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the suppression of the slave trade carried on upon the coast of Africa, have deemed it expedient to conclude a treaty for that purpose, and have named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say:


The President of the United States of Ameriça, William H. Seward, Secretary of State, and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Right Honorable Richard Bickerton Pemell, Lord Lyons, a peer of her United Kingdom, a Knight Grand Cross of her most honorable Order of the Bath, and her Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States of America;

Who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following articles:


Certain war vessels may Visit certain merchant vessels reasonably supposed

The two high contracting parties mutually consent that those ships of their respective navies which shall be provided with special instructions for that purpose, as hereinafter mentioned, may visit such merchant vessels of the two nations as may, to be engaged in the upon reasonable grounds, be suspected of being engaged in slave trade. the African slave trade, or of having been fitted out for that purpose; or of having, during the voyage on which they are met by the said cruisers, been engaged in the African slave trade, contrary to the provisions of this treaty; and that such cruisers may detain, and send or carry away, such vessels, in order that they may be brought to trial in the manner hereinafter agreed upon.

In order to fix the reciprocal right of search in such a manner as shall be adapted to the attainment of the object of this treaty, and at the same time avoid doubts, disputes, and complaints, the said right of search shall be understood in the manner and according to the rules following:

First. It shall never be exercised except by vessels of war, authorized expressly for that object, according to the stipulations of this treaty. Secondly. The right of search shall in no case be exercised with respect to a vessel of the navy of either.of the two Powers, but shall be exercised only as regards merchant vessels; and it shall not be exercised by a vessel of war of either contracting party within the limits of a settlement or port, nor within the territorial waters of the other party.

Mode of search.

Thirdly. Whenever a merchant vessel is searched by a ship of war, the commander of the said ship shall, in the act of so doing, exhibit to the commander of the merchant vessel the special instructions by which he is duly authorized to search; and shall deliver to such commander a certificate, signed by himself, stating his rank in the naval service of his country, and the name of the vessel he commands, and also declaring that the only object of the search is to ascer tain whether the vessel is employed in the African slave trade, or is fitted up for the said trade. When the search is made by an officer of the cruiser, who is not the commander, such officer shall exhibit to the captain of the merchant vessel a copy of the before-mentioned special instructions, signed by the commander of the cruiser; and he shall in like manner deliver a certificate signed by himself, stating his rank in the navy, the name of the commander by whose orders he proceeds to make the search, that of the cruiser in which he sails, and the object of the search, as above described. If it appears from the search that the papers of the vessel are in regular order, and that it is employed on

lawful objects, the officer shall enter in the log-book of the vessel that the search has been made in pursuance of the aforesaid special instructions; and the vessel shall be left at liberty to pursue its voyage. The rank of the officer who makes the search must not be less than that of lieutenant in the navy, unless the command, either by reason of death or other cause, is at the time held by an officer of inferior, rank. Fourthly. The reciprocal right of search and detention shall be exercised only within the distance of two hundred miles from the right of search to the coast of Africa, and to the southward of the thirty-second parallel of north latitude, and within thirty leagues from the coast of the island of Cuba.

Within what limits

be exercised.


In order to regulate the mode of carrying the provisions of the preceding article into execution, it is agreed

Ships of war to be

of treaty and instructions.

Each nation to give the other the names, so employed.

Rank of commanders.

First. That all the ships of the navies of the two nations which shall be hereafter employed to prevent the African slave trade furnished with copy shall be furnished by their respective Governments with a copy of the present treaty, of the instructions for cruisers annexed thereto, (marked A,) and of the regulations for the mixed courts of justice annexed thereto, (marked B,) which annexes respectively shall be considered as integral parts of the present treaty. Secondly. That each of the high contracting parties shall, from time to time, communicate to the other the names of the several Sc., of war vessels ships furnished with such instructions, the force of each, and the names of their several commanders. The said commanders shall hold the rank of captain in the navy, or at least that of lieutenant; it being nevertheless understood that the instructions originally issued to an officer holding the rank of lieutenant of the navy, or other superior rank, shall, in case of his death or temporary absence, be sufficient to authorize the officer on whom the command of the vessel has devolved to make the search, although such officer may not hold the aforesaid rank in the service. Thirdly. That if at any time the commander of a cruiser of either of the two nations shall suspect that any merchant vessel when suspected ves under the escort or convoy of any ship or ships of war of sel is under convoy. the other nation carries negroes on board, or has been engaged in the African slave trade, or is fitted out for the purpose thereof, the commander of the cruiser shall communicate his suspicions to the commander of the convoy, who, accompanied by the commander of the cruiser, shall proceed to the search of the suspected vessel; and in case the suspicions appear well founded, according to the tenor of this treaty, then the said vessel shall be conducted or sent to one of the places where the mixed courts of justice are stationed, in order that it may there be adjudicated upon.

