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lished the slave-trade, and, like ourselves, made it felouy; nay, it has even gone beyond us, by declaring it piracy, and the punishment death; and when the Americans have executed some of those felons whom they have taken in the fact, we shall be disposed to believe that, like us, they are earnest in their endeavours to put an end to the traffic, and to wipe away the disgrace of ever having been concerned in it: but they too, as well as the French, have resisted the proposition of a mutual right of search, by which alone the clandestine and most horrible part of the trade can be detected and punished. A very atrocious case occurred in the spring of the present year. By a stratagem of Lieutenant Hagan, of the Thistle, a schooner, called the Anna Maria, from Cuba, under Spanish colours, was surprized in the river Bonny. The supracargo, a most determined and desperate villain, an American, who was also master, and probably owner, fired upon the crew of the Thistle; upon which, some of the female slaves jumped overboard, and were immediately devoured by the sharks which swarmed round the vessel: for these voracious animals are the constant attendants of slave-ships. On being seized, the villain swore that he would have blown himself and all on board to the devil, could he but have reached the magazine, rather than suffer his property, that is to say, about 500 souls, of whom more than 450 were slaves, to have fallen into the hands of the English. Of these unfortuuate wretches the males were linked by the leg in pairs; many of them were bound with cords, and their arms dreadfully lacerated by the tightness with which they were drawn. The cries and groans of the pent up multitude, for water and air, as appeared from their signs, and the stench that issued from this den of abomination, were too horrible to be described; for disease had already begun its ravages, though the vessel had only cleared out the day before. Such, in fact, says Sir George Collier, was the rapid increase of vessels under the flags of France and America in 1819 and 1820, that they will probably, in another year, cover the whole line of the windward coast, and be used for the worst purposes.' This skilful; zealous, and humane officer thus concludes his Report.
"My public letters, reciting a variety of atrocious facts, will, I trust, have satisfied their Lordships, that this more than ever cruelly cons ducted Slave Company's trade is, contrary to their anxious expectations, far from being on the decline. I therefore feel it my duty, before I conclude this report, to give some general understanding of what the Slave Trade really is at present; and I humbly hope, I shall the more readily be excused this, as the naval force of His Majesty, which their Lordships have been pleased to place under my command, is fitted expressly for the object of suppressing this abominable traffic. England certainly, the whole world must acknowledge, has most faith
fully fully abandoned the trade. America may be considered next in good intention. She has passed laws, forbidding the trade by her subjects, and has decreed heavy punishments on those who shall engage in it. She has also sent an armed force to the coast of Africa, and this force has captured vessels, the property of American subjects. Still, her measures are not yet complete, and American vessels, American subjects, and American capital, 'are unquestionably engaged in the trade, though under other colours and in disguise; but it may be hoped, time will effect in America, as it has in England, a total discontinuance of this traffic, as the Government of America appears to have engaged in its suppression with great sincerity.
'Spain, by her decrees, in consequence of her engagements with Great Britain, has relinquished the trade; but her colonies still carry it on in defiance of these engagements; and as a Spanish vessel is not subject to capture, unless she shall have slaves on board, although, as I have frequently observed, landing those embarked on the appearance, of a British man of war, she will, by her colonies, continue the traffic, though not with the same security she formerly has, yet certainly to a great extent. If Spain be sincere, she can show it only by compelling her colonies to observe her engagements.
Holland, it is true, has entered into engagements similar to those of Spain; but in her colonies also the trade is encouraged, and vessels under the flag of the King of the Netherlands are frequently met on the slaving coast, and some have been sent into Sierra Leone, which, after much opposition by those whose duty it was to have acted otherwise, have been condemned.
• Portugal, though restricted by her treaties to the continuance of the trade south of the line, permits her subjects of St. Thomas's and Prince's Island to carry on the traffic to a very considerable extent ; and in the month of February last, no fewer than six vessels arrived at Prince's Island with cargoes, ultimately for the West Indies.
