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Mediterranean Mail, for Mr. Secretary Canning's information, a Copy of the amended Draft of the Proclamation, which the Lieutenant-Governor will be instructed forthwith to publish. I am, &c. Joseph Planta, Jun. Esq.
R. W. HAY.
(Enclosure 1, A.)-The Licut.-Governor of Gibraltar to Earl Bathurst. My LORD,
Gibraltar, February 12, 1826. Having received from Mr. Brackenbury, His Majesty's Consul at Cadiz, a Letter, of which the enclosed is a Copy, in which he expresses a belief that the Spanish Briy, called the Maria Isabel, sailed from that Port on the 20th ultimo, for this Place, for the purpose of com. pleting her outfit here for the Slave-trade, I directed the Captain of the Port to make diligent enquiries on the subject, and report to me thereon, which he has done, but without having discovered any thing which could lead to a supposition that the Vessel in question is bound on a Slaving-voyage, as your Lordship will perceive by the accompanying Copy of that Officer's Report.
Under the above circumstances, 1 referred Mr. Brackenbury's Letter and Mr. Sweetland's Report to Mr. Foye, the principal Law Officer here, for his opinion, as to what further steps should be taken respecting the Vessel in question; and by the annexed Copy of Mr. Foye's Report, it appears, with reference to these Papers, that there are no facts before me whereon to ground legal Proceedings touching the said Vessel.
But in pursuance of your Lordship's Instructions, contained in your Letter of the 13th October last, I have used my best endeavours to obtain further information relative to the Maria Isabel, as well as the Schooner Proserpina, (concerning which I had the honour of writing to your Lordship on the 27th July last,) and this information being more circumstantial than the Statements contained in those Letters, I have considered it my duty, with the advice of Mr. Foye, to prepare a Proclamation, of which the enclosed is a Draft, to empower the Captain of the Port to detain, and diligently to search, all Vessels which may be suspected of being engaged in the Slavetrade, and which I trust your Lordship will approve, as being not only the most likely mode of detecting such illegal proceedings, but also of intimidating such Persons as may be disposed to engage in them.
It is proper that I should acquaint your Lordship, that the Maria Isabel was consigued to Mr. Achoval, a Spanish Merchant, now residing in this Garrison. I have, &c.
GEORGE DON, The Right Hon. Earl Bathurst, K.G. General and Lieut.-Governor.
P.S.-Since writing the above, I have received another Communication from Mr. Brackenbury, in which he states, that Policies of Insurance have been effected at Cadiz, both upon the Maria Isabel and the Dichosa, the former at 23, and the latter at 20 per cent ; and that the risk on both was to the Coast of Africa, and thence with Slaves to The Havannah.
(Enclosure 1, B.)--Mr. Consul Brackenbury to the Lieut.-Governor of
British Consulate, Cadiz, January 23, 1826. I APPREHEND that your Excellency will find, upon enquiry, that the Brig-Schooner Maria Isabel, which sailed from this Place on the 20th, for Gibraltar and St. Thomas, is gone to the Fortress of Gibraltar, not to take in a Cargo for St. Thomas, but to complete her outfit for the Coast of Africa, her real object being the illegal and inhuman Traffick in Slaves; and it is my duty, I conceive, to call your Excellency's attention to the fact, lest any British Subject residing in Gibraltar should be concerned in any part of so disgraceful a proceeding It might perhaps be advisable to keep a look-out upon a Spanish Schooner, called La Dichosa, if she should be at Gibraltar.
She sailed with the Maria Isabel from hence on the 16th, nominally for St. Thomas, and it was not until the former Vessel put back for some repairs, on the 17th, that I discovered, in the Maritime Diario of Cadiz, that she had sailed on the preceding day for Gibraltar : that fa
mentioned in the same Paper of the 16th.
I have, &c. H. E. Sir George Don, G. C. B.