Mode of procedure

Fourthly. It is further mutually agreed that the commanders of the ships of the two navies, respectively, who shall be employed on this service, shall adhere strictly to the exact tenor of the aforesaid instruc tions.


As the two preceding articles are entirely reciprocal, the two high contracting parties engage mutually to make good any losses which their respective subjects or citizens may incur by an arbitrary and illegal detention of their vessels; it being under

Losses by wrongful detention.

derstood that this indemnity shall be borne by the Government whose cruiser shall have been guilty of such arbitrary and illegal detention; and that the search and detention of vessels specified in the first article of this treaty shall be effected only by ships which may form part of the two navies, respectively, and by such of those ships only as are provided with the special instructions annexed to the present treaty, in pursuance of the provisions thereof. The indemnification for the damages of which this article treats shall be paid within the term of one year, reckoning from the day in which the mixed court of justice pronounces its sentence.



In order to bring to adjudication with as little delay and inconve nience as possible the vessels which may be detained ac- Three mixed courts cording to the tenor of the first article of this treaty, there to be established. shall be established, as soon as may be practicable, three mixed courts of justice, formed of an equal number of individuals of the two nations, named for this purpose by their respective Governments. These courts shall reside, one at Sierra Leone, one at the Cape of Good Hope, and one at New York.

Places of courts.

But each of the two high contracting parties reserves to itself the right of changing, at its pleasure, the place of residence of the court or courts held within its own territories.

Duties of courts.

These courts shall judge the causes submitted to them according to the provisions of the present treaty, and according to the regulations and instructions which are annexed to the present treaty, and which are considered an integral part thereof; and there shall be no appeal from their decision.


Reparation for


In case the commanding officer of any of the ships of the navies of either country, duly commissioned according to the provi sions of the first article of this treaty, shall deviate in any wrongful acts of offrespect from the stipulations of the said treaty, or from the instructions annexed to it, the Government which shall conceive itself to be wronged thereby shall be entitled to demand reparation; and in such case the Government to which such commanding officer may belong binds itself to cause inquiry to be made into the subject of the complaint, and to inflict upon the said officer a punishment Punishment of such proportioned to any wilful transgression which he may be officer. proved to have committed.


Merchant vessels may be detained for certain causes.

It is hereby further mutually agreed that every American or British merchant vessel which shall be searched by virtue of the present treaty, may lawfully be detained, and sent or brought before the mixed courts of justice established in pursuance of the provisions thereof, if, in her equipment, there shall be found any of the things hereinafter mentioned, namely:

1st. Hatches with open gratings, instead of the close hatches, which are usual in merchant vessels.

2nd. Divisions or bulkheads in the hold or on deck, in greater num ber than are necessary for vessels engaged in lawful trade.

3rd. Spare plank fitted for laying down as a second or slave deck. 4th. Shackles, bolts, or handcuffs.

5th. A larger quantity of water in casks or in tanks than is requisite for the consumption of the crew of the vessel as a merchant vessel. 6th. An extraordinary number of water-casks, or of other vessels for holding liquid; unless the master shall produce a certificate from the custom-house at the place from which he cleared outwards, stating that a sufficient security had been given by the owners of such vessel that such extra quantity of casks, or of other vessels, should be used only to hold palm-oil, or for other purposes of lawful commerce.

7th. A greater number of mess-tubs or kids than requisite for the use of the crew of the vessel as a merchant vessel.

