consideration due to the Mixed Courts, agreeably to the pleasure of your Lordship.
We have, &c.
E. GREGORY. Viscount Castlereagh, K.G.
(Inclosure.)— The Spanish Commissioner of Arbitration to the Registrar
of the Mixed Commission,-(Translation.) SIR,
Sierra Leone, 24th March, 1821. The bad state of my health, which each day increases, in consequence of repeated fevers, obliges me to return to Europe, in order to my recovery.
As I cannot here expect any amendment in my health, according to a Declaration made to me by Physicians; and as I find myself incapable in my present state, of sulfilling the duties of my Situation; I consider that my remaining a further length of time would be a useless sacrifice to my Country.
If I recover my health, my absence will be but temporary, unless His Catholick Majesty should dispose otherwise. I inform you of this, that you may communicate it to the Mixed Commission, of which I have the honour to be a Member.
&c. The Acting Registrar.
No. 76.—Messrs. Gregory and Fitzgerald to Viscount Castlerengh.
(Received July 27.) MY LORD,
Sierra Leone, 16th April, 1821. On the 5th of January last, we had the honour to address to your Lordship a Communication relative to the existing state of the Slavetrade, and to the actual and prospective means of substituting for that traffick, legitimate branches of commerce, which may be found equally effectual for supplying the Natives of Africa with the Foreign Commodities that they are accustomed to consume. That Communication necessarily embraced a multiplicity of matters, for the satisfactory elucidation of which further information must be desirable. We have therefore, deemed it expedient to collect such further intelligence, upor the most material branches of the subject, as the opportunities of our Station have afforded.
Since the date of that Communication, no Slave-trading Vessel o any Nation has been brought into Sierra Leone.
Private Letters received from His Majesty's Cruizers, proceedin to Cape Coast Castle, under the command of Commodore Sir Georg Collier, mention that they came upon the traces of the 2 Freuch Ves sels which had been reported to have gone to the Gallinas for Slaves The second, as well as the first of those Vessels, had taken away a fu Cargo. A Vessel bearing, as we understand, the Spanish Flag, as peared to be on the Coast for the purpose of taking in Slaves ; mea sures were taking to frustrate her object. From that source we hav not any further intelligence.
We take occasion here to correct an error into which we have falle respecting the Vessel commanded by one Buntzen, some time sind assassinated on the Coast by one of his own Seamen. We had unde
stood that the Voyage became abortive, and that the Vessel went off without a Cargo. We have since been informed that the Cargo was complete, or nearly so, at the time of the occurrence, and that the Vessel sailed with 150 Slaves, which might be about her full complement.
A Gentleman of known observation and intelligence, who acts as Supercargo of a Vessel employed in trading on the Coast, having arrived in the Colony from a Voyage nearly as far as the Line, we thought that he might furnish more extensive information concerning the state of the traffick in that direction, and also on the general objects comprised in our Statement. In this view we framed the Questions, of which the inclosed is a Copy, and the Gentleman to whom we allude, has had the kindness to give them the answers contained in the inclosed Paper.
It is now stated confidently in the Colony, that 2 fresh Vessels under the French Flag, arrived at Gallinas in the week before the last, for the purpose of taking in Slaves.
The probability which we intimated of the establishment of a general and constant trading intercourse between this Colony and the powerful Nation called the Foulabs, through Port Lago, at the head of the Sierra Leone River, is, we trust, on the point of being fully realized. The Gentleman who was sent from the Colony, to negociate for that object, has had a most favourable reception, and is now at Port Lago, on his retuin. He is accompanied by a Nephew of Almaney Abdool, King of the Foulahs, sent to complete the Negociations here.
We have the honour to inclose 3 Numbers of the Sierra Leone Gazette, one making more specific mention of the Slave-trading Vessels met or traced by His Majesty's Cruizers; the other two containing some details of the Expedition to Teembo, the Capital of Foulah Jallon.
We have, &c.
E. GREGORY. Viscount Castlereagh, K.G.
(Inclosure 1.) The British Commissioners to ..............
Free Town, 8th March, 1821. His Majesty's Commissioners under the Treaties for preventing the illicit traffick in Slaves, present their compliments to ........
............ and would feel obliged if he would communicate to them, in a letter, such observations as, during his late Voyage, he may have made on the existing state of the Slave-trade,
His Majesty's Commissioners wish to be informed on the following points; Ist. as to the number of Spanish, Portuguese, Netherlands, French and American Vessels, that may have been on the Coast, and departed therefrom with Cargoes of Slaves, since July 1820; 2d. as to the number of Slave-trading Vessels under the Flags of the Nations before-mentioned, that may actually be on the Coast; 3d as to the effects that the restrictions of the Treaties of Abolition, enforced by the means of the British Cruizers, may have produced on the Slave Markets on the Coast; 4th, whether, in the event of these restrictions being continued in force, the Africans will be likely to turn their attention to any other commerce than that of Slaves; 5th, how far the produce of the Countries lying betwixt the River of Sierra Leone and Cape Coast, and of those situated between Cape Coast and Cape Lopez, may be deemed capable of laying a foundation for legitimate commerce, equivalent to the Slave-trade, in affording supplies of the usual articles of Foreign produce to the Natives.
(Inclosure 2.)– Answer of ............ to His Majesty's Commissioners. GENTLEMEN,
Sierra Leone, 3d April, 1821. I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Note of the 8th ultimo, requesting that I would communicate to you such observations as I may have made, during my late Voyage on the Leeward Coast, on the existing state of the Slave-trade, &c.
In looking over the points on which you wish for information, I regret that any Communications I can make must be of so general a nature as scarcely to afford you data on which to form any thing like correct conclusions. However, what I have seen and learned shall be laid before you.
In answer to the first and second enquiries, as to the number of Vessels that may have been on the Coast, and departed with Slaves, since July, 1820,” and “ as to the number of Ships, trading under the different Flags, that may be actually now on the Coast," it is impossible for me to give you a correct idea, at least so far as to distinguish those belonging to the different Nations; for, with the exception of the French, none show any Colours, and, doubtless, many avail themselves of the Flag of that Nation, who have no right to raise it.
We left Sierra Leone on the 5th of August last, proceeding down the Coast; at Cape Mount we found two French Schooners, whose Cargoes were on shore at the Gallinas, Mannah, and Sugaree; one for 250, the other 350. Both these, I since learned, got safe to their destination. The Kroomen informed us there were then two at little Cape Mount. There was also one at Trade Town for 300. From thence, until we arrived at Accra, we saw no Vessel that we could ascertain to be engaged in Slaving. One Schooner proceeded to Whydah, where she found 3 Corvettes of 22 guns each, and 130 men, two Brigs of 14 guns, and two Schooners, all waiting for Slaves. Mr. M'Coy, the Master of our Schooner, saw 550 Slaves marched from the old French