J. M. BRACKENBURY.
(Enclosure 1, C.)—Captain Sweetland to the Lieut.-Governor of
Gibraltar, January 27, 1826. In attention to your Excellency's commands, I have made enquiry respecting the destination of the Spanish Vessel Maria Isabel, and have failed to procure any information which could lead to a supposition of her being bound on a Slaving-voyage. I have seen the Consignee of this Vessel on the subject, and explained to him the disgrace which must attend detection in being concerned in the fitting or supplying Vessels destined for such purpose. He received my observations with becoming indignation, asking the name of the author of the report. I said I could not tell him who he was, but that your Excellency had received positive information from Cadiz, that the Maria Isabel was fitted for a Slaving-voyage, and should the report be true, he, as the Consignee and Shipper of goods on board her, became, by our Laws, a Principal in the delinquency.
It is much to be regretted that no clue is furnished for tracing this transaction; it is still more so that the Information was not furnished to the Spanish Authorities instead of your Excellency, as by the Slave Treaty with Spain, a Spanish Vessel cannot be detained on suspicion of being engaged in Trading in Slaves, unless she have actually Slaves on board. The Spanish Government, on the other hand, might, on complaint, have caused the Ship to be searched; and if shackles, or large boilers, or certain other articles used on board Slave-ships, might have been found on board, legal measures would have been taken with the Parties concerned. At all events, these Informations should be laid publickly and officially, and some reasonable ground of suspicion stated. According to the present practice, your Excellency is charged with all the responsibility of an Information, and at the same time deprived of the means of acting on it. I should strongly recommend your Excellency to consult the Crown Lawyers on this Communication, with a view to ascertain what steps the Slave Act, and Slave Treaties with Spain, enable you to take in the premises, bearing in mind always, that the Cadiz Information is unaccompanied by any corroborating proof, or even suspicion; and that the Consignee affirms the destination of the Vessel to be the Danish Island of St. Thomas, from whence, or Cuba, she is to return with a cargo of Indigo and Cochiueal.
The Dichosa is not here. I have, &c. H. E. G:n. Sir George Don, G. C. B. WILLIAM SWEETLAND.
(Enclosure 1, D.)-W. Foye, Esq. to Colonel Chapman. SIR,
Court House, Gibraltar, February 4, 1826. With reference to your Letter of the 30th of January, transmitting to me the Letters of Mr. Consul Brackenbury and Mr. Sweetland, on the subject of the Spanish Vessel Maria Isabel, suspected to be fitting out for the Slave-trade, and requesting, by the desire of His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, my opinion for the information of His Excellency, as to any and what steps should be taken respecting the Vessel in question; I have to request you will inform His Excellency, as my opinion, that, with reference to the Letters above stated, His Excellency has not any facts before him whereon to ground legal Proceedings, touching the Spanish Vessel the Maria Isabel.
I have, &c, Colonel Chapman, C. B.
(Enclosure 1, E.) (Draft.)–Proclamation by H. E. Sir G. Don, &c. &c.
Whereas His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor has received information, that several Vessels have recently come to this Port for the purpose of completing their preparations for the inhuman and detestable Traffick in Slaves; and whereas the acts of all Persons who may be engaged or concerned in the equipment or lading of Vessels, whether British or Foreign, in a British Port, for the Slave-trade, are in direct viclation of the late Acts of Parliament, which render such proceedings highly penal : With a view, therefore, to lead to the detection and prosecution of such Persons as may appear, on sufficient evidence, to be engaged or concerned in such illegal Traffick, His Excellency is hereby pleased to empower and direct the Captain of the Port to detain, and diligently to search, all Vessels touching here, which may be suspected of being engaged, or about to be engaged, in the Slave-trade; and to report to His Excellency forthwith such grounds of accusation as the result of his search and enquiries may enable him to make; of which Publick Notice is hereby given, that none hereafter may plead ignorance. Given at Gibraltar, this
1826. By Command.
(Enclosure 1, F.)-Mr. Consul Brackenbury to the Gov. of Gibraltar. SIR,
British Consulate, Cadiz, Feb. 16, 1826. In proof of the wisdom of the measures which your Excellency has so recently resolved to adopt, and in corroboration of the accuracy of the information which I transmitted on the 23d ultimo.;
I have now the honour to acquaint your Excellency, that Policies of Insurance have been effected in this City, both upon the Maria Isabel and the Dichosa, the former at 23, the latter at 20
cent. The risk on both was to the Coast of Africa, thence with Slaves to The Havannah.