• But France, it is with the deepest regret that I mention it, has countenanced and encouraged the Slave-Trade, almost beyond estimation or belief. Under pretence of supplying her own colonies, and furnishing only the means required for their cultivation, she has her flag protected, and British cruizers can only retire when they shall see her ensign; for search being forbidden, power and force become unavailing. Under this security, France is engrossing nearly the whole of the Slave-Trade, and she has extended this traffic beyond what can be supposed, but by one only who has witnessed it. In truth, France now supplies the foreign colonies, north of the line, with Africans. I exaggerate nothing in saying, that thirty vessels, bearing the colours of France, have nearly at the same time, and within two or three degrees of distance, been employed slaving, without my dering to offer interruption, but at considerable risk; yet I was induced, under some circumstances, to detain vessels bearing the French flag, in the hope of checking the bold and frequent outrages committed by the French on our own coast. I will add, that in the last twelve months, not less than 60,000 Africans have been forced from their country, principally
under under the colours of France, most of whom have been distributed between the Islands of Martinique, Guadaloupe, and Cuba. The confidence under which vessels navigate, bearing the French flag, has become so great, that I saw at the Havannah, in July last, no fewer than forty vessels fitting avowedly for the Slave-Trade, protected equally by the flags and papers of France and Spain. France has certainly issued her decrees against this traffic, but she has done nothing to enforce them. On the contrary, she gives to the trade all countenance short of public avowal.
• Piracy upon the coast of Africa is increasing, for a vessel so engaged has only to show the flag of France, and search by a British officer incurs a penalty; and unless His Majesty's ships, employed on that coast in suppression of slavery, shall, against slaving-vessels, have the full powers of a belligerent, all prohibitory laws against this trade will become a mockery.
• On this distressing subject, so revolting to every well regulated mind, I will add, that such is the merciless treatment of the slaves, by the persons engaged in the traffic, that no fancy can picture the horror of the voyage, crowded together so as not to give the power to move, linked one to the other by the leg, never unfettered while life remains, or till the iron shall have fretted the flesh almost to the bone, forced under a deck, as I have seen them, not thirty inches in height, breathing an atmosphere the most putrid and pestilential possible, with little food, and less water, subject also to the most severe punishment, at the caprice or fancy of the brute who may command the vessel. It is to me a matter of extreme wonder, that any of these miserable people live the voyage through; many of them, indeed, perish on the passage, and those who remain to meet the shore, present a picture of wretchedness language cannot express.'— pp. 76, 77.
It is due to the worthy RADAMA, to observe, barbarian as he may be considered, that he alone has religiously adhered to his engagement; and that all the slave-dealers from the Mauritius and the Isle of Bourbon have been sent away from his capital empty-handed, and thereby sustained such an immense loss, that they are not likely to renew their attempts.
The conduct of Sir George Collier, of the officers employed under him, and of their respective crews, in the arduous, unhealthy, disgusting and uncomfortable service on the coast of Africa, is above all praise. The following paragraph, written on the occasion of his having joined with his officers to purchase a fast-sailing vessel to cover the boats and protect their crews, is highly honourable to their feelings.