8th. A boiler, or other cooking apparatus, of an unusual size, and larger, or capable of being made larger, than requisite for the use of the crew of the vessel as a merchant vessel; or more than one boiler, or other cooking apparatus, of the ordinary size.

9th. An extraordinary quantity of rice, of the flour of Brazil, of manioc or cassada, commonly called farinha, of maize, or of Indian corn, or of any other article of food whatever, beyond the probable wants of the crew; unless such rice, flour, farinha, maize, Indian corn, or other article of food be entered on the manifest as part of the cargo for trade.

Proof that such articles are on board.

10th. A quantity of mats or matting greater than is necessary for the use of the crew of the vessel as a merchant vessel; unless such mats or matting be entered on the manifest as part of the cargo for trade. If it be proved that any one or more of the articles above specified is or are on board, or have been on board during the voyage in which the vessel was captured, that fact shall be considered as prima-facie evidence that the vessel was employed in the African slave trade, and she shall in consequence be condemned and declared lawful prize; unless the master or owners shall furnish clear and incontrovertible evidence, proving to the satisfaction of the mixed court of justice, that at the time of her detention or capture the vessel was employed in a lawful undertaking, and that such of the different articles above specified as were found on board at the time of detention, or as may have been embarked during the voyage on which she was engaged when captured, were indispensable for the lawful object of her voyage.



If any one of the articles specified in the preceding article as grounds for condemnation should be found on board a merchant vessel, or should be proved to have been on board of her during the voyage on which she was captured, no compensation for losses, damages, or expenses consequent upon the detention of such vessel shall, in any case, be granted either to the master, the owner, or any other person interested in the equipment or in the lading, even though she should not be condemned by the mixed court of justice.

Vessels condemned under this treaty.


It is agreed between the two high contracting parties that in all cases in which a vessel shall be detained under this treaty, by their respective cruisers, as having been engaged in the African slave trade, or as having been fitted out for the purposes thereof, and shall consequently be adjudged and condemned by one of

the mixed courts of justice to be established as aforesaid, the said vessel shall, immediately after its condemnation, be broken up entirely, and shall be sold in separate parts, after having been so broken up; unless either of the two Governments should wish to purchase her for the use of its navy, at a price to be fixed by a competent person chosen for that purpose by the mixed court of justice, in which case the Government whose cruiser shall have detained the condemned vessel shall have the first option of purchase.


Owners, officers, demned vessels.


The captain, master, pilot, and crew of any vessel condemned by the mixed courts of justice shall be punished according to the laws of the country to which such vessel belongs, as shall and crew of also the owner or owners and the persons interested in her equipment or cargo, unless they prove that they had no participation in the enterprise.

Persons on board

For this purpose the two high contracting parties agree that, in so far as it may not be attended with grievous expense and inconvenience, the master and crew of any vessel which such vessels. may be condemned by a sentence of one of the mixed courts of justice, as well as any other persons found on board the vessel, shall be sent and delivered up to the jurisdiction of the nation under whose flag the condemned vessel was sailing at the time of capture; and that the witnesses and proofs necessary to establish the guilt of such master, crew, or other persons shall also be sent with them.

Subjects of either

vessels of a

The same course shall be pursued with regard to subjects or citizens of either contracting party who may be found by a cruiser of the other on board a vessel of any third Power, or on board Power found in cona vessel sailing without flag or papers, which may be condemned by any competent court for having engaged in the African slave trade.

third Power.

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Negroes found on


The negroes who are found on board of a vessel condemned by the mixed courts of justice, in conformity with the stipulations of this treaty, shall be placed at the disposal of the Govern- board condemned ment whose cruiser has made the capture. They shall be immediately set at liberty, and shall remain free, the Government to whom they have been delivered guaranteeing their liberty.


The acts or instruments annexed to this treaty, and which it is mutually agreed shall form an integral part thereof, are as follows:

Instruments annexed to treaty.

(A.) Instructions for the ships of the navies of both nations, destined to prevent the African slave trade.

(B.) Regulations for the mixed courts of justice.


The present treaty shall be ratified, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged at London, in six months from this date, or sooner if possible. It shall continue and remain in full force for the term of ten years from the day of exchange of the ratifications, and further, until

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