&c. H. E. Sir George Don, G. C. B.
J. M. BRACKENBURY.
(Enclosure 1, G.)-The Lieut.- Governor of Gibraltar to Earl Bathurst. MY LORD,
Gibraltar, March 2, 1826. I have the honour to transmit to your Lordship, herewith, a Copy of a Letter which I have received from Mr. Brackenbury, His Majesty's Consul at Cadiz, respecting a Spanish Vessel under French Colours, named Cantabro, which he suspects has come to this Place for the purpose of completing her preparations for a Slave adventure.
Immediately on the receipt of Mr. Brackenbury's Letter, I caused enquiry to be made on the subject, by which it appears, that a French Brig, under the above-mentioned name, arrived in this Port on the 18th January last, from Antwerp, and cleared from hence, on the 21st of the same month, for St. Thomas. This Vessel. was consigned to Messrs. Perez and Calafat, Spanish Merchants in this Garrison, and is, I have little doubt, the same Vessel as that mentioned in Mr. Brackenbury's Letter. I have, &c.
GEORGE DON, The Right Hon. Earl Bathurst, K.G. Gen. and Lieut.. Governor.
(Enclosure 1, H.)-Mr. Consul Brackenbury to the Gov. of Gibraltar. SIR,
British Confulate, Cadiz, February 23, 1826. I have but a minute to save the Post, and must therefore briefly state, that if your Excellency will be pleased to cause enquiry, whether a Vessel called the Cantabro be now in the Port of Gibraltar, you will find that she is completing her outfit for a Slave adventure.
She sails under French Colours, and belongs to a wealthy Merchant in this City, named Joaquim de Trueba.
Policies of Insurance are this day underwriting upon that Vessel; the risk from Gibraltar to the Coast of Africa, thence with a Cargo of Slaves to Cuba.
Your Excellency, upon this information, will, I presume, have no difficulty in causing search to be made.
The last Voyage which the Cantabro made was very quick, and very profitable to the Owner. So rapidly does she sail, that having fallen in with one of our Cruizers on the Coast of Africa, when she had a Cargo of Slaves on board, she sailed her out of sight in a few hours : this fact was stated as an inducement to the Underwriters for the present Voyage.
I have, &c. H. E. Sir George Don, G.C.B.
J. M. BRACKENBURY.
(Enclosure 1, I.)-Earl Bathurst to the Licut.- Governor of Gibraltar. Sie,
Downing-Street, October 13, 1825. I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch of the 27th July last, enclosing Copies of a Correspondence which has passed between you and His Majesty's Consul at Cadiz, together with a Report from the Captain of the Port of Gibraltar, relative to the Spanish Schooner Proserpina, which is conceived to have been fitted out there for the purpose of being employed in the Slave-trade, and your request to be furnished with Instructions for the guidance of your conduet, in the event of any Spanish Vessel attempting in future to fit out for the Slave-trade.
Upon this subject, I have to acquaint you, in reply, that the acts of all Persons who may be concerned in the equipment or lading of Vessels, whether British or Foreign, in a British Port, for the Slave-trade, are contrary to the Abolition Laws, which are now consolidated in the 5th Geo. 4. Cap. 113. of which I enclose a Copy for your information.
You will observe, that the 2d, 4th, 7th, and 10th Sections of that Statute render such proceedings highly penal, and it is your duty to encourage any information against the offences under that Act, which can be supported on proper evidence.
The 4th Section authorizes the seizure of the Ship; and if sufficient Evidence could be obtained, the Vessels might be seized and