• Had there been a chance of any pecuniary emolument arising from this measure, as in time of actual war, I should not have felt it necessary to have noticed this circumstance; but the desire springing from the best feelings of the heart, and which had been roused in this instance into an active benevolence, by the dreadful scenes occasionally witnessed in the suffering misery of the unfortunate captives from the African shores, I have felt it due to the character of my officers, to show, that the same philanthropic feelings which actuate the conduct of so large a proportion of our countrymen, are not confined to those resident on shore. Indeed, were it necessary, I could prove, that on some occasions, where I have had doubts as to further detention of slaving-ships, from the chance of incurring heavy damages, and perhaps entire loss of fortune, and whilst the slaving-vessels have been under examination by myself and officers, the whole Črew of the Tartar have come forward, and in the most decorous, but urgent manner, have added their entreaties to the measure, offering their growing pay as a security for their proportion of the expense in case of the non-condemnation of the vessel by the mixed court at Sierra Leone; though it was explained to and fully understood by them, that as the law now stood no pecuniary benefit could arise to any one from head-money as formerly, even though the condemnation should actually take place, It therefore strongly proves what the ipisery and sufferings of the slave must be, until he may reach his point of destination, when they could produce such strong effect upon so many unlettered and uneducated minds as the crew of a man of war may be supposed to be composed of.'—pp. 58, 59. . It is obvious, therefore, from the few facts which we have mentioned, (and they are but a very few in comparison with those we could produce,) that the measures hitherto pursued for the abolition of the slave-trade have totally failed; that all the treaties made with foreign powers have either been directly violated or evaded; and that if the numerical amount of human misery has been somewhat diminished, which however is doubtful, the aggravation of heinous guilt, and of human suffering, has been increased in a tenfold degree since the trade was abolished by England, and more especially since the conclusion of the treaties with the several powers of Europe. Every species of crime may now be comprehended under the name of slave-trade-murder-robbery~ pillage-desolation, and all the evils and distress which moral turpitude and depravity, excited by the basest avarice, are capable of producing. Owing to the difficulties of embarking the slaves clandestinely, the poor negroes from the interior are marched from one place to another along the coast, shipped and relanded, according to the interruptions from our cruizers, ill-fed, chained, and driven about like so many herds of cattle. They are crowded and squeezed into small vessels in such masses that ihey are exposed to every species of misery, till death relieves them by removing, not unfrequently, more than half the original number, Not long since a Portugueze vessel took on board, for the Brazils, the enormous quantity of 1100 slaves, of which more than 500 perished on the passage, and half of the remainder almost imme
diately after being landed. To elude the vigilance of our cruizers they are sometimes jammed in, under a false deck, unable to stand upright, and piled together till they become a living mass of putridity; at other times, as we have seen, they are inclosed in casks. On their arrival at the place of destination they are instantly sent into the fields to labour, as the object, especially in the Brazils and Cuba, is to get out of them the largest possible quantity of work in the least possible time.
England, by the abolition, may certainly console herself with the reflection of having done her best to atone for the misery inflicted by her while she continued to carry on the trade: the sacrifice, however, was very great; and though we take an honest pride in the fact, yet we must be permitted to temper our joy, as the benevolent purpose has evidently been defeated. It cannot be concealed that, by this act, we have set the seal to the gradual decay of our West India colonies, and raised the value of those to which we have resigned the horrid traffic. The sturdiest abolitionist will scarcely venture to deny that Jamaica is threatened with the most serious calamities, while Cuba and the Brazils are inundating the markets of Europe with their coffee and sugars; and that while all these advantages are reaping by Spain and Portugal, England has suffered herself to be cajoled by them (perhaps we might be justified in the use of a stronger word, if obtaining money under false pretences deserve one) out of a million sterling, under the name of indemnities. Something more must be done, or we had better abandon the cause altogether. One little sentence from the Powers assembled at Vienna would have given the death-blow to a traffic, which they pronounced disgraceful to Europe; it was only necessary to declare those guilty of piracy who should be detected carrying it on, and liable to the punishment of death, (and nothing short of this, we fear, will do,) and the external part of it at least would have been effectually stopped. It is true we have made it felony, and the Americans piracy;—but while France and Portugal are suffered to pursue the traffic, there is but too much reason to believe that both English and American masters, and English and American capitals, will be employed under the flags of those nations, and even under the Spanish flag from the Havannah, where it is ascertained ships of various nations still continue to fit out for the coast of Africa. The government of America we would willingly believe in earnest, when it declared the slavetrade to be piracy; but, admitting this, it is not very probable that she will be able to destroy slavery on the coast of Africa, while she continues to permit it in two-thirds of her own dominions; or that the southern and western states will